Revolt in Kentucky

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.

One wonders if the same commentator would be equally offended by recent commencement addresses by Jodie Foster or Thomas Wolfe, comments certain to 'margenalize' a number of listeners.

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.

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4 Responses to Revolt in Kentucky

  1. ridere says:

    Great job guys…

  2. darton says:

    Very needed information found here, thank you for your work

  3. DOLORES VAUGHT says:

    Jesus was not fond of public prayer –see verses 5 and 6:

    Matthew 6

    Giving to the Needy
    1″Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
    2″So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
    3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
    4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
    Prayer
    5″And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
    6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
    7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
    8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

  4. DOLORES VAUGHT says:

    Schools violate the Constitution when they do not allow students religious freedom.Please read the following article and also make your school districts aware of the law. Your church leaders need to pass this on to the congregants because their children in public school are being stiffled in ther religious expression:

    Buffalo News, The (NY)

    April 9, 2007

    A teachable moment

    Syracuse fights an already-settled spat over religious expression in schools

    Edition: Central
    Section: Editorial Page
    Page: A6

    Index Terms:
    SCHOOLS STUDENTS FREEDOM OF SPEECH COURTSEditorials

    Estimated printed pages: 2

    Article Text:

    People whose job it is to explain increasingly complicated concepts to young children might, indeed, have a little difficulty getting the idea of individual free speech across to a third-grader. It shouldn’t have been so difficult for the third-grader to explain it to the school board.

    Yet then-little Michaela Bloodgood had to drag the Liverpool School District in suburban Syracuse through a two-year federal court battle in order to get it across to the grown-ups that individual religious expression in schools, as opposed to school-sponsored preaching, is clearly allowed.

    For the Liverpool schools to assume that the “Jesus made me stronger” religious musings of a third-grader, distributed to a few friends on the Nate Perry Elementary School playground, would be widely seen as an official school endorsement of an individual’s faith betrayed a stunning lack of, well, faith in their community’s ability to understand, and the district’s ability to explain, the clear law of the land.

    Wouldn’t that have been a teachable moment?

    A simple Google search by school district officials would have discovered many copies of generally accepted policies adopted by everyone from the U.S. Department of Education to the American Civil Liberties Union, from the Freedom Forum to major Christian, Islamic and Jewish religious groups. That would have been much less adversarial, and a lot cheaper, than the court battle that Michaela, now a home-schooled sixth-grader, just has won.

    These policies make it clear that, while the school administration and faculty are not to endorse or degrade any religious belief, neither are they to stand in the way of individual religious expression whenever it does not detract from class time or disrupt the educational environment. In Michaela’s case, U.S. District Court Judge Norman Mordue ruled that the school’s policy amounted to a violation of the girl’s constitutional rights.

    Students may write term papers about Moses as easily as they write them about Lincoln. They may gather for before- or after-school religious groups as well as for the chess club or to organize fundraisers. They may wear T-shirts that feature Jesus as easily as those that worship LeBron James.

    It is conceivable, as the district argued, that some young students might be made to feel uncomfortable upon exposure to an unfamiliar idea. But easing that discomfort, promoting the concept that even young minds do not have to think alike, is part of this, or any, school district’s job. If educators don’t feel up to it, they shouldn’t hide behind a warped interpretation of the law. They should find another line of work.

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