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South Carolina school board gets prayer complaint

Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 8:15 AM
Last updated 6:40 PM
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PICKENS, S.C. — The Pickens County school board is trying to decide how it can pray before meetings.

Several hundred people turned out at Monday night’s school board meeting to discuss the issue after the board received a complaint about the prayers it has used to open its meetings.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation wrote the school board chairman in November saying the prayers before the meetings are what it called “a serious constitutional violation.”

The board heard from community members and an attorney before voting 4-2 to have its staff discuss with legal counsel to develop a policy to set up non-sectarian prayer before meetings. Attorney David Duff says a non-sectarian prayer cannot be associated with any particular religion.

The board will consider the policy at its next meeting.

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InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 01/29/13 - 09:35 am
7
5
Simple solution, before the

Simple solution, before the meeting make an announcement that there will be prayer. All who wish to join in may stay, all those who oppose may step into the hallway or corridor until after the prayer. Those who wish to pray can do so, those who are offended and object do not have to participate. Why is this such an issue? If you don't believe in God Jehovah or prayer, fine, but why take away my right to pray before a meeting (aloud or in silence) just because you don't wish to.

KSL
144091
Points
KSL 01/29/13 - 10:11 am
5
2
Very logical solution

But it won't fly with the I don't want to and you can't either crowd.

YeCats
12154
Points
YeCats 01/29/13 - 10:15 am
6
0
Just observe a moment of

Just observe a moment of silence. Our schools do it.

BamaMan
2687
Points
BamaMan 01/29/13 - 10:41 am
3
0
Prayer

Well, I know the Devil is smiling.

Fiat_Lux
16444
Points
Fiat_Lux 01/29/13 - 12:33 pm
5
5
A moment of silence is nothing but cowardice and caving

Forget it. Tell the losers to come late if they want to miss the prayer part. There is no law against praying.

It is basic courtesy and sensitivity not to prayer "in Jesus' name, Amen" if you have Jews, Muslims, Wiccans or other non-Christians present, but that doesn't mean we aren't allowed to invoke the Creator and ask for help just because some in attendance don't happen to believe there actually is a creator.

If they don't have to endure it politely while other people pray, then while the hell do I have to tolerate the garbage that passes for "music" blasting into my car from the oh-so-cool and entitled fools who share (supposedly) the roadways with me?

Surely even the haters don't believe hearing lurid lyrics advocating the rape of women and killing of people is more to be tolerated than humbly asking for the blessings of Providence? Well, of course they believe that.

Stupid question.

Little Lamb
49137
Points
Little Lamb 01/29/13 - 01:45 pm
6
1
Back in the day

When the atheists first began opposing prayer in schools it was said to be because children should not be indoctrinated in religion by authority figures such as principals and teachers. Now, they've expanded the rationale to include adults, as if adults don't have more developed reasoning powers than do children. It's kind of like the camel inching further and further into the tent.

Itsallnew11
547
Points
Itsallnew11 01/29/13 - 02:25 pm
4
4
The easiest solution...

is to have an unsolicited prayer before the meeting. If it is lead by the board members but by a person of the general public then it is of no legal recourse to the board. Let's take prayer out of something else so we can have more inmates.....thats what happened when we took prayer out of school. School could have been the only place some kids were exposed the love the Lord has for them and it was taken away. Offer it as a choice but at least then they will have a choice. Those who wish not to participate before the meeting or in school have the option to wait in the hall. But then again they could just a have a moment of quiet reflection and if someone just happens to start praying aloud then so be it.

MarinerMan
2107
Points
MarinerMan 01/29/13 - 02:35 pm
6
2
Pound SAND
Unpublished

They should've told "Freedom" to POUND SAND. No guts, no glory.

Fiat_Lux
16444
Points
Fiat_Lux 01/29/13 - 02:59 pm
6
3
It's one thing to be accommodating and sensitive

but the cowardice is becoming revolting. Ignore these morons and pray anyway. I don't really understand how people can honestly believe they are genuinely Christian if they aren't willing to take a stand against this kind of persecution-- for simply praying to God.

Did people forget that there's a cross involved in all this? Did we somehow think we nice Americans were getting a pass on all the unpleasant parts that go with being loyal to the truth and true to our faith?

walkedit
34
Points
walkedit 01/29/13 - 03:39 pm
5
0
While in Rome?

Do as the romans?
If we went to some of their countries, we wouldn't be spared their religious customs. I would be happy just to let them continue while saying my own prayer.

oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 01/29/13 - 05:32 pm
5
0
We don't have a Prayer
Unpublished

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise therof; or abridging the freedom of speech....I don't know who could read this a come away with the idea that anyone can not pray anytime, anywhere. The first part of Article I of the bill of rights ensures that no one religion is recognized over another. The second part ensures no one can be restricted from speach about religion. No lower form of goverment can override the Constitution.

shrimp for breakfast
5641
Points
shrimp for breakfast 01/29/13 - 05:41 pm
2
1
How do they do it?

How do the Freedom From Religion people who I think are in Wisconsin cover so much ground? How do they even know the Pickens County School Board prays before a meeting?
I've never seen anything like it.

Do they have spies allover the country going around listening to see if anyone is praying?

Who would even found such an organizatoin? Are they that afraid of believers?
I'm not religious and I don't call myself a Christian but I don't say I'm not one either. I don't know what I am but I do know that I would never want to infringe on anyone else wanting to or not wanting to pray. I do believe in God so I guess that makes me a threat to them too.

I don't know what freedom from religion even means.

Does anyone know what it means?

faithson
5528
Points
faithson 01/29/13 - 07:01 pm
4
0
shrimp

it's really pretty easy... If your going to have a prayer in a public setting AT a government function, -od is alright, as a universal deity is pretty acceptable all the way around. Now, if you want to bring Jesus into the mix, you CHANGE the dynamics. A supplication to Jesus shows preference to ONE form of religion, period. The framers were pretty adamant about keeping any ONE religion OUT of politics. The interesting FACT of the matter is that one of the great social ADVANCES in world government is IS the separation of religion from politics. A first in world governance. Government decisions should be made by science and math, not philosophy and theology. I never could understand why curriculum did not include the discussion of philosophy and theology, unless there is a bias about learning things other than taught at home.

Fiat_Lux
16444
Points
Fiat_Lux 01/29/13 - 07:12 pm
1
1
@ Faithson

A very intelligent comment just above. Too bad it's largely wasted on the anti-religion crowd.

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 01/29/13 - 08:17 pm
4
1
"Some of you seem level

"Some of you seem level headed," those that agree with you, "but others are just plain nuts.", those that do not agree with you.

faithson
5528
Points
faithson 01/29/13 - 08:24 pm
1
1
Giant

good video... or good if it makes you think, not so good if u really believe -od has personal conversations with you.

Bizkit
35648
Points
Bizkit 01/29/13 - 10:30 pm
0
1
So one of Morgan Spurlocks

So one of Morgan Spurlocks comedy videos. He is hilarious with the satire and goofin' off. It isn't a serious video-its entertainment-a joke. Cheez. It isn't a serious philosophical, logical, or theological argument but just a well made video making a strawman personal opinion as an argument. Monty python did as much. He is making the video for his comedy show in the UK. Do you think it is serious??? Please tell me no!!!!!

Bizkit
35648
Points
Bizkit 01/29/13 - 10:34 pm
1
4
Actually you could make the

Actually you could make the argument that since over 90% of the planet population claims some faith (of the hundreds of religions) that those without faith are the odd ones out and likely crazy. hee,hee,hee. I guess it is all in how you look at it. Some mutation in your God gene.

DanK
784
Points
DanK 01/30/13 - 04:16 am
2
4
The questions

Okay, so the purpose of the meeting is business. So, why is it necessary to have some religious ceremony beforehand? What purpose does it serve in regards to the business to be conducted in the meeting?

If some people want to pray together before the meeting, then why don't they go to a place that has not been designated for a business meeting to pray together? Before the meeting, in a different place.

At what point will the non-Christian populace of our country be recognized? "Nones" (people who say they are atheist, agnostic or have no particular religious beliefs) now number 20% of the American populace. There are many more who have strong spiritual beliefs that do not include a personal god. Why should a quarter of the populace be forced to participate in religious ceremonies that are not only irrelevant to them, but offensive -- especially when the ceremonies have nothing to do with the reason for being there?

Every person has a right to pray. But should one have the right to force others to pray to a deity they do not believe in? How would they like it if, during their prayer, someone stood up and started reading from "The Satanic Bible"? Would that be okay? Why not?

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 01/30/13 - 06:09 am
4
2
DanK, we are not talking

DanK, we are not talking about someone standing up and reading the Word of God so your senario of someone standing up and reading "The Satanic Bible" makes no sense.

"So, why is it necessary to have some religious ceremony beforehand? What purpose does it serve in regards to the business to be conducted in the meeting?"

Because there are those who believe in a Supreme and Holy God who they petition guidance and clear thinking over the things they are about to discuss. They feel this is important to do so that the meeting will be productive. Why would someone think that is a bad thing?

"If some people want to pray together before the meeting, then why don't they go to a place that has not been designated for a business meeting to pray together? Before the meeting, in a different place. "

It is before the meeting and why should they have to go to a different place. Why can not the individuals who do not want to participate simply delay going into the meeting hall, classroom, conference room, etc. until after the pray is given? Why can not there be a compromise and let those who wish to pray, pray before the meeting and those who do not wish to pray, not have to participate. Why is it that those against want to take it completely away and those that wish to pray are most likely willing to compromise. Hmmmm, the word tolerant comes to mind.

'Why should a quarter of the populace be forced to participate in religious ceremonies that are not only irrelevant to them, but offensive "

Who is forcing anyone to pray? No one can force you to participate in prayer and it may not be relevant to you and offensive, but personally I find many things non-believers do that are offensive but I must deal with them each and every day. Can I force them not to play foul and vulgar language on the radio or TV? Can I force them not to serve alchohol in restaurants? Can I stop abortion or homosexuality?

You can say, well you can just turn to another channel or turn the TV off or you don't have to eat at that particular resturant. So, if I have to do the changing, then why can not non-believers simple be quiet or step out of the room, when believers wish to say a few words to their God before a meeting? Why is it that believers are prevented but non-believers get free reign?

Fiat_Lux
16444
Points
Fiat_Lux 01/30/13 - 07:01 am
2
2
Sick of the haters

If you don't like prayer, don't pray. If you don't like to be around people that pray, stay home.

Last time I checked, the majority rules except when someone is getting hurt. Prayer doesn't hurt anyone, even if you don't want anything to do with it. It doesn't hurt anyone to be polite and tolerant.

Unless, of course, you are part of the entitled and petted minority that believe their preferences always trump the rights of the majority. I'd say that even describes a minority of the people around here.

DanK
784
Points
DanK 01/30/13 - 04:45 pm
1
0
Non-Answers

Why should there be any religious ceremonies before a business meeting? The best you can come up with is "Because there are those who believe in a Supreme and Holy God..." That does not answer the question. It is a business meeting. Why is a religious ceremony needed before a business meeting?

Why does belief in "a Supreme and Holy God" permit you to force your beliefs and ceremonies on those who do not share your beliefs? Why should those who do not share your beliefs be forced to leave a *business* meeting, just because you wish to have a religious ceremony that has nothing to do with the business meeting?

You are not answering the questions. You are simply repeating that you want to have a religious ceremony and others can leave if they don't want to participate.

So, how about, instead of the prayer to your god, if I lead a prayer to the Supreme and Holy Em, Queen of the Wood Nymphs before the business meeting? If you don't like the prayer to Em and the other nature deities, you can leave. Do you have a problem with that?

How about, instead of the prayer to your god, if I lead a prayer to the 33 Hindu vedas (gods) and Parabrahma, the Supreme Cosmic Spirit? Are you okay with that? If you are not keen on Hindi, you can leave. Is that okay?

How about, instead of a prayer to your god, I lead a prayer to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the supreme god of the pastafarians? If you don't like it, you can leave. Are you okay with that?

How about, instead of a prayer to your god, I lead a prayer to Allah, the all knowing creator, sustainer and judge of the universe? If you don't like sitting through a Muslim prayer, you can leave. Is that okay with you?

It's true, none of these religious ceremonies have anything at all to do with the business to be discussed in the meeting. But by your argument, just believing in a particular deity justifies forcing a religious ceremony upon others.

So why should it be a prayer to *your* god, rather than some other god?

And why should there be a prayer at all? There is no good reason to have a religious ceremony of any kind before a business meeting.

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