1963

schoolprayerIn the beginning was America and it was a righteous place full of great happiness. For the Founding Fathers had decreed that this was a Christian Nation where teachers should offer daily prayers at schools and the people did rejoice at that word. Verily in those days all the people of the country were Baptists and even the Methodists and Anglicans and Dutch Reformed were Baptist and all was happy and gay (the happy kind).

Women were happy although they could not vote.  And the Native Peoples were happy between bouts of being scalped, infected with diseases, lied to, and marched off to reservations. And the slaves were happiest of all for they worked out in the bright sunshine and sang happy songs while they completed useful jobs.

And so it went for the next two centuries that the country was full of wonderful tidings of peace and goodwill, except for the outbreak of wars every few years and a Great Depression (during which people were still happy), great plagues of influenza, and the detonating of nuclear bombs.

But then, in 1963 the Supreme Court declared that corporate prayer was not allowed in public schools and the country has been in trouble ever since. All that happiness America had enjoyed was gone in one fell swoop and darkness descended. From that day suddenly people began to become gay (not the happy kind) and listen to jazz music, and vote Democrat. And the glory departed from off the land.

But if that day should come again when we may once again enforce a rule that agnostic teachers must say prayers to a deity in whom they do not believe to  classrooms full of students who are of all faiths and creeds and not paying attention anyway then happiness will again bloom on the shores of this nation and all will be well.

At least that’s the way I’ve heard it.

Thanks to Stan for the idea

37 thoughts on “1963”

  1. I loved that. I love who people say this was a Christian founded nation. Ignore the fact that we revolted and most of our founding father’s denied Christ. But heck, it sounds good to me.

    You need to right a post as well sometime that America=Rome. And America will die because they we became immoral just like Rome did.

    Remember that Rome was Godly when it started. 🙂

  2. Yeah, you could write a whole book on the fundy concept of history. A short version:

    First, things were great, then Eve ate the fruit and things got bad, but they were still good because there were guys like Abraham around. Then things got better because there was Jesus, but he was killed, which was bad, but then he rose again, which was awesome. (With this last point I have no problem. 😉 )

    Then the missionaries started going out to ancient Rome, which was a wickedevilplace, until there was a massive underground movement of IFB churches that the Romans persecuted in ways that make for great Bethany House novels. Then Constantine became a Christian and Christianity was legalized… which was bad. Because somehow Constantine took early Church Christianity and turned it overnight into modern Roman Catholicism.

    So basically everything between Constantine and Martin Luther was bad with a capital RCC. The stupid benighted medieval people did a lot of stupid Catholic things like go on Crusade and start the Inquisition and sell indulgences. Then Luther and a bunch of people did a bunch of things fundies don’t generally think about much, but it was uniformly good since it was in revolt to the evil Catholic Church.

    And then we jump ahead a bajillion years to the the Founding Fathers, who were awesome IFB fundies and in no way deists or womanizers or any of that. Then everything was hunky-dory for almost two centuries, until the invention of hippies.

    And the rest is history.

    1. Jordan, this is brilliant. That’s pretty much how I heard it growing up!

      And what Darrell said about the slaves–here are the words out of my mother’s mouth: “The slaves didn’t have such a bad life. Some of their masters were very good to them. And they sang a lot!” (sigh) One of her favorite Disney movies is “Song of the South,” and she can’t understand why Disney will no longer release that movie. If you know anything about that movie, you know why Disney will never release it again.

      Maybe this is because she was the young wife of a seminarian in 1963. lol

  3. LOL at the above comment, and the entire post. So true.

    If everything was just like 1955, things would be great. . .all life’s problems would be solved and we’d live in paradise here on earth.

  4. I have to add, everytime I read a post on this site, it again somehow boggles my mind as to just *how stupid* some people are. How can thinking, intelligent people actually believe this crap. . . or maybe the “thinking, intelligent” part should be in doubt.

  5. Jordan, you left out the part about the unbroken line of perfect IFB churches down through the last 2,000 years, because everyone knows that Baptists aren’t Protestants and have no ties to the Reformation whatsoever. Great comment by the way.

  6. The only problem I have with your anaology is that while kids were required to pray to some deity that they did not believe in, what about the kids that do pray (who most of the time aren’t true IFB’s by the way…for goodness sakes they read other versions and listen to CCM) and get in trouble for it?

    1. Children pray in school all the time. And they have a Constitutional right to do so.

      from ed.gov:

      Although the Constitution forbids public school officials from directing or favoring prayer, students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate,” [ 9 ] and the Supreme Court has made clear that “private religious speech, far from being a First Amendment orphan, is as fully protected under the Free Speech Clause as secular private expression.” [ 10 ] Moreover, not all religious speech that takes place in the public schools or at school-sponsored events is governmental speech. [ 11 ] For example, “nothing in the Constitution … prohibits any public school student from voluntarily praying at any time before, during, or after the school day,” [ 12 ] and students may pray with fellow students during the school day on the same terms and conditions that they may engage in other conversation or speech. Likewise, local school authorities possess substantial discretion to impose rules of order and pedagogical restrictions on student activities, [ 13 ] but they may not structure or administer such rules to discriminate against student prayer or religious speech.

      1. And as long as there are tests, pop quizzes and final exams 😯 , there WILL be prayer in school, and even the very Supreme Court doesn’t argue with that! 😎

  7. Anybody remember “The Light and the Glory”? Quite the popular “biblical” history (US history) book that made the rounds in the early 80’s. There is even a kids’ version.

    1. I REMEMBER!!!

      Sorry for the all-caps. I read that book over and over. And over.

      I still remember the story of the Puritan guy who either laughed or grinned too wide, while yawning I think, and his jaw stuck and wouldn’t come back together. I can’t remember how they fixed it….

  8. BTW, was recently listening to MLK’s “Urgency of Now” speech in 1963, and his line “1963 must not be an end, but a beginning” made me think of this post.

  9. My parents were born in the 40’s, and my mom especially loves to wax nostalgic about the 50’s. Once the 60’s came, with the prayer ruling and then the Beatles, America went to hell in a handbasket!

    1. The truth is I find very little about the 1960’s that were redeemable. But then again hippies drive me crazy and they really just needed boot camp to straighten them out.

  10. It is amazing to me HOW MANY people think the nation has gone to hell in a handbasket simply (simplistically would be more like it) because “They
    Took Prayer Out of the Schools.” You don’t know many times I’ve heard this.

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