Pro School Prayer Position

Copyright 1994 - 2010 Endtime Prophecy Net

Published On : December 24, 2000

Last Updated : January 3, 2009

Taken from : http://www.schoolprayer.com



Since the Engel decision in 1962, religious advocates have
been assailing the Supreme Court for "taking God out of the
classroom." In an effort to reverse this trend, conservative
religious groups have been fighting for the passage of a
school prayer amendment to gain greater leeway for religious
activities in schools. Clearly not all school prayer
advocates agree as to what types of religious activities are
permissible in public schools and why, but the following are
some of the most frequently heard arguments.

(1) Our Government is based on Religious Principles

School prayer proponents maintain the United States was
established as a Christian nation with religion playing a
central role in guiding the nation's destiny. Supporters of
religion in school claim the founding fathers never intended
a separation of church and state, evidenced by the fact that
the phrase "separation of church and state" is not in the
Constitution. Signs of a church/state union can be seen
regularly: Congress prays at the opening of every session;
federal officials take their oaths upon a Bible; "In God we
trust" is stamped on our national currency; and Moses and
the Ten Commandments are featured prominently in the Supreme
Court building. If religion is accepted in these government
institutions, they reason, it should not be stopped at the
schoolhouse door.

(2) The Free Exercise Clause Protects School Prayer

Despite decades of Supreme Court rulings, many religious
advocates claim the Constitution protects school prayer.
According to their interpretation, the First Amendment does
not separate God and government, but actually encourages
religion. Many supporters believe the Establishment Clause
was intended to bar only the establishment of a state
religion. They narrowly interpret the Free Exercise Clause
as requiring the government to accommodate religious
observances in public life. Many advocates believe the
restriction on graduation and student-led school prayers
violates their First Amendment right to practice religion
without government interference.

(3) Banning School Prayer Leads to Moral Decline

Since the banning of organized prayer in public schools, the
nation has been in steady moral decline. Divorce rates, teen
pregnancy, violent crime, and drug use have all increased.
Many school prayer supporters believe there is a direct
correlation between the removal of prayer from public
schools and the decline of morality. Religious conservatives
are convinced that religious influence in the schools is
necessary to teach students morals and values.

(4) Majority Should Rule

Public opinion has remained strongly opposed to the court
rulings that barred classroom prayer and Bible readings in
the 1960s. National polls repeatedly indicate that the
majority of Americans favor organized prayer in public
schools. School prayer advocates argue that to forbid the
majority the right to pray because the minority objects is
undemocratic. Supporters are generally committed to majority
rule at a local level, and are favorable to laws that would
allow local majorities to make decisions about religion in
public forums.

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