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Prayer in Public Schools an Essential Right – Except for Muslims

ProudProgressive 2012/01/13 15:58:00
What a surprise. More bigoted hypocrisy from the Right Wing.

Article excerpt follows:


Prayer in Public Schools an Essential Right – Except for Muslims


By Hrafnkell Haraldsson


January 13, 2012



Apparently it’s ultra-super important for Christian kids to be able to pray at school but not so much for Muslim kids. We’ll get to that in a minute; first let’s make clear how the whole prayer in school thing works.



It’s not that kids can’t pray, no matter what the Religious Right tells you. They can. They just can’t do it with the support of the school, because that’s a violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. The “public school prayer myth,” fueled by Christian fundamentalism and embraced by Republican political theology, rears its head just about every day somewhere in the country even while regularly ordering graduation ceremonies to be held in churches. But that’s gist for another article.



It might be remembered that on June 17, 1963 Abington Township School District v. Schempp (consolidated with Murray v. Curlett), 374 U.S. 203 (1963) declared school-sponsored Bible reading in public schools in the United States to be unconstitutional. In 1962, Engel v. Vitale, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a New York school district was in violation of students’ First Amendment rights by requiring that they pray in the classroom to start their each school day.



Again, it did not ban school prayer or “kick god out of schools” as has been claimed by the Religious Right. As Charles C. Haynes of the First Amendment Center writes, the ruling “requires that teachers and administrators neither promote nor denigrate religion — a commitment to state neutrality that protects the religious freedom of students of all faiths and no faith.”



But just as disagreeing with a fundamentalist is seen as persecution of that fundamentalist, so equality is seen as an attack on Christianity. The New York Times September 28, 1996, reports that one view is that “it was the Supreme Court decisions restricting school prayer and Bible reading in the classroom that truly ignited the religious right as the 1960′s began.”



And they have been making hay off it ever since.



So let’s look for a moment at reality rather than fundamentalist fantasy: Christian kids can pray, and if Christian kids can pray, so can Muslim kids, right?



Wrong, say those American Talibangelicals who would lead us around by our penises and vaginas.



Ya’ll remember the whole “special rights” thing for gays, right? Well, turns out letting Muslims pray in school is a case of special rights too. Cause if those poor Christian kids can’t pray, then damn if you’re gonna let those Mooslims!



Again, Christian kids can pray in school but reality is never the issue for Religious Right fear-mongering. Rick Perry even says he will put school prayer in the U.S. Constitution! Gingrich says he would do the same thing and even the supposedly anti-government interference Ron Paul says he supports a constitutional amendment that allows voluntary school prayer (it’s already legal, Ron).



This story takes us to the wilds of Pennsylvania, where, as the AU’s blog Wall of Separation reports,



In the West Shore School District near Harrisburg, Pa., some parents have been getting pretty angry that Muslim children might be allowed to pray during school hours – even though it hasn’t even been confirmed that any students are actually praying.



(Cue audible gasps and cries of dismay)



It turns out Bill O’Reilly is to blame for all this – sorta. As AU relates the tale,



The “controversy” apparently arose when a district parent was on WHP 580 with talk radio host Bob Durgin and claimed that a multicultural awareness training session at West Shore included a discussion of Muslim prayer in schools.



Durgin, a right-wing agitator and Bill O’Reilly wannabe, went on to do several shows on the topic, and apparently he touched a nerve with some listeners.



The Harrisburg Patriot-News reports that “one woman who called the newspaper said she thought Muslim students had received special privileges.” (Cue the “special rights song and dance”):



“It’s accommodating one religion in lieu of all the others,” she said.



Why? Because, she said, kids can’t sing religious songs at holiday concerts. Only problem is, they sang “Ave Maria.” You can’t get much more religious – from a Christian standpoint – than that. They also sang the Christian hymn “In Dulci Jubilo.”



Cue the inevitable Facebook diabribe. Says AU:



Another woman who posted about this issue on a Facebook page claimed students are “not even allowed to say God in school,” according to the Patriot-News. If that were true, it would violate federal guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Education.



But as AU reports, this isn’t true: Leena Sharif, a Muslim freshman last year at Red Land High School in Lewisberry, “wanted to pray five times per day at set times in accordance with Muslim tradition.”



Leena asked if she could be excused from class to pray because she felt it would be a distraction to other students. A school guidance counselor told her she couldn’t.



Far from being granted “special rights” Leena Sharif had to withdraw from school to become a cyber student.



Of course, if Leena had been a Christian the Religious Right, supposedly all about our “religious freedoms” would have been all over this and her’s would be a household name. But she’s Muslim, so she was ignored and if a Muslim kid wants to pray, suddenly it’s a case of “special rights.” As AU says,



But when some students want to do the exact same thing the Right has advocated for, except those students pray to Allah instead of God, those same zealots throw a fit. That is pretty much the textbook definition of a hypocrite.



That’s the religious freedom defended by our fundamentalists: Christian rights to privileges not enjoyed by others – the very definition of special rights because only Christians have them.


Read More: http://www.politicususa.com/en/prayer-in-public-sc...

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Top Opinion

  • seathanaich 2012/01/13 17:18:35 (edited)
    seathanaich
    +5
    Pray on your own time, in a private space.

    Public spaces, like schools, are places for everyone, not just those of a particular religion. There is no need for religion in them. Join the civilised world, and keep your religion to yourself.

    Religion is like a penis; if you have one, great, if not, that’s fine too.
    Nobody else needs to hear how wonderful yours is, and how much better it is than everyone else’s.
    If you want to play with it in private, by all means, do so. Enjoy it responsibly.
    If you want to share it with a consenting adult, then do so. But ask them first, and use protection.
    Do NOT walk around in public with your fly un-zipped, letting it hang out. Nobody else wants to see it.
    Do NOT ram it down other peoples throats. That’s socially unacceptable.
    Lastly, keep it away from my children, and I’ll promise to keep mine away from your children.

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Opinions

  • notsomildrose83 2014/03/22 04:59:00
    notsomildrose83
    I feel that if they are going to have Prayer in school ALL Religions should be included. If not then no praying or Religious stuff at all.
  • Horace 2012/01/13 19:09:37
    Horace
    +1
    I believe that everyone should be allowed to pray wherever they want to whoever they want. Prayer causes no one any harm and offers solace to millions. Thinking that it should be hidden away behind closed doors like something you are ashamed to show the world is to me ludicrous. People pray, get used to it.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... Horace 2012/01/16 06:35:53 (edited)
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    You want Prayer in the Class Room
    Be careful what you ask for


    Man and Horse that Built Civilization
  • Horace ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/01/16 06:41:20
    Horace
    Let them. I don't care what they are praying to, only that what is considered sacred to people be protected.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... Horace 2012/01/16 06:44:52
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    All Religions?

    even them
    satan worshppers
  • Horace ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/01/16 06:46:24
    Horace
    That's what I said.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... Horace 2012/01/16 06:49:58
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    would lead to bad things in school

    if kids are being bullied over clothing styles hair styles and sexuality Gay kids get bullied alot

    then religion would just make it worse

    parents would accuse children of one religion of casting spells or praying to thier god to harm thier child

    i can see it now

    Christian accuses pagan of witchcraft
    mormon accuses Buddhist of being the devil
    Muslim Bullied by Catholic
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... Horace 2012/01/16 06:50:41
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    +1
    School is for Education for math science etc

    let them learn and keep religion at home
    better for everyone
  • You Don't Need To Know My Name 2012/01/13 19:09:04
    You Don't Need To Know My Name
    +3
    "So let’s look for a moment at reality rather than fundamentalist fantasy: Christian kids can pray, and if Christian kids can pray, so can Muslim kids, right?"


    If a Muslim student wants to pray on their time between classes, at lunch, etc. go ahead. Should they be allowed to be excused from class to pray because it's prayer time?
  • America... You Don... 2012/01/13 20:42:46
  • You Don... America... 2012/01/13 20:47:12
    You Don't Need To Know My Name
    For whom?
  • America... You Don... 2012/01/13 20:53:43
    American☆Atheist
    you
  • You Don... America... 2012/01/13 21:00:42
    You Don't Need To Know My Name
    I can't be one for myself. Who do you say I am.
  • America... You Don... 2012/01/13 21:02:13
    American☆Atheist
    IDK, but you are a sock.
  • You Don... America... 2012/01/13 21:05:05
    You Don't Need To Know My Name
    You make a claim you can't prove yet still make the claim. I thought you progressives demanded proof to back up what others claimed. I guess that only applies to others not yourself. I get it. Opinions are facts to you but you hold others to a higher standard that you are willing to apply to yourself.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... You Don... 2012/01/16 06:36:11
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    +1
    You want Prayer in the Class Room
    Be careful what you ask for


    Man and Horse that Built Civilization
  • seathanaich 2012/01/13 17:18:35 (edited)
    seathanaich
    +5
    Pray on your own time, in a private space.

    Public spaces, like schools, are places for everyone, not just those of a particular religion. There is no need for religion in them. Join the civilised world, and keep your religion to yourself.

    Religion is like a penis; if you have one, great, if not, that’s fine too.
    Nobody else needs to hear how wonderful yours is, and how much better it is than everyone else’s.
    If you want to play with it in private, by all means, do so. Enjoy it responsibly.
    If you want to share it with a consenting adult, then do so. But ask them first, and use protection.
    Do NOT walk around in public with your fly un-zipped, letting it hang out. Nobody else wants to see it.
    Do NOT ram it down other peoples throats. That’s socially unacceptable.
    Lastly, keep it away from my children, and I’ll promise to keep mine away from your children.
  • Bastion seathan... 2012/01/13 18:05:22
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... seathan... 2012/01/16 06:36:33
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    thank you
  • BobJessen 2012/01/13 16:43:24
    BobJessen
    +1
    Pray for Brunhilde...She's Soooooo Hot! valhalla
  • Centuri... BobJessen 2012/01/13 22:12:16
    Centurion~PWCM~JLA
    Yeah, I used to be married to one of those German Valkries!

    She looked a lot like this


    Conan s blonde girlfriend


    She was hot too!
  • BobJessen Centuri... 2012/01/14 17:01:16
    BobJessen
    +1
    Wahappened?!!...This??! faux
  • Centuri... BobJessen 2012/01/15 00:01:07
    Centurion~PWCM~JLA
    +1
    No. She was a barbarian queen to begin with. Then once she had what she wanted, she wanted a divorce.

    Her mom and dad said she was making a big mistake but that was the end of it.

    Her nickname is Matilda the Hun.
  • BobJessen Centuri... 2012/01/15 16:17:34
    BobJessen
    +1
    Hmmm...Matilda the Hun is it...Hmmm...Lets See Now... hun
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾ 2012/01/13 16:37:09
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    +2
    You want Prayer in the Class Room
    Be careful what you ask for


    Man and Horse that Built Civilization

    pagan school prayer
  • Reichstolz 2012/01/13 16:20:12
    Reichstolz
    +3
    The option of a religious school is always available, this argument has no place in public school, Bad enough they are failing to educate.
  • You Don... Reichstolz 2012/01/13 19:04:54
    You Don't Need To Know My Name
    +1
    Then allow me to have the money I pay in taxes to the public schools in the form of a voucher.
  • Reichstolz You Don... 2012/01/13 19:07:58
    Reichstolz
    +1
    Why I don't. I pay more than most to put illegal aliens through public daycare. If you want choice become wealthy enough to afford private school, if not have your child be as dumb as the rest of the nation's unwashed.
  • You Don... Reichstolz 2012/01/13 19:11:32
    You Don't Need To Know My Name
    My children are likely smarter at 10 and 15 than you will ever be.

    I see that when a choice on how to use someone's money is at hand, you deny that choice. However, I bet if the issue were something like abortion you would be all for it 100% of the time. Hypocrite.

    I see you think it makes you feel like a bigger person to SAY you pay more than most in taxes.
  • Reichstolz You Don... 2012/01/13 19:18:19 (edited)
    Reichstolz
    I don't deny choice, I just understand that our government's function is to make sure the unwashed can read and follow simple directions, that is what public school is. It is necessary to keep the knuckle draggers children off the streets for the formative years of their lives. It is a necessity of our society. Those of us who choose to not place our children in that situation due so at our own expense. You have the right to choose to do that as well.

    And as far as your children are concerned I do not particularly care how smart they are, if they have you for a parent they will be doomed.
  • You Don... Reichstolz 2012/01/13 19:28:27 (edited)
    You Don't Need To Know My Name
    The comment about my children crosses the line. I didn't expect anything less from someone like you. At least they don't have an a**hole for a parent. Yours do.
  • Reichstolz You Don... 2012/01/14 05:13:08
    Reichstolz
    The comment is a reflection of a parent that whines about providing them a quality education. If you cannot afford a quality education for your child they are doomed. It is called reading comprehension, I think there are internet courses you might want to take.
  • Centuri... Reichstolz 2012/01/13 22:15:18
    Centurion~PWCM~JLA
    If we were deporting illegal aliens that would not be taking place. It might even get some American kids off of their arses to go out and help harvest cantalopes instead of spending the summer playing pac-man.

    I see the effect that illegal aliens have in our country and it is not good. They can be a pain in the backside to educators as well.
  • Reichstolz Centuri... 2012/01/14 05:13:38
    Reichstolz
    +1
    Correct, but no government official has that in mind.
  • Centuri... Reichstolz 2012/01/14 15:08:05
    Centurion~PWCM~JLA
    +1
    Perhaps we need to persuade them to such a mind.

    I'm game.
  • Reichstolz Centuri... 2012/01/14 15:13:51
    Reichstolz
    +1
    One must have concern in an area prior to being able to be persuaded. No politician I have met or talked with really considers illegals an issue they are willing to burn political capital on. Those that do soon find themselves out of office due to their cowardly colleagues.
  • Centuri... Reichstolz 2012/01/15 00:10:58
    Centurion~PWCM~JLA
    +1
    We do need to get rid of their cowardly colleagues as well.

    To me, it is an issue worthy of a big funeral pyre of political capital. Since my retirement from the Air Force I've seen and felt firsthand what damage they do to our country.

    Workers lose work. Highly skilled carpenters cannot find decent paying work because "Jose" is working for $6.00 and hour and then getting "benefits" from the state. Schools are overcrowded. Fine teachers which are highly qualified do not get the jobs because they don't speak fluent Spanish. Teachers are also laid off because not all of those using their services pay taxes for them but rather suck money away in welfare and food stamps. This results in even larger class sizes with fewer teachers.

    Remember the Alamo!


    Remember the Alamo
  • Reichstolz Centuri... 2012/01/15 15:36:06
    Reichstolz
    +1
    Tell me about it try living in a state that won't allow police to impound their cars while driving without a license, won't have them get mandatory vaccinations before enrolling their children in school, won't allow a business owner to remove them from the parking lot, etc. We have lost all sense of what makes a nation a nation.
  • Centuri... Reichstolz 2012/01/15 20:36:35
    Centurion~PWCM~JLA
    +1
    You may notice that I live a few miles North of your Northern State Line. They overflow up to here as well. Oregon law tends to blow off conservative values as well.
  • Reichstolz Centuri... 2012/01/16 05:12:12
    Reichstolz
    +1
    Shame isn't it.

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