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post #121 of 153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Right, so doesn't hold much water. If you acknowledge that students will do whatever they want with their minds, then they are free to pray, institutional planning or no.

That is an odd bit of reasoning adda. The purpose of the moment is silent thought. The fact that students can use it as such seems to mean you think they could do this any other time of the day. The fact that students can do what we would call daydreaming during a moment of silence shows how permissive the moment is in definition. The definition for math, science and other subjects is not permissive of such thoughts in fact it would punish them. Students are frequently admonished for and punished for being mentally off-task throughout the day.

Quote:
It's also true that while every minute of a student's day may be accounted for in a schedule, not every minute is specifically filled with prayer precluding activity. The idea that the school must formally designate time or the Christian student simply won't have the chance to pray is pretty spurious, IMO.

I agree. I think kids have loads of opportunities to handle this outside of the classroom. However I also know that there are religiously intolerant people who challenge these rights continually. As we have seen in this thread, people believe not just that the state shouldn't endorse religion, but any tolerance of religion anything that keeps a school from being "religion free" is an endorsement.

Quote:
I think we both know that if a student brought a lawsuit against a school because she had seen another student engaged in private, non-sanctioned prayer, she would be laughed out of court. The sensibilities of the student may have been noted, but are clearly not the basis for the lawsuit, which hinge on formal school sanctioning.

I don't think she would be laughed out at all. There have been hundreds of cases attempting to clarify this issue. As an example, suppose the school doesn't have a moment of silence but does have a student led prayer group/club at lunch time. All student groups/clubs are given an allotment of copies. The prayer groups uses their allotment as every other group does, to make fliers to hang and create awareness of the group. Is this a religious endorsement? If the group meets in a room instead of on the grass, is that an endorsement? A faculty member must likely sponsor, aka agree to supervise even while not participating the club for it to have a room.

These issues are going around all the time. If 100 students at lunch all knee silently and pray in the same fashion lead by one other student who prays out loud is it a prayer or a demonstration? The courts receive and handle such complaints frequently.

Quote:
See above (and many a lengthy denunciation of grotesque liberal legislation designed to feed the credulous faithful), and, yes. If it's pandering it's pandering, that determination reasonably based on the symbolic content vs. efficacy ratio. I think "15 seconds" vs. "red meat fundie dog whistle" puts us pretty firmly in pander town.

In Ohio the legislation was sponsored by Democrats. The state itself is pretty evenly divided and it is not at all in the Bible belt. So caricatures aside, giving the voters what they want is not automatically pandering.

Several of the points I have mentioned can be affirmed in this ACLU Joint Statement. While I am sure you will label them a "red meat fundie dog whistle" for echoing the points made here, I doubt they are pandering as well.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #122 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

The first two are examples of slippery-slope reasoning.

It appears (to me at least) that the slippery slope argument is valid in this case, from the FACTS and CONCLUSION sections of Judge Robert W. Gettleman's injunction;

Quote:
Since 1969, Illinois has had a statute regarding a “period of silence” to be observed daily in public schools statewide.

Quote:
In each public school classroom the teacher in charge may observe a brief period of silence with the participation of all the pupils therein assembled at the opening of every school day. This period shall not be conducted as a religious exercise but shall be an opportunity for silent prayer or for silent reflection on the anticipated activities of the day.

.
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In 1990, the Illinois legislature amended the statute, 105 ILCS 20/1, to title the law “The Silent Reflection Act.” In 2003, the legislature again amended the statute to change its name to “The Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act.”
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In October 2007, the legislature amended the law once again to make the period of silence mandatory.

Quote:
For the reasons discussed above, defendants are preliminarily enjoined from implementing or enforcing the Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act.

Where are the 2nd Amendment folks when you need them? The facts themselves speak to the validity of the slippery slope argument as being valid in this case.

I've now read that 8 page injunction twice in it's entirety, the 2nd time through was even more convincing than the first read through. \ IMHO, silent prayer IS religious exercise, so the original law is contradictory in and of itself (i. e. more than just vague).

I wonder if these state mandated "moment of silence" laws would gain ANY traction if they were called the "moment of anarchy" laws seeing as the SCOTUS has sanctioned any set of beliefs as religion for the sake of 1st amendment freedoms?
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post #123 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Several of the points I have mentioned can be affirmed in this ACLU Joint Statement. While I am sure you will label them a "red meat fundie dog whistle" for echoing the points made here, I doubt they are pandering as well.

The ACLU link states nothing in regard to "moment of silence."

In fact, the ACLU is in the process of filing a "friend of the court" brief citing this law as unconstitutional.

I have a bunch of other stuff (links) in my ESP ammo belt now and I'm in the process of chasing down the EXACT wording and histories of other "moment of silence" laws in other states.

I'm also in the process of procuring a wireless Vulcan Mind Meld device to divine the true intent of these "moment of ambiguity" laws!
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post #124 of 153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

It appears (to me at least) that the slippery slope argument is valid in this case, from the FACTS and CONCLUSION sections of Judge Robert W. Gettleman's injunction;

Where are the 2nd Amendment folks when you need them? The facts themselves speak to the validity of the slippery slope argument as being valid in this case.

I've now read that 8 page injunction twice in it's entirety, the 2nd time through was even more convincing than the first read through. \ IMHO, silent prayer IS religious exercise, so the original law is contradictory in and of itself (i. e. more than just vague).

I wonder if these state mandated "moment of silence" laws would gain ANY traction if they were called the "moment of anarchy" laws seeing as the SCOTUS has sanctioned any set of beliefs as religion for the sake of 1st amendment freedoms?

First Frank I want to thank you for contributing substantively to the thread. You are quite enjoyable to discuss items with when not launching into ad-homs. I hope you keep it up.

I'll note a couple points about the injunction and we can go from there. First it doesn't appear to me to be engaging in a slippery-slope. Rather it appears to note that the law in moving from may to shall, engendered a legal challenge which hit at how vague it was written. This could lend itself to abuse since theoretically a teacher could hold a five hour silence and still have it be legal. The judgment even notes the law could be completely legitimate in what it addresses, but if the vagueness lends itself to possible problems, it is likely to be ruled against. The other law could have been vague as well but if no one ever sought an injunction or ruling against it, this wouldn't have been revealed.

So in short the move from may to must hasn't changed the constitutionality, it has changed who will challenge it. When challenging the law if they prevail, it will be because of vagueness, not because of lack of constitutionality. This would likely lead to a revised law that has exactly what people here have been complaining about, a very specific length of time, a specific time of day, perhaps even the wording all teachers must use to insure there is no state advocacy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

The ACLU link states nothing in regard to "moment of silence."

In fact, the ACLU is in the process of filing a "friend of the court" brief citing this law as unconstitutional.

I have a bunch of other stuff (links) in my ESP ammo belt now and I'm in the process of chasing down the EXACT wording and histories of other "moment of silence" laws in other states.

I'm also in the process of procuring a wireless Vulcan Mind Meld device to divine the true intent of these "moment of ambiguity" laws!

Realize that when several different people bring forward different points, I attempt to respond to all of them and when I answer, people can attempt to claim X or Y about a different point that the answer did not address related to their point. Adda and others (you a bit of the time) have contended that no one would ever challenge prayer or religious activities outside of the classroom. The conclusion is that since this challenge would never occur, the only true motivation for the moment of silence would be that they are... to use the popular pejorative here, are fundies. If you look at the link in the context of the whole statement, I think you will see I am addressing this point.

However the reality is that those rights have been challenged outside of the classroom frequently. They are not the simple forgone conclusion that those participating in this thread assume. The ACLU joint statement affirms several of those rights but it has to be affirmed because they have been challenged in court. Some of them I seem to even recall being challenged by the ACLU. If you can find their friend of the court brief on this, I would be interested in reading it.

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post #125 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

When challenging the law if they prevail, it will be because of vagueness, not because of lack of constitutionality.

That is not exactly right.

Challenging a law for vagueness is one way to attack its constitutionality.
post #126 of 153
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

That is not exactly right.

Challenging a law for vagueness is one way to attack its constitutionality.

I meant that the moment of silence will not be found to be unconstitutional. Instead the vagueness of it will be found to be unconstitutional.

Better? Disagree?

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #127 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

First Frank I want to thank you for contributing substantively to the thread. You are quite enjoyable to discuss items with when not launching into ad-homs. I hope you keep it up.

I'll note a couple points about the injunction and we can go from there. First it doesn't appear to me to be engaging in a slippery-slope. Rather it appears to note that the law in moving from may to shall, engendered a legal challenge which hit at how vague it was written. This could lend itself to abuse since theoretically a teacher could hold a five hour silence and still have it be legal. The judgment even notes the law could be completely legitimate in what it addresses, but if the vagueness lends itself to possible problems, it is likely to be ruled against. The other law could have been vague as well but if no one ever sought an injunction or ruling against it, this wouldn't have been revealed.

So in short the move from may to must hasn't changed the constitutionality, it has changed who will challenge it. When challenging the law if they prevail, it will be because of vagueness, not because of lack of constitutionality. This would likely lead to a revised law that has exactly what people here have been complaining about, a very specific length of time, a specific time of day, perhaps even the wording all teachers must use to insure there is no state advocacy.



Realize that when several different people bring forward different points, I attempt to respond to all of them and when I answer, people can attempt to claim X or Y about a different point that the answer did not address related to their point. Adda and others (you a bit of the time) have contended that no one would ever challenge prayer or religious activities outside of the classroom. The conclusion is that since this challenge would never occur, the only true motivation for the moment of silence would be that they are... to use the popular pejorative here, are fundies. If you look at the link in the context of the whole statement, I think you will see I am addressing this point.

However the reality is that those rights have been challenged outside of the classroom frequently. They are not the simple forgone conclusion that those participating in this thread assume. The ACLU joint statement affirms several of those rights but it has to be affirmed because they have been challenged in court. Some of them I seem to even recall being challenged by the ACLU. If you can find their friend of the court brief on this, I would be interested in reading it.

... that I bookmarked last night. But first, thanks, and second, I can't guarantee my future behavior, but perhaps on this issue I can remain salient rather than sardonic.

The first link is just your thread starting link without the need to register with the LA Times website (I'm real cautious now with giving out my email address);

Disquiet over schools' moment of silence (12/24/07)

I must claim that the timing of the LAT article is suspicious, given the time of year and the MSM SOP that occurs at this time with respect to separation of church and state PR stunts (The injunction is dated 11/15/07). \

This is Rob Sherman's (father of Dawn) website (current through 12/14/07), he has a lot (or all) of the current (circa 11/15/07 injunction) litigation documents here.

From Rob's site I found that the Federal court in Illinois permits ADF to participate in “period of silence” case (12/20/07). My only comment with respect to the ADF at this point is that they are for this "moment of silence" in public schools AFAIK. See also ADF Joins IFI In Battle For Moment of Silence (12/27/07).

The ACLU (of Illinois) FOTC link ACLU jumps into moment-of-silence suit (12/07/07). My only comment with respect to the ACLU at this point is that they are not for this "moment of silence" in public schools AFAIK.

Next up the text of the Governor of Illinois veto. From there you can check the bill status, etceteras. I was a bit surprised that the bill passed both houses with larger majorities than when the two houses overrode the Governor's veto (Don't ask me why I was surprised, I just was).

Another link from the IGA (House) shows that the Illinois legislature is already reacting to the injunction; Amends the Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act. Changes the short title of the Act to the Student Silent Reflection Act.. I found this after finding a news release, which I didn't save the link to, but the news release said that the legislature just wants to avoid the time and costs of a lengthy court battle. Makes sense to me.

Wikipedia's Moment of silence (which I'm sure you already know of from your earlier posts);

Quote:
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia also require such moments of quiet in the classroom.

Wikipedia's Cone of Silence, just can't resist slipping in a bit of sardonic wit.

That then led me to the NCSL link, States with Moment of Silence or School Prayer Legislation.

From their you can find most of the state statutes here; State & Local Governments (At least that's where I found most of them for the states above (NCSL has a few numerical errors and for Georgia I had to go to the state legislative website)).

Whew, I'm tired, so I'll be brief on the rest for now.

After doing all that and drilling down to read each state's "moment of silence" laws, the VA and TX laws seem the most intrusive IMHO. I'm sure you're aware of the VA court decision, since you've mentioned it in a previous post. My immediate question of the VA decision is, was it ever appealed to the SCOTUS? My other comment is that since the ACLU "got burned" on the VA decision, they didn't involve themselves in the Illinois injunction until after the injunction was handed down.

My final link is from what appears to be court cases on the TX MOS and TX POA;

Quote:
§ 25.082. SCHOOL DAY; PLEDGES OF ALLEGIANCE; MINUTE OF SILENCE.

((a) A school day shall be at least seven hours each day, including intermissions and recesses.

(b) The board of trustees of each school district shall require students, once during each school day at each school in the district, to recite:

\t\t(1) the pledge of allegiance to the United States flag in accordance with 4 U.S.C. Section 4, and its subsequent amendments; and
\t\t(2) the pledge of allegiance to the state flag in accordance with Subchapter C, Chapter 3100, Government Code.

(c) On written request from a student's parent or guardian, a school district shall excuse the student from reciting a pledge of allegiance under Subsection (b).

(d) The board of trustees of each school district shall provide for the observance of one minute of silence at each school in the district following the recitation of the pledges of allegiance to the United States and Texas flags under Subsection (b). During the one-minute period, each student may, as the student chooses, reflect, pray, meditate, or engage in any other silent activity that is not likely to interfere with or distract another student. Each teacher or other school employee in charge of students during that period shall ensure that each of those students remains silent and does not act in a manner that is likely to interfere with or distract another student.

Length of school day is trivial, but MOS, US POA, and TX POA? Do they also issue spurs to the student's with their state issued jackboots? Sorry, but I just had to interject another moment of sardonic wit.


So after going through all that last night, I had many, Many, MANY moments of silent reflection and introspection. I do think these "moments of silence" will pass if worded correctly. I also don't think the current SCOTUS would pass down a negative decision, given it's current make up, if any of these "moment of silence" laws are taken up by the SCOTUS to begin with.

Like I said initially, I don't have much of a horse to bet on in this one, particularly given the wording of most of the existing MOS laws.
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post #128 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Because children learn from structured activities, which is why time is set aside daily for different types of learning. All these parents are asking for a small amount of time to be set aside for something that is important to them and their kids.

So what you're saying then is that Christian parents want their kids to be taught, through a "structured activity", how to be better Christians, in school?

Exactly the reason this is unconstitutional.

You want that, send your kids to a Christian school. Otherwise, ask your kids to pray on their own time. Don't involve other kids by giving them government sanctioned peer pressure. Except that's exactly what you want, isn't it (be honest)?
post #129 of 153
The notion that these moments of silence are actually taken by kids to pray about the poor, starving children of Africa is laughable. Anyone who actually teaches students that are self-aware knows that they spend it blankly staring at the board, reading a book, or talking to each other. There might be 1 or 2 devoutly religious kids who pray, but how on earth is that something I, as a teacher, should care about enough to accomodate?

I don't give a damn about losing 15 seconds or even a minute to it, either, so I don't care. I don't make my kids be silent during any of the pledges (Texas or US) or during the moment of silence. I do keep them quiet during the announcements themselves.

Quote:
If the only actions consist of their silent thoughts, it is still their right.

I don't think anyone, anywhere, has advocated that children not be able to have religious thoughts in school. The problem with a mandated moment of prayer (oh, excuse me, a "moment of silence") is that everyone else has to be silent so that Jesus can hear the prayer.

The only difference between "a moment of silence" and "a moment of breathing" is the desire for religious groups to get mandatory, administration-led prayer back in school.

The answer to this, in my opinion, is simple civil disobedience. Let authority structures enforce stupid rules and realize how ridiculous it is. I wouldn't mind being written up for not making my kids be quiet during the pledges or the moment of silence.

Quote:
You say this could be accomodated during a break or lunch time and while that is true, you still haven't addressed the fact that this is still institutional time. In fact the institution controls the time and assigns it specific purpose under the ed code.

As a teacher, I have no idea what you mean when you talk about "institutional time". This seems like absolutely nothing more than an invented category with no other purpose than to ignore the difference between instructional time and non-instructional time.

The students have lunch and passing periods and lulls in classtime. Little ones even have recess. Let's not pretend that there is not adequate non-instructional time to get a few words in to Baby Jesus about how awesome life is.
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post #130 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat View Post

The notion that these moments of silence are actually taken by kids to pray about the poor, starving children of Africa is laughable. Anyone who actually teaches students that are self-aware knows that they spend it blankly staring at the board, reading a book, or talking to each other. There might be 1 or 2 devoutly religious kids who pray, but how on earth is that something I, as a teacher, should care about enough to accomodate?

I don't give a damn about losing 15 seconds or even a minute to it, either, so I don't care. I don't make my kids be silent during any of the pledges (Texas or US) or during the moment of silence. I do keep them quiet during the announcements themselves.



I don't think anyone, anywhere, has advocated that children not be able to have religious thoughts in school. The problem with a mandated moment of prayer (oh, excuse me, a "moment of silence") is that everyone else has to be silent so that Jesus can hear the prayer.

The only difference between "a moment of silence" and "a moment of breathing" is the desire for religious groups to get mandatory, administration-led prayer back in school.

The answer to this, in my opinion, is simple civil disobedience. Let authority structures enforce stupid rules and realize how ridiculous it is. I wouldn't mind being written up for not making my kids be quiet during the pledges or the moment of silence.



As a teacher, I have no idea what you mean when you talk about "institutional time". This seems like absolutely nothing more than an invented category with no other purpose than to ignore the difference between instructional time and non-instructional time.

The students have lunch and passing periods and lulls in classtime. Little ones even have recess. Let's not pretend that there is not adequate non-instructional time to get a few words in to Baby Jesus about how awesome life is.

Actually an administrative led prayer to all deities that are/aren't purported to exist in the past, present, and future human histories would, I think, stop all these moments of ambiguity fairly quickly.

Simply because the students would have to sit still and quiet for the several hours such an exercise would entail. The students would be required to wear diapers, so that they could sh!t/p!ss their drawers and the requisite fasting necessary to remain still and quiet.

Heck, it might take several years to get through the potential list!
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post #131 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

Actually an administrative led prayer to all deities that are/aren't propertied to exist in the past, present, and future human histories would, I think, stop all these moments of ambiguity fairly quickly.

Simply because the students would have to sit still and quite for the several hours such an exercise would entail. The students would be required to wear dippers, so that they could sh!t/p!ss their drawers and the requisite fasting necessary to remain still and quite.

Heck, it might take several years to get through the potential list!

propertied -> purported
quite -> quiet
dippers -> diapers

I think you're giving your spell checker way too free a hand in fixing things. Or did you, perchance, type this in on an iPhone?
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post #132 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

propertied -> purported
quite -> quiet
dippers -> diapers

I think you're giving your spell checker way too free a hand in fixing things. Or did you, perchance, type this in on an iPhone?

I are a engineer.

Meaning english, put (the last word should be but, see what I mean, since I have spell checking on) particularly spelling, are by no means my strengths.

The spell checker is supposed to help, isn't it?

I think it does anyway, if you will usually notice almost all my posts end up being edited for grammar, spelling, or clarity (at least whatever it is that I think clarity means, from my normally terse (or backward) writing style).
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post #133 of 153
Guys, the horse just called from Florida Keys, and would like to thank whoever left the barn door open.

You could have the kids pray all day long, the surrounding culture is likely nullifying any good it might have. Neither would it get us out of umpteenth-place in science education. Besides, the bulk of the people who have serious cultural issues have pulled their kids from the system (or never sent them to begin with.)

This is a bit like the consternation over The Golden Compass when you step back and consider the 24/7 content of television.

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and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #134 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Guys, the horse just called from Florida Keys, and would like to thank whoever left the barn door open.

You could have the kids pray all day long, the surrounding culture is likely nullifying any good it might have. Neither would it get us out of umpteenth-place in science education. Besides, the bulk of the people who have serious cultural issues have pulled their kids from the system (or never sent them to begin with.)

This is a bit like the consternation over The Golden Compass when you step back and consider the 24/7 content of television.

In so many ways I feel American "culture" and basic issues of discipline (in the home and in schools) is somewhat lacking. I don't ever see the state as being our substantive nannies, with all the cultural and peer influences affecting our youth.

A substantive education is a must.

And I'm afraid our political system is seriously lacking in it's ability to use it's resources wisely and more efficiently to tackle a number of core issues that will (or are) occur(ing) in the near (or present) to intermediate future.

I wish I could say I had a more positive outlook on America's future, but a lot of big science, engineering, and technology have been moving proportionally to other countries relative to the past.
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post #135 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

And I'm afraid our political system is seriously lacking...


Yep.

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=szwLJL...eature=related




The place for moments of silence is not in the schools, but in the homes. If the children need moments of silence in school it is because their homes have failed.

American homes are failing, which is another problem, but it is not the responsibility of the schools to make up for it.


Then we have South Carolina:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WALIARHHLII

Where be dat?

This girl doesn't need a moment of silence, she needs serious help at home and school. If our society is failing this badly, we are in for some really rough times.

Perhaps some of those who oppose teaching evolution and/or other ideas also oppose teaching basic geography or anything else... the dumb are much easier to manipulate.

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #136 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Guys, the horse just called from Florida Keys, and would like to thank whoever left the barn door open.

You could have the kids pray all day long, the surrounding culture is likely nullifying any good it might have. Neither would it get us out of umpteenth-place in science education. Besides, the bulk of the people who have serious cultural issues have pulled their kids from the system (or never sent them to begin with.)

This is a bit like the consternation over The Golden Compass when you step back and consider the 24/7 content of television.

Well that's certainly true, in a glass-half-empty sort of way.
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post #137 of 153
School prayer isn't enough?

You know guys, this isn't how the bait-and-switch game is played. Here's how to do it: First you say you only want school prayer. Then after you get that you say that's not enough and you need something more. You can play this game all the way up to a constitutional amendment establishing Christianity as the state religion.
post #138 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

School prayer isn't enough?

You know guys, this isn't how the bait-and-switch game is played. Here's how to do it: First you say you only want school prayer. Then after you get that you say that's not enough and you need something more. You can play this game all the way up to a constitutional amendment establishing Christianity as the state religion.

Just for fun, name ONE major Christian group or denomination that advocates "establishing Christianity as the state religion" in the U.S.
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post #139 of 153
I think the more important question is which groups would reject it if offered.
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post #140 of 153
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Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

I think the more important question is which groups would reject it if offered.

Nobody with any brains would offer it. And the same Evangelicals that supported the original separation of church and state (in the true sense of not allowing a state church) would join the fight to keep it so.

The whole thing is just a straw man, and Shaun knows this. Or at least he should.
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post #141 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Just for fun, name ONE major Christian group or denomination that advocates "establishing Christianity as the state religion" in the U.S.

Don't know about that, but my sense is that most people already think it is. For example, how many people do you think would agree with a statement like this: The US Constitution established a Christian nation. Or The nation's founders intended the United States to be a Christian nation.
post #142 of 153
Thread Starter 
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Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

So after going through all that last night, I had many, Many, MANY moments of silent reflection and introspection. I do think these "moments of silence" will pass if worded correctly. I also don't think the current SCOTUS would pass down a negative decision, given it's current make up, if any of these "moment of silence" laws are taken up by the SCOTUS to begin with.

Like I said initially, I don't have much of a horse to bet on in this one, particularly given the wording of most of the existing MOS laws.

We are in total agreement. I'll have to add that Ron Sherman really strikes me as a self-promoting dirtbag who is exploiting his daughter and teaching her to be intolerant in order to promote himself.

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Originally Posted by tonton View Post

So what you're saying then is that Christian parents want their kids to be taught, through a "structured activity", how to be better Christians, in school?

Exactly the reason this is unconstitutional.

You want that, send your kids to a Christian school. Otherwise, ask your kids to pray on their own time. Don't involve other kids by giving them government sanctioned peer pressure. Except that's exactly what you want, isn't it (be honest)?

You again show the problem Tonton. When a Muslim prays toward Mecca five times a day, it is not he school forcing them to do this. It is the school getting out of the way of allowing their expression. When exactly is their "own time?" They are compelled to go to school seven hours a day.

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Originally Posted by groverat View Post

The notion that these moments of silence are actually taken by kids to pray about the poor, starving children of Africa is laughable. Anyone who actually teaches students that are self-aware knows that they spend it blankly staring at the board, reading a book, or talking to each other. There might be 1 or 2 devoutly religious kids who pray, but how on earth is that something I, as a teacher, should care about enough to accomodate?

I agree with you completely. It is a complete waste of time. I would consider them completely laughable s well. You also note that the devote kids do not influence or harm the non-religious kids which is a very good thing as well. You sound like you handle it exactly like I would handle it.

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I don't give a damn about losing 15 seconds or even a minute to it, either, so I don't care. I don't make my kids be silent during any of the pledges (Texas or US) or during the moment of silence. I do keep them quiet during the announcements themselves.

This is different than me. I do care about the time. I want it back. I'm thanking the Baby Jesus right now that we only say the U.S. pledge and not the state pledge as well.

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I don't think anyone, anywhere, has advocated that children not be able to have religious thoughts in school. The problem with a mandated moment of prayer (oh, excuse me, a "moment of silence") is that everyone else has to be silent so that Jesus can hear the prayer.

This is the part where you are just flat out wrong though Grove, and I say this as someone who wants the same outcome as you with regard to my time. There have been loads of lawsuits all related to religious expression and endorsement and what constitutes each. There are those out there that absolutely believe schools should be religion free zones and by that they don't just mean free of religious endorsement, but free of religious expression.

Quote:
The only difference between "a moment of silence" and "a moment of breathing" is the desire for religious groups to get mandatory, administration-led prayer back in school.

A lot of folks in this thread appear to prefer dealing with motives as opposed to the actual acts and outcomes. That saddens me because it means they would rather take devote folks, paint them as evil and then jerk their knee instead of just dealing with reality.

Quote:
The answer to this, in my opinion, is simple civil disobedience. Let authority structures enforce stupid rules and realize how ridiculous it is. I wouldn't mind being written up for not making my kids be quiet during the pledges or the moment of silence.

So do it now. Inform your administration that you are doing this. Contact the press and let them sit in your room during the non-moments of silence. Link to it and we will read the accounts of your actions. I like the be silent so baby Jesus can hear the prayers line. Can you toss it in during the press conference? There are legal foundations out there that love fronting and filing on behalf of folks. Find the one you believe would defend your position and have them lined up before you get started.

Quote:
As a teacher, I have no idea what you mean when you talk about "institutional time". This seems like absolutely nothing more than an invented category with no other purpose than to ignore the difference between instructional time and non-instructional time.

I'm not sure it is the same way in Texas, but in California we are liable for the students from the moment they leave their front door, to the time they return. Because of this fact, every second they are under our care, they must be supervised. During instructional time they are supervised by teachers and during non-instructional time they are supervised by lunch supervisors, administrative staff, etc.

The students are still under the control of the institution. The ed code isn't suspended.

Quote:
The students have lunch and passing periods and lulls in classtime. Little ones even have recess. Let's not pretend that there is not adequate non-instructional time to get a few words in to Baby Jesus about how awesome life is.

I agree 100%. However if you are a person who complains that your tax dollars are going to an institution that is tolerating religious expression and not maintaining a religion free zone, that would still be true if the group of students is praying during lunch. It wouldn't be teacher supervising the kids and rolling their eyes at the ridiculousness and wasted time. It would be an administrator or lunch supervisor instead. However it would still be on state time, state property and state supervision. That is all I was pointing out.

You have to understand that I am addressing the types of folks who sue to insure boy scouts do not use school classrooms for meetings after the school day is done due to it being a religious endorsement and entanglement in their view. You and the others on this thread appear to be more tolerant than that but that doesn't mean such lawsuits are not filed and that the views do not exist. They have been filed for even putting up fliers on bulletin boards advertising a lunch or after-school club for example. They have been filed because a teacher like yourself, sat in the back and graded papers, or read their newspaper when they met in the classroom at lunch but needed supervision.

I linked to the ACLU statement not because as Frank thought, I was addressing the moment of silence during instructional time, but rather to show that religious expression has been thoroughly attacked from every possible angle during non-instructional time.

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post #143 of 153
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Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

You again show the problem Tonton. When a Muslim prays toward Mecca five times a day, it is not he school forcing them to do this. It is the school getting out of the way of allowing their expression. When exactly is their "own time?" They are compelled to go to school seven hours a day.

Do you honestly think Christian kids don't have 15 seconds of time between classes or during lunch or during a "free period" or even silently during a history lesson to pray?

Honestly?
post #144 of 153
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Do you honestly think Christian kids don't have 15 seconds of time between classes or during lunch or during a "free period" or even silently during a history lesson to pray?

Honestly?

I honestly think they have much more than 15 seconds. What hasn't been addressed by yourself and others is how the moment of silence becomes constitutional during the free period but not in the time between the pledge and announcements.

I prefer that all Christian kids and any other religion handle their needs during non-instructional time. What hasn't been addressed is this, if allowing the kids to take 60 seconds of supervised time after the pledge to have their moment of silence is a religious endorsement, how is allowing the kids to take 60 seconds of supervised time during lunch not the same thing? It is still state land, state buildings, state money paying for the supervision of that prayer. It is not in any form or fashion private.

Your preference is my preference. Could you explain how the preference that still has dollars paying to supervise prayer is not an endorsement because I am sure you consider the class-time an endorsement.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #145 of 153
Here's an interesting question:

What if the members of a specific church, or of a specific denomination, accepted as doctrine that they would pray at 8:00 am every morning and before lunch? Should the schools be required to accommodate?
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post #146 of 153
When the kids have free time, are not being led by a faculty member, then yes, prayer is fine. If there is a structured program going on and there is time given for silence, then that becomes a structure piece as well, and that is a problem.

I think most people here are smart enough to realize that, but some are attempting to feign ignorance so as to belittle the difference.

 

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post #147 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

if allowing the kids to take 60 seconds of supervised time after the pledge to have their moment of silence is a religious endorsement, how is allowing the kids to take 60 seconds of supervised time during lunch not the same thing?

If we're talking about a mandatory 60 seconds of silence, then when it occurs during the day is immaterial obviously. But students can pray or think religious thoughts to their heart's content whenever they have free time like in between classes, before and after school, and during lunch. I don't see how giving kids 20 minutes for lunch and a few minutes in between classes has any purpose or effect of advancing religion. Do you?
post #148 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Do you honestly think Christian kids don't have 15 seconds of time between classes or during lunch or during a "free period" or even silently during a history lesson to pray?

Honestly?

Again, you are deliberately confusing the intent of the "15 seconds of prayer time".

This isn't some random prayer to God that can be said at any part of the day. Christians typically start all major activities with a prayer, and have done so for millennia. As the school day would be a major activity for Christian kids, the time is being requested to honour that observance.

Would you ask the Muslim kids to pray two hours after they're supposed to, just for the fun of it?
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post #149 of 153
You're such a bullshitter Frank. "Christians typically start all major activities with a prayer". I know and am friends with Christians of every stripe, Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, JWs, Presbyterians, and Lutherans and grew up in a devout Christian home. And the only times some find the need to pray is before meals, in the morning, at night, and during church services. All other times are as they see fit; to seek guidance, ask for help with a problem, etc. Oh and before sporting events so their teams can win. Maybe you belong to some tiny sect that plays every time they take a walk or utter a word or think some impure thought or some other trivial thing. Why not just admit this is just a scheme to shove your faith into the unbelievers' faces?
post #150 of 153
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

When the kids have free time, are not being led by a faculty member, then yes, prayer is fine. If there is a structured program going on and there is time given for silence, then that becomes a structure piece as well, and that is a problem.

I think most people here are smart enough to realize that, but some are attempting to feign ignorance so as to belittle the difference.

I think you are not realizing how arbitrary these labels happen to be.

At my school for example, recess is unstructured. The kids can go to the yard and play where they want with who they desire. However at other schools recess is completely structured. The kids have assigned play areas and can only play that game for that week with the other children assigned to that area.

You say the moment of silence time is instructional time and structured. The state would argue that it is completely unstructured and has been set aside from instructional time as free time for religious expression. In fact I would bet that the state lawyer would argue that it is expressly no different than recess or lunch.

I think people think of these free times as completely wide open. In this day and age, especially with the common level of overcrowding that has occurred, they are more structured than ever. At my school the children have to go eat in 15 minute shifts during the 45 minute lunch because the cafeteria cannot accommodate them all at once as an example. It isn't just go wherever and do whatever you want. The state imposes structure, but it is non-instructional structure. They approve of clubs, announcements, fliers and activities that can occur during this time. If they give approval, does it amount to endorsement?

Never forget that the entity that sets and controls the definitions ultimately wins. It is sort of like how government cannot truly go broke because they own the printing presses that print the money. If you want to hit the state with its own definitions, they will just change them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

If we're talking about a mandatory 60 seconds of silence, then when it occurs during the day is immaterial obviously. But students can pray or think religious thoughts to their heart's content whenever they have free time like in between classes, before and after school, and during lunch. I don't see how giving kids 20 minutes for lunch and a few minutes in between classes has any purpose or effect of advancing religion. Do you?

No I don't see how it does advance religion at all. However certainly you know complaints have been filed on such matters. If the school provides a bulletin board for clubs and the religious club puts up a flier noting they are praying at lunch, is that religious entanglement for example? Suits have been filed for such things initiated only by students desiring to use this free time in the manner they prefer.

I think it a fallacy to suggest that just because religious expression occurs during what we call "free time" that no atheists have a problem with it or fail to consider it a state religious endorsement. I know the people in this thread might not have a problem with it, but clearly others do. All it takes is one to file the complaint, seek the injunction, etc. Heck one is all that has filed in the moment of silence law we are discussing.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #151 of 153
why do Christian kids need to pray?

Surely if you have accepted Jesus, then he always walks alongside you wherever you go, and is with you in everything you do.

Surely the son of God is smart enough to realise that there are times, when its in your benefit to be doing the task at hand, and does not get jealous or agitated if are a bit too busy to devote every second to thanking him.
post #152 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Guys, the horse just called from Florida Keys, and would like to thank whoever left the barn door open. You could have the kids pray all day long, the surrounding culture is likely nullifying any good it might have. Neither would it get us out of umpteenth-place in science education. Besides, the bulk of the people who have serious cultural issues have pulled their kids from the system (or never sent them to begin with.) This is a bit like the consternation over The Golden Compass when you step back and consider the 24/7 content of television.

And if this ain't enough to kill the the thread, let me invoke Godwin's Law:

So any moment of silence where we remember our war heroes should also be considered prayer?
Our war heroes fought Nazis and we should do everything to never forget this, lest the scourge of Hitler come back.
post #153 of 153
[CENTER]...moment of silence...[/CENTER]
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