Or wherein I alienate 90% of my readership.
About once a week I get an email asking me to sign and forward a petition to the president to reinstate school prayer.
And I promptly delete it.
This may come as a surprise to you because I am a Christian and I deeply believe in the power of prayer. I am in favor of prayer. Just not in public school.
The problems with nationally mandated school prayer are many, but I’ll address just the first few that come to mind.
I suppose first and foremost, I am a vehement believer in the separation of church and state. I do not want to live in a theocracy. Moreover, religion and prayer are matters of the heart and government mandates don’t change the heart. I don’t want the government imposing my prayers to my God on others and I don’t want the gods and prayers of others imposed on me. Beyond that, is the sound of required prayers pleasing to the ears of God? I don’t know.
If prayer is so important to you, then YOU should be praying with your children before school. If you are a Christian, praying with your children is your job. And really, don’t our public school teachers already have enough to do just trying to teach kids how to read and write without also having the mandate to pray with your kids too? I think so. Imagine if prayer in school was mandated how much time it would take to pray to each of the gods represented by the population of public school families? Even it if was just a watered down, catch-all global version to the goodness of the universe, why bother? It just doesn’t make sense.
I think publicly funded schools should be for academics only. In my radical view, I question whether sports should be part of public schools, but that there is blasphemy in Texas. (And there goes the rest of my readers).
Prayer is very important to our family. We think that prayer is direct communication with God, the creator of life and the universe. We think prayer is a very holy and serious thing to do and that there is a good and proper way to undertake such a serious matter and frankly, we don’t want to abdicate that to someone with whom we may or may not share a like view of the world.
I do believe in the power of prayer to change the world. I don’t believe nationally mandated school prayer can.