And now…a Moment of Confusion

Boy, now I’m all confused.  Back in January a US District Court tossed an Illinois law requiring a moment of silence in the public schools.  But earlier this week the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a moment of silence in Texas schools.

In Illinois, the “Silent Reflection Act” was prominently retitled “Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act” in 2002 (the prominence of this change may be what alarmed the Court), whereas in Texas, the education code calls for a daily moment of silence for students to “reflect, pray, or meditate, or engage in any other silent activity…”

But at the end of the day, I suspect if you look at the original DNA (if I may use that term) of any “moment of silence” law, you’ll find a moment of mandatory prayer; in other words, state legislatures are bound and determined that there will be prayer in schools, and the only way to do it is to smuggle it in under the cloak of silent reflection.  It’s little different, in my opinion, than the transmogrification of “teaching creationism” into “teaching evolution and intelligent design side-by-side” into “academic freedom to interpret weaknesses in the theory of evolution and/or introduce supplemental instructional materials without fear of reprisal.”  Gimme a break.

So now, in a weird twist, a moment of silence is NOT okay in deeply religious Texas, but okay in comparatively secular Illinois???  Looks like another job for the Supreme Court.

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