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Religion vs. Rights: Which One Belongs In Schools?

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Religion vs. Rights: Which One Belongs In Schools?
Before the government provided formal schools and programs of education, religion had been a major part of every person's education. As public schools started, this teaching of faiths continued with the practice of prayer before class and bible reading sessions (Burstein, 26). Were those actions taken in these classes constitutional, or did the practicing of religious activities deny people the freedom of religion guaranteed in the constitution? Many of those who find prayer and religion in school offensive say that it is a violation of their rights. Mr. Justice Black of the United States Supreme Court, once said, "The First Amendment has erected a wall between the Church and State which must be keep high and impregnable" (Bosmajian, 7). Those in support of religious teachings in public schools see participation in theological activities as a chance to teach morals, community ethics, and peace over violence. Nevertheless, the achievement of those goals through the denial of basic rights is wrong. Today's society is, fast paced, competitive, and based totally on equality. Consequently, religion, whether it be denominational or not, has no place in the classrooms of today's public schools. The reasons for this position are the establishment clause, the rulings of the Supreme Court, and the role that a school has in a community.
What is stopping this process of allowing prayer and schools to combine? The establishment clause is the main cause of this roadblock. The American public seems to think that the establishment clause, or religious freedom, means that personal beliefs can be instituted any place at any time. They feel that the courts interpretation of the clause not only takes God out of the lives of the students, but that the removal of religion also removes basic ethics and the teaching of morals (Gay, 65). This removal of ethics seems to have possibly caused the lack of respect for teachers and education as a whole. The courts say that this right's purpose is to create a wall that will separate the church from the state and that it will not and can not fall. This clause is the rock, on which they base all their decisions on, where they turn to figure out whether a violation of rights had occurred. To put this idea into more simple terms, the purpose of the anti-prayer position is that the government does not want to specifically support, show preference of, or exclude and particular religion or denominational sect (Burstein, 28).
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