The Same Bad Arguments in Every Public School Church/State Case

The Same Bad Arguments in Every Public School Church/State Case January 29, 2018

I wrote previously about a brave young woman who filed a lawsuit in Webster Parish, Louisiana over a pattern of clear church/state violations, including having students recite the Lord’s Prayer every morning in all the public schools there. And the same lame arguments are being made every time.


After the suit was filed, the school stopped doing the Lord’s Prayer. Apparently the news is a bit slow getting down to Louisiana because that Supreme Court outlawed saying that specific prayer in Abington Towsnhip v Schempp (along with outlawing mandatory Bible reading in public schools). You’d think 55 years would be enough time for them to have heard about that, but apparently not. Those who want to keep those prayers offer the same dumb arguments:

That had its own impact. Greg Lee’s fifth-grade daughter was upset, not relieved. She and her friends took it upon themselves to pray anyway, Lee says.

Lee, a banker who also views himself as a servant of God, says he’s instilled his sense of deep faith in his children. It has always been a part of their life. They have always prayed — at church, at school, and whenever they feel the need to.

“You have to realize that our tradition, our belief in God is so ingrained in us and so rooted in us that it’s a part of everything that we do,” Lee says. “I would like for my kid to be able to have the right and retain the right to pray and to have prayer in school.”

So if your beliefs are so deeply rooted, why do they need the government to force others to go along with them for you to feel satisfied? Your kids already have every right to pray in schools. They can prayer any time they want as long as they don’t disrupt the functioning of the school. They can pray 100 times a day if they want. You know what they can’t do? Force others to listen to it or participate in it.

And you know how easy it would be to get you to recognize that reality? One single Muslim prayer would do it. Then all of a sudden you’d be horrified at this authoritarian imposition on your religious freedom. Because when you say “religious freedom” what you really mean is Christian privilege, specifically the right to impose your religion on everyone else while screaming persecution if the same were done to you. You’re a bunch of dishonest hypocrites.

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