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Saturday, Apr. 19, 2014

Thank God, prayer before governmental meetings in Greene County is not unusual

Posted Friday, August 27, 2010, at 9:53 AM

Some would be surprised and others would be delighted to know that several governmental meetings that I cover here in Greene County are opened with a prayer.

Personally, I think it's a good thing and don't have a problem with it whatsoever.

I won't identify the meetings because I don't want the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) legal folks showing up to tell the leaders of those communities and boards that they are violating someone's constitutional rights by opening their meetings with a simple prayer.

How better to make wise, informed decisions than to ask for spiritual guidance.

Our nation's governing bodies were founded on Christian principles and prayer is still recited to open every session of Congress and the U.S. Senate.

The same holds true for the Indiana General Assembly.

The First Amendment addresses the issue: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

I was encouraged that the practice of opening our local municipal meetings with prayer will continue when a federal judge in New York earlier this month rejected a demand from the Americans United for Separation of Church and State that a town board be ordered to change its invocation procedures so that the statements from volunteers on a rotating basis would be more "ecumenical" and "inclusive."

The decision from U.S. District Judge Charles Siragusa said officials in Greece, N.Y., did not violate the Constitution's Establishment Clause with their tradition of opening meetings with an invocation from local clergy members.

"The court finds that the policy requested by plaintiffs would ... impose a state-created orthodoxy," the judge said.

It was a rare victory for prayer over the general rulings in recent years that often have restricted, limited or censored prayers that are offered at the openings of various government meetings, such as city councils, town and county boards and commissions.

The court specifically pointed out that government attempts to mandate watered-down prayers that do not mention a specific deity would violate the First Amendment by placing government in control of the content of prayer.

The court's opinion said the prayers being challenged in the New York case were virtually "indistinguishable" from some recent prayers offered in Congress.

"Congress continues to permit sectarian invocations, as it has since the practice's inception," the opinion explained. "The issue is not whether the prayer is sectarian or nonsectarian, but whether, based on the totality of the circumstances, the prayer is being exploited to advance or disparage a belief, or to associate the government with a particular religion."

I find the judge's ruling refreshing and gives me hope that someday my grandchildren and their children will again be allowed to pray in our public schools. In the meantime, I encourage our local leaders to keep on praying.

While we're talking about prayer in schools, I received an email this week that contained the following eye-opening new school prayer penned by a 15-year-old student from Arizona. There's a lot of truth in it and is depicts a sign of our times, which is not necessarily a good thing.

New School prayer

Now I sit me down in school

Where praying is against the rule

For this great nation under God

Finds mention of Him very odd.

If scripture now the class recites,

It violates the Bill of Rights.

And anytime my head I bow

Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,

That's no offense; it's a freedom scene ...

The law is specific, the law is precise.

Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall

Might offend someone with no faith at all..

In silence alone we must meditate,

God's name is prohibited by the state.

We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,

And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks ...

They've outlawed guns, but first the Bible.

To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,

And the "unwed daddy," our Senior King.

It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong,

We're taught that such "judgments" do not belong ...

We can get our condoms and birth controls,

Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles ...

But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,

No word of God must reach this crowd.

It's scary here I must confess,

When chaos reigns the school's a mess.

So, Lord, this silent plea I make:

Should I be shot; My soul please take!


Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487; by email at schneider.nick@gmail.com; or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/page....

Showing comments in chronological order
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Your progeny already have the ability to pray in school. The school just can't mandate it or lead it. This protects everyone from having to pray in a way he or she doesn't want.

-- Posted by Jarhead98 on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 4:11 PM


-- Posted by cow rancher on Sat, Aug 28, 2010, at 10:42 AM

I feel like calling kids who dress differently freaks is good way to boost teen depression rates.

-- Posted by DonCon on Sat, Aug 28, 2010, at 1:45 PM

Students can pray in schools. Students can bring Bibles to schools.

We don't all agree with Nick....Sometimes, I can't find a point I do agree with him on.

Would you all be pleased if your child's teacher led the students in Catholic prayer if your child wasn't Catholic? The Catholic religion has very different baptism and philosophical beliefs than Protestant religions....and most definitely Christian.

-- Posted by THE END on Sun, Aug 29, 2010, at 7:56 PM

One in every crowd.

Oh, and I didn't know that a Catholic prayer, less gesticulation, was different than a Christian one. Gosh, I always thought Catholics WERE Christians! Silly me!

-- Posted by RDK on Mon, Aug 30, 2010, at 11:10 AM

Thank you RDK!!!!!

-- Posted by playnice on Mon, Aug 30, 2010, at 11:29 AM

THE END, thought it was necessary to remind you that the definition of a Christian is: 1. One who professes belief in Jesus as Christ or follows the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.

2. One who lives according to the teachings of Jesus.

It does not reference Baptist, Christian, Methodist, Lutheran, or Catholics. The last time I went to Mass I remember saying " we believe in one God, the only Son of the Father". If my son's teacher was a Catholic, I would be thrilled if she led them in prayer, of any kind!

-- Posted by switzie on Mon, Aug 30, 2010, at 12:42 PM


I agree with you on the point. I am saying that OTHERS would not allow a Catholic prayer as a Christian prayer.

My wife is Catholic....Sorry for the misunderstanding....My point is that there are people who would cringe if a Catholic prayer was substituted for their brand of Christianity.

-- Posted by THE END on Tue, Aug 31, 2010, at 1:34 PM

"I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature."

Thomas Jefferson

"He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors."

Thomas Jefferson

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."


-- Posted by Globe&Anchor on Thu, Sep 2, 2010, at 11:48 PM

I love that school prayer, it is awesome and so true! I believe in school prayer, any prayer that gives Jesus Christ what He deserves for what He did for us, dying for our sins! However, I don't think we should put teens down in ANY way. They have a hard enough time of peer pressure, parent pressure as it is. If a kid dresses different, oh well, they are probably a good kid, but making fun of them could scar them later in life! On another note, I do believe in spankings, I got them when I was a kid, and it didn't hurt anything except my pride! I even got them in school and I talked to one of my teachers back in the day not too long ago (on facebook) and HE still spanks if the parents are ok with it. I remember him spanking me for talking and disrupting class. It did not hurt me one bit. I wish we could still go under what our forefathers wanted for this country. Freedom! But we all need to get along. Anyhow, enough of that, everyone have a GREAT week!

-- Posted by bretmichaelsfan on Mon, Sep 20, 2010, at 9:25 AM

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