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post #81 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Have you talked to a teachers' union lately?

Then U.S. and Canadian Teachers Unions must be on a different page, since up here they've fought any competitive reform with every trick they can think of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

Sounds good to me, especially where children are concerned, who shouldn't suffer malnutrition, lack of clothing, lack of shelter, and lack of minimal transportation to things like public schools or health clinics just because their parents, for good reasons or bad, can't provide for them.

We easily have enough wealth as a society to provide such a minimum standard of basic support for everyone, and everyone benefits when desperation doesn't leave crime as the only other option, and when education provides an exit from poverty for those who take advantage of it.

Think of it as a form of "national defense", since that seems to be the only thing you can relate to.

This is what scares people about 'liberal' ideals. When you exclude religion from participating in public life and don't see the family as the primary building block of society, the default position seems to be letting the government run everything. And that's just dangerous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

I know what you mean. 15 seconds is hardly worth arguing over. The people advocating for this should just give up and let their kids pray at home or in church.

Maybe the people fighting this should give up their intolerance and understand that acknowledging the Creator at the beginning of each major daily undertaking (work, meals etc.) is a key part of religious life and easily accommodated by anybody who isn't a hate-filled hypocrite.

Seriously, you guys remind me of the dingbats up here who complain that they shouldn't have to look at French on their cereal boxes.
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post #82 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Maybe the people fighting this should give up their intolerance and understand that acknowledging the Creator at the beginning of each major daily undertaking (work, meals etc.) is a key part of religious life and easily accommodated by anybody who isn't a hate-filled hypocrite.

Seriously, you guys remind me of the dingbats up here who complain that they shouldn't have to look at French on their cereal boxes.

Can you suspend YOUR intolerance? \
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post #83 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Maybe the people fighting this should give up their intolerance and understand that acknowledging the Creator at the beginning of each major daily undertaking (work, meals etc.) is a key part of religious life and easily accommodated by anybody who isn't a hate-filled hypocrite.

Who's not accommodating that? No one is saying people can't pray. No one is saying that people can't acknowledge whatever they want to acknowledge. No one is stopping them from praying silently before class, nor is anyone saying that students should be implanted with mind-reading devices to detect when they are praying so that they can be stopped.

All I've been arguing here is that this is a stupid, stupid law, is a waste of the court's and the teachers' time, and is nothing other than an attempt to find a way to get formal Christian prayer in schools.

Quote:
Seriously, you guys remind me of the dingbats up here who complain that they shouldn't have to look at French on their cereal boxes.

Yeah. If you're a conservative, those guys are on your side.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #84 of 153
[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

T
This is what scares people about 'liberal' ideals. When you exclude religion from participating in public life and don't see the family as the primary building block of society, the default position seems to be letting the government run everything. And that's just dangerous

.

What a crock, Family first, everything else second, third, etc, including idiotic fantasies.
Dangerous is religion.

Quote:
Maybe the people fighting this should give up their intolerance and understand that acknowledging the Creator at the beginning of each major daily undertaking (work, meals etc.) is a key part of religious life and easily accommodated by anybody who isn't a hate-filled hypocrite.

By not having the tolerance to acknowledge that your beliefs aren't shared and still want them acknowledged in a public space and provoking those against it shows your intolerance, hate filled ignorance.

Quote:
Seriously, you guys remind me of the dingbats up here who complain that they shouldn't have to look at French on their cereal boxes.

Is my cereal box printed in english and french in Quebec?
Just asking.
post #85 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

Who's not accommodating that? No one is saying people can't pray. No one is saying that people can't acknowledge whatever they want to acknowledge. No one is stopping them from praying silently before class, nor is anyone saying that students should be implanted with mind-reading devices to detect when they are praying so that they can be stopped.

All I've been arguing here is that this is a stupid, stupid law, is a waste of the court's and the teachers' time, and is nothing other than an attempt to find a way to get formal Christian prayer in schools.

It's a way to accommodate formal prayer for those who desire it.
And it's optional and non-denominational.
And student-led.
And it's 15 SECONDS.

Railing against something like this just shows how badly some people want religious expression silenced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

Yeah. If you're a conservative, those guys are on your side.

Yeah. Attempting to demonize the people you disagree with, that's healthy.
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post #86 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by screener View Post

By not having the tolerance to acknowledge that your beliefs aren't shared and still want them acknowledged in a public space and provoking those against it shows your intolerance, hate filled ignorance.

So if our beliefs aren't shared there's no right to want them acknowledged in public spaces?

Aw shucks, now we're going to have to shut down all the gay rights parades and pro-abortion rallies, right?

All you can do is throw around insults. You have no idea what tolerance actually is.
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The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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post #87 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

It's a way to accommodate formal prayer for those who desire it.
And it's optional and non-denominational.
And student-led.
And it's 15 SECONDS.

1) WTF is a "formal prayer"?
2) It is indeed so optional and so non-denominational that it bears a striking resemblance to things being pretty much just like they were before except now there's a spot in the day for people to pray silently. As if they couldn't pray silently before.
3) It's student-led? Then why does there need to be a formal requirement for the teachers to allow the time?
4) And as Nick will surely agree, 15 seconds for an activity ain't 15 seconds. It takes 30 seconds just to make sure everyone heard you say it was time to pray to the baby Jesus.

Quote:
Railing against something like this just shows how badly some people want religious expression silenced.

Bah.

Quote:
Yeah. Attempting to demonize the people you disagree with, that's healthy.

You're the one who called them dingbats. I just (rightly) pointed out that those dingbats vote like you do, most likely.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #88 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

So if our beliefs aren't shared there's no right to want them acknowledged in public spaces?

Aw shucks, now we're going to have to shut down all the gay rights parades and pro-abortion rallies, right?

All you can do is throw around insults. You have no idea what tolerance actually is.

If my tax dollars are paying for them.

Are they? Seriously, are they?

Does this require my kids to participate in any form, like, Maybe a holiday?
post #89 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

1) WTF is a "formal prayer"?

Religious parents would like prayer to become a regular part of their child's day.
A regular time set aside for prayer allows this, with minimum disruption to the school day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

2) It is indeed so optional and so non-denominational that it bears a striking resemblance to things being pretty much just like they were before except now there's a spot in the day for people to pray silently. As if they couldn't pray silently before.

3) It's student-led? Then why does there need to be a formal requirement for the teachers to allow the time?

See above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

4) And as Nick will surely agree, 15 seconds for an activity ain't 15 seconds. It takes 30 seconds just to make sure everyone heard you say it was time to pray...

I'll ignore the last part since you know it's nonsense.

Oh dear. 30 seconds. How will we ever cope with this drastic loss of time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

You're the one who called them dingbats. I just (rightly) pointed out that those dingbats vote like you do, most likely.

Nonsense. Those 'dingbats' are spread across the spectrum. Most Canadian vote Liberal, and there are plenty of those sentiments bubbling under the surface across Canada.

If you have research that contradicts this, I've love to see it.
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post #90 of 153
So Frank, what do you think when parents of Muslim children request that prayer be set aside for them 5 times a day with posters in every room to let them know which way points East?
post #91 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK View Post

So Frank, what do you think when parents of Muslim children request that prayer be set aside for them 5 times a day with posters in every room to let them know which way points East?

Keep that up and it makes you wonder when they'll learn anything useful, dare I say it, French.
post #92 of 153
Toronto public schools already have prayer rooms set aside for Muslim children.

I am unaware as to whether they are used 5 times a day, but I am sure that there are not posters "in every room" since they would only be necessary in the prayer room.

Somehow the school system is able to accommodate that, but not 15 seconds for predominantly Christian kids, who do not require a separate room nor the time taken to navigate there and back.
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post #93 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Toronto public schools already have prayer rooms set aside for Muslim children.

I am unaware as to whether they are used 5 times a day, but I am sure that there are not posters "in every room" since they would only be necessary in the prayer room.

Somehow the school system is able to accommodate that, but not 15 seconds for predominantly Christian kids, who do not require a separate room nor the time taken to navigate there and back.

why dont the Christian kids use the Muslims prayer room?
post #94 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK View Post

why dont the Christian kids use the Muslims prayer room?

Because, obviously, this isn't about 15 seconds of prayer time or accommodation for Muslims. This is about some people wanting formal, organized, Christian prayer in schools.
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post #95 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK View Post

why dont the Christian kids use the Muslims prayer room?

Because it's unnecessary. Christianity does not absolutely require prayer to be done in a separate room, with ritual washing or kneeling with mats on the floor.

Simply bowing your head and speaking silently to the Lord is fine, and as I said, a lot of school time would be wasted going from room to room.
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post #96 of 153
Mid, you'd be okay with Christian kids going to a separate room?

So your objections about time-wasting are just crap? You just don't want the prayer to be seen in public?
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post #97 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Because it's unnecessary. Christianity does not absolutely require prayer to be done in a separate room, with ritual washing or kneeling with mats on the floor.

Simply bowing your head and speaking silently to the Lord is fine, and as I said, a lot of school time would be wasted going from room to room.

well, its just a bit of personal time between you and God isn't it. You say its unnecessary to go to another room, but why does it matter if you do go to another room? Surely a private conversation between you and God can happen just as well if you share the room with Muslims.

I was beginning to side with you on this argument, but lets keep that a secret. However, if it is really the case that prayer should be 'seen' by others as a public spectacle, then im afraid prayer is not really what it should be.
post #98 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Mid, you'd be okay with Christian kids going to a separate room?

So your objections about time-wasting are just crap? You just don't want the prayer to be seen in public?

My primary point, as I've said again and again, is that I don't care if kids pray in school. I don't care if the entire population of the school's Christians has a huge prayer ceremony on the front steps. I don't care if the Muslim kids take a prayer rug out and pray in the back of the room (so long as they do not disrupt the class). I care when that prayer time is mandated. I care when that prayer time is taken out of the class time.

I care for two reasons:

1) The US Government and its various arms and employees should not be in the business of praying.

2) It is utterly, utterly stupid and not at all about 15 seconds of prayer. It is about some people wanting kids to engage in Christian prayer to the Christian God in school. That is all it is about. Any arguments about it must necessarily ignore the fact that Christianity does not require people to pray in any scheduled fashion. It does not require people to pray in groups. It does not require people to pray out loud. These kids are completely free to pray quietly RIGHT NOW, without adding any additional burden to the schools or the teachers.

No one is stopping them. Indeed, Christians can pray any damned time they're awake.
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post #99 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

My primary point, as I've said again and again, is that I don't care if kids pray in school. I don't care if the entire population of the school's Christians has a huge prayer ceremony on the front steps. I don't care if the Muslim kids take a prayer rug out and pray in the back of the room (so long as they do not disrupt the class). I care when that prayer time is mandated. I care when that prayer time is taken out of the class time.

Which is precisely why the proposed time is not for mandatory prayer.
It allows for prayer to take place if wanted, but can simply be used for quiet contemplation with zero repercussions if not used for prayer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

The US Government and its various arms and employees should not be in the business of praying.

I wouldn't worry. The US Government certainly does not act like it is in the business of praying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

It is...not at all about 15 seconds of prayer.

Yes, it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

It is about some people wanting kids to engage in Christian prayer to the Christian God in school.

Yes, it is. And there is nothing wrong with that. Christian parents want their Christian kids to learn to pray to God while in school. Non-Christians are not forced to do anything, except exercise tolerance for 15 seconds.

Judging from this thread, they certainly could use the practice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

Any arguments about it must necessarily ignore the fact that Christianity does not require people to pray in any scheduled fashion. It does not require people to pray in groups.

So now you're lecturing Christians on what they believe. Nice.

Christians have always set aside time for morning devotions, and every Christian church and school since the first century that I know of has begun their activities with prayer. It is probably the one unifying signature of all Christian groups.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

It does not require people to pray out loud. These kids are completely free to pray quietly RIGHT NOW, without adding any additional burden to the schools or the teachers.

No one is asking to pray out loud. And no unreasonable burden is being added to schools or teachers. If anything, it makes it easier to start off a class since everyone will quiet down faster out of respect.
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post #100 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Which is precisely why the proposed time is not for mandatory prayer.
It allows for prayer to take place if wanted, but can simply be used for quiet contemplation with zero repercussions if not used for prayer.



I wouldn't worry. The US Government certainly does not act like it is in the business of praying.



Yes, it is.



Yes, it is. And there is nothing wrong with that. Christian parents want their Christian kids to learn to pray to God while in school. Non-Christians are not forced to do anything, except exercise tolerance for 15 seconds.

Judging from this thread, they certainly could use the practice.



So now you're lecturing Christians on what they believe. Nice.

Christians have always set aside time for morning devotions, and every Christian church and school since the first century that I know of has begun their activities with prayer. It is probably the one unifying signature of all Christian groups.



No one is asking to pray out loud. And no unreasonable burden is being added to schools or teachers. If anything, it makes it easier to start off a class since everyone will quiet down faster out of respect.

So, again, and per Midwinter, what's keeping the Christian kids from praying now? In what sense are Christian kids unable to "learn to pray to God while in school"? If that's what some parents want their kids to learn, why don't the just instruct them to do so at some point in the day? Before or between classes, or, hell, if the issue is 15 freaking seconds, in mid stride?

I don't think you can have it both ways: if the whole matter is really so trivial, so unfraught and benign and voluntary and sort of tabula rasa, then there's no logical argument for any formal structure.

If the point really is to provide Christian children a specific opportunity to pray, as mandated by the school (with this odd little rider that while the Christian kids are praying everybody else is free to do as they will, so no harm no foul), then that's the school formally endorsing and supporting Christianity, which is a problem.

All this weaseling around reminds me of the "intelligent design" nonsense. Not biblical creationism, but an alternate scientific theory! Not prayer, merely silence!
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post #101 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

So, again, and per Midwinter, what's keeping the Christian kids from praying now? In what sense are Christian kids unable to "learn to pray to God while in school"? If that's what some parents want their kids to learn, why don't the just instruct them to do so at some point in the day? Before or between classes, or, hell, if the issue is 15 freaking seconds, in mid stride?

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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I don't think you can have it both ways: if the whole matter is really so trivial, so unfraught and benign and voluntary and sort of tabula rasa, then there's no logical argument for any formal structure.

I have never said prayer is trivial, and never would. Your argument is weak, though. Just because something is voluntary does not mean there should be no formal structure. You can volunteer your time to be a cheerleader, newspaper editor or party planner at a school, but there is still a formal structure and rules that govern the activities.

It's odd for you to argue for no formal structure to prayer in public schools. I would have thought you would be the first to say that rules should be laid down on the exercise of religion in public schools. Chaos benefits no one, Christian, Muslim, Atheist or otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

If the point really is to provide Christian children a specific opportunity to pray, as mandated by the school (with this odd little rider that while the Christian kids are praying everybody else is free to do as they will, so no harm no foul), then that's the school formally endorsing and supporting Christianity, which is a problem.

That's insane. By the same token, should Toronto Public Schools stop providing prayer rooms for Muslim kids? Is that 'formally endorsing and supporting' Islam? Before you answer, you should 'reflect' on the fact that the Toronto school board is one of the most liberal places on the planet.

I don't think you understand the difference between endorsement and accommodation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

All this weaseling around reminds me of the "intelligent design" nonsense. Not biblical creationism, but an alternate scientific theory! Not prayer, merely silence!

Let's keep this focused on the issue at hand. Degeneration into an Evolution thread happens too often here.

Regarding your last sentence, no-one seems to be hiding the fact that it accommodates prayer, just that a lot of people might benefit from a time of reflection, and it makes sense to combine the two and be inclusive to everybody.
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post #102 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.



I have never said prayer is trivial, and never would. Your argument is weak, though. Just because something is voluntary does not mean there should be no formal structure. You can volunteer your time to be a cheerleader, newspaper editor or party planner at a school, but there is still a formal structure and rules that govern the activities.

It's odd for you to argue for no formal structure to prayer in public schools. I would have thought you would be the first to say that rules should be laid down on the exercise of religion in public schools. Chaos benefits no one, Christian, Muslim, Atheist or otherwise.



That's insane. By the same token, should Toronto Public Schools stop providing prayer rooms for Muslim kids? Is that 'formally endorsing and supporting' Islam? Before you answer, you should 'reflect' on the fact that the Toronto school board is one of the most liberal places on the planet.

I don't think you understand the difference between endorsement and accommodation.



Let's keep this focused on the issue at hand. Degeneration into an Evolution thread happens too often here.

Regarding your last sentence, no-one seems to be hiding the fact that it accommodates prayer, just that a lot of people might benefit from a time of reflection, and it makes sense to combine the two and be inclusive to everybody.

I'm quite tolerant of what other people want to believe on THEIR own time, but not on MY own time. Simply because THEIR wasting MY time.

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The very time I thought I was lost,
Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last;
My dungeon shook and my chains fell off,
Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last,
This is religion, I do know,
Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last;
For I never felt such a love before,
Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last.

or more simply;

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I'm quite intolerant of "structured" time that serves no purpose other than to inflict "structure" where by definition of law there is none other than demanding that one sit in silence contemplating whatever or so called mental prayer where there is no penalty if this law is disobeyed!

That form of structure is ambiguous and vague to say the least. \
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post #103 of 153
God I still just don't understand Frank's argument. Kids who want to pray have plenty of time to do it, during school, without the school's or teachers' involvement. Period.

The kids can make it "formal" themselves.

What Frank, and the proponents of these regulations want is indoctrination by proxy.
post #104 of 153
It's not by proxy at all.
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post #105 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.

That is also Nick's point. My point is this: tough. Lots of things are important to lots of people. But just because it's important doesn't mean you get to do it on the state's dime.

Again, nothing is stopping kids from praying. Nothing is stopping parents from teaching their kids to take a moment at the beginning of the day to thank the baby Jesus for whatever.

Quote:
That's insane. By the same token, should Toronto Public Schools stop providing prayer rooms for Muslim kids? Is that 'formally endorsing and supporting' Islam? Before you answer, you should 'reflect' on the fact that the Toronto school board is one of the most liberal places on the planet.

Is the Toronto Public School system (which, by the way, has nothing to do with what we're talking about) forcing children to go and, at least, stand in the Muslim prayer room?

Quote:
I don't think you understand the difference between endorsement and accommodation.

I would argue that you don't.
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post #106 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Which is precisely why the proposed time is not for mandatory prayer.
It allows for prayer to take place if wanted, but can simply be used for quiet contemplation with zero repercussions if not used for prayer.

Then why bother? If kids may or may not pray, and if it's not about prayer that requires, you know, supplies, then why botherunless you just want kids to be praying on the state's dime?

Quote:
I wouldn't worry. The US Government certainly does not act like it is in the business of praying.

Maybe up in Toronto things look different than they do down here. Indeed, as someone who's lived in three of the reddest and most religious states in America, I'd wager pretty mightily that from the liberal enclave of Toronto within the socialist empire of Canada, things might look different.

Quote:
Yes, it is. And there is nothing wrong with that. Christian parents want their Christian kids to learn to pray to God while in school.

Yeah. That's sort of a problem.

No, wait. That's an enormous problem. If only there were other schools where those parents might send their children....

Quote:
Non-Christians are not forced to do anything, except exercise tolerance for 15 seconds.

Indeed. Watch this:

Those kids could pretend that they were not being allowed to pray for 15 seconds, and then THEY would be the ones having to exercise tolerance for 15 seconds at, um, not being allowed to think quietly to themselves, because, you know, they most certainly can't think quietly for 15 seconds without there being a state-mandated timer period for that thinking to occur.

Quote:
So now you're lecturing Christians on what they believe. Nice.

I'm sorry? I'm not allowed to talk about Christianity now? You know, I've never understood why it is that when I get into an argument about this with folks like you, suddenly I'm not allowed to talk about what I know. Do I need to go get my 5-year pin for not missing any Sunday school when I was a kid? Do I need to provide photographic evidence that I attended church every single Sunday until I left for college? Do I need to provide evidence that both of my parents are employees of (different) churches? That I used to regularly sing in the choir at Christmas? Do I need to prove to you that I've read my whole Bible and that I own and regularly read multiple translations? Do I need to give you a bibliography of my hobby reading in early church history?

In short: I will talk about what Christians believe whenever I bloody well see fit.

Quote:
Christians have always set aside time for morning devotions,

Really? Every Christian? Everywhere? Every morning? Hell, most Christians?

Please tell me where there is a commandment that says that every day is to begin with a prayer. Just because folks sometimes pray in the mornings and evenings doesn't mean it's doctrine or even expected. It just means that that's when some folks do it. And they could pray at other times if they chose.

Quote:
and every Christian church and school since the first century that I know of has begun their activities with prayer. It is probably the one unifying signature of all Christian groups.

Awesome! And if schools were churches, that point would mean something.

Quote:
No one is asking to pray out loud. And no unreasonable burden is being added to schools or teachers. If anything, it makes it easier to start off a class since everyone will quiet down faster out of respect.

Oh come on. You have got to be kidding.
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post #107 of 153
[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Religious parents would like prayer to become a regular part of their child's day.
A regular time set aside for prayer allows this, with minimum disruption to the school day.

If religious parents want prayer to become a regular part of their children's day, then have a prayer with them before they go to school.
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. Thomas Jefferson
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The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. Thomas Jefferson
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post #108 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

I would argue that you don't.

Frank is right in a way.

The separation of church and state *does* mean we have to accommodate different religions.

But while I see a definite accommodation issue for Islamic religions (that must pray several times a day) I don't see quite the accommodation issue with Christian religions (that can pray literally at any time of the day).
post #109 of 153
I wonder how many of our ardent prayer in the schools supporters would go for several prayer times during the day... I know a few who would suddenly say that no prayer time would be fine.

 

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

 

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post #110 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

The separation of church and state *does* mean we have to accommodate different religions.

Hmm? I'd like you to explain that. I've never seen an interpretation of the establishment clause that says we have to accommodate different religions, if by "we" you mean a government. It means that we can't advance a religion, and what we do must not have a religious purpose.
post #111 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Hmm? I'd like you to explain that. I've never seen an interpretation of the establishment clause that says we have to accommodate different religions, if by "we" you mean a government. It means that we can't advance a religion, and what we do must not have a religious purpose.

The corollary to that is that we can neither advance nor inhibit the free exercise of religion. The government must remain neutral on these matters. But neutrality means accommodation in certain matters such as Islamic prayer. It does not mean mandatory moments of silence in schools since Christians can pray whenever the heck they want to, but other religions must pray at more regular intervals.
post #112 of 153
Thread Starter 
I've wandered off a bit because things have become a bit circular here. Let's see if that cycle can be broken out of for a bit. I'd like Mid to address a couple points he has glossed over.

Mid, you note that there doesn't need to be a specific time due to the fact that the (likely) predominantly practiced religions within the district do not demand accomodation at specific times. Student rights are clearly not granted at the same level as adult rights. I therefore find the claim that students could just demand the right to exercise their religious expression, in the middle of math as an example to be unfounded. Students are clearly not in control of their time at schools and instead have that time dictated to them by the institution. All time is considered institutional time and you call it such by declaring you don't want your dollars to support prayer.

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.

The state still pays to supervise the child at lunch. It pays to supervise and present instruction to them during classtime. Eitherway the state pays. So how do you reconcile the fact that no matter what, your dollars go to supervise prayer be it during lunch or during the minute of silence?

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

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post #113 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

The corollary to that is that we can neither advance nor inhibit the free exercise of religion. The government must remain neutral on these matters. But neutrality means accommodation in certain matters such as Islamic prayer. It does not mean mandatory moments of silence in schools since Christians can pray whenever the heck they want to, but other religions must pray at more regular intervals.

Have the courts ever mandated accommodation of Muslim prayer in American public schools? I mean, I hear what you're saying, that if a government policy explicitly interferes with a religious practice, the government policy can change to accommodate the religion. But I'd like to hear about specific examples. Generally, Christianity as practiced is liberal enough, and government is nonintrusive enough, that it's hard to think of examples where accommodation is even necessary.
post #114 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

So how do you reconcile the fact that no matter what, your dollars go to supervise prayer be it during lunch or during the minute of silence?

I thought this thread was about a law in Illinois?
post #115 of 153
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by screener View Post

I thought this thread was about a law in Illinois?

Try reading it then and perhaps you will do a little better. It is broader than that.

That said, if I do have to deal with all this, I don't see how you can advocate for intolerance in this one area alone. As the daughter's comments note, it isn't the actions of the school that upset her. She specifically says it is the fact that she has to view others praying and as she notes, her friend has rights but she doesn't wish to let him exercise them. To me, this comes across as straight up religious intolerance using the claim of government endorsement as a shield.

What are your thoughts?


That is from the initial post made by... me.... so I think I know the intent of the poster in starting the thread.

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

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post #116 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Try reading it then and perhaps you will do a little better. It is broader than that.

That said, if I do have to deal with all this, I don't see how you can advocate for intolerance in this one area alone. As the daughter's comments note, it isn't the actions of the school that upset her. She specifically says it is the fact that she has to view others praying and as she notes, her friend has rights but she doesn't wish to let him exercise them. To me, this comes across as straight up religious intolerance using the claim of government endorsement as a shield.

What are your thoughts?


That is from the initial post made by... me.... so I think I know the intent of the poster in starting the thread.

You said,
Quote:
no matter what, your dollars go to supervise prayer be it during lunch or during the minute of silence?

I thought you meant that law or no law, people will think, daydream, what they want when they want.

So why the need for a law?
From the article,
Quote:
Critics of such laws argue that they are a first step to threatening the Constitution's separation of church and state.

Give an inch, take a mile?
Quote:
lawmakers tweaked the measure's wording. It went from saying educators "may" observe a moment of silence to saying that they "shall."

Could it be a way to promote prayer in school by trying to sneak it in by increment?

Quote:
Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich vetoed the measure, citing constitutionality concerns, but lawmakers overrode him.

Pandering lawmakers?
post #117 of 153
Thread Starter 
Please read the thread. Several of your points have already been covered and addressed. I'll do this once, but go read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by screener View Post

You said,
I thought you meant that law or no law, people will think, daydream, what they want when they want.

I do think they will think, daydream and do whatever they want in their mind.

Quote:
So why the need for a law?

Multiple reasons, one could be that when an institution plans every minute of your day, you need assurances that you can exercise your rights within that planned time. A secondary consideration could be to insure people feel they can exercise their rights when there are clearly parties who desire to deny them that right. As was noted in the first post, the female student didn't have an objection to the time, she had an objection to watching others pray.

Quote:
Give an inch, take a mile?
Could it be a way to promote prayer in school by trying to sneak it in by increment?
Pandering lawmakers?

The first two are examples of slippery-slope reasoning. You can't deny a right because you believe someone desires something more than their right.
The last one is just you assigning a pejorative term to passing a law the majority of people or at a minimum a veto-proof majority of the legislators represented by those people desire. Is the mere act of passing a law pandering now or just when you don't like the subject matter?

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

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

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post #118 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

I do think they will think, daydream and do whatever they want in their mind.

Right, so

Quote:
Multiple reasons, one could be that when an institution plans every minute of your day, you need assurances that you can exercise your rights within that planned time.

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.

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.

Quote:
A secondary consideration could be to insure people feel they can exercise their rights when there are clearly parties who desire to deny them that right. As was noted in the first post, the female student didn't have an objection to the time, she had an objection to watching others pray.

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.

Quote:
The first two are examples of slippery-slope reasoning. You can't deny a right because you believe someone desires something more than their right.

Not sure if you're our go-to guy for a critique of slippery-slope reasoning, since you're in the habit of deriving fascism from regulations you don't like.

Quote:
The last one is just you assigning a pejorative term to passing a law the majority of people or at a minimum a veto-proof majority of the legislators represented by those people desire. Is the mere act of passing a law pandering now or just when you don't like the subject matter?

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.
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post #119 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

I do think they will think, daydream and do whatever they want in their mind.

When they want to, not told to, and perhaps what to.
Quote:
Multiple reasons, one could be that when an institution plans every minute of your day, you need assurances that you can exercise your rights within that planned time. A secondary consideration could be to insure people feel they can exercise their rights when there are clearly parties who desire to deny them that right. As was noted in the first post, the female student didn't have an objection to the time, she had an objection to watching others pray.

It was a bit more than just watching,
Quote:
but because "it was clear that we're supposed to sit and pray, or sit and watch other people pray," said Dawn, who is an atheist.

Hence the lawsuit.
post #120 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Have the courts ever mandated accommodation of Muslim prayer in American public schools? I mean, I hear what you're saying, that if a government policy explicitly interferes with a religious practice, the government policy can change to accommodate the religion. But I'd like to hear about specific examples. Generally, Christianity as practiced is liberal enough, and government is nonintrusive enough, that it's hard to think of examples where accommodation is even necessary.

Don't really know of any.

I like the way Brennan frames the accommodation issue in the dissent in Lynch v. Donnelly (religious display case).

Quote:
When government decides to recognize Christmas Day as a public holiday, it does no more than accommodate the calendar of public activities to the plain fact that many Americans will expect on that day to spend time visiting with their families, attending religious services, and perhaps enjoying some respite from pre-holiday activities. The Free Exercise Clause, of course, does not necessarily compel the government to provide this accommodation, but neither is the Establishment Clause offended by such a step. Cf. Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306 (1952). Because it is clear that the celebration of Christmas has both secular and sectarian elements, it may well be that, by taking note of the holiday, the government is simply seeking to serve the same kinds of wholly secular goals -- for instance, promoting goodwill and a common day of rest -- that were found to justify Sunday Closing Laws in McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S. 420 (1961).

The majority however had a different view.

Quote:
Nor does the Constitution require complete separation of church and state; it affirmatively mandates accommodation, not merely tolerance, of all religions, and forbids hostility toward any.
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