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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
brokerallen
The Middle Class Needs To Take Back America
11:50 PM on 06/04/2011
God bless the Court for standing on the constitution. Freedom of religion lives!
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
J Michael Norris
12:20 AM on 06/05/2011
First off, the Supreme court has already ruled this kind of student-led prayer and public-school events is unconstitutional, with a majority opinion written by conservative Justice Stevens, so this will be over-turned.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Fe_Independent_School_Dist._v._Doe

Second, then I'm guessing by your "faith" in God's workings through the court, you support the idea that the Roe v. Wade decision was also his work.

Good job!
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
J Michael Norris
12:23 AM on 06/05/2011
*at public school events
holyghostie
Spiritus est qui vivificat
10:34 AM on 06/05/2011
Wrong:
http://www­.religious­tolerance.­org/ps_pra­e.htm

The court has not ruled as you believe it too. This is a very specific type of prayer that the court has not ruled on. If you want to bring it to the Supreme Court please file the case. I have a feeling you will lose J Michael.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Randy Ayo
01:10 AM on 06/05/2011
They stood on it all right!
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Atwill
Stitch - Aloha means family
07:33 PM on 06/04/2011
How many Bible thumpers would be upset if a satanic kid got up and thanked the devil? I wish one would. just for the laughs. i'd love to see their horrified faces. "I would like to thank Satan for helpping me get thru high school. And for tempting Eve with the Apple. you rock Satan." It would be hysterical.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
UnderTheHedgeWeGo
Show me some evidence.
08:44 PM on 06/04/2011
Well the parallel would be if the Satan worshiper asked the audience to join in the prayer.
holyghostie
Spiritus est qui vivificat
09:42 PM on 06/04/2011
a christian would be secure enough in their faith to not be troubled about their own soul...however they might pray for the devil worshiper. So you'd get two groups of prayers...which is fine according to the first amendment.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
HotelDrama
01:28 AM on 06/05/2011
Or not.
http://freethinker.co.uk/2011/05/30/us-high-school-student-threatened-with-death-for-opposing-school-prayer/

This student has received death threats because he decided to stand up to an illegal school sponsored prayer at a graduation. Guess these Christians didn't get the message of Jesus?
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mrkurtzhedead
I'll be back, when it's dark!
08:16 AM on 06/05/2011
If they are so secure in their faith why all of this vulgar, public, and repetitious spouting?
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Cindbird
Using my head for something other than a hat rack.
07:06 PM on 06/04/2011
My son just graduated last week. I am Buddhist, but live in the Bible Belt. I live in Alabama. The graduation ceremony was held at a local Christian University. And yes, there were prayers. I had a choice, not attend the ceremony, one which was very important to my son, or just sit through the prayers. I chose to go. My son has multiple learning disabilities and it was very important that he walk with his friends. I did not bow my head during the prayers and had people staring at me. A little boy sitting behind poked me and told me I was being disrespectful. I felt out of place and uncomfortable. I really think that was what the Schultz family wanted to avoid. I live in a city that has more churches than police and fire stations and hospitals combined. There are 6 churches in a 1/2 mile radius from my house. The fact is that those of us who practice non-Christian religions have a choice, fight them over it or live and let live. Yes, we are within our rights to say no to prayers at graduation, but sometimes enforcing those rights causes more trouble than just ignoring the prayers.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
syntax facit saltum
We do not live in a 2 story universe
08:48 PM on 06/04/2011
If the people were staring at you, then they were not bowing their heads either. That was nice of you to support your son.
holyghostie
Spiritus est qui vivificat
10:14 PM on 06/04/2011
amen
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
UnderTheHedgeWeGo
Show me some evidence.
08:51 PM on 06/04/2011
This was at a Christian University and I suppose it may be acceptable in that situation. In this case we are talking about a public school and a secular graduation ceremony. In a ceremony at at public school I don't understand why it is necessary to make you feel like a second class just to attend your child's graduation.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Cindbird
Using my head for something other than a hat rack.
11:42 PM on 06/04/2011
I guess I didn't make it clear that this was a public High School graduation being held off campus at the University.
06:28 PM on 06/04/2011
worship of an invisible being who made the entire universe, everything, just for them is a supremely egotistical act.....

kind of warped don't you think?
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Cori527
Gay democrat agnostic vegetarian!
12:04 AM on 06/05/2011
Severe egotism and narcissism is the prerequisite of any religion.
holyghostie
Spiritus est qui vivificat
06:17 PM on 06/04/2011
What's next some non-believer is going to bring a law suit when somebody on a gov't owned bus says God Bless you when someone else sneezes? The judges made the program from the schools end sterile of any language that would seem overtly religious. What the valedictorian says in her speech is her business. If the agnostic kid was smarter than her it would have been his/her right to say what they wanted.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
HotelDrama
06:34 PM on 06/04/2011
So leading a prayer to the Christian God isn't overtly religious? You sure about that?
holyghostie
Spiritus est qui vivificat
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DougSmith
What isn't potentially sensitive?
12:22 PM on 06/05/2011
So your position is that all in attendance should be forced to listen to her lead the audience in a prayer.

Set aside your legal beliefs for a moment. Why would you or anyone think that it is right and appropriate to force others who may not believe in God to submit to this in order to celebrate with the child their graduation from a public high school?

Perhaps this valedictorian should be taught a little about respect for others that might not share her beliefs. If she wants to thank her version of God then that is fine with me but to lead the audience in a prayer clearly crosses the line if not legally then morally and it doesn't reflect well on whatever her religion is.
06:17 PM on 06/04/2011
Way to go Texas!

Helping us find our way back to the 13th century
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AdamWest1313
Hardcore Agnostic
05:15 PM on 06/04/2011
I wonder what the reaction would have been if it was a Muslim student reciting a prayer.
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f0rTyLeGz
Everything is falling.
05:36 PM on 06/04/2011
And that is the reason why public institutions are supposed to not have forced religious participation.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
syntax facit saltum
We do not live in a 2 story universe
06:49 PM on 06/04/2011
At our recent graduation the speaker on behalf of master's students in our program was a Muslim woman. She was an excellent speaker and an excellent scholar. I nominated her for this honor and yes I noticed she wears a hijab. She gave a wonderful speak and she did thank God during her speech. I think it gave the audience some good things to think about to see her in her cap and gown (cap put on over her hijab) and hear her speech including her mention of God. The student representing undergraduates gave a secular speech. She was wonderful too. I don't think anyone suffered, despite the mention of God.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
sunchaser528
07:58 PM on 06/04/2011
However, do you really not see the subtle, but very meaningful, difference in expressing your personal faith and how it impacted you - versus asking all present to conform to the customs of your belief, such as when you ask all to bow their heads in prayer?
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eyecon
Retired CEO & Quality-Mgmt Consultant
04:20 PM on 06/04/2011
"Angela Hildenbran­­d, had filed an interventi­­on lawsuit that claimed she was being deprived of her right to pray for her classmates and community in front of the assembly at Graduation­".
=============================

Actually that is incorrect. I read the original court order. Its terms precluded Angela from leading others in prayer and included language which would allow her to express her own religious beliefs.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
UnderTheHedgeWeGo
Show me some evidence.
05:32 PM on 06/04/2011
As a benediction, a preplaned portion of the program, put there by school officials if I'm not mistaken. She has a right to her prayers (regardless of how rude it may be to subject a mixed audience to her personal spiritual beliefs at a secular event). The school has no right to schedule prayers as part of an official ceremony.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
syntax facit saltum
We do not live in a 2 story universe
06:53 PM on 06/04/2011
At our recent (secular) graduation a Muslim woman who spoke representing Master's students briefly acknowledged God in her speech. She also talked about her experience of coming to this country and learning English and expressed her gratitude for all the opportunities she had experienced and everyone who had supported her. I don't think it was rude of her at all to have mentioned God. That was part of her identity and I think the audience appreciated her uniqueness during her speech.
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eyecon
Retired CEO & Quality-Mgmt Consultant
04:18 PM on 06/04/2011
Let's get $cientology involved. "Xenu and the Class of 2011."
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planores
Doing my best to pissoff the religious right!
04:01 PM on 06/04/2011
Since Ms. Hildenbrand is Catholic, would her prayer include forgiveness to all the priests that have molested children within her church?
06:29 PM on 06/04/2011
In the context of a class graduation? Pretty st.upi.d.
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mrkurtzhedead
I'll be back, when it's dark!
07:42 AM on 06/05/2011
Yep, as is praying to god in the context of a public school graduation.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
bbriani3842
400+ yrs of science & STILL no evidence for a god
03:46 PM on 06/04/2011
God is like a comedian playing for an audience too afraid to laugh.

--- Voltaire
06:29 PM on 06/04/2011
You thought an atheist would say something meaningful about God?
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Uncle Bob
Darwin loves you.
09:19 PM on 06/04/2011
Since they are the only group thinking clearly on the subject, it would seem to be the only place to find such.
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mrkurtzhedead
I'll be back, when it's dark!
07:44 AM on 06/05/2011
This atheist sums it up better than ANY theist.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RT6rL2UroE
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Demarcus Jackson
Southern Psychology Professor
03:45 PM on 06/04/2011
The Irreligious in this nation must begin taking a more aggressive stand against religious zealots. The Irreligious must make their voices heard within the sociopolitical sphere. Let the 21st century mark the end for religious ignorance and religious mythology.
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eyecon
Retired CEO & Quality-Mgmt Consultant
04:16 PM on 06/04/2011
It is not just those who are not religious. I'll remind you that Americans Untied for Separation of Church and State is headed by a Protestant minister (Barry Lynn [sp?]). He knows that the best way to protect freedom of religion is through separation as the framers intended.
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Teacher Trish
The Enlightenment was a good idea.
05:11 PM on 06/04/2011
Agreed, Fanned and faved. I believe that many of the religious people posting here have never experienced life in a theocratic or totalitarian regime. They don't understand that if the government ever advocates a religion they may sorely dissapointed at which religion is chosen!
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amazed by it all
The earth shall inherit the meek.
10:23 PM on 06/04/2011
Yes! By the power of THOR, let it be so! (Zeus told me to say that)
03:37 PM on 06/04/2011
"freedom of speech does not require that they pray in private."

No, but Jesus does.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Billy Fritts
I love the Lord Jesus Christ
04:07 PM on 06/04/2011
One day soon- They will wish they could pray but it will be to late-- SAD--
06:23 PM on 06/04/2011
we agree on the "sad" part, but your comment is highlights why I feel like I'm living in an extended Twilight Zone episode..
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amazed by it all
The earth shall inherit the meek.
10:24 PM on 06/04/2011
Don't shed one tear or lose one minute of sleep over how I'll spend my eternity, and I'll do the same for you.

Deal? Deal.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
sunchaser528
03:18 PM on 06/04/2011
The absolutist, "I'm going to heaven, and you're going to hell" mentality prevents many people of faith from seeing issues with perspective and clarity. Forget the Constitutional issues, which make this a dead question if you've ever read it, but don't you see that asking for validation of YOUR faith from a multi-faith audience (including those who don't believe at all) puts all who don't believe as you do in a polarizing position at an event which is just as much theirs as yours? Do what you want in a non-secular private setting, but respect others and their views in a public, tax supported one.
06:31 PM on 06/04/2011
The absolutist. "There is no God and all religion is wrong."
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
sunchaser528
09:19 PM on 06/04/2011
You appear to be exactly the type of person I'm referring to. I cite one extreme as the mindset that gives rise to this controversy because you appear to believe that there's only one perspective - yours. Is there another end of the extreme? OF COURSE, but atheists aren't the root of this issue. They aren't attempting to force others to participate in their belief system. What about all the views in between the extremes? All I'm saying is there is a time and a place for those who believe to express those beliefs - and that place isn't everywhere.
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Cori527
Gay democrat agnostic vegetarian!
12:08 AM on 06/05/2011
Actually there might be a god. But all religion is wrong.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
eagle17765
03:10 PM on 06/04/2011
Dear G0d,

Please let everyone listening understand that every single Minister who has ever studied the Christian Religion- and who THEN, after studying the Christian Religion - knows FULL WELL they are intentionally, willfully and knowingly LYING when they "claim" Jesus is the Divine Son of G0d.

Please G0d let these listeners know that every single Minister who has ever studied the Christian Religion has been taught that at the 325AD First Nicaea Council - the leader of that meeting, Constantine, had the men attending VOTE - literally VOTE on whether or not to claim Jesus is Divine Son of G0d.

That's right - Jesus' Divinity was VOTED on by men who wanted MORE POWER.

Also, G0d, let these people know that after the majority in the VOTED "yes" on claiming Jesus is Divine

their NEXT VOTE was to vote that Mary was a v/rgin,

the NEXT vote was to VOTE on what to put in the Nicene Creed,

the NEXT Vote was to VOTE to say anyone who does NOT believe Jesus is Divine will go to the underworld.

the NEXT Vote was to VOTE on a Birthdate and they wanted the date to interrupt the OTHER RELIGION's Holidays.

the NEXT vote was to VOTE ON ASCENSION - (years later Christians came up with the Cross Story)

How many Christians know about those votes - votes that every single Minister has LEARNED in their studies?

REMEMBER: 325AD was 325 years AFTER Jesus walked on the Earth
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
eagle17765
03:14 PM on 06/04/2011
Finally G0d,

Thanks to the TAXPAYER all these children here graduating were able to get an education .... Thank YOU TAXPAYERS
06:32 PM on 06/04/2011
Very weird reading of the words of Jesus. But you get to expect that here.
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myhumangetsmeblues
my micro-bio is now 66% empty
06:37 PM on 06/04/2011
I didn't see any "words of jesus". But I expect that from christians.
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amazed by it all
The earth shall inherit the meek.
10:27 PM on 06/04/2011
Still waiting on the picture of Jesus - especially the picture of him writing or speaking any words. Video will do just as well...