The Instigator
Redman
Con (against)
Losing
19 Points
The Contender
Kleptin
Pro (for)
Winning
68 Points

Prayer/Religion in Public Schools

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/22/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,048 times Debate No: 2064
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (21)

 

Redman

Con

Prayer and religion do not belong in the nation's public schools, K-12. I argue that prayer and religion must stay in the sector of private schools, so that our nation's children and young adults do not grow in an enviornment where they feel they MUST accept religion, instead of making a non-peer pressured, conformist choice based on fear of segregation. Public schools must be treated as grounds for building future Americans with knowledgable minds which are ever growing and actively involved in modern day actitives. I believe that prayer in public schools is a representation of religion attempting to have influence over people in order to make open minds conformed and that religion itself can do nothing to further the education of young people in our country. Supporting Christmas only in a public school is a strech: prayer, religion, classes on religion and the teaching of creationism are not relevant to graduating young adults from our public institutions.
Kleptin

Pro

Let me open by saying that I'm an atheist.

I believe that prayer and religion should be included in some schools provided there is some method of restriction and control. I understand that many public schools have parts of the schedule where students are free to join a number of clubs or participate in chosen activities, as opposed to always following a pre-set curriculum day after day.

In that case, I feel that religious services and clubs should be made available to students, even if for only half an hour a day. Of course, this is purely a matter of choice, more so on the parts of the parents than on the part of the students, mind you.

I understand that many parents wish to raise their children to follow their own religion, and I feel it is unfair for those who work full-time and do not have enough free time to add to their children's religious upbringing. Secular public schools bias children's opinion of religion, especially their parents' religion, as antiquated and obsolete. I feel that it would be much more fair to the parents if there were religious clubs in public schools.

This way, children can grow to familiarize themselves with a part of their culture at the most important years of their lives, from a good role model, and have something positive to take up their time.
Debate Round No. 1
Redman

Con

First off, I will apologize to Kleptin. I waited until the last moment, almost, to post my portion of this round of the debate, and I am drunk. So, if this makes sense...Wow, i'd be impressed :-) Also, this round will be short and to the point.

I believe that religion, in itself, is possibly the larger underlying issue than prayer here. Though prayer is usually more noticeable, religion is the umberella, with prayer being a piece under the umberella, if you will.

The point of school is for children to become young adults, graduate with a degree which states they are competent in several different subject manner. Math, for most people, is when we have to do things like taxes, budgets and extra spending cash. Science is so we do not blow ourselves up, literally. History can be interesting and spread some amount of patriotism and appreciation for the past, while making us knowledgable enough to possibly get to the $32,000 dollar question on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. English is, of course, the language we speak which we attempt to master (some succeed, others like our president fail). Even P.E. teaches us that physical activity can keep us in shape and learn qualities surrounding the idea of "team", if we truly follow it.

To me, religion and prayer teach almost nothing valuable in the education system. Morals are, and have been, made before all religions came into being. And they will be here long after all of todays religions are gone. Prayer itself is a submission to a higher authority for guidance and answers in a life that is, most certainly, uncertain. However, almost every church provides services at least two times a week: one on sunday, competing with the NFL, and one on either tuesday, wednesday, or thurday night, which some churches entitle "Youth Group". On the week nights, church engage in bible study and worship, but also provide a caring place where kids are able to go and usually 1) find a group of friends and 2) escape from a world that often inflicts cruel and unusual lessons at very inconvient times.

I argue that the conflicts in school do not need another addition to their endless list, with something so powerful, mind numbing and often illusive as religion. First off, finding the right religion, or sect of a religon, to teach/pray towards is not possible, since we live in America and an idiot with a voice can have their opinion heard. I'm all for freedom of speech (i'm a history major), but some people really do not think before they speak and act, and this is something that children do not need to learn to enforce for future generations. Different religions teach different practices. The catholics do not believe in birth control watsoever, while many progressive forms of protestant christianity say that birth control is smart because it, ultimately, stops people from having kids who are, more than likely, too young to have them. Evagelical christians are so against homosexuality that many want a constitutional amendment, saying that marriage is between a man and a woman.....?.....How would a teacher deal with this issue if it came up in school, or if they found out a student was praying, in school, to rid them of what they thought were homosexual tendencies (the students praying to rid themselves)? I know some of these ideas are streches, but I present them as real scenarios in school settings which may not occur otherwise. Admittedly, homosexuality will occur with or without religion.

There is a significant portion of America who is either not religious, or claims to be under the title of christian because they celebrate Jesus's birth in Decemeber, or Chocolate Bunnies in Spring. These people want their kids to be able to grow up in a healthy educational system that treats them as fairly as possible, molding them into students who work hard and are always goal oriented. Some students are religious, but are not "christian". Many reigions in America, including Judaism, Islam and Jehovah Witnesses, have different customs from modern day christianity. Jews celebrate different holidays, with Christmas not being one of them. Muslims, praciticing ones, pray 5 times a day and also celebrate other holidays. Jehovah Witnesses, amongst other things, do not celebrate holidays with gifts or vast celebrations and many do not salute the flag during the pledge of allegiance (something about not worshipping icons, images, symbols, etc). What happens during bible hour, or prayer hour, in school, for these kids? What are they to think? That they are incorrect in their views and must conform with a larger portion of the population? That they are somehow inadequate because of the views their parents taught them? Would not most of these kids see this as a type of punishment, insult, threat, or a feeling of being ostricized, if one of the activities in the course of the day was not intended for them? I assume we are talking about prayer and religon in the hours school extends from and not about after school programs, though I admit the topic did not state that specifically. So, let us stick to the hours the children MUST attend school. What are they suppose to do during this time of holy worship?

I'm really drunk, so I'm going to sum up my argument for this round. Religion/prayer in school is not relevant to public education. To survive in the real world, one does not need religion unless they are applying for a job that is in some way religious: such jobs are few. Religion may or may not have good lessons for kids to learn, that is not the point. The debate comes down to this question: is it beneficial for religious practices, such as classes, worship and prayers to be in public schools during the hours where school is mandatory? Answer: No. There are plenty of other subjects students need to focus on which are important to their future. Part of being a kid/young adult is GROWING UP and finding out who your are at heart. If the kid desired a presence of religion in their life, there are plenty of kids in the school to show them the way. If not, churces are on nearly every street corner of America. And tell me a church would not be willing to take in a young, naieve follower to support future generations of religious Americans, pending they had parent permission? Let school stick to teaching lessons for an economic future: let church/religion/prayer attempt to help those who need it so, spiritually.
Kleptin

Pro

This was not short at all. This was extraordinarily long x.x and also extremely off topic and insulting to me as your opponent. But then again, you did say you were drunk when you typed this, which I'm forced to take as a suitable explanation.

You spent a good portion of the last round attacking religion in and of itself, and veered so far off topic, that I'm inclined to believe you did not even read what I had to write.

If you read my response at all, you would know that I support optional religious clubs for kids to participate in. Nothing you said in that last, really long response had anything to do with what I said. It was just a giant strawman.

I would very much appreciate it if you debated me sober, because I find this to be an interesting topic of debate. And even though you decided to disrespectfully respond when you weren't at your best, I'll respond to the points I find it necessary to respond to.

Your argument is essentially that we should keep religion from public schools because it is useless.

However, since there are clubs like "Asian culture club" or "Black culture club", and yes, "Jewish culture club", which happens to be a religious club. Are you saying we should ban all of these since they happen to be "useless" by your definition?

Though religion, by your definition, is useless, it has extreme cultural value. I don't see any reason why we should bar students from attending religious clubs in public schools, and am waiting for your argument as to why this is so. Hopefully, you will be sober when you give your answer.
Debate Round No. 2
Redman

Con

Redman forfeited this round.
Kleptin

Pro

Well, I suppose I should reply anyway.

My opponent's focus was essentially on trying to prove how useless Religion was, and how it shouldn't be required in public schools.

My argument has always been that Religion DOES have a place in public schools, as optional clubs where kids can have a positive role model in a safe setting, surrounded by like-minded peers to understand more about their culture, and make some friends.

There's nothing wrong with offering kids the choice, I just have a problem with shoving it down their throats.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Scyrone 9 years ago
Scyrone
Prayer is a Christians sense is technically infringing upon the rights of others. If you pray for someone that is against praying then you are offending them. But of course, everyone talks about how praying should be illegal. How can it be when it is silent and nobody can hear you?

I say, let them pray, as long as they don't mind me telling them praying to an invisible man in the sky will bring me the greatest laughter this planet has ever seen. It's like me looking at the sun and saying "Please forgive us for all our sins! Save us from eternal damnation! Forgive my enemies, oh Sun!"
Posted by jacobgunter 9 years ago
jacobgunter
OK, from what I got the drunk kid is saying that I cant pray in public schools. WHile I dont think that there should ever be mandatory praying in school, kids should be allowed to pray.

THe drunk kid said that other students praying can pressure others into joining that religion. SO he wants to get rid of it.

So now he is pressuring me into not praying, and taking away my first amendment rights. Awesome.

I never stop praying in school. It is my right, and it doesnt infringe upon the rights of others. Prayer never did anything but good for the world anyway.
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
That was classic.

Also, I know the proper argument against prayer in public schools even by clubs. It does violate the establishment clause. I do love the drunk rant though.

Prayer doesn't belong in school.
Drunk Rant.
Vanish.

Way to fight for the cause!
Posted by tjzimmer 9 years ago
tjzimmer
so isn't making a children open and intelligent by giving them decisions that may be controversial the best way to have a democracy?
Different opinions working as one. Isn't teaching religion along with evolution a positive aspect that will enlighten our youth? The more room for choice they have in what they want to believe, the better our nation will be because of diversity of ideas.
Posted by Kleptin 9 years ago
Kleptin
It's not the argument that I found insulting, it was the fact that you replied drunk x.x
Posted by Redman 9 years ago
Redman
If my argument was insulting, it's not what I wanted, so I apologize. My thoughts were not very coherent, i agree, but I wanted to present some kind of argument for the round. Don't take it personally my friend, it was nothing against you.
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