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Prayer in Public Schools

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Christian S. Watkins English T-122 J. Chan October 27, 2001 Prayer in Public Schools In the essay named "Banning Prayer in Public Schools Has Led to America's Demise" by Gary Bergel, the argument is made that by removing prayer and any form of religious contemplation has caused America to plummet from righteous living, prosperity and success within the last quarter century. He states that from around June 25, 1962, when 39 billion students were forbidden to pray in school, America's moral decline began to accelerate more rapidly. Bergel supports his claim by stating the main reasons behind the U.S. Supreme Court ruling and by issuing some religious tidbits. Even though Bergel lists some facts and names some general ideas, he has an extremely weak argument for the simple reason of the claims and warrants not being supported with factual or personal evidence. The opposing article that I have chosen is titled "Argument against School Prayer" by Adam Frucci. Frucci first starts out by saying that the article is not intended to bash God, or Christianity. But its purpose is to argue all forms of religion in schools, high school in particular. ...read more.


It is clear that from here on out, he is making general assumptions based solely on his beliefs. Bergel goes on to argue that removing prayer from school creates the secular system beyond the power of God. This is a faulty argument for the simple Christian fact that if God is all powerful, how can anything be created beyond God's power. If anything, removal of prayer will keep children from experiencing God in more than a church setting. He also argues that in doing so, religion in being stripped from the lips and minds of children. It's not restraining a child from totally expressing or acting religiously, it's simply preventing prayer to be forced on those who aren't believers. It's, in essence, protecting the first amendment rights of those affected and moreover, is a gross exaggeration of the case in hand in addition to the fact that religion can't be totally taken from some one. At a point in the article, he mentions the Engle vs. Vitale Supreme Court case. The whole ruling has nothing to do with keeping kids from learning the religion, it's concerned with children who aren't believers of Christianity not being forced to participate in something that they don't believe in. ...read more.


Therefore, the teaching of religion in schools can only offer more options rather than changing ones whole mindset. In saying that the setting is inappropriate, Frucci is clearly showing signs of his immaturity. In my own opinion, school is the one of the best places to teach religion. The child's inability to concentrate and focus on the task at had does not warrant removal of school prayer. If that's the case, school in general should be gotten rid of because of the child's inherent nature to be easily distracted and loose concentration. One of Frucci's strongest arguments within the paper is that prayer in schools does create a since of discrimination. However, he takes it to the extreme when saying that the since of community will be ruined because of their nonparticipation. Overall, Frucci's essay is stronger than Brugel's in the since of me, the reader, being able to relate to the author's point of view, as well as the amount of support that was given to each point raised. Frucci's essay presents more of an argument, as opposed to Brugel's which is more of an outcry of ideas. However both essays are pretty weak in their persuasiveness, but since I have to choose on, I'd have to say that Frucci's is the stronger of the two. ...read more.

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