Sunday, November 17, 2013

Some Background on School Prayer

But you have to look at the background on this. Our country was initially populated by people escaping religious persecution who were looking for a safe have to practice their own religion. When we came together as a country, we had a religiously diverse population, so when we wrote the constitution, we had to say that the government would not support any religion at the expense of others, nor would it prohibit the free exercise of religion. 

Prayer in public schools was a complicated issue where there was a religious diversity amongst students and teachers, because, how could, say, Catholics and Protestants agree on a prayer to say. Now, we are talking about a school-sponsored prayer. No student-sponsored prayer is, or needs to be, prohibited. But in the Cold War, America was distinguishing itself from a Communist enemy that was known to be atheistic. So, the school district in New York decided to develop a prayer which they thought anyone who believed in God could pray. (Those of you who pray, do you ever pray generic prayers?) 

Interestingly, it wasn't the atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair who sued the school district to stop this, it was some Jewish parents, who thought that the prayers said in school would not be considered appropriate for Jewish students to pray. The Supreme Court said that it violated the establishment clause of the Constitution to have this prayer, even though the prayer was a generic prayer. 

24 comments:

im-skeptical said...

The thing I find difficult to understand is why anyone would want school-sponsored prayer in public schools. It doesn't matter what you believe. Why would you want government-sponsored religious practice of any kind? And why wouldn't religious people be satisfied to have their own religious practice outside the public school?

Victor Reppert said...

I think people think that they are being prevented from practicing religion in a public context. There is actually a lot of factual conclusion about what the school prayer issue was actually about.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

Piety and reverence are Virtues. The first public schools were created by the Doric Greeks some 2700 years ago. The Spartans called their public school "The Agoge". Religion, piety, prayer was integral to the education of Spartans. Spartans were a very pious people. Virtue is the excellence of human conduct. Piety is that. To show reverence to the diety is a PUBLIC function.

It is to give respect to the diety and in turn the diety blesses his people and protects them. It is a relationship.

For IM skeptical, in the Roman Republic, public officials carried on religious duties as matter of State policy and duty. It is the duty of the state to conduct religious duties. Roman law was divided into two classes, res divina and res publica. Cicero at one point had religious duties. Those religious practices ensured Roman success.

Why Christians have school prayer is because God sends His Grace upon the people and The Good can only be accomplished by God's Grace. By reverencing God, God blesses and bestows grace upon the supplicants. Prayer is about establishing and maintaining a relationship with God. Christians recognize the need to have God's grace and Christian practice is always to begin any activity with prayer to invoke God's blessings and grace and enlightenment and protection. God is active in the human sphere at all times.

im-skeptical said...

So you think religion should be a government function? And whatever they declare to be the official religious practice is what you should do?

W.LindsayWheeler said...

Church and State went together throughout Western Culture and civilization. In the Doric and Roman republics, religion was an integral to the state. In ancient Egypt, Sumeria, Babylonia, and Assyria, religion and state went together. That was the STANDARD, NORMAL way things were.

The so-called "Enlightenment" changed all that. Most of the movers of the "Enlightenment" were Atheists. It was these atheists, along with other groups, that came to the conclusion of seperating Church from State in order to destroy the "Old Order"; to destroy the hegemony of the Roman Catholic Church.

Seperation of Church and State is an ABNORMALITY in Western Culture and Civilization. It is an Innovation. Really, it is a sign of the death of Western Civilization and a transformation into another culture and civilization; a liberal, atheist civilization.

Unity is very important. What about the seperation of Marxism from state? Yet in America Marxism, which is Jewish ideology, is wedded to the State. Why is that? Something is always wedded to the state, either religion or ideology. The creators of the modern world, want ideology to rule and so have done away with religion. Ideology has replaced religion. Political Correctness is enforced in the State and at the University and college. Groupthink is enforced. And Politically INcorrect people, who commit "thought crimes", are punished and are in a sense "heretics". Reactionaries are deemed enemies of the state and genocided. Read Engels. Man has religion, or pseudo-religion called ideology. One or the other ALWAYS rules. You're just decieved if you think there is some kind of neutral ground. There is none.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

To Imskeptical who writes: "So you think religion should be a government function? And whatever they declare to be the official religious practice is what you should do

Yes. I'm a Roman Catholic of the Old Order. Yes, most certainly.

After the fall of the Western half of the Roman Empire, Christians formed Christian societies and religion was very public and part of the state. Church and State went together.

People create societies. Religious people create these Church and State.

The central core of Western Culture and civilization is that Church and State went together, from the Doric Greeks on the island of Crete, the Doric Greeks of Laconia (i.e. the Spartans), the Romans. Then the Byzantine Empire that lasted a 1000 years as a Christian state and all the Catholic monarchies of Christendom.

The Atheist "Enlightement" was about destroying Christendom.

Everybody needs to be on the same sheet of music because society is much like an ochrestra. In a Catholic society, even atheists and Jews should learn the rudiments of what Catholicism teaches so that there is so that they can understand what the majority Christians are doing. There has to be unity of premises. Even if you don't agree, there has to be a Standard, a commonality. You may not accept the standard or commonality as a minority, but it is necessary to Understand the standard and recognize that.

This is why America is so fractured and is collapsing. Everybody is on a different standards.

How many DOS programs can a computer operate on simultaneously? Only one at a time. America is a like a computer that has 40 different DOS programs running simultaneously.

No device, and no organism, and society is a living organism, can operate on such circumstances.

Religion is the Soul of the body politic. Just like a human being is both body and soul, any society has body and soul, i.e. religon. Now, in the modern world, it is "ideology" and State.

im-skeptical said...

So shall we make it Jehova Witness, or would you prefer Islam?

W.LindsayWheeler said...

From the pseudo-Aristolelian book Virtues and Vices, Loeb edition:

"To righteousness it belongs to be ready to distribute according to desert, and to preserve ancestral customs and traditions and the established laws, and to tell the truth when interest is at stake, and to keep agreements. First among the claims of righteousness are our duties to the gods, then our duties to the spirits, then those to country and parents, then those to the departed; and among these claims is piety, which is either a part of righteousness or a concomitant of it. Righteousness is also accompanied by holiness and truth and loyalty and hatred of wickedness".

Righteousness is a Virtue. The essence of righteousness is Duty. As the individual has a duty to God to give him his due, so does the state. Religion is NOT a private matter--never was. Religion was always public and communal. Religion, especially among the European pagans was always communal. This tradition is carried over in Roman Catholicism.

What is happening is that Marxism, cultural Marxism, is being imposed from above upon us all. Any community and the elite of that community imposes its values upon the society. This happens at all times and everywhere. Christians are prodded to pray constantly. When Christians gather, they pray communally. It is just the way things are. What we are seeing is that the elite of America, being Freemasons, atheists, and Marxists are imposing their "non-religion" and their purposeful disrespect towards God on the population at large. It is an "Enlightenment" teaching.

America is being transformed from a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant country to Marxist global multicultural country.

im-skeptical said...

LindsayWheeler,

You didn't sat which religion should be imposed on us by the government. I suppose you'd be perfectly happy if it happens to be yours. But what if it's not? And what kind of penalties should be imposed for those who don't care to go along? Oftentimes, states that impose religion, also have severe punishment for non-believers or for blasphemers.

Ilíon said...

VR: "... so when we wrote the constitution, we had to say that the government would not support any religion at the expense of others, ..."

That's *not* what the Constitution says; that's not what what the Constitution says means.

Good night man, how can you be a philosopher if you're content to think-and-speak so sloppily?

oozzielionel said...

The balance is between the free exercise of religion and the establishment of religion. In the past, free exercise included the permission of prayer in various settings. More recently, over fear of favoring one religion over another, prayer in school and other public settings is interpreted as favoring one religion over another, or even more recently, favoring religion over no-religion. This has led to a decrease in the free exercise of religion and an emphasis on limiting all public promotion of anything religious. In June or July we will get another Supreme Court decision that will likely reinforce this movement. I will be surprised if it dials back the momentum.

For a long time free exercise and prohibiting establishment were not in conflict. When establishment was interpreted as a wall of separation, it created a conflict between these two ideals. Now, free exercise will continue to be limited in the name of separation.

Ilíon said...

"Prayer in public schools was a complicated issue where there was a religious diversity amongst students and teachers, because, how could, say, Catholics and Protestants agree on a prayer to say."

The reason there are Catholic parochial schools in America is because the public schools of a century and more ago were "too Protestant".

"But in the Cold War, America was distinguishing itself from a Communist enemy that was known to be atheistic. So, the school district in New York decided to develop a prayer which they thought anyone who believed in God could pray."

There was prayer in American public schools long before the Cold War -- and also Bible reading, and not just as "comparative literature".

What was happening in the Cold War was the application to American schools of the New Deal fascistic ideal of consolidation and "top down" management. The schools were changed from being expressions of the local community to organs of the Central (and omnicompetent) State ... schools became indoctrination centers for The State, rather than citizen-forming tools of the community.

As far as "prayer in the schools" relates to the Cold War: men who didn't really believe in prayer, and certainly didn't belive in submitting *themselves* to God, figured it would be "good for the kids" ... thinking it would make them better cogs in the machine serving The State.

"(Those of you who pray, do you ever pray generic prayers?)"

Of course not.

==============
You know, it's time, and past time, for Separation of School and State.

BenYachov said...

W.LindsayWheeler ladies and gentlemen!

He believes black people should not be allowed to vote & said so on Feser's blog.

Feser of course at the time told him to take his crap elsewhere.

>Yes. I'm a Roman Catholic of the Old Order. Yes, most certainly.

This guy is not "Catholic". Sounds like he belongs to some Old Catholic fringe sect.

im-skeptical said...

"You know, it's time, and past time, for Separation of School and State."

The wonderful thing about our country is that you are absolutely free to send your child to any private school or indoctrination center you like. You can brainwash him with any religious or ideological dogma you choose. Just don't expect the support of the state in doing so, and please don't try to impose your brand of ideology on the rest of us.

mrhambre said...

What we are seeing is that the elite of America, being Freemasons, atheists, and Marxists are imposing their "non-religion" and their purposeful disrespect towards God on the population at large. It is an "Enlightenment" teaching.

And it's obvious that you want nothing to do with Enlightenment.

Ilíon said...

"And it's obvious that you want nothing to do with Enlightenment."

No sane man does want to have anything to do with that amusingly misnamed movement.

HyperEntity111 said...

Quick question: Can anyone point me towards an Aristotelian/Thomistic argument against gay marriage by a professional philosopher? Preferably written in very clear language with numbered premises.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

America is a "Novus Ordo". It is a New Order based on the teachings of the so-called atheistic "Enlightenment". Thomas Jefferson, son of the Enlightenment, saw no reason that America couldn't have Hindus or Muslims or both. America is a creation of Freemasonry which furthers the ideology of Jewish Messianism of Ben Yachov' kinsmen of rebuilding the Tower of Babel. America is the Tower of Babel. Correct exigesis of this story teaches that God Hated the Tower of Babel and called the unity of man evil.

All things are to be mixed, religion and races, along with miscegenation. In that atomosphere, there can be no establishment of one religion if Hindus, Muslims, Atheists, Jews, Catholics and Protestants live together. It is impossible.

This is why Jefferson wrote on a wall between church and state. America is a Masonic/Enlightenment creation and separation of Church and state is a necessity. And now that some groups have grown bolder, they are now offended by Christian behavior and then demand that Christianity be removed. The Seperation of Church and State is just a reason to destroy Christianity and a Christian society.

mrhambre said...

The Seperation of Church and State is just a reason to destroy Christianity and a Christian society.

How ironic that, although I can't look down any street in Boston without seeing magic stars and the baby Jesus, and though it's getting difficult to avoid the sound of sleigh bells and songs about the baby Jesus, in reality Christianity is under siege and in danger of total destruction.

Gyan said...

"Our country was initially populated by people escaping religious persecution who were looking for a safe have to practice their own religion."

Is it really the best way to put it? Can't it be put like "losers in the wars of religion that roiled England in the wake of collapse of the authority caused by Henry VIII break with the Catholic Church."
or "by the fanatics for whom the compromise Anglican Church was not pure enough".

Bedarz Iliaci said...

BenYachov,
Possible happenings at other blogs are irrelevant here. W.Lindsay Wheeler has commented here to the relevant topic of discussion. You could have tried to refute him. There is no call to bring in extraneous matters. That smacks of Political Correctness.

BenYachov said...

@Bedzard

He is a nutjob, racist and weirdo. Refuting him is as much a waste of time. Like trying to "refute" one of the followers of NAMBLA. Why bother? It's self evident nonsense.


I brought to everyone's attention that Wheeler is a racist who believe Black People should not be allowed to vote.

I am not interested in a conversation with such a person.

BenYachov said...

Also if the rest of you Gnus and or rational Atheists want to waste your time talking to this man. Go ahead but no rational Theist will want to waste our time & on their behalf I say we will have nothing to do with him and his fruitcakery.

im-skeptical said...

I'm still interested in hearing an answer to my original questions: Why would you want government-sponsored religious practice of any kind? And why wouldn't religious people be satisfied to have their own religious practice outside the public school?