Defenders of the judge's decision point to the U.S. Supreme Court decision of 1962 banning state-mandated prayer in public schools. The parallel is invalid. No student is asked, let alone compelled, to state what is on the Rhode Island high school banner. But arguments citing the Supreme Court ruling serve only to confirm my argument: that secular fanaticism has been taking over America. The New York State prayer that the Warren Court outlawed 50 years ago was as non-sectarian, as morally uplifting and as inoffensive as the Rhode Island prayer.
Here is it is in its entirety:
"Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country."
After reading that one sentence, it is intellectually dishonest to maintain that the Warren court's decision was not an expression of fanaticism. One would have to deny that there could even be any such thing as secular fanaticism. Indeed, if it could have, the Warren Court would have declared the Declaration of Independence unconstitutional for its citing the Creator.
It is no wonder, then, that Alaska Airlines announced last week that it would no longer dispense along with meals its famous little cards with a verse from Psalms.
There are Americans who think that we are a better society without a state Christmas tree, and without high school students seeing a prayer to be kind human beings, and without the Alaska Airlines attempt to elevate American life in a small -- and, again, non-denominational -- way.
But the Islamist thinks he is improving Muslim life, too, of course.