The ACLU, the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and this federal judge
want to keep all traces of ‘public prayer’ out of a TX high school graduation ceremony. However, kindly, the judge did allow that students could wear religious clothing or kneel towards Mecca.
Really, I say. Really?
Most parents and educators I know would be much more concerned that students dress appropriately (wearing nice clothes and none of the flip-flops or pants-on-the-ground) and act respectfully (not disrupting the service_oops! did I call it that?_ by getting out of their chairs and moving around) than that people would say a quiet “Bow your heads…” or “amen.” Two things really struck me about this article.
First, how about we have some folks dress up in religious habits or arab garb, then come into Judge Biery’s courtroom. Then, whenever they like, they can get out of their seats and assemble in the aisles, kneeling on their knees towards Rome or bowing towards Mecca. I bet he wouldn’t stand for that disruption in his courtroom, but he says it’s OK for a graduation. HYPOCRITE!
Secondly, if it is true that there is entirely separation of church and state, then it seems to me that Judge Biery has no right to tell a school how they should hold their graduation ceremony. That is a private matter for the school officials and the parents to decide. I don’t care if the school does receive federal dollars, separation should work both ways. Unless there is an obvious physical danger (like yelling ‘fire’ at the movies) anything said at that graduation shouldn’t matter to anyone outside of the auditorium. The school should be able to conduct their ceremony as they deem appropriate, and for Judge Biery to rule otherwise actually creates a relationship between church and state. HYPOCRITE! (Just to add to this point, I really do think the US government should get out of Education and turn it back over to the local governments.)
I’m not entirely certain how the Schultz family can claim that they would “suffer irreparable harm” if someone prays. Maybe it’s like spontaneous combustion or something. My advice to the Schultz’s: don’t pray, don’t go, or get over it. As this is being read, I’m sure prayers are already going up to Heaven on their behalf. Better keep the extinguisher handy!
Hypocrisy is claiming that there is separation between church and state, and then the state tries to assert control over the church. The First Amendment really prohibits the government from establishing a state-sponsored church (like Uncle Sam’s Church of Democracy). As Thomas Jefferson said, the separation is to put a wall between church and state, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t see over that wall or shake hands over it. Good fences (and walls) make good neighbors. And if you don’t like what your neighbor is saying, then leave. Or put your fingers in your ears. Or hum. Or talk louder.
It’s time for Americans to do some studying and read our Constitution for themselves. If you don’t agree with it, you’ve got that right, and the First Amendment protects your right to vocally disagree. But it doesn’t give you the right to be offended by what you see or hear. Get over it, or get out of here.
Until next time…