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Prayer Panacea: Illinois Lawmaker Advocates For Official Worship, Religious Shrines In Public Schools

Illinois state Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) made a surprising statement this week about a major change he would like to see in schools: more prayer.

Ford told a group of ministers: “I also urge the ministers here to fight to get prayer back in schools. That’s a mission that we need to do. We need to make sure that we get prayer back in schools in some form or fashion,” KMOX, the CBS radio affiliate in St. Louis, reported. Read more

Wicked Words: Religious Right Leaders Blame Newtown Shooting On Church-State Separation

What sort of person would use a tragedy like the massacre in Newtown, Conn., as an excuse to advance an extreme, theocratic agenda?

If you guessed William J. Murray, you’re correct.

Murray, who heads the Religious Freedom Coalition in Washington, D.C., doesn’t blame Adam Lanza for taking the lives of his own mother and 26 others, including 20 children. Instead, the Religious Right activist said it’s lack of school-sponsored prayer that led to the tragedy. Read more

Lone Star Law Breakers: Texas School Officials Think They Can Ignore Supreme Court Prayer Rulings

There are times when I think we should just round up every church-state attorney we can find, fly them down to Texas and start suing school districts until they behave.

I realize Texas has a tradition of being stubborn – it used to be an independent republic, after all – but things are getting out of hand. Read more

Prayer Puzzlement: After 50 Years, Some Still Misunderstand High Court Prayer Decision

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan attended a fund-raiser in Utah yesterday and was asked about school prayer. His reply was curious.

“That's a constitutional issue of the states, moral responsibility of parents, education,” Ryan said. Read more

Golden Anniversary: The Supreme Court’s Engel Decision Protected Religious Liberty In Public Schools

An important anniversary will be observed on Monday, one that will probably be overlooked but shouldn’t be.

On June 25, 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a crucial church-state ruling in Engel v. Vitale. Although the high court had dealt with other religion-in-public-school controversies, Engel was the first case to deal with official school prayer. Read more

Mississippi Misjudgment : Governor Touts ‘Non-denominational’ Prayer In Public Schools

The Supreme Court ruled against government-sponsored prayer in public schools half a century ago, but some politicians still don’t get it.

In a speech to students on Tuesday,  Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said he fondly remembers organized prayers during his school years and thinks the practice ought to be restored. Read more