Ill. Moment-Of-Silence Law Ruled Unconstitutional

Bob Hubbard

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Ill. Moment-Of-Silence Law Ruled Unconstitutional
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Author: The Associated Press Source: The First Amendment Center
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Title: ILL. MOMENT-OF-SILENCE LAW RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL

A federal judge has ruled that a state law requiring a moment of silence in public schools across Illinois is unconstitutional, saying it crosses the line separating church and state.

"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 yesterday.

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.

Gettleman's ruling was not a surprise. He had already ruled in favor of Sherman in two previous decisions.
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Archangel M

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I was joing to "knee jerk" a reply about this one until I read about the part where the teacher was requird to teach about prayer. With that bit, I have to agree with the judge.
 

Cryozombie

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Nevermind the fact that Separation of Church and State is a MYTH that is only supported by writings outside the constitution, the same kind that are REJECTED when the issue of the Second Amendment come up as evidence to support the right to bear arms.

I have no problem with the idea that the Founding Fathers MEANT to have Separation, when the people pushing for it accept they also MEANT I have the right to carry my .45

:p
 

jarrod

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people should be free to practice their religion as they see fit. but who the hell are these people who want government employees (i.e., teachers) instructing their kids about prayer? i would think you'd want to do that yourself.

there's a church down the street from me that offers a "real science" class for kids. who sends their kids to learn science at church?

cryozombie, for what it's worth i support separation of church & state as well as the 2nd amendment.

jf
 

Cryozombie

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cryozombie, for what it's worth i support separation of church & state as well as the 2nd amendment.

Thats cool. My reference is pretty specific to people who KNOW that their isn't a Seperation of Church and State, but then they Cite documents like the Federalist Papers to show that it was intended... but then swear up and down that the right to bear arms is not for the people but for the militia, and when you cite documents like the Federalist Papers to show that it was intended for the people, they say "well it's not in the Document tho"

It was intended for the "Cake and Eat it too" Crowd.
 

Cryozombie

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And on that note... if this Ruling is Correct, and this Separation exists...

Is it ok to tell some kid he can't wear a hat in school but allow an Indian girl to wear her hijab? (I believe that is the term, perhaps I am wrong) Or a that a government worker can't carry a knife but a Sikh woman can have a Neck-knife because it's mandated by her order?

Lets face it... if we are going to be religious intolerant, because of this separation, it has to happen ACROSS THE BOARD, or be thrown out.
 

punisher73

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And on that note... if this Ruling is Correct, and this Separation exists...

Is it ok to tell some kid he can't wear a hat in school but allow an Indian girl to wear her hijab? (I believe that is the term, perhaps I am wrong) Or a that a government worker can't carry a knife but a Sikh woman can have a Neck-knife because it's mandated by her order?

Lets face it... if we are going to be religious intolerant, because of this separation, it has to happen ACROSS THE BOARD, or be thrown out.

Absolutely agreed. The "seperation of church and state" was that there was not a "state church" that everyone had to pay for and adhere to.

Too many times in this country we use the "church and state" clause, but then allow people from other religions to practice what they want. Aethism IS a form of religious belief, and it is enforced on a large scale all the time. Here is the full statute and NO WHERE does it say or state that teachers are required to teach students about prayer, in fact, it says the opposite.
(105 ILCS 20/0.01) (from Ch. 122, par. 770)
Sec. 0.01. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act.
(Source: P.A. 92‑832, eff. 1‑1‑03.)
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/010500200K0.01.htm
(105 ILCS 20/1) (from Ch. 122, par. 771)
Sec. 1. In each public school classroom the teacher in charge shall observe a brief period of silence with the participation of all the pupils therein assembled at the opening of every school day. This period shall not be conducted as a religious exercise but shall be an opportunity for silent prayer or for silent reflection on the anticipated activities of the day.
(Source: P.A. 95‑680, eff. 10‑11‑07.)

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/010500200K1.htm
(105 ILCS 20/5)
Sec. 5. Student prayer. In order that the right of every student to the free exercise of religion is guaranteed within the public schools and that each student has the freedom to not be subject to pressure from the State either to engage in or to refrain from religious observation on public school grounds, students in the public schools may voluntarily engage in individually initiated, non‑disruptive prayer that, consistent with the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the United States and Illinois Constitutions, is not sponsored, promoted, or endorsed in any manner by the school or any school employee.
(Source: P.A. 92‑832, eff. 1‑1‑03.)
 

jarrod

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And on that note... if this Ruling is Correct, and this Separation exists...

Is it ok to tell some kid he can't wear a hat in school but allow an Indian girl to wear her hijab? (I believe that is the term, perhaps I am wrong) Or a that a government worker can't carry a knife but a Sikh woman can have a Neck-knife because it's mandated by her order?

Lets face it... if we are going to be religious intolerant, because of this separation, it has to happen ACROSS THE BOARD, or be thrown out.

i understood it wasn't directed at me, i just wanted you to know that we're out there :)

fwiw, i do believe that seperation of chuch & state is the best policy.

i agree that religions have to be treated the same across the board. i really don't care if someone wants to wear a religious symbol or express their religion anyway they choose so long as it doesn't hurt anybody. for instance letting a person wear religious headgear doesn't bother me. letting someone carry a knife where no one else is allowed one is an issue, because that isn't a rule it's a law.

Absolutely agreed. The "seperation of church and state" was that there was not a "state church" that everyone had to pay for and adhere to.

Too many times in this country we use the "church and state" clause, but then allow people from other religions to practice what they want. Aethism IS a form of religious belief, and it is enforced on a large scale all the time. Here is the full statute and NO WHERE does it say or state that teachers are required to teach students about prayer, in fact, it says the opposite.

technically, atheism is not a religion but a philosophy. & while i sympathize with your feelings i don't think it's enforced on a large scale, nor can it be done. china has been trying to do this for a while & they haven't had much luck. meanwhile over here every president we've had has professed christianity as have the vast majority of leaders & politicians.

when i was a christian, i thought the rest of the world was a bunch of pushy atheists. when i was agnostic, i thought the whole world was a bunch of pushy religious nuts. it's easy to see legislation about religion that you don't agree with & think that your side is persecuted, whichever side you're on.

jf
 

jarrod

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but really at the heart of this issue, for me at least, is kids can pray wherever they want. they can pray while they walk down the halls, they can pray while they're not listening to the teacher, they can pray in the bathroom, whatever. we don't send kids to school to observe moments of silence, we send them for an education.

i like to meditate in silence. but since when is it a school's job to provide me with silence?

jf
 

Empty Hands

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technically, atheism is not a religion but a philosophy.

It's neither. Atheism is a lack of belief in god(s). That's all. Anything else you might add is not common to all atheists. Some atheists are hardcore skeptics. Some atheists believe in ghosts and UFOs. Some spin out their beliefs into a philosophy, most just don't care.
 

jarrod

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It's neither. Atheism is a lack of belief in god(s). That's all. Anything else you might add is not common to all atheists. Some atheists are hardcore skeptics. Some atheists believe in ghosts and UFOs. Some spin out their beliefs into a philosophy, most just don't care.

define "philosophy".

philosophy
Noun
pl -phies
1. the academic study of knowledge, thought, and the meaning of life
2. the particular doctrines of a specific individual or school relating to these issues: the philosophy of John Locke
3. any system of beliefs or values
4. a personal outlook or viewpoint [Greek philosophia love of wisdom]

(bolds added)

jf
 

arnisador

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My personal disinterest in religion as an activity doesn't rise to the level of 'philosophy', though. I also don't enjoy cooking--is that a philosophy?
 

Archangel M

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Oh come on now..we all know that religion, atheism and philosophy all have to do with views on reality, life, death and ethics and influence how people lead their lives...cooking does not.
 
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