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Freedom of Religion

Sunday, April 06, 2014

I hope people realize you have to be positive sometimes for things to happen. My mom really wanted to realize this before passing away but I know in heaven she will see it come true. I've been writing to the President about Freedom of Religion. One thing which most people have lost sight of is Prayer is a part of Religion and to be denied prayer is denying Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech. Also one thing else is the Constitution does not say it Freedom From Religion but rather Freedom of Religion which I think our forefathers meant. When looking at food we have a choice to what we eat. To think about what we are forced to eat does not mean forcing prayer on everyone. We have a choice. Just because one food is good for us doesn't mean we have to eat it but maybe have an informed decision in what we eat. The Dr.s want us to eat certain things but do we? Maybe the Dr.s don't pray before eating which calms the nerves. Anyhow I haven't been on lately so have been trying to think things through about what would be right for all not just a handfull. Hopefully prayer can be put back but not so that everyone has to say it but just respectful of those that do want to say it. Respect from both sides is important to all. Hope
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  • LAURANCE
    Hello, Hope...I'm still confused by your blog post. I do want to understand what you are telling us.

    You tell us, "The laws are that not all schools or public places allow you to pray."

    If I understand what you are saying, it sounds to me as if you're saying children are not allowed to pray in school, and citizens are not permitted to pray on public or government property.

    This isn't quite the way it is, actually. A schoolchild may certainly pray softly or silently, "Jesus, be with me as I start my school day." "Dear Lord, be with me as I take my test, and help me remember the correct answers." "Thank you, God, for being with me today in school." This does not violate any law, as long as the child is not making noise, as long as the child is not disrupting or involving other children. (If a child who is not bothering others or involving others is not permitted to pray silently, then that child and his/her parents have the right to make a big fuss and take action. But private, silent prayer is not forbidden at all.)

    What a child may not do is proselytize. A child may not try to involve other children in religious practice or promote while in school or on school grounds. Outside of school or away from school is a different matter.

    "The reason they took it out was because the atheists had to say prayer too which again was wrong."

    (Wrong to take it out because it forced atheists to pray, or wrong to take it out because atheists objected? Which?)

    When I was a child I was forced to pray. We had public school prayer in those days. And not just any prayer. It was the King James Bible reading, followed by the protestant version of the Lord's Prayer. EVERYBODY had to say the prayer. Never mind that the Catholics do not read the King James Bible. Their Bible is the Douay Version, and their version of the Lord's Prayer is different from the protestant version. Still the Catholics were forced to pray in the protestant way, and never mind that their beliefs are somewhat different.

    There was a sizable minority of Jewish kids. Those kids were forced to pray like Christians. The fact that they were Jews was ignored.

    Never mind anybody else who was not a Christian. All the kids were coerced and forced in those days. Protestant religion was mandated, and other religions were silenced.

    "Being in an institution is Not fun and to be told they don't allow it is even worse. I realize a lot of people haven't been institutionalized. You can do what you want but you probably haven't been institutionalized and told you can't."

    What institution are you talking about? I'm not clear. What sort of institution were you in that forbade you to pray?

    As I said above, you are free to pray silently and privately when you are in a school or a government agency. And you can go to church and pray out loud, and you can pray at home, and with your friends, and at a celebration, whether a church celebration or a family one.

    What you cannot do is mandate prayer in your work as an employee public or government agency. Public and government agencies are to be strictly secular. And yes, this includes school teachers who can go to church all they want and pray all they want, but cannot promote religion in their classroom.

    And this protects you. It means that you cannot be forced to pray to a God you do not believe in, or say prayers of a religion that is not yours.

    "You must not have been punished for being a Christian."

    Who punished you? Who said you cannot be a Christian? I don't understand. Christianity is the largest and most influential religion in this country. There are churches all over the place. I see Christianity visible everywhere. Christians have power. Who could punish you or forbid you to be a Christian?

    "Do you hear their prayer? You apparently don't hear mine."

    What prayer am I not hearing? I don't understand. Who is praying but not being heard? What is this prayer I'm somehow missing? I need you to tell me more. I don't know what it is that I am not hearing.

    Best regards,

    Laura


    1567 days ago
  • HOPE2BE
    In response to Laurence and others this is why I'm trying to change this. The laws are that not all schools or public places allow you to pray. The reason they took it out was because the atheists had to say prayer too which again was wrong. Just because a person is Muslim doesn't mean we too have to be Muslim. I do say prayer when I want but don't want to break the law just because I'm saying prayer. Being in an institution is
    Not fun and to be told they don't allow it is even worse. I realize a lot of people haven't been institutionalized. You can do what you want but you probably haven't been institutionalized and told you can't. I also do not hate a Muslim just because they pray differently and besides I was taught to love my fellow man. You haven't heard of the kids kicked out because they said prayer or the teacher who wanted to but was told she couldn't. You must not have been punished for being a Christian. Do you hear their prayer? You apparently don't hear mine. Hope
    1567 days ago
  • DEEEBEE
    Good topic! Thanks to Hope and to Laurance.
    1567 days ago
  • LAURANCE
    I don't understand. Who is saying you can't pray? I haven't heard of any laws passed that say you are not allowed to ever pray.

    When you first wake up in the morning, is there a law that says you aren't allowed to say, "Thank you, God, for a new day."? When you sit down to your breakfast, is there a law forbidding you to say Grace? Is there any law that says that you are not permitted to look heavenward as you leave your house to go to work and say, "Thank you, God, for being with me as I go to work."? Are you not permitted to kneel beside your bed and thank God for another day, and ask him to send his angels to stand by you over the night?

    No, you are not being denied the right to pray. You are free to pray if you wish.

    What is not permitted is religion in government institutions. Schools, among other things, are under that umbrella.

    Here's the problem. You say, "Hopefully prayer can be put back but not so that everyone has to say it but just respectful of those that do want to say it." But what prayer is going to be said?

    How would you feel if you were subjected to a situation in which you were expected to get down with your head on the floor five times a day and recite a Muslim prayer, but not a Christian prayer? You'd have to keep your mouth shut and "be respectful" while a prayer foreign to you was the norm. Suppose it was a Wiccan prayer that was mandated. Shall we expect you to keep quiet and not dance around while The Goddess is being worshiped? Do you want to be subjected to the expectation that you will chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Hare Rama Hare Rama? Will you be content with being silent while all around you other people are praying to different gods?

    Separation of church and state is there to prevent this sort of thing. But that means that Christians cannot expect that Christianity will have some special privilege. Freedom FROM Religion is a vital and necessary part of Freedom OF Religion. Christianity isn't the only religion in this country (not counting the people with NO religion)

    I don't know how you'd feel about living in a country where a particular religion was The State Religion, and it was The Law that you had to belong to that religion, like it or not. Do you want to be forced to be a Buddhist and forbidden to be a Christian? Do you want to be coerced into being a Hindu? By the same token, Buddhists and Hindus, Muslims and Jews and others, including people with no religion, do not want to be pressured by penalties under the law to become Christians.

    Freedom both of and from religion, and separation of church and state protect you. It's this freedom that allows you to choose your church and go to church as much as you want. It allows you to say all the prayers you want, as long as those prayers are not promoted by public agencies.

    Your mother up in Heaven can look down and hear the church bells ringing on Sunday. She can see the people going to church and hear them praying. She can hear you saying Grace at mealtime, and hear you saying your bedtime prayers. Nobody is stopping you from praying.

    Hope, I don't understand what the problem is here.
    1568 days ago
  • COOP9002
    Thanks for sharing
    1568 days ago
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