The Instigator
Pro (for)
2 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Classroom Prayer Should Be Banned in US Schools

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/11/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 340 times Debate No: 84855
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




I am aware most debates today are done with acceptance in the comments, but I prefer to randomize my opponent.

This debate is on the United States of America on all types of prayer while in the classroom. Prayer is defined as devout religious demonstration relative to God or a religious object. The debate is not about within the lunchroom or hallways but during designated teaching time.

1- Pro Guidelines/Con Acceptance and Arguments
2-3- Arguments and Rebuttals
4- Pro Rebuttals/Con Final Round
5- Pro Final Round/Con Nothing

1. No Trolling or Ad Hominem Attacks
2. Within the Final Round, only a summarization of debate and final comments are allowed. No new arguments or rebuttals may be brought up.
3. When a rule is broken by one opponent, the other may either break same rule and offense will be flown through on conduct or refrain and note as a deduction of conduct points.
4. I have defined the terms for this debate. By accepting the debate, you thus accept these to be the definition of the terms for these purposes.
5. All empirical evidence must be supported with a source.

I look forward to an interesting debate!


So, Look, I have no bias, I'm atheist but I accept every religion, no matter how much I disagree with them. So let's get down to business I know for a fact that in Islam's Quran it says that they have to pray 5 times a day, between dawn and dusk. They have to eat lunch so they probably can't do it then, so when? The best way to learn, is to also have a good relationship with your teacher, if you get sent to the principle's office for praying, there would be an outcry. Is this really a responsible decision? After looking at some of the comments, I have realized that there are many types of prayer. Literally talking to "God" in your head counts, So are you now saying that these children are not allowed to think!!! Some people, pray to "God" in their heads before a big performance or test, just for some last second miracle, are you going to ban this as well? How can you even do that? Unless you're going to spend the USA's entire budget on physical and mental mind reading. I don't think so.

I hope that from the above you can see, that what my opposition is proposing is a clear violation of rights and freedom. Going as far as even banning people from thinking. What they have proposed is completely ridiculous, and will increase religious/government tensions, will destroy trust between school and family and will reverse decades of work towards religious freedom, rights, privacy and equality.

Thank You
Debate Round No. 1


Within this round, I will first give my rebuttals to all my opponent's arguments and then present my own.

His two points seemed to be that prayer is impossible to limit within the classroom under his definition and that it is an infringement of rights. I will address each of these points individually:

1. Impossible to Limit

My opponent used the idea that it is impossible to limit prayer in classroom time under two examples, those being silent mental prayer and Muslim prayer.
First, I will concede that Muslim prayer does occur 5 times a day. There are two unspoken fallacies, however, within his argument. While there are 5 prayer times, only Dhuhr and Asr occur within US public school time. Dhuhr occurs during lunchtime (which is irrelevant to this debate under my definition) and Asr nearly at the end of the US school time, even in districts in which the times have been pushed back. At this point, students are out of class and either in the hallway or on the bus/walking. Next, if anyone feels a strong enough need to pray during class time, there is no rule that bans private religious schools or homeschooling. Respectfully, I suggest my opponent do further research on this topic.
His second example is silent mental prayer. I would like to point out that his only source is a comment within this debate that was essentially a question. Yes, I have read this comment, and I will answer it here. My definition is religious demonstration within the classroom, of which thinking does not apply. Next, even if that weren't true, as I will go on to discuss. even clasping your hands and praying silently during US public school class time is against the constitution and is discriminatory.
I do not support spending the education on physical and mental mind reading (and on a separate note, what is the difference? Isn't it just mind reading?).

2. Infringes upon Rights

I will go on to discuss why prayer within classrooms actually infringes upon rights far more than a restriction later in this round.

Now, I would like to go on to present my arguments.

1. Prayer distracts from learning.

All students require the right to full education. The constitution decrees “equal educational opportunity no matter what their race, ethnic background, religion, or sex, or whether they are rich or poor, citizen or noncitizen.” Distracting students from school for religious activities is both unconstitutional, and unfair to those non-religious students who come to learn, not to pray. The Florida Times-Union notes, “Beyond the clear issues of separation of church and state rests this practical one: Don’t distract students trying to learn.” Time in schools is to be spent on learning, not on individual children practicing their individual religions.

2. Prayer incites hate speech

While it seems like a surprising claim, it is proven to be true. The Westboro Baptist Church and KKK are two among over 750 religious hate groups in the US, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Under the acceptance of prayer in schools, we allow these groups to issue racial, sexist, anti-semitist, and heterosexism slurs with no control mechanism under the guise of protection by the Constitution. According to the Journal of Experimental Sociology, it is demonstrated that overhearing a racist slur causes the listener to evaluate members of the slurred group more harshly in the future. We thus cannot allow prayer in schools.

3. Prayer is anti-Constitutional

(For this argument all evidence comes from the Constitution unless I say otherwise)
The Establishment Clause bans the establishment of religion by the government, especially within schools. By establishing allowed prayer in schools, we establish religion, and thus defy the constitution.
The separation of church and state describes full separation between government and religion. I think everyone can at least agree that an ideal US government should not have any links to any religion (and whether or not it does is a separate debate). Under the above logic, we no longer have this connection if citizens who are looking for public school under the laws of the Constitution (meaning without established religion) are forced to watch and be detracted by children clasping their hands and audibly praying (or even silently) because we discriminate against those who choose to remain without religion. We may even embarrass those who are the only out of many that does pray, or pray to a certain God or within a certain religion as opposed to the many who celebrate a different one. We can't discriminate against those belonging to religion, and this is a simple reason to vote for no prayer in public schools.

Thank you very much. I look forward to reading my opponent's response.


MasterManav forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


MasterManav forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


MasterManav forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


This is my summary of the entire debate. First, I will discuss my own arguments, then my opponent's, then all other fronts.

My arguments were as follows:

1. Prayer Distracts From Learning
This argument outlined why prayer distracts other students who are going to school for its intended purpose, that being learning. It has flowed through as it has been uncontested by my opponent.

2. Prayer Incites Hate Speech
This argument showed how religious groups like the KKK and Westboro Baptist Church use prayer in schools as an excuse to introduce bigotry and discrimination into the classroom. This also flowed through as it has also been uncontested.

3. Prayer is Anti-Constitutional
For final clarification, this refers to prayer in schools. The Establishment Clause bans prayer in schools, meaning that any prayer within the school is directly against the United States Constitution. This also flowed through as it has also been uncontested.

My opponent's arguments were as follows:

1. Prayer in Schools is Impossible to Limit
I refuted this point by disproving its respective examples. He never provided further examples, thus this arguments does not flow through.

2. Prayer in Schools Infringes Upon Rights
This was disproven by my proof that prayer in schools is actually far more religiously discriminate.

I win on convincing arguments because all my arguments have flown through while none of my opponent's have.

I win on spelling & grammar because of a few slight mistakes on my opponent's side on both spelling and grammar.

I win on conduct because my opponent forfeited 3 rounds (up to this point)

I win on sources because while I sources for all empirical evidence, my opponent only provided the comments section.

Thus, I get all 7 points on the ballot. Thank you to my opponent and to the voters. Remember that if my opponent posts anything after this summary, it should be ignored by my rules.


MasterManav forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by MikeTheGOd 9 months ago
Yeah like also what do you define as prayer? I am very religious and prayer can be done simply by talking to God in your head. In other words the teacher doesn't have to know you are praying. You don't have to have your hands clasped together and your eyes closed to be praying.

Also like are you suggesting we simply shouldn't pray when class the teacher is teaching or??
Posted by famousdebater 9 months ago
I have a problem with this: "during designated teaching time." Does that suggest that they would just be praying whilst everybody else is learning. I'd also like it to be more specific in terms of hours. Obviously they shouldn't be allowed for the WHOLE lesson.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 8 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture.
Vote Placed by lannan13 9 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture