This Essay Is About Prayer In Schools. It Covers The Two Controvercial Sides Of Public Schools Vs. Private Schools.

2211 words - 9 pages

"Is not a prayer a study of truth, a sally of the soul into the unfound infinite? No man ever prayed heartily without learning something." This quote, by Ralph Waldo Emerson, ( Webster, pg. 182), illustrates that people can learn from prayer. People may be able to learn from prayer, but is it right to enforce prayer in schools?Prayer in schools has become a very controversial subject. This topic has two basic sides, people who are for the allowance of prayer in schools, and people who are against the allowance of prayer in schools. The controversy is more widely seen among public schools rather than private schools, because historically private religiously based schools provide instruction with an environment that is accommodating to various religious denominations. Within the public schools, the individual rights of the students are unconstitutional after and protected more so than private schools, with the issue of prayer. Students who attend private schools, that feel their rights are being violated in some way, can always have the option of attending a public school. Taxpayers fund public schools, and primarily the State agencies assign the funding. So that anything seemingly controversial occurring within a public school, is permitted to be scrutinized and debated over with free reign.Our Government has been based on religion from the beginning, with the Protestant, Catholic and many other religions that have been fleeing religious persecution to find religious freedom. The controversy over public prayer in schools began when the Catholic immigrants objected to required readings of the Protestant King James Bible and the recitation of Protestant prayers in most public schools. A bitter conflict erupted, including riots, and expulsion of Catholic children from public schools.In the 1950's as diversity in religion grew, so did the controversy of prayer in school. Saying a, Christian based, prayer on a daily basis was a natural part of public school, just like saying the Pledge of Allegiance it's just what everyone did. President John F. Kennedy, the country's first Catholic President urged respect for the court's decision in (Engel vs. Vitale), "We have in this case a very easy remedy, and that is to pray ourselves. And I would think that it would be a welcome reminder to every American family that we can pray a good deal more at home, we can attend our churches with a good deal more fidelity, and we can make the true meaning of prayer much more important in the lives of our children." (Grunberg, pg.1).The case of (Engle vs. Vitale) in 1962, decided that school prayer is unconstitutional. With this case, it was pointed out that students were to voluntarily recite the following prayer, "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country." The court ruled that this rule was unlawful according to the First Amendment's "Establishment Clause" which states "Congress...

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