So, protesting a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution is "thuggery"?
Display of a prayer on a wall in a school isn't a "violation of the U.S. Constitution".
The Constitution references religion in four places:
1) The Religious Test Clause (Article VI, paragraph 3), which prohibits the use of a religious test that requires a government official or employee to adhere to a religious belief.
2) The Establishment Clause: "Congress shall make no law respecting an Establishment of Religion..." , which prohibits the establishment of an official National Church (analogous to the Church of England). A little prayer in a mural on the wall of a high school doesn't establish a National Church. The Constitutional Convention had regular prayers, as did government bodies at all levels. They still do. None of this establishes a National Church.
3) The Free Exercise Clause: "Congress shall make no law... prohibiting the free exercise thereof...", which clarifies the reason for the Establishment Clause. The purpose of the First Amendment is to foster free expression. Government is prohibited from censoring free expression. The First Amendment was enacted specifically to prevent just the sort of censorship that atheists demand.
4) The Freedom of Speech Clause: "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech..." The reference to religion here is implicit, rather than explicit. Congress is prohibited from silencing free expression. This of course includes religious expression.
The Constitution is an impediment to atheists' use of censorship, so they misrepresent the Constitution to circumvent the Constitution.
The prayer displayed on the wall of the Rhode Island school is a violation of atheist sensibility, which makes atheists use force to stop it. Atheists are inveterate totalitarians. Can you name one lawsuit atheists have filed in which they weren't censoring someone?
The school is a public school. A creature of the government, and despite your whining that it somehow isn't, it is a state actor. Hence, it may not express any endorsement of religion.The government may not establish a National Church. A small prayer displayed on a mural in a school does not establish a National Church.
The government endorses religion everywhere and all the time:
1) "in God we trust" on money
2) "Under God" in the Pledge
3) Prayers to begin each session of Congress
4) Military chaplains (federal employees on the federal payroll)
5) The "National Cathedral"
6) Presidential invocations: "... and God bless the United States of America"
7) Presidential addresses: Nearly every Inaugural address and every State of the Union Address. Lincoln's Second Inaugural is a sermon.
8) Monuments in Washington D.C. are slathered with references to God (Capitol, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln memorial, etc)
9) The Declaration of Independence, displayed in the National Archives (oops!), explicitly asserts that our Creator is the Source of our rights.
10) Explicitly religious holidays are federal, state and local holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc)
11) Thanksgiving was established specifically as a day to give thanks to God. Here is President Washington's Thanksgiving address on October 3, 1789:
"Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness. Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us. And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best. Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789."
12) Here is Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation from October 3, 1863:
"By the President of the United States of America.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth."
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
13) Here are the salient passages in President Obama's Thanksgiving address on November 3, 2010:
"... As we stand at the close of one year and look to the promise of the next, we lift up our hearts in gratitude to God for our many blessings...As Americans gather for the time-honored Thanksgiving Day meal, let us rejoice in the abundance that graces our tables, in the simple gifts that mark our days, in the loved ones who enrich our lives, and in the gifts of a gracious God..."
14) etc, etc, etc...
Here, Anonymous, are just a few of the "state actors" who have endorsed religion much more frequently and emphatically than the miscreant high schoolers in Rhode Island:
What's an atheist totalitarian to do? Government endorsement of religion is... is... everywhere...
You are correct that the words "separation of church and state" do not appear in the Constitution.Duh.
But the words "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion", a provision that has been applied to the states as a consequence of the Reconstruction amendments to the Constitution. Posting a prayer as an official action, which this has been done, is a prohibited endorsement of religion.Lincoln's Second Inaugural invoked God repeatedly. Lincoln quoted Matthew 7:1 and 18:7 and Revelation 16:7. His speech was delivered on the Capitol steps, and is reproduced in virtually all history schoolbooks.
Presidents endorse religion on an almost daily basis-- "God bless America", etc.
But a little prayer on a wall a school is a... federal case?
And thus is unConstitutional. I know that thugs like you aren't used to having your thuggery called out, so you project and call the minority (whose rights the Constitution is intended to protect) thugs, but the only thugs are the loudmouthed jackasses like you who are finally being called on their jackassery and are braying in shock that you can't run roughshod over everyone else anymore.
This is not preventing the free exercise of religion or free speech.
Right. Federal court injunctions can be ignored without consequence.
You can pray all you want - as a private citizen.
I don't ask Anonymous to define my rights for me.
You can whine loudly all you want about it, as you have done. What you can't do is get the state, via a public school, to endorse any religious views.
The White House phone number is 202-456-1414. Give 'em a call, Anonymous. Let President Obama know that he's breaking the law by saying "... and God bless the United States of America" after his speeches. Call the Congress (Obama will know the number) and tell them that they're breaking the law when they open sessions with prayers. Call the National Archives ("... We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights...), the National Park Service (the monuments are slathered with God-stuff). Give 'em a tiny piece of your godless mind.
Government officials love to be told what they're allowed to say by atheists. Why restrict your bile to schoolchildren?
So go ahead, violate Matthew 6:5 by wandering the halls ostentatiously praying out loud for everyone - show us what hypocrites you truly are. But don't expect to be able to use the government to give you an assist.
The prayer on the mural in Rhode Island is silent, and quite small. But thanks for the spiritual advice. Coming from an atheist, it means a lot to me.
The Cranston school board will lose. This is a foregone conclusion. If the case reached the Supreme Court, Justices Alito, Roberts, and Scalia would whack the school board over the head and rule against them. The only ones who are costing them money are themselves, with their stupid refusal to obey the law.
Hey, why resist? We should just let atheists tell us what to do, and obey. Isn't that what this is all about, anyway?
Oh, and your post formatting skills suck.