Prayer in Public Schools (USA): The Facts
by The Last Liberal

During my once-a-month sojourns into town for groceries, I also visit the local library to check my e-mail. Last Thursday I was sitting on a stool in the library's computer desk going through my e-mail when a teenager sat down at the computer next to me. After about half-an-hour I heard him comment at me, very loudly, about a web page he was reading: he lamented the "fact" that students such as he are not allowed to pray in school. Naturally I ignored him. After a few more minutes he wailed at me, even louder, about how oppressed and abused he was because he not only wasn't allowed to pray in school, but would be punished if he did.

I turned to him and saw that he was red of face, angry, anxious, and agitated. "You should read this!" he yelled at me (though I was a mere two feet away). I thought to myself "Why the hell pick on me?!" since I was a complete stranger; I suppose he wanted my approval; maybe I was seen as a father figure; or maybe he was just lonely. I looked at the web page he was viewing and noticed that he had been reading a religious tract from a well-known, well-funded Fundamentalist Christian cult.

I took pity on the kid and said (paraphrased: I don't remember my exact words) "You have nothing to worry about: that cult is lying to you. Please understand that you are allowed to pray in school whenever you wish, any moment you wish, for as long as you wish. You will not be punished; no one will care; no one will know; no one will stop you; you have every right to pray in school." I then went back to reading my e-mail, hopeful that he would leave me alone.

He was not cheered, not relieved, by my news; he got angrier, and more agitated. "NO I'M NOT!" he yelled at me, disturbing nearly everyone in the library. I ignored him; he continued to glare at me with rage and hatred. He spent the next half-hour hammering on the keyboard in front of him, squealing and grunting in rage at every new web page he read from the cult's web site.

To say the least, I was very happy and relieved when he eventually stomped angrily out of the library.

It greatly saddened me, however, that he was not relieved and consoled by my telling him the truth about students praying in school. He wanted so very desperately to be oppressed; wanted so very much to feel violated, put upon, abused, misused, injured; wanted very much to be a victim of "the system."

On the drive back to my forest retreat, I thought about the unhappy kid and how badly he had been treated by the cult and the lies he had read. I realized that he had been abused; had been victimized: he had been, and was being, used as a pawn by political sycophants in their bid for inflicting theocracy upon society and the citizenry. And like a pawn, that young man might spend many years being a puppet, a programmed robot, in the army of the night before he wakes up to the truth (if he ever does).

When Fundamentalist Christians tell people that school prayer has been made illegal, they have committed a massive crime against the soul of each and every person who believes them; when these cults tell people that school prayer is prohibited, every one of their victims who believes the lie has been grossly violated.

It is my hope, here on this web page, to share the good news with other students and parents, citizens and teachers, school boards and boards of education; I wish to herein ease my reader's concerns regarding praying in public school by sharing with them the facts to replace ignorance and misinformation they may hold.

Everyone who is worried, or angry, with their belief that they and / or their children are not allowed to pray in school, will be greatly relieved and gladdened to learn the following facts.

THE FACTS ABOUT SCHOOL PRAYER:

1) It is not against the law for students to pray in public school.

2) It is not against the law for teachers to pray in public school.

3) No one has "taken prayer out of school."

4) No one wants to "take prayer out of school."

5) No one will ever "take prayer out of school."

6) It is fundamentally impossible to "take prayer out of school."

7) The United States Constitution protects every student's right to pray in school.

8) The United States Constitution protects every teacher's right to pray in school.

9) The government has never violated a student's Constitutionally-recognized right to pray in school.

10) The government has never violated a teacher's Constitutionally-recognized right to pray in school.

11) A student may pray in school whenever she or he wishes.

12) A teacher may pray in school whenever she or he wishes.

13) Millions of students and teachers currently pray in public schools every school day; no law says they may not; no law says they must cease praying.

14) The right of anyone and everyone to pray in school not only still exists, but is not in any way in danger of being revoked, unrecognized, or otherwise annulled.

The above are the facts as they currently exist (Monday, July 12, 2004) in the United States Public School System. (Indeed, there is every reason to think that this will continue to be the case for a very, very long time.) If anyone tells you that the above facts are wrong, that person is lying to you or is mistaken.

Some people will claim that "Prayer was removed from public school" by the United States Supreme Court (in July of the year +1,963 GC): that is a false and absurd claim. The decision of Murray v. Curlett did no such thing; the High Court's decision in Abington v. Schempp (heard at the same time) did no such thing; the Court specifically recognized, defended, and affirmed a student's right to pray in school. (See 374 U.S. 203, 83 S. Ct. 1560. Number 119, Argued Feb. 27, 1963 Decided June 17, 1963, Justice Clark concurring SECTION FOUR.) If anyone tells you otherwise, that person is either lying or mistaken.

No law, no legislation, no Act, has been put in place to make it against the law for people to pray in public school; no such law is being considered; no one is trying to enact such law. If anyone tells you otherwise, that person is lying or mistaken.

This, I trust, will reassure, hearten, and ease the fears of anyone who believes they and their children may not pray in public school: you may do so; they may do so; there is no law prohibiting school prayer.