Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Re: Scout Risks Life For Wounded Colorado Teacher
Re: Scout Risks Life For Wounded Colorado Teacher
Sat, 24 Apr 1999 14:18:04 -0500
Donald R Izard wrote:
> When I read the story posted by Richard, or the previous one
> about those Scouts in the Oregon school _ It really makes me
> wonder just what those PTA/PTO people are thinking about
> when they want to exclude scouts from the schools.
> I guess they want more of the "trench coat mafia" since they
> are not a religious group - and appear to be coed ?
> We can not allow our kids to even pray in the schools . . .
> But it seems to be - that a lot of kids violated those
> rules in Colorado . . .
There is no rule that kids cannot pray in school. In fact, it is a
violation of the kids' civil rights if they are discouraged in any way
from prayer by people in a position of authority within the school. The
only part of prayer that is illegal is if someone in a position of
authority uses that authority to sposor prayer, such as by making it a
part of the morning routine (even if students are allowed to "opt out")
Thus, none of the kids could possibly have violated any rules by
praying...and if someone brought a lawsuit saying that a child's civil
rights had been violated because a teacher prayed during a hostage
crisis, I think there's a good chance the case would be thrown out.
It's true that some individuals misunderstand the law and believe that
any prayer on school grounds is illegal...I've had friends who were
disciplined for saying a private prayer before lunch. However,
President Clinton has made a clear effort to preserve student rights to
independent religious expression, by distributing a set of guidelines to
school districts that clarify the Supreme Court's position. Remember:
School prayer is legal if it is wholly student initiated. It is illegal
for the schools (as part of the government) to either support organized
prayer (which would violate the establishment clause) or to prevent it
(which would violate the free practice clause).
> Perhaps the current trends in the increased violence in the schools
> is on the increase because God is being forced out of the schools?
Or, perhaps it is because life is so cheapened in the eyes of our
society. People can profess belief in God and still see life as cheap;
look at Yugoslavia where several of the factions are christian. While
I used that example beause it is far enough away to be rather
non-controversial, look around--I'm sure you an find examples of
christians who hold life as cheap.
I'm a christian, but I'd much rather be stuck on a desert island with
someone who loved their neighbor but didn't believe in God, than with
someone who would kill in the name of Christ. In fact, I'd venture to
say that the former just might be a better example of performance of the
love commandment, since I doubt you an simultaneously love God and hate
> If the schools are not allowed to teach honor and respect,
> what can we expect - other than what we now have?
Honor and respect can be taught independent of a direct link to God as
such. I believe that everyone has some form of religion--even the
atheists and agnostics I know have something that is so central to how
they see the world that it is in effect their "god." Thus, everyone has
something taht can be used to tie a moral code to, even if it isn't any
traditional concept of God.
> Scouter Don
> I will continue to pray - no matter where I am
Good for you--it's your First Amendment right.