Virginia Moment of Silence
October 29, 2001 8:56 AM   Subscribe

Virginia Moment of Silence passes muster at the Supreme Court. Unlike moves to institute school prayer, the moment of silence allows for a moment of quiet reflection, which doesn't infringe on anyones rights to pray or not.
posted by Lanternjmk (27 comments total)
I have no problem with this. As long as no one tries to push for leading a prayer, or they're told to bow their heads, or has religous icons in the classroom they are supposed to look at, that's cool with me. Kids could use a little quiet time in their days.
But the next question do you "police" it to make sure it stays secular?
posted by aacheson at 9:23 AM on October 29, 2001

It's all about parental vigilance. If you notice that your child has a blank stare, is drooling, believes everything he reads, or shows any signs of reduced rationality or logical ability, he may have been exposed to religion at school

Ha ha, I'm just kidding. Plenty of intelligent, rational religious people. I've never met any, but I'm sure they exist. Kidding again. Don't hurt me.
posted by Doug at 9:30 AM on October 29, 2001

It may pass constitutional muster, but will it pass in-real-life muster? Probably not. Someone will start talking out loud, and then someone else, and before you know it, there will be a prayer being led.

As Doug said, parents need to watch out for this.

My thing is... people teach religion to children as if there are no other options, it is taught as fact. A Catholic child is taught there is no other fact other than Catholic beliefs. That's just an example, not singling out Catholics here. Children should be allowed to come up with their own answers, on their own, and their own beliefs system.
posted by benjh at 9:35 AM on October 29, 2001

I don't like this at all....I just see it as a watered down forced prayer. Sometimes my school would do stuff like this at assemblies, and as an atheist, it always made me nervous. No matter what dressing people wrap this in ("inner reflection") most everyone was using it for praying. I think this sort of thing leads to psychological peer pressure to look like you are praying (head down, eyes closed). That's not fair to the non-believing kids.
posted by thewittyname at 9:43 AM on October 29, 2001

I'm observing a moment of silence for the U.S. Constitution.
posted by Outlawyr at 9:55 AM on October 29, 2001

[Children should be allowed to come up with their own answers, on their own, and their own beliefs system.]

I don't think children should come up with their own answers on their own at all. I think they should be educated as to some options and told to consider them over time. It's a difficult balance to strike! I try and teach children both what I believe and that there are several million other views on the matter. My seven year old's current religious beliefs are no more final than his wish to be a pilot or a fireman.
posted by revbrian at 10:00 AM on October 29, 2001

[I'm observing a moment of silence for the U.S. Constitution.]

Why? Racial quotas? Abortion? School prayer?

The sky is falling!
posted by revbrian at 10:02 AM on October 29, 2001

Yet another reason my kids will not enroll in public school.
posted by sudama at 10:04 AM on October 29, 2001

Wanna see it disappear faster than a Tom Green movie? Convince the Moonies or Krishnas to make a moment of silence part of their rituals.
posted by RavinDave at 10:05 AM on October 29, 2001

This just in . . . .
Supreme Court Won't Review Violent Video Game Law
By James Vicini

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand a ruling that blocked enforcement of a law that required a parent's consent for a child to play violent video games in arcades or other commercial locations.
. . .
Maybe the Supremes are just being lazy today. It's Monday!
posted by Outlawyr at 10:15 AM on October 29, 2001

The link from Outlawyers above post, for those as lazy as the Supremes on this fine chilly Monday.
posted by thewittyname at 10:18 AM on October 29, 2001

Zing. Sorry kids, I post to many boards where links automatically become live. And yes, it is Monday. Everyone, take off early today. No really, tell your boss I said it's ok.
posted by Outlawyr at 10:44 AM on October 29, 2001

Good Start. We need prayer and plenty of it.
Might help some of you Godless creatures making dumb posts.
posted by coraggio at 11:31 AM on October 29, 2001

This doesn't worry me. I think we all could use a minute of silence each day to reflect (I don't believe in god, but reflection is OK in my book).

But. Do we really think that kids in school are going to start praying out loud? I went to high school in Maryland, just around the corner from Virginia, and prayer was pretty much the last thing on the minds of most kids. I think the real question is: how are they going to enforce this minute of silence? Have you ever tried to keep a class of 30 kids (of any age) quiet for a full minute? ;-)
posted by witchstone at 11:48 AM on October 29, 2001

I would bet a weeks worth of burritos that all across rural Virginia teachers are, if not leading their students in prayer then letting students pray aloud during that minute.
posted by sudama at 12:10 PM on October 29, 2001

coraggio: Might help some of you Godless creatures making dumb posts.

As opposed to really, super-duper smart posts like yours.
posted by signal at 1:27 PM on October 29, 2001

coraggio: First post out the door, and already you're bashing others as "godless" and dumb?

Opposing prayer in school is not opposing "god" but rather the worry that one god with take presidence over another.
posted by benjh at 1:53 PM on October 29, 2001

what about us Godless creatures making slightly above-average-intelligence posts?
posted by tolkhan at 1:53 PM on October 29, 2001

Hear hear, benjh!
posted by aacheson at 2:18 PM on October 29, 2001

change what you call it and everyones happy: "moment of prayer" -> "moment of silence". the states are so acultural.
posted by greyscale at 9:31 PM on October 29, 2001

There is only ONE God, although He may be known by many names in many religions, including the "so-called" Pagan religions. God IS, I AM, We ARE One.
That's all you need to know, don't be afraid of him, He is a loving God. He is on neither the side of the Christians, the Jews or the Muslims, although many invoke His name for their deeds and misdeeds.
He even loves athiests, especially thought who think they are above average intelligence. I congratulate all you smart, thinking people. Use your grey matter without prejudice.
Think of what I say. I don't have all the answers by any means but I do know there is ONE GOD and He loves even the foolish among us. He loves them the most Got me as to why.
posted by coraggio at 9:36 PM on October 29, 2001

Can you ask HIM to get Christina Ricci's phone number for me?

posted by fullerine at 12:06 AM on October 30, 2001

Actually, my dear friend coraggio, there are exactly three gods.

Their names are Irony, Mischief and Clarise.

Clarise is british, which explains a lot about the state of the world. She's in charge of Sunday afternoons.

Irony and Mischief don't usually mess with the world, they think of themselves as Deus Ex Machina. They are generally miffed about all the wrong doings done in their names.

Their used to be more gods, but they got bored and just sort of drifted away.
posted by signal at 12:25 AM on October 30, 2001

Use your grey matter without prejudice.

And you'll wind up agnostic ;)
posted by walrus at 4:58 AM on October 30, 2001

Whenever I hear arguments about school prayer, televangelists and the like I'm reminded of the bible verse that says "Be not like the hypocrites who pray in the town square, instead go home and pray in a closet(I'm sure someone out in MeFi-land can cite the chapter and verse on this.)
On the other hand, some of the posters here seem downright religiophobic. I mean what're you thinking, that being near someone in prayer might shake your faith in nothing?
Just for the record my own religious beliefs are along the lines of Milo in "Bloom County"--"The Universe is a bit too well organized to be a big accident!"
posted by jonmc at 6:23 PM on October 30, 2001

Religious bickering aside, should our institutions be able to silence us, even for a moment? Where is the line between silence for a moment, or just for the duration of a war, or a lifetime?
posted by maniabug at 8:51 PM on October 30, 2001

Is it just me or has the original link turned into a news item about Saudi Arabia?
posted by darukaru at 9:21 PM on October 30, 2001

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