To the editor:
After reading the recent letter by Ken Phipps (Jan. 16) concerning incidents infringing on religious expression in public schools, I shared his outrage. However, after some research, I realized that these allegations are just more examples of deception and dishonesty by the religious right.
Three of the incidents appear to have come from a recent David Limbaugh book. Each of these allegations have been shown to be false. The Missouri fourth-grader was disciplined for activities unrelated to prayer, and there were no witnesses to give credence to the allegations. The other incident refers to a lawsuit in Texas, which alleges that two middle-school students were prohibited from bringing Bibles to class. The plaintiffs have voluntarily withdrawn that lawsuit, and the school denies all allegations.
The Columbine High School incident did occur, but a Clinton-appointed district judge ordered the school to allow religious tiles to be placed in the school. Another court overturned the ruling because the school would also be forced to include tiles such as one that read "God is Hate." I have not found any record of a ban on WWJD bracelets in Ohio. There was an incident in which Wiccan bracelets were banned from an Ohio High School. That ban was later lifted.
The Ninth Commandment, which forbids the bearing of false witness, is still considered part of Judeo-Christian doctrine. Those from the religious right, such as Mr. Limbaugh, would do well to review the document that they so fervently wish to place on all public buildings.