A school in Mississippi had an "optional" assembly that was opened in prayer. Someone sued, the school was fined ($7k i think) and now, of course, the Religious Right is crying that Christians are oppressed, the courts are being used against them, the end is near, the boogeyman ("Satan") is attacking the church...blah blah blah. I asked if they would be as upset if during an "optional" assembly, someone opened the meeting with an invocation to Isis and someone was offended and sued the school; would they rush to the defense of the "persecuted" worshipers of Isis? My suspicion is that in THAT instance they would support (perhaps even lead) the suit against the school for allowing the Isisian prayer!
Moreover, I chimed in with the following:
"1. Jesus instructed people to NOT pray in public...but this is about Christian dominance and Christian fragility, so never mind Jesus' opinion on the matter.
2. Why would anyone go to a public school for prayer meetings? [It wasn't billed as a prayer meeting, but once you pray, it's a prayer meeting, unless, like at government functions, invocations are offered by people of many religions or in neutral language that is more or less to the idea of goodness, hope, and civility and not to any deity or promoting any dogma].
Optional or not, there could certainly be peer pressure to attend, and proselytizing could result (If I were a Jewish or Agnostic or Muslim or Buddhist or Hindu or Wiccan parent, I wouldn't want my children being targets of convrsion tactics at the tax supported public school).
3. When you have to pay a worship tax or have to get state approval to hold worship services on church grounds, then you will have an argument for being oppressed for your faith. When you don't get to have "optional" Christian worship services (where there are also no "optional" Buddhist, Satanist, Sikh, Jewish, Muslim, or Scientology worship services) at a non-religious, tax supported venue, that is not oppression. That is the denial of unearned privilege. Your child can still pray all day long (who would even know?), worship every Sunday with you in the church of your choice, even be driven to school with a rosary dangling from the rearview mirror. Your faith isn't being attacked; it just isn't being given preferential treatment. It's a non-issue."
I await my hate mail.