Debate:Should class room prayer be allowed in Public Schools?
Should student/teacher led prayer be allowed back into Public Schools?
Guess i'll post to start it off. No, I know you don't like using Separation Of Church And State as an argument so i'll stick what is actually written. I agree some do use it as a mere mantra without going into any explanation much like pornographers yell FREEDOM OF SPEECH! at the top of their perverted lungs. Teachers and Schools, being in effect, arms of the Government, have no business leading prayers which is tantamount to endorsement of that particular religion which could be any religion as prayer is not exclusive to Judaism/Christianity. To have them be specific about which prayers is favoritism towards a particular religion.
Other books are used for prayer (for example The Koran). Gets us into a sticky situation.To illustrate what i mean...would anyone have objections if Islamic Prayers were led in class, giving praise to Allah and Mohammed? Or Pagan prayers giving thanks to the spirit of the wind? Or Satanic prayers asking for strength from Satan? This is all school prayer. If someone here says "this isn't what we meant, we need Bible Prayer!" why the Bible itself? It seems that people are not interested in mere prayer, but in specifically Judeo-Christian Prayer. Not accusing just stating a perhaps flawed observation. We cannot have the Government act as the propaganda arm of any particular religion for it could be any religion.
There is a difference between being religiously neutral and being atheistic. Now if there were some Atheistic prayer, that runs into the same problem even if Atheism is not a religion, it runs afoul of trying to answer religious questions that are best left to Churches and ourselves to answer. For schools tell a child there is no God is as inappropriate as telling them there is one. Schools must relate facts not opinions of faith. Why can't schools merely give students the tools to ask themselves these questions and find their answers to the Great Question instead of trying to imply an official position on the subject?
Besides, school-led prayer isn't necessary. In middle school we had our moments of silence every morning to give everyone a chance to pray quietly. Back when i was in High School, there was a Flag Prayer Group, who prayed around the flag pool. This was done before school every morning. No one bothered or hassled them since it was before school and not disruptive to anyone. We had plenty of Christian students who prayed. It was just done discretely and non-disruptively. How would you feel if someone screamed HAIL SATAN! during a meal prayer or in class. Just common courtesy to not disturb others. Even in school, in our Civics class, they explained that it was not unconstitutional to pray in a public building.
On the surface it's not particularly harmful, weather you see it as communion with God, a joke, or merely stupid utterances to a magical being, but it goes against the plurality spirit of our nation. By remaining neutral we can make everyone feel at home with their faith within schools and allow those to make their own pace towards peace within themselves without bombarding them with religion. --DavidS 14:15, 21 March 2013 (EDT)