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To begin with, two articles, “How Can School Prayer possibly hurt? Here is how” and “We need more prayers” are very crucial in establishing some of the most serious differences that have existed in America for several years. The issue of religion in America, though not commonly talked about, thanks to liberal democracy, is real and has the potential of exposing the ugly part of America that can be worse than racism experienced before the civil rights movements. It is, therefore, more fundamental that a lasting solution that eliminates all forms of biases and fallacies related to religion is found within the shortest time possible. This paper looks at viewpoints presented by these two articles and possibly finds a compromised ground that has a lot of logic and objectivity.
These two articles have important messages that for many might look abstract. Let me begin with “We need more prayers”. I find arguments by Williams Armstrong in this article having a lot of logic that can be traced in American constitution. In arguing for the strengths of why we need more prayers, I would like to clarify that the Supreme Court decision to ban praying in schools had a lot of serious legal gaps and as such is not appealing to the Christian faithful. I just like many other law experts fault the Supreme Court’s ruling on three basis. The first argument is that the decision to ban school prayers acted in contempt of the Establishment Clause of the American constitution greatly. This is because there is no way the government would ban prayers and still continue with its programs of employing school chaplains. What duty will they be doing if the very foundation of their services has been discarded? More so, why does the government continue to uphold the sanctity of religious holidays like Christmas when the very people who should be nurtured to recognize the importance of such holidays are denied the opportunity be socialized in their early age? It also becomes clear that by banning school prayers, the Supreme Court has violated the very principles of religion entrenched in the constitution which the court is supposed to protect. This decision has completely rubbished this principle of religion since the freedom has been taken away from the children.
The second important strength of having more prayers in schools is based on the country’s acknowledgement of its religious heritage which serves as the unifying factor in America. It is important to trace the origin of America as a nation. The founding fathers of America were people who saw the importance of having full freedom of religion and having the opportunity to practice it openly without any interference. It is important that this same dream and aspiration should be kept alive for the children of America. The decision of the court is therefore not helping the children of America. The country’s religious heritage has even deeper foundation in American universities which stand to be the best universities in the world. For instance, records of higher education states clearly that of the total 108 universities founded in America, 106 were fully Christian universities. More so, these universities entrenched qualifications to justify their religious orientations. For instance, it was a requirement to be well acquainted with Greek and Latin languages in order to be able to study the Bible clearly. In short, all the allayed dynamics illustrate reasons why prayers should be left to continue. Even the escalating rates of immoral practices amongst the youth have been attributed to the absence of organized prayers in schools. I believe something should be done urgently.
Turning to the article “How Can School Prayer possibly hurt? Here is how”, I find some strengths on the arguments of the author. To understand the focal point of this article, it would be important to reflect on the events that led to the banning of reciting the Lord’s Prayer by one Canadian court. The court argued that by reciting the creed openly in a school where not all profess the Christian faith had the potential to cause stigma to the students of other beliefs. What the court was trying to do is that there was a tendency by some faiths to instill forced socialization to students who had the right and the conscience to think for themselves. Therefore, reciting the Lord’s Prayer in the presence of people who think otherwise was viewed as a prejudice to their rights and would cause a lot of psychological trauma with a potential of ruining their educational life. The second strength of this article is that the world seems to have multi-faceted religions with different ideals and view points of the world. There has always been a difficulty in trying to find the common ground in teachings of these religions. The effect of such diversity is what was witnessed in Toronto Valley Park School which had from 80 to 90% of Muslim students. When administration allowed the students to conduct their prayer services right inside the school compound, other religions protested against kinds of teachings advanced by Muslims. In short, no common ground will ever be reached on issues of religion; hence, it is possible that re-introduction of payers will hurt students even more.
In conclusion, from the arguments advanced above, I find the need for more prayers in American schools more appealing. There is nothing that unifies more than the issue of faith. Muslims are more united because of their faith. Christians are more bonded together because of the message of Jesus Christ. I find no reason enough to shutter the dreams of Americas’ forefathers of having a nation that respects God. In short, prayers should be left to continue.
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