Sunday, 13 January 2008

Prayers In Public Schools: Separating Fact from Fiction

Public Schools: A Constant Target for Proselytization?

It is a common theme, almost akin to a form of constant whining, from religious institutions: Claiming to be the oppressed majority, religious groups, particularly of the Christian variety, have often insisted and coerced authorities with regards to public prayers, claiming that they have been victimized by devious, Satan-inspired secular groups who have gone all out to quash their quaint little prayer sessions.

Considering that most religious groups are tax-free and are free to indulge in their stupidity and deity ass-kissing antics, such arguments seem a little shady and lame, and rightfully so, too.

The Right to Pray

In the context of a secular state, no law should be enforced with regards to one's religious affiliation. All religions, save those that run against the rule of secular law, should be allowed to thrive and carry out their practices in their respective places of worship. Proselytizing, while being a serious irritant to most infidels, is not outlawed, and Religion cannot be held accountable for lawful, religious activities held in legitimate places in public. A priest who preaches in a park, for example, cannot be held accountable for holding contempt of the law.

Even in public schools and government institutions, everyone, from the head of the school to the average student, is allowed the individual freedom to pray, so long as work or education is not impeded.

In that aspect, everyone's rights to sanctity is respected. The problem arises, however, when one or few dominant religious groups are determined enough to impose their bigotry and beliefs upon non-believers amongst their colleagues.

The Problem With Public Prayers in Schools

When a Christian group attempts to impose a public prayer, say, before school commences, it is in essence a form of religious coercion: By enforcing public prayers in a school setting, other students who are non-Christians are thus subjected to unnecessarily peer pressure to participate. From the school's point of view, such a informal form of religious indoctrination can only lead to potential confrontations from others who refuse to bow down to this kind of stupid, pious drivel.

If anything else, the very essence of Religion is such that it enforces a form of exclusive, tribal mentality, the "you vs me" dichotomy that creates mental drifts amongst different people of differing beliefs. Introducing public prayers may help in gelling Christian students into a tighter, kneaded group, but will in time alienate them from people of other beliefs and creeds. The situation worsens when other religious groups follow suit: Instead of being a harmonious, conducive institution of learning, schools become potential breeding grounds for religious bigots, extremists and other riffraffs to breed more ignorant buffoons, not to mention the threat of conflict between religious factions.

In a secular state, a delicate balance is struck between separating Religion from the everyday affairs of the state, and at the same time maintaining individual liberty for the masses to choose their own, preferred beliefs. Apparently, religious groups are determined to erode this delicate balance, and some groups will utilize all kinds of underhanded means to sneak in their prayer drivel into public schools, since children and young teenagers are often referred to as easy targets for proselytizing and brainwashing.

Complaint challenges moment of silence in schools

C-FB ISD: Perry aide says state law doesn't force students to pray

An atheist couple whose children attend a Carrollton-Farmers Branch elementary school have filed a complaint in federal district court arguing that the state's mandated moment of silence in public schools is unconstitutional.

David and Shannon Croft named the school district and Gov. Rick Perry in their complaint, filed Friday. In it, they say one of their children was told by a teacher to be quiet because the minute is a "time for prayer."

"I do not believe there is any secular reason for a moment of silence," said Mr. Croft, 37, a computer programmer. "This is just a ruse to get prayer in school without calling it prayer in school. Is there any study showing a moment of silence helps education?"

Schools Are Centers for Education, Not Proselytization

It is undeniably sordid and disappointing to see religious institutions resorting to such underhand measures to infiltrate Religion into the public school, even though common sense tells me that religious morons are capable of going far lower (Remember the Kansas Board of Education, which tried to sneak Creationism and Intelligent Design so that they can be "taught alongside Evolution"?).

It is high time for secular people to wake up and smell the coffee: Unless we wake up and complain about the infiltration of religious indoctrination in secular schools, it would not be long before schools will start churning out incompetent, irrelevant priests, reverends, shamans and charlatans instead of professionals such as lawyers, engineers and scientists.


JukeBox said...

and not to mention it's a sneaky way to influence the young and naive into their religion. The sensible ones would let their children grow up without all these notion of religion, until they are at a matured age to make decisions for themselves.

Interested said...

I am quite familiar with this school district, in fact I worked there for several years. It is truly in the middle of the bible belt. Although, I have some very good friends there, who do not agree with the moment of silence, it is a difficult place to live if you are a non believer.

Anonymous said...

Prayer should be in every school.