Judge battles defiant school officials in Florida

BEIJING — This story caught my eye, since mixing religion and public education is one of my pet peeves. Officials at Pace High School in Florida are openly defying court injunctions against public prayers at school functions. So the judge is charging them with criminal contempt of court. More Christian martyrs battling the lions (those nasty secular judges). Ed Brayton has all the details here. I’m too tired right now to weigh in on it myself. UPDATE Aug. 21: A school clerk, Michelle Winkler, was cleared of civil contempt charges today. U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers found that Winkler, who asked her husband to pray at a school awards banquet, was not named in the original injunction. Winkler told reporters she believed school officials were in a “battle” against the American Civil Liberties Union and their school district.

How rumors get started … 7

JISHOU, HUNAN — When George Washington resigned his commission as commander of the Continental Army in 1783, he sent a short letter to the 13 governors of the former colonies. Many years hence, part of his letter was plagiarized to create a spurious document, “Washington’s Prayer,” which is now bouncing around the Intertubes. You see, some people are trying to convince us that the Founding Fathers were all Bible-thumping, Trinitarian, fundamentalist Christians, and that therefore, the USA is a “Christian Nation.” For the most part, the Founding Fathers were not any of the above. Lacking any supporting evidence in the US Constitution and US legal code, historical revisionists grasp at straws to puff up their claims. Here are the last three paragraphs of the actual document. Circular Letter Addressed to the Governors of all the States on the Disbanding of the Army, June 14, 1783 ... I have thus freely declared what I wished to make known, before I surrendered up my public trust to those who committed it to me. The task is now accomplished. I now bid adieu to your Excellency, as the chief magistrate of your State, at the same time I bid a last farewell to ...

Moment of silence ≠ prayer?

JISHOU, HUNAN — A religious nutjob in Southport, Indiana, made a scene during a city council meeting recently, because the meetings no longer start with a spoken prayer. Instead, on the insistence of the new Republican mayor, they open with a moment of silence. So, as soon as the moment of silence started, David Lynch, 70, started praying loudly in the council chambers. When he was told to be quiet, he got louder. Eventually, the chief of police had to drag away him in cuffs. Lynch had earlier told the Indianapolis Star that “a moment of silence is not prayer.” While I doubt that Lynch reads my blog, I will nevertheless quote some Scripture — some of few words in the NT that scholars believe Jesus actually spoke. [5] “When you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Most assuredly, I tell you, they have received their reward. [6] But you, when you pray, enter into your inner chamber, and having shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father ...
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