Prayer in School

A New Jersey football coach resigned his position last week after school officials requested that he no longer lead his football team in prayer before games. You can read the whole story here.

Not long ago I posted my thoughts about schools teaching creation science in schools. I'm against it. Our schools are currently falling behind schools from other countries in many key areas like math, technology, and even literacy. Why should the school spend its time teaching a theory that it doesn't understand, either pro creation or against it? It's not the public school's responsibility to teach my children about God, it's mine.

I feel the same way about the current controversy surrounding this New Jersey football coach. While he's attempting to be a sacrificial lamb, it's my opinion that conservative Christians should back the school in this instance, not the coach.

If public school teachers are allowed to pray on behalf of my child, who governs what can be said in those prayers? Could my child's Muslim teacher lead the class (including my son or daughter) in a prayer to Allah? Could my child's Buddhist teacher lead my child in meditation? This New Jersey coach is Catholic, which only reinforces my point.

If I send my son or daughter to athletic practice, I don't expect the coach to venerate Mary. I expect him to teach my son or daughter to play a sport. My son or daughter should be allowed to pray. But public school teachers, coaches, and administrators don't need to lead my son or daughter in prayer.

2 comments:

Nickie said...

Give your child credit. Most children are intelligent enough to pray their choice of prayer and to the God in which they believe. That is if any religion is practiced in the home. If none is then its possible your child may choose to experiment or convert into a religion. That is their choice. Do not deny your child or anyone elses child their constitutional right to freedom of religion. When you help lonely lost soles to ban expression of religion in school and sports and public buildings then you in turn are fighting to take away their constitutional rights. Remember that freedom of religion isnt to take it away .. its the right to express your own religion. It wasn't put there to keep us from worship but rather so we could worship how we choose and not the way the government chose for us.

Think about it.

Chris Freeland said...

Thanks for posting nickie.

I'm not interested in denying anyone's constitutional right to freedom of religion. But I don't feel that a lack of teacher-led prayer in a classroom impinges on my child's constitutional right.

Furthermore, the public school is not the place for students to be experimenting/converting to religion.

If we allow our Christian teachers to pray publicly in school, we must necessarily allow Muslim, Jewish, Wiccan, and other teachers to pray in their classes.

Sorry, but when I have a first grader (who is not well-informed enough to pray his/her choice of prayer)I do not want him/her being led in prayer by a teacher from a different faith.

I'll teach my kid about belief-systems. We'll talk to our neighbors about our belief-system. I expect his/her teachers to teach him how to read and do math.