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 dem...
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...ght and to ask for the safety, protection and guidance that we as people need.
Bryce, Robert. “To pray-or not to pray.” U.S. News & World Report Sept. 1999: 26.
Haas, Carol. Engel v. Vitale Separation of Church and State. Springfield, New Jersey: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 1995.
Kaminar, Wendy. “A Wing and a Prayer: Religion Goes Back to School.” The Nation Dec. 1997: 18-20.
Kloehn, Steve. “Supreme Court ruling on school prayer is no big deal.” Chicago Tribune 28 June 2000.
N.A. “La. School Prayer Law is Struck Down.” Los Angeles Times 15 June 2000.
Murray, William J. Let Us Pray A Plea for Prayer in Our Schools. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1995.
Van Biema, David. “Spiriting prayer into school.” Time April 1998: 28-31.
Constitutional Amendment on School Prayer or Moment of Silence ( www.aclu.org ).
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