ves Today?Amen: Does Prayer Play An Important Role In Our Lives Today?Does prayer play an important role in our lives today? The minoritywould say no and that prayer shouldn’t ever have played an important role in oursociety. But, the simple fact of the matter is that for hundreds of years,prayer in school has been encouraged by both society and government. In recentyears, it has been established that prayer in schools has led to a steady moraldecline. Morals must be taught, in school and at home, and they cannot beproperly taught without religion as a much needed stepping stone.
Our government was based upon religious beliefs from the very beginning.
The Declaration of Independence says: “We hold these truths to be self-evident,that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by God with certainunalienable rights. . .” Certainly, it talks about God, creations, God-givenmoral rights, the providence of God, and the final Day of Judgment-all of whichare religious teachings.
And school prayer has been an important part of ourreligious experience from the very beginning.
Our very First Amendment didn’t separate God and government but actuallyencouraged religion. It reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting theestablishment of religion, nor prohibit the free exercise thereof,” (Encarta96). The first part simply says that the federal government cannot establishone religion for all of the people. The simple idea of everyone in our nationbeing limited to one form of religion is inconceivable. The second sectioninsists that the government should do nothing to discourage religion. Butforbidding prayer in schools discourages religion, doesn’t it?Early congressional actions encouraged religion in public schools. Forexample, the Northwest Treaty (1787 and 1789) declared: “Religion, morality,and knowledge being necessary for good government and the happiness of mankind,schools, and the means of learning shall forever be encouraged” (Encarta 96).
By seeing this, religion, which includes prayer, was deemed to be necessary.
Congress has prayed at the opening of every session since the very beginning.
By acknowledging these facts we ask the simple question, ” If the government canpray in their sessions, why can’t the governed pray in their (school)sessions?Public schools had prayer for nearly 200 years before the Supreme Courtruled that state-mandated class prayers were unconstitutional in Engel vs.
Vitale in 1962 (Buckley 70). How could this trail have such a huge impact onour nation and ultimately alter how we perceive our constitution? The fact thatprayer was practiced for nearly 200 years alone establishes it by example as avalid and very important practice in our school system. And with the emergenceof private schools becoming more visible and quite popular, does the situationchange due to the up-and-coming number of private schools in our communitiestoday?Seeing that privately owned schools obviously have the right to teachcertain beliefs and have certain rules to abide by without questioning otherauthorities, why shouldn’t public schools be allowed the same amount of leeway?These private schools are exactly what they say, private, therefore picking andchoosing students based upon income and beliefs. Private schools do not have toaccept an atheist or Christian, yet they select the type of child that will fitin to their school more adequately. Seeing as how private schools are fundedprivately, on the other hand, public schools are funded by the governmentthrough taxes. This would lead us to believe that the government would bedifferent from the state right? Right, in many ways, the church and state stillcoincide with one another and many people recognize this and do not like it,thus causing the controversy of prayer in school. Why do we not just simplifythe matter and impose a “voluntary” prayer amendment to make everyone happy.
This amendment would allow children who want to pray to be able to pray andthose who do not want to pray would not be forced into doing so, wouldn’t thisbe a great idea?There are several reasons why “voluntary” prayer amendment would beable to establish itself as a lasting law in our nation. The first would bebecause it would enforce the First Amendment’s guarantee against governmentestablished religion. If a “voluntary” prayer amendment was passed then schoolprayer supporters would eventually attempt to apply this rule by encouragingorganized, daily classroom displays of religion and ultimately prayer in schools.
By making this into a law it would simply be an act to help solidify ourforefather’s constitution that has successfully led us where we are today withsimply, precise guidelines.
America is called the land of the free and home to millions of people.
These people have many different cultures and traditions that help to make ourcountry the great nation.
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