dlaycock at MAIL.LAW.UTEXAS.EDU
Tue Feb 17 10:17:22 PST 1998
I appreciate the support. I am pretty sure that Charles meant that
"religious ceremonies are sacred [not scared] to those who practice them."
At 09:26 AM 2/17/98 -0600, you wrote:
>I agree with Doug Laycock -- and would add the following from an educator's
>Recreating religoius practices or ceremonies through role-playing
activities should not take place in a public school classroom for a number
of reasons. Such activities, no matter how carefully planned or
well-intentioned, risk undermining the integrity of the faith involved.
Religious ceremonies are scared to those who practice them. Re-creations may
unwittingly mock or, at the very least, oversimplify the religious meaning
or intent of the ritual. Role-palying religious practices may also violate
the conscience of students who are asked to participate. Teachers should use
audio-visual resources, guest speakers (who know their role in a public
school classroom), and primary-source documents to introduce students to the
ceremonies and rituals of the world's religions.
>Charles Haynes, First Amendment Center
>From: Doug Laycock[SMTP:dlaycock at MAIL.LAW.UTEXAS.EDU]
>Sent: Friday, February 13, 1998 3:35 PM
>To: RELIGIONLAW at LISTSERV.UCLA.EDU
>Subject: Experiencing Religion
> Government cannot require any citizen to perform a religious
>exercise. Period. No exceptions. At the very least the compelling
>interest test must apply, and experiential learning doesn't cut it. But I
>think this is the place for an absolute rule.
> Anything else leads to all the hairsplitting psychoanalysis in
>Scalia's dissent in Lee v. Weisman. The Weismans were coerced to attend a
>prayer service, and that's all the Court should have said. What she thought
>about it and whether she was perceived as praying or "participating" or just
>sitting through it should not have been relevant to the decision. Assigning
>a student to observe Ramadan is no different.
> I am not much more comfortable with government asking or encouraging
>citizens to perform a religious exercise. There are other ways to teach
> It is irrelevant that experiential learning students are asked only
>to go through the motions and not to believe in what they are doing. Part
>of the social memory of religious conflict in the West, well known to the
>Founders, is the martyr tradition. Lots of those folks could have just
>gone through the motions; they didn't have to believe it.
>University of Texas Law School
>727 E. Dean Keeton St.
>Austin, TX 78705
> 512-471-3275 (voice)
> 512-471-6988 (fax)
> dlaycock at mail.law.utexas.edu
University of Texas Law School
727 E. Dean Keeton St.
Austin, TX 78705
dlaycock at mail.law.utexas.edu
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