May 20, 2024

Judge Says Silence OK

From the Houston Chronicle:

A mandatory moment of silence for Texas schoolchildren has a secular purpose of encouraging thoughtful contemplation and does not advance or inhibit religion, a federal judge said this week in a ruling upholding the 2003 state law.

U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn of Dallas ruled in a lawsuit brought by a North Texas couple who objected to the law as an unconstitutional promotion of religion.

On one hand this is an encouraging ruling:  It’s now been legally validated that it’s A-OK to make children sit still and shut up in school for 60 seconds.

It’s not much, but it’s a start.

On the other hand, the fact that this was even questioned surely has got to be a sign of a dysfunctional society in which people truly seem to believe that they are entitled to have everything their own way. 

David and Shannon Croft, the plaintiffs in the case, apparently regard America as an enormous carnival that exists only to make their wishes come true.  This is ridiculous, of course, as the only way to never encounter an unpleasant situation or one that confounds our personal values is to isolate one’s family ala Michael Jackon in Wonderland.

More annoying still is the serious consideration that Lynn apparently gave to the rather frivolous lawsuit:

Lynn called her ruling a “difficult and close question” because of divergent statements by lawmakers at committee hearings and during floor debate in the Senate and House.

In her opinion, issued Thursday, Lynn said “there is no doubt” several legislators, including the bill’s author, Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, expressed a purpose to “put prayer back in schools.”

But legislative debate also focused on other ways students could spend the 60 seconds.

Close and difficult?  I certainly hope not. 

I’m not a lawyer by trade and so I’m not quite sure what the content of the legislative debate has to do with her ruling either.  But it seems to me that the language of the law ought to speak for itself and that the judge’s opinion should be based on that.

And even more aggravating yet are certain of the Chronicle’s commenters, one of whom – dreading_2000 – said:

It says you can submit a written exemption to request that your kids be exempt. I gave that a lot of thought for my 1st and 4th graders. But in the end I realized it would just subject them to being teased by the other kids and possibly also being treated badly by the school teachers and administrators. So I guess they’ll just have to pretend to be good Christians and play along and pretend to pray so they won’t be made fun of. It’s not a huge deal I guess, but it makes me mad inside that we have to do this in America to placate the Christian right.

This individual also seems to be suffering from a case of the same disease that caused the Croft’s to file their suit in the first place.

Does Dreading not realize that it is the Crofts and himself (herself?) that are the ones whose insistent whining and belly-aching are being placated?

Just once I’d like a person like Dreading to, rather than knee-jerking to the beat of the atheistic entitlement drum, take 60 seconds to breathe deep, relax, consider the true state of the country in which he lives, and realize that the misguided belief system that liberals have forced on us over the last 40 years has inflicted the following wounds on America, the nation that succors him:

  • Divorce rates up
  • Teen pregnancy up
  • Abortions up
  • Teen suicides up
  • Violent crime up

The pain and suffering inflicted on American society by the Crofts and their ideological-identical ilk would almost be worth it if they would, just once, admit that they’ve done these things to us, that they don’t care, and that they are determined to have their way in spite of the consequences.

That would be the truth, which is all any of us, even the Crofts, can ask for.

Now, is a minute of silence too much to ask for? 

I thought not.


Marc is a software developer, writer, and part-time political know-it-all who currently resides in Texas in the good ol' U.S.A.

View all posts by marc →