Now My Child
Cannot Pray In School

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine"
Subject: Re: WebMaster:_Positive_Atheism_Index
Date: October 03, 2001 8:35 PM

Do you consider telling the truth to be "acting better" than telling people things that are not true?

If so, then why would you encourage your children to tell themselves and others that gods exist when you yourself cannot provide me with a good reason to believe that the claim "Gods exist" is a true statement?

Also, do you think threatening kids with punishment to make them "act better" is an example of true morality? We all would agree that giving to the poor is a moral act. If a beggar, however, becomes desperate and puts a gun to my head, is my giving him money still a moral act on my part? If not, then what is the difference between that and your children acting morally because they've not got visions of some god standing over them, who is bigger than they are so they'd better watch what they do? Whence cometh true morality? and why do you think you failed to teach them how to "act better" using techniques of true morality that you had to resort to the threats and enticements of religion?

Finally, if all we have to live on are ten rules and regulations, what do we do if a situation comes up that is not covered by those rules and regs? Would it not be better to instill values and to practice methods of morality than to recite from rote a list of dos and don'ts?

This is a lie. Madalyn Murray O'Hair did not stop children from praying in school. Children may pray all they want. All her court case determined was that the teachers may not tell the children when, where, and how to pray.

This was not true only since the Murray vs. Curlett case, but has been the case since 1789, when the United States of America was founded. It has always been illegal for on-duty government workers to tell citizens when and how to pray. All the Murray vs. Curlett case showed was that those teachers who had been forcing children to pray against their will had been breaking the law and so they had to stop doing this. Had the teachers been obeying the law which has been on the books since 1789, when our Constitution was ratified forbidding this behavior, there would have been no Murray vs. Curlett case. It is because these teachers were breaking the law that we even know about Madalyn Murray O'Hair! Her whole organization started because some teacher violated the law, and that violation harmed her child so fiercely that the courts had to intervene and stop the teachers from breaking the law. While they were at it, they explained to the whole country just exactly what is and is not a violation of that law when it comes to school children and prayer.

I know this because I was disciplined for refusing to pray and I quickly learned about the law. This was two years after the Murray vs. Curlett case! Eventually, the whole class no longer had to pray, because the teacher was told that it was wrong for her to tell the students what to pray (her Christian Science prayer) or when to pray (every morning at the beginning of the school day) or how to pray (standing up, facing the U.S. flag, hands folded, heads bowed, eyes closed, while enunciating the words loud loudly enough for the teacher to hear them when she walked by to make sure we were all praying).

Along the same lines, a judge placed me back in jail after serving my entire sentence (on vagrancy-related charges after being rendered homeless having suffered two crippling illnesses at the same time) because I refused her order to undergo religious instruction in the form of a faith-based rehabilitation program. Because of this gross injustice, you now know about Cliff Walker: that is the very reason I started doing this work over 13 years ago! Had the judges obeyed the law, you would not have this web site to complain about! Unfortunately, this disobedience on the part of judges became so widespread that I have been quite successful working to try to eradicate this patently illegal practice from our courts. Now my work has spilled over into other areas, drawing attention to numerous ways in which people in power violate the Religious Liberties of those under their charge.

Had Madalyn Murray O'Hair actually done something to prevent your children from praying in school (as you've falsely reported to our readers), she would have acted just as wickedly as that teacher who forced us to recite a Christian Science prayer each morning. This was wrong because our family was not Christian Science but was atheistic with Unitarian, Native American, and Liberal Islamic roots!

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From: "Positive Atheism" <>
Subject: Re: WebMaster:_Positive_Atheism_Index
Date: October 04, 2001 8:55 PM

Is this the only rebuttal you have? Sounds like it!

Sounds like you really have no other response to what I said but to attack me personally, calling me "bitter" and the like.

If so, why bother? Why not simply change, and realize that it is morally wrong to tell people things that are not true? that this includes telling yourself something that is not true?

I mean, you can teach your kids whatever you want: if you teach them to be dishonest, you'll end up with dishonest kids and will wake up some day and have to deal with that. But I'm not going to tell you what to do. However, you wrote to our Forum and degraded atheists, suggesting that your child-rearing method of teaching them religion (out of convenience, so they'll be easier to handle) is superior. My response (in the interest of defending the truth) was to explain (to somebody who ought to be old enough to know better) that lying is morally wrong. Had you kept your opinions to yourself you would not have heard from me. And had you refrained from degrading atheists, you would not have felt my bitterness -- because bigotry always makes me bitter!

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