The purpose of Our Conscience weblog is to facilitate a greater discussion and understanding of church and state separation in our community and in others. Underlying this is the value that each individual should be allowed to follow the dictates of his or her own conscience without influence, coercion, or direction from the State when it comes to matters of religion.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Joplin Globe Editorial Watch

From today's editorial pages of the Joplin Globe: "The ACLU was the first to use the term 'separation of church and state,' words that cannot be found in our Constitution, but they have convinced thousands of liberal judges that it is there."

Has the ACLU really convinced judges to interpret part of the Constitution that doesn't exist? Lets see what the judges say: "Because of the prohibition of the First Amendment against the enactment of any law "respecting an establishment of religion," which is made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment, state officials may not compose an official state prayer and require that it be recited in the public schools of the State at the beginning of each school day - even if the prayer is denominationally neutral and pupils who wish to do so may remain silent or be excused from the room while the prayer is being recited." ENGEL v. VITALE, 370 U.S. 421 (1962)

"The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that each display violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment because each has the impermissible effect of endorsing religion. [492 U.S. 573, 579] 842 F.2d 655 (1988). We agree that the creche display has that unconstitutional effect but reverse the Court of Appeals' judgment regarding the menorah display. ALLEGHENY COUNTY v. GREATER PITTSBURGH ACLU, 492 U.S. 573 (1989)

From yesterday's Joplin Globe editorial pages: "Parents should teach their children to obey the rules. One of the rules at present is no prayer in school. The children of Christians obey the rules and do their praying outside of school."

Of course, children may pray in schools. What is not permited is teachers, school boards, and state congressman writting and directing prayers. The students have the freedom to pray without influence from the State.


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