Spectrum of Opinions: Prayer in Public School
There are many different philosophies regarding prayer in public school. It seems to be a difficult issue to decide. The opinions are wide-ranging and convoluted. I am going to highlight the many ideas and opinions as to whether prayers in public school should be allowed and to what extent.
The first opinion I am going to look at is that there should be absolutely no prayer of any kind in public schools. Bob Croddy has been teaching for almost 30 years and he wrote an article for the NEA Today opposing any type of prayer in school, including a moment of silence (NEA). In his article he first cites the Constitution’s First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Mr. Croddy goes on to say that a moment of silence is really just the beginning of the erosion of this First Amendment right (Croddy 45). He also says, “If we give the agents of government the right to require any religious practice of the citizenry – no matter how small—then we are well on our way to eliminating religious freedom” (Croddy 45). In his article he makes his opinion very clear that there is no need to institute a specific time for a moment of silence or prayer. There is plenty of time throughout the school day to meditate or pray if one chooses to.
Katha Pollitt wrote a very sarcastic and biting essay in the Nation in 1994. She says go ahead and institute prayer in school. Pollitt says, “Right now religion has the romantic aura of the forbidden-Christ is cool. We need to bring it into the schools, which kids already hate, and associate it firmly with boredom, regulation, condescension, make-work, and de facto segregation, with business math and Cliffs Notes and metal detectors” (Pollitt 788). Pollitt goes on to say that prayer in school does nothing to lower crime rates or teen pregnancy rates, mu...