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For Freedom, Not Arrogance Essay

859 words - 3 pages

The old battle of separation between church and state has been a long, never ending on in American society. Annie Lauire Gaylor sides with the constitution and defends this old policy that has been around since the existence of our republic form of government. Her essay titled, “The Case Against School Prayer”, attempts to debunk commonalities that people form about school prayer. Each new paragraph emphasizes a point that is made to have some type of prayer in school and is argued against. While Gaylor delivers a concise, well organized argument, there is little trace of hard evidence to back up some her points. Prayer in schools is a hard subject to change one's opinion on. Proponents of school prayer not only see the practice as necessary, but vital to the well being of their life after death. Telling one to step aside when it comes to his beliefs on what is one of the most important things in his life requires a careful choice of words and a general respect for his religion. This can be hard to communicate when Gaylor is the author of books such as No Gods--No Masters and is a well known atheist. Annie Gaylor delivers some very careful and concise points, but can appear to be strongly biased at other times.
Perhaps Gaylor's strongest argument for people who are for prayer comes at the beginning of the essay. She argues that if prayer were allowed in school, the majority or “popular” religion of the area would be the one that is used at that school. This hits home hard to a person who may be Christian and would not like to see her children surrounded by Jewish prayer every day. This reasoning makes the people for school prayer understand what it is like for those who do not support it without insulting their beliefs.
Gaylor also uses the Bill of Rights as an equally effective weapon against school prayer. Referring to the amendment proposed to allow voluntary organized prayer, she uses our first amendment rights to state how passing such a law would be in clear violation of our basic civil liberties. She explains how the amendment can be twisted to allow schools to select what prayers would be used in class. She also mentions minorities and how they could be singled out or excluded if the school prayer does not agree with their belief system.
Unfortunately, bias begins to surface itself later in the the essay and threatens to discredit her reason. When she argues how school prayer can be harmful, she attacks right wing beliefs...

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