Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Response to Kendall(LTE)

“Although the United States of America was founded on the Christian principles our forefathers learned from the Bible, we have rejected God as a nation, and are suffering for it. We have banned God from our schools in the name of political correctness. Prayer is a clandestine activity, and our children have learned, from that, that God is not welcome here. The Ten Commandments, although they are displayed prominently in our nation’s capitol, have been deemed offensive in our schools. I often wonder at the carnage that has been committed in halls that once were decorated with the admonition ‘Thou shalt not kill.’”- Kendall Hemphill, Mason County News 1-2-13

It was only a matter of time, I guess. We had only to wait a little for the predictable knee-jerk to begin, wherein the usual suspects proceed to whip their horse. Almost any excuse will do, but a Massacre of Children seems too delicious to pass up,I guess, for those who would have us go backwards.
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.
That’s Latin, and it’s a Fallacy…it means, “Since B occurred after A, A MUST have Caused B”.
It’s a common fallacy…indeed, it’s likely wired into our brains. This does not make it any more valid.
Prohibition of Prayer, led by Teachers or Administrators, in School no more Caused this recent edition of Carnage by Lunatic, than did a Gay Pride Parade Cause Hurricane Katrina.
In the late 1800’s, in Wisconsin, there was a Public School…and they had Prayer, and Religious Education…as was the norm, at the time.
Problems arose when several Catholic Families had an issue with the particular Bible being used by the school. The District was , apparently, Majority Protestant, and the School used the King James Version….which was a Problem for the Catholic Minority; Their preferred Version of the Bible was the Douay–Rheims Bible...which, according to their Faith, was the Only Correct Version.
(this is known as the Edgerton Bible Case)
Nowhere in Law is a Student or Teacher, School Nurse or Janitor, Prohibited from Exercising their Faith…from Praying. To Prohibit such Individual Prayer would be a Violation of the Right to Exercise portion of the First Amendment.
What IS Prohibited, on the other hand, is Prayer led by a School (Public) Employee, under the auspices of a regular school function.
I’m sorry to inform you that Not Everyone is a Christian…and, among those who are, Not All of them adhere to Mr Hemphill’s Version of that Faith.
Which Doctrine would he impose?
That’s the question.
Majority Rule?
According to City, Mason’ Catholics enjoy a slim Majority(28%), over the Methodists(27%),Baptists(21%), Lutheran(17%) and “Other”(7%).
Whose Bible will we use?
Whose Interpretation?
What about the 7%?
And, remember, from the same data, that only 77% of Mason County Residents Identify as Religious, at all….what about the other 23%? Almost a Quarter of the Local Population!
This is the reason for the Prohibition of Official Prayer in Public Schools. The Founders wisely remembered their European History, all the Wars of Religion, and decided that Government should just stay out of Religion. They also wisely provided Equal Protection for the Individual’s Religious Freedom…to go along with the Public Prohibition. “Public” meaning “Paid for by us” and “Having to do with Our Government”…not standing on the street corner preaching…you can do that…it’s your Right.
You can also tell your kids that they are Free to Pray in School…The Bill of Rights, and the Supreme Court say so.
What they are forbidden, is   Forcing anyone else to join in, or pay them any mind, at all. They also can’t create a “Disruption”…which I think is Reasonable.
Calm  down, please.
The Evidence is all around us, that Christianity is NOT on the Run in the USA.
You just happen to Share the Country with other People, who may believe differently than you do.
It’s called Religious Freedom. The Prohibition on Government Sponsored Religion protects Your Faith, as much as Protects Everyone Else’s.

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