Graduates? They ain’t got (an official) prayer.
Dangerous piece out there today, folks. And from one of our own. Well, not really mine because he does not believe in me any more than he believes in God, but when it comes to kingdom building, this one is mine.
Good piece, I’ll admit; but dangerous piece nonetheless.
You know, my servants, especially my American friends, that this time of year brings a rash of rash behavior in the form of public gyrations around high school graduation prayers. In the good ol’ days before I found lone offendees to screw up what was right, prayers were an official part of the whole shebang. Everyone, even foolish unbelievers, were not so foolish as to be disrespectful of others.
But, of course, I have won in the public sphere largely through those lone offendees, or at least those who feign offense to feed the NCACLU machine. Now graduates are not even allowed to see a cross in the vicinity of their graduation, much less hear a short prayer.
Ha ha ha ha ha.
Am I good, or what?
But if people read today’s opinion piece by Bruce Ledewitz over at Religion Dispatches entitled “It’s Time to Reconsider Graduation Prayer in Public High Schools,” the gig might be over. You see, Mr. Ledewitz, who, according to God is a fool, is nevertheless intelligent enough to make some key insights into what my servants on earth have done to graduation prayers.
I can’t set up the issue better than he did, so bear with his long opening quote; it’s worth the read:
It happens every year around this time: a public high school in a small town schedules a graduation prayer in plain violation of the 1992 Supreme Court case prohibiting such prayers, Lee v. Weisman; then a local student steps up to demand that the prayer be dropped and a moment of silence, or other invocation, be substituted. There is local outrage but the school board’s attorney recommends compliance to save litigation costs. In the end, the local community is fodder for sophisticated national ridicule. It’s the Scopes Monkey Trial all over again.
You got the picture, right? It’s actually a wonderful sight each year. We look forward to it.
Mr. Ledewitz points out one of this year’s shows in Bastrop, Louisiana, where the local atheist tool was a dude named Damon Fowler. It only takes one, and this time My One, backed up by my NCACLU, forced the prayer to be dropped in favor of a moment of silence.
Mr. Ledewitz says “no one” can criticize Fowler, characterizing My One as “courageous” for “standing up for his beliefs.”
Oh yeah? Courageous?
Ha ha ha ha ha.
It is not courage, my friends, but spite, bitterness, and a general propensity to be a jerk that usually drive My Ones on earth in this regard. Who in their right mind believe it is civil and generally un-jerky to make many offended for the sake of one selfish jerk who might be offended?
Well, I know the NCACLU; my question was rhetorical.
What is the problem with forcing a clear majority of happy Americans with their long-standing happy traditions at special occasions to sit down and shut up in a moment of silence?
Mr. Ledewitz tells us:
The ban tends to push prayer into the unofficial remarks of student speakers, which is what happened Friday at the Bastrop High School graduation ceremony; when graduating senior Laci Mae Mattice stood up to lead the planned moment of silence, she invited the audience to join her in the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer.
Yes, I heard that. Wow, that girl Laci’s prayer just about took our breath away!
Sometimes I think it was better when some boring “clergy” stood up and droned on for a few moments of mass thought-wandering in the audience.
In any event, as Mr. Ledewitz notes, no US courts have succeeded in making all graduation prayers illegal. The courts have merely shifted the focus from meaningless clergy-led pauses in the program to passionate student-led highlights of the program.
Mr. Ledewitz worries that if the Americans keep pounding this issue, dragging Christian students off stages as they yell Jesus’s name, those of more common sense might pass a constitutional amendment protecting the right of pubic prayer.
Again, am I good, my servants? Can you believe that there is even talk about a constitutional amendment to protect the right of public prayer. The people who wrote the constitution were public prayers of the highest order. The first President and Congress made public prayers a major focus of all he/they did.
Ha ha ha ha ha.
A constitutional amendment.
Sorry, but that just shows how good I am — ha ha ha ha ha!
OK, let me compose myself, because I need to address some of Mr. Ledewitz’s errors. Because he is swerving into some common sense truth that is inconsistent with his own professed belief, and dangerous to my kingdom.
Mr. Ledewitz suggests that the court decisions that caused official graduation prayers to cease should be reconsidered.
Because he recognizes the obvious that Americans have sacrificed a “communal expression of meaning” by promoting a “radical individualism.” And Mr. Ledewitz believes that some form of “communal expression” is good, because “community requires some kind of creed–though not of course necessarily a religious creed.”
This is where my servants go wrong, my friends. This is going to get ugly, but follow me on this one.
Mr. Ledewitz notes that one of the Supreme Court justices responsible for today’s predicament even noted that “this dearth of communal meaning in the public square was admitted.” And another guilty justice stated,
. . . that the government could not undertake the task of prayer even to express “the shared conviction that there is an ethic and a morality which transcend human invention.”
But Mr. Ledewitz, no doubt with a glimmer of flickering light that exists in all created image bearers, disagrees.
This is where it gets dangerous.
Mr. Ledewitz, you are a “non-believer” which means you are an atheist. What, exactly, can possibly “transcend human invention” in the context of prayer?
No, really, what?
To make matters worse, Mr. Ledewitz quotes another of my favorite useful fools, atheist Sam Harris, for insisting in his recent book The Moral Landscape that “there is an objective morality that goes beyond human invention.”
Mr. Ledewitz, swept up in a fit of unrecognized truth concludes:
But whatever the separation of church and state might mean, whatever government neutrality involves, it cannot forbid government from asserting that moral values are real.
Real? Yes, but where do they come from, Mr. Ledewitz?
Just because this has been a traditionally religious position is no reason for secular people to give up on objective values.
Blechhh! The darkened mind speaks unrecognized truth!
Objective values? Do you know what these words mean, my servants? Must I tell you?
No, I’ll let you figure it out yourself. Go study the difference between “subjective” values and “objective” values. (Hint for the lazy: if there is no God, there can be nothing transcendent or objective.)
Stop, Mr. Ledewitz. Just stop.
This entire discussion is leading to one conclusion, which is true: everyone is religious. Some people are atheistically religious, with a theology of atheism (Mr. Ledewitz’ piece is under a heading of (A)theology). Others are theistically religious.
To start opining about “transcendent” “objective” values is to recognize that only theistic religions can possibly be true. Which makes atheists fools.
And a world where this truth is known is a world in which my kingdom suffers.
Mr. Ledewitz concludes with this mindless collision with kingdom destroying truth:
If the government is indeed establishing religion, by all means, let us object. But let us also be sensitive and willing to compromise, understanding that the yearning for transcendent meaning is not confined to religious believers.
Yes, it is, my friend Ledewitz. It just depends on which religion is being believed.
I have worked hard to get government endorsement for atheistic religion in all areas of public life.
Don’t muck it up.