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Keep Prayer Out of Public Schools
Clarifying My Argument
First off, I'm not against anyone praying on their own time. Praying, publicly or privately, has no significant effect on me or on reality, from what I have observed.
However, there are somethings that must be considered before people start trying to institute mandatory prayer in schools, or any assembly where members can be from different religious backgrounds.
Being in America, it seems that christians consider their faith higher than the faiths of other people, and most even go so far as to assert theirs is the only way to salvation. But until they or any other religious group proves that to be true, schools will have to appeal to all other religions when it comes to prayer.
Why Only Christian Prayer?
This is a question that has plagued me since I became an atheist. When I was a christian I was certain that christianity was the only true path, but I had nothing to back that claim up with. So why should christianity be held above all other religions?
I don't have an answer for you, other than it's because I live in America where christianity is the dominant religion. I wish they would realize that if they go somewhere else in the world they may find other dominant religions in other areas whose members feel they are just as "correct" in their way of thinking there as christians are here. I was in the navy for six years and I've traveled to Asia and the Mid-East so trust me when I say that not everyone in the world is a christian! And in some places it's not even tolerated!
So what makes christians right? Nothing so far. They have failed to demonstrate why anyone should follow their faith. Until they do, they have no reason to monopolize the education system, or any other state system for that matter.
Let's Include Everybody Then!
Setting aside that atheists don't pray, there are way too many religious affiliations to consider in order to include them all. A lengthy, though incomplete, list can be found here.
If you clicked the link, you can see that there is a plethora of other religions other than Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. And since America is tolerant of all religions and this country is the melting pot of the world, it would be safe to assume there are people who live here who don't follow any of the Abrahamic religions.
So to include everybody in public school prayer would be a ludicrous idea. There would be little to no time for classroom instruction and school would just be another form of church.
How Do We Solve This?
The solution to this is quite simple: don't have mandatory prayer in public schools! If you're a christian and you want to pray in school, go to a private christian school. They can be pricey though, so if you can't afford it then you should probably pray about it at home or church. Or just deal with public schools like normal people.
Again, I don't see anything wrong with people praying, but some folks need to remember that school is for learning, not worshiping. If you want to pray, then go to church or somewhere private.
Christians seem to be the only religious group that fights for prayer in public schools, probably because I live in America and I'm not too familiar with other countries' social issues.
Allow me to offer another solution to this chistian agenda: Matthew 6:6.