Prayer In School
by M.P.K.

There are two subjects that I try to avoid, politics and religion. Both can lead to serious arguments and everyone has their opinions on them. Today, I must cross my personal boundary and talk about religion. More specifically, I will tackle prayer in school. In my opinion, prayer in school is unnecessary.

To start off, it is unconstitutional. Our Constitution states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. This fits into the argument because of the type of prayer that may be led could be partial to one religion. After all, there is more than one religion other than Christianity. Any prayer that would be given would have to be previewed, reviewed, and cut up because of content. The prayer must respect all religions due to our laws. When everything is said and done, the end result would have prayers that are so broad and general that it would not have any type of meaning. If the prayer were void of all it's worth, then it would have no importance. If it has lost its importance, then why all of the fuss for it to be inserted into a student's daily routine?

Moving on to another issue; the moment of silence. Even though there is no law prohibiting it, it is a way to get around the laws on prayer in school. It is presupposing prayer. Granted, it is not twisting your arm to pray, but it is still organized and is recognized by everyone in a school. Also, different religions have different prayer styles. Children may one day see another kid turn to the East and praise Allah and from that point on, that kid is singled out. An atheist child might also get the same treatment and also feel uncomfortable when he sees his peers with their heads bowed and hands clasped. A moment of silence is a waste of time. No matter how brief it is, the students could be learning in that time.

Among the retorts I have heard for this argument, there are only two strong points. One is that kids aren't that low to pick on another for his religious beliefs. These are the kids that segregate themselves from people who are different. These are the same kids that will pick on someone who doesn't wear the high-priced clothing like they do. These are the children who will single out the fat, the dumb, the meek, the weak, and the ugly just because they are "better" than them. So I ask you this; do you actually think that these kids won't pick on another about religion when they already mess with them about things that are superficial? My opinion is that it is doubtful.

The other point they use is the rise in violence since prayer in school has been abolished. I will say that it has some validity to it, but prayer habits aren't the only thing that has changed since that era. Movies and video games have become more violent. Television shows have become more adult-oriented. Kids are spending less time with their parents and more time in front of the boob tube. To say that the absence of prayer is the cause is ludicrous.

Let's face it; prayer in school is a melioristic goal. It is not needed; it is only a want. Don't get me wrong; not all prayers should be banned. FCA and FCS prayers are fine because they are done voluntarily and done outside of class. Personal prayers before a test or anything like that should not be banned either because they are not an organized event and the only time wasted is their own. However, any lead prayer or moment of silence should have no place in our class. The last word on this is going to come from Rev. Barry Lynn, the director of Americans for Separation of Church and State. "If children don't have a relationship to faith and convictions, it's not the state's job to give them one."

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