There was a minor revolt recently in Russell Springs Kentucky, at the Russell County High School. A group of about 200 hundred students stood and began to recite the Lord's Prayer during the opening remarks by the Principal; this despite an order by the judge banning prayer at the event. The revolt continued with remarks by senior Megan Chapman, who gave credit to God for her success in life.
Surveying a discussion group about this event revealed a number of typical responses. Those against cited fears of ostracizing the non-religious, while those for brought up the need to defend religious liberties.
One commenter put it this way:
this is the reason we don't support prayer as an institutional feature, because it marginalizes people. and there the kids go, marginalizing people.
to sum, they weren't standing up for their rights because those rights were never in danger. they're creating an in-group/out-group atmosphere, and that's… well, "mean of them" is the most negative term i can use on this forum, but i assure you, i don't like this at all.
Both views I think somewhat miss the mark; I don't think what is at issue here is as much religious concern as much as it is a cultural one. Students, parents, and administrators of a southern Kentucky high school are apt to be be more religious than say those at the University of Pennsylvania. Indeed, the article quotes a resident of the town, saying, "In our little town, we've always had that prayer at commencement…Why not? That's part of our everyday life." I think the students weren't attempting to impose a particular religious belief on anyone as much as they were attempting to keep a belief system, albeit a secular statist one, from being imposed on them.
In the founding of this country our forefathers gave great leeway to the individual states to determine their own courses of action, provided they follow certain limited provisions of our Federal Constitution. There is no indication they intended to impose a monolithic secular culture on the nation, and no reason Federal judges should be attempting to impose one on the citizens of Russell Springs.