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Switch to Forum Live View Public School Prayer (branched off from 'A Gracious God')
4 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2010 - 2:28PM #51
Metis
Posts: 423

Forcing children in a public school setting to listen to prayers violates the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment, plus it is a denial of the rights of those students who are atheistic, non-theistic, agnostic, or those who feel that prayer should be private.  It would ignore the rights of Buddhists (non-theistic), those Hindus that are polytheistic, Orthodox Jews who need a minyan (10+), etc.


It's a matter of respect.  There is nothing that prevents a student from saying prayers on their own or organizing prayer groups before and/or after school.  It is not the role of public schools to teach religion or to force religion down the throats of children through mandatory prayer. 


And saying prayers makes no one any more moral, especially since it is not the individual child who is devising the prayer-- it just becomes a rote exercise after a while.  And exactly who is to devise the prayers?  the state or local government?  the school?  the teacher?  the students?  What if a child wishes to "pray" something like this: "I pray that my fellow students wise up and realize that there is no God, and that the belief in one is absolutely stupid.  Amen."?  And what if the next day another child says "I pray that God kills my fellow student who yesterday called us stupid"?  What are going to be the restrictions, and according to whose standards?  

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2010 - 3:48PM #52
browbeaten
Posts: 3,200

Jun 15, 2010 -- 2:28PM, Metis wrote:


Forcing children in a public school setting to listen to prayers violates the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment, plus it is a denial of the rights of those students who are atheistic, non-theistic, agnostic, or those who feel that prayer should be private.  It would ignore the rights of Buddhists (non-theistic), those Hindus that are polytheistic, Orthodox Jews who need a minyan (10+), etc.


 


It's a matter of respect.  There is nothing that prevents a student from saying prayers on their own or organizing prayer groups before and/or after school.  It is not the role of public schools to teach religion or to force religion down the throats of children through mandatory prayer. 


 


And saying prayers makes no one any more moral, especially since it is not the individual child who is devising the prayer-- it just becomes a rote exercise after a while.  And exactly who is to devise the prayers?  the state or local government?  the school?  the teacher?  the students?  What if a child wishes to "pray" something like this: "I pray that my fellow students wise up and realize that there is no God, and that the belief in one is absolutely stupid.  Amen."?  And what if the next day another child says "I pray that God kills my fellow student who yesterday called us stupid"?  What are going to be the restrictions, and according to whose standards?  




While I can understand your position, it is this exact cynicism that leads to what I consider to be decline in morality and respect.


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4 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2010 - 4:08PM #53
rocketjsquirell
Posts: 16,225

Jun 15, 2010 -- 12:42PM, browbeaten wrote:


Jun 15, 2010 -- 11:50AM, rocketjsquirell wrote:


 


The problem is you can not make prayer non-denominational. The forms, modes and manners of prayer are just too different.


 





Sorry Rocket, but I don't follow.  Something similar to a prayer before eating dinner can be non-denominational.  The idea is to prayer for strength to make the right decisions and for the fortitude or act upon them.


 


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Actually, prayers before dinner are absolutely denominational.


Christians will generally ask G-d's blessings on the food, the people, etc..


Jews bless G-d.


It is completely opposite.


Then there is the problem that Jews have no blessing for eating meat. Why? Because it required taking of life. Thus there is the blessing for wine, bread, fruit of the earth, etc... but not for meat.


Christians on the other hand have no such restriction.


There is also the problem that Christians say grace before eating, and while Jews recite certain blessings before meals, grace is said after meals.


Christian prayer on these occasions is spontaneous and can go wherever the leader wishes it to. Jewish prayer is not spontaneous and follows the set form.


I have little idea what Muslims do, and no clue as to other religions such as Hindu, Bhudist, etc...


Do you see the problem.


And have you ever tried to get a Protestant Minister to stop saying "In Jesus Name"? 

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2010 - 4:17PM #54
browbeaten
Posts: 3,200

Jun 15, 2010 -- 4:08PM, rocketjsquirell wrote:


Jun 15, 2010 -- 12:42PM, browbeaten wrote:


Jun 15, 2010 -- 11:50AM, rocketjsquirell wrote:


The problem is you can not make prayer non-denominational. The forms, modes and manners of prayer are just too different.





Sorry Rocket, but I don't follow.  Something similar to a prayer before eating dinner can be non-denominational.  The idea is to prayer for strength to make the right decisions and for the fortitude or act upon them.


.




Actually, prayers before dinner are absolutely denominational.


Christians will generally ask G-d's blessings on the food, the people, etc..


Jews bless G-d.


It is completely opposite.


Then there is the problem that Jews have no blessing for eating meat. Why? Because it required taking of life. Thus there is the blessing for wine, bread, fruit of the earth, etc... but not for meat.


Christians on the other hand have no such restriction.


 


There is also the problem that Christians say grace before eating, and while Jews recite certain blessings before meals, grace is said after meals.


 


Christian prayer on these occasions is spontaneous and can go wherever the leader wishes it to. Jewish prayer is not spontaneous and follows the set form.


I have little idea what Muslims do, and no clue as to other religions such as Hindu, Bhudist, etc...


Do you see the problem.


And have you ever tried to get a Protestant Minister to stop saying "In Jesus Name"? 




I understand your point, but I think you are carrying the idea of prayer way too far.  It is no different than a sporting team saying a prayer before a game.  As I said earlier, it would be something along the lines of praying for the strength to do well, to think good things and to treat others with the respect they deserve.  I don't know, but it just seems that if a child begins the day on a positive note, they will only be better.  Maybe call it the "message of the day", rather than a prayer. JMHO.


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4 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2010 - 4:37PM #55
rocketjsquirell
Posts: 16,225

Sports teams in public schools should not be saying prayers before a game.


It is a shanda to pray for success in a sports game.


Praying for strength to do a task  is Christian.


Thanking G-d for giving you strength to face a task is Jewish. 


There is a difference. 

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2010 - 5:00PM #56
browbeaten
Posts: 3,200

Jun 15, 2010 -- 4:37PM, rocketjsquirell wrote:


Sports teams in public schools should not be saying prayers before a game.


It is a shanda to pray for success in a sports game.


Praying for strength to do a task  is Christian.


Thanking G-d for giving you strength to face a task is Jewish. 


There is a difference. 




We'll just have to agree to disagree.  I think you're going way too deep with the idea of prayer.  I am not making it a Jewish vs Christian event or any adherence to orthodox standards.


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4 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2010 - 5:23PM #57
rocketjsquirell
Posts: 16,225

Brow


We will have to disagree. Prayer is a sensitive religious issue. Even those prayers which Jews and Christians share word for word mean different things to the different groups. The Government has no place in choosing which to favor. In fact it is constitutionaly prohibited from doing so.

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2010 - 5:40PM #58
browbeaten
Posts: 3,200

Jun 15, 2010 -- 5:23PM, rocketjsquirell wrote:


 


Brow


 


 


 


We will have to disagree. Prayer is a sensitive religious issue. Even those prayers which Jews and Christians share word for word mean different things to the different groups. The Government has no place in choosing which to favor. In fact it is constitutionaly prohibited from doing so.


 





Rocket, I understand the argument and I think it would require careful thought, but I just see a negative trend with children since it became PC to ban prayer, to ban any form of corporal punishment and basically throwout PE and other forms of mandatory physical education.  Students have no one to fear and absolutely NO accountability.  Parents are afraid to spank their children, for heavens sake.   I can go on and on and it is all due to the "disease" we call PC.  Sometimes you just have to do something because it is the right thing to do and it will provide a good benefit. 


 


Sorry, but there is so much in this area that I have an opinion on that I will just step back.

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2010 - 6:43PM #59
Metis
Posts: 423

Jun 15, 2010 -- 3:48PM, browbeaten wrote:



While I can understand your position, it is this exact cynicism that leads to what I consider to be decline in morality and respect.




 


It's not cynicism at all-- it's called "freedom from oppression", and it's the lack of such freedoms, such as what the Marxists and NAZI's forced on their subjects, that was especially a "decline in morality and respect".  Encouraging people to respect the religious rights of others enhances morality-- forcing one's prayers on others is unethical-- and the Supreme Court has recognized this as such, although it took them a long time to realize it.

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2010 - 6:48PM #60
Metis
Posts: 423

Jun 15, 2010 -- 4:17PM, browbeaten wrote:


 I don't know, but it just seems that if a child begins the day on a positive note, they will only be better.  Maybe call it the "message of the day", rather than a prayer. JMHO.




 


But it's not the child's prayer-- it's a forced prayer from someone else.  And if you truly want a child to pray, then you should well know the best tactic is to tell them not to pray.Wink 

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