Let Us Pray

The ninety-three students of the class of 2000 filed into the already crowded auditorium of Brazoswood Senior High School. They walked in tandem with their rich maroon gowns flowing and their tradition caps atop their heads. They looked almost as grown up as they felt. Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles and moms freely brushed away tears. This class would not pray during the commencements, not by choice, but because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it. The principal and several students were careful to stay within the guidelines allowed by the ruling. They gave inspirational and challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance or asked for blessings on the graduates or their families. The speeches were nice, but they were all routine until the final speech. A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still and silent for a moment, and then he delivered his speech, a resounding sneeze. The rest of the students rose to their feet and in unison they said, “God bless you.” The audience exploded into applause. The graduating class found a unique way to invoke God’s blessing on their future with or without the court’s approval.

Our country is known for the various freedoms we have including religious freedom and although I am proud of that, I see nothing wrong with allowing prayer to be spoken in American secular schools. Allowing prayer in public schools has numerous benefits.

Statistics show that 70 percent of the American people favor the allowance of prayer in public schools. These statistics make it perfectly clear that it should be allowed. Why are we prohibiting something that nearly three-fourths of our nation favors?

Allowing prayer in school would not only please the people of our nation, but it would also provide the schools with unity and it would create a safer feeling in the students’ school environment. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the numerous school shootings that have taken place recently we are all a little shaken up and America’s school children often do not feel safe. If prayer was allowed in schools as it was fifty years ago our children would feel safer and would have a more peaceful day.

James Traficant, the State Representative of Ohio, once stated “A Congress that allows God to be banned from our schools while our schools can teach about cults, Hitler and even devil worship is wrong, out of touch, and needs some common sense.” I could not agree more with his statement. If we can teach children about the devil, why are we forbidden to teach them about his rival, God? It seems only logical that if we are permitted to learn about one side that we should be permitted to learn about the other. American Atheists argue that by saying prayers at school we are violating the First Amendment of the Constitution, which prohibits the government from “establishing” religion, but what if we had a moment of silence? If we have a moment of silence to start the school day, then no matter what your religious beliefs are you can use a few seconds each day to pray silently to yourself or just sit since I know we could all use some time to think.

Prayer in secular schools is a good idea. Statistics have proven that it is what the American public want and though some are against it, many more are for it. I say we please our American citizens and give them what they want and that is for their school children to be able to openly pray with their friends and teachers in their school environment. Perhaps if the children of America were allowed to pray in school we would not have so much hatred in the world. It is my theory that if children were raised in a religious environment and began prayer at a young age, they would not grow up to cause such violence that we see in our world today.