Direction in an Age of Confusion
20 Years of Prophecy Fulfilled
No matter how you answered the questions, and read the Biblical scriptures Old Testament or New Testament in my Blog 25, fundamentally, there has been a serious detour from our spiritual faith foundation in America.
The evidence of the days of ‘dis-unity’ since the election, added to the impact of COVID-19, has been nothing short of the examples of ‘warnings & consequences’ and mostly loss of practices of ‘faith’ for over twenty-five years.
It started with taking ‘Prayer’ out of schools, the Supreme Court did not rule that students and teachers could not pray, it simply said that prayer could not force or dictate to any specific religious belief or system. But many argue about the truth of that, too.
Those who favor the return of prayer to public schools argue:
· The U.S. Supreme Court has replaced freedom of religion,” guaranteed by the Constitution, for freedom from religion. To ban school prayer diminishes the religious freedom of students who would like to pray and forces them to act according to the dictates of a non-religious minority.
· The U.S. Supreme Court has misinterpreted the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. A simple and voluntary school prayer does not amount to the government establishing a religion, any more than do other practices common in the U.S. such as the employment of Congressional chaplains or government recognition of holidays with religious significance and National Days of Prayer.
· School prayer would result in many societal benefits. The public school system is tragically disintegrating as evidenced by the rise in school shootings, increasing drug use, alcoholism, teen pregnancy, and HIV transmission. School prayer can help combat these issues, would instill a sense of morality and is desperately needed to protect our children.
· School prayer would address the needs of the whole person. Schools must do more than train children’s minds academically. They must also nurture their souls and reinforce the values taught at home and in the community.
· School prayer would allow religious students an opportunity to observe their religious beliefs during the school day. The U.S. Supreme Court has urged school cooperation with religious authorities for “it then respects the religious nature of our people and accommodates the public service to their spiritual needs.”
Frequently heard arguments against prayer in public school are:
· School prayer violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment which provides that government shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion. Because public schools are government funded, prayer led by school officials or incorporated into the school routine amounts to government-established religion.
· School prayer violates the “separation of church and state.”
· Public schools are intended for education, not religious observance or proselytization.
· Prayer is school is already legal. Students are already allowed to pray on a voluntary basis (in a non-disruptive way) so formal school prayer is unnecessary.
· School prayer may lead to intolerance. Public prayer will highlight religious differences of which students may have been unaware. Those students who abstain from school prayer may be ostracized.
· School prayer is inherently coercive and cannot be implemented in a way that is truly voluntary.
· The public school system is created for all students and supported by all taxpayers. It should therefore remain neutral on religious issues over which students and taxpayers will differ.
· Since no formal school prayer could honor the tenets of all the religions practiced in the U.S., as well as various denominational differences, prayer is better left in the home and religious institution of the individual student’s choice. A related argument is that school prayer usurps the role of parents and religious institutions who desire to provide instruction in keeping with their own beliefs.
Most of the relevant legal cases ruling on the issue have occurred over the last fifty years. The Supreme Court has ruled on many cases that have shaped our current interpretation of the First Amendment in regards to prayer in school. Each case has added a new dimension or twist to that interpretation.
McCollum v. Board of Education Dist. 71, 333 U.S. 203 (1948): The court found that religious instruction in public schools was unconstitutional due to a violation of the establishment clause.
Engel v. Vitale, 82 S. Ct. 1261 (1962): The landmark case concerning prayer in school. This case brought in the phrase “separation of church and State”. The court ruled that any type of prayer led by a public school district is unconstitutional.
Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 (1963): Court rules that reading the Bible over the school intercom is unconstitutional.
Murray v. Curlett, 374 U.S. 203 (1963): Court rules that requiring students to participate in prayer and/or Bible reading is unconstitutional.
Lemon v. Kurtzman, 91 S. Ct. 2105 (1971): Known as the "Lemon test." This case established a three-part test for determining if an action of government violates the First Amendment's separation of church and state:
the government action must have a secular purpose;
its primary purpose must not be to inhibit or to advance religion;
there must be no excessive entanglement between government and religion.
Stone v. Graham, (1980): Made it unconstitutional to post the Ten Commandments on the wall at a public school.
Wallace v. Jaffree, 105 S. Ct. 2479 (1985): This case dealt with a state’s statute requiring a moment of silence in public schools. The Court ruled that this was unconstitutional where the legislative record revealed that motivation for the statute was to encourage prayer.
Westside Community Board of Education v. Mergens, (1990): Ruled that schools must allow student groups to meet to pray and worship if other non-religious groups are also allowed to meet on school property.
Lee v. Weisman, 112 S. Ct. 2649 (1992): This ruling made it unconstitutional for a school district to have any clergy member perform nondenominational prayer at an elementary or secondary school graduation.
Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, (2000): The court ruled that students may not use a school’s loudspeaker system for a student-led, student-initiated prayer.
In 1995, under the direction of President Bill Clinton, the United States Secretary of Education Richard Riley released a set of guidelines entitled Religious Expression in Public Schools. This set of guidelines was sent to every school superintendent in the country with the purpose of ending confusion regarding religious expression in public schools. These guidelines were updated in 1996 and again in 1998, and still hold true today. It is important that administrators, teachers, parents, and students understand their constitutional right in the matter of prayer in school.
Student prayer and religious discussion. Students have the right to engage in individual and group prayer as well as religious discussion throughout the school day so long as it is not conducted in a disruptive manner or during school activities and/or instruction. Students may also participate in before or after school events with religious content, but school officials may not discourage nor encourage participation in such an event.
· Graduation prayer and baccalaureates. Schools may not mandate or organize prayer at graduation or organize baccalaureate ceremonies. Schools are permitted to open their facilities to private groups so long as all groups have equal access to those facilities under the same terms.
Official neutrality regarding religious activity. School administrators and teachers, when serving those capacities, may not solicit or encourage religious activity. Likewise, they also may not prohibit such activity.
Teaching about religion. Public schools may not provide religious instruction, but they may teach about religion. Schools also are not allowed to observe holidays as religious events or promote such observance by students.
Student assignments. Students may express their beliefs about religion in homework, art, orally, or in the written form.
Religious literature. Students may distribute religious literature to their classmates on the same terms as other groups are allowed to distribute non-school related literature.
Student garb. Students may display religious messages on items of clothing to the same extent that they are permitted to display other comparable messages.
Simply put, we no longer seem to be able to exercise our rights, without a moral or spiritual compass like ‘Prayer’ to assist people to a path of ‘unity’ in the midst of differences of voting, politicians, and a serious inability to remain ‘honest’ in the ways that they gain or possess what they ‘want’. Especially using violence as the means to do so.
So here is a possible solution to for America’s ‘legally registered voters’ to Petition that allows them to be recognized, without any visible ‘violations’ or agendas for ‘identity politics, culture, race, gender, sexual orientations, age, geographic locations’ a simple connection to their 'Higher Power' or God, Jehovah or Allah.....
It’s a ‘Higher Power’ Prayer Petition, completely personal petition, so that those who believe, believe they’ve been counted. If you want to check in, with the Prophet, email me through the gallerybookspress.com website at email@example.com. Just say Biden or Trump (or neither one) and I will count them and post just the number. The real, truth of the your vote.