Prayer In Schools..For or Against?

Michelle - posted on 09/07/2011 ( 59 moms have responded )

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When i went to public school, we said the national anthem then the Lords Prayer..they took it out of the schools because they didnt want to offend anyone. I think if you dont believe..your child doesnt have to participate or ask that your child be able to leave the classroom during that time. What do you think?

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Johnny - posted on 09/07/2011

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Public schools are tax-payer funded government systems designed to service the entire population, not one religious sect. Children attending public schools come from all faiths or none at all. No single one faith should be specifically represented by government institutions paid for by all taxpayers. A child should not have to excuse themselves from any part of the school day because of religous practices are being done. And what about teachers? Should they be forced to lead prayers for faiths that they do not hold when working for a public employer? Prayer and other religious practices have no place in the schools aside from extra-curricular club activities led by students.

My child will have the right to choose her own beliefs. I would not support in any way having her indoctrinated into a religion or being ostracized in her classroom. The level of intolerance and small thinking in those sort of suggestions astounds me.

Rosie - posted on 09/07/2011

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my tax dollars shouldn't go towards promoting religion in school. while i can see your point about leaving, it just screams ostrasising to me. my child shouldn't have to pray or be ostracised because someone else wants it.
should we start stopping classes for teacher led islamic prayers as well? should your child have to leave the class while this long process goes on several times a day?
religion has no place in publicly funded places. you can still pray all you want at school-it just shouldn't be led by any member of the staff that gets paid by a variety of other religious or non religious members of society.

JL - posted on 09/09/2011

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My father was in the military and I mostly went to schools on military bases. My husband is in the military and my children mostly go to schools on military bases. Every school I went to on a military base never had prayer as part of the daily school activities. We never sang the national anthem except when we had little celebrations for Memorial Day and Veterans Day in honor of the troops. We never said the pledge of allegiance except at little celebrations for Memorial Day and Veterans Day in honor of the troops. The only time in school as a child that I had to say the pledge was went I went to a public school off a military base and I thought it was a strange waste of time to do every morning since all we were doing as kids was repeating the same words over and over without any care.

The schools on military bases my children have gone to and go to do not say the pledge, sing the national anthem or have prayer on a daily basis. The only time the national anthem and pledge are said are during celebrations for the troops at the schools like on holidays, 911 memorial celebrations or when units that the kids parents belong to are being deployed or are coming back.

I used to teach middle school and high school history and government classes. I got my degrees in specified areas that had nothing to do with religion. I was hired and paid to teach history and government. It was not my place to lead prayer as if I am a religious leader of Christianity or an affirmed believer. It would have been false and misleading for me to have done so.

[deleted account]

Here's an idea -- if your kid wants to say the Lord's Prayer, why doesn't your child asked to be excused to go down the hallway and say the prayer themselves in private? Why do you consider it essential for the teacher to lead the class in prayer? I think any religious-based, teacher-led activities in public school are offensive. Enough of the mythology that we are a "christian" nation -- we aren't and never were. The founding fathers expressly rejected making this a christian nation because they saw the mayhem that having religion and the government combined caused. The Pledge didn't even contain the words "under God" into the 1950s or so anyway. The original version should be recited in schools.

Johnny - posted on 09/07/2011

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As usual people who believe in god just can not comprehend how tiresome it is for those of us who do not to repeatedly be expected to recognize the existence of something we do NOT believe in. I love my country, but I recognize no role for god in its existence, protection, and success. I simply can not blithely ask something I do not believe in as an involved force to think of my country every time I am patriotic. I am generally just fine with changing the lyrics for just myself, but when people constantly link a lack of faith to a lack of patriotism, I start to wonder if it is not just time to force ourselves to give up the enormous conceit that god gives a shit about our country and take the word out of our anthem.

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[deleted account]

"World religion classes are a must, to encourage understanding and acceptance rather than ignorance and hate."

I agree 100%. But a world religion class does not TEACH prayer. It exposes WHY certain prayers might be said at piviotal moments, sacred holidays, and cultural customs. But it's not teaching prayer. One of my favorite classes was World Religion!

Vegemite - posted on 09/09/2011

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In a christian school I'm all for it and fully support weekly chapel services run by the kids. Public or non religious school, because I'm a christian it's not going to offend me but I wouldn't push for it to be done.

Ez - posted on 09/09/2011

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Formal, teacher-led prayer has no place in public school. If you want your child's school day to be disrupted like that, send them to a religious school. Simple.

I loathe the indoctrination of children. It's one of the biggest reasons I rejected all organised religion as a teenager.

Jenn - posted on 09/09/2011

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I am a Christian but I do not believe prayer belongs in schools. We are a very diverse country and school should remain a place of education, not religious assumptin. World religion classes are a must, to encourage understanding and acceptance rather than ignorance and hate. My daughter's school says the national anthem and our state pledge, but not prayer.

Charlie - posted on 09/08/2011

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No children should not have to sit there through someone elses prayer .....if people want to pray do it in your own space on your own time.



Public schools are for the public Atheist , Christian , Catholic , Hindu , Muslim , ect why should everyone else have to put up with one group because majority rules?



If religions want their beliefs to be respected then they better respect other beliefs equally and not force others to listen or leave the area in order for them to pray.

[deleted account]

I'm paid to teach the English curriculum, not lead my students in a teacher-lead prayer session. There's a wonderful Seminary High School down the road if parents want their children exposed to a religious based education, which includes prayer.
Now last week I had a great conversation with a student who does not hide behide his Christian faith and is very proud to join the ministry one day. He asked how he can form a Christian Alliance Club, but would be open to all students. He wants to start a Student Mission. We had a great conversation about personal/individual prayer in school and he completely respects that everyone is different. He's not looking to bring out prayer in school-just wanted to form a club of other like-minded individuals. I sent him to the direction of a teacher who I think would be a great club sponsor.
Now the pledge of allegiance- well I stopped saying that in class. I do have the flag in my Arizona classroom, and I also have the Constitution poster.

Lacye - posted on 09/08/2011

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Well, as most of you know, I'm all about some God, but I don't see the need to have him in a public school. If you want Christianity to be taught to your child, send him/her to a Christian school. It's kinda like that saying, "You get what you pay for". Public school is "free". You don't technically pay for your child to be there, unless you live in another county or something. You don't get to help make up the rules. If the school board decides that it is too offensive to some, then so be it. You don't pay their bills, the government does.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/08/2011

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As long as there are tests there will be prayer in school

[deleted account]

Everytime someone repeats the lie that prayer was taken out of school, Jesus kills a kitten.

tha'ts not what happened. I'm sure someone will have corrected you by now so I"ll make mine short. Teacher led prayer was removed. That is all. Students can pray their little heads off if they want. That's the law.

[deleted account]

Where I live public schools are not allowed to show any religion at all. No crosses, no stars, no nothing.

Becky - posted on 09/07/2011

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I wasn't trying to say that a person needed to acknowledge God if his name is included in their country's national anthem. If a person wants to change it to their diety of choice, to another word, or just remain silent when his name is mentioned, I don't care. Now if a person were to yell out some other word when his name was mentioned, that would be disrespectful, just as it would be if someone started yelling out random words at any point during the anthem. Or like those obnoxious horns that people blow during the anthem at hockey games are disrespectful! All I was saying is that I don't see asking students to sing the national anthem in class as being the same as asking them to recite the Lord's prayer, or any prayer. One is about love and respect for your country, the other is about religion.

Stifler's - posted on 09/07/2011

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We used to have to sing the national anthem on Monday mornings. I don't remember actually singing once

Johnny - posted on 09/07/2011

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Well then yes, lol. As long as kids do not get in trouble like I did for changing a word to fit with their own beliefs.

Jodi - posted on 09/07/2011

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I think what I was saying is that the National Anthem, whether it contains the word God or not, is not a prayer, so I wouldn't count it as praying in schools, that's all.

We dropped the God Save the Queen thing back in the 70s .

Jodi - posted on 09/07/2011

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I actually don't think prayer should be a part of public school. As I said, my kids are in Catholic school, so it's a given, but in public school, no family should be forced to comply with Christian prayer. Religion is a personal choice, and should be respected as such. If you REALLY want your child to be praying and learning about Christ, well that is the role of the Church and your role as a parent. If you want them to pray every day, set them up with prayer at home. If you want them to learn about God or Jesus, then take them to church and discuss it at home.

A national anthem is different, even when it does contain the word God. The anthem isn't so much about praying TO God, but rather honouring one's country.

Becky - posted on 09/07/2011

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Well, I see a huge difference between saying the Lord's Prayer and singing the national anthem (even if your national anthem does mention God.) Not everyone who attends a school is going to be Christian. In fact, Christians will even be the minority in some schools. But everyone in that school is a resident of the USA (or Canada, or whatever country.) They may not be a citizen of that country, but that country is now their home. I don't think there is anything wrong at all with asking them to have some pride in their country, or at the very least, have some respect for it and stand quietly during the anthem.
IMO, reciting the Lord's Prayer every day is kind of pointless anyway. It's no more likely to instill values in children (or whatever the idea behind doing it is) than reciting "The Cat in the Hat" every morning will. I'm not a big fan of memorized, recited prayers. I think that prayer is a personal thing, a conversation between you and your god and is meant to come from your heart, not be something you could recite in your sleep.

JuLeah - posted on 09/07/2011

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I have heard it said: As long as there are exams in school there will be prayer in school

The lords prayer? Really? Yah, that would bug me. I had to learn it as a child, but no one explained it to me ..."Our Father who art in heaven ..." Well, my father was very much alive, so I was just baffled ... and I used to think 'art in heaven' meant color books and paint and such

Maybe I was not the brightest bulb?

We did say the national anthem. There was one kid who was ... something that didn't allow him to say that - he was made to go stand outside while we all said the pledge.

We all watched him go, all watched him come back and sit down - teacher said his religion didn't allow him to believe in America, or birthdays, or even halloween - wow we felt bad for that kid

So, yah your child doesn't have to participate, but ....

The lords prayer bugs me to no end, I'd not wish my daughter to hear that every day, or say it, or be sent from the room .... it is so very different then the values I am attempting to teach her

National Anthem, I don't personally have an issue with that, but I know some do ... how to please all is the question I guess

Jodi - posted on 09/07/2011

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Well, my kids go to Catholic School, so there are prayers all over the place.

Rosie - posted on 09/07/2011

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i've never had to say the lords prayer. we did do the pledge of allegiance, and my kids still do it in their school-well up until 6th grade apparantly, my oldest doesn't have to do it this year. never heard of someone doing the lords prayer, seems odd to me.

Kate CP - posted on 09/07/2011

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I have no problem with people praying. I have a problem with government mandated prayer.

Stifler's - posted on 09/07/2011

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The Australian anthem doesn't have god in it. It used to be God Save the Queen... years ago. Now it's Advance Australia Fair and nothing about god is in it and I've still been hearing that it's being banned in schools or something.

Lady Heather - posted on 09/07/2011

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I wouldn't swear on a Bible either. That actually seems really wrong if you don't believe it. Technically I'd say that means you don't have to tell the truth. Haha.

Johnny - posted on 09/07/2011

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LOL. Yes, when I sing God Save The Queen I keep the God part in there. I don't believe in either so it's sort of like singing Puff the Magic Dragon but you get to sound more pompous than stoned.

I'm not much exercised about taking the God out of the anthem for everyone, I just don't want to be forced to include it myself. Sort of like swearing on the bible, I'd rather just aver.

Lady Heather - posted on 09/07/2011

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I just sing it. The way I figure it is, I don't ask god for much of anything so he'd better freaking keep my land glorious and free and he can save the queen while he's at it.

Johnny - posted on 09/07/2011

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I just choose not to include the God part when I sing our national anthem. I try to avoid asking things I don't believe in for anything. I just say "please" instead of "god". Then it's just a general request to all rather than a specific request to a deity.

Lady Heather - posted on 09/07/2011

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Technically the Canadian national anthem is more offensive than the American one. God keep our land glorious and free? Shocking stuff.

Merry - posted on 09/07/2011

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I think it's the lords prayer that some are offended by, I sure hope no one is offended by our anthem....

Stifler's - posted on 09/07/2011

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having said that i really have no idea why you'd need to start the day off with a prayer if you don't believe in god. those who believe in god could maybe like... pray at home before they come to school.

Merry - posted on 09/07/2011

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I'm a Christian, but honestly I don't see the need for teachers praying before class, obviously everyone isn't believers so whoever is can pray before school, or at lunch, prayer is just talking to God anyways, there's no need for recitation and formalities.
I like the idea of a silent moment before class for whatever floats your boat, or, like I suggested, beginning of the year the teachers ask kids what they all believe and use that as a guide as to what to pray or not, taking turns or just educating about others beliefs.

Rosie - posted on 09/07/2011

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i'm not sure i like the idea of asking the believer child to step out and leave either laura. :) that would be ostracising them for their beliefs, which isn't fair either.

Rosie - posted on 09/07/2011

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i can't seem to find anything on that cara. i did find something about schools in AZ, CA, AND CO deciding to ban flags (all, not just american) because students were being arseholes, and waving mexican flags around, or confederate flags, or american flags in others faces to incite violence and anger.
they decided against that after the reaction from the community, and thought it would be better to punish the children involved in these situations. not sure which idea i like better. punishment isn't my fav. thing in the world when teaching children-although these are older children. i like to prevent situations from happening in the first place. however, i'm not fond of banning the american flag either. there has to be some other way.:)

Isobel - posted on 09/07/2011

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I think that if your child does believe they should be asked to step outside and pray by themselves.

Krista - posted on 09/07/2011

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I teach in a public school, and I choose not to say the Lord's prayer with my class. We're not mandated one way or the other and some teachers choose to say it (most do) while others don't. I think that a lot of the ones who do just do it out of habit...we all grew up with it. In a public school with a diverse population and many religions, it doesn't make sense to me to choose a prayer from one religion and have the whole class say it. Yes, they can opt out, but why do it in the first place?

September - posted on 09/07/2011

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I think it would be unfair to ask a child to leave the room while others pray. I do not agree with praying or saying the pledge of allegiance (which I did growing up but I totally disagree with now) taking place in a public school. It is offensive to those that are of non-religion or of a different religion then what’s being represented. Personally I'd be pissed if my child was asked to leave the room while others pray, that's just not right! Not all people share the same beliefs and that’s ok. I think it’s important to respect all people and if that means no praying in school then so be it. There’s always private school for those that feel strongly about praying at school.

Merry - posted on 09/07/2011

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I think maybe a silent minute for kids to pray if they want or doodle etc if not :) that would be nice but I don't think anyone benefits from being forced into reciting anything.
Kids could pray to god, budda, Allah, mother earth, etc no rules. Or the teacher could ask the class in the beginning of the year what they believe and then they could make sure everyone is comfortable and included.

Becky - posted on 09/07/2011

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No, I don't think one religion should be promoted over others in a public school, and the Lord's Prayer is a Christian prayer, straight out of the Bible. So, unless you are going to pray a prayer from every faith that could possibly be represented at the school, which obviously would be ridiculous and take up half the day - it shouldn't be done. I do think students should be able to meet in groups to pray if they want to, but it should be on their own time - ie, before or after school or during lunch. i don't think they should be allotted special time to do it. And of course, there's no need for them to make a spectacle of it!

Cara - posted on 09/07/2011

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Actually yes some schools are Dyan. Some in NM are taking the flags out of the classroom. I know teachers there and just recently moved from there. It IS happening in some places

Krista - posted on 09/07/2011

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Yeah, I see nothing wrong with taking 5 minutes mid-day to have a quiet moment where students can meditate, or pray, or daydream, or centre themselves, or what-have-you. But I am firmly opposed to the promotion of any one religion in a publicly-funded school setting.

Rosie - posted on 09/07/2011

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no place is taking flags out of schools cara. that's just hopped up crap started after those kids were kicked out for wearing the t-shirts with flags on them on cinco de mayo, and of course fox news had to over do the whole thing and twist it into something it wasn't. the boys got asked to turn the shirts around because obviously they wore them that day to be assholes.

Lady Heather - posted on 09/07/2011

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Yes, that's when we did it. And then we had 10 minutes of "free writing" in our journals. My grade 5 teacher was the best.

Johnny - posted on 09/07/2011

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I could see after lunch being a very good time for that sort of thing, lol.

Lady Heather - posted on 09/07/2011

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We did used to do that when I was in grade 5. It wasn't at the beginning of the day. It was more in the middle. The teacher put on nice calming music and lowered the lights and we all took a couple of minutes to just blank out or reflect or whatever. That's fine. I'd like it more at the middle of the day though because kids usually need a calm down at that point. In the morning we did little exercise dance things to wake us up. Whenever I meditate in the morning, I fall asleep. That might just be personal preference though.

Cara - posted on 09/07/2011

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Exactly. No one says everyone has to believe the same way but why can't we allow just a moment every morning for each kid to "prepare" for their day in their own way. doesn't matter if they want to pray or whatever else, just as long as they sit quietly and respect the others

Johnny - posted on 09/07/2011

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You know, I personally wouldn't object to a "moment of quiet" at the beginning of every school day that children would learn to use for whatever calms and centers them, be it prayer, meditation, deep breathing.... As long as there was no specific religious spin put on the idea, I think it could be very good for the kids and to calm things down to focus on learning.

Lady Heather - posted on 09/07/2011

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If a kid wants a minute of silence in the morning to pray they can a) do that at home or b) do it on the ride to school or c) get to school a minute early and do it then. Why on earth does this stuff need to be organized??? I'm sure God would be perfectly happy with a little prayer in the morning before you go to school. Do you really need to pray in every place you go that day? I don't get it.

Johnny - posted on 09/07/2011

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Ah, I see we're following the concept that taking god out of things must be the road to hell. Perhaps its all the self-absorbed, hypocritical Christians leading us that way?

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