I would like to endorse the idea of religious time in schools.
Allow me to tell my story.
Back in the sixties, when I attended Huntsville (Texas) High
School, there was, at first, a "religious council" once a week
during the school day. You didn't have to participate, but
you had to be present in the auditorium. Those who did not
bow their heads, or sing, or recite the Lord's Prayer, or whatever,
were stared at quite severely by students and teachers alike. I
didn't mind going along with the gag, but I really felt sorry for
the school's only Jew, who sat in the back, trying to be invisible.
Somewhere along the line, somebody must have pointed out that
this was not exactly, shall I say, "kosher"? So in my junior year,
they moved the time to first period, and proclaimed that school
didn't *really* begin until after religious council was over.
But if you were on school grounds during that time, you were required to
be in the auditorium. And if you were not on school grounds, you were
technically in violation of the truancy laws. It was a moot point,
because most of the students came to school in school buses, which
always arrived before religious council started.
I solved this problem by starting a casino in the instrument room
in the band hall. I had roulette, chuck-a-luck, and would lag
half-dollars against the wall with all comers. I made a
small but consistent profit almost until the end of my senior
year, when I was found out. (I suspect that some sore loser may have
ratted on me.) The band director gave me three insignificant
licks with his dainty little paddle. (I see this as proof that God
approved of my enterprise: the sadistic coach Angerman [!] was not
called on to administer Divine retribution.)
Now here's the point. If it had not been for religious council,
I would never have learned to gamble. When I lost my math scholarship
in college, due to sleeping through a Frosh calculus final I was
supposed to have given, I knew enough to turn to playing backgammon.
I managed to live off the dice for three and a half years... Long
enough to get an M.S., and launch myself into the software game.
The rest is history... Silicon Valley, limos, hot tubs, sushi,
big bucks, fabulous babes!
Cashing in on the Silicon Bonanza! Where would I be today, had it
not been for religious council?