"Amen!" "Prayer!" "Invocation!" "Benediction!"
Are you OK out there? Anybody feel woozy? Need a doctor? Any bleeding, marks or scars?
I didn't think so, but then I'm not a judge in federal court in Texas this week.
Don't Dare Pray at Graduation
I am not a religious person. My morality and ethics are determined by my upbringing and concepts of integrity and honor. I don't pray or attend church. But that doesn't mean I don't occasionally find myself reverting to my childhood and petitioning the Deity for a consideration in some issue or another. I treat it much like chicken soup for colds; it couldn't hurt.
What escapes me is the nature of the harm the plaintiff will suffer from being in the presence of someone who utters words of any sort. We aren't dealing with an impressionable kindergartener here. This individual is about to graduate from high school. That means an age and an education in which they can withstand exposure to conflicting ideas. The very essence of education is the inculcation of the skills necessary to make individual judgments and decisions on issues. Having someone utter religious words in his presence is no more harmful than someone shouting expletives within earshot. I'd be willing to bet he has encountered that behavior without irreparable harm.
And, if he is harmed, how is it irreparable? Is his psyche so fragile that a momentary ceremonial exposure to a few words will create a mentally shattered future for him? Medicate him and put him away for security before he suffers total breakdown and harms someone or himself.
UPDATE: Before the day was out, the Fifth Circuit overturned the outrageous ruling on appeal. Which pretty much puts the original judge out in left field; far left field.