From Todd Starnes at Fox News:
Why is school prayer only allowed during tragedies?
By Todd Starnes
Published February 27, 2012
It was supposed to be a fairly quiet week at Chardon High School.
The boys basketball team, the Hilltoppers, was scheduled to play a game Monday night. Parent-Teacher conferences were set for Thursday.
It was just a normal day in Chardon, Ohio.
But normal changed at approximately 7:30 Monday morning.
Gunfire. Screams. Chaos.
A teenager – an outcast – armed with a gun – walked into the school cafeteria. In a matter of moments, five students were gunned down. At least one child died.
Terrified students huddled in classrooms. They called 911. They texted and tweeted. Teachers locked doors and implemented emergency procedures.
And at least one teacher chased the gunman out of the school – an act of bravery that possibly saved lives.
As police try to make sense of the senseless, the school superintendent called on people to pray.
It was a wise decision.
But perhaps lost in the chaos is the irony that in American public schools – people are not allowed to pray.
Liberals have successfully banished God from the classroom, replacing Him with the manmade god of secularism.
Yet in times of great tragedy, school leaders inevitably seek guidance and solace from the same God they’ve expelled. I’ve often wondered – if God is good enough for the bad times, shouldn’t He be good enough for the good times?
It’s a lesson I sadly suspect our nation’s educators will never learn.
Questions for atheists:
Is the superintendent's call for prayer unconstitutional?
Is a teacher leading kids at Chardon High in a prayer for the victims unconstitutional?
Would a sign at the school saying "Pray for our classmates" be a crime?
Do prayers for the kids who were killed and injured make atheists feel "ostracized and excluded"?
Are atheists gonna call the ACLU on these people?
Should the police stop teachers and school officials at Chardon High from leading students in prayer?
If not, why not? Isn't organized prayer in school unconstitutional?
All over America, in every public school, teachers should lead students in prayer for the kids wounded and killed at Chardon High.
Let the atheists sue us.
I'm not an American. Nor am I an expert on American constitutional law. But my answers would be:
No, it's a one off.
No, again it's a one off.
Yes, unless the sign is very temporary, just for a few days.
No, again it's a one off.
Your idea of having a nation wide pray-in would probably escape attention as a one off, but 'praying' for civilized gun control would be a better idea.
What is a one off?Delete
And why would a sign calling for prayer be constitutional if it stayed up for a few days but unconstitutional if it stayed up for longer? This is really perplexing.
Let me refer to my Constitution here: "Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
Pretty clear. Now I know Anonymous is going to argue that it's been "interpreted" to mean all sorts of things that it doesn't say. But those interpretations are wrong precisely because it doesn't say them. And then he's going to call ME a "lying sack of shit" when he should be directing those comments at the people who lie about the Constitution and try to make it say something that it doesn't.
But he won't do that because he's mean and foul-mouthed. Also, he spends the whole work day cruising the net on the taxpayer's dime.
"Pretty clear. Now I know Anonymous is going to argue that it's been "interpreted" to mean all sorts of things that it doesn't say. But those interpretations are wrong precisely because it doesn't say them."Delete
Does the Supreme Court have the ability to conduct judicial review? Those words aren't in the Constitution either. Do you have the right to remain silent? Those words aren't in the Constitution either.
Saying "those words aren't in the Constitution so that interpretation is wrong" is a worthless argument made only by lying sacks of shit. Which is why you are a lying sack of shit.
"And then he's going to call ME a "lying sack of shit""
Yes. Because you are a lying sack of shit.
"Does the Supreme Court have the ability to conduct judicial review? Those words aren't in the Constitution either."Delete
Exactly! And so, the argument that you have previously advanced, that the supreme court can't be wrong because they are the body charged with interpreting the Constitution, is baloney. They weren't really charged with that duty, they just took it for themselves.
"Do you have the right to remain silent? Those words aren't in the Constitution either."
That would be the right not to self-incriminate.
"Saying 'those words aren't in the Constitution so that interpretation is wrong' is a worthless argument made only by lying sacks of shit."
Uh, no it's not. Saying that which isn't in the Constitution is not in the Constitution is just truth-telling.
Did you know that I have the right to say racist things on the job without being terminated by my employer? Oh wait, the Constitution doesn't actually say that? Well so what?! The Constitution doesn't actually say most things people like you have come to cherish as rights. Why is it that you can make up rights that aren't in the Constitution but I can't?
If you want to see a lying sack of shit, just look for people who say that the Constitution says "x" when it clearly says "y".
It's almost as if you're terrified that if we actually interpreted "Congress" to mean Congress, "law" to mean "law" and "establish" to mean establish, we'd be on some kind of slippery slope toward...constitutionality? What would happen if we stripped away the layers and layers of bad case law and returned to the original Constitution? That would be really scary for people who have grown accustomed to suing over things that offend them.
Oh Anonymous, it's good to see that you're finally admitting that most of the crap you come up with is not in the Constitution.Delete
Free exercise of religion is actually in there, and you don't care. You've already told us that it can be violated at will, at any time, by any body of government.
The made up rights that you pulled out of your ass are sacred though.
Anonymous's problem is that he measures the validity of the Constitution by the case law, when he should measure the validity of the case law by the Constitution.Delete
When case law clearly contradicts the Constitution, it's the case law that's incorrect, not the other way around.
Anonymous' response to anyone pointing out that the separation of church is not in the Constitution is to admit that most of the crap he talks about isn't there either: judicial review, etc.Delete
What a defense!
Apparently "one-off" is atheist for "unprincipled exception"Delete
"Exactly! And so, the argument that you have previously advanced, that the supreme court can't be wrong because they are the body charged with interpreting the Constitution, is baloney. They weren't really charged with that duty, they just took it for themselves."Delete
You see, this is where your lack of education on the Constitution comes into play. Read Marbury v. Madison. And don't tell me you don't have time, because (1) if you want to debate the Constitution, you should know the law, and (2) any half decent high school education in the U.S. should have included it. The specific words "judicial review" are not in the Constitution, but it is the only way to reasonably interpret the language that is there, which charges the Court with hearing all cases under the Constitution and laws of the U.S. In a common law system, that adds up to judicial review.
"That would be the right not to self-incriminate."
The relevant portion of the 5th Amendment says this: "No person shall . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself . . ." Using the "logic" you like to apply to other parts of the Constitution, this could easily mean that the police could force a confession out of you and then report it in trial, so long as you weren't required to be a witness. All Court decisions relating to the Constitution are interpretations of the document and serve to clarify and define what the text means.
"Uh, no it's not. Saying that which isn't in the Constitution is not in the Constitution is just truth-telling."
No. It isn't. Because it willfully ignores how our government operates, and how it has operated for the last two-hundred plus years. Dozens of rights that you think you hold are nothing more than interpretations of the Constitution, a process that is necessary when applying the language of the document to the real world.
"Did you know that I have the right to say racist things on the job without being terminated by my employer? Oh wait, the Constitution doesn't actually say that? Well so what?!"
It doesn't say that because the limitations on action provided by the Constitution usually only apply to the government. And also because Congress, which is specifically charged with creating legislation concerning issues like this, has not weighed in on this issue.
"The Constitution doesn't actually say most things people like you have come to cherish as rights. Why is it that you can make up rights that aren't in the Constitution but I can't?"
I didn't. The body that is charged with defining those rights has. Either we have a government that functions or we don't. Pretending that judicial precedent isn't a reality is just willfully closing your eyes.
"If you want to see a lying sack of shit, just look for people who say that the Constitution says "x" when it clearly says "y"."Delete
Like you. You see, when they decided Everson and Engel and Lemon and the dozens of other cases on point, the Supreme Court explained exactly what constitutes "establishing" a church. It means more than just passing a law that says "this is a national church", because that leaves the door wide open to allowing the establishment of a national church through the backdoor.
"It's almost as if you're terrified that if we actually interpreted "Congress" to mean Congress, "law" to mean "law" and "establish" to mean establish, we'd be on some kind of slippery slope toward...constitutionality?"
Well, first off you'd be ignoring the 14th Amendment. Second, you'd have to define exactly what "law" and "establish" mean. Could a legislature, for example, pass a law taxing you to support a specific church without declaring it to be a national church? Could they use tax dollars to help build a church without declaring it to be a national church? Could the executive branch declare a national church by executive order? Once you have to start dealing with actual issues, saying "just read the words" falls apart.
"What would happen if we stripped away the layers and layers of bad case law and returned to the original Constitution?"
You'd have to establish all kinds of precedents again, because the words of the "original Constitution" are wholly inadequate to the task of addressing the actual cases and controversies that are brought before the courts. That's why we have a system of common law precedent - so that litigants know ahead of time how the Courts have interpreted portions of the document and can guide their decision making accordingly.
"Oh Anonymous, it's good to see that you're finally admitting that most of the crap you come up with is not in the Constitution."Delete
It is. You just don't understand how judicial precedent works.
"Free exercise of religion is actually in there, and you don't care. You've already told us that it can be violated at will, at any time, by any body of government."
I didn't tell you that. The Supreme Court did. And this is not some sort of new or novel interpretation. There are limits to the ambit of the free exercise clause, and always have been.
"Anonymous' response to anyone pointing out that the separation of church is not in the Constitution is to admit that most of the crap he talks about isn't there either: judicial review, etc."Delete
Two-hundred years of judicial precedent clarifying and explaining how the text of the Constitution applies.
"What a defense!"
Maybe one of these days you'll grow up and understand how government works.
Anonymous vs Anonymous reminds me of Spy vs Spy!Delete
Life is harsh, that is why God gave laughter to humans!
Obviously I am not an atheist nor an American, but when we have had incidents like this one (several now) there is a general 'Assembly' in the auditorium, gymnasium, or cafeteria for the kids in which is optional and includes prayer, question and answer periods, and a lecture on tolerance and/or bullying.
The kids don't HAVE to go, but generally they do so they can talk and pray together.
My son was attending a very PC highschool when a lad in Alberta went berserk and killed classmates. Even there they had a prayer at the assembly. An 'interfaith' group lead the group (an Imam, Priest, a Rabbi, and a Sikh elder). Each group was also allowed the afternoon off to reflect or worship as needed. Most of the kids, of course, spent the day with friends talking about what happened and how to stop it from happening at their school. But many did seek spiritual solace or counsel.
Would that be allowed under your the current atmosphere in the States? Could that perhaps be a work-around for the 'rules' that seem to have recently emerged?
We, in Canada, have some pretty stringent arms controls. Unless you have a special permit for the various grades of man killer weapons (pistols, assault rifles etc) or a license (with a background check and test) for rifles or shotguns you can only purchase you cannot buy a rifle. Still we have these problems. In fact, the vast majority of gun crimes in this country are committed with ILLEGAL and often stolen assault weapons and pistols.
This kind of thing has even happened in Germany and the UK where gun control is draconian in nature.
I think the problems involved in this go much deeper than gun control. I think they have to do with bullying, feelings of entitlement, a general sentiment of disenfranchisement or futility, and a general feral streak in our culture. We could blame media like films and music, but again - like the weapons - this is not the root, but only a facilitator.
In each of these situations I have noted 'bullying' and 'humiliation' mentioned as a cause. Surely this was WORSE when I was a kid. 'Hazing' and bullying was the norm... but we did not shoot anyone DESPITE having much more lax control on arms and the security of schools.
So what is it? What is the cause?
Let me be clear: The WHY, not the HOW. A knife, gun, or baseball bat may be used properly - to fish, hunt, or play a a sport. But WHY use one of these weapons to 'avenge' some misplaced and obviously exaggerated matter of 'honour'.
I would suggest in it a perfect storm of social decay and devolution brought on by the utopian zeal of the social engineers. The kids have been conditioned to react in a very selfish manner. The 'humiliation' is only real because they envision everyone laughing at them (I am reminded of the final scene from 'Carry' - back when King could write..somewhat), when actually nobody else cares for more than a minute. Bullying is treated like a crime thus making the bully 'cool' and rebellious (increasing his stock with his 'minions') , and the 'victim' is filled with a sense of righteous indignation; both sometimes result in deadly violence. The other side of this horrible equation is teen suicides.
I have often said this, and I think you could confirm it by watching them: 'The kids all think they're on TV'. Their 'self esteem' is often so inflated and massive it reaches a critical mass or is utterly annihilated.
My take on a horrible, horrible situation.
Please watch over and bless our children with the hope and humility to see through this horror and learn from it. Please forgive, embrace, and protect the souls lost in this latest nightmare. Also, Lord, please find the boy responsible. Give him the chance at redemption he deserves. I pray this in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
"...but 'praying' for civilized gun control would be a better idea."ReplyDelete
Ha! Ha! Ha!
You know that schools are already "gun free zones" don't you? People intent on killing don't let that fact deter them in any way. Furthermore, minors are not allowed to own guns.
Here's a more deadly massacre from Germany in 2002: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erfurt_massacre
And another one from Germany: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coburg_shooting
Germany again--sixteen dead: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnenden_school_shooting
And another from Canada in 1989: http://archives.cbc.ca/society/crime_justice/topics/398/
This lunatic killed sixty-nine people, mostly children, with a gun IN NORWAY: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Norway_attacks
Here's one from Finland: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kauhajoki_school_shooting
Don't they have sane gun control policies?
Excellent points, Trish.Delete
The guns, knives etc are not the issue.
The mentality of the culture that promotes and allows for this self righteous mania is.
Where do these kids get the guns that they bring into the schools?ReplyDelete
Are they illegal weapons bought on the street? Or are they ones that they 'borrow' from dad?
Anti gun control people typically use the argument that using any object that could otherwise harm or kill another individual is just the same, so why not outlaw scissors, bats, knives, etc. But in reality theres only one true purpose for a gun.
"But in reality theres only one true purpose for a gun."
To hunt? To kill animals for food or to protect the livestock that we all (too much of) eat everyday?
Guns are multi-purpose devices. Like a knife.
If you mean pistols and assault weapons and mean they are to kill MEN, sure. That is a sticky issue, especially for a revolutionary republic. I would suggest restricted weapons permits for collectors and enthusiasts.
I have one (for a pistol) and I renew it every 2 years.
"But in reality theres only one true purpose for a gun."Delete
Self defense, target practice, hunting.
I just named three.
I happen to own guns. I have owned one of them for over twenty years. None of my guns have ever taken a human life. They are nonetheless my guns, and my second amendment right.
Dont get me wrong here. I am all for the 2nd amendment. And at this point in time, any law reversing that would absolutely leave weapons only in the hands of the criminals.Delete
What I was trying to say was, why were guns originally created? For war. To kill. You cant say that for things like knives. Because they serve(d) dual purposes, not strictly for killing.
I think when people snap and go on a killing spree, whether its a kid or an adult, something more is going on than feelings of 'being on TV' or entitlement..there are some serious mental problems at work. But blaming society, music (which was a trend in the 60s-80s), movies or whatever form of entertainment is painting the problem with way too big of a brush.
I've personally seen, as we all have, plenty of those kids who always would get punked on regularly. But never came to school filling their classmates full of bullets. It makes me wonder, if certain people are easily susceptible to mental breakdowns from an outside source, as in another individual, then I'd think it would be only a matter of time til SOMETHING drives them off the deep end. And as adolescents with raging hormones, not mature enough to fully control emotions, those people might snap at a younger age.
I dont know. I'm not a psychiatrist
These are not very hard questions if one actually knows the precedents. Apparently you haven't bothered to figure out the parameters of the law. So here they are:ReplyDelete
"Is the superintendent's call for prayer unconstitutional?"
"Is a teacher leading kids at Chardon High in a prayer for the victims unconstitutional?"
On school property or on school time? Yes. Outside of school, no.
"Would a sign at the school saying "Pray for our classmates" be a crime?"
Hung by a student on their locker? No. Hung by the school administration? Yes.
"Do prayers for the kids who were killed and injured make atheists feel "ostracized and excluded"?"
"Are atheists gonna call the ACLU on these people?"
They could. They may or may not.
"Should the police stop teachers and school officials at Chardon High from leading students in prayer?"
If they care about following the law, yes.
Egnor's done a pretty good job on the Christian douchebag scale, but with work, he could do better.ReplyDelete
- exploit terrible tragedy for partisan political purposes - check
- advocate breaking the law - check
- cite article from Fox News - check
- approvingly cite bogus claim that "Liberals have successfully banished God from the classroom" - check
- misunderstand the separation of church and state - check
- advocate public prayer in opposition to the dictates of his own religious text (e.g., Matthew 6.6) - check
- blame shooting on atheists or Jews - no check
- blame Obama - no check
I give Egnor a 6/8: needs improvement.
“But perhaps lost in the chaos is the irony that in American public schools – people are not allowed to pray.”ReplyDelete
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of prayer groups in high schools around the country that pray at school all the time. Nobody is stopping them. I’m getting sick of the constant fucking lying.
Let's see: calling someone a "douchebag" makes you intolerant, but calling someone an "asshole" doesn't?ReplyDelete
Poor little crusader. Not only is he a hypocrite, he's also incapable of addressing the argument.
He is, without a doubt, a model Christian, demonstrating the kindness & humility that Christ was known for.
Douchebag and asshole are both bad words. I wouldn't recommend using them, but sometimes--in anger--I do.ReplyDelete
Nonetheless, the bigotry comes through when you attach douchebag to Christian. The meaning that I perceive, whether or not you intended it this way, is that the person is a douchebag BECAUSE he's a Christian. It's something like this: That Elena Kagan sure is a douchebag Jew. Sound anti-Semitic? Yeah, it does.
Try some of these word combinations together: "lazy" and "black". "Perfidous" and "Jew". "Stupid" and "Hispanic".
Sonya Sotomayor? Yeah, she's a stupid Hispanic.
Anonymous has shown us over and over again that he is an anti-Christian bigot. It's clear as a bell. That's why he doesn't see the prevailing climate of anti-Christian bigotry in this country. He shares it. To him, anti-Christian bigotry is just something that all reasonable people should harbor.
Under no circumstances should we allow anti-Christian bigots to be the judge of what is, and what is not, anti-Christian bigotry. If we left it up to them, they'd never find a speck of it anywhere.
"He is, without a doubt, a model Christian, demonstrating the kindness & humility that Christ was known for."
Could be. I haven't seen anything on this site that would suggest otherwise. By the way, Christ was known for a lot more. From time to time, he expressed righteous rage. He also challenged the scribes and pharisees--those would be the lawyers and judges of his time, those who had perverted the law.
You'll note that I did not preface my 'asshole' with any religious, racial, or political connotations.
YOU did exactly that. You wrote ""Christian douchebag". [my emph]
I did not call you an 'Atheist Asshole' or a 'white/black/brown asshole', or a even a ' "liberal" asshole' (redundant?)
I called you an 'asshole'.
You are, Asshole.
"Poor little crusader."
Yeah. They hire little, wimpy stupid guys with small balls to run military units. Asshole.
"Not only is he a hypocrite, he's also incapable of addressing the argument."
I did. Your an asshole. That is the only discernible point in your screed. Your so called 'argument' is simply a jeuvinile insult wrapped in the regurgitation of more intelligent (if equally incorrect and valueless) responses.
So maybe I should have prefaced it with 'poseur' (that means 'wannabe', Anon)? But I prefer not to hide behind ideals and words...like you.
I just say it like I see it.
"He is, without a doubt, a model Christian, demonstrating the kindness & humility that Christ was known for"
I will quote China Charles Gordon while talking to another (if deeper) fanatic who had mistaken a Christian for Christ: "I am not Christ." Nor do have any hope of being or becoming Christ.
You? You're just an asshole.
You may be an atheist, a poseur and fan boy as you portray yourself, but that is all second fiddle to your prime: Assholism.
Sorry about the lingua franca, mate. Reciprocity and all.
I don't think you're a Christian. You don't even try to follow Christ.
You see that your worldview is threatened by facts and logic, so you lash out in the only way you know how: with insults and excuses and macho posturing.
I love you too, Brother.
(even though you're an asshole and a declared enemy)
Again, your insults me nothing to me.
My self worth is not connected to the rants of some angry paper pushing troll on a blog. In fact your prophanity laced attacks on myself and others does nothing but inspire a kind of resentment for the forces that drive you and a kind of pity for what is left of your individual mind/soul.
"You see that your worldview is threatened by facts and logic, so you lash out in the only way you know how: with insults and excuses and macho posturing."
Project much, ye grand master baiter?
I love the 'macho' line. I'll have to show/read that to the lads :P
I think the point crusadeREX is trying to make is that you are the least tolerant person on this board. Do you consider yourself a tolerant person? If you're like most of the "tolerant" people I know, your tolerance only extends to people you perceive to be victims--homosexuals, blacks, Muslims, and nobody else.ReplyDelete
You have provided a civil and level headed response to contrast my simple reciprocity. You have hit the nail on the head - once again!
Anonymous is a lawyer who works for the federal government. At least that's what he says. He's also a dyed-in-the-wool anti-Christian bigot.ReplyDelete
Does that surprise anyone? Our government is chock full of people who think we're "douchebags" and that's why our rights our so often curtailed.
For those of you who deny that anti-Christian bigotry exists:
When you note :"Our government is chock full of people who think we're "douchebags" and that's why our rights our so often curtailed."
I wonder how this came to be? I ask this honestly and pose the question to you because your logic is like a breath of fresh air to this blog's commentary. I am genuinely interested in what you think is the root of this evil?
"Anonymous is a lawyer who works for the federal government. At least that's what he says. He's also a dyed-in-the-wool anti-Christian bigot."Delete
Most of the comments you have been fighting with haven't been me. Or did you think that all Anonymous posters were the same person?
As it happens, you have no idea what my personal faith is. The only thing you know is that I value the separation of church and state like the majority of people, and the majority of Christians in this country.
"Does that surprise anyone? Our government is chock full of people who think we're "douchebags" and that's why our rights our so often curtailed."
You really know nothing at all about the people who work for the government do you? All you have are paranoid conspiracy fantasies.
I would call it the Long March Through the Institutions.ReplyDelete
Antonio Gramsci, the Italian Communist, recommended that progressives adopt a new strategy besides armed revolution. He told them that they should work their way into positions of power in all of society's institutions, then change the system from the inside.
They have done it quite well. In later years, other socialist/communist/progressive types have echoed the call, and even used the same term: The Long March Through the Institutions. Rudi Dutschke, the unofficial leader of the officially leaderless German student movement of the later '60's, also used the term.
They've marched through our institutions. This is the end game right here.
Sorry, that last comment was in response to CrusadeREX's question:Delete
"I wonder how this came to be?"
Thanks for the speedy and concise response. I concur completely. I refer to these movements broadly as 'internationalist', but a commie by any other name...
Forgive me, then, when I dig a little deeper.
When you say this is the end-game, do you mean they have reached a critical mass and are now pulling for even more and overt power?
This seems to be so to me.
And if that is the case do you see any end for this polarization of the elites vs. the commons as a sign of strife to come, or do you think that is still avoidable? .
Also, do you think the general populace of the USA is beginning to become aware of this Orwellian putsch?
Do you have a blog? If so could you post the link? If not: YOU SHOULD!!!
"They've marched through our institutions."Delete
Those Godless practicing Christian and Jewish members of the Supreme Court have certainly been advancing a Communist agenda. or maybe they think that the Constitution works a different way than you do for a reason other than those found in your fevered conspiracy fantasies?
I think you're right. The only good explanation for widdle Crusader and Trish is that they are, quite literally, out of their minds.
Out of our minds?Delete
What an immaterial deduction!
Funny how even your insults betray your inane cosmology.
Truly funny stuff.
I agree wholeheartedly. Gramsci explains our cultural rot. They are in our institutions.
The meaning that I perceive, whether or not you intended it this way, is that the person is a douchebag BECAUSE he's a Christian.ReplyDelete
Ahh, the traditional Christian martyr pose. Your perception is incorrect.
All you guys have are insults, insults, and more insults. Nobody's addressing the argument.
But it's fun to see you froth at the mouth. It reveals your true character.
"But it's fun to see you froth at the mouth. It reveals your true character."ReplyDelete
Now he is hallucinating!
Go take your pills, Anon.
"But perhaps lost in the chaos is the irony that in American public schools – people are not allowed to pray."ReplyDelete
When your news source contains a blatant lie like this, it really doesn't do much for your credibility when you weigh in on a subject.
The right of students and teachers to pray, to wear religious symbols, to display their religious iconography on a personal basis in school has been upheld numerous times, and the ACLU has fought for those rights time and again.
But you probably didn't know that. Since ignorance is your stock in trade.