Prayer in Public School?

United States
September 14, 2007 12:13pm CST
What are your thoughts on this issue? Does prayer or mention of God have any place in US public schools? I'm not talking about out and out religious teaching, but rather the mention of God at ceremonies, the quick blessings that were common at things like graduation, and so forth. How do you stand? Why?
1 person likes this
6 responses
• United States
14 Sep 07
No. The majority of people in America are either Christian, Catholic, or an off-shoot of Christinanity. By the term "prayer" I am going to assume you are thinking about your religion, and what you might say in the morning, at night, or during hard times in your and other's lives. What about other religious pratices? Are you okay with the religions that involve their follower praying as certain times of the day? Or people who's beliefs might not be considered mainstream such as Wicca. What about people who are not religious? And after that it starts to become complicated. If you are going to include one religious tradition then you might as well include them are. School are not too keen on having religious activites minus some after school-based religious clubs. They do not want to risk things such as being sued, discrimination, or leaving a religion out. There are people that can become rude, violent, pushy, or/and sarcastic when they find that Little Johnny is not a Christian like them. Or that the pretty girl who sits in the back considers herself to be an Athiest. I have been in debates where people would freak out because they did not share the same religious beliefs.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
14 Sep 07
Which God? Whose God? *laughs* I might just be whiny on this topic, but I'm really not fond of such things. I just know that when I was growing up and my school was heavily religious, it led to me being mistreated by both teachers and students for not having the same religious beliefs as everyone else. And of course at the time I didn't know that there was anything illegal about it, because the school isn't going to teach you that THEY are breaking the law. I guess my biggest problem with this whole issue is that it's always going to be prayers involved with the same religious group. Even if there are only one or two kids in the class who aren't that religion, they are still people. If only one religion is being recognized and only prayers of that religion are being allowed, that's still discrimination. When I was going to school, there were clubs for Christian kids, and some friends and I tried to start a sort of "interfaith" club for everyone else, and weren't allowed to do so. It was frustrating. I think you either have to say "All religions are going to be recognized" or "No religion is allowed to be acknowledged at school". Since there are so many religions out there that it really isn't possible to acknowledge each one, saying that prayer and other religious activity shouldn't be in school is the only realistic option I see.
• United States
14 Sep 07
I'm reminded of a newspaper political cartoon I saw once: An Asian child was carrying a statue of Buhdda to the front of the class of caucasian children where a very nervous teacher stood wringing her hands. She said, "Now class, Ling Cho is going to lead our morning prayer...." I consider myself to be pretty devoutly Christian and I've raised my girls that way. I actually *don't* believe in school prayer for the very reasons you bring up. I want the parental right to raise my children in the faith I have chosen. I'm sure other parents feel the same way. Exposure to other faiths for them didn't bother me a bit-I like for them to learn how others believe, and eventually, make their own choices. But I didn't (and don't) want anyone else telling them the "right" way to believe. In our area, there are several Christian denominations that I have pretty profound disagreement with, but they often seem to be in the majority. I'm pretty sure that a school show of religion would lean that direction instead of my chosen path. So, much to everyone's surprise, I lean pretty strongly away from school prayer and formal displays of religion in school.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
14 Sep 07
"But I didn't (and don't) want anyone else telling them the "right" way to believe." This really strikes a chord with me. As a child, I was constantly assailed with people at school telling me the right way to believe, and I don't want that for my son. Since our family is interfaith anyway, he is going to learn about multiple religions, but I also want him to learn about them in the right ways. For example, the type of Christianity taught most of the places I have lived was very much of the fire-and-brimstone focus, whereas the Christianity my husband follows is more of a God-is-love focus... so I definitely want to make sure my son learns my husband's version rather than the popular one. That way he won't have to overcome a fear of Christians the way I did. =P
@daring (235)
• India
15 Sep 07
i have no idea but even though i am from different country i can say that if any public school in usa had a prayer then definitely the name of God would be there because it is an Christian country.
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
18 Sep 07
The thing is, it's not a Christian country. People claim that, but there is no state-supported religion in our country. It's against our Constitution to have that. So no matter how much people want to say that the US is a Christian country, our laws say otherwise. In fact, there are fewer and fewer Christians here in recent times. Because of people coming from other countries, but also because of Christians leaving their religions and choosing others. There are also many people turning back to the religions of their ancestors, or families that have always followed other religions but been afraid to say so who are finally speaking out about their beliefs.
• United States
27 Sep 07
I'm not real big on "school sponsored" prayer or religious instruction; however the actions of individuals, especially students, are constitutionally protected. If "Congress shall make no law regarding an establishment of religion, or the free exercise thereof" we should not have seniors denied their diplomas because they praised Jesus at graduation... etc.
• United States
15 Sep 07
The Bible tell us we should pray all the time so I gues that would mean that we should pray we do not get a f or d in school. I donot know the reason this is such a big deal. If some one is going to love God with all there heart they will talk with him and pray even in the schools.
@whywiki (6070)
• Canada
14 Sep 07
I am an Atheist and I don't think Religion should be mentioned at all at any school. I also think it shouldn't be allowed in government. If people want to believe in it fine and dandy but keep it out of my schools and keep it out of government. Not everyone in this world needs or wants a god so keep religion in the churches and other religious buildings, don't pollute the rest of the world with it.