Tag Archives: Eric Nolan

It’s all politics?

So my last letter to the editor (about mandatory school prayer) was distributed to a readership of about 470,000 readers.

Not the biggest number ever (and there’s no telling how many consumers actually read the letter), but it’s still a nice number.

Writing about politics or current events will garner you a far greater audience than poetry.

Eric Robert Nolan listed with the Poets & Writers Directory

I received a really nice honor yesterday, friends  — I am now listed in the Poets & Writers Directory.  This is a registry of over 10,000 published authors, maintained by Poets & Writers — America’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers.  You can find it right here.

Poets & Writers was founded in 1970.  Its mission is “to foster the professional development of poets and writers, to promote communication throughout the literary community, and to help create an environment in which literature can be appreciated by the widest possible public.”

I am quite grateful to Assistant Web Editor Francisco Marquez and his colleagues in New York City for assisting me during the application process.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch publishes my letter about mandatory school prayer.

I’m quite glad today to see my latest letter to the editor (about mandatory prayer in the public schools) published by The Richmond Times-Dispatch.   You can read it online right here.  

The Times-Dispatch is Virginia’s second largest newspaper, with a Sunday circulation of over 120,000 people. Thanks so much to its editorial staff for graciously allowing me to share my opinion there.

The Free Lance-Star publishes my letter to the editor about mandatory school prayer.

I’m so happy today to see my latest letter to the editor (about mandatory prayer in the public school classroom) appear in the pages of The Free Lance-StarYou can read it online right here.

In addition to being the newspaper for my college town of Fredericksburg, Virginia, The Free Lance-Star is a leading regional news source with more than 65,000 weekday readers.  I’m quite grateful to its editorial staff for allowing me to share my perspective there.

EgoPHobia features two of my poems.

What a great day, guys.  I’m honored to share that three of my poems appeared today in EgoPHobia — an independent Romanian e-journal dedicated to literature and philosophy.

The poems selected were “Industrial Revolution” (an early poem that I’d dedicated to my late father), “Ode” and “school shooter.”  All three pieces can be found at EgoPHobia right here.

I am quite grateful to Editor Stefan Bolea and the staff at EgoPHobia for allowing me to showcase my work in this important cultural resource for Eastern Europe.

No, mandatory school prayer will not prevent shootings.

It seems that no school shooting is complete without renewed calls for mandatory prayer in the public school classroom. But how exactly would that help?

What sort of Creator do the proponents of mandatory prayer envision? Only a barbarous God would demand prayers from schoolchildren before protecting them from being shot to death. Is He really so voracious for praise? Is He really so ruthless in extorting it from us? Should we trust such a deity to help us, if He egomaniacally threatens us so — with violence so horrifying that we are loathe to even imagine it?

And if prayer is sufficient to secure this god’s protection, then why do we see shootings at houses of worship? Were the victims there not praying hard enough? Were they just not sincere enough in their invocations?
Finally, why should arriving police wear body armor, instead of only the “armor of God” that their prayers could afford them? Shouldn’t that be enough, according to those calling for mandatory prayer?

Separation of church and state is enshrined in our Constitution. By keeping the government and public institutions neutral in religious matters, it protects the rights of both religious and non-religious people. (Students are already perfectly free to pray voluntarily, alone or in groups, without being prompted by school staff — because the First Amendment protects their rights, as well.)

Church and state are like peanut butter and tuna fish. Either one of those things might be just fine on their own — but not when they are combined together.


“The Infant Samuel,” Joshua Reynolds, 1776