Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

January 9, 2013

Prayer bill goes against First Amendment

Every once in a while a politician makes a headline splash in the media because they propose an idea that has been rejected time and time again. Sen. Dennis Kruse has been making that kind of splash these past few days.

Kruse, of Auburn, has introduced a bill in the Indiana Senate that would allow school boards to require students to recite the “Lord’s Prayer,” each day at the start of school. The proposed law states, “In order that each student recognize the importance of spiritual development in establishing character and becoming a good citizen, the governing body of a school corporation or the equivalent authority of a charter school may require the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of each school day. The prayer may be recited by a teacher, a student, or the class of students.” The law allows students or their parents to opt out and not attend such an event.

Kruse has tried to interject the teaching of religion in public schools before. Last year he wanted teachers to be required to teach the “intelligent design” theory that a superior being designed the universe and everything in it. The theory is the first portion of the book of Genesis wrapped in a new package.

Another of Kruse’s bills this year will allow students in science classes to challenge teachers on the accuracy of what they teach and then the teacher will have to defend that accuracy. Supposedly this is to allow students to debate their teachers over issues related to the theory of evolution.

We think Kruse’s effort to introduce children to religion and their own spiritualism is admirable, but he should be working with the churches in his district to accomplish his goal.

Our state and our nation have adopted laws to protect children from being subjected to being a captive audience for proselytization. The reason Hoosiers and Americans have collectively adopted these laws is because there are so many competing Christian sects and other religions that the Founding Fathers knew if government got involved in promoting religion, chaos would follow. These men also knew the history of deadly religious conflicts in Europe that were spurred by governments promoting one form of Christianity over another and they wanted their young nation to avoid such internecine conflicts. Therefore, they adopted the First Amendment and its guarantee that government would not favor one religion or sect over another.

But during the past few decades we have seen repeated attacks on that decision. One argument is that some Americans believe that prayer has been taken out of schools. But we have to point out that any student is free to pray at any time during their school day. So, individual religious freedom is alive and well in public schools. But organizing religious services is overstepping the line the people of Indiana and the United States have drawn.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • MORTON MARCUS: The nation’s higher education funding mess cannot continue Public higher education financing is unsustainable as currently configured. This conclusion was reached by two important groups over the past two years. The National Association of State Budget Officers and the State Higher Education Executive Office

    July 30, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: 9/11 Commission chair scolds Congress Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous. A co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Hamilton and fell

    July 28, 2014

  • GN140725 fair faces flowers 2 OUR VIEW: Another great fair is in the books Here at The Goshen News there are always mixed feelings when the Elkhart County 4-H Fair concludes for the year. On one hand, we’re as exhausted as anybody. This year’s nine-day event kicked off on July 18 and ran seemingly non-stop until the Mad Bom

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Full STEAM ahead for Fairfield Fairfield Community School students and parents are enjoying their summer holiday and the Elkhart County 4-H Fair this week, but looking ahead to the coming school year, there are big decisions to be made that will impact their lives.The school board

    July 26, 2014

  • MORTON MARCUS: Tax simplification in Indiana no simple matter The Governor and his select invitees to his closed tax conference last month praised simplifying Indiana’s tax code. It is an idea better loved by Americans than baseball, apple, pie or motherhood.There is no question that our national and state tax

    July 23, 2014

  • Rep. Kubacki still on a mission INDIANAPOLIS State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants

    July 21, 2014

  • Setting up the'LeBron Bayh' comeback saga INDIANAPOLIS — This could be the saga of “LeBron Bayh.”Like a thunderhead brewing in the distance, you could see this one coming. This was the progression: former state Democratic Dan Parker announces he will not become a candidate for mayor of India

    July 20, 2014

  • Maybe parks need to be watched 24/7 It was disturbing news last week when Goshen park officials found Rogers Park had suffered $5,000 in damage at the hand of vandals. Since vandalism is an ongoing problem in the city’s parks, we think it is time to elevate the conversation about findi

    July 20, 2014

  • Community gets behind try-athlon Saturday was another great day in Goshen. The 10th annual Kids’ Try-athlon came off with a bang. It is one of the signature events of the Goshen Parks and Recreation program, and appears to get bigger and better each year. This year, 360 kids from ag

    July 17, 2014

  • Let's go 'all-in' for 4-H fair's food drive Elkhart County is “all-in” for the upcoming food drive record attempt at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.Fair organizers want the food drive to set a new Guinness Book of World Records mark for the most pounds of food collected during a one-day food driv

    July 16, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Poll

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results