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NEWS
May 22, 2014
I take issue with letter writer Richard Goutos' statement that no one was injured by listening to prayers at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and other schools ( "Return prayer to public schools," May 19). I was one of those students who was made to feel inferior while I had to stand and in silence at the Christmas Nativity display and the introductory prayers of another's religion. Perhaps he forgets who is harmed when Syrian Christians, Sunnis and Shia kill each other because they do not want to listen to each others prayers.
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NEWS
May 22, 2014
I take issue with letter writer Richard Goutos' statement that no one was injured by listening to prayers at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and other schools ( "Return prayer to public schools," May 19). I was one of those students who was made to feel inferior while I had to stand and in silence at the Christmas Nativity display and the introductory prayers of another's religion. Perhaps he forgets who is harmed when Syrian Christians, Sunnis and Shia kill each other because they do not want to listen to each others prayers.
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NEWS
By Neal Lavon | June 27, 2000
WASHINGTON -- One way to look at last week's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court banning student-led prayers before football games was that it was a brilliant verdict: both sides were right. The 6-3 majority, led by Justice John Paul Stevens, saw through what was obviously a backdoor approach by the Santa Fe Independent School District in Texas to maintain a form of school-sponsored prayer. To get around the legal difficulties, the district invented a system in which students voted in a free election to have an "invocation" before football games, and then subsequently chose a student to deliver it. Ergo, the students are the ones determining what kind of speech will be used and who will use it, not school officials.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2013
Leonard J. Kerpelman, a civic iconoclast and legal gadfly who is best known for representing atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair in the landmark 1963 Supreme Court case that outlawed prayer in public schools, died Thursday at Sinai Hospital of complications from a tumor. The Mount Washington resident was 88. "It's always good to have a person who speaks out on a variety of issues like Leonard. You may not agree with them, and you don't have to buy their arguments, but you have to admire the advocacy of his position," said J. Joseph Curran Jr., former Maryland attorney general.
NEWS
By LAURA MCCANDLISH and LAURA MCCANDLISH,SUN REPORTER | March 20, 2006
George W. Baker, a civic leader and accomplished Baltimore attorney for more than 50 years who argued the first school prayer case before the U.S. Supreme Court, died March 13 of complication from prostate cancer at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium. The lifelong resident of Baltimore and Baltimore County was 84. Born in Baltimore and raised in Towson, Mr. Baker graduated from Mount St. Joseph High School. He attended Loyola College, where he was active in the debate club and on the wrestling team and graduated on an accelerated track in January 1943.
NEWS
By MICHAEL OLESKER | November 20, 1994
I remember the day they told us to stop praying. I was sitting in my homeroom class at City College that morning, and some of the smart kids in the class knew all about it from reading the morning paper: No more talking to God in class, the U.S. Supreme Court declared. You want to talk to God, you do it on your own time, or on God's time, but not on school time.It was an order so authoritative, and so powerful, that it lasted until the moment my homeroom teacher walked into the room a moment later, picked up a Bible, and began to read the Lord's Prayer out loud.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | November 27, 1994
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- State Sen. Luther Hardin received a telephone call from the governor one day in June 1985. Bill Clinton wanted to talk about prayer in the schools.Just days before, the U.S. Supreme Court had struck down an Alabama law, almost identical to the one in Arkansas, that provided for a period of prayer or silent reflection at the start of each school day. In light of that ruling, Mr. Clinton wanted to pass a new bill."Governor Clinton wanted to do two things," recalled Mr. Hardin, who was persuaded to sponsor the bill.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau of The Sun | December 21, 1994
WASHINGTON -- A small timber town at the foot of the Clearwater Mountains in central Idaho appears to be on its way to making history as the scene of the next constitutional battle in the Supreme Court over school prayer.In a closed-door meeting Monday in Grangeville, the school district's board of trustees voted to go to the Supreme Court as soon as their lawyers can prepare the appeal.The case will test the justices' view on the constitutionality of prayers at public schools when the praying is planned and led by students themselves -- the latest approach being promoted by conservative Christian and other pro-prayer groups.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | August 28, 1994
ATLANTA -- Not long ago, prayer in school might have seemed like an issue already put to rest by the courts.But a suburban Atlanta teacher's refusal last week to observe a new state law requiring a brief period of "quiet reflection" was a reminder that the question is very much alive and that voluntary school prayer has a constituency that extends far beyond the easily pigeonholed agenda of the religious right."
NEWS
By Frank P. L. Somerville and Frank P. L. Somerville,Staff Writer | June 14, 1993
Madalyn Mays Murray O'Hair is 74. William J. Murray is 47. Leonard J. Kerpelman is 67.But more than their ages have changed since the sharp-tongued Northeast Baltimore mother, her harassed and ostracized teen-age son and their aggressive, nonconformist lawyer succeeded in removing prayer and Bible-reading from the nation's public schools.It happened 30 years ago this week. The Supreme Court handed down one of its most controversial opinions ever, and legal, cultural and religious history was made.
NEWS
By Mike McGrew | December 11, 2011
"Students aren't allowed to pray any more!" "You can't even talk about God in public schools these days!" "They've even banned Christmas!" Such refrains, which resound regularly each year, are gross misconceptions perpetuated by alarmists who question America's First Amendment guarantees regarding religion's and prayer's place in public schools. The approach of major religious holidays is a wonderful opportunity to clarify what is religiously allowable within our public schools.
EXPLORE
August 25, 2011
Editor: On Aug. 20, 2011 at 11 a.m., several members of Ames UMC met at the church to join Pastor Thomas J. Blake for "Back to School Prayer" at several Harford County Schools. It was the vision of Rev. Alicia Blake (the late wife of Rev. Blake), thus making it an extra special blessing to be able to pray for our schools and for all involved in and around our schools as well as honor her dream!  Before leaving the church, we gathered in the church vestibule, and prayed asking for God's anointing for our first Back to School Prayer.
EXPLORE
August 17, 2011
Prayer breakfast - Side by Side, a nonprofit group that works to strengthen local public schools will hold Blessing of the Schools, Sat., Aug. 20, 9:30 a.m., in the Laurel High School cafeteria, 8000 Cherry Lane. Scheduled for just two days before the first day of school in Prince George's County, the event includes prayers for local schools, teachers, students and their parents. Free breakfast follows. Attendees are invited to bring new school supplies for families in need.
NEWS
By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Sun reporter | April 11, 2011
Friends recalled Cameron Leigh O'Neill-Mullin, a St. Paul's School for Girls sophomore, as a talented athlete on the soccer field and basketball court who was compassionate and humble in her dealings with competitors and teammates. Cameron, 16, died April 5 in a boating accident in Goondiwindi, Queensland, Australia. A Lutherville resident, she had spent several weeks in Australia on an exchange program between St. Paul's School for Girls and St. Hilda's School. "She was blessed with a reservoir of talents and was wiser than her years," said attorney Jana C. Burch, a family friend who lives in Ruxton.
NEWS
By LAURA MCCANDLISH and LAURA MCCANDLISH,SUN REPORTER | March 20, 2006
George W. Baker, a civic leader and accomplished Baltimore attorney for more than 50 years who argued the first school prayer case before the U.S. Supreme Court, died March 13 of complication from prostate cancer at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium. The lifelong resident of Baltimore and Baltimore County was 84. Born in Baltimore and raised in Towson, Mr. Baker graduated from Mount St. Joseph High School. He attended Loyola College, where he was active in the debate club and on the wrestling team and graduated on an accelerated track in January 1943.
NEWS
November 28, 2004
Arthur Hailey, 84, the best-selling author whose exhaustively researched suspense novels such as Airport and Hotel also became screen hits, died in his sleep Wednesday at his home in the Bahamas of an apparent stroke. He produced a string of best-sellers, achieving international fame in 1968 with his novel Airport (Doubleday), a page-turner about an airport manager's ordeal after a bomber boards a plane flown by the manager's womanizing brother-in-law. It inspired a 1970 movie starring Burt Lancaster and Dean Martin.
NEWS
By Ellen Gamerman and Ellen Gamerman,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | November 24, 1998
WASHINGTON -- The District of Columbia may be entering a new era of leadership under Mayor-elect Anthony Williams, but at least one thing is likely to stay the same: the presence of a highly conservative lawmaker influencing city government from Capitol Hill.The recent naming of Rep. Ernest Jim Istook Jr. to head the D.C. appropriations subcommittee means that a leading religious and social conservative will hold the purse strings for the district's spending. The Oklahoma Republican, a staunch proponent of school prayer and critic of abortion, holds many views that run counter to public opinion in Washington.
NEWS
By Jonathan Weisman and Jonathan Weisman,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | June 4, 1998
WASHINGTON -- Twenty-seven years ago, Madalyn Murray O'Hair was a reviled figure in much of America, a nonbeliever whose legal challenge helped banish prayer from public schools. Her son William was an atheist graduate of the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute whose anti-prayer cause forced a dramatic but futile vote in the House on a constitutional amendment to put prayer back in schools.Mrs. O'Hair has since disappeared. Her son is now a devout Christian. And the House will vote today on a school prayer amendment for the first time since that emotional day in November 1971 -- this time with no drama, no mass movement and no real chance of passage.
NEWS
By Mike Bowler and Mike Bowler,SUN STAFF | March 28, 2004
IT HAS BEEN more than four decades since Baltimore atheist Madalyn Murray (later Madalyn Murray O'Hair) convinced eight of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices that prayer has no place in the public schools. Last week, another atheist, Californian Michael A. Newdow, came before the high court to finish the job O'Hair had started after her stunning victory on school prayer -- the removal of "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. O'Hair is long gone -- she was murdered in Texas nine years ago -- but Baltimoreans of a certain age will remember that after winning the prayer case in 1963, she turned her sights on the pledge, to which Congress had added "under God" only eight years earlier.
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