There are many private schools throughout the United States that hold a class prayer or a broadcasted group prayer throughout the school. The question is, should that same school prayer be held in public school systems? In this case the problem arises when you have a classroom full of students of different religious faiths and you broadcast throughout the sc...
...e spent arguing about faith-based opinions, the purpose of the institution gets clouded in the stampede of people clambering to plant their footing on one side or the other. Justice for true liberty within the public school system is achieved when all students share equal liberty, devoid of faith-based influences such as organized prayer.
This paper was written for my Writing 209 class. For the assignment ,Donna Marsh, asked us to find an article in a periodical that dealt with an issue in our American culture. We were then told to express our opinion on the topic discussed in the article and to analyze the argument presented in the article. I chose the topic of school prayer because I believe strongly in the separation of church and state that exists in our country. This is a controversial issue that is worthy of discussion, and hopefully my essay will provoke you in some manner whether you agree with my premise or feel that the views I express are totally invalid.
In her article “Beyond the Wall of Separation: Church-State in Public Schools”, Martha McCarthy, a Chancellor Professor and chair of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, makes it clear that her aim is to inform educators of the legal history and constitutional precedents of the Establishment clause and Free speech Clause of the First Amendment with an attached understanding of how educators should implement these findings. She summarizes and analyzes key Supreme Court rulings over the course of the 20th century as they pertain to religious expression in public schools. She clarifies the usage of both the Establishment Clause and the Free Speech Clause, including recent changes in trends that have been noted in the Supreme Court during the last decade. From the late 1940’s to the 1990’s most Supreme court rulings focused on the Establishment Clause to the increasing exclusion of the Free Speech Clause such that students were increasingly limited in the ways they were allowed to express themselves in school even in a private manner. In recent years, however, it has been noted that forcing students to suppress their religious expression is itself a religious statement and one that denies the role of religion in people’s lives. McCarthy notes that the public schools must take a neutral stand in relation to religion such that they do not defend or deny its role in people’s lives, either directly or indirectly.
In America today we all have choices to make in regards to our religious beliefs. Many young children are brought up today confused about religion and the significance it plays in their lives. There are many sanctions and rules now on what can and can’t be thought or displayed to people on public property, but it wasn’t always like this. In this paper I will be discussing the American religious experience in regards to the impact religion has in the public schools.
Prayer in Public Schools has changed dramatically over centuries. From starting every morning with all the students reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a prayer; to a society that is more focused on what may be offensive to someone or social media. The society we live in today has formed in a way that was not meant for this country. As the founding fathers built these United States of America they established the standards and principals that were expected of all Americans. Such as “Principle 5- that states, All things were created by God, therefore upon him all mankind are equally dependent, and to him they are equally responsible”; The American Founding Fathers considered the existence of the Creator as the most fundamental premise. How can this be the mindset of the men that built this country; and it not be the way we commit to doing life.
School prayer proponents maintain the United States was established as a Christian nation with religion playing a central role in guiding the nation’s destiny. Supporters of religion in school claim the founding fathers never intended a separation of church and state, evidenced by the fact that the phrase "separation of church and state" is not in the Constitution. Signs of a church/state union can be seen regularly: Congress prays at the opening of every session; federal officials take their oaths upon a Bible; "In God we trust" is stamped on our national currency; and Moses and the Ten Commandments are featured prominently in the Supreme Court building. If religion is accepted in these government institutions, they reason, it should not be stopped at the schoolhouse door.
Dierenfield, B. J. (2007, April). The Battle over School Prayer. Retrieved March 12, 2011, from www.kansaspress.ku.edu: http://www.kansaspress.ku.edu/diebat.html
Prayer in School: Good or Bad? As secular humanists and groups like the Christian Coalition are at war with each other regarding prayer in high schools behind closed doors in Washington DC, the average high school kid is the one that gets caught in the middle. For years now there has been a heated debate about whether or not prayer should be allowed in school,. Everytime the argument is rekindled, it ends in a stalemate, and is a topic that campaigning politicians tend to stay away from.