Saturday, January 31, 2009

Illinois Heroes

My congratulations to high school student Dawn Sherman and her father Rob Sherman for getting the moment of silence law in the state of Illinois struck down as unconstitutional. In response, Illinois legislators are already maneuvering to again amend the law to remove the word "prayer" from the statute in the hope that the court will no longer conclude, as Judge Gettleman did in his recent ruling, "that the amendment has no clear secular purpose, and that the stated purpose is a sham."

Whether the text mentions prayer or not, everyone knows that moment of silence laws in this day and age in America are about getting state-sponsored prayer into public schools. To state otherwise is analogous to claiming that the primary purpose of poll taxes just after the Civil War was to increase revenue to the States.

As far as our moment of silence case here in Texas goes, our attorney Dean Cook is headed to Louisiana in a couple of days to present oral arguments to a three judge panel as part of our appeal. A story covering the details of the case including an interview with Mr. Cook is currently featured on the website Texas Lawyer.

Previously I uploaded appeal briefs written by Mr. Cook. Today I uploaded to my Moment of Silence webpage the appeal brief presented by the State.


9 comments:

Jason and Jacob Oxoxo said...

To be honest, I don't understand how we can be a "land of the free" when one man is pushing his private agenda to have laws changed.

As a gay man living in Texas, I remember our governor saying, "if those people don't like the way the law is here, then they should move." As much as it hurt me to hear that, I do agree that the laws were made BY THE PEOPLE. And so, if one law is overturned by one man, then there is no longer a government BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE....there is a law By David Croft, For David Croft.

It saddens my heart that children are not even able to express their own feelings or beliefs. Are you trying to shelter your children or something?

Steve said...

Hey Dave,

I have a better idea...

Instead of wasting everyones (including your children's) time splitting hairs over making this quiet time apply to this silly made up "separation of church and state" clause that does not exist in the constitution or any ammendment, why not devote your time and energy to fighting teenage pregnancy (which is ironically way up since prayer was removed from public schools) or cleaning up toxic waste. What is your obsession with this. Were you molested by a priest or something? And even if you were (which I wish on no one) what does it have to do with quiet time in schools. Better yet...answer me this...how does quiet time respect an establishment of religion?

Email address: stplant@netzero.net

Zippy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zippy said...

First, let me say that my philosophy is simply humanist. I don't define myself by using negative terminology (e.g., "atheist", "anti-theist") nor do I modify my humanist philosophy with an unnecessary adjective ("secular"). In short, I'm more interested in standing up for my Constitutional rights as a protected minority. And on that count, I encourage you to continue fighting against the Constitutional abuses of the theist majority in the court.

TXatheist said...

First I'm sure you are aware of this but I'm appreciative of your stance and willingness to do this so here is a email I just got.
http://tx.aclu.org/site/MessageViewer?em_id=38661.0&dlv_id=42981

TXatheist said...

Looks like I've missed a couple posts and far be it from me to not say something...Jason and Jacob. If the bible thumpers wanted to instill a slightly more theocratic gov't where we took just one verse of the bible as strict law would you mind if we killed gays? David is one man with guys like me standing right next to him and thanking him. Your kid, cause some of us think gays are good parents unless they are bad people just like some heterosexual people, can still express their feelings and beliefs but I don't need the school to say now pray if you want. md457@hotmail.com

TXatheist said...

Steve, I agree, this should be a slam dunk and no need for court. A simple change of the law by legislation will remove prayer/moment of silence time. I'd also like Congress to add to the first Amendment "to forever keep religion and state" separate so you guys will stop saying the idea wasn't discussed at length when they drafted that amendment. We all know pregnancy isn't up because as Sarah Palin's daughter pointed out the other day abstinence is unrealistic but because schools desegregated right about the same time forced prayer was removed. It's the blacks fault, not the prayer removal that is reason. No really. Why not have 8 hours of school devoted to quiet time? Is that a contradiction to education maybe? The moment of silence violates a pivotal case which is referred to as the Lemon Test and you most certainly are advancing religion by saying, ok kids be quiet for a minute so you can pray if you want to. You'll be getting an email of this.

Michael Morrison said...

Jason and Jacob really, really ought to realize, from their own words, that "the people" can be wrong.
Not too many years ago, "the people" wrote laws mandating that black and white people had to be kept separate, on buses, in restaurants, in marriage.
The real question, the one that ought to be asked first is this: How can anyone see justification in mandatory government schooling?
If humans own themselves, then no one should have the right to force children, or anyone else, into those government re-education camps, as L. Neil Smith calls them.
No real "humanist" can ever accept a premise of initiatory coercion, including even one that claims as its own premise "education."

TXatheist said...

Michael, I get your point but on the other end where does it become neglect to not have your kid educated and what can be considered prepared for life with an education? I understand parents could educate but even I would have trouble after 10th grade math, science and English when it comes to tutoring/educating.