February 22, 2020

The Editor speaks: “Why did they take prayer out of the public schools?”


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Colin Wilson

That isn’t me asking that question. It is Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was injured in the synagogue shooting near San Diego, USA.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 1962 banned school-sponsored prayer in public schools in a landmark decision, saying it violated the First Amendment.

Similar legislation has been instigated in many other countries, including the UK.

A 19-year-old gunman armed with an assault-style weapon who wrote a manifesto of hate against Jewish people, killed Lori Gilbert Kaye, 60, after shielding Goldstein from the bullets. Three others were injured in the shooting, which happened last Saturday, the final day of Passover.

Goldstein is quoted in the article we ran yesterday ( May1) see- https://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/rabbi-in-us-synagogue-shooting-let-students-reflect-on-god/

“When Ronald Reagan was shot, a campaign was launched that public schools should introduce a moment of silence. I’m hoping to get legislation to reintroduce that, that children when they start their day should take a moment of silence to think about themselves and to realize that they are children of God, that they have a soul, that they are created in the image of God, to value life, and to value more of life than just the materialism, that there’s a spiritual dimension to life.”

“This must stop, and I’m hoping that the tragedy that happened at our congregation would be the impetus to rethink what is the problem, why have we gone wrong,” he added. “America was built on religious values. In God we trust. Our founding fathers of America wanted our children to grow up with God in their lives, with a spiritual life to them.”

Is he right?

He is wrong when he said the Supreme Court banned school-sponsored prayer in public schools. They didn’t. However, they might just as well as done. Schools are forbidden from initiating or sponsoring religious activities, including prayer, but religious groups are permitted to meet on school grounds after school, and students can pray to whatever or whomever they want at any time of day, as long as they do it privately and don’t try to force others to do the same.

It’s like saying schools cannot initiate learning subjects such as mathematics and history but students can learn these on school grounds after school.

Actually, I blame the media. There has been many, many articles (yes I have just looked) demeaning anyone who tries to connect mass gun violence to the banning of compulsory religion.

They can produce stats to prove their case. Since the ban on school sponsored prayer gun crime has gone down they shout. However, they ignore any stats that show very, very few (I haven’t found one, but then I haven’t got many, many hours to spare) crazed gun shooters habitually go to church and/or from practicing Christian homes! The ones that pray to God and teach their children to do the same!!

That is the point the Rabbi was making. He is a Jew. So was Jesus Christ.

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