Prayer in School Is a Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

To do so will invite the eventual backward motion and we will find ourselves returned to the times that minorities were mistreated for being different, only this time it will be based in religious differences. This was one of the things meant to be avoided by the constitution mandate of separating church and state.

If we uncover the initial understanding of the separation of church and state, we will discover that it implies a protection from discrimination by insisting that the non-religious state, which by law treats everyone equally, must be maintained as the powers of the public school system (Rice, 1997).

The separation of church and state has become the crux of school prayer controversy across the country, but it's really a simple concept. We are not supposed to mesh church and state, period. The founding fathers that penned the constitution, did not allow for exceptions, nor did they suggest that we revisit the issue at any time. The simple matter of separation was a mandate, and done for the protection of the rights to freedom of expression for all who live here. The schools are not only governed by the state, the buildings themselves are in fact owned by the state. The teachers are government employees as are the many administrators and workers that take part in providing millions of students with educations.

During many government meetings, we witness the use of prayer. Some may say that uttering prayers in government meetings is not obeying the separation of church and state. This may hold true in many areas of life, however, there is a fundamental difference between that and allowing prayer in school. Nobody is forced by law to attend a public or government meeting. We do force students between certain ages to attend school.

Many schools are contemplating a moment of silence, advocates of school prayer point to this as a solution for the varied faiths as well as the atheists rights. This would be a fair proposal if we could guarantee it would never expand to led prayers in the classrooms and offices. In addition it would work if we could insure that no student ever tried to sway a friend to pray with him and with his faith.

In addition to the above argument; opponents argue that prayer in school will not be forced on any student. If this were going to be the case for eternity, then they would have a valid point-of-view and a right to request the events. However, we cannot promise that in every school, in every town, in every state, this will be followed, and the first time it is broken regardless of how quietly the church and state separation have been muddied.

For us to muddy the line between churches and state when it comes to the captured audiences of our nations youth we have damaged the very fabric of this nations foundation. There are churches and private religiously-based schools that welcome their followers. Again, nobody is forced by law to attend therefore it is a free act of will. Attending school is not a free act it is a mandated act. That mandate is supervised by the state. To begin prayers in public schools would be similar to what the Jews went through in the camps during the Holocaust. We would be forcing students to submit to things they may not even believe in, and refusal in the way of not attending school would result in harsh punishments. It is best to follow the constitution to the letter, and maintain its criteria. Leave the religious training to the churches and religious leaders and keep the education of our nations youth strictly non-religious.


Rice, Patricia (1997, June). SOUTHERN BAPTISTS EXPECTED to BACK PRAYER AMENDMENT., St. Louis Post-Dispatch, pp 08A.

Shapiro, Deborah R.(1995, May). Shall we pray? Jews, Christians debate prayer…

Sources Used in Document:


Rice, Patricia (1997, June). SOUTHERN BAPTISTS EXPECTED to BACK PRAYER AMENDMENT., St. Louis Post-Dispatch, pp 08A.

Shapiro, Deborah R.(1995, May). Shall we pray? Jews, Christians debate prayer in schools., Jewish Advocate, pp PG.

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