The Pros and Cons of Prayer in School
Prayer is the communication or petition to a supernatural being for guidance, protection, strength, or favor. It is an act that has been carried out throughout the centuries by different cultures and religions. The main point of prayer is to request something from a higher power, or to give thanks.
There has been much debate on whether or not prayer should be allowed in schools. Some believe that it is a form of brainwashing and that children should not be forced to pray. Others believe that it is a way to instill morality and discipline in students. There are pros and cons to both sides of the argument, which will be discussed in this paper.
2. What is Prayer?
Prayer can be defined as “the communication or petition to a supernatural being for guidance, protection, strength, or favor” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2016). It is an act that has been carried out throughout the centuries by different cultures and religions. The main point of prayer is to request something from a higher power, or to give thanks.
There are different types of prayers: spoken, written, silent, public, and private. Spoken prayers are usually said out loud, while written prayers are typically read from a book or document. Silent prayers are when an individual prays silently to themselves, while public prayers are said outloud in front of a group of people. Private prayers are when an individual prays quietly to themselves without anyone else knowing.
3. The Pros of Prayer in School
There are many arguments for why prayer should be allowed in schools. One reason is that it instills morality in children. When students pray, they are asking for guidance from a higher power. This helps them to make better decisions in life and instills moral values in them at an early age.
Another reason prayer should be allowed in schools is that it encourages discipline. When students say a prayer before class starts, they are focusing their attention on the day ahead. This helps them to be more disciplined and focused when they are learning new material.
Lastly, prayer gives students a sense of hope and comfort. In today’s world, there is a lot of violence and negativity. By praying before school starts, students can feel like they are protected and have someone looking out for them during the day. This can help them to feel more comfortable and safe while they are at school.
4. The Cons of Prayer in School
While there are many reasons for why prayer should be allowed in schools, there are also several arguments against it as well. One reason is that it violates the separation of church and state. When students pray in school, they are bringing their religion into a place where it does not belong – the classroom. This can create an environment where one religion is favored over another, which is not fair to all students.
Another reason against prayer in school is that it can be coercive. For example, if a teacher leads a class in prayer, some students may feel like they have to participate even if they do not want to. This can be uncomfortable for those who do not share the same beliefs as the majority of the class. Additionally, some students may feel like they need to pray in order to get good grades or favor from the teacher.
Lastly, prayer can be exclusionary. If a student does not pray, they may feel like they do not belong or like they are not part of the group. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Additionally, it can make students who do not pray feel like their beliefs are not valid or important.
Prayer is a controversial topic, with many people arguing for and against it. There are pros and cons to both sides of the argument, which need to be considered carefully. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to allow prayer in school should be made on a case-by-case basis.
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