The New School Prayer

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The New School Prayer is a satirical poem which criticizes the practice of refusing to allow school prayer. The original author is unknown; the poem is known to have been in circulation since at least 1985. Numerous variants exist; one common version is included below. Despite being (at least) twenty years old, the poem remains popular, probably owing to the relevance of the message it conveys.


The New School Prayer

Now I sit me down in school,

Where praying is against the rule,

For this great nation under God

Finds public mention of him odd,

Any prayer a class recites

Now violates the Bill of Rights;

Any time my head I bow

Becomes a federal matter now.

Teach us of stars, poles, and equator,

But make no mention of their Creator;

Tell us of exports in Denmark and Sweden,

But not one word of what Eve did in Eden

The law is specific, the law is precise

Praying out loud is no longer nice;

For praying aloud in a public hall

Upsets believers in nothing at all

In silence alone can we meditate

And if God should be reached, well, that's great

This rule, however, has a gimmick in it:

You need to be finished in less than a minute;

So all that I ask is a minute of quiet

If I feel like praying, then maybe I'll try it

If not, oh Lord, this plea I make

If I'm shot in school, my soul you'll take.

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