EAST LIVERPOOL, OHIO - Graduating seniors at East Liverpool High School in Ohio have sung The Lord’s Prayer during the ceremony for the past 70 years.
But their tradition was deemed a violation by a group from Wisconsin, called Freedom Foundation for Separation of Church and State.
When they complained to East Liverpool’s school administrators, the school obliged and told this year’s graduating class that The Lord’s Prayer tradition in this small town of 13,000 people had to be broken.
If the Lord’s Prayer is been recited to ‘stick it to leftists’ then it would be best not to say it all. I doubt very much the students were doing it for that reason and as a ‘leftist’ and socialist it would not bother me if the any group of students recited a prayer identified with their faith at a graduation event and I am bemused as to why it is an ongoing issue in the US.
I don’t think anyone says The Lord’s Prayer in malice. That would be rather self-defeating and absurd. They said it out of a spirit of rebellion, which is different. It implies joy and freedom. The content of The Lord’s Prayer is inherently loving, so unless they were mocking the prayer itself, they couldn’t really have been using it in a spiteful way.
It would seem to be, it is also inherently odd to me, it also does not strike me as particularly in keeping with a Catholic outlook to start dividing the world in groups of people and calling them ‘neo-cons’, ‘liberals’ ‘leftists’ and so forth.We all do because humans are essentially tribal creatures but we need to be careful about it as well. The idea of the Lord’s Prayer been used to essentially ‘flip the bird’ (to use a piece of American slang) to ‘leftists’ strike me as been a very wrong approach with regards to saying the prayer in public.
True. This is especially the case since the Church’s doctrine (including its teachings on social justice) do not neatly fit into a left/right, conservative/liberal, paleo/neo, individualistic/collectivistic, or any other man-made paradigm. Sometimes I feel Moses was being unusually prophetic when he wrote in Deuteronomy about “serving the Lord, without turning aside to the right or the left”.
The students don’t seem to have had the intent of “flipping the bird” from what I can see; rather, some officious group (a Google search on them turns up very little except that they are militant atheists) tried to interfere with what was a long-standing tradition.
The students most definitely don’t seem to have had that intent, but every time one of these stories appears you only need to wait a New York second before cries of, ‘that will show the liberals’ appear. There are other issues on other forums I use which produce equally kneekjerk reactions along the lines of that, ‘Will show the right-wingers’, it gets very tiresome ultimately sadly.
No-one cares less at school or university graduations in the UK or Ireland if you recite prayers and I’ve heard people recite Catholic, Muslim and Hindu prayers at various events in public here and no-one has batted an eyelid. Most colleges here have a prayer room all students are free to make use of and I’ve used ones where I have engaged in quiet prayer next to Muslims who happened to be saying their prayers at the same time, the general rule is though that you don’t drag religion into chats or conversation. When a guy did that on a course I was attending and started going on about the ‘evil Vatican’ people found it unamusing and someone suggested he should read a higher grade of literature than conspiracy websites.
In the same situation as the students I would say the prayer also.
I never hear the word ‘liberal’ used in the sense it is on American forums or by Americans in the UK and I’m always puzzled. To me it always meant someone who is reasonably moderate and takes a centrist stance on issues. Leftist is a particular term I hate, along with terms like neo-con and rightist as they annoy me on numerous grounds. They reduce political debate to flinging insults and labels, not that was not always a problem in politics.
I agree. In Canada the Liberal Party is centrist, with the Conservatives a bit to the right and the NDP a bit to the left. The word “liberal” means very different things in different contexts. I’m a democratic socialist monarchist who is pro-life and anti-gay marriage… What does that make me? People like labels and neat packages. The teachings of the Magisterium on economics and social justice don’t neatly fit into a party platform - as you noted.