Coerced School Prayer Hypocrites

From: Larry Sites

I think that those most interested in forcing public prayer into the schools, members of the so called Christian religion, should respect the teachings of their professed "Lord" as written in their book of ultimate authority, the Bible.

Jesus seems quite clear as to how his supposed followers are to "pray":

Mat 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Mat 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Mat 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Mat 6:8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

Since students are always free to pray "in secret" at school, I fail to see how government sponsored prayer can be anything but a form of political hypocrisy designed to appease members of the Christian majority through "vain repetition". Prayer to a lowest common denominator deity that is inoffensive to all possible religions can be nothing else.

If these school prayers are to have any meaning, their place within all religions must be explained to the students. I'm all for religious belief systems and their historical development being explained in the appropriate classes. How many of those clamoring for prayer are willing to have their religion critically examined and chance students thinking for themselves?

If the prayers are supposed to somehow improve the students, them I suggest the desired ends be identified and more specific methods be implemented. We all hear about a supposed lack of "values". Why not identify a set of core values; honesty, respect for others, dedication, etc; all the things implied by the Bible's "golden rule" and teach those in a religionless context. Somehow, I think the actions, if not the results, would be more meaningful.

Peace, Larry Sites <[email protected]>