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Prayer in School Pros and Cons: 5 Key Points in Ongoing Debate

Image: Prayer in School Pros and Cons: 5 Key Points in Ongoing Debate
The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, DC.(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, file)

By    |   Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 04:37 PM

The debate over the pros and cons to allow prayer in school is a divisive issue that likely will remain controversial in the years to come. Attempts at having an all-inclusive prayer exercise — including having a moment of silence — have resulted in outcries from those espousing both opposing views.

1. A key sticking point about the debate centers around who is included and who is excluded, as outlined on the website AllAboutHistory.org. Depending upon which side a person stands on the issue, school prayer — or the lack of it — either represents freedom of religion or freedom from religion. Proponents of school prayer assert a ban diminishes the religious freedom of students who would like to exercise their faith.

ALERT: Should Prayer Be Allowed in Public Schools? Vote Now

2. Prayer advocates have made other key points as the pro and con debate continues more than 50 years after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling. Regardless of a person’s religion — Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, and others — or atheism, an exercise in school prayer could conceivably give students more of an opportunity to learn about different cultures.

3. Another core issue concerning school prayer is how the issue is perceived by a generation. In 2010, Pew Research Center indicated one-quarter of young millennials — those born after 1980 — did not associate with a specific religion. Based on this revelation, younger adults might be more inclined to favor a continued ban on school prayer than those of earlier generations.

4. According to Education.com, the debate concerning school prayer oftentimes rests with who should have influence on children — parents or educators. Larry Forthun, professor of human development at the University of Florida, encourages parents to make time for spiritual growth activities within the home, and leave them out of the classroom setting.

5. And, of course, an important point concerning the pros and cons of school prayer oftentimes centers on the old adage of "separation of church and state" borne from the writings of Thomas Jefferson. Opponents of school prayer frequently point out the public school setting is for education — not proselytizing.

URGENT: Should Students Be Allowed to Pray in Public Schools? Vote Here Now!

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The debate over the pros and cons to allow prayer in school is a divisive issue that likely will remain controversial in the years to come. Attempts at having an all-inclusive prayer exercise — including having a moment of silence — have resulted in outcries from those espousing both opposing views.
prayer, in school, pros, cons, key, points
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2014-37-14
Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 04:37 PM
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