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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
4:25 AM Mon, Jan. 21st

Letter: Separation of Church and State


The recent Louisiana case of a 17-year-old student challenging the school’s recitation of the Lord’s Prayer has disrupted the small town of Webster Parish.

One town member said “If people are telling us, saying leave faith at the door, it just isn’t that simple. It’s what’s in our hearts from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed. It isn’t something we can turn off.”

Her comments are not a defense of school prayer. No one is telling her to “leave faith at the door.” She stated, herself, that “it’s what’s in our hearts from the moment we wake up.” And yes, it is true as she says: “It isn’t something that we can turn off.”

No one is telling her and others to “turn off” their religion. No one is telling her to purge her heart of religion. No one is telling her to leave her faith at the door. She is simply being told that she should turn off her public display of prayer in a public school in a democratic country that professes the separation of church and state.

Why not pray as a family before your child leaves for school? Why not attend a private religious school where it would be acceptable to incorporate religious doctrine and prayer into the school setting?

Continue to put bumper stickers and fish symbols on your cars if you wish, but please leave your public display of prayer at the door of our country’s public schools…and keep your religion in your hearts 24 hours a day.

Patrick Leyden