Prayer session outside public elementary school causes controversy in Florida

posted at 7:20 pm on November 4, 2011 by Tina Korbe

According to the attorney of the school board of Clay County, Florida, “It is a violation of the United States Constitution for a teacher, school administrator or other school district employee to join in a prayer session during their work time.” That means, they say, that Baptist pastor Ron Baker can’t conduct voluntary prayer meetings at the flagpoles of four elementary schools at 8:15 in the morning any more.

The school board apparently issued its statement in response to complaints about Baker’s meetings from an atheist group, the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation. The Foundation’s co-president, Annie Laurie Gaylor, said she was “so pleased to see that someone else has some legal common sense.”

But does the school board’s statement makes sense? Where exactly does it say in the Constitution that government employees aren’t allowed to join a prayer session? If I remember rightly, it actually says, “Congress should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” In general, the courts have held that the free exercise clause covers religiously motivated actions and not just internal belief, so wouldn’t a prayer session count as “the free exercise” of religion? And how is “prayer session” even defined? Does it extend to personal prayers, prayed soundlessly in the stress of a school day? It’s unconstitutional for the government to force employees to pray — but the Constitution certainly doesn’t forbid them from doing so. Perhaps the school board simply means to imply the government isn’t paying employees to pray; it’s paying them to work — and a case could be made for that, I suppose.

But, even if we accept the school board’s statement, how does Baker’s prayer meeting violate it? Unless Baker is a school district employee — and he doesn’t appear to be — what jurisdiction does the school board have over his actions at all? And the meeting occurs before the school day technically starts. Is it just that school employees might join the session?

That seems to be it — because another school official has suggested Baker compromise and conduct his meeting even earlier — before school employees are even present on the school grounds.

But Baker remains resolute: He’ll meet anyone who wants to pray at the flagpole at 8:15 a.m. — just like he has for 12 years. In fact, since the controversy started, the crowd at the flag has only grown.


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Good for him.
Stand strong!

ArmyAunt on November 4, 2011 at 7:22 PM

In fact, since the controversy started, the crowd at the flag has only grown.

And that folks is what really pisses off the liberals.

Tommy_G on November 4, 2011 at 7:23 PM

“School boards shall not make any suggestion that religion is cool, or something…” -First Amendment.

Akzed on November 4, 2011 at 7:23 PM

If they were doing this around a tree on school property and praying to Mother Earth, it would be okay.

portlandon on November 4, 2011 at 7:23 PM

The Left is nothing if not inconsistent.

Akzed on November 4, 2011 at 7:27 PM

The school board apparently issued its statement in response to complaints about Baker’s meetings from an atheist group, the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation. The Foundation’s co-president, Annie Laurie Gaylor, said she was “so pleased to see that someone else has some legal common sense.”

Just for the record, Annie Laurie Gaylor is the most miserable sad sack I’ve ever seen. Also, notice that — from Wisconsin — she feels she can dictate what Constitutional protections apply to people in Florida. I suppose the silver lining in this is she spreads the misery beyond Wisconsin’s borders.

Read their website. It really is a trip.

englishqueen01 on November 4, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Please know that my home is with you for your prayer session. If the kids don’t want to attend, they do not have to. But, if some wants to attend they have the same right that those who does not want to. Does the school have a room for the rop type have their prayer room? Some faiths have more than others here it seems. Just think, Christmas is coming up. Think of the schools that won’t even have a tree, cookies, or cards for the kids! My heart aches what my wonderful country has gotten to in a few short years.
L

letget on November 4, 2011 at 7:32 PM

It’s unconstitutional for the government to force employees to pray — but the Constitution certainly doesn’t forbid them from doing so.

That’s right.

And this school board should be sued. Maybe that’d provide them with incentive adequate enough to get them to actually read that Constitution they’re misrepresenting by claiming it doesn’t say what it does and vice-versa.

Lourdes on November 4, 2011 at 7:33 PM

God bless pastor Baker. We have a “Gather around the Flagpole” here at our local high school several times a year, complete with the junior ROTC of the school presenting the color guard. It is held early in the morning…7 AM…so that all who want to attend, may. It is an open prayer session and brings the community together.

StarLady on November 4, 2011 at 7:36 PM

If the preacher’s leading it, there should not be a problem.The idea is that teachers, administrators, and other adults don’t put their authority behind a call to prayer for minor students.

Sekhmet on November 4, 2011 at 7:36 PM

The school board apparently issued its statement in response to complaints about Baker’s meetings from an atheist group, the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation. The Foundation’s co-president, Annie Laurie Gaylor, said she was “so pleased to see that someone else has some legal common sense.”

Just for the record, Annie Laurie Gaylor is the most miserable sad sack I’ve ever seen. Also, notice that — from Wisconsin — she feels she can dictate what Constitutional protections apply to people in Florida. I suppose the silver lining in this is she spreads the misery beyond Wisconsin’s borders.

Read their website. It really is a trip.

englishqueen01 on November 4, 2011 at 7:31 PM

The atheists who make the noise (you’ve identified one of the noisiest) seem accustomed to scaring people into submission just by making their noise but they’re often found to be wrong on issues when more closely examined. Meanwhile, they frighten others into silence and retractions of religious expression even when they’re wrong in doing so (which is routinely) and that’s what they’re after.

Lourdes on November 4, 2011 at 7:37 PM

Why can’t people mind their own business?

Cindy Munford on November 4, 2011 at 7:39 PM

The Left is nothing if not inconsistent.

Akzed on November 4, 2011 at 7:27 PM

Ahem, separation of church and state, not mosque and state.

Rambotito on November 4, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Why can’t people mind their own business?

Cindy Munford on November 4, 2011 at 7:39 PM

Now, that’s my religion!

OldEnglish on November 4, 2011 at 7:44 PM

It is a violation of the United States Constitution for a teacher, school administrator or other school district employee to join in a prayer session during their work time.”

So it is unconstitutional for them to practice their constitutional rights? Up is down and down is up.

CW on November 4, 2011 at 7:45 PM

Don’t you dare print a cartoon of mohammed!

SouthernGent on November 4, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Child indoctrination at its finest.

mythicknight on November 4, 2011 at 7:47 PM

Institutionalized anti-christianity.

listens2glenn on November 4, 2011 at 7:47 PM

And how many public schools have set aside classroom space for Moslem prayers? Or has allowed individual Moslems to take school time to fulfill their daily prayer requirement?

I’d be interested in finding out, and also finding out if this Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation is on top of it and has filed suits as well.

Next, will the Freedom from Religion Foundation be going after Catholic schools for “forcing” their students to pray?

God help us all.

coldwarrior on November 4, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Perhaps we can send a donation so this teacher can build a church to pray in, since apparently none exists where he lives.

Pablo Honey on November 4, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Perhaps we can send a donation so this teacher can build a church to pray in, since apparently none exists where he lives.

Pablo Honey on November 4, 2011 at 7:50 PM

OMG, they’re doing it, like right out in public!!!

sharrukin on November 4, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Next, will the Freedom from Religion Foundation be going after Catholic schools for “forcing” their students to pray?
coldwarrior on November 4, 2011 at 7:49 PM

No, if they tried that now, there would be a HUGE backlash.
What the Commie/Libs REALLY want is to abolish all private, non-public schools.
Parochial and all.

listens2glenn on November 4, 2011 at 7:55 PM

What about all the Obama worship (and songs) perpetrated upon students by their teachers and teacher unions during the 2008 campaign ?

More seriously, one can “join” in prayer from across campus without having to be in a certain place at a certain time. Will the sleazy Clay County Skool Board shyster try mind control to prevent that from happening ? I bet he or she would try if he or she could. Such is the Marxism infecting public schools.

viking01 on November 4, 2011 at 7:58 PM

Perhaps we can send a donation so this teacher can build a church to pray in, since apparently none exists where he lives.

Pablo Honey on November 4, 2011 at 7:50 P

M

Nice work with another in a long line of fallacious arguments. You don’t get to define freedom of religion of assembly.

Child indoctrination at its finest.

mythicknight on November 4, 2011 at 7:47 PM

So they are being forced? Really you losers and your dishonesty . You never quit. Thick you are one of the saddest ugliest creatures. I can tell you are not a very happy person. Maybe you need to be more open-minded and positive.

CW on November 4, 2011 at 7:58 PM

hat about all the Obama worship (and songs) perpetrated upon students by their teachers and teacher unions during the 2008 campaign ?

viking01 on November 4, 2011 at 7:58 PM

I missed thick’s smart arse comments when we enjoyed those moments….hmmmm.

CW on November 4, 2011 at 7:59 PM

I’m in my late 30′s and things sure have changed. I remember celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah from elementary school on up. Plays, songs in chorus, prayers before athletic events… there was never any uproar. This was in So Cal to boot.

bazil9 on November 4, 2011 at 7:59 PM

Perhaps we can send a donation so this teacher can build a church to pray in, since apparently none exists where he lives.

Pablo Honey on November 4, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Do you honestly see a REAL need to protect non-christian children from “exposure” to christianity being practiced out in the open by others, including their contemporaries?

listens2glenn on November 4, 2011 at 8:03 PM

According to the attorney of the school board of Clay County, Florida, “It is a violation of the United States Constitution for a teacher, school administrator or other school district employee to join in a prayer session during their work time.” That means, they say, that Baptist pastor Ron Baker can’t conduct voluntary prayer meetings at the flagpoles of four elementary schools at 8:15 in the morning any more.
===============================

Aaahhh,they is hav’n a fit,over religion,maybe if they would of
went out on a Field Day OWS Protest Trip,and pray’d there,all would
be right in da universe!!

Meanwhile………………………………….

Catholic University Muslims Demand Prayer Room Free of Catholic Symbols
October 27, 2011
*****************

Muslim students attending Catholic University have file a complaint against the school, demanding a prayer room because they say having to pray around pictures of Jesus and symbols like the cross violate their rights. The school is now under investigation by the Office of Human Rights. As if the Muslims were forced to go to a Catholic University.

The investigation alleges that Muslim students “must perform their prayers surrounded by symbols of Catholicism – e.g., a wooden crucifix, paintings of Jesus, pictures of priests and theologians which many Muslim students find inappropriate.”

A spokesperson for the Office of Human Rights told Fox News they had received a 60-page complaint against the private university. The investigation, they said, could take as long a six months.

The complaint was filed by John Banzhaf, an attorney and professor at George Washington University Law School. Banzhaf has been involved in previous litigation against the school involving the same-sex residence halls. He also alleged in his complaint involving Muslim students that women at the university were being discriminated against. You can read more on those allegations by clicking here.

Banzhaf said some Muslim students were particularly offended because they had to meditate in the school’s chapels “and at the cathedral that looms over the entire campus – the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.” (Read More)
============================================================

http://lonelyconservative.com/2011/10/catholic-university-muslims-demand-prayer-room-free-of-catholic-symbols/

canopfor on November 4, 2011 at 8:07 PM

The Left is nothing if not inconsistent.

Akzed on November 4, 2011 at 7:27 PM

Akzed:And the beat go’s on and on…..thanks for the linky!:)

canopfor on November 4, 2011 at 8:09 PM

canopfor on November 4, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Soooo….when these Moslem students applied to and enrolled at Catholic University they expected what?

It is the premier Roman Catholic University in America. It is a private school. If they are offended by “symbols” of Catholicism, perhaps they should have stayed at the mud and wattle madrasa back in Fuzzywuzzystan, perhaps?

I guess that dome over the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception was mistaken for Hagia Sophia Blue Mosque or something?

coldwarrior on November 4, 2011 at 8:16 PM

I think it is great when professional Atheists (i.e. running an organization like this) act like professional wrestler, with all sorts of tasty, nonsensical bluster. Such fun.

BruinEric on November 4, 2011 at 8:23 PM

BruinEric on November 4, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Professional wrestler? Like this guy?

coldwarrior on November 4, 2011 at 8:26 PM

Nowhere in the Constitution does it guarantee a freedom from religion.

And if the federal government had not barged its way into education by forming the Dept. of Education, this would be moot.

cane_loader on November 4, 2011 at 8:29 PM

No one forces anyone to go to the flagpole.

Cindy Munford on November 4, 2011 at 8:31 PM

No one forces anyone to go to the flagpole.

Cindy Munford on November 4, 2011 at 8:31 PM

You didn’t see the guns in their backs?

CW on November 4, 2011 at 8:38 PM

canopfor on November 4, 2011 at 8:07 PM
=========================================

Soooo….when these Moslem students applied to and enrolled at Catholic University they expected what?

It is the premier Roman Catholic University in America. It is a private school. If they are offended by “symbols” of Catholicism, perhaps they should have stayed at the mud and wattle madrasa back in Fuzzywuzzystan, perhaps?

I guess that dome over the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception was mistaken for Hagia Sophia Blue Mosque or something?

coldwarrior on November 4, 2011 at 8:16 PM

coldwarrior:

I have no idea,first off,there Islamic Muslims,and what in the
sam h*ll,are they doing at a Catholic school to begin with!

Thee only reason,is to dominate,and the kicker,is that
they are using American law,and right groups to further
this goal!!

This should be dismissed,kick them out,and laughed at!

Its nonsensical!!:)

canopfor on November 4, 2011 at 8:38 PM

We are the 99% but we are supposed to let the 1% steer us into the ditch and not bitch when they do it.

Stupid is stupid and you have got to call them for it simple as that.

CommentGuy on November 4, 2011 at 8:40 PM

The Foundation’s co-president, Annie Laurie Gaylor, said she was “so pleased to see that someone else has some legal common sense.”

the 1% driving the 99% where they have to go as if that is a new thing.

CommentGuy on November 4, 2011 at 8:49 PM

Muslim students attending Catholic University have file a complaint against the school, demanding a prayer room because they say having to pray around pictures of Jesus and symbols like the cross violate their rights. The school is now under investigation by the Office of Human Rights. As if the Muslims were forced to go to a Catholic University.

The investigation alleges that Muslim students “must perform their prayers surrounded by symbols of Catholicism – e.g., a wooden crucifix, paintings of Jesus, pictures of priests and theologians which many Muslim students find inappropriate.”

Not to go too far afield here, but the lawsuit against Catholic University was not brought on by Muslim students, but by John Banzhaf, who also sued Catholic University for “human rights violations” when CU said it would return to same-sex dorms. Banzhaf is a professor at Georgetown, and CU says here has never received complaints from Muslims regarding Catholic imagery.

englishqueen01 on November 4, 2011 at 8:50 PM

englishqueen01 on November 4, 2011 at 8:50 PM

On the basis of that information alone, this suit should be dismissed.

That is if we had a judicial system that wasn’t afraid of offending people other than Conservatives.

coldwarrior on November 4, 2011 at 8:53 PM

And if the federal government had not barged its way into education by forming the Dept. of Education, this would be moot.

cane_loader on November 4, 2011 at 8:29 PM

Sounds as if you’d like to abolish the Dept. Of Education.

Well . . . . . I SECOND THE MOTION!

listens2glenn on November 4, 2011 at 8:54 PM

On the basis of that information alone, this suit should be dismissed.

You’d think it should be, but I don’t ever believe anything’s a done deal. Especially where Catholicism is involved. Take down us evil Papists and it’s open season on the rest of the Christian denominations.

englishqueen01 on November 4, 2011 at 8:57 PM

The fix we are in, as far as abolishing the Dept. of Education – or any other department, that is (Homeland Security!) – is that the darn bureaucracies have grown so large and so packed with drones, that it will put a hell of a lot of semi-skilled paper pushers in the unemployment lines, with no other skills to market.

In lopping off government appendages, we will send unemployment through the roof.

The pain is going to have to come sometime, somewhere.

cane_loader on November 4, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Doesn’t it suck that cutting government departments will also help crater the economy? Because you know that Washington isn’t just going to let We The People keep the money saved – it’ll be redirected elsewhere – and all those jobless bureaucrats won’t have salaries to spend in their local economies.

cane_loader on November 4, 2011 at 9:02 PM

The fix we are in, as far as abolishing the Dept. of Education – or any other department. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . it will put a hell of a lot of semi-skilled paper pushers in the unemployment lines, with no other skills to market.
cane_loader on November 4, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Another great idea thwarted by logistical details, damn it.

listens2glenn on November 4, 2011 at 9:05 PM

….In fact, since the controversy started, the crowd at the flag has only grown.

Kind of like the Early Church.

tgharris on November 4, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Kind of like the Early Church.

Christianity thrives when persecuted. Which, of course, ticks off the anti-Christian crowd even more.

englishqueen01 on November 4, 2011 at 9:40 PM

“Freedom From Religion” ought to be classified as a hate group. You can’t be from religion unless you can prevent everyone else from exercising their religious freedom. It’s time to sue this outfit.

nkviking75 on November 4, 2011 at 9:45 PM

They should’ve said they were Muslims. The school would have provided prayer rugs.

JellyToast on November 4, 2011 at 9:52 PM

As thier name states they wish to pervert the constitution to freedom from religion instead of freedom of religion.

Grunt on November 4, 2011 at 9:56 PM

I say GOD BLESS HIM and ALL those who JOIN him

Delsa on November 4, 2011 at 11:07 PM

“Freedom From Religion” ought to be classified as a hate group. You can’t be from religion unless you can prevent everyone else from exercising their religious freedom. It’s time to sue this outfit.
nkviking75 on November 4, 2011 at 9:45 PM

I seriously think you’re onto something there.
The more I ponder it, the better it sounds.

Hmmmmmm. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

listens2glenn on November 5, 2011 at 12:14 AM

I’m a Christian, but I don’t really think this group is doing anything positive. In fact, Jesus said to go into your room to pray and not on the corner or synagoge like the Pharasees. Not around the flag pole of your local school either.

wirebitersmith on November 5, 2011 at 4:57 AM

If Ventura really wanted to make the Obama administration mad he should just pray instead of getting angry. He’d drove’em nuts!

Herb on November 5, 2011 at 9:35 AM

The incongruity of being nasty to others here and yet supporting the idea of praying to Jesus is startling.

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 5, 2011 at 9:45 AM

I’m a Christian, but I don’t really think this group is doing anything positive. In fact, Jesus said to go into your room to pray and not on the corner or synagoge like the Pharasees. Not around the flag pole of your local school either.

Bull. Absolute bull. That’s talking about praying in public disingenuously, hypocritically, as the Pharasees were wont to do.

Christians are called to be public witnesses for the faith. As a Christian, how dare you give atheists more ammo to persecute us and drive us further from the public square when the thing we need right now is a return to Christian values.

You want to be a pacifist? Fine. You want to be steamrolled by liberal atheists (who’d try like hell to make private prayer illegal, too)? Go right ahead.

By my loyalties lie with the Cross. I will not hide my faith because it makes people feel bad.

englishqueen01 on November 5, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Christians are called to be public witnesses for the faith. As a Christian, how dare you give atheists more ammo to persecute us and drive us further from the public square when the thing we need right now is a return to Christian values.

englishqueen01 on November 5, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Evidently, the town was allowing the pastor to pray on school grounds. He’s able to be a public witness. The question is whether having school employees attend during work time constitutes an endorsement.

dedalus on November 5, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Evidently, the town was allowing the pastor to pray on school grounds. He’s able to be a public witness. The question is whether having school employees attend during work time constitutes an endorsement.

The Constitution does not prohibit the endorsement of religion. It prohibits the establishment of a religion. Two completely different things.

Besides, if the legal standard is now prohibiting anything that might be “endorsement” then — logically — the next step is preventing public employees from demonstrating any religious preference, ever. If Teacher Jones goes to the Catholic mass on Sundays and Holy Days, he’s clearly endorsing a religion, which might make students in his class think they have to be Catholic, too.

If Teacher Smith leads a Wednesday night Bible study at her Baptist church, that’s an “endorsement” of religion that may unduly pressure her students into cracking open the New Testament.

The Constitution protects the right of anyone and everyone to freely express their faith without any constraint. Now, excluding the obvious (i.e. Islamic jihadists who believe killing non-Muslims is an expression of their faith), I oppose anything that squelches or restricts free expression of religion. End of story.

englishqueen01 on November 5, 2011 at 10:36 AM

I’m a Christian, but I don’t really think this group is doing anything positive. In fact, Jesus said to go into your room to pray and not on the corner or synagoge like the Pharasees. Not around the flag pole of your local school either. wirebitersmith on November 5, 2011 at 4:57 AM

You mean like St Paul at Ephesus, and Athens, and everywhere else he went preaching the gospel amidst pagans? Like that?

Akzed on November 5, 2011 at 11:49 AM

You mean like St Paul at Ephesus, and Athens, and everywhere else he went preaching the gospel amidst pagans? Like that?

Or that whole command to go and make disciples of all nations. Really hard to do that from one’s bedroom.

englishqueen01 on November 5, 2011 at 12:57 PM

The Constitution does not prohibit the endorsement of religion. It prohibits the establishment of a religion. Two completely different things.
englishqueen01 on November 5, 2011 at 10:36 AM

The courts see endorsement as triggering the Establishment Clause. SCOTUS has applied an “endorsement test” to cases to consider whether a government action is unconstitutional.

dedalus on November 5, 2011 at 1:07 PM

I’m a Christian, but I don’t really think this group is doing anything positive. In fact, Jesus said to go into your room to pray and not on the corner or synagoge like the Pharasees. Not around the flag pole of your local school either.

wirebitersmith on November 5, 2011 at 4:57 AM

I’m an atheist, and I really couldn’t care less if some teachers want to pray with students before class.

holygoat on November 5, 2011 at 1:25 PM

The courts see endorsement as triggering the Establishment Clause. SCOTUS has applied an “endorsement test” to cases to consider whether a government action is unconstitutional.

That’s B.S. Courts — even SCOTUS — can be wrong.

englishqueen01 on November 5, 2011 at 4:12 PM

“It is a violation of the United States Constitution for a teacher, school administrator or other school district employee to join in a prayer session during their work time.”

I thought it was a violation of the constitution for a government entity to prevent someone from practicing their religion.

When did so many people start interpreting the constitution backwards?

taznar on November 5, 2011 at 7:24 PM

And if the federal government had not barged its way into education by forming the Dept. of Education, this would be moot.

cane_loader on November 4, 2011 at 8:29 PM

Sounds as if you’d like to abolish the Dept. Of Education.

Well . . . . . I SECOND THE MOTION!

listens2glenn on November 4, 2011 at 8:54 PM

You bunch of extremists!!!

(Oh, and I third the motion)

runawayyyy on November 6, 2011 at 8:20 AM

Jesus said to go into your room to pray and not on the corner or synagoge like the Pharasees. Not around the flag pole of your local school either.

wirebitersmith on November 5, 2011 at 4:57 AM

Even if you’re right about this, we’re talking about the Constitution. It says I can pray pretty much wherever I damn well please. Mind your own business.

runawayyyy on November 6, 2011 at 8:22 AM

It is becoming increasingly common to see professional writers us this when they’re not sure what kind of punctuation ought to be used. Commas, semicolons, & parentheses are apparently being phased out for some reason.

itsnotaboutme on November 6, 2011 at 11:19 AM

us use
Hey, I’m not a professional writer.
:)

itsnotaboutme on November 6, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Jesus said to go into your room to pray and not on the corner or synagoge like the Pharasees. Not around the flag pole of your local school either.

wirebitersmith on November 5, 2011 at 4:57 AM

Who was the Lord Jesus addressing? The Pharisees, who were trying to impress a religious culture.
If you’re not doing it for self-aggrandizement, praying in public is a wonderful thing, which is why Jesus & his disciples did it.

itsnotaboutme on November 6, 2011 at 11:25 AM

I’m a Christian, but I don’t really think this group is doing anything positive. In fact, Jesus said to go into your room to pray and not on the corner or synagoge like the Pharasees. Not around the flag pole of your local school either.
wirebitersmith on November 5, 2011 at 4:57 AM

When Jesus spoke of the hypocrasy of the Pharisees for praying out in the open, he was specifically refering to their attempts at perpetrating an ‘illusion of holiness’. They weren’t genuinely reaching out to God in prayer. Rather they were just trying to impress each other, and WRONGLY believed they were impressing the common folk (the common folk saw right through it), with their false “sanctity and holiness”.

Jesus himself saw need to pray ‘out on the street’ at times, sometimes with a crowd around. But he wasn’t ‘showing-off’.
If you believe these school staffers are simply trying to sway the “vulnerable/gullible” students with false piety, then you have a point.
For myself, I don’t believe that’s what they’re doing.

listens2glenn on November 6, 2011 at 11:30 AM

You sort of missed the important part:

The prayers became an issue when Clay Hill Elementary Principal Larry Davis sent a controversial memo to his 40-member staff in September alerting them to the prayer session. In that memo Davis quoted an article from a Christian website that said the First Amendment applied only to Christians.

Sounds like a soft-endorsement from the principal, at the very least. Not acceptable in a public school.

Mark Jaquith on November 7, 2011 at 1:26 AM