“Skyrim belongs to the Nords!” – Trump’s America

“I can’t believe we let Provincials like you wander around Skyrim.” – Trump Supporters

I’ve been playing Skyrim again lately. This time on the PS4. As I’ve been playing through again, it has struck me how many social issues are addressed in the game and how there are quite a few similarities between Skyrim and where the United States is right now.

The Empire is the United States government, full of rules, laws, regulations, accords, and treaties that not everyone agrees with. It has its flaws and it can’t please everyone all the time. Sometimes the rules, even if they came from a well-intended idea, just don’t work well, or violate the rights of citizens (can you say Patriot Act?).

skyrimlogonegativeThe Stormcloaks are Trump supporters. They have some valid grievances. They make a few decent points about how the Empire has left them behind, how the smaller cities face economic challenges that larger cities like Solitude don’t face: where “elites” have forgotten the farmers and miners, who have been hit the hardest by bad economic times.

While the inability to practice one’s Talos worship freely has been actually banned by the Empire thanks to the White-Gold Concordant (the Skyrim equivalent of the boogeyman UN for the New World Order conspiracy theorists), many Trump supporters feel like their religious beliefs are under attack by “liberal elites.” Of course here in America, that’s simply not true.

People think that the fact they cannot force their religious beliefs on others or use their religion to discriminate in the business world, that somehow their religious beliefs are under attack. The fact that you can’t force others to adhere to your beliefs, especially through law, doesn’t mean your religion is illegal or under attack: it means your religion is YOURS. YOU have a constitutional right to believe what you want, not make others adhere to your beliefs.

Opposed to abortion for religious reasons, then don’t get an abortion. Opposed to birth control for religious reasons, then don’t use birth control. Opposed to homosexuality because of religious reasons, then don’t put your lips around a penis. Your religious opposition is yours and yours alone, that’s your constitutional rights, but others have a constitutional right as well to not agree with your religious beliefs and to live their lives to their own accord. But I digress…

The valid concerns and points that the Stormcloaks have are diminished because of the other elements behind and intermingled within their movement.

First and foremost is the willingness to use violence to overthrow the tyranny of government. Never mind the fact that the government is not tyrannical (although now that Trump’s in office it might actually go that way – the irony of creating a tyranny while thinking you were getting rid of one). How many of your Trump supporting friends and family were ranting about overthrowing the government if “Killary” won? How many of them were buying more guns and ammo waiting for the revolution to start? How many are looking forward to the day they can exercise their Second Amendment rights to overthrow the government (without concern for the innocent lives that would be lost in such a battle), regardless of the fact that they clearly have no idea what “tyrannical” actually means.

The second is the underlying racism. When the Empire says “true sons and daughters” they mean anyone who lives in the Empire and supports it, regardless of their species or race or ethnicity. When the Stormcloaks say “true sons and daughters” they mean Nords: white people. They hate Provincials and outsiders. Do all Stormcloak supporters hate outsiders? Do all Stormcloaks despise every Argonian, Kajit, or Elf they meet? Of course not. However, they’re openly supporting a cause led by Ulfric, a man who does nothing to assist anyone who is not Nord. Ulfirc, who willingly allows Dark Elves to be treated badly and live in The Grey Quarter, a special part of his city (aka forced segregation). The Grey Quarter is pretty much synonymous with ghetto. This racism can even be heard by the guards. Empire guards will say, “Stay out of trouble Argonian,” while Stormcloak guards say, “Stay out of trouble lizard.” Empire guards refer to Kajit correctly and Stormcloak guards refer to Kajit as cats.

I feel for the Stormcloaks. I really do. They have some legitimate gripes and grievances. However, I cannot support their cause because of the blatant racism and racist undertones. I cannot support their cause because of their inability to understand the consequences of their actions and how it will affect their fellow countrymen and women. They want to burn the system down and replace it with what? In our modern real-life comparison, they elected someone who promised to “drain the swamp” and then immediately filled his surrounding space with insiders and lobbyists and his fellow billionaires. He made it swampier. He then selected white nationalists, concreting what those of us not in denial already knew: he is a racist.

Now the Stormcloaks are in charge in America. The racist element is running around engaging in hate crimes across the country: going after the easy to identify targets first: Argonian, Kajit, Dark Elf, etc. How long before they start going after the Provincials, who aren’t as easily identified by their skin color (or scales)?

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BWAHAHA 2/7 – 2/13

BWAHAHA (Blair’s Week Attempts at Haha’s) 2/7 – 2/13: What a fun week for Alabama! A federal judge made it clear that Alabama’s law preventing gay marriages was unconstitutional. Our idiotic Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore (or as I call him, Roy Mooreon) was like, “No fuck that bitch, only I know how to actually interpret the Constitution and those feds have no say over how we fuck people over in our state.” Because 14th Amendment be damned, we’re going to discriminate as long as we can in this state! You better send federal troops in to force us to let black kids into our schools, I mean let women vote, I mean not allow kids to work in factories, I mean let gays marry! The worst part is that Moore sent a letter to every single probate judge in Alabama telling them they didn’t have to follow federal orders and most of those judges actually listened to him. I’m sure they thought they could get away with it by saying that their “Chief Justice” told them. But see, here’s the rub… you motherfuckers aren’t dumb. You may be politically retarded, but you’re not fucking stupid. You know the law. You knew damn well that YOU could be held accountable for not issuing licenses, especially after the federal judge clarified her position. And so you got sued and you lost. Now most counties are issuing licenses. A few counties shut down their licensing departments completely and refused to issue licenses to gay or straight couples. I was okay with that strategy, because it fucked over everyone and not just same-sex couples. Alabama will go along kicking and screaming, just like it did when they were forced to let black kids into their schools and colleges and just like they did when they had to let women vote or get rid of their slaves. Alabama has and always will be on the wrong side of history and will have to be forced to move along every single time. Maybe this time Roy Mooreon won’t just get impeached, but will actually get disbarred, preventing him from ever holding a judicial office in this state again.

Thanks to the TuneIn App on the PS3, I found KROQ and KROQ2. This was the radio station from my teens in SoCal. I was so excited and was dancing around the house singing and telling Suzie about the “good old days.” I’m pretty sure she thought I was insane and called the local mental institute. KROQ was a huge influence on my life as a teenager. That station and the amazing DJs (like Richard Blade and Poorman) were the soundtrack to my life and introduced me to a world I had never known while living in Nebraska. California had a massive effect on my life, my attitude, my tastes, my personality, and who I am to this day. So to find the radio station of my teens was a profound moment for me. Suzie may never understand that, but that’s okay, because I’m still listening to KROQ (today’s alternative) and KROQ2 (80’s alternative).

OTHER STUFF:

  • Finally watched Big Hero 6. It was really good. You’re not supposed to cry when a robot dies!!!!!!!
  • SafeLite Tech is replacing my windshield while it’s 35 deg. with snow flurries (in Alabama). Get that man some hot cocoa! ‪#‎SafeLiteAdvantage‬
  • I always love to see these in my Facebook notifications...

    I always love to see these in my Facebook notifications…

  • Just got a notification of a 4.8 in San Francisco and was like, “Uh-oh,” then saw it’s San Fran, Panama on Isla de Coiba. #FuckThemTheyreNotUSA
  • It’s 24 degrees outside… I think I’m going to crawl into bed and snuggle with the woman hogging the electric blanket.
  • I don't deny I have a problem, therefore, I don't have a problem. ‪#‎VapeLife‬

    I don’t deny I have a problem, therefore, I don’t have a problem. ‪#‎VapeLife‬

  • Yeah, but what’s their stance on Vaping?
  • #TheWalkingDead #Skyrim #Mashup AMC Talking Dead

    #TheWalkingDead #Skyrim #Mashup AMC Talking Dead

  • The combination of payday, Valentine’s Day, and the coming Snowpocalypse made the stores a madhouse today. I’ll go grocery shopping later.
  • Valentine's dinner. Brontosaurus steak for me and crab legs for her. #AntiValentinesDay

    Valentine’s dinner. Brontosaurus steak for me and crab legs for her. #AntiValentinesDay

  • Penis insurance?

    Penis insurance?

140 CHARACTER ASSASSINATIONS:

  • No one in a third world country asks, “Am I morally okay with killing this chicken for food?” ‪#‎FirstWorldProblems‬
  • Saw a list saying “Breaking Dawn – Part 1” is a better than original sequel. That’s like saying shit with glitter is better than shit. #GlitterBomb
  • Nooooooooooooooooooo! He wasn’t wearing a red shirt! ‪#‎TWD‬ ‪#‎TheWalkingDead‬ #RIPTyrese
  • That episode was really artsy fartsy. Let’s go back to normal episodes. ‪#‎TheWalkingDead‬
  • Alabama Counties not issuing gay marriage licenses are like, “No, the black kids can’t come to our white schools.” ‪#‎WrongSideOfHistoryAgain‬
  • I love you the same today as I did yesterday, but apparently I’m supposed to love you more for 24 hours because today everyone has VD. #AntiValentinesDay

@MIDNIGHT #HASHTAGWARS:

  • A Night of the Living Dead Like This (by The Cure) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • Christmas Dead Island (by Depeche Mode) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • My Sister Rose From the Dead (by 10,000 Maniacs) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • Crypt-Tonight (by 3 Doors Down) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • Dude Looks Like A Deady (by Aerosmith) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • Brains In The Summertime (by The Alarm) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • Dead Island Girl (by Elton John) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • November Brains (by Guns N’ Roses) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • A.D.I.D.A.Z. (by Korn) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • Always Something There to Remind Me of the Zombiepocalypse (by Naked Eyes) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight
  • She Ate Me (by Puddle of Mudd) ‪#‎ZombieSongs‬ @midnight

CAPTION CENTRAL:

  • Just 20 minutes earlier they were ranting and raving about how gay marriage would destroy the sanctity of marriage.

    Just 20 minutes earlier they were ranting and raving about how gay marriage would destroy the sanctity of marriage.

  • This is either an "Oh Shit!" moment or a "Damn, that's awesome!" moment.

    This is either an “Oh Shit!” moment or a “Damn, that’s awesome!” moment.

Debate 018: Heather and Blair debate prayer in school

Heather Rebuttal #001:

I somehow stumbled across your article “What Is Wrong With Prayer In Public Schools” on Yahoo. I know since you’re athiest you’re not going to like what I have to say, but please just listen. I used to think exactly like you do now. I used to not believe in God. I was living a horrible life. For the first 14 years of my life I was raised a Catholic and never really had God in my life the way I have him in my life now. Last year, in the middle of my Sophomore year in high school, I visited a non-denominational church for the very first time in my life. For the first time I really felt God’s presence. I then decided to give my heart to Jesus. Prayer being outlawed in public schools is horrible. That is the reason there are so many problems and so much violence in schools these days is the lack of prayer. If God was allowed behind the walls of a school building, so many great things could happen and everyone could be in peace. There is no saying “Well what about offending the wiccans, athiests, or jews”, because once God’s presence hits you it changes your life and the way you view things forever. Once your born-again, and washed and cleansed by the blood of the lamb, you’ll be the happiest you’ve ever been. I know I am now that I’m living my life for God. Also, you mis-interpreted that verse you added in your article from Matthew 8. God meant to be humble when you pray and have your prayers come from your heart and not from your head. He meant to not to show off while praying to fit in, but to be completely sincere. Meaning that when you pray, NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE AT, to have your prayers come straight from your heart and not have any other purpose behind them. Nobody, not the governent or anyone, can tell me or any other Christian how to pray at school. If the Holy Spirit hits us with tongues in the middle of class, I will obey the spirit. It’s as simple as that. You may chose to ignore everything I just said to you and go on living your life full of sin, but I promise you, knowing that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Saviour and that he’s coming back for you agian one day is the most satisfying feeling ever. Just know that I, and probably everyone at my church, will be praying for you, and for anyone else who doesn’t know God.

God Bless
Heather

 

Response to Heather #001:

HEATHER: “I used to think exactly like you do now.”

Based on what you said, I doubt that. If you ever thought like I do you wouldn’t have switched over to the dark side (religion).

HEATHER: “Prayer being outlawed in public schools is horrible. That is the reason there are so many problems and so much violence in schools these days is the lack of prayer.”

Really? Do you have any data to back that claim up? It just so happens that I do have data that backs up the complete opposite of what you said.

First, prayer is not outlawed in public schools. You can pray all you want. You can read your Bible all you want. You can pray to Jesus, Allah, Zoroaster, Mithras, Buddha, Yahweh or any other of the almost 4,000 gods worshiped by humans. In 1963 the Supreme Court found forced prayer to be unconstitutional. Would you agree with the mandatory prayer if your teacher was a Muslim and Islamic prayers were read over the PA system? Would you agree with teacher-led prayer if your teacher were a Wiccan? The fact that the school cannot endorse religion or promote religion or lead in any religious activity is what gives you the freedom to practice your particular brand of Christianity. You have the freedom to pray to your god because no one is forcing you to pray to another god.

The Department of Education has some really interesting information available for those that want it. When the Supreme Court ruled in 1963 that forced teacher-led prayer was unconstitutional, only 37% of all public schools in the US still had teacher-led prayer (DOE, 1965). Only 24% of all public schools in US still had Bible reading in the morning (DOE, 1974). Most of the country had stopped the practice long before the Supreme Court decision.

Another interesting report from the Department of Education and all the State Boards of Education, which is confirmed in the book Violence in American Schools: Colonial to Modern Times, notes that violence in public schools was at its worst during the late 40’s and 50’s and that school-related violence began a steady decline when teacher-led prayer was fading out and finally found unconstitutional. Today, schools are statistically the safest place for children to be (DOE, 2001).

The only reason you think they are so bad is because when an incident happens in California, the entire nation hears about it on MSNBC and CNN. Fifty years ago when a shooting or stabbing occurred in a Florida school, no one heard about it in California, Washington, New York, Montana or anywhere else. There was no 24-hour news channels, cable, or national newspapers. The media loves school violence and plays it for months after each incident. In the last three years how many school shootings have you seen on the news? Think about the entire number of schools in the country and then about the ones covered by the news. There are over 200,000 public schools in the US (DOE 1999) and only six mass media school shooting in the last three years. How do you see that as a massive moral decline and increase in violence?

HEATHER: “If God was allowed behind the walls of a school building, so many great things could happen and everyone could be in peace.”

How do you keep a supposed omni-present and omnipotent god out of school, anyway? Do you pray at school in private and on your own? Do you pray with your friends during break and lunch? How is your version of god kicked out if you still pray? No one kicked god or prayer out of school – they made forced prayer unconstitutional. I know for a fact that most students pray, and yet your so-called version of peace evades you. It sounds like the only person with the problem here is you – not the schools. No great things happened when forced prayer was in school.

HEATHER: “There is no saying “Well what about offending the wiccans [sic], athiests [sic], or jews [sic]”, because once God’s presence hits you it changes your life and the way you view things forever.”

So the only thing you care about is not prayer in school, but Christianity in school. All you care about is your particular religion and not about prayer in general. The fact that you don’t care about offending others makes you a bigot. As an atheist I’m concerned about the Constitutional rights of everyone; even those that I disagree with. I want everyone to have religious freedom and freedom of speech and other constitutional guarantees. I also understand that in order to have those freedoms, you must be free from the aggressions of other religions. You can’t be a Christians unless you are free from Islam. You can’t be a Buddhist unless you are free from Christianity.

HEATHER: “Once your born-again, and washed and cleansed by the blood of the lamb, you’ll be the happiest you’ve ever been.”

Then explain this for me. Fundamentalist Christians have the highest suicide rate among all demographic groups (APA, 1998). Christians and Jews have the highest divorce rates and Baptists have the highest of all Christian denominations (Barna, 2000) and the highest divorce rates are in the Bible Belt. Christians make up the highest percentage of the prison population (FBOP, 1997 & SDOC, 1999). The highest murder rates are in the Bible Belt (DOJ, 1998). The highest infant mortality rates in are in the Bible Belt (AAPP, 2001). The lowest education standards and highest high school drop-out rates are in the Bible Belt (DOE, 1999 & Fordham Foundation, 2000). The highest teen pregnancy rate is in the Bible Belt (PPA, 1997). Based on this information it sounds like the Christian god is a cause for social depravity, not happiness; and that speaks historically, as well as in modern times.

HEATHER: “Also, you mis-interpreted that verse you added in your article from Matthew 8. God meant to be humble when you pray and have your prayers come from your heart and not from your head. He meant to not to show off while praying to fit in, but to be completely sincere.”

That is not what the verse said. You are the one that is interpreting. I didn’t interpret the verse. The verse is literal. That’s the problem with most Christians – they interpret things in order to justify their own views. Jesus was clear about public prayer – he said it was what the infidels and hypocrites did. Are you a hypocrite that prays in public?

HEATHER: “Nobody, not the governent [sic] or anyone, can tell me or any other Christian how to pray at school.”

Exactly! So why do you want the government to bring back government-endorsed and teacher-led prayers? I guess you are a hypocrite, after all.

HEATHER: “If the Holy Spirit hits us with tongues in the middle of class, I will obey the spirit. It’s as simple as that.”

Suit yourself, but you’ll be the one in the principle’s office explaining why you interrupted class with a bunch of gibberish.

HEATHER: “Just know that I, and probably everyone at my church, will be praying for you, and for anyone else who doesn’t know God.”

Pray all you want – it doesn’t work. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had entire churches pray for me and others. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that individuals prayed for me. I’m still an atheist and always will be. I’ve tried the Christian brand of religious clothing before and quickly realized that it was nothing more than the Emperor’s New Clothes.

 

Heather Rebuttal #002:

It’s really sad that you feel that way. You obviously don’t realize what Jesus did for you. Actually, I think that if the whole world was full of Christianity, it would be a better place. I am respectful of others religions, but I do know that mine is right. I know that others feel that theres are right too, but that’s only because Satan makes them think they’re right. You’re only right if you’ve excepted Jesus Christ as your own personal saviour, it says so in the bible. Also, as long as people are praying for you, things are happening. We have something you don’t have, and that’s faith, and the guarantee of everlasting life with God. It’s sad you don’t have the same.

 

Response to Heather #002:

HEATHER: “It’s really sad that you feel that way.”

I’m sorry you feel that way about me feeling that way. I support your right to believe whatever you want. Of course the Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Shaman and Zoroaster are all saying the same thing about you because you believe in Jesus. Please keep in mind that your religion is not the only one. Christianity is not the majority religion worldwide – only in the US is Christianity the majority. To others – it is you that are the heretic and infidel.

HEATHER: “You obviously don’t realize what Jesus did for you.”

I realize what you think Jesus did for me. I’ve read the Bible many times (straight through). I’ve probably read the Bible more than you have. Just think about the other options out there. Do you not realize what Mohammed did for you? Have you no clue the sacrifice that Krishna made on the cross for you? Were you not aware that Dionysius was sacrificed on the cross to die for your sins 2,400 years before Jesus?

HEATHER: “Actually, I think that if the whole world was full of Christianity, it would be a better place.”

History has proven the exact opposite. When Christianity ruled Europe it was called the Dark Ages. When Christianity ruled Europe there were the Crusades, the Inquisition and other atrocities. Whenever cities were ruled by Christianity, it was the bloodiest time in their history. Christian City (Constantinople) was replete with bloodshed and violence during the time when it was ruled under a Christian theocracy. Ultimately the government succumbed and the theocracy was banned because it was so bloody and violent. The worst harbinger of doom is not Satan, but the cross. It has been such for 2,000 years and will continue to do so until the church stops preaching dogma and doctrine and begins to actually teach the message of Jesus himself. That will never happen, because when it does the church will become obsolete and they will lose their power and wealth.

HEATHER: “I am respectful of others religions, but I do know that mine is right.”

How? Have you studied the other religions to be sure? Have you read the Qu’ran? Have you read the Torah? Have you read the Verdi? Have you read the Qabalah? Have you studied Shamanism? Zoroastrianism? Mithraism? Paganism? Hinduism? Islam? There are over 30,000 religions in the world. That means you have a 1 in 30,000 chance of picking the “right one”. Of course that denies the possibility that none of them are correct.

HEATHER: “I know that others feel that theres [sic] are right too, but that’s only because Satan makes them think they’re right.”

Funny you should say that, because they said the same thing about you.

HEATHER: “You’re only right if you’ve excepted Jesus Christ as your own personal saviour [sic], it says so in the bible.”

The Bible also says that you are to keep slaves. The Bible also says that you are to kill infidels and non-believers. The Bible also says it’s okay to have a brothel. The Bible also says its okay to kill women and children and keep virgins as your wives. The Bible also says you’re supposed to burn a bull in sacrifice to Yahweh because the “odor is pleasing to the Lord”.

The Bible is full of contradictions, errors, inconsistencies and fallacies. Anyone with a remote understanding of Biblical scholarship knows that. I would remind you that other sacred texts say the same thing a bout their saviors. The Verdi says that you can only arrive in Heaven (they call it something else, of course) by accepting the sacrifice that Krishna made during his crucifixion and his resurrection after being buried for three days. Of course Krishna was crucified and resurrected 1,200 years before Jesus was supposedly crucified and resurrected.

HEATHER: “We have something you don’t have, and that’s faith…”

That’s the first true thing you’ve said so far. You are right, all you have is faith. You have no evidence. You have no proof. You have no foundation to stand upon. The only thing you have is faith. Faith is nothing more than believing in something that you know is not true, cannot prove, or has been proven wrong but you refuse to admit it.

HEATHER: “It’s sad you don’t have the same.”

Yeah, your version of a vengeful and spiteful god condemns me to hell because I don’t love him. Love me or burn in hell forever. How is that a moral doctrine?

NOTE: Heather has not responded to my last email.

What Is Wrong With Prayer In Public Schools?

Absolutely nothing is wrong with prayer in school. There is something ethically wrong with disruptive prayer in the classroom. There is something constitutionally wrong with school-endorsed (mandated) prayer.

We are fortunate to live in a country that gives us freedom of religion (or lack thereof). If you want to pray to your god while you are at school then you have that right. Where the problems start is with the appropriateness of disruptive prayer in the classroom and when the words “mandatory”, “facilitated” or “endorsed” rear their ugly heads.

One also needs to know the difference between the classroom and the school. No brick wall prevents religious beliefs from entering public school grounds. There is a wall, called the Separation of Church and State, that prevents a particular religion’s proponents from endorsing their religion and promulgating their beliefs in public schools where students hold different religious beliefs and non-beliefs.

There is nothing wrong with a student praying silently during class as long as that prayer does not interrupt the classroom environment. The prayer should also not affect the student’s ability to perform in class. Children have every right to pray while they are at school. While it is certainly not against the law for a student to pray in the classroom, it is more appropriate for students to pray during non-class times like lunch, break, recess, and after school.

Better to die on your feet than live on your knees!

Group prayer (student-led and initiated) is fine as long as it does not interfere with other students. Forming religious clubs for after-hours activities is fine as long as all groups have the same opportunities and the school shows no bias toward or against any particular group.

As long as students pray appropriately with respect to others then there is absolutely no problem with it being done at school.

Appropriateness also goes into what is acceptable in public, as well. The children of a Voodoo Witch Doctor know that spilling the blood of a chicken during their prayer is not appropriate in public – much less public schools. Speaking in tongues or praying aloud is not appropriate in public – especially in the classroom environment. The Wiccan knows that getting naked to perform a ritual dance is not appropriate in public – especially in front of children at a school.

Then there is the issue of mandated prayer. Mandated prayer is a clear violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment. Who is pushing the agenda of prayer in the classroom? The Religious Right and Christian Fundamentalists are the biggest proponents. When is the last time you heard a Wiccan, Buddhist or Jew demand prayer in public school?

Have Fundamentalists really thought this issue through? What will happen when they mandate prayer in public school classrooms? Do they realize that they will open Pandora’s Box?

Because of our freedom of religion, the government cannot pass any law or legislation that endorses any particular religion. Mandated prayer in public school classrooms is against the law.

Will Christians allow Satanists to pray in public schools? Will Christians allow the Wiccan to offer prayers and chants before a high school football game? Based on the information available from the mandated prayer proponents, the freedom of religion for non-Christians does not count. What they want is a Theocracy run by Christianity. They do not want the Muslim and Hindu children to pray in school. They want them to pray to the Christian god.

Do you think they would be as enthusiastic about forced school prayers if their child’s teacher was a Muslim or the principal of the school was Hindu? Have they thought about what sect of Christianity will lead the prayer? Pentecostal? Mormon? Baptist? Catholic? Adventist? Jehovah’s Witness? Methodist? Will the Baptist allow a Catholic to lead their child in prayer?

We have FREEDOM OF RELIGION here in the United States. That means you can believe whatever you want as long as you do not push it on others and it harms no one else (you can’t say that rape or murder is a part of your religion). If you bring mandated prayer into the public school classroom and 85% of the class is Christian, how do you think the Muslim, Hindu, Jew, Wiccan, and atheist children will feel? Kids already deal with enough peer pressure from drugs, alcohol, sex and cigarettes; why give them something else to worry about?

For the Christians; remember what Jesus said, (Matthew 6:5-8):

MATTHEW 6:5-8: 5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

Are atheists offended by school prayer?

When a student prays in private then there is no reason for an atheist to be offended. Even if a student prays aloud, there is really no need for an atheist to be offended. An atheist might look at it as ‘silly’ or ‘a waste of time’, but they certainly should not be offended.

Innocent or an outward sign of proselytizing and public display of religon violating Jesus’ command in Matthew 6:5-6?

If the prayers are school sanctioned or faculty led, then atheists should be greatly offended. Not just atheists should be offended at facilitated, mandated, or forced prayer in public schools – everyone should. If the prayer is based on Christianity, then what about the Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Unitarian, Pagan, and atheist students? If Catholics lead the prayers then how will the Baptist and Mormon students feel?

In addition to being offensive and anti-pluralistic, it is against the law. The Constitution of the United States prohibits the government from endorsing a particular religion. If the schools offer a prayer then they have to offer a prayer for EVERY religion. This means we would have to sit through a prayer from a Christian (every sect), Muslim, Buddhist, Wiccan, Voodoo Witch Doctor, atheist, Pagan, Jew, Satanist, and every other religion you can think of. That is not very practical. The best approach for schools to take is a secular approach – let the students worry about their own religious and none-religious beliefs.

Students can pray all they want, regardless of their religious affiliation or lack thereof. The school staff and the school in general cannot lead in prayer or endorse a particular religious belief, dogma, or ritual.

The establishment clause (separation of church and state) is there to protect everyone, including the religious majority. The Christian student is free to be a Christian because the government and schools are not endorsing and promoting Islam. The Muslim student is free to be a Muslim because the government and schools are not endorsing and promoting Christianity. The atheist student should not feel offended or pressured because the schools and government are not endorsing and promoting any religion. Well, at least they are not supposed to be.

Pray all you want – it does not offend us. Be polite and do not interrupt the classroom environment (pray quietly) and be ethical and do not rub people’s noses in your beliefs (over the PA system at football games). Just remember what Jesus said (re-read Matthew above) about public prayer and we should not have any problems.