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

Prayer in Schools

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/14/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 461 times Debate No: 83897
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




"To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alieve without breathing" (Marin Luther King). Prayer should be allowed into schools. Prayer is voluntary to all students, and does not disturb others learning. Just as no teacher or student forces another to participate in a school sport, play, or club, no one forces another to pray. Also, America was founded on the idea of freedom of religion, and held many religious beliefs. Religion was a part of everyday life, and the choice cannot be taken away from the younger generations. Lastly, prayer does improve others morals. If kids would be able to pray more freely in schools they would be reminded of what they believe in, and start acting better. This is why prayer should be allowed more freely into any school.


To begin with, I would like to clarify some of your claims.

Where have you received information stating that prayer has been banned in all schools?
Public/state schools have no power or credence to withhold a student from praying or practicing their religious beliefs, as long as prior warning has been provided (Evidence of this is Muslim cultures are permitted to practice fasting that is held during Ramadan, Which includes multiple times where they must pray to Mecca for salvation and to 'purify' their souls).
Private schools fall within the constraints of a Private business, where the owner's discretion is applicable, as each parent must sign a waiver to agree to such terms before their child can 'participate' with the School - If this is the cause of this debate being raised, I feel the debate topic could effectively be changed to "Why cannot we pray within my Business" - as effectively, a Private school is a business - their product is knowledge.
The only evidence I can see that any actions that have affected ones practice of religion is by declaring schools cannot be "publicly calling upon the name of the Lord at the beginning of each school day." - This was due to the equality of religion, as per obvious demographics (Can cite this figure if you require, but it is known, and cannot be bothered chasing it down for the first round) - Christianity is one of the dominating religions in the United States - In the name of equality, other religions did not have to be subjected with 'another' religions prayers, simply by merit of the majority practicing that practice.
Citation :

Depending upon your response, please can you answer the following?
"If kids would be able to pray more freely in schools they would be reminded of what they believe in, and start acting better." - Can you please reference evidence or cite a credible source that proves that increased prayers can equate to a morally standing human being, otherwise this information will not be regarded or debated.

Please advise your citation, as this seems to be more of an opinion than an actual debate topic. I am happy to proceed with this, however I would like to confirm the 'scope' with you before we proceed.
At present there is not much to debate off, as it is a 'He said - She said' opening statement from yourself - I ask again to clarify so I can effectively debate this topic with you.

Thank you and eagerly awaiting your reply.
Debate Round No. 1


First I would like it noted that I am saying that I know that prayer is allowed in schools, and that as of right now prayer is not banned. This is not what I am fighting against. What I am fighting for is the freedom to pray more freely in schools. I have read countless times about someone receiving detention for praying in a public school, and I myself have watched someone almost get suspended for having a bible in their locker. It is coming to a point where schools are not just neutral to all religions, but anti-Christian.
Now that that is settled, I would like to state that since prayer has been on a tight watch people's morals have declined. Specifically looking at between 1960 and 1990 you see during this period "divorce double(d), teenage pregnancy went up 200%, teen suicide increased 300%, child abuse reached an all-time high, violent crime went up 500% and abortion increased 1000%" (William Bennett). This man was a Secretary of Education, and through the information given was able to clearly show that the more prayer was watched over, and had rules put upon it in schools the worse America's morals became. If students pray in school they are performing a part of their religion, and once they begin to pray their minds wonder to other important things they believe in. Once reminded, they would most likely not participate in many things that in today's society believes is wrong, or by a religion standard is sinful.
Another point I would like to address is that prayer has been a part of America from the day it was discovered. One of the biggest things that Americans wanted while they fought for their freedom was to have the freedom of religion. They wanted to be able to practice whatever religion it was that they wanted to believe in. Out of the first 108 universities built on American soil, 106 of which were religion based. There was one man, Horace Mann, who allowed his "pupils to sing Protestant hymns, read from a Protestant Bible (King James Version), offered Protestant prayers" (Gaustad). This meaning that students were able to practice their religion in their own school. This was back in the late 1800s and into the early 1900s. By letting his students do so he was able to keep a healthy and wanted environment for many of his students. Teenagers want their freedom, and when something is taken teens do not take it lightly. All teens know that America wanted freedom of religion, and that religion was a huge part of school. When teenagers are told that they cannot pray without being questioned of their intentions, or someone saying that they are offending them of practicing their religion. For them to practice something that they are called to do. Times have changed, but ponder this, have they changed to the point that we as a country have lost the moral that we once had to make America great. Many things need to change, but this is not one of those things. There are certain things in life that cannot be controlled, and praying is something that should not have to be controlled. The first idea for people coming to this country was to practice their religion, no one stopped them.

Also, I am debating for inside public schools. If you would go to a private school, you would have the opportunity to pray if you went to a Christian school. This is why for this debate the focus is all around public schools, and nothing to do inside private schools.
I would also like to ask that if you are to use any citations in this debate that you would not use any .com due to the fact that many times is unreliable, and instead use a .org or .gov.

Thank you for accepting this debate, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Thank you for your response.

The link I provided was intended to highlight the fact that only a '.com' address could be found to support that prayer in schools have been affected by government - It appears that this message was missed.
However your response has revealed that was not what you were debating upon, please disregard that information.

Also, I feel I must remonstrate my opponent slightly for the citation provided - From the first line, it is very obvious that the entire purpose of the documentation is to prove the Pros argument, with very little to no actual evidence of the claim (Apart from a "As stated in X document" - or "In a speech in this period", These are not unbiased sources that are being used to support your claim - they are the basis of your debate...
For future reference (I apologise if this appears as a 'grill' - I intend this so that future debates we may have are much more enjoyable and both parties gain perspective of the opposing field) - The purpose of a debate is to use the information you have found, and to build that into an argument to support your views - Citations are intended to be used to prove that you are not just pulling facts out of thin air, and are not intended to be the basis of your argument (i.e. Because X site says so, that is why you think Y is happening.)

" I would like it noted that I am saying that I know that prayer is allowed in schools, and that as of right now prayer is not banned. This is not what I am fighting against. What I am fighting for is the freedom to pray more freely in schools. I have read countless times about someone receiving detention for praying in a public school, and I myself have watched someone almost get suspended for having a bible in their locker. It is coming to a point where schools are not just neutral to all religions, but anti-Christian."
I am confused here - Is the debate topic here the prayer in schools, or are we debating on why schools do not have enough Christian prayer?
For context, Prayer is defined as :
a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or another deity."
This is an unbiased word, it represents the form of any religion and their way of celebrating/respecting their beliefs - it can be in the form of palms together communion to the Christian god, to the physical ceremony/dances of a more pagan deity. Some forms of prayer take the form of self-hurt and self-mutilation, but they are more for negative or 'evil' aspects of religion.
Christian prayer is Christian - Muslim prayer is Muslim. Prayer as a word, stands for religion in an open and unbiased way.

"Another point I would like to address is that prayer has been a part of America from the day it was discovered. One of the biggest things that Americans wanted while they fought for their freedom was to have the freedom of religion."
I would like to point that sweeping statements such as this do not sway the arguments you have raised - I can guarantee without evidence, that that prayer was not a part of America on the day it was discovered. The explorer who found the land mass that was later named as "New England" (Later to be declared as the United States of America) was indeed Christian (Coming from a Anglo-Saxon culture, the Majority of the population were Christian, or Protestant.), however this does not mean that the country that was raised, was raised due to the fact that they were religious.
Alternatively, if perhaps you meant the day that America was 'founded' - i.e the Declaration of Independence, This is not the document that founded the government - it was actually the written constitution, which has been split from a religious state into as you say "A Society which has Freedom to Religion".

Now, I have a point that I would like for you to Acknowledge or provide a counter argument in your next round - You understand that a large population of America is considered Christian, In which way has this cessation of mandatory prayers for primary religions caused such a problem?
To demonstrate, please see a portion from the link you provided :
"10) To forbid the majority the right to pray because the minority object, is to impose the irreligion of the minority on the religious majority. Forbidding prayer in schools, which a three-quarters majority of Americans favors, is the tyranny of the minority. It is minority rule, not democracy. Why should an irreligious minority dictate what the majority can do? The majority wishes to preserve our moral and spiritual values and, thus, our good nation."
Whilst this can be true - As in the majority being cowed by the minority, by methods such as guilt, legislation, etc. - There is nothing at all being used to hinder the 'majority' the claims raised in that website are unfounded and a rather meek attempt at trying to create a victim within an inherently equal system.

Moral question. Twice now you have raised that prayer will lead to a more moral human being - and followed that up with statistics (From the single citation you provided) indicating that since decline of Christian prayer in schools, a whole series of other issues have inflated.
By such logic that you have provided here, I could counter-argue that it is in fact the decline of VCR devices that have caused this increase in Crime and social issues. Of course I am not, however using one fact from something that is caused by many, MANY causes - cannot even begin to explain why rises in divorce, suicide and crime have occurred.
As another example to what I mean with the above - It is almost like saying you crashed your car because of global warming.

In Summation :
Currently there are no laws or regulations that can stop a person from practicing their religious beliefs (Barring if their prayers affect their studies). If anyone is hindered in their religious 'duties', then they actually have avenues to follow to reprimand the organisation that caused this. People cannot receive detention and suspension simply for religious means, unless those means were to break the 'rules' of the Public schools - such as preaching in class to try and 'convert' fellow classmates.
By this information, I still stand that Prayer is allowed in school, and my position in this debate has not been affected.

Thank you for reading this, I look forward to your reply.
Debate Round No. 2


Rlienemann forfeited this round.


Sincerely hope you return to the debate. Extend.
Debate Round No. 3


Rlienemann forfeited this round.


It appears that My opponents has declined to debate further, which I feel is a pity.

I will Extend once more, and post a summation for round 5 if there are no further updates.
Debate Round No. 4


Rlienemann forfeited this round.


After a couple of exciting rounds here, I will provide my Summary :

Pro has raised that Prayer has been hindered in school, and that freedom to express ones religious beliefs are in repute.

These have not been proved, all counter arguments raised have been left hanging, and nothing further than apparently personal opinion, and a single website have been the basis of this debate.

My opposition has raised that a Person who is religious is morally superior - I beg to differ.
Most 'Moral' people fulfill their obligations, and arrive to their deadlines within time - the forfeiture of the last few rounds show that this is not the case, no matter how religious you are.
Of course I have also missed rounds, however each time I have, I have let my opposition know the reason why, and usually 2-3 apologies to try and compensate my oppositions waste of time.

In conclusion - Vote Con, as evident, there are no reasons, cases or anything showing that religion is being affected at public schools, apart from the primary religion having to scale back to a equal level.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Zarium 10 months ago
I think you are kind of missing the point of the debate here @missmedic.... it's kind of the purpose as to why i accepted it in the first place, just sayin'.

I wanted his/her clarification before saying anything along those lines.
Posted by missmedic 10 months ago
Students' religious liberties are greater now then before the 1962, 1963 Supreme Court rulings. The Supreme Court has never held that students cannot pray in school. Instead, the Supreme Court has ruled that the government cannot have anything to do with prayer in schools. The government cannot tell students when to pray. The government cannot tell students what to pray. The government cannot tell students that they should pray. The government cannot tell students that prayer is better than no prayer. As long as prayer does not involve the public schools or interfere with education then your good to go.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 9 months ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture