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Judge Bans 'Secondhand Jesus'

A federal judge, clearly responding to an urgent threat of "Secondhand Jesus" infecting young people today, ruled that a state law requiring a moment of silence in public schools is unconstitutional, saying it crosses the line separating church and state.

The country is finally taking some much-needed steps to protect our children from the ravages of secondhand Jesus which have been known to infect children with ideas about abstinence, tolerance, and charity.

Young children are especially susceptible to the effects of "Secondhand Jesus." Recent studies have indicated that there is no risk-free level of "Secondhand Jesus" exposure and even brief exposures can be harmful to children.

According to the Associated Press:

"The statute is a subtle effort to force students at impressionable ages to contemplate religion," U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman said in his ruling Wednesday.

The ruling came in a lawsuit designed to bar schools from enforcing the Illinois Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act. It was filed by talk show host Rob Sherman, an outspoken atheist, and his daughter, Dawn, a high school student.
Judges are essentially ruling that you cannot mention God or refer to Jesus in public under threat of law for fear of contaminating happy atheists with secondhand Jesus.

Sometimes I wonder, if atheists are so happy why are they always filing lawsuits?

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18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good. Christianity has no place, even remotely, in our government, schools, etc.

If it were a moment of silence for Allah (shouldn't be that either) you can bet the Christians would be screaming.

Deusdonat said...

Actually, Christianity has a VERY needed place in our schools, government etc. This country was founded by Christians. It is a Christian majority. We should seek to accommodate minorities, but not sacrifice our beliefs for them.

This is yet another step of the US turning into the UK.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Well, then I'm prepared to violate it...

Fr Bill P said...

Hey Anon...
Thank God (or whatever you worship) that they can still learn how to use condoms, embrace homosexuali...errr diversity, and build their self-esteem!!! I mean, it is not as if we would want them to understand that there are things larger than themselves!! Heavens no!!! Heaven forbid (or whatever realm of existence you think dandy) we should break the cycle of intense navel gazing that teens already engage in. What you don't seem to get, is a religion is being pressed into their system via the public school system...atheism at worst, secular humanism at best. But there never has been any bad effects with that!

Anonymous said...

When I was in public school here in the Bible Belt, I had to learn the five pillars of Islam. I never once felt the need to become a Muslim. Just sayin'.

Oh, and Anon, this was the result of a law passed by the Illinois General Assembly (Barry Obama's old boys). Not exactly the most proselytizing bunch of folks -- more of what I'd call democracy in action. And would you PLEASE do me the favor of instructing me as to how the generic words "prayer" and "god" (used by Muslims, Hindus, Vikings, etc.) violates the first amendment and attempts to establish Christianity as a national religion?

God Bless,
Ryan

P.S.,
You do realize that it's neither uncommon nor theologically significant that Christians in Arabic speaking places call God 'Allah'...don't you?

Nzie said...

So, state schools are no longer required to have a moment of silence. However, that does not prevent them from having it. Now, once something isn't required, our culture likes to say we don't need to do it, but,the judge cannot ban it outright.

I hate Andrew Jackson, but this is one time when his response to hearing that Marshall had upheld the contracts with the Native American tribes is appropriate: He "has made his ruling. Now let him enforce it."

Dave said...

I thought SCOTUS had already ruled on this, and in favor of moments of silence.

Christopher Michael said...

Matthew,
No, judges did not "essentially" rule that "you cannot mention God or refer to Jesus in public." They simply said that you can not require students to observe a moment of silence. If a student still wishes to observe a moment of silence, or to pray, that may still do so. The judge is issuing a ruling against the state, not against school students. It is telling the state that you cannot require students to pray or observe a moment of silence; it is not telling students what they may or may not do. Students are completely free to go on and on about how much they love God in school.

~cmpt

Matthew Siekierski said...

Christopher Michael,

To be even more specific, the judge's ruling is that the state cannot require the schools to have a moment of silence during which school kids can do whatever they like (pray, clean their nails, navel-gaze, whatever). His statements make it clear that he sees it as an attempt to force religion down the kids' throats, but nothing in the law that I've seen requires that the students actually pray.

I wonder what his ruling would be on a moment of silence on 11/11. How dare the schools force kids to think about Veterans, or contemplate war!

A school-wide moment of silence doesn't force a kid to pray, it simply gives an opportunity to those who do want to pray.

Anthony said...

I've seen too too many stories on how children being sent home for wearing a t-shirt with Jesus on it.
There is a war on religion in this country. You can deny it but it's happening.

Br. Tom Forde OFMCap said...

Thanks be to God I live in a marginally saner country! Here in Ireland some atheists tried to challenge the paying of Chaplains in state schools but the Supreme Court decided in favour of the chaplains and of religion in schools. We pray the Our Father (English one morning, Irish another) every day over the intercom, have an oratory with the blessed Sacrament,etc., in a state-owned and funded school. Religion is a subject taught all the way through (one can opt out for a good reason). So if it gets too hot over there... We're praying for you that you will have the strength to face the years ahead under your new President and his regime. Yours is s a good and great country built on a great ideal but you may have to suffer greatly to keep it that way.

eutychus said...

..There is a war on religion in this country. You can deny it but it's happening...

No, just a war on Christianity- and it's building.

Mike in CT said...

I've always thought that the moment of silence was a lame way of attempting to straddle the fence. When I was in high school, the moment of silence was a whopping 5 seconds between the Pledge of Allegiance (which we were not required to do, only to stand up) and the next round of daily announcements. And it was never presented as an opportunity for those who would like to pray. Our Father, who ar---time's up.

so we had a group of kids who would gather before homeroom to offer the day to the Lord-- much better, imho.

TragicallyUnhipMom said...

RE: The first comment...

I suspect we have a TROLL in our misdt. Please don't feed the trolls. They thrive on drama and no no class or common decency, let alone respect for others.

As for the actual article, I think this judge needs to reexamine the Constitution. The state cannot prohibit anyone from practicing their faith either.... the liberals seem to forget that a lot.

TragicallyUnhipDidn'tVoteForObamaMama said...

I suspect we have a TROLL in our misdt. Please don't feed the trolls. They thrive on drama and KNOW no class or common decency, let alone respect for others.

As for the actual article, I think this judge needs to reexamine the Constitution. The state cannot prohibit anyone from practicing their faith either.... the liberals seem to forget that a lot.

(Sorry for the typo!)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm ...

When I went to school I remember being told to put our heads down and be quiet by the teacher. I guess that was a mandated "moment of silence".

It had very little effect in getting the kids to contemplate religion. I remember contemplating lots of things - but nothing religious.

matthew archbold said...

I think that was nap time you're thinking of.

Amy said...

Anon 12:28 pm:

Can you PROVE, beyond a reasonable doubt, that moments of silence commanded people to think about Christianity?

NO.

Moments of silence are just that. Silence. A sign of respect. You don't have to pray, you don't have to think about God, you can recite the lyrics to "Baby Got Back" for all we know.

This is a joke. And what part of the First Amendment is unclear to people?

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