Tag Archives: School Prayer

Republicans In North Carolina: School Prayer


I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m a little leery of the complete power the republicans have in North Carolina.  However, there are benefits to finally having the out party in control of the legislative process.

In this case, it’s prayer in our public schools:

Raleigh, N.C. — Legislation approved Wednesday by the Senate Education Committee reaffirms that students can pray in public schools, a right that some lawmakers and others say is being curtailed by teachers confused by the law.

Senate Bill 370 would allow students to pray silently at any time or out loud during non-instructional time as long as the prayer is initiated by students – not teachers or staff – and nobody is forced to participate. Also, any school employees present during a student prayer would be encouraged to “adopt a respectful posture.”

“Teachers and the schools don’t really understand current law. That’s the problem,” said Sen. Austin Allran, R-Catawba. “They’re telling students they can’t talk about God or anything else that’s religious.”

This, pure and simple, makes sense.

While I don’t agree with legislation that bans organized times of prayer, think before an athletic event or at graduation, allowing students to pray on their own certainly isn’t restricted by that law.

I personally pray over my food before I eat.  Can you imagine a school not allowing a student that discretion?  Or prayer during down time or private time, as mentioned above, that doesn’t interfere with instruction.

Maybe democrats here in Carolina would have gone with this view of the law, but they haven’t in all the time they’ve held the house, the senate or the governor’s mansion.

Religion In The State


My take on the separation of church and state is that we don’t want to create a national religion that would allow the leaders of the church to be the leaders of the state.  As was the case when folks first left England for the “new land”.  At that time, the King of England was also the head of the Church of England.

Of course, over time, here in America we have taken this concept and twisted it to all kinds of silly that now prevents us from offering a prayer before graduation, before a football game.  It prevents kids from singing Christmas carols during winter concerts.  Local governments are unable to display mangers.

Not, in my opinion, the intent.

Mississippi seems to be going the other way in an equal manner:

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a bill that could lead to student-led prayer over school intercoms or at graduations or sporting events.

It says all school districts must adopt a policy to allow a “limited public forum” at school events such as football games or morning announcements, to let students express religious beliefs. The policy must include a disclaimer that such student speech “does not reflect the endorsement, sponsorship, position or expression of the district.”

In the same way and manner that I don’t think that we should forbid coaches from holding a small prayer before hitting the hardwoods, I don’t think that we should be mandating a forum either.

However, when we begin to legislate stuff like this we end up with all kinds of twisted and tortured legislation that, when boiled down, is really meant to say, “Just leave me alone!”

My hope that this might just be a good common sense codified is the ACLU’s response:

Bear Atwood, legal director for ACLU of Mississippi, says the group will wait to see if there’s proselytizing in schools before deciding whether to file a lawsuit.

What else can ya expect from a dude named “Bear”?

Religious Freedom: Double Standard

When I think of the proper separation of church and state I think of the concept of the institutions.  I really think the intent of the separation came about because back in the history of the founding, the head of England was also the head of the church.  They were, in many respects, the same.

This lead to the condition where the official function of state was to discourage, and even make it illegal to practice, other religions.  I don’t think it was the goal of the time to make sure government didn’t contain religion, only that it not BE religion. There are numerous instances of examples of this belief.

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