11.15.2003

LEE v. WEISMAN, 505 U.S. 577 (1992)

From findlaw
"The Establishment Clause was inspired by the lesson that in the hands of government what might begin as a tolerant expression of religious views may end in a policy to indoctrinate and coerce. Prayer exercises in elementary and secondary schools carry a particular risk of indirect coercion. Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 ; School Dist. of Abington v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 . The school district's supervision and control of a high school graduation ceremony places subtle and indirect public and peer pressure on attending students to stand as a group or maintain respectful silence during the invocation and benediction. A reasonable dissenter of high school age could believe that standing or remaining silent signified her own participation in, or approval of, the group exercise, rather than her respect for it. And the State may not place the student dissenter in the dilemma of participating or protesting. Since adolescents are often susceptible to peer pressure, especially in matters of social convention, the State may no more use social pressure to enforce orthodoxy than it may use direct means. The embarrassment and intrusion of the religious exercise cannot be refuted by arguing that the prayers are of a de minimis character, since that is an affront to the rabbi and those for whom the prayers have meaning, and since any intrusion was both real and a violation of the objectors' rights. Pp. 590-594."

So how is this different from other cases? Even if I'm an adult, even as a Jew, I'm supposed to feel reverence for christianity because they "gave" us the 10 Commandments. I disagree and why do I have to be put in that position of needing to fight them? I disapprove and a summons to court would in fact put me in the position of looking at that monument in disgust (and protesting or being silent and accepting).

Look; I don't care if you assume that those 10 are the laws we founded this nation on or not... it isn't true. In fact we founded this nation on a model of Roman government (being one non-Judeo-Christian example of many) and this won't be flaunted because as we all know the Romans killed anyone believing in less than two gods.

Check the next post...

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