Monday, September 6, 2010

Challenges to Prayer on the Increase

Readers of this blog know I have already written about several court cases that arose when one or more people were offended by some form of public prayer. It has seemed to me that I am seeing more of these cases, and an article on documents that to be the case.

One example: employees of the University of Texas were fired for praying over a follow employee's cube, even though it was after hours, when the employee was not there, and without the employee's knowledge (even after the fact). Why did the school fire these people? The cited "harassment." At least one of those directly involved did not actually utter a prayer, but simply said "Amen" at various times. So that person was fired either for saying "Amen" or for silent actions.

It is clear from history that our Founders did not intend the First Amendment to mean anything like this. The phrase "separation of church and state" comes to us from Thomas Jefferson. This is the same Thomas Jefferson who issued proclamations for days of prayer in Virginia, and who specified that certain areas of the University of Virginia be set aside for prayer between students and faculty.

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