Freedom From Religion Foundation sues South Carolina School District

When I was in high school, we started every morning by the playing of ‘Oh Canada’, our national anthem.

Being a recent immigrant, I found this daily exercise of overt of tribalism to be weird in the extreme and did not, at first, understand why it would come about at all…

Over time, I began to understand the impulse that drove the playing of the national anthem 1st thing every morning:  it ‘clicked’ for me a bit after we got a new principal.

Our old principal would ask us to ‘stand for ‘Oh Canada’ and a few moments of silent prayer or meditation’.  When our new principal took over, the ritual was retained in exactly the same form, except that the ‘or meditation’ was dropped.

Now, I was being told to stand for the national anthem and prayer!!!

Of course, I complained:  not about the anthem, but about the dropping of ‘or meditation’.  I complained to several teachers; each one of them told me that it’s OK for me not to pray, because since it is a ‘silent prayer’, nobody will know that I am not praying.  I tried to be calm as I explained that that was hardly the point – and that behaving immoraly because I can get away with it is not a good lesson for them to be teaching me anyway.  The point was that by removing the ‘or meditation’ bit, they were denying the very existence of non-theists and that that was rather insulting and probably illegal.

It was then that it ‘clicked’ for me why it was that the morning was started with the national anthem:  the theists who ran the system could not imagine starting their day without a ritualistic appeal to authority.  Since they could not openly pray out loud in the secular school, they replaced the ritualistic appeal to a divine authority by an equally ritualistic appeal to the secular authority…

In other words, the playing of ‘Oh Canada’ was not really an expression of patriotism but rather a substitute for ritualistic prayer…

Which is a very round-about way to introduce the following story:

‘The Freedom From Religion Foundation and one of its South Carolina members filed a lawsuit today in U.S. District Court in Columbia, S.C., against School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties over a district policy that sanctions graduation prayer. Plaintiff Matthew Nielson graduated with his Irmo High School classmates today.

Nielson, 18, and state-church watchdog FFRF allege the district’s written policy violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The plaintiffs, represented by South Carolina counsel Aaron Kozloski, ask the court to declare the district’s policy null and void.

Despite the decades, religionists are still imposing their fetishes onto kids!

In related news:

 

Has the evolutionary ‘missing link’ been found?

Yes, of course – every fossil found is a link of one sort or another.

But some are just ‘linkier’ than others – and this one, provocatively called Darwinius masillae, might just be one of the ‘linkiest’ by clearly demonstrating the connection between humans and the other apes.

For a picture, check out the article in NY Daily News.

Holocaust Ride and Rally to remember: 31st of May, 2012

From an email I received:

Holocaust Ride and Rally to remember

Holocaust Ride to remember- Tomorrow [31st of May, 2012] at 10.00 am-10.30 am around 500 motorbikes led by the Jewish motorcycle club will be arriving at Parliament Hill for a Rally. Representatives of the Israeli Embassy will be there as well as Peter Goldring MP. They will be speaking to the assembly. Riders are from the UK, USA, Israel, Canada and other countries. Members of the public are cordially invited to attended

Remember also that Thursday the 31st is also the 50th Anniversary of the moment Adolf Eichmann finally found justice for his crimes. He found his ‘moment of justice., in an Israeli jail at dawn on 31st May 1962

 

H/T:  JS