The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

should prayer be allow in public 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: 4/18/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,791 times Debate No: 22956
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




That's right, students should be allowed to pray in school - and they are! Some people act and argue as though students were not permitted to pray in school, but there is no truth to this. At best, they are confusing the difference between official, state-sponsored, state-mandated prayers led by school officials and personal, private prayers initiated and said by the student. At worst, people are being deliberately deceitful in their claims.

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.

This allows students a great deal of freedom — far more freedom than they had in the "good old days" which so many religious conservative seem to want America to return to. Why? Because students can decide to pray if they want to, when to pray if they do, and they can decide upon the actual content of their prayers. It is inconsistent with religious liberty for the government to make such decisions for others, especially other people's children.

It is ironic that critics of these decisions have tried to argue that judges should not be able to say "when and where" kids should pray when just the opposite of what has happened: judges have ruled that only the students should be able to decide when, where and how they will pray. The laws struck down are ones which have had the government dictating these matters to the students — and these are the decisions which religious conservatives decry.

Schools & Nonsectarian Prayers
One common buzzword has been "nonsectarian" prayers. Some people try to argue that it is acceptable for the government to promote, endorse and lead prayers with public school students so long as those prayers are "nonsectarian." Unfortunately, the exact nature of what people mean by "nonsectarian" is very vague. Often it seems to mean only the removal of references to Jesus, thus allowing the prayer to be inclusive for both Christians and Jews - and, perhaps, Muslims.

Such a prayer will not, however, be "inclusive" for members of non-biblical religious traditions. It will not be helpful for Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, and Shintos, for example. And no prayers can be "inclusive" for nonbelievers who have nothing to pray to. Prayers must have content and they must have direction. Thus, the only truly "nonsectarian" prayer is one which is no prayer at all - which is the situation we have now, with no prayers which are promoted, endorsed or led by the government.


My opponent copied and pasted her argument. It isn't even slightly disguised; it is copied word for word from the source.

I did a screenshot on the site to demonstrate the abject plagiarism:

Since my opponent has not put forth any orignial or debating effort, she deserves an autmoatic loss as that offense is grounds for immediate disqualification.

In your voting please give me the conduct point, and we can all move on with our lives.

Debate Round No. 1


swalker forfeited this round.


1) Teacher-led prayer shouldn't be allowed in school because it violates the establishment clause of the first amerndment to the United States Constitution.

2) My opponent plagiarized.

3) Candy

4) ?????

5) PROFIT$$$$$$




Here's a picture of Christopher Hitchens being a badass:
Christopher Hitchens (in some great-looking shades) in Romania during the revolution there, 1989.

Debate Round No. 2
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 6 years ago
I did not accept this debate for an easy win; I was fully prepared to deliver an argument; I did not see your comment prior to posting that my opponent's argument was plagiarized. The rules state that plagiarism is worth a conduct point. If you disagree with this, then don't vote.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 6 years ago
Con just accepted it for a free win. There is no reason to vote for him... The fact that it was plagiarized had been pointed out before he accepted.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 6 years ago
Copy/pasted argument. Neat.
Posted by DouggyFresh 6 years ago
Are the prayers aloud or silent? Does it involve any physical activities such as putting the hands together or kneeling on the floor? And when you say "in public schools" does this mean during lesson time?
Posted by Aaronroy 6 years ago
I like it that you clarified in your initial thesis that students ARE allowed to pray in school. The right-wing has a lot of misconceptions thinking that kids are not allowed to pray in school; that's not true, the only thing not allowed is TEACHER-led prayer.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TheDiabolicDebater 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Mainly Christopher Hitchens, but also plagiarism.