The subject of prayer in school became a hot Facebook topic yet again Wednesday when the state of Missouri passed a groundbreaking new law reaffirming "that the right of Missouri citizens to express their religious beliefs shall not be infringed."
The measure, introduced by Republican state Rep. Mike McGhee, does not change existing law but simply reaffirms a right that Missouri school children already had under the federal Bill of Rights. That's right, Missouri voters spent their hard-earned tax dollars administering a vote to pass a bill that changes nothing.
So why bother? Contrary to popular evangelical belief (and propaganda,) God has never been banned from schools. Prayer is and always has been allowed in American schools. American children are allowed to pray at school as much as they like. It is the teachers, administrators, and others in positions of power who are not allowed to lead prayer in school. This is reasonable, considering it is quite likely that most teachers follow a different religious path than a large percentage of their students.
The purpose of education is to eradicate ignorance, not entertain it. American teachers already have their hands full teaching the three R's. They do not need the added pressure of catering to each individual student's religious education. In the Global Innovation Index 2012, the U.S. ranked 31st in the K - 12 education category. American schools need to stop wasting time squabbling over religion and focus on the real issue: education.
American teachers should be allowed to do the job they have been trained to do and leave religious teaching to the people who have been trained to teach religion. Moreover, if religion is what they want to teach, then they should go teach at a religious school.
The American public school system needs to stick with the three R's in school if for no other reason than the fact that the country will never get everyone to agree on which one religion should be taught. Leaving out all other religions, just consider how many different types of Christianity exist in this country today and how many of them agree on all of their beliefs.
What will happen when the people who are pushing religion into schools suddenly realize their kids are being indoctrinated into a different brand of Christianity than the parents follow? Are the Catholic parents prepared for their Catholic children to come home from school one day and inform them that they've decided to start attending their teacher's Pentecostal church, or vice versa? It is a mistake for any one Christian to believe that their brand of Christianity will be the one to win out against all others.
Missouri voters passed the redundant school prayer bill with 83 percent of the vote.