God,let me pass this test

My friend in Alabama says there Is prayer in schools down there! Is this true? I thought it was outlawed(school sanctioned prayer,not the post name)way back when.It’s a small town,btw.

The poster beneath me is really smart!

It would not surprise me to hear that a small school in Alabama still had sanctioned prayer. In order to root out these things, somebody needs to complain. If nobody complains, it can go on indefinitely.

It depends on MANY factors. Are the prayers student-led? Are they concerted in any way (or are students allowed to pray by themselves whenever the mood strikes them)? Are they silent?

Basically, the law only forbids spoken prayers led by a teacher, administrator, etc. Therefore, a time of silence is not strictly forbidden. Nor are student-led prayers.

So, when your friend says “There is prayer in schools in Alabama,” you might want to ask him/her to clarify what that means.

When I graduated HS in '78 (in Chicken Bone SC), we still had a morning “devotional” that was broadcast over the intercom.

Each week a different class selected representatives (typically 5, one fore each school day) to do something–scripture reading, “inspirational” literature, whatever.

I don’t know when it stopped, but I think it went on until the principal retired a few years later.

I think prayer in schools is always legal everywhere. This is because telepathy has not yet been made practical for law enforcement. When you pray in an Abrahamic religion, you are speaking to an omniscient being. Therefore, there is no reason to say anything out loud. When I was a child, I was quite religious, and I used to pray all the time to Jesus to help me with my school work (I wrote very slowly and unintelligibly). No one ever heard my thoughts.

Praying out loud might be restricted in some places, though.

Nothing I write about any person or group should be applied to a larger group.

  • Boris Badenov

I don’t see why we can’t just have a minute or two of silence at the beginning of school every day. The kids that want to pray can pray, the kids that just want some peace and quiet (like me) can have that, and the kids that want to pick their nose… can do that, as long as they’re not sittin’ next to me.

SanibelMan – what’s the point of cutting into time allotted for education to allow for something that doesn’t really need it’s own time slot in the day? There are already enough ways that students waste time that could be put to better use. Why add another?


Why sex is better than God: People don’t force sex on minors who can’t think for themselves
(or, at least, if they do they go to jail.)

Just a mundane question. Are there religion classes in the U.S.? When I told some Americans I had had such classes since grade school (Catholic), and that it was standard where I lived, I got looked at as if I had grown a third eye. Is it a matter of Federal or State policy?

Only humans commit inhuman acts.

Duh, I’ll actually read the thread before posting. Next time, I promise.


Valid question. Religion classes are only verboten in public school systems. There are plenty of parochial school systems in the U.S. that teach religion. These are private schools that charge tuition and are not impacted by the laws that guide public school systems.

Cessandra wrote:

Heck, you could use that argument against sports, marching band, and the pledge of allegiance.

Personally, I woulda liked school a LOT less if I hadn’t gotten to be in the chorus.

Quick-N-Dirty Aviation: Trading altitude for airspeed since 1992.

If there had been religion classes in high school, maybe I’d know the difference between Temple Judaism and Synagogue Judaism (They are terms a professor used in a class of mine yesterday)

I disagree. Having extra-curricular activities like art, sports, and music adds to the learning experience. Learning about the arts broadens your horizons and nourishes creative instincts. Sports nourish the body. Of course, I would have to agree that prayer nourishes the soul, and no school child should be restricted from praying. But what does it add to have a moment of nothing? We aren’t being instructed on anything at all. It’s counter-productive.


Why sex is better than religion: There are laws against forcing sex on minors who can’t think for themselves.

I actually kind of like the idea of a moment of silence. In grade school, we used to have a short amount of time to put our heads down on our desks and just be mellow. After I got into higher grades, I started to miss this practice a little bit. By the time junior high rolled around, I was carving out bits of time to “vej” and just absorb what I needed to think about. Had I still been religious, I would have used this time to pray.

I just think that, with all the stimuli kids are subjected to, it might be good for them to have a little decompressing time between fish sticks and long division.

Nothing I write about any person or group should be applied to a larger group.

  • Boris Badenov

I see nothing wrong with a child praying in school. But why do they have to pray durring school? Why not before, why do people argue that we should pray at the beginning of class, why not before class? On the way to school. People should pray whenever they feel like it, they shouldn’t be told when to do it. Don’t schedule little moments of Zen for our children (not that I have any)
Note to self: Pray at 10:01a.m. right after prof starts test.

The ocean of liquor, I drank to forget her, is gonna kill me, but I’ll drink till then.- George Jones Still Doin Time

Actually, religion classes in public schools are not “verboten”. The rub is that public schools face a tough choice - either 1) offer a religion class that encompasses ALL religions but favors none and be prepared to defend your curriculum in court; or 2) don’t offer a religion class. Option 2 is, in the vast majority of cases, most palatable to the local school board.

The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. – E. Grebenik

Well, a moment of silence is, I believe, fairly common. I disliked it solely because it interrupted conversations. I had friends who used the time (1 minute) to pray and others who just waited it out, and still more who ignored it. The fact of the matter is, in the South, a moment of silence is typically a moment of prayer with a more acceptable name.

And they don’t really have to be too judicious with classes. Our literature texts had excerpts from Genesis, and sited literary merit. IIRC, the Koran has a lot of poetry, doesn’t it? Why isn’t it in there (in translation)? We did the stuff on Genesis…

I think the reason there’s any debate at all over the prayer in schools question is because the issue has been framed incorrectly. Currently we have conservatives who say that prayer is illegal in public schools (which is an inaccurate statement at best and intentionally deceptive at worst) and this has resulted in our culture’s current “moral decline”.

However, how much support would you get from the right wing if you phrased the question this way: “Should the government be able to force your child to participate in religious rituals?” or “Should the government be allowed to indoctrinate your children into a religion which you do not believe?” In order to be consistent with the general conservative mistrust of governmental authority, the right wing might be forced to alter its position.

Boris B[adenov] wrote:

So, how would you divide 153 fish sticks among 19 students?

Another reason to allow prayer in school! If we did, you wouldn’t NEED to divide the fish sticks among the 19 students. You’d just pray first, then pass out the baskets full of fish sticks. Everyone could have all they wanted and you’d STILL have some left.

On the other hand, if it were a food the kids actually *liked * … :slight_smile:

P.S. Do you suppose I’ll be sent to hell for poking fun at a miracle?