As Predicted (The Cranston Ruling)

As I wrote at the time of the court case…

This isn’t religious, it’s merely tradition
I’m certain our case will be met with approval
A secular prayer—just a trivial thing—
So we’ll fight tooth and nail to prevent its removal

The prayer was a gift from a class in the sixties
Its place in tradition just can’t be denied
This isn’t religious! It’s all about freedom!
And we’ll fight, with our secular god on our side

For decades, the mural’s been there in the hallway
And no one—not one—had complained it’s religious
The taunting and threats that this Jessica’s getting?
It’s her fault alone, cos she’s so damned litigious

She’s out for attention! That’s all that this is!
The god-hating liberal, atheist slut!
We good Christian people should teach her a lesson
How sometimes it’s safer to keep your mouth shut.

How dare she insult us? How dare she mock God?
How dare she belittle the prayer in the hall?
How dare she believe that the law’s on her side—
Remember… this isn’t religious at all!

All the good stuff after the jump:

The judge’s ruling is a good read. Reminds me a bit of the spanking another judge gave Dover, PA. The comment threads on this are filled with precisely the sort of thing that the judge here noted, and (bravo!) it is precisely because the school board behaved like the people in the comment threads that the banner was shown to be unconstitutional. The religious language they used stood in contrast to the “historical relic” argument they were making, and the judge rightly paid attention.

When the Prayer Mural was hung in 1963, a reasonable observer would no doubt have concluded that Cranston West endorsed its message, and approved its installation in a place of prominence in the new auditorium. While the Prayer was authored by a student, and the Mural was paid for by a group of graduates, the School would never have permitted the exhibition of a message of which it did not approve. During the forty-five-plus years that the Prayer Mural has hung in the auditorium, an observer would probably have been puzzled by the Prayer Mural. Clearly it is “old-looking” as Committee member Lombardi observed, and yet it is still maintained and located in a place of honor to the right of the stage, next to the clock. However, if that puzzled observer had sat in on the March 7, 2011, School Committee meeting, his or her confusion would have ended. At that meeting, the School Committee endorsed the position of those who believe that it is acceptable to use Christian prayer to instill values in public schoolchildren; a decision that clearly placed the ‘nonadherents’ outside of the political community.

Go read the whole thing. Bookmark it, and point it out to pinheads in comment threads.


  1. RW Ahrens says

    I’d love to leave comments, but your link goes to a document file with no link to comments.


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