When I was a kid, there was some big-deal Supreme Court case about prayer in the school.
Note that up until this time we not only had a prayer every morning, every Monday we had “Church Count.” “How many of you went to Sunday School? Raise your hands. How many went to church” And so on…Sunday School, church, Sunday night service, and even Wednesday night service. If your class got closest to 100% participation, there was some sort of prize.
We had a kid in my class who never went. Some of my classmates said out loud that they wished he was in the other class, so we could have a chance at the prize. There was another kid I suspect of never going either, but I also suspect him of just raising his hand.
And then when got got a little older, we had a teacher who would summon one student and ask that student to lead us in prayer. It was bad to decline. I lived in terror that she would pick me.
And then came this Supreme Court decision, and I felt great relief that all this was about to end.
But, no. We went into that class, and the teacher said, “Well, we don’t care what the Supreme Court says, we aren’t going to let that stop us from praying, are we? Carolyn, will you lead us in prayer?”
And Carolyn, who went on to become a lawyer, said, “No, thanks.”
However…recently my graduating class, now united by Facebook and one or two really earnest classmates, decided to put a stone bench of some sort at the new school to commemorate a class benchmark. And there were people saying, “Well, we have to put something on there about the grace of god.” At which point I decided I was out of there and not sending any money for this bench. (These people were not all that religious when we were in school, or if they were I didn’t know it.) But then one of the earnest people came back and said, “Well, sorry, it’s really sad, but the school board has told us we can’t put anything about god or religion on our bench.” So apparently someone there is paying attention to the establishment clause.
I’m still not sending them any money.