Religion In Public Life Essay
Prayer in school has been the topic of the century, “Is it right to pray in school,” stated a Texas teacher. The society as a whole believes it is wrong, but there is some people that thinks it would be a good addition to our school. Maybe it will lower school violence. Yeah, right, whatever! Come on people, be a little intelligent. Our country has had violence before we created prayer in school. Religion will probably make it worse. Sociologists has taken a look at this issue. They perceived it preposterous. Sociologist think if we had prayer in school, might as well force us to read a bible and say amen every time a teacher finishes a sentence. Prayer in school is ridiculous and absurd. Sociologists opposes school prayer for a number of reasons. To begin, it is unconstitutional and a clear violation of our First Amendment. Remember, that amendment contains the “Establishment Clause” which prohibits the government from”establishing” religion. Simply put, secular institutions like the public schools should NOT be a forum for religious ritual or indoctrination.
And do a majority of people “support” school prayer? Often, those results depend on exactly how the question happens to be asked. Surveys suggest that most people reject the notion of mandatory prayer. But even if the overwhelming majority thought that prayer was, somehow, a “good idea”, that does not make the practice ethically just or constitutional.
Sociologists also points out, in opposing school prayer, that prayer is not efficacious. School prayer is obviously a form of religious indoctrination; it teaches children that there are invisible, supernatural entities which can be implored and appeased through mumbling prayers or reading from holy books. Many people believe that just because there is a bible, does it mean we have to take it seriously. If we wrote a book and put it in a time capsule and send it back 4000 years ago it will become a religion.
What about school initiated prayer?
Before getting excited about “student initiated” prayer, ask yourself: “which students” are doing the initiating? Student populations often reflect the diversity of the culture. Some students may wish to pray in class or at official school ceremonies like graduation exercises or sporting events, but are they being fair to other students who may not wish to pray? Lately, there have been court cases involving this very question. It is clear that even in areas such as Utah where a school may have a high percentage of students from the same religious background, not all students feel comfortable with this bogus “student led” religious ritual. If you see a huge group of people praying will you join them? The survey says 1 out of 4 students say yes. The reason is, they want to keep their friends. Sociologists believe teen peer pressure is why this is the way it is.
What for? Why do we need a “moment of silence”? School prayer boosters have sometimes proposed this as a way of establishing a legal precedent which, they hope, will eventually lead toward explicit and vocal school prayer. Over a decade ago, the Supreme Court struck down this type of proposal; legislation of this type often calls for the “moment of silence” to be used for “meditation or prayer.” Besides, consider the declining number of hours that students are in school each year. Every “moment” should be used for useful and educational instruction, not meditating!
The whole idea of this is if we create some way to do this, without violating any rights, it won’t effect any one. But yes it does, even a moment of silence is basically saying you must do this or else… Our government has always stood by the First Amendment, For one reason. The First Amendment creates an issue with how to stop certain things from happening. There is a lot of power in the First Amendment. But, our government exercises this right narrowly. We are always battling with the First Amendment.
There is a lot of culture in this issue. One main reason we live in America is because we wanted the right to believe in a god, many gods, or no god(s) at all. We made the First Amendment because of that reason. I love that amendment. The English made us go to church or we would be found a tax or put in jail.
Why doesn’t our society allow school prayer?
The main reason is our social structure. We could not change our structure because of a hundred cases or even a thousand, the reason is that our society could not be stable if we change it. Society cannot accept a law that they don’t believe in particcularly this one. Our society doesn’t allow any thing that might affect how they live. Will there ever be a change in society,and how it works on school prayer? No, maybe on the future, but sociologists think not in any time soon.
Social action, a big factor that our society has created. If we would have prayer in school, would our society decide differently? Yes, That woul mean for those who would like to pray, prays unintentionally, may have an effect on someone next to them. May force him/her to believe in something. You may not think it would effect them, but it will in some shape or form.
We think that prayer is right, we think prayer is wrong. But, we must look at how it effects others and how it will change our society. We must realize that our government can’t force us to pray, but if things change it might turn out that we will have to. We as the citizens of the United States of America must keep prayer away from the classroom.