To Pray Or Not To Pray Essay

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To Pray Or Not To Pray Essay, Research Paper To Pray or Not to Pray “The trend of taking God and moral teaching out of schools is a diabolical scheme,” declared the Reverend Billy Graham soon after the Engel versus Vitale and Schempp verdict (Haas 30). The debate over the separation of church and state had been swirling through courtrooms for years. The controversy over school prayer in the Engel versus Vitale case started over a prayer recited in the New York public school system, known as the Regent’s Prayer. A group of three parents found the prayer unfair to their children and decided to take their case to court. After hard work and tough battles the case came to the Supreme Court. On June 25, 1962 the court made the decision to ban prayer from public schools across

the nation. Yet, the prayer is beneficial to help minimize juvenile delinquency, does not favor one religion, and revives America’s spiritual heritage. “Something is terribly wrong with our education system. The evidence is everywhere: children who cannot read, graduates who cannot reason, danger in school yards, and indoctrination in classrooms,” (Free 1). Since the court outlawed prayer, the nation has been in a moral decline. Serious crimes in schools have risen to 3,000,000 a year, violent assaults have risen to 465,000, and the number of teachers attacked per year reaches 5,000 (Crisis). Taking prayer out of school has allowed immorality and violence to seep into the public school system. Teen pregnancy, school shootings, and drug use have become more prominent then

any other time in our country’s history. Teen pregnancy increased two hundred percent from 1960 to 1990 (Geisler 2). Without moral instruction and values teens are going out and getting pregnant without even thinking of the consequences. Children are having children. Some take the easy way out and have abortions, which are unfair to the innocent child at hand. Between 1960’s and 1990’s abortion has increased one thousand percent (2). There is a strong correlation between the expulsion of school prayer and the rise in teen pregnancies and abortions. A study by the National School Safety Center reported school deaths have occurred in all but eleven states (Facts 1). Guns caused seventy-seven percent of all violent deaths in schools (1). Two hundred and thirty-five

school-associated violent deaths occurred in the United States over the past eight years (1). One in twelve high school students is threatened or injured with a weapon each year These numbers are outrageous. School children obviously aren’t being taught the difference between right and wrong. As Minister Kerry Hill says, “It seems like every time we have a school shooting or major incident involving a school, the first thing everybody wants to do is hold a prayer vigil. It seems to me that if you believe in the power of prayer post-disaster, you should believe in it pre-disaster,” (Reeves 3). Drug use in teenagers has increased over the years. Teens have turned to drugs because of many reasons including lack of strong moral values and religious beliefs (Madigan 1). Jan

Cook, a mother of four, believes that “when prayer was taken out of school guns started coming in.” More and more teens are getting pressured into taking drugs and without proper values they will continue to use them more often. The New York public school system wanted to instill values into their students. They were merely using a right that had been used for centuries. They did not deliberately try to cause trouble. They set up certain standards for the prayer and made sure the prayer did not favor a certain religion. In fact most people favored it, it was virtually harmless, and without it the religion of secularism is established. Among teen-age public school students, six in ten said they favor school prayer (Both 418). That is sixty-three percent of the students