Reprinted from March 4 with correction and further minor editing
President Trump’s recent statements and actions regarding school prayer change nothing. Nobody has “taken prayer out of our schools,” a claim falsely iterated by all too many uninformed conservatives.
The Supreme Court has ruled, and properly so, that agents of government, including employees and administrators of public schools, may not endorse any one religion by prescribing or administering prayer or other religious exercises to be carried out in the public schools under direction and control of school (government) authorities.
There is glaring inconsistency on the part of those who, on the one hand, want the government to stay out of our private and personal lives.
On the other hand, they are willing to let that same government prescribe for our minor children in their custody when to pray, where to pray, to whom to pray, for what to pray, and in whose name to pray.
There is nothing
more personal than the relationship between a person and his/her God. However, the would-be theocrats who contend for “putting God and prayer back in the schools” seem comfortable with permitting governemt to invade and supplant that very private and personal relationship
When prayer or other religious exercises are devised and voluntarily led and participated in by public school students, they are constitutionally permissible. It is deceitful to ignore this highly significant aspect of school prayer by blithely and falsely claiming that prayer in the nation’s public schools has somehow been prohibited.