“Disregarding the advice of their own attorneys, board members of the Clark County School District on Thursday refused to consider deleting a regulation regarding prayer at graduation ceremonies.
Administrators said the move could jeopardize $70 million in federal funding, and officials with the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada said it could leave the district and individual board members vulnerable to legal action.
Board members Sheila Moulton, Ruth Johnson and Denise Brodsky voted not to take the first step toward eliminating a portion of a district regulation that says high school students, under certain conditions, may include an invocation or benediction at graduation ceremonies. The policy stipulates that the prayer would be led by a student volunteer.”—ReviewJournal.com
You’d think that after decades of lawsuits and Supreme Court decisions on the topic of prayer in school events that the issue would be pretty cut and dry by now, but there are folks who still insist on inserting religion where it doesn’t belong. The argument this time is a familiar one; the old “eliminating the regulation would hinder students’ freedom of expression” argument. Which it doesn’t, because students and family members can pray all they want at graduations as individuals or small groups. Why do these people feel they have to force a captive audience to participate in their religious practices? Why is it so important that they lead everyone in prayer at a graduation ceremony? What is it they think this will accomplish other than promoting their own religious viewpoints at the expense of others? Do they honestly want to make people with minority belief systems feel alienated and resentful? Or do they just not give a shit?
Tell you what, I’ll be happy to listen to your prayers if you’re willing to sit down and smile sweetly while I stand up and read a few versus from the Atheist’s Manifesto. Then we’ll hear a few passages from the Koran and then perhaps the Jewish folks would like to get in on the action and we can’t forget the Wiccans cause I’m sure they have something worthwhile to share at such a special time and then we should make time for any other religious groups who feel the need to lead a captive audience through whatever religious rituals they deem appropriate. Sound fair? Should only stretch the proceedings out by an extra day or so worth of time.
Or we could all agree to keep our religions (or lack thereof) to ourselves long enough to celebrate the fact that our kids have graduated school and then go home where we can engage in whatever rituals or prayers we want with those who are most likely to appreciate them. Simple, fair, and no controversy.