Monday, January 24, 2011

What's Prayer Got to Do With It?

For decades, we have been told that the removal of God from schools has caused all of our problems.
For starters, God wasn’t removed from schools and neither was prayer. Any teacher can pray any day, any time, anywhere in a public school. So can students. The only change made since the good ol’ days is that prayer cannot be school-sanctioned or led: we can no longer have a prayer led by school staff. But we have a moment of silence that is specifically for anyone who wants to pray to have time to do so and for anyone who doesn’t want to pray to think about something else. Sometimes I wonder if Christian parents are afraid that their kids aren’t praying during that time thus all the hubbub. Are they really bothered because they think their children aren’t praying when they aren’t there to make them do it? Just a curiosity, but seems plausible.
In addition to America sucking because God isn’t going to school anymore (us sucking is according to the very people who don't like it when Democrats take responsibility for our nation's mistakes), we have been told that natural disasters are the result of gay people being gay. Never mind that straight people die in those disasters and some are probably prayerful homophobes.
Now, if we’re a "Christian Nation," I often wonder why all the Christians haven’t been able to prevent all this crap they blame on the lack of school prayer. I mean they ARE the majority and they pray at home and church and at restaurants and in the car and on Facebook and in email chains, etc. So why do we still have so many problems if prayer is the answer and they all pray so much? Is the lack of prayer led by teachers THE reason? Are gay people really to blame? Seems like I, as a non-prayer, am being blamed for bad things I don't do. I am being blamed for crime and vile sex acts and other sins simply because I don't support proselytizing in public schools.
So then Reagan's line (that Palin just had to cite) about only the criminal being to blame, yadda, yadda, doesn't apply when prayer is on the line? So, if we don't pray as a class, we're all to blame for a classmate going crazy and killing someone?
If Christian kids are raised right, they should be taking advantage of prayer all the time and privately. So it can’t be MY fault -- as an atheist who doesn’t want to hear or have to use part of my time participating in something irrelevant to me – when Christian kids don't pray whenever and wherever. It’s not because of my lack of belief if a child doesn’t pray enough. Don’t pretend that public prayer is more consequential than silent prayer. And don’t blame the lack of required public prayer for our ills while avoiding responsibility for not praying enough or well enough or for the right things on your own time.
Finally, if all of this is true, why is the absence of something they think is good so impactful, yet violent rhetoric isn’t?
When someone from the “prayer should be in schools to prevent horrors” side of the debate uses language to divide and imply violence is a solution, don’t then say words don’t matter and that only the criminal is accountable. Or if you want to say that only the criminal is accountable, then don’t blame the lack of school prayer for someone's crimes.
I leave you with this poll that is quite relevant and helped me formulate my thoughts even though it's not specifically what I wrote about.


emsique said...

And why are the Godless Commies in China kicking our asses in school tests?

jhw22 said...

Ha!! Great point.


vera lynn said...

excellent jhw22! and hey emsique! long time no see...hope all is well with you and the family. :)