Campaigns Wikia

Issue Summary[]

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." - Amendment I of the U.S. Constitution

This really defines two separate issues.

  • No child should be required to pray in a certain way, or in any manner at all.
  • No child should be prevented from praying in school, as long as it does not infringe on the rights of other students.

The case FOR school prayer[]

As it clearly and explicitly states in the first amendment, no one shall be prohibited from the free exercise of their religion, with the caveat that it does not infringe on the rights of others.

The case AGAINST school prayer[]

Constitutional argument[]

  • Schools and thus government should not sanction religious activities because that would tantamount to religious discrimination.
Dissent: Allowing children to pray, on their own, is neither endorsing nor establishing a religion, but it does allow the "free exercise thereof."

Religious argument[]

  • Jesus made a specific point in telling people to pray in private and not make a big display of their piosity.
Dissent: Everyone prays differently, and not everyone who wants to pray is Christian.
If anyone pray differently than why have common prayers in schools? This argument is against having common (Christian) prayers in schools.
The argument is against common prayer, but also allowing for individual prayer.

Issue Discussion: Prayer in School[]

I don't think the issue is prayer in school, anyone can pray if they want. The issue is school mandated prayer, which is prohibited by the constitution.

You can say that until your child was told he is not allowed to say a prayer to himself in school, as mine was. Midian 16:05, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

An individual anecdote isn't exactly Governmental Public School Policy though. Is that your childs schools policy... the teachers? If you sued, would the school win? Depending on the exact circumstances, I don't think they would. Unless you child was praying aloud and disrupting class, I think you would win. --TheChin! 17:22, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

You can call it an "individual anecdote" all you want, but when it is you whose rights are being infringed on, it becomes a personal issue. Suing the school is not something I can afford to do, nor desire to do. Whether I win or lose it costs me the money for a lawyer and time for the case, neither of which I can afford. It also costs the taxpayers money to pay for the school's lawyers. Midian 18:40, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

There's more discussion on the discussion page , where it's a bit easier to add comments. (My primary question is: exactly what do we mean by the phrase "allowing prayer in school"?) --Woozalia 17:32, 20 July 2006 (UTC)