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Example research essay topic: United States Supreme Court Moment Of Silence - 2,167 words

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To Pray or Not To Pray In 1962, the United States Supreme Court ruled prayer in public schools unconstitutional because it went against the First Amendment. The First Amendment declares that there cannot be any law made establishing religion, or mixing of church and state (Smith 73). But, why not allow prayer if it does not hurt anyone. Many people are against prayer at football games, school graduations ceremonies, and as a moment of silence in classrooms. But, these can help give students good morals and ethics. For the past 40 years the Supreme Court has banned organized spiritual moments in public schools.

Is student prayer unconstitutional? If we can start each day in Congress with a prayer, than why can? t the students of our schools do the same? Religious values are apart of American culture as posted on monuments and our money. Public schools should be allowed to teach religions, offer prayer as a moment of silence, and post the Ten Commandments.

However, opponents argue that religion and prayer have no place in American schools or any public places. Many people feel that religion should be left to the families and to individual choice. Representative Robert C. Scott, a Virginia Democrat, believes that, This singling out of one religion is contrary to the American ideal of religious tolerance and is blatantly unconstitutional (Critics See Fatal). Just recently, this controversy has had many court cases, such as, the Louisiana Prayer Law. The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana filed a suit December 1999 in court stating prayer in schools is unconstitutional.

Many states are facing suits on whether or not to allow the mix of church and state, which could be prayer in public schools to Bible readings. Yet, if the constitution passed any law allowing prayer in public schools, many believe this will cause discrimination between students. Children who do not participate in the 60 -second prayer, or meditation will be called names by peers. Senator Richard L. Salad, a Democrat of Fairfax cites says, One case in which a Jewish student was tormented by his classmates for refusing to pray during a moment of silence (Blum A 01). Opponents believe that this name-calling will lower students self esteem.

Many parents do not want their children to feel pressured to pray when they dont believe in it. Joe Cook, director of A. C. L.

U. of Louisiana argues, No child should be made to feel like an outsider or a second class citizen in public school, because of his or her religious or philosophical beliefs (Louisiana Prayer Law 13). Opponents do not want students to be called Satanist because of their beliefs. Even though, in Santa Fe, Texas the issue of prayer at football games is a big issue, many believe prayer is illegal.

And now is in appeals with the United States Supreme Court. Students should not be pressured to pray whether it? s at football games, in the classroom or anywhere else, says the Rev. Barry W. Lynn (Been 4 - 7). According to opponents, how would God answer two teams?

When both pray on padded knees asking to win. They dont want prayers to be said anywhere on the field from the P. A. system to the players. Many fear that if prayer is allowed then we are establishing a state religion. Also, opponents feel just because it is a graduation ceremony, there is no need for prayer to be imposed on everyone attending.

They believe Bibles should be left on the schools steps whether at graduations or Bible reading groups. Prayer has no place in any public schools according to people who believe in no mixing of church and state. Finally, many anti-mixes of church and state followers believe that the Ten Commandments should not be posted in any public place and should not to be forced on students. This singling out of one type of Ten Commandments would be unconstitutional. Which Ten Commandments would they use? Would the Protestant Commandments be used, or would another religions?

People believe the Commandment about not killing is good, but then would others appreciate do not take the Lords name in vain? Since they don? t believe in that one religion, should this be posted as well? Many Christians do not want their commandments posted anywhere. Roman Catholics and Mormon families have protested the pre-game prayers in Texas. They dont hate religion, they are just tired of having someone elses version of Christianity forced on them through the government owned microphone at a public school event where all the students ought to made to feel welcome, says Rev.

Barry W. Lynn, from the Houston Chronicle (5). Many parents consider that religion should be taught at home and that public schools have no business meddling in their private lives. However, there are good reasons to have a moment of silence and religion in school and classrooms. The Religious Freedom Amendment that has been brought up to the Senate, would make it mandatory for teachers to put aside 60 seconds before first period as a moment of silence, meditation, or reflection (Blum A 01). Teachers and students can approach the silent moment in different ways.

They can pray, read, sleep, study, or reflect during this moment. Conservatives say the practice encourages prayer and reflection and also builds character and combats school violence in schools, ? says Anjetta McQueen, of The News and Observer (A 1). A moment of silence can be considered constitutional because students can do whatever they please in the time, you can pray or stare at the clock. On the topic of school prayer, many conservatives want to encourage the moment of silence laws as a meditation, prayer, or reflection to start a student? s day.

Religion and prayer should be allowed in American schools. In fact, prayer at Football games in public schools is used to promote good sportsmanship, student safety, and gives an inspirational message. Religion and football are two cherished traditions in Texas. And just recently, the people in Santa Fe, Texas are fighting back to allow prayer at their football games.

If students want to pray before a football game, that? s their right and no one elses, says Linda Edwards, a spokesperson for prayer (Public 3). Many supporters of prayer believe it should be allowed at graduations as well, since it is an important ceremony. The court ruled, on February 26, 2000, that public school students are allowed to pray at graduation ceremonies, because it is a significant once in a lifetime event (Been 4 - 7). Also, Bible readings and prayer groups should be allowed in schools. Teachers should be allowed to promote good values of prayer and Bible readings, without imposing the specific views of any particular religion (Miller 316 - 317).

Likewise, allowing a moment of silence does not degrade others, because it embraces a reflection. During the moment of silence students sit silently. They do not know if others are praying or just singing in their heads. What? s wrong with people expressing values that society already enforces and accepts? Many parents believe that it is great of the schools to help them instill more character and morals into the students.

Especially, when the students spend a great deal of their days there. Most parents work at least two jobs and it is hard for them to cover everything with their children. With the schools? help, both can work to mold remarkable students.

In addition, the Ten Commandments should be posted in public places such as schools, courthouses, and town squares. The Ten Commandments are common values that society wants students to obtain anyway. According to Representative Robert B. Aderholt, an Alabama Republican, ? The Ten Commandments is one step that states can take to promote morality and work toward an end of children killing children? (Walsh 24). The Ten Commandments represent Western civilization and are the basis of our legal system, and should be allowed in public places and schools.

Also, Christians should be happy that their morals and values are looked upon highly by others. It shows that others respect them. Our societal rules are based on the Bible. And it should be taught as a great work such as art, math, and sciences. Since it is a cornerstone of Western thought, according to Don Kaul, writer for the Houston Chronicle (20). Religion should be celebrated and not brushed under the carpet of drugs and violence.

Cara Weiner, journalist of The Atlanta Journal Constitution adds that, the government deemed it illegal to have prayer in public schools, so many blame them for all the violence in schools (Weiner A 9). Many feel that having morals and values taught in school as well as subjects will help reduce the number of incidents of school violence. In fact, if drugs, guns, and crime rule our community, then why not have a moment of silence, the Ten Commandments, teaching of the Bible, and prayer groups in public schools today? Many supporters feel that the moment of silence and the Ten Commandment should be passed as a new bill. This bill is called the Religious Freedom Amendment.

To become an amendment it would need two-thirds majorities of the House and Senate. As a result, of being a student of private school for eight years, religious values have helped me have a good handle on life. I used the moment of silence to relax and plan things I had to do that day, and occasionally prayed. The Ten Commandments were rules I followed to help me make the right decisions. There is nothing wrong with instilling good values on students. My religion class not only taught my religion, but others as well and was very enlightening.

We learned about the Jewish, Muslin, and Hindu religion. I learned that Christian religion and other religions all followed generally the same values and morals. More than twenty states have a moment of silence law in their books: some are North Carolina, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. Georgia was the first state to have this law in our nation. Darius Trimble, a 12 th grader and Jehovah? s Witness, observes a moment of silence in his Georgia high school.

He uses the time to go over his lessons and sometimes pray. He says, ? It? s good, because it? s a time where everybody just stops and thinks for a minute, ?

according to Anjetta McQueen (A 1). Even now Virginia lawmakers are closer to requiring a silence in school. In February the Virginia Senate passed legislation that mandates 60 seconds of silence to begin each day. The Religious Freedom Amendment should be allowed throughout the United States. Besides, teaching religion in school and having a moment of silence it places values in students, which is needed. And helps conquer violence in today?

s schools. Maybe, the Columbine incident and other tragedies could have been prevented, if morals were taught to the students. By teaching the students the values they would have learned how precious life really is. Students are taught to concentrate and reflect during the moment of silence.

A former kindergarten teacher and writer, Vivian Gussin Paley, describes the use of reflection on students. Paley tells a story about two boys who didn? t get along. Albert and Damien, along with a few other boys, were running down the hall yelling.

The teacher told them they couldn? t go to the gym until they each told her what they would do next time to avoid the problem. All of the boys except Albert thought of a good answer. But, at the last minute Damien, who was never friends with Albert, stepped in and bailed him out. Paley finds this to have been a? spiritual moment? (Miller 316 - 317).

Damien was about to go into the gym while Albert hesitated. Then Damien yelled to him, ? Hey man? he said, ?

Be my brother. ? He told him to say shhh to the teacher, so he could go play (Miller 316 - 317). Two boys who were once enemies are now friends after their moment of reflection. This spiritual moment has helped them develop their moral characters. Religion in schools has helped restore kindness, charity, and respectfulness. It will help the students who will one day control this nation to become great leaders.

Religion is a significant part of the diversity of cultures. A moment of silence will help students be better people. The Ten Commandments and Bible teachings are useful for producing students with values and morals. A moment of silence is constitutional because during that time you have, you can pray or look at your tennis shoes.

Rep. Charles T. Canada, R-Florida, another leading supporter of the Religious Freedom Amendment, says? There? s a problem when students in this country are told they cannot carry their Bibles to school? (Religious Freedom Amendment).


Free research essays on topics related to: church and state, moment of silence, violence in schools, prayer in public schools, united states supreme court

Research essay sample on United States Supreme Court Moment Of Silence

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