Wednesday, May 28, 2008

SCRG and school prayer

South Carolinians for Responsible Government has made themselves the self proclaimed watchdog of the conservative movement in South Carolina. The group and its various offspring, allies, and operatives are engaged in telling South Carolina voters who is a conservative and who is not.

Yet, it is unclear where the group stands on one of the bedrocks of South Carolina conservatism: school prayer. Their website, which espouses an agenda being spread nationwide, seems to leave the issue untouched.

Perhaps there is a reason. The current communications director, Neil Mellen, is an award winning fighter against prayer in public schools. Just five years ago, the communications guy won an award from Freedom from Religion Foundation for his work against the mess hall prayer at the Virginia Military Institute. The link to the award can be found at:,

Now, Mr. Mellen certainly had a right to support his point of view. No one contends that. However, the fact that he is working for a group that now supports so called school choice and appeals to people’s religious beliefs in doing so is notable. Are parents who want assistance in getting their children religious school education really getting what they think they are from SCRG? As stated in an earlier post, there is the possibility that SCRG’s position, if it came to fruition, could result in quasi-public schools, such as with higher education. Would they fight to ban mess hall and other prayers then if public money was involved?

Again, this is nothing personal against SCRG or its communications director. However, if the group is to be what it aspires to be, the arbitrator of who is conservative and who is not, it ought to make clear its stand on school prayer. For many South Carolina Republican voters can live with their children in public schools if their kids were free to bow their heads in prayer or a moment of silence. But, those same voters will be outraged if a system is created where lawsuits create an atmosphere that even in private schools getting public money, their children could not bow their heads.

You won’t read the above in a slick, clever mail out, but it is something to think about before you let SCRG be the decision maker for you at the polls.


  1. AnonymousMay 28, 2008

    What are you suicidal or something? Do you know what this kind of post means to your future?

  2. AnonymousMay 28, 2008

    Wow.You declared war on this post. I hope you are ready fot it.

  3. AnonymousMay 28, 2008

    You are hardly saying that prayer in public schools is okay, are you? I pray not.

  4. AnonymousMay 28, 2008

    You must be joking.
    SCRG needs to clarify their position on school prayer? Oh No! Help! Get the President on the phone! SCRG hasn't been clear about their stance on school prayer!!!

    Get real. What's going to be your next warning to the voters? Maybe you can expose SCRG's secret agenda on school uniforms?

  5. very interesting information there, mr. mccarty. you certainly did your homework.

  6. "For many South Carolina Republican voters can live with their children in public schools if their kids were free to bow their heads in prayer or a moment of silence"

    If this were the case, it might be outrageous, but it's not. It's only when prayer is sanctioned by the school is it a problem. I'm not sure if you are trying to distinguish between "South Carolina conservatives' versus any old conservative, but it seems to me that keeping religion out of public schools would be a fundamentally conservative idea, the more separation there is between religion and government, the better for religion to thrive and prosper without any kind of entanglement with government.

  7. One of the reason so many families in South Carolina want out of the public schools is the strong values they hold, and the threat they see in state power against them. Look at the UK: state sanctioned religion has eroded real personal faith. Good on Mellen for fighting back.