Here is an interesting story about the acute social rancor that has followed a U.S. District Court’s decision to hold unconstitutional the display of a prayer in a Rhode Island public school auditorium. The prayer, written by a seventh grader some 50 years ago, said this:
Our Heavenly Father, Grant us each day the desire to do our best, to grow mentally and morally as well as physically, to be kind and helpful to our classmates and teachers, to be honest with ourselves as well as with others. Help us to be good sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win. Teach us the value of true friendship. Help us always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West. Amen.
An atheist student sued to eliminate the prayer as a violation of the Establishment Clause and the court agreed. Whether the town will appeal is unclear. The story reports that State Representative Peter Palumbo has said some very harsh things about the atheist student plaintiff. Justified or not, the anger that he expresses and which the town obviously feels is properly directed against the court.