School prayer: should it be reinstated?

Screen shot from Fox News' YouTube video: Prayer forbidden at high school graduation?

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There are many debates in our society, and one of the most hotly debated topics is whether there should be prayer in public schools. It was banned since the early 1960s following a series of decisions made by the Supreme Court. The court viewed that school prayer violated the First Amendment.

If we brought school prayer back, what form would it take? Would there be rotating prayers from all religions in which everyone would have to take part, regardless of their faith? Would there just be a one size fits all denominations prayer every day? Or, would there be a prayer from just one religion and the kids of other faiths would be subjected to it whether they and their parents liked it or not? These are some of the things that must be considered as the question of whether we should bring back school prayer is asked.

Those that would like to see school prayer return feel that, since its removal back in the early ’60s, society has started to go downhill. Crime and violence have risen due to a decline in our society’s morals. Good values and moral character are supported and developed partially through prayer. They feel that, with prayer in school, we can stop the moral decay, thus reigning in the rampant crime and violent acts in our country. Finally, the United States of America was founded by Christians, and by banning prayer in school, we are not honoring God the way we should.

People who are against school prayer feel that prayer in school is violating the laws separating church and state. They see the attempt to reinstate prayer as part of the typical school day as an attempt by the Christian conservatives to indoctrinate all children to their views, despite what the parents’ beliefs might be. Also, they view prayer in school as organized religious bigotry, because they believe that there will only be Christian prayers. That leaves one to question when Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, or any other religion will get their recognition. Basically, they see school prayer as divisive at a time when we need to come together.

Prayer in school is always a sensitive subject. A person’s faith is very important to them. Even though organized prayer in school is banned, children are allowed to pray silently to themselves. Until this issue is settled, I suppose that will have to be good enough.

In this video clip, Fox News presents a debate about prayer being forbidden at a high school graduation:

The Issue

Should we bring back school prayer? Will prayer in school help instill values and a good moral foundation, or is it  just a way to force the beliefs of one religion on all kids, even those who have different faiths?

In support of reinstating prayer in public schools

A key point of those in favor of school prayer is that presents a way to help reverse the decay of society.

In opposition to reinstating prayer in public schools

People against school prayer see it as a way to try to convert the children of different faiths to Christianity. Plus, they see it as a violation of church and state.

What do you think? Does organized prayer have a place in our public schools? Should it be reinstated?

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