School Prayer Debate and Poll
Should public schools have organized classroom prayer ? 


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The first American school system, that began in Massachusetts, in 1647, was established to ensure that children would grow up with the ability to read the Bible


Public schools had prayer for nearly 200 years before the Supreme Court ruled that state-mandated class prayers were unconstitutional (Engle, 1962). The fact that prayer was practiced for nearly 200 years establishes it by precedent as a valid and beneficial practice in our schools. 


CON 2.1

The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". It also says that all men are created equal, but it took almost 90 years for that to be applied to blacks. Just because the First Amendment wasn't adhered to doesn't mean it's not the law of the land or right.


CON 2.2

The controversy over officially sponsored prayer in public schools did not begin in 1962.  in the 1830s, when waves of Italian and Irish Catholic immigrants came to this country and objected to compulsory readings of the Protestant King James Bible and the recitation of Protestant prayers in most public schools. A bitter conflict erupted, including riots, the expulsion of Catholic children from public schools, the burning of convents and even some deaths. The framers of the Constitution knew the evils of state sponsored religion. Even today Catholics and Protestants fight in other parts of the world.



Our government was based on religious principles from the very beginning.


CON 3.1

Having religious principles does not mean that they wanted to use the government to force religion on the country. The ratification of the Constitution by the States was held up because it didn't have a written list of basic rights that couldn't be taken away. The very first line in the very first amendment of the Bill of Rights reads "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". After these were assured only then was the Constitution ratified.



Since the court outlawed prayer, the nation has been in steady moral decline. Former Secretary of Education William Bennett revealed in his cultural indexes that between 1960 and 1990 there was a steady moral decline. During this period divorce double, teenage pregnancy went up 200%, teen suicide increased 300%, child abuse reached an all-time high, violent crime went up 500% and abortion increased 1000%. There is a strong correlation between the expulsion of prayer from our schools and the decline in morality.


CON 4.1

If you go back the other way in time, do you find higher morals in slavery, or our treatment of Indians, or more recently,  Jim Crow laws in the South, OR official discrimination against women or children being used as cheep labor?


CON 4.2

The Census Bureau reports that 63 percent of the population claims church membership, a figure that has remained virtually unchanged since the 1960 census.


To forbid the majority the right to pray because the minority object, is to impose the irreligion of the minority on the religious majority. Forbidding prayer in schools, which a three-quarters majority of Americans favors, is the tyranny of the minority. It is minority rule, not democracy.


CON 5.1

Its against the law to forbid people to pray on their own. But its also against the law to force people to listen to you pray. Nothing in the Constitution now prohibits children from engaging in truly voluntary prayer. They may pray at the beginning of the day, over lunch, before tests, or at any time they have a free moment.


CON 5.2

The Bill of Rights was designed to protect the minorities GOD given rights from the majority. In the case of Religion "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". It says its against the Constitution to prohibit free exercise of Religion. Free is a key word here, State supported prayer is not "FREE EXERCISE" its "FORCED RELIGION" and that is prohibited.



Notice what JESUS says about public and repetitive Prayers.

Matthew 6:5-8
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. 



9-15-99 on Capitol Hill, Rep. Ernest Istook, an Oklahoma Republican, reintroduced a proposed amendment to the Constitution that would ``secure the people's right to acknowledge God according to the dictates of conscience.'' Backed by 57 co-sponsors, most of them Republican, the amendment added: ``The people's right to pray and to recognize their religious beliefs, heritage or traditions on public property, including schools, shall not be infringed.''



The government set out guidelines in 1995 to protect religious freedom in public schools. They said students had the right to pray privately and individually in school, had the right to meet in religious groups on school grounds and to use school facilities like any other groups.





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