The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 02, 1993, Page 4, Image 4

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Editorial Board
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Chris Hopfensperger.... , .Editor,472-1766
Jeremy Fitzpatrick.•.Opinion Page Editor
Alan Phelps. Managing Editor
Brian Shellito.Cartoonist
Susie Arth.Senior Reporter
Kim Spurlock. Diversions Editor
Sam Kepfield.Columnist
Time to grow up
LB 100 serves students, educates society
~]he reasons for Nebraska to continue allowing students to
drop out of school at 16 arc as outdated as the law itself.
Since 1949, students in Nebraska have been required to
go to school until they were 16. The age was set, largely, to allow
rural students to leave school to work on the farm.
But in 1993, that justification cannot hold. To survive in
today’s increasingly complex and scientific society, a person
almost has to have an education. That means a minimum of a
high-school degree. And that is why Nebraskans should support
Legislative Bill 100.
LB 100, sponsored by state Sen. Dennis Byars of Beatrice,
would require students to stay in school until they were 18. It
would require students to put in an ample amount of time to earn
their degrees. More importantly, it will provide them more time to
mature. The bill will prevent students from dropping out of school
as soon as they arc old enough to drive and hold down a mini
mum-wage job.
The bill, which was given first-round approval Friday, also
allows for students to leave school before they are 18 if they
graduate, earn an equivalency degree or join a separate education
It would not, as some .critics argue, turn schools into some sort
of jail for those students who don’t want to be there. Instead, it
would offer students two more years to consider their future. The
maturity that may come between ages 16 and 18 may help a
student see how important a high-school degree is in today’s
Education sacrificed
Funding would present long-term benefits
Traditionally, when money gets tight, education gets
squeezed. This year, apparently, will be no different.
Sen. Scott Moore of Seward said in the Omaha World
Herald on Saturday that his answer to classes becoming increas
ingly full at UNL was for the university to cut its spending in
other areas.
“Even a starving man can afford to lose his appendix or gall
bladder,” Moore said.
Sacrificing the quality of Nebraska’s education for short-term
financial gain would be equally as foolish as giving up one’s
organs if it could be avoided. Moore’s lack of insight is disturb
A Census Bureau study released last Wednesday showed that,
on the average, college graduates cam $1,039 more a month than
high school graduates.
Simply put, college pays. Increasing the number of college
graduates would increase the standard of living for Nebraska
Education is an easy target for legislators who must cut a
shrinking budget. But it would be a mistake for the Legislature to
cut the university’s budget in this financially strapped time.
Sen. Moore should be pushing for more, not less, money for
the University of Nebraska. Wasting money is not the answer, but
providing adequate funds for an institution that provides great
benefits to the state only makes sense.
Education is an investment, and every dollar cut from educa
tion is a part of the future sacrificed.
Suff editorials represent the official policy of the Fall 1992 Daily Nebraskan. Policy is set by
the Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board. Editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the
university, its employees, the studenisoriheNU Board of Regents. Editorial columns represent
the opinion of the author. The regents publish the Daily Nebraskan, 'they establish the UNL
Publications Board to supervise the daily production of the paper. According to policy set by
the regents, responsibility for the editorial content of the newspaper lies solely in the hands of
its students.
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief letters to the editor from all readers and interested others.
Letters will be selected for publication on the basis of clarity, originality, timeliness and space
available. The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to editor reject all material submitted. Readers
also are welcome to submit material as guest opinions The editor decides whether material
should run as a guest opinion. Letters and guest opinions sent to the newspaper become the
property of the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be returned. Anonymous submissions will not be
published. Letters should included the author’s name, year in school, major and group
affiliation, if any. Requests to withhold names will not be granted. Submit material to the Daily
Nebraskan, 34 Nebraska Union, 1400 R St., Lincoln, Neb. 68588-0448.
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Petitioners should check Bible
I am opposed to public prayer at
graduation ceremonies. It’s
against my religion.
That’s a poor joke on my part,
actually, because 1 am a Christian,
and it is Christians who arc pushing so
hard for prayer at graduation and
Christians who generally support it.
It’s not that they are more prayer
ful than anyone else. It’s just that the
particular Christians who arc arguing
for graduation prayer know that it will
be their God who will be thanked.
But I think that they are a little
misguided. Some reading upon their
own religion might help them out.
I quote from Matthew: “And when
you pray, you must not be like the
hypocrites; for they love to stand and
pray in the synagogues and at the
street comers, that they may be seen
by men. Truly, I say to you, they have
their reward.”
Christ said that, and the last time I
checked, being a Christian meant be
lieving in Christ and trying to model
your life after his teachings. I’m not
sure some of the “Christians” that arc
running around demanding prayer at
graduation meet that definition.
They seem more motivated bv the
belief of ASU N senator Ron Schmidt,
who said “no Constitutional right
against not being offended” exists,
than by Christ’s teachings about tol
erance and helping your fellow hu
man beings.
If 1 read them right, our petition
crusaders are saying that it is impor
tant to make a very pious, self-righ
teous display of their religion at gradu
Christ never did that. He even said
we shouldn’t.
I quote from Matthew again:
“And in praying, do not heap up
empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for
they think they will be heard for their
If I read them right,
our petition crusaders
are saying that it is
important to make a
very pious and self
righteous display of
their religion at gradu
many words. Do not be like them, for
your Father knows what you need
before you ask him.”
Apparently, Christ wasn’t too
thrilled with people who were con
vinced of how holy they were and
made a point of saying so publicly.
What could our petition crusaders
do instead of pray? They could do the
things Christ really valued that tran
scend all religions: feed the hungry,
take in strangers, help the oppressed.
Christ says in Matthew, “Truly I
say to you, as you did it to one of the
least of these my brethren, you did it
to me.”
Quite a philosophy, isn’t it? In
helping people in need, we can actu
ally help God.
Instead of public prayer at gradua
tion, then, let’s all go out after the
ceremony and spend the day helping
people. We’d be doing something real
to finish our education.
Ah, but that idea is not likely to be
so popular with our petition crusad
ers. They might actually have to work
to thank God. And we wouldn’t want
that, now would we?
It’s much more fun to say a prayer
for a minute and be able to forget it.
If you want to pray at graduation,
pray to yourself.
But if you arc really concerned
about being religious, go out and do
something real afterward. Help people
in need, do something to promote
equality or sacrifice something you
There is nothing worse than a hypo
crite. And there is nothing more hypo
critical than standing on a soapbox
and shouting for prayer at graduation
while ignoring die meaning of the
teachings for which you are arguing
so loudly.
I have absolutely no idea, but I
would imagine that the God 1 believe
in would be disappointed to see these
AS UN senators running around get
ting signatures for their prayer peti
All the time they arc wasting could
be spent doing something that really
Prayer is important to the extent
that it represents a true commitment
in your heart to the God you believe in
and to your fellow human beings. If
you have that commitment, it will be
obvious without you participating in a
public prayer.
If you lack that commitment, pray
ing in public for 10 hours or gathering
petition signatures for 10 years can’t
provide it.
Fitzpatrick is a junior political science
major and the Daily Nebraskan opinion page
Sam Kcpfield’scolumn on the sub
ject of prayer at UNL’s commence
ment ceremonies struck me as little
more than an advertisement endors
ing ASUN’s recent asinine crusade
for retention of graduation prayer, as
well as an effort to spit a little venom
at UNL Chancellor Graham Spanicr.
ASUN’s resolution and petition
drive supposes that pulling the choice
in the hands of students makes prayer
at graduation OK. It doesn’t.
AS UN Senator Ron Schmidt said
of the resolution, “It’s a helluva lot
better than state-sponsored atheism.”
It is typical, right-wing paranoia that
omission of religion automatically
means atheism. It doesn’t.
Graduation should be a memo
rable event for all graduating, not
some, not the majority, but all. Any
one who believes their God can’tabide
by a silent prayer on an event shared
by many others besides themselves
should rc-cvaluatc the true meaning
of their faith.
James Zank
art and English
If one looks at that seldom-read
document, the Constitution, the First
Amendment slates that “Congress
shall make no law respecting an es
tablishment of religion, or prohibit
ing the free exercise thereof."
The lack of prayer at graduation
comes much closer to violating the
Constitution than having a prayer
Prayer at a state university can be
considered an “establishment of rcli
gion" only if just one religion is rep
resented. Those who favor prayer at
graduation have never suggested that
Christianity or other particular reli
gion be represented; rather that the
benediction be preformed by religious
leaders from varying beliefs.
By telling the majority that they
cannot pray publicly, one has to ques
tion whether the university is “pro
hibiting the free exercise” of religion.
Regardless of whether prayer is
allowed at graduation, those with re
ligious beliefs will find a lime and a
place to pray. It’s too bad that they arc
not allowed to do it during one of the
most important milestones in their
Jeff Krohn
chemical engineering