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, March 22, 2005

Globe Watch: Gordon W. Thompson, What on Earth?

Gordon Thompson (Globe March 22) tells us that public school students are “forbidden to pray to God out loud” while students are allowed to “shout God’s name in curse words all day long.” Of course the “atheistic judges” get the blame. Here we go again.

In 1962 the Supreme Court ruled that it is impermissible for “state officials” to compose prayers and require that they be recited. They never said students may not pray. They don’t let them cuss, none that I have ever known.

Were the above Justices atheists? Justice Black who wrote the opinion was Baptist. Justice Douglas who wrote a concurring opinion was Presbyterian. The other Justices who voted with the majority were as follows: Justice Clark (Presbyterian), Justice Warren (Protestant), Justice Harlan (Presbyterian), Justice Brennan (Catholic).

Gordon Thompson asks where are the Baptists, Catholics, and Lutherans, etc. on this issue? They have been and are currently well represented on the court that has the final authority to interpret the Establishment Clause that Gordon doesn’t believe exists.


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