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View Full Version : Ga. Seniors Told They Can't Pray Before Meals



FlaGator
05-10-2010, 12:42 PM
Apparently the brilliant minds that infect the public school system with their inane view of zero tolerance are branching out into our senior assisted living facilities.



PORT WENTWORTH, Ga. -- Preston Blackwelder proudly showed off a painting of his grandmother that had hung next to the front door of his Port Wentworth home.


She was the woman who led him to God, Blackwelder said Friday.


And with that firm religious footing, Blackwelder said it would be preposterous to stop praying before meals at Port Wentworth's Ed Young Senior Citizens Center near Savannah because of a federal guideline.


"She would say pray anyway," Blackwelder said of his grandmother. "She'd say don't listen."


But Senior Citizens Inc. officials said Friday the meals they are contracted by the city to provide to Ed Young visitors are mostly covered with federal money, which ushers in the burden of separating church and state.


On Thursday, the usual open prayer before meals at the center was traded in for a moment of silence.


The dilemma is being hashed out by the Port Wentworth city attorney, said Mayor Glenn "Pig" Jones.


Tim Rutherford, Senior Citizens Inc. vice president, said some of his staff recently visited the center and noticed people praying shortly before lunch was served.

Rutherford said his company provides meals like baked chicken, steak tips and rice and salads at a cost of about $6 a plate. Seniors taking the meals pay 55 cents and federal money foots the rest of the bill, Rutherford said.


"We can't scoff at their rules," he said of federal authorities. "It's a part of the operational guidelines."


Rutherford said the moment of silence was introduced to protect that funding. He said although the change may have been misinterpreted, perhaps his company could have done a better job selling it.


"It's interpreted that we're telling people that they can't pray, but we aren't saying that," he said. "We're asking them to pray to themselves. Have that moment of silence."


Mayor Jones said he was outraged by the change and has promised to find a solution
.

Whole story here (http://www.wsbtv.com/news/23495797/detail.html)

PoliCon
05-10-2010, 12:55 PM
All this on the OFF chance that some fuckhead atheist might hear the prayer and feel threatened by -:eek: *gasp*- belief.

lacarnut
05-10-2010, 01:03 PM
I betcha nothing would be said if a camel jockey kneeled down on his flying carpet.

Gingersnap
05-10-2010, 01:10 PM
People have a fairly poor understanding of how this works. The State cannot sponsor a religion. That is, Colorado can't vote to have the state government promote and support the Church of God, for instance. A government food program can't deny Jews or Buddhists the right to pray before eating.

If everybody in this particular center is a Christian or a cultural Christian and they want to use a Christian prayer before eating, the Feds can't prevent them from doing it. The Feds can prevent a government employee from leading the prayer. The old folks just need to put together a roster and take turns saying grace.

PoliCon
05-10-2010, 01:19 PM
The old folks just need to put together a roster and take turns saying grace.Agreed. Linda can go first - then shannon - then bubba - then you . . . . :p

Wei Wu Wei
05-10-2010, 01:24 PM
My first reaction to the title was outrage, but they aren't being denied prayer, they are being denied an institutionalized Christian prayer.

They are still free to pray themselves or even pray out loud after or before the moment of silence but that moment of silence is meant to protect a neutral space for anyone of any faith to observe it as they see fit.

Freedom of religion means freedom of any religion.

PoliCon
05-10-2010, 01:44 PM
My first reaction to the title was outrage, but they aren't being denied prayer, they are being denied an institutionalized Christian prayer.

They are still free to pray themselves or even pray out loud after or before the moment of silence but that moment of silence is meant to protect a neutral space for anyone of any faith to observe it as they see fit.

Freedom of religion means freedom of any religion.

Fucktard - freedom of religion does not mean freedom FROM religion. Pull your head out of your ass or just go the fuck away.

Wei Wu Wei
05-10-2010, 01:49 PM
Fucktard - freedom of religion does not mean freedom FROM religion. Pull your head out of your ass or just go the fuck away.

No one said that. You're arguing with yourself again buddy.

I was initially upset at the implication in the title, no one should be denied their opportunity to pray.

A moment of silence, however, is not denying you an opportunity to pray, and trying to argue that federal funds should be used to a specific christian prayer rather than a moment of silence is a pretty tough argument to make with regard to the 1st amendment.

FlaGator
05-10-2010, 02:41 PM
People have a fairly poor understanding of how this works. The State cannot sponsor a religion. That is, Colorado can't vote to have the state government promote and support the Church of God, for instance. A government food program can't deny Jews or Buddhists the right to pray before eating.

If everybody in this particular center is a Christian or a cultural Christian and they want to use a Christian prayer before eating, the Feds can't prevent them from doing it. The Feds can prevent a government employee from leading the prayer. The old folks just need to put together a roster and take turns saying grace.

I am not sure, but I don't think that the place they are living is government subsidized housing, just the meals are catered by a company that is receiving government subsidizing.

lacarnut
05-10-2010, 03:38 PM
I am not sure, but I don't think that the place they are living is government subsidized housing, just the meals are catered by a company that is receiving government subsidizing.

Although nursing homes are run as for profit private companies, many of the Seniors are on medicaid. The state pays about 70% to 80% and the Feds pay the balance. So the long arm of the government might be able to interfere. Damn shame that Chrisitian hatred by these low life atheists is so prevelant.

noonwitch
05-10-2010, 03:52 PM
I am not sure, but I don't think that the place they are living is government subsidized housing, just the meals are catered by a company that is receiving government subsidizing.



I'm also not sure, but I think this is referring to a senior community center, as in an activities center, not a residential center. Not that it is okay to infringe on the free speech of the elderly, but I don't think that they are being told they cannot pray, it's just that the center is no longer leading a christian prayer before the meal.



I'm surprised that this is an issue in Georgia. Employees of the City of Detroit use religious language constantly, even in writing on city stationery. Most big city celebrations and functions open with The Star Spangled Banner, followed by Lift E'vry Heart And Sing, which in addition to being the "black national anthem" is a christian hymn.

Rebel Yell
05-10-2010, 03:54 PM
I'm also not sure, but I think this is referring to a senior community center, as in an activities center, not a residential center. Not that it is okay to infringe on the free speech of the elderly, but I don't think that they are being told they cannot pray, it's just that the center is no longer leading a christian prayer before the meal.



I'm surprised that this is an issue in Georgia. Employees of the City of Detroit use religious language constantly, even in writing on city stationery. Most big city celebrations and functions open with The Star Spangled Banner, followed by Lift E'vry Heart And Sing, which in addition to being the "black national anthem" is a christian hymn.

Savannah, much like Atlanta, is a liberal pocket in a great conservative state. They have an Arts College there for God's sake.

noonwitch
05-10-2010, 03:56 PM
Savannah, much like Atlanta, is a liberal pocket in a great conservative state. They have an Arts College there for God's sake.



All I know about Savannah, I learned from reading "Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil", or a biography of Juliet Gordon Lowe.

Rebel Yell
05-10-2010, 04:22 PM
All I know about Savannah, I learned from reading "Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil", or a biography of Juliet Gordon Lowe.

I love to visit Savannah. I love old cities, and I love to eat. That makes Savannah second only to St Augustine. Savannah has better food, but St Augustine has a beach (that is not crowded with children).

NJCardFan
05-10-2010, 04:36 PM
Let me get this straight. State sponsored religion is a bad thing but state sponsored atheism is OK. Before wee wee gets their panties in a knot, when you are kowtowing to the beliefs of the atheists, aren't you sponsoring atheism?

PoliCon
05-10-2010, 04:48 PM
No one said that. You're arguing with yourself again buddy.

I was initially upset at the implication in the title, no one should be denied their opportunity to pray.

A moment of silence, however, is not denying you an opportunity to pray, and trying to argue that federal funds should be used to a specific christian prayer rather than a moment of silence is a pretty tough argument to make with regard to the 1st amendment.

JACKASS read the article - there was no - 'SPECIFIC' - Christian prayer offered.:rolleyes: Always with the false claims and asshattery.

Sonnabend
05-10-2010, 04:51 PM
But Senior Citizens Inc. officials said Friday the meals they are contracted by the city to provide to Ed Young visitors are mostly covered with federal money, which ushers in the burden of separating church and state.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

PoliCon
05-10-2010, 04:54 PM
. . .I don't think that they are being told they cannot pray . . . No it's not. They can pray. What they can't do is let anyone HEAR them pray.

Gingersnap
05-10-2010, 04:57 PM
No it's not. They can pray. What they can't do is let anyone HEAR them pray.

Well, I think they can let anybody hear them pray, they just aren't suppose to make noise during the pointless "moment of silence". Before or after, they can do as they like.

NJCardFan
05-10-2010, 05:16 PM
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Lifted my sig didn't you.:p

PoliCon
05-10-2010, 05:26 PM
Well, I think they can let anybody hear them pray, they just aren't suppose to make noise during the pointless "moment of silence". Before or after, they can do as they like.

According to the article - they would engage in an 'open prayer' to my understanding that's a prayer where someone starts and anyone who wants to can contribute. Is there another understanding of an open prayer? Now in order for that to take place - it's spoken aloud. Telling them to have a moment of silence - says to me - you can pray, but don't let anyone hear it.

MrsSmith
05-10-2010, 05:27 PM
My first reaction to the title was outrage, but they aren't being denied prayer, they are being denied an institutionalized Christian prayer.

They are still free to pray themselves or even pray out loud after or before the moment of silence but that moment of silence is meant to protect a neutral space for anyone of any faith to observe it as they see fit.

Freedom of religion means freedom of any religion.
Exactly. And yet, what we have is a representative of government authority denying these people the right to ANY religion...except secular humanism/atheism, which is now the one approved, state-sponsored religion.

What the seniors need to do is take turns saying a prayer during the "moment of silence" the government has forced upon them...and any atheists attending can be silent for their turn.

Constitutionally Speaking
05-10-2010, 05:37 PM
People have a fairly poor understanding of how this works. The State cannot sponsor a religion. That is, Colorado can't vote to have the state government promote and support the Church of God, for instance. A government food program can't deny Jews or Buddhists the right to pray before eating.

If everybody in this particular center is a Christian or a cultural Christian and they want to use a Christian prayer before eating, the Feds can't prevent them from doing it. The Feds can prevent a government employee from leading the prayer. The old folks just need to put together a roster and take turns saying grace.


Actually the way the Constitution was originally written, the individual states COULD promote and support specific Churches - the prohibition applied only to the federal government.

Many states actually had REQUIREMENTS for specific church membership in order to hold office.

Gingersnap
05-10-2010, 05:37 PM
According to the article - they would engage in an 'open prayer' to my understanding that's a prayer where someone starts and anyone who wants to can contribute. Is there another understanding of an open prayer? Now in order for that to take place - it's spoken aloud. Telling them to have a moment of silence - says to me - you can pray, but don't let anyone hear it.

The 'moment of silence' is a politically defined time period designed to placate non-atheists. Happily, it's an addition, not a substitute, in this setting. I'm sure that we will find out that a slack-jawed community center employee completely misinterpreted this issue or that an employee paid by government funds has been leading these prayers.

Either way, the facility can't stop people from praying out loud before meals if they want to do so.

Constitutionally Speaking
05-10-2010, 05:40 PM
According to the article - they would engage in an 'open prayer' to my understanding that's a prayer where someone starts and anyone who wants to can contribute. Is there another understanding of an open prayer? Now in order for that to take place - it's spoken aloud. Telling them to have a moment of silence - says to me - you can pray, but don't let anyone hear it.

Which is a direct violation of the FREE EXERCISE Clause.

Wei Wu Wei
05-10-2010, 07:17 PM
Yes, they can still pray out loud if they want before or after the moment of silence.

I don't see how people consider a moment of silence an atheist move, I would think an atheist would just eat. :confused:

A moment of silence is there so there can be an official space to be used as prayer by anyone of any faith, without being too specific, or just singing songs in your head whatever you want.

Still, nothing is stopping these seniors from going along after the moment of prayer and praying out loud if they like and if anyone tries to stop them they should be challenged in court.