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banning the school prayers and the unfavorable outcomes

Introduction

It’s been 50 years since the Supreme Court banned prayers in schools in the United States of America. The famous ruling of Engel V. Vitale claimed that the banning of prayers in schools has morally corrupted the young generation, which, as a result, has increased violence, drug use, and social decay in schools. The ruling against the banning of school prayers also states that the authorities will only allow the students to pray if it’s done on their own and silently without disrupting others, and other students don’t feel the pressure to pray. The main aim of banning the school prayers is to promote diversity, which, in fact, still lacks greatly in the nation because of daily cases of racism and violence against immigrants (Cook, 7).

Discussion

Prior to Engel v. Vitale, the federal banned school-sponsored prayer when the Jewish community reported that the prayers were only from the Christian religions, and it’s creating discrimination. The US court ruled against the school prayers because, according to the First Amendment, it’s a violation of citizens’ rights. The case took place in the federal courts of United States of America and the Jewish citizen filled the case against the school for only practicing the Christian faith prayers which is the violation of first amendment and the children of Jewish community losing the sense of their own religion. Even though the significance of the prayer is the mention of Almighty God, the Supreme Court still ruled against it because it only serves the belonging of specific religions rather than every religious community living in the United States of America. The rule that states that the schools will not allow prayers to be practiced is that of state-run schools.

After the federal court had ruled, the state courts also followed the decision and made amendments. Few of the states completely banned the school prayers, whereas some of the schools declared a time period of silence in which everyone could pray on their own according to their own religion, which was more constitutional according to the First Amendment rather than fully banning the school prayers. Apart from a few states, there are other states that refuse to follow the decisions of federal courts and continue the practice of school prayers because it’s the right of citizens to practice their religion (Wheeler, 5). Some of the following states still have the law of school prayers:

  • Alabama enacted a law stating that the authority of the students will, according to the Christian faith, practice the prayers at the start of school only for those students who are willing to pray.
  • Montana made amendments and instructed the schools to start the day with prayers but the authorities of the school will not allow the discrimination against any sectarian or denominational doctrines.
  • North Dakota also allowed the students to pray in the start, middle or in the end of school silently or aloud and also allowed other students as well who will want to be secular. All the students have the complete liberty to practice any religion without enforcing others.

The main idea behind the criticism of banning school prayers is that the students who will not be indulge in the religion practices especially the lack of Christianity Faith will make it hard for students to understand many aspects of history.

The school prayers are constitutional. Even allowing prayers will be an example of freedom of example according to the First Amendment. This amendment speaks in favor of citizen rights, and the rights of citizens also include practicing religion in any way they want. Especially the Christian faith, which is not only freedom but also helps students understand history. The majority of the citizens who are living in the United States are Christian, and they should have the right to practice their religion freely. A complete ban on these practices will not only morally corrupt the coming generation but the sense of togetherness that can only be from practicing the religion together is needed to build the nation strong (Ball, 2).

The researchers have proved that the togetherness and bond among people can only be created through common religious beliefs, and banning them will affect the sense of bond among them. The goal of religious teachings to children is to make them aware of the right acts, including kindness, and to spread love. The teaching of Christianity spreads love and peace as mentioned in the Bible 1 John 4:7-8 ”Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God because God is love.” These and several other teachings from the bible spread love and peace, which is important for the children to learn from the religion. The growing violence, drug abuse, and rapes in the schools are due to the lack of moral teachings to the students through the bible (“Bible Gateway Passage: 1 John 4:7-8 – New International Version”).

There are several other reasons which can comprehend that how the law against school prayers violates the Constitution of The United States of America, such as:

  • The Establishment Clause, which is present in the Constitution, states that all citizen are free to practice their religion, and this law violates that right of freedom. In fact, this clause proves that a simple prayer cannot give the authority to the government to establish religion. The right to practice the religion includes the holidays which are given to citizens for Christmas.
  • The freedom of religion states that it is free to practice religion, and the Supreme Court violated this right.
  • There are many types of student and especially those students who are religious can practice the religion with their own will have lost this right by the ruling (Wheeler, 5).

The other significant reason that the grant of religious freedom helps in protecting the religious heritage includes the following points:

  • United States of America was founded by those people who believe in the freedom of every kind including the practice of religion freely. Also, those leaders seek the guidance of Christian faith in strengthening the backbone of our nation. Same is the case with our current generation that they should also seek the guidance from religion in the same way our leaders did because it’s their right.
  • The education system of America is also based on the Christian faith. The majority of the universities in the country were started on the basis of Christianity, including Harvard University, in 1636. The entrance book of Harvard stated the verses from the bible and made it compulsory for the students to learn Greek and Latin, which made them able to study the history of our religion. The Bible (John 17:3) also emphasizes learning knowledge for all believers and mentions that “and therefore to lay Jesus Christ as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning (“Bible Gateway Passage: John 17:3 – New International Version”).”

Religion not also helps in the spirituality of the students, but there are several social benefits that can be taken from religion:

  • Religion teaches the people about the moral values and unite all of them under one umbrella. This creates and promotes the unity which serves in the building of the nation. The main goal of the education system is to teach students what is morally right and how to become a good citizen. These cannot be learned by the academic studies only but the religious studies teach these things to children.
  • The increase in drug abuse, shootings, alcoholism, and pregnancy in the schools is because of the lack of moral teaching to the students. The protection of the children can only be obtained through religious teachings.
  • The sense of right and wrong an only be get through religion, this will help in decreasing the incidents of bullying and promote tolerance.
  • School prayers serve the purpose of acknowledging the guidance from religion and God, but the lack of such guidance to students causes the students to indulge themselves in activities that are destroying them morally and physically, such as alcohol and drug abuse (Ball, 2).

Conclusions

Conclusively, the government should not interfere in the personal beliefs of the citizens because it is the true meaning of the separation of state and religion. The right of people lies in the right to practice and not to practice. The criticism of banning school prayers is that the students who will not indulge in religious practices, especially the lack of Christian faith, will find it hard to understand many aspects of history. The majority of the citizens who are living in the United States are Christian, and they should have the right to practice their religion freely. A complete ban on he practices will not only morally corrupt the coming generation but the sense of togetherness which can only get from practicing the religion together is the need in building the nation strong. The teaching of Christianity spreads love and peace. The growing violence, drug abuse, and rapes in the schools are due to the lack of moral teachings to the students through the bible. The right of the child holds that the freedom to practice the religion will allow him/her to know whether it’s right or wrong.

Works Cited

“Bible Gateway Passage: 1 John 4:7-8 – New International Version.” Bible Gateway. N.p., 2018. Web. 20 Feb. 2018.

“Bible Gateway Passage: John 17:3 – New International Version.” Bible Gateway. N.p., 2018. Web. 20 Feb. 2018.

Ball, William B. “The School Prayer Case: What Course for the Future-Part II.” The Catholic Lawyer 8.4 (2016): 5.

Cook, Haley. “Lawyers, the Public, and the Origins of America’s Culture Wars.” (2017).

Wheeler, Mindy. “Politics and Religion in the Twentieth Century: Bob Jones University, the IRS, and the First Amendment.” Fairmount Folio: Journal of History 11 (2016).

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