A Moment of Silence

Recently the Illinois Legislature amended a law permitting the observation of a moment of silence in the classroom "may observe" to "shall observe". Now, schools are required to have a moment of silence for prayer or personal reflection. Unsurprisingly someone has already filed suit on the basis that this law now violates the First Amendment.

Last I checked, the First Amendment says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." So, which part of this is being violated? I don't see any religion being established, I don't see anyone being prohibited from practicing their religion, in fact, it looks like quite the opposite to me. Is silence only to be found in religion? Is personal reflection? Does 30 seconds of quiet time in any of our lives constitute a negative thing? If you don't believe in God, you're more than welcome to think about something else during that time. And if, by some chance, you're part of the population of this country that believes that there is some sort of higher power in this universe, maybe the chance to take a break and think about that for a few seconds is okay.

Maybe, just maybe, there might be some benefit to slowing down, and thinking during the school day. God knows that happens far too infrequently.

Is a moment of silence specifically religious? And is acknowledging religion the same as condoning it?

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