Prayer in School - Essay Example

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Prayer in School Jenny Coleman PHI 200: Mind and Machine Barbara Palomino de Velasco May 7, 2012 Prayer in Schools According to Bennett & Foldesy (2008), “Accommodating one person's right of religious expression while not infringing on another person's right to be free from religious coercion in our nation's public schools continues to be a source of spirited debate” (Bennett & Foldesy, 2008, p.185)…
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Download file to see previous pages Some sociologists are psychologists are of the view that prayer helps students to strengthen their belief in morals, values and good citizenship. Such people argue that morality and ethics are rapidly diminishing in this world at present and hence aggressive behaviours and violence are increasing. On the other hand critics of school prayer are of the view that enforcement of prayer at schools may affect the autonomy of the children. In their opinion, beliefs, rituals and customs should not be enforced upon school children. This paper argues for school prayer after analysing both the sides of the issue. Pros and cons of school prayer Religion is an important part of American heritage. For example, “Prayer is permitted in Congress. Our currency contains the motto “In God We Trust.” The President is sworn into office with the oath “so help me God.” God is mentioned four times in the Declaration of Independence” (Debate 6 - Prayer in Public Schools, n. d.). At present, religion is losing grounds in America because of various reasons and that is why violence and aggression among school children are growing. It is necessary to cultivate values and morals in the minds of younger generation to construct a healthy future American society. The Declaration of Independence says “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and that God endows them, with certain unalienable rights. Credit for the rights that Americans hold dear is given to God, the Creator, by the founding fathers of this Nation”(Declaration of independence, 1995). The above declaration of independence clearly underlines the importance of religion in America political and social lives. In other words, American government was built on Christian principles and therefore it is logical to administer prayer in all public institutions like schools. The Declaration of Independence is a statement of how this country operated in the past and how it should be operated in future. In other words, America’s government began under these beliefs and it is suicidal to forget about such traditions and heritage. The first amendment guarantees personal freedoms under the law if you are a US citizen, but the Supreme Court ruling forbidding prayer in public schools has restricted the majority of American citizens from being able to pray, read the Bible, sing religious songs, and make any kind of reference to religion in public schools (Bill of rights, n. d.). Supreme Court seems to be misreading the facts. It is a deliberate attempt from the part of Supreme Court to isolate religion from American political and social lives. It is fact that over interference of religion in politics is not good for the growth prospects a country like America. It should be noted that America is a secular democratic country in which all people have the right to believe in their Gods and spread their belief. Supreme Court believes that prayer in Christian prayer in schools could be harmful to America’s secularism. This brings about an important question, why are the governing bodies of this country allowed to pray every day, but public schools are prohibited? The first amendment of American Bill of rights says that; Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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