Essay On Prayer In Public Schools

Prayer Should Be Allowed In Public Schools

Prayer Should Be Allowed in Public Schools

School prayer is a very controversial issue in today’s society. The issue of school prayer is about whether the public school systems should let the students pray, at the start of the school day, as a class. The issue of school prayer began in the late sixteenth century when people in England did not approve of the way one religion was forced upon them, so the Puritans, known as the Pilgrims decided to come to the colonies. Even in the colonies the Pilgrims had problems with religion they had to sometimes resort to highly creative strategies in order to pray. When people were caught having a secret service they would have to face the consequences that the law enforced, whether it was going to the gaol, being kicked around, or being killed. In 1688 these situations were so awful that something had to be done, so the Toleration Act of 1689 was established. It was an incomplete solution and it had a lot of loopholes but it was a step in the right direction. Students today have to sometimes resort to highly creative strategies in order to pray in a public school, so as not to offend anyone.

When Thomas Jefferson spoke on public education he said, “ ‘One goal of democracy is the recognition, solution and tolerance of controversy; public education should prepare citizens for this reality’ ” (Murray, 1995, p. 98). This is very true, people need to be prepared for controversy and religion is one of the most noticeable of the issues. If religion is taken out of the public education system then the system is now defective because religion is eliminated and people do not learn how to deal with controversy in religion, putting a stop to their training ground in becoming a better democratic citizen (1995, p. 98). Prayer should be allowed in the public school system because prayer is an important part of America’s rich spiritual heritage, and the First Amendment (Freedom of Speech Amendment).

Prayer should allowed in the public school system because prayer is an important part of America’s rich spiritual heritage. All throughout the history of America there have been many important documents written of our country that have references to “Almighty God,” “Thy Blessings,” and “Our dependence upon Thee.” These include: the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, the national anthem, and the presidential oath (Haas, 1995, p. 39). In school students always say the pledge, which states, “One Nation Under God.” A prayer says that students just want to ask for a good day and guidance throughout the day. Not only do important documents of our country refer to God but also the words “In God We Trust” are engraved on all coins minted and bills pressed in the United States (1995, p. 39). There are two parts of the American tradition and they are prayer and religion (1995, p. 39). If society keeps prayer out of the public schools, they are teaching the students that traditions are not...

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Prayer In School Essay

Over the years, there has been a very controversial debate on whether there should be prayer incorporated within the public schools; half the population votes no on the topic. Many individuals feel that allowing prayer services within the schools will be offensive and time consuming. A common fear among the people is that there would not be an equal way to recognize everyone’s religion. There would be even more controversy as to which religions should be taught, in what manner, and it’s a very big possibility that one person’s religion may offend someone else’s which would simply cause even more controversy.
It is argued that there isn’t a way for every religion to be recognized within the public schools to accommodate everyone without offending anyone. It just isn’t a possibility to incorporate a sense of a “prayer service” that meets everyone’s needs without completely throwing off the school day’s curriculum and without making a form of an offense.
Another valid point is that it goes against what our country was built upon. America was formed because the colonists wanted religious freedom. When our Founding Fathers came to the States over from England, one of main issues was that over in England, religion was forced upon the people and individual choices as to what to believe weren’t an option. When our countries Founding Fathers wrote the constitution, they were very careful about granting the freedom of separation of church and state. Many Americans feel that having prayer in school would indeed violate that part of our constitution.
Many people argue that public schools are meant for educational purposes only, not for proselytizing. Schools are a part of the public where as religion is something personal and private, should be left for the home. It’s felt that it’s not our educator’s responsibility to become educated on every individual’s religion, and the traditions of that religion. It becomes very complicated, and there just isn’t enough time in the day for it. In the United States, school is held five days a week for seven hours a day, for one hundred eighty days of each year. There simply isn’t enough time for schools to be holding prayer services in order to meet everyone’s religious needs. Teachers are given a certain amount of information that needs to be covered, taught, and learned by the end of each year. Based off of how little time there is, it just wouldn’t be practical.
Acknowledging religious beliefs also creates diversity among students. By addressing everyone’s faith, it can create a bad sense of discrimination among students. Secular Humanists believe that it’s very possible that by having discussions and prayer services within the school system, it can create walls and barriers between the children and make clicks even stronger than they are already. This may introduce differences amongst the children that were not necessarily noticeable or known before hand. Prayer is often times looked at as...

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