Wednesday, September 17, 2003

School Prayer Gets a Midday Update?

An annual event gets a midday update? Why is this story being pumped up? Who is the Enquirer trying to impress (or piss off)? This story is a puff piece that is fit for inside the paper, it is not breaking news worth knowing about before tomorrow, if then at all.

Beyond its inclusion as part of the updated paper, usually reserved for "breaking" type news, there is the balance problem. This is written as a human-interest story, where it gives no alternate views. It is reasonable to write such story if it is meant for the Temp section. If this ends up in the Metro section, then it should at least included some counter viewpoint. Now what are those viewpoints? Well there are responses to comments like this one from the article
"I think it is just wonderful we have a society today that accepts this,'' said Herring of Colerain Township. "So many are against allowing God and prayer anywhere.''
This statement is false. There are not "many" against allowing prayer or "God" "anywhere." There are people who wish to maintain the separation of Church and State. It is legal for kids to pray in school, as long as they do so on their own time, or silently without causing any disruption. Why was there no counter argument to this viewpoint? If this is a puff piece, then why include such a harsh and false statement (albeit debatable by some fundamentalists)?

Now this statement is not legally an issue:
"I'm not ashamed,'' Johnson said after the 25-minute program of song and prayer. "Let our community know we have Christ in our school.''
It is a concern of the attitudes of those who seek to indoctrinate children with religion at schools. Most of those who want to put religion back in schools, want to put Christianity back into schools. This is fact. The savvy politicos will try and make it monotheistic, but that still fails the legality test. I wonder if Peter Bronson will question the lack of balance is this story and at that school, as much as he did Miami University's choice of Convocation speaker. I kind of think he will be giddy as a boy burning ants with a magnifying glass over this article.

UPDATE: Matt Weiler comments(rants) on this as well.

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