Tuesday, January 8, 2008

About the school prayer thing...

I recently came across a great piece concerning the school prayer issue, here's an excerpt:

And now let’s add to that the attempts by misguided school officials to compose “nonsectarian” prayers that would pass constitutional muster (“We affirm our Supreme Being, creator of the Universe,” things of that sort), and you have to assume that we’re well beyond 100,000 attempts to circumvent the court’s unambiguous ruling that you can’t pray in school, period.

And by the way, that very first Supreme Court school prayer case, Engel v. Vitale, revolved around a 22-word “nonsectarian” prayer that’s perhaps the lamest one ever written. It’s impossible to write a lamer one or a less offensive one, so just stop trying! Don’t believe me? Okay, I’m gonna go ahead and quote it:

“Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country.”

That’s it. That’s the entire New York State Regents’ Prayer. That’s the prayer that the Supreme Court struck down as a violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment. Anyone who went to a New York public school in the fifties had to recite that every day, to the point that baby boomers, if reminded of it today, can’t get the annoying echo out of their head, like a bad Barry Manilow song—which is fitting, because Barry Manilow himself was actually one of those kids who had to recite the prayer beginning in the third grade and continuing through his graduation from Eastern District High School in Brooklyn. For all we know it’s the source of his lyrical inspiration.
I invite you to check out the whole piece here, then check back to share your thoughts...

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