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Post 06 Jun 2017, 8:03 pm

Shenendehowa High School is offering prayer rooms for students. Does this violate what is considered the "Separation of Church and State"?

Should the school be allowed determine if a prayer room is open for students on school grounds?
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Post 06 Jun 2017, 9:57 pm

The Lemon Test governs here: (1) the government's action must have a secular porpoise, (2) the primary effect must not advance or inhibit religion, and (3) it must not cause excessive government entanglement with religion.

I think if the prayer room was open during school hours it would bear the stamp of approval of the school. I think if it was during off-hours it could be justified. Maybe. You can make facilities open to religious groups on an equal basis off-hours but putting aside a room just for prayer looks like a government endorsement of religion. I don't think it is quite as big of a deal if it's off-hours though. Sounds like it is during school hours though...so I don't know how it could be justified.

I lazily refer you to ACLU research.
https://www.aclu.org/other/establishmen ... l-bulletin

Thanks for an interesting topic, Brad! Well to me anyway...maybe not to much of the planet.
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Post 07 Jun 2017, 8:09 am

freeman3 wrote:The Lemon Test governs here: (1) the government's action must have a secular porpoise, (2) the primary effect must not advance or inhibit religion, and (3) it must not cause excessive government entanglement with religion.


Mark me down as against religious porpoises.

As for #2, man that is weak. I don't know if it's a USSC case or not, but the establishment clause is intended to prevent a single denomination from becoming the State religion, not to prevent any kind of religious practice in a State-owned building. History alone would tell us that is NOT what the Founders intended.
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Post 07 Jun 2017, 9:22 am

It is a USSC case.

https://www.oyez.org/cases/1970/89