A boy writes a letter to God: “Dear God, why do you let bad things happen in our schools?”
God replied: ” Dear Son, I’m not allowed in your schools.”
OK, let’s be clear: school shootings don’t happen because there’s no mandatory school prayer — shootings happen in churches, too [in Texas, you can carry a concealed weapon into any church that doesn’t post a conspicuous notice of prohibition.]
The First Amendment merely sets forth that there will not be a State religion.
Public schools are a secular institution; notwithstanding, for any “Social Studies” curriculum not to include a survey of the World’s great religions, is an incomplete education.
However, mandatory prayer in public schools would [by definition] be coercive, and raises the question: whose prayer?
A non-denominational prayer would be nominally Christian, and constitute a violation of the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment; alternatively, a government approved ‘secular’ prayer would be both an oxymoron and a breach of the Establishment clause.
The claim that we are a “Christian nation” ignores the fact that it is Moses on the pediment of the Supreme Court building, not Christ; and that verses from the Old Testament are inscribed on Federal buildings — not verses from the Gospels.
Why is that?
It is because the tablets of the Ten Commandments are iconic symbols of Law: Hammurabi’s Code, Magna Carta, the Napoleonic Code, and the Geneva Conventions would all be unrecognizable as icons; moreover, there is no iconography of the Gospels — and, even if there were, they would be symbolic of Faith, not Law.
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Sidebar: An Atheist has brought suit, seeking to have “In God We Trust” stricken from US currency — claiming that it violates Atheists’ freedom from religion.
Such a suit is frivolous, because the inscription does not violate either the Free Exercise or Establishment clauses of the First Amendment.
However, the Supreme Court should grant Certiori to hear him argue for – a right to howl at the moon.
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Religion ought to be studied, not taught, in our public schools — and it can be done without running afoul of the First Amendment.
It’s called: The Humanities.
Nobody asked … just my opinion.