Friday, August 22, 2008

Wylie, Texas School Board - breaking the law for Jesus

[Photo is of the "Christian" community, Wylie, Texas]

I've told this story before, but it is applicable again. The junior high school attended by my youngest daughter in a Houston suburb included prayers to Jesus as part of their daily morning announcements. I protested to the principal, pointing out that such prayers were illegal and that I didn't wish my daughter exposed to them.

The principal basically told me to bug off. He didn't care if what he was doing was against the law or not. He would continue to praise Jesus in the morning.

Unscrewingtheinscrutable pointed me to another Texas story...this one from the town of Wylie, a little burg near Dallas/Ft. Worth.

"Imagine the surprise of the Wylie, TX School Board trustees when during a bond meeting, School board member Ralph James tried to begin the meeting with a recitation of ... The Lord's Prayer. He had got out 'Our Father...' when bond committee member Mikki Lewis stood up and said very loudly, 'Excuse me?'"

While Ms. Lewis' husband is a Roman Catholic, Ms. Lewis is Jewish. She said " wasn't on the agenda, and it surprised me. I wasn't there to pray or practice my religion."

The committee, wanting to play "fair," elected to hold a "moment of silence" rather than a prayer. That really didn't solve the problem for Ms. Lewis so she wrote to the superintendent in order to facilitate some sort of discussion as to the place of prayer at a School Board meeting.

The superintendent did not respond, but one of the School Board trustees, Sue Nicklas, did, and here's what she wrote, in part (read it and weep, you lovers of inclusiveness and our Constitution):

"I must share with you first and formost (sic) that there are many people who are praying for you. In ten years as a trustee of the Wylie school board, you're the first parent to complain about a prayer, and the very first person in my 68 years that has ever had the audasity (sic) to interrupt God and one of His children in prayer."

Ms. Nicklas also said that the agenda for school board meetings wasn't set by Ms. Lewis. "We are elected by the people ... in the community," said Ms. Nicklas. Furthermore, Wylie is a Christian community.

Therefore, said Ms. Nicklas, "You go with the culture and customs of the community."

We have done a mighty poor job teaching American history, civics, and the Constitution in the United States, for Ms. Nicklas is not unusual, but represents millions of people who consider themselves to be "patriotic" Americans while at the same time denying the fundamental principles upon which the nation was based. (These principles were NOT the Ten Commandments!)

As Brent Rasmussen put it to Ms. Nicklas at unscrewingtheinscrutable: "Christianity isn't 'more equal' than every other religion out there, and because of the First Amendment, U.S. citizens have a reasonable expectation that we won't be preached at by our elected officials. Quite frankly, no one gives a flying fudge sickle about your self-righteous proclamation about 'many people praying for' Mrs. Lewis. Jesus! How arrogant can a person get anyway?

"...Sue: You don't get to be 'more equal' than everyone else. You don't get to have the privilege of including your own personal wacky religious rituals in public meetings. Period. The end. Yes, yes, even if you have the wink-wink nod-nodded at it for 10 years. Just because you and your fellow Christian theocrats have been breaking the law for ten years does not magically make it legal."

I think that sorta says it all. Be aware, though, that what happened in Wylie happens all over our country every single day schools are in session.

It would probably be wise, therefore, that you're damn careful not to interrupt God and one of His children at prayer!

Rasmussen's entire article is here.


Anonymous said...

I agree that such things do go on all over the USA.
What would happen if the majority happened to be of some religion, other than a Christian one and meetings started with an unfamiliar prayer? There is a reason for separating church and state. We see what countries that do not separate them are like. Anyone think they could live in an Islamic country, like Saudi Arabia, where no churches are allowed? (They do not allow Jews to live there at all.) I do not know how they feel about Hindus or others, but suspect they are not welcome either. Does anyone think the Taliban would allow “others” to pray in public?
When we discourage minorities from living here, we lose whatever they bring to our nation. Once we decide that Christians can pray, the next step is to eliminate some of the over two thousand Christian denominations from our public life. I am not sure I would like to sit thru a meeting where it opened with snake handling, which is an acceptable form of Christian devotion, but not for me.
Why can’t members of the audience simply pray inside their heads anywhere, anytime? Jesus seemed to think it was desirable to do so but not too many want to actually do as Jesus said. They prefer to tell us what they say. Do they have so little faith, that they need an audience to approve of their prayers or to prove they are ok?
Bob Poris

Tommy Korioth said...

Please God, save us from your followers.

Anonymous said...

Why can atheist just admit they are afraid of burning in Hell, so they think that if they make God go away, everything will be alright. Why else would you attack someones believe. That not a very chris...atheist thing to do.

Jacob said...

This has nothing to do with atheism or Christianity. I'd try to reason with you, but it's obvious from your comment you are not amenable to reason.

Actually, the only thing any sane person, no matter what their religion or lack or it, can do with your comment is laugh uproariously.

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