“We want prayer in school, we want prayer in school”, they shout.
Another rally at the courthouse to have prayer allowed in school and there is no resolution in sight. “Separation of church and state, separation of church and state”, the courthouse shouts back. What does all of this mean and where is it headed?
In the now infamous court case of 1963, Murray vs. Curlett, the banning of organized prayer was put into place. The decision made Madelyn Murray O’Hare the country’s most infamous atheist. In 1964, Life magazine named her “the most hated woman in America”. What did she accomplish? If you look at it from an atheistic perspective, she got prayer out of school; after all, if there is no God, then the time spent on prayer could be better spent on shaping young lives. If you look at it from a disgruntled Christian perspective, she damned society to hell and took away the opportunity for our children to have a meaningful existence.
Now, if you look at it from a positive Christian perspective, what happened should be a cattle prod to the Christian parents to do what they should be doing anyway; leading their own children in their own homes in prayer. The parents want to shout about prayer and the Ten Commandments to be allowed in school, yet won’t pray or teach them to their own children in the privacy of their own home.
Everyone has a cause, yet few actually understand their cause at all. We can all quote this person or that person as far as being pro or con, but when reality really hits, we follow the crowd instead of doing what is right.
The term “separation of church and state” can be traced to a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. Jefferson quotes from the first amendment, then uses “wall” as a metaphor to separate the Government from interfering with religious practice. The first amendment puts the restrictions on the Government, NOT the people. It has been misinterpreted and is obvious if you read it in its context that what is proclaimed is not what Jefferson intended. However, every group not wanting school prayer, or any other Christian practice to take place in school, or on any other government property for that matter, sites this misinterpretation. It’s humorous that we want “separation of church and state”, yet on Election Day; two out of three polling locations are in a church.
Unfortunately in America, we’ve put ourselves in a corner. We are so busy being “politically correct” that if prayer were to be reinstated in the classroom, who would lead it? If the day starts at 7:30, and you had each religion pray for just 30 seconds, you wouldn’t finish until well after lunch. The Christian base says that it should be a Christian prayer and the Jewish base says that it should be a Jewish prayer, and so on.
If the Christian parents truly want prayer and other Christian based programs back in school, praying at home with their children would accomplish more toward this cause then all of the rallies combined. Busy lifestyles however stand in the way of the rearing of children to the point that we expect the schools to do it all; even what our duty is to God. That is unless you’re an atheist, in which you leave out the part about duty to God.
The Christian faith believes, as a whole, that the United States was founded on Christian principles. This is proof that most will follow and not understand their cause. The constitution preaches that we should have religious freedom to worship whomever and however we choose. The Christian faith teaches that there is but one God and one Savior, Christ Jesus. So, even in this, there is a dilemma.
What’s the answer? Well, if you are an atheist, don’t do anything. If you are a Christian, go home and enter your prayer closet and seek the Lord’s face in rearing your children the way He would have you to rear them and NOT the way the government would have you to. If you are of any other faith, you haven’t been in the forefront of the controversy, so either jump in or stay on the sidelines.
One side note; if you are an atheist and you are voting in a polling site that is in a church, it should not change your vote. However, it may change other things.