Saturday, October 13, 2007


The Governor knew it. He vetoed it. The People probably know it. The Congresspeople almost certainly knew it. Yet they went ahead and overrode the Governor's veto, and passed an Illinois state law mandating a moment for silent prayer or reflection. This despite the fact that Illinois already had a law on the books allowing teachers to provide a moment for reflection at the teacher's discretion.

Proponents of the law argue that the purpose of the law is to allow the students to reflect on the coming school day. Tommyrot. How many students do any of you know of that will take a moment to reflect on an upcoming school day? How many students even KNOW what reflection is? My third grader doesn't, and he's no academic slouch. How many students know what prayer is? My third grader does. How many students understand the concept of having a moment at the beginning of the day to pray?

The problem, really, is that you can throw makeup on a pig's face, but it's still a pig. You can call horsecrap hayflowers, but it doesn't change what it is or where it came from. This law is exactly what the Governor feared it was - an attempt to foist prayer back into schools.

Even if I didn't think this was a violation of the First Amendment (which I do), I would still have an issue at where to draw the line with state-mandated religious or pseudo-religious legislation. I wonder how many proponents of this law would feel about a law that required students to take a moment each day and recite the rosary, or passages from the Talmud, or a Confucianist tenet, or "I solemnly recognize that God does not exist"? When it's completely unclear where to draw the line, then what is wrong with keeping the wall intact? I don't want the Government telling me, or particularly my children, when and where to pray, or what to say. And this law is a first step in that direction.

1 comment:

photog said...