Prayer Should Be Allowed In Public Schools

1832 words - 7 pages

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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