IJMC Politically Correct Prayer in School

                IJMC - Politically Correct Prayer in School

I think I could support prayer in school after reading something like 
this. If state-supported prayer had existed like this in school, I do 
believe I would have enjoyed it...but what next? State-supported sex in 
school? Naaah, not in this religious climate. Not yet.            -dave


 Item #    3                          Posted By: lynne edel
 Subject: religion, cross-posted...     Sent To: All
 Date   : Tue 16-apr-1996 7:42am

Sunday April 14 1996 01:10, ryan shaw wrote to Charles Rollins:

 CR> no prayers allowed at graduation,

rs> You are failing to make a distinction here.  No one is prohibited from
rs> praying at a graduation, in a school, etc.  What is prohibited is a school
rs> mandating a prayer.  This makes perfect sense to me, as there are many
rs> religions as well as nonreligions to take into consideration.  It is
rs> easier to exclude all of them rather than having school sponsored
rs> Christian prayers, muslim prayers, hindu prayers, etc.  After all, schools
rs> are for education, not religion.  Religion belongs in the churches and
rs> homes of the people that choose to take part in it.

 Here's the solution...

                  Politically Correct Prayer in School

  "Let's quiet down, children. Now that we've finally gotten rid of that
terrible Supreme Court decision, I can again lead you in prayer.
  "So children, let's get ready for our morning prayer. Did everyone
remember to bring their chicken?

  "Mary, where is your chicken? That's all right, Mary. Don't cry. As I
told you yesterday, if you can't afford a chicken, the school is required to
provide one. I've got plenty of extra chickens up here by the prayer mats,
meditation crystals and peyote buds. Did anyone else forget to bring their

   "As you know from your schedule, children, today I will lead you in a
Santeria prayer. It's a recognized, ancient religion. Now I know some of you
have complained that many of these prayers don't represent your beliefs. But
remember, they do represent the sincere beliefs of many Americans. I promise
you that eventually we will lead the class in a prayer representing your own

  "But you'll have to be patient. There are hundreds of Christian
denominations with all sorts of beliefs in the United States.  And there are
hundreds more non-Christian religions recognized in America.  If your
religion isn't on our list, just let us know and we'll make sure it's added.
We don't want to leave anyone out. That's not the American way.

  "Be thankful.

  "Everyone knows that you have never been prevented from praying in
school, but for years you were denied having teachers and principals lead
you in prayer. You should be thankful.

  "Johnnie, I don't know what you're doing to that chicken, but stop it.
You need to straighten up and be serious. This is important. If it were not
important, then why did 224 Texas counties and 51 Texas cities go to the
trouble to pass resolutions supporting the reinstatement of state-sponsored
prayer in our public schools?  I'll tell you why, because lots and lots of
people said the loss of state-sponsored prayers led to drug use, crime,
violence, teenage pregnancy, dropouts, family disintegration, child-abuse,
pornography, racism, poor academic achievement, overcrowded prisons and lots
of other bad things.

 "Before we start, remember that tomorrow we will have a traditional Wicca
prayer and we'll try to cast a spell on the press. Remember to bring a lock
of your mother's hair.

 "Johnnie, keep that chicken quiet. What is it, Lucy? If you want me to
tell you when I will lead you in a prayer of your religion, you'll have to
tell me what it is. You can't look at someone and tell their personal
beliefs. Unitarian?

 "What's coming up . . .

 "Let's see, coming up we have Christian Science, Amish, Tibetan Buddhism,
Seventh-Day Adventist, Comanche, Zoroastrianism, Druze, Calvinist Baptist,
Unification, Hasidism and Deliverance Pentacostal.  That one should be
interesting. I think that's when you bring a rattlesnake and a cup of

 "I don't see it coming up right away, Lucy. Let's see, we have the
Reformed Druids of North America, American Vegan, Shanti Yoga, Evangelical
Presbyterian, Baha'i World Faith, Gnostic Orthodox, House of Yahweh, Agasha
Temple of Wisdom, Church of Metaphysical Christianity, Jain Meditation,
Catholic Charismatic, People of Destiny, Branch Davidian, Coptic Fellowship,
Church of Satan....

 "I don't know, Lucy. It doesn't look like Unitarian is coming up any time
soon. But if we don't lead you in a prayer of your own church or religion
this year, the government requires that we lead you in a prayer of your
religion at least once before you graduate. This way, it's fair for

 "OK, kids, on the count of three, yank the heads off your chickens and
I'll start today's prayer...."

IJMC September 1996 Archives