The Controversy Over Religion in Public Schools
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The Controversy Over Religion in Schools
"God help, I'm so lost!" If you listen carefully, this is a common thought that is heard throughout many schools in the nation. Is this thought appropriate? The following statement clearly shows that the law allows students and adults to practice religion, but at the same time be respective of others and their beliefs even if they do believe or if they don't. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, or to petition the government for a redress of grievances." (First Amendment, The Constitution of the United States). Prayer is not normally permitted as a scheduled part of classroom activities, because it would result in the violation of the principle of church-state separation, which has been defined by court interpretations of the 1st Amendment to the U.S, Constitution. The separation principle is extended to Public school as an arm of the government, with an exception which can be permitted if, during the school year, a mixture of prayers, statements, etc are delivered, using material derived from a number of different religions and secular sources. So far, this has never been tried in a school or ruled upon by a court (Religion in Public).
This plainly states that public school teachers, principals, and boards are required to be religiously neutral. They may not promote a particular religion as being superior to any other, and may not promote religion in general as superior to a secular approach to life. They also may not promote secularism in general as superior to a religious approach to life, be antagonistic to religion in general or a particular religious belief, be antagonistic to secularism, and they must neither advance nor inhibit religion (Religion in Public).
Although there are a lot of "don'ts", student-initiated prayer is allowed in various situations and locations in the public school system. For example, it is allowed in school buses, at the flagpole, in after-hours student religious clubs, in the school hallways, in the cafeteria, and in the classroom before or after scheduled classes (Religion in School).
Students are guaranteed the right to pray, as long as it is not disruptive, and it is not promoted during classroom hours. Not only are these permitted, they are actually protected forms of speech under the U.
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Public Schools Controversy Religious Belief Freedom Of Speech Heard Principals U.s. Constitution Superior
S. Constitution (Guide).
"See you at the Flag Pole" was an event that changed history and caused a huge up roar in the disagreement of practicing religion in school. "See you at the Flag Pole" all started on April 6 of 1990, by a group of teenagers in Burleston, Texas. It was assembled for a discipleship retreat. The teenagers went to three schools and prayed around the campus flagpole for their friends and fellow students ("See you at the..."). In June of 1990 at a rally of teenagers in Dallas, Texas, over 20,000 attendees were challenged to organize prayer sessions at their schools, following the Burleston example. This movement went national one year later. After about 70% of the public schools had a prayer service, and continue to (Prayer at...). Although this brought most students together, it was mainly focused on the Christians throughout public schools ("See you at the..."). What about all the other types of religion?
Searching for a solution is anything but an easy task. People's passions are very high when it comes to this subject, especially when brought up in school. It is said to be very difficult to arrange a meeting for religion for resolution. When a meeting is held to discuss certain religion matters, many of the attendees will stick with their beliefs and not budge from their position (Religion in...). One solution, which applies to all beliefs on this issue, would be the moment of silence. The moment of silence is simply a substitute for a prayer. Another solution is separate religious services, which is separate from the graduation ceremony for those students who wish to have strong religious content to their graduation process. This ceremony could be an inter-denominational service, including students and their friends and family from all Christian faith groups. Multiple prayers and secular statements are to recite a prayer from their faith tradition, and allow students with no religious affiliation to read a statement for the occasion (Prayer at...).
Located on the backside of the on-dollar bill it states, "In God We Trust." A statement in which all Americans agree on, since they are so willing to spend and receive the money or the dollar bills. When people are constantly fighting the school district to keep the religion out of the schools but on the other hand ironically are spending money or giving money to the school. These people are being hypocritical because of how willing they are to spend the money which has the words written right on it similar to what they are so strongly fighting against in the school systems.
Everyone has there own beliefs and usually they don't affect others, unless they are practiced in front of others. Religion is just another belief and has been a part of the society since the world was first created. It was one of the first thoughts that man had. In schools there are a lot of other beliefs that aren't fought about as much but are still a big deal, like homosexuality or a certain race. There are also some beliefs that are just allowed, and nothing is said about them. Religion is very similar to other beliefs and many people believe that they should be allowed in schools just as other beliefs are (Faith...). At a public meeting about graduation, a citizen of Rocky Grove PA stated, "This is nothing but the devil working against Christ. I am a red-blooded American. The constitution gives the right to pray anywhere and I shall do it." (Religion in Public). Yes, it does give the right to pray anywhere, but don't other people who don't believe in religion have the right not to be bothered or to practice another certain belief alone?
Another obvious, but important reason why the religion controversy should be allowed in public schools is the awareness and courtesy of other students and teachers. When someone prays quietly and doesn't preach, it really doesn't affect anyone. No one knows if someone is praying or not right next to him or her (Guide...). A graduating student at Penn State Erie, Brian Kitchen, states, "I'm not interested in hearing a prayer said because I believe that it infringes on my right not to pray." (Religion in School Debate). A very similar statement made by Ryan Bowers, also from Penn State, states "People who don't believe in prayer at graduation should keep their opinion to themselves and not bother people who believe in it." (Religion in School Debate). This is a very strong opinion felt by many other Americans. Keeping your feelings to yourself and not promoting any feelings toward other people solves many of the religion problems fought about today. All people want is their privacy, when it comes to the topic of religion (Religion in School).
When religion is often brought up, it is hard to understand and feel both sides are correct. After hearing over and over both sides of the constant argument of if religion should be promoted in schools, it is best that the school boards crack down on specific prayer rules. Allowing religion in school is a must, but when promoting to other people, who also have a right that don't believe in God, it should be stopped. Currently the school systems have decided to allow religion at certain times when not bothering other students who do not concern religion. The way it is now shouldn't change because it gives both sides the rights in which they are enabled to.
"Faith, religion, and prayer." Legal Issues. 21 Oct. 2003
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Religion In Public Schools - With A Free Essay Review
Religion in the public has seemed to be in the spotlight of the news for the last couple years. For a while, will the Kansas school boards were talking about involving intelligent design into their school systems, the idea of religion in public schools came up almost every day on the news. Kansass school board took a lot of fire and pressure during this time period and evolutionist and intelligent designs seemed to push their views more and more during this time period. We should first should discuss the differences between the two.
The definition of evolution is the process by which different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from their earlier ancestors. For example, evolutionist believed that we evolved from apes over time. Evolution isnt really teached in school, its just mentioned and thats about it. Most kids in schools know of what evolution is but thats about it. It wasnt until my freshman year in college that I really learned in detail about evolution. High school teachers are not really allowed to teach in detail about evolution because it is a conflict in churches and there is a separation between church and states. Within the last few years, a new theory has started questioning the theory of evolution.
Intelligent design has caused a lot of commotion in both the science field and also in the political field. Intelligent design is the theory that there is an intelligent entity that created everything. For example lets looks at Mount Rushmore, there was a designer behind it. Now lets compare that to a us, the intelligent entity designed something with thumbs so that it could grab stuff. There is a plan or design behind everything, moving continents didnt form mountains, an intelligent entity pushed the continents together to make a mountain range.
I believe that public students should learn about religion, evolution, and intelligent design. They should have the right to learn about religion in school and also practice religion. Intelligent design is pretty much religion because a intelligent entity is pretty much saying there is a higher bean like God that designs everything. Public students should have a right to learn about religion. Its a proven fact that kids who has religion in their lives behave better. Its important to us because we live in a world that has the ability to question everything and everyone and they question rules. Religion keeps people inline and gives them rules to follow.
This is big in the sociologist view for a couple reasons. This questions everything about what this country was founded and built on. When we say the pledge of allegiance we say one nation under god. There are schools that are not allowing students to say that because of separation of church and state. Families are raised off religion and morals based off religion, if we start telling kids that there isnt such thing called god, they will believe they have no morals and society itself would change. We would have a massive social change and kids will be raised thinking there is no god. There needs to be religion in public schools to we can keep a social order years down the road.
Sorry to say, but this is a jumbled mess of an essay that altogether lacks, if you'll forgive me for putting it this way, intelligent design; that is to say, it lacks organization. I think you need to go back to the basics.
You are ostensibly writing an argumentative essay about the place of religion in public schools. It makes sense that you mention the controversy over attempts to have Intelligent Design taught in schools as a way of contextualizing your argument, but you get distracted by that controversy and end up devoting half your essay to an explanation of evolution and intelligent design. Your first paragraph ends with "We should first should discuss the differences between the two." But you don't need to discuss the differences between the two unless those difference make a difference to your overall argument about whether there should be "religion in public schools."
What you do need to do, then, is articulate your argument about whether there should be "religion in public schools." To do that, you first need to explain what you mean by "religion in public schools." What exactly is legally permitted in this respect, and what is not permitted? Identify what you think is not permitted but should be. Develop some arguments about why those things should be permitted. You are then in a position to write a thesis. A thesis is usually placed at the end of the first paragraph. Yours would look something like this:
"In this essay, I argue that X, Y, and Z should be permitted (or taught, or not forbidden) in public schools because A, B, and C" - where A, B, and C are reasons.
If your argument ends up being too complex to articulate in one sentence, then use two or more sentences:
In this essay, I argue that X should be permitted in public schools because A. I also argue that Y and Z should be taught because B and C.
Elaborate each reason you offer in your support of your thesis in subsequent paragraphs.
Now, if you want to argue that Intelligent Design should be taught in schools, then perhaps you can explain a little about what it is before making that argument, but the bulk of your exposition should be devoted to explaining why you think it should be taught (you can deal with the distinctions between the two in a single sentence): Do you think it should be taught because you think it is true? If you think it is true, why do you think it is true? Do you think it should be taught in high school science classes or in religion classes? Why? You should also explain why you think those who disagree with you are wrong. For example, you might have a paragraph beginning with the following:
"Some think that Intelligent Design should not be taught as a theory of the origin of life in high schools because it is pseudo-scientific nonsense. I think they are wrong because ..."
You can proceed in the same way with the rest of the arguments. You argue for instance that religion has a place in schools because it helps to inculcate morality. But your argument in this respect amounts to no more than assertion. Im inclined to agree with your basic point, but only on the basis of my own experience: I dont have any religious beliefs and Im completely immoral. I say mean things to children just to watch them cry. But I digress. Whats your reason for believing this stuff? Saying that X is a known fact is the weakest form of argument; its especially weak when it is in fact a known fact (!) that the claim in question is actually vigorously disputed, in point of fact.
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