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School Prayer

May 02, 1999

Like Tom Clancy (Commentary, April 27), I was educated in Catholic schools so I was perplexed and amused by his accusation that "the political left bridles at the mere recitation of a single prayer in public schools." Perhaps Clancy has forgotten or is not aware that most of the Catholic school systems in our nation were first established because Catholic parents and clergy objected to their children reciting prayers and readings from the King James version of the Bible, a common practice in the public schools at that time.

It is an erroneous view that it is mostly atheists who oppose organized school prayer. It is usually parents who hold strong religious beliefs and do not want their children instructed in these matters by the government. It is only prayer organized by schools that is not permissible; a child may pray in school any time he or she wants.

JUDITH S. JORDAN, San Bernardino

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