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A federal judge rules against moment of silence

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Posted about 7 years ago


CHICAGO  —  A federal judge has ruled that a state law requiring a moment of silence in public schools across Illinois is unconstitutional, saying it crosses the line separating church and state.

"The statute is a subtle effort to force students at impressionable ages to contemplate religion," U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman said in his ruling Wednesday.

The ruling came in a lawsuit designed to bar schools from enforcing the Illinois Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act. It was filed by talk show host Rob Sherman, an outspoken atheist, and his daughter, Dawn, a high school student.

Gettleman's ruling was not a surprise. He had already ruled in favor of Sherman in two previous decisions.

As passed by the Illinois General Assembly, the law allows students to reflect on the day's activities rather than pray if that is their choice and defenders have said it therefore doesn't force religion on anyone.

But Gettleman backed critics such as the American Civil Liberties Union, who say the law is a thinly disguised effort to bring religion into the schools.

The "teacher is required to instruct her pupils, especially in the lower grades, about prayer and its meaning as well as the limitations on their 'reflection,"' Gettleman ruled.

"The plain language of the statute, therefore, suggests and intent to force the introduction of the concept of prayer into the schools," he said.

It remained unclear if Gettleman's decision would end the dispute or merely signal a fresh battle in a federal appeals court.

State Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Chicago, the chief sponsor of the legislation, said she hoped Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan would appeal.

"I strongly feel and I still believe that children should have a moment of silence at the beginning of the school day," she said in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C., where she celebrated the inauguration of President Obama.

Madigan spokeswoman Robin Ziegler said the attorney general was reviewing Gettleman's decision and would have no immediate further comment.

Adam Schwartz, senior staff counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the organization was pleased with the decision "to strike down a statewide law that coerced children to pray as part of an organized activity in our public schools."

Last year, a federal court threw out a challenge to a 2003 Texas law that allows children to "reflect, pray, meditate or engage in any other silent activities" for one minute at the beginning of each school day.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn upheld the constitutionality of that law, concluding that "the primary effect of the statute is to institute a moment of silence, not to advance or inhibit religion."


I'd rather have a sister in a whore thouse than a brother with a Glock


1391 posts

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Rated +1 | Posted about 7 years ago


This is so very wrong. And parents wonder why are jails are full with there children.


1311 posts

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago


With an educational system that contains "reading books" for kindergartners titled "I have Two Mommies" and "My Daddy's Room-mate" ... yep, you guessed it ... those 2 gems make the gay lifesyle sound equal to heterosexual -- for 5 year olds , no less 

An educational system that teaches "how-to sex ed,,"  "how-to drug ed.," "how-to alcohol ed." ... An educational system that can't dole out an aspirin without parental consent, but can take that same child for an abortion without the parents knowledge .... somebody better teach the kids how to pray!!


I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it. For I shall not pass this way again. Unknown


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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago


This is why I work extra jobs to put my kids in a private christian school.


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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago


This is wrong on so many levels. And you would think that a judge, someone who is college educated, and presumably took Constitutional Law classes would know he was wrong. Nothing in offering students a moment of silence even remotely sponsors "School Prayer". I posted on a similar topic in reference to "In God We Trust" on the money.

I only hope the families in the school district take this to the Supreme Court level before the current administration has the chance to have his hand in the make up of that. It is time the majority start to rule this nation again before we find ourselves subjects instead of citizens. Those elected may have been put there by majority but it was also to do OUR will, not theirs. Remember, By the people, FOR the people, of the people? It still means something.

If you can put some ice in a glass of bourbon I can drink it. If you can't I can still drink it.


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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago


I think that our beloved country is gpoing the way of Rome, destroying itself from within before being conquered from outside forces. our moral compass has been screwed up for so long it's a wonder we are still a united country.

Howver, prayer need to be followed by action! I hope some of you out there have the balls to run for local office and become the leaders we need to reverse this trend!

"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.
He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."
General George Patton Jr


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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago


Another left wing liberal judge fails the people again!   Surprise surprise!


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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago


Of all people to do something like that. A Judge.

How did the 'Moment of Silence" get in the court room.

Had to be another busy body, I have nothing better to do, complain

about what other people want to do, Going to cause trouble dip stick

(to be nice). All we can do is pray things turn around and let God handle it.



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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago


Another blow against raising our children with values and morals.


352 posts

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago


This is very they want to use the excuse seperating church and state...gimme a break!


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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago


a moment of silence should be used to show respect for fallen troops, LEO really any public servant. respect those who gave more than others.


56 posts

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Rate This | Posted almost 8 years ago


Ah....Seperation of Church and State..........Is that why they pray at Presidential inaugarations and swear the President in w/ his hand on a bible.  I do recall seeing all the Supreme Court judges bowing their heads in prayer, as they represented the Govt.

Why don't we all get together and sue the Govt. for not following THEIR own rules for seperation of Church and


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Rate This | Posted almost 8 years ago


What kind of crap is this? this is a very disrespectful judge


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Rate This | Posted almost 7 years ago


If you the judge truly could read, he would have a tough time showing where their is a statement on separatation of church and state. They seem to water down the words that founded this nation to meet their own agenda. The founder just did not want a national religion, but allow other to express themselves. It is a freedom of all.

Show me a gov't that has no foundation and I will show you a country in CHAOS.

God Bless
The father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit
Be with you always.
Go In Peace and Serve with Love