Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Moment of Silence

One thing the religious and the media consistently fail to mention is that there are many school districts in the U.S. that are ignoring the Supreme Court's ruling on school prayer to this very day.  Every now and then, one of them gets into the news, but the story seems to be too unimportant to warrant much coverage in the eyes of the media and quickly fades away.  (This is a problem with our media.  As profit seeking enterprises, they tend to cover stories that are popular rather than stories that matter.  But, that will be the subject of another post.)  Anyone who spends any time conversing with atheists knows that there are many places in the U.S. where the law is being flouted.

The religious who understand (just a little) that they have lost the battle for school prayer sometimes advance the idea that there could be a "moment of silence" every morning during which kids could pray if they wanted.  I think that this would obviously be simply the nose of the camel under the tent--the rest of the camel will follow quickly.  If the religious already violate the law frequently when no organized prayer is supposed to be allowed, what will happen if they are given a legal fig leaf like the moment of silence?  Obviously, the violations of the law will simply increase because it will be more difficult to bring legal action.

Even if the law regarding the "moment of silence" were followed to the letter, the same situation would be created with regard to the poor child or children who don't belong to the dominant local religion.  The only thing that would change would the absence of a voice over the intercom reciting prayer.

This is not an area where abuses should be tolerated.  We don't have a special "moment of hesitation" rule for red lights at busy intersections.  There is no "fudge factor".  Frankly, compared to freedom of religion, speech, and thought (all of which are implicated in school prayer situations), traffic laws are trivial.  The idea of a "fudge factor" in that situation is even less acceptable that the "moment of hesitation" at red lights.

School prayer infringes on the most basic rights of children.  For that reason alone every decent person should be up in arms to prevent it.  But that is not the half of it.  Worse yet is that the continued brainwashing of children threatens our civilization and maybe even the very existence of humanity.  Those children will grow up to vote and to seek positions of power and try to put their crazy ideas into effect.  A democracy with a huge nuclear arsenal where a large number of voters are looking forward to the end of the world and think death isn't real but is only a prelude to eternal life clearly represents a danger to all humanity.

The ascent of Christianity to political power in the 4th century led to the downfall of civilization and more than a thousand years of darkness for mankind.  Modern Theocrats speak openly of the Enlightment being a bad thing and make no secret of the fact that they actually yearn for a nuclear holocaust and a return to the dark ages (though this time with better weapons).  Of course, they don't think it will be a dark age; they think baby Jesus will re-appear. 

Consider for a moment the plight of non-believing children and members of religious minorities living in the bible belt of the U.S. where religious intolerance is encouraged.  Imagine yourself as one of those children.  (This is essentially the problem with religious people and why I now realize that it they are emotionally disturbed:  They cannot perform this simple act of empathy and imagine how such children must feel.)

Imagine you are at the football game mentioned in the story below and you are not a member of the dominant religion.  After the announcement about "voluntary" prayer, what do you do?  Do you continue to sit in your seat while everyone else goes to the end of the field to pray?  How do you think that will make you feel?  How do you think the others will treat you in the future?  As you contemplate being the only (or one of the few) who doesn't go to pray, do you not think that the idea will occur to you that you have to go and pretend to pray or else they will run you out of town? 

This is the result of having a "moment of silence":

Prayer Breaks Out At Soddy Daisy Football Game
Despite Caution From County School Superintendent
posted October 22, 2010

Click to Enlarge
Prayer broke out after all at the Soddy Daisy High School football game on Friday night.

After the Freedom From Religion group of Madison, Wis., protested, County School Supt. Dr. Jim Scales instructed Soddy Daisy High School Principal John Maynard to no longer have prayers over the loudspeaker prior to football games.

Mr. Maynard said he would comply.

The Trojans were on the road against Rhea County in Dayton on Friday night.

A fan gave this account:

"The stadium announcer made a respectful remark that everyone should be aware of what had taken place in the Hamilton County School system this week and to honor Dr. Jim Scales' wishes they were asking anyone who wished to participate that they could meet on the field with the players of both teams for prayer.

"Both sides of the stadium emptied and joined the teams, bands and cheerleaders for a heart-felt prayer led by a female student from Rhea County High School."

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