Sunday, October 14, 2007

Prayer in School

Twenty-nine states have now enacted laws requiring a minute of silence, quiet reflection, or meditation. That's right REQUIRED. It is the current round in the age old fight of prayer in school. In 1964 The Supreme Court correctly banned prayer in school as an obvious violation of the separation of church and state. Of course the religious right can't leave anything alone (Roe vs Wade?) and have been trying to sneak prayer back in ever since. This leads to several questions.

1. Why? Why do so many people think that this is important? Why can't they pray at home? They could even go for more than a minute at home. They could pray until their brains fell out if they want. Why must they have EVERYONE somehow hooked into prayer in SCHOOL?

2. To what end? What are they trying to fix? What evidence would you look at between 1964 and now and be able to isolate a measurable effect that is ONLY attributable to the lack of prayer in school that these new laws would then fix?

1. Because the religious right is probably the most reactionary and paranoid bunch of people on the planet. They only feel OK with their own beliefs if everyone is doing it. I am all for freedom of religion but even more so I'm for freedom FROM religion. Do what you want but leave me out of it and keep it out of my elected government.

2. This group doesn't make decisions based of facts or evidence. If they did they'd quickly find a better way to spend their Sunday mornings. They make decisions based on "feel good" phrases. "Support our troops, God loves you, Jesus died for our sins, etc." So they want prayer in school because it feels better than to not want it. Feelings are what they are. They are different for everyone but powerful for all. But, are they the trigger by which we should be making decisions about the school day?

Now you might be thinking that they are NOT requiring prayer - just silence with which the kids can do whatever. How many crazy parents out there are instructing their kids to pray their asses off (hands folded and mumbling) during that silence to 'show' those bad kids what it is all about. There is nothing better for a Christian than when he can really wear his religion on his sleeve for all to see. Can Catholics haul out their rosaries during this minute? Can the Muslims get up, kneel and face Mecca? Can the Jews throw on a yarmulke? What is the line as to what a kid can do with his minute?

This is just another reason why reasonable and intelligent parents are saving their money and sending their kids to private schools.

BTW. The link above is a religions one but outlines the history of the prayer in school pretty well. On the other hand one of the links there is really choice. Check it out. Turns out sometimes prayers aren't answers because you just don't do it right! This site can help you out with 'proven prayer methods' (a $147 value FOR FREE). I won't comment on it line by line. It stands by itself as a model if idiocy. But really, where do you get the number $147?

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