Musings > School Prayer

16 Nov 2002

End of rant.

More? Ok.

The abolishment of school prayer was instituted around the time I was in Kindergarten/1st grade. I remember this because of an incident in 1st grade. It was Easter time, & we were asked to write stories with pictures about Easter (remember those big sheets of triple lined, wide spaced paper, that had the big blank area at the top for drawing?). Well, we had been learning about Easter in Sunday School for several weeks, so my story was about Jesus being crucified & resurrected. The picture was of a cave with a boulder to one side & people off to the side with surprised looks on their faces (in 1st grade, that was big eyes & an "O" for the mouths, lol).

WELL! You'd think I'd advocated the overthrow of the government! My teacher had a fit, my parents were called in & there was a conference with the principal. I didn't know what the problem was!? We were told to write about Easter, so I did. I didn't know it was supposed to be about the "Easter Bunny" & eggs & candy & such. Silly me.

Now that I'm older, I realize it was probably because of the recent ruling & they were probably all worried about "getting into trouble" if it looked as though religion was being taught in a public school.

The same thing happened a few years later, when we were given "Cupid"s to color. I gave mine blonde hair & blue eyes & "peach" colored skin. I have no idea why this offended the teacher, but there was another conference with the parents & principal. I may have written something about the Saint on the page with my picture (thanks to my best friend - a Catholic), I don't remember. These 2 incidents, as well as 2 other chastisements from 2 other art teachers pretty much quashed my interest in drawing/painting/creating in the visual arts (except for photography). But, that's a subject for another rant.

Why am I against school prayer? Because:

1) There is no reason for it. If you feel your children need prayer first thing in the morning, how about getting up 5 minutes earlier & having family prayer AT HOME ?

2) Who decides which "brand" of prayer is said? It's mostly the Baptist/fundamentalist denominations of Christians who are clamoring for a return to school prayer. Well, what if the teacher who leads the prayer is Catholic? They'll be teaching your children about SAINTS & other heathenish things! (Protestants supposedly don't believe in Saints). What if the teacher is of the Isalmic faith? While there WILL be petitions to God (Allah), they will be in the name of Mohammed. What about Judaism? No? Why NOT any of the above? All religions worship God, whatever name He may be called.

3) Teachers have enough to do trying to educate your children in secular matters - why should your children's religious training be dumped on them too? Send your children to a parochial school if you want them to receive religion with their schooling (or how about church/synagogue/mosque/kingdom hall, etc.?).

4) On the one hand, I have no problem with "allowing" prayer in school. It's the certainty that "allowed" will soon turn to "required" that scares the HELL out of me! I don't want the Government to be telling me or my children that I MUST worship something, & what the 'something' must be. Whether I 'believe' or not is between me & my God. It's not the business of anyone else.

Copyright © 2002 Peggy J. Larson - All Rights Reserved

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