Prayer In American Public Schools Essay

780 words - 4 pages

Prayer in school has been a hot topic for many years now. As most know, religion is one of the most controversial and universal topics. Whether you are Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, or even Atheist, you have a strong opinion on your beliefs and what is appropriate or not. Since Thomas Jefferson wrote his letter and coined his phrase of “separation of church and state” in 1802, there has been discussion on where this line is and what it all entails. The act of Congress overall banning prayer in public school 1962 added even more fuel to the fire. Though Congress banned prayer in school, a majority of American’s disagree with this regardless of where they are living, their age, or their religion.
For many years, most believed that the Midwest was more conservative with stronger opinions against this ban, while the East and West coasts were considered more liberal and gave a great support for this action. Recent studies by the Pew Research Center of South Carolina and Michael Lipka (a recent valedictorian who has specialized in religion and public life) have shown that though the Midwest is most certainly opinionated, the South had the strongest disproval for this decision with seventy-three percent of Southerners against it. The Midwest came behind the South with a fifty-five percent disapproval rate. As assumed the East and West coasts had a majority of approval rates, they were closer than expected with only a fifty-three percent approval rate along the East coast and a fifty-one percent approval rate along the West coast (Lipka). Combined, these numbers show an overall disapproval for Congress’s action of banning prayer in school.
Another way that we can look at the disapproval of this act is the age of American’s and how they feel. An automatic assumption for this point of view would be that the older the age, the more traditional and against the action of banning prayer in school they will be. Another study by Lipka showed this general “stereotype” to be true. Americans that were between the ages of eighteen to twenty-nine had a fifty-six percent approval rate of Congresses’ actions, while Americans that were seventy-four years of age or older had a seventy-one percent disapproval rate. All ages in between also had disapproval rates of fifty-eight percent or higher (Lipka). Another psychological study discussed...

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