Religion / Prayer In Pulbic Schools
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Autor: anton 21 October 2010
Words: 1091 | Pages: 5
Prayer in Public Schools
Freedom of religion was considered the first amendment to the constitution. The Equal
Access Law was passed to protect the freedom of religion in public schools. The phrase "In God
We Trust" is always spoken concerning the religious beliefs of this country, also. Therefore,
Prayer should be allowed in public schools.
The First Amendment to the constitution can be based on expressing religion in public
Schools. The First Amendment (1791) of the United States Constitution states:
congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances (American 10).
President Clinton stated:
Religion is too important in our history and our country heritage for us to keep it out of our schools. This country was founded on religious freedom. That should not change just because of the separation of church and state. This is the division between religion and government. The rights described in the First Amendment of the Constitution are probably the most familiar to us because they are so close to our daily lives. First Amendment rights are basic rights that are essential to a free people. The first right, or freedom, guaranteed in the Bill of Rights is freedom of religion. This freedom guarantees Americans the right to practice any religion, or to practice no religion at all. The First Amendment forbids Congress form establishing an official national religion, or from favoring one religion in any way (Clinton 1).
Public schools need to allow time to have a period of silence where the students can express themselves without the perseverance of their belief. Basically, we should say that students are allowed at least a minute of silence to say a prayer before their classes begin. However, students who desire to pray could do it silently, and students with other beliefs have other options. The expression of the students' belief should be their choice to have religion in public schools. The students' belief can be the right to express religion in school or their choice not to participate in the practice of religion in the school.
The Equal Access Law was passed to protect the freedom of religion within the public school system. A Conservative Christian group that was organized for religious clubs in public secondary schools found the law. The Equal Access Law was voted on by the senate 88 to 11. The law became official on August 11, 1984. The Equal Access Law received Federal Financial Assistance. The Act has clubs that include; Chess, model building, political, religious, others that include the non-curriculum based, and also the French club. The groups or clubs are only run if the child's attendance is voluntary and the group has to be student- initiated. The schools do not run the groups. Therefore, the schools cannot promote the clubs, but they can help out with "custodial purposes." The Equal Access Law protects the students' right to practice their freedom of speech and free association.
Our forefathers came to this country to worship God. However, God is considered the foundation of this country. In Lynch versus Donnelly, the United States Supreme Court wrote: Certain ceremonial references to God and religion in our Nation are the inevitable consequence of the religious history that gave birth to our founding principles of liberty (Alford 58). United States President Ronald Reagan, in his February 3, 1983 Proclamation 5018, which declared 1983 as "The Year of the Bible," stated:
The Bible and its teachings helped form the basis of the Founding Father abiding belief in the inalienable rights of the individual, rights which they found implicit in the Bible's teachings of the inherent worth and dignity of each individual. This same sense of man patterned the convictions of those who framed the English system of law inherited by our own Nation, as well as the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (Congressional 136).
In school, if we are given a reading assignment, we are tested on our comprehension and understanding of its content. When asked to recite "The Pledge of Allegiance" prior to planned school activities, we should be professing our loyalty and devotion too not only our flag, but to a way of life. In 1942 the United States Supreme Court ruled that school children could not be forced to recite the Pledge as part of their daily routine. Students had the opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance if they desired to recite it. Therefore, prayer should be an option for students to express themselves. President Dwight Eisenhower indicated that the last change one nation. . . under God. .. signified: "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war" (MedhurstllS).
President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved adding the words one nation "under God" on Flag Day, June 14, 1954. It was the last change made in the Pledge of Allegiance. During the Civil War, the phrase "In God We Trust" was placed on the United States money because of the increased religion sentiment. It was found that the Act of Congress dated January 18, 1837, prescribed the mottoes and devices that should be placed upon the coins of the United States. This meant that the mint could make no changes without the enactment of additional legislation by the Congress. In December 1863, the Director of the Mint submitted designs for new one-cent coin, two-cent coin, and three-cent coin to Secretary of Chase for approval. He proposed that upon the designs either OUR COUNTRY; OUR GOD or GOD, OUR TRUST that should appear as a motto on the coins. In a letter to the Mint Director on December 9, 1863, Secretary Chase stated: 'I approve your mottoes, only suggesting that on that with the Washington obverse the motto should begin with the word OUR, as to read OUR GOD AND OUR COUNTRY. And on that with the shield, it should be changed so as to read: IN GOD WE TRUST' (Undergodprocon).
Freedom of religion is supported by the first amendment. Basically, we go to school for an education, but glorifying God should always be considered. We do not have to pray aloud, but we should have a special place in our hearts for religion. In essence, a student should not separate his thoughts for God concerning an education.
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