Comments about ‘Richard Davis: Reinstituting state-sponsored school prayer is a bad idea’

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Published: Wednesday, Aug. 6 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Eugene, OR

Remember the story of the Rameumptom? There's a good lesson there if all these prayer-hungry "Christians" are willing to learn it...

Salt Lake City, Utah

I always find it interesting that those that scream the loudest that the government cannot properly teach our children the basics such as Math, English, History, Social Studies, etc., seem to be the same ones who want the government to teach our children how to pray.

Far East USA, SC

This article is full of logic and reason. And Facts.

If you weigh the pros and cons of prayer in school, the cons far far outweigh the good.
It is virtually impossible to have school prayer without offending some.

Anyone can pray anytime they want and no one can stop you. Just keep it to yourself.

Everett, 00

I find it ironic that the very same people who wanted to bomb those in the Middle East for this,
keep trying to do the same thing right here in America.


Tyler D
Meridian, ID

What would Jesus say (or how would he act) on this subject? Well, let’s look:

Matthew 6:5-7
Luke 5:16
Mark 1:35

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

This letter is very much like the pot calling the kettle dishonest.

E Sam
Provo, UT

Excellent article. I went to high school in Indiana, and we had school assemblies featuring an evangelical preacher who urged all to accept Jesus as our personal savior. As a Mormon, I was shunned by people I thought of as friends.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

I remember forced prayer in the schools when I was a child. The two Catholic children in our class put their palms together when they prayed instead of folding their arms like us Mormons. Of course, the Catholics were mercilessly bullied for doing this outrageous thing once we got out in the schoolyard.

Steve C. Warren

Great article, Richard. You raise exactly the right questions.

Everett, 00

Growing up,
We HAD prayer in school...

It's called "released time",
we held it off campus,
on Church owned property,
and we called it "Seminary".

Prof. Davis is once again correct.
Making State Sponsored prayers a School requirement,
means the State can teach our Children to pray to any diety,
and parents have no say so.

Lucifer, Zeus, Allah, Ganesh, even Idolatry.

What is the difference between Sharia Law,
and what these "Prayer in School" folks are trying to do?

Salt Lake City, UT

I've been in the unique position of having attended a school which began every day with prayer. It was a Catholic school.

Here's what I saw - most students didn't care one whit about the prayer, they just said the words to get through it and get it done. It wasn't a meaningful ritual or part of the day. The reasons adults wanted us to pray weren't being met by the actual daily prayer in school.

Students are allowed to pray to themselves any time they want (so long as they don't disrupt other students and classroom activities). Those who find it meaningful will do so, those who don't won't.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

The Constitution protects our right to speak (prayer).

The Constitution protects our right to worship our God without Government interference.

The government has restricted speech (prayer) and it has restricted our right to worship (ban of prayer in schools).

What part of the Constitution do those who favor the ban on prayer not understand? What part of freedom of speech and freedom of religion do they not understand? There is NO protection of freedom FROM religion written in the Constitution.

Get over it or move to a country that officially suppresses speech and worship.

Springville, UT

Davis is completely correct here. I once favored the right to pray in school, but then I listened to one of the most religious men I've known discuss the issue and point out the danger of violation of the religious beliefs and rights of the minority. I changed my mind. What goes on in the home and in the privacy of ones life is what forms the foundation, not whether a prayer is said in a public place where the point of the gathering is not a religious gathering.

Salt Lake City, Utah

@ Mike: Students and teachers are more than welcome to pray in school - what they are not allowed to do is to disrupt class or interfere with other individuals, nor are they allowed to force or coerce others to join with them.

Coincidentally, students and teachers are also prohibited from engaging in other disruptive speech such as uttering expletives.

You cannot use your rights to infringe on the rights of others.

Here, UT

"Shouldn’t majorities be able to impose their religious will on minorities in public ..."

Isn't that what Amendment 3 is about?

Religion and public policy do not good bedfellows make, whether in schools, civil policies, etc.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Mike Richards – “There is NO protection of freedom FROM religion written in the Constitution.”

Mike – you continue to (mis)understand the Constitution in ways that would make Clarence Thomas look like Earl Warren.

To your question above, what part of “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” as well as the 14th Amendment and incorporation precedents (making the Bill of Rights apply to state and local governments too) do YOU not understand?

Understands Math
Lacey, WA

"As long as there are math tests, there will be prayer in school" -- I don't know who said that originally, but I suspect it may have been the late, great Lewis Grizzard.

Nobody has banned prayer in school. What have been banned are ostentatious, exclusionary, teacher-led prayers. And good riddance to them.

And, Mike Richards, the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment is absolutely protection of freedom from religion. By definition there cannot be freedom of religion without freedom from religion.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

The question comes down to a very basic questiion on the part of those who prohibit speech. They see government as "god" who protects them from ideas foriegn to their personal beliefs. Can they cite any part of the Constitution that prohibits speech? Can they cite any part of the Constitution that lets government censor speech? Can they site any part of the CONSTITUTION that prohibits the free exercise of religion? Of course not. They cite liberal judges who legislated from the bench in direct violation of Article 1, Section 1.

So much for respecting the Constiturion! They "worship" liberal judges who disrespect their fellow Americans by legislating from the bench.


Re: Mike Richards

"The Constitution protects our right to worship our God without Government interference."

So if my religion believes in human sacrifice, you are willing to offer yourself for my religion. I can't wait to perform my next religious ceremony.

Since the Constitution absolutely protects our right to speech, you are willing to allow your kids or grand kids be forced to pray to Allah, Odin, Zeus, or any other god, even if you don't believe in those gods?

Cedar Hills, UT

actually I agree. The STATE or PUBLIC school system is rotting on the vine and that trend is only going to get worse going forward. This public system run by secular progressives will continue to decay and I see parents moving to private schools or charter schools that CAN and WILL have their own version of Christian or Jewish or Muslim school prayer and values. What this means is only the wealthy will be able to aford the private schools and the rest are either going to have to home school or take their chances in the God-less, socialist public school system. You can really see ...maybe 50 years down stream ... two Americas. Like California where you have the wealthy Hollywood and tech CEO's and then the rest of the state which happens to contain the HIGHEST poverty rate in the country ...I see America 50 years from now in the same exact situation. I see those kids in public school system under-educated and unprepared for college as well as being taught atheism and other toxic ideologies. Throw into that public system an increasing degree of violence as well. The other smaller America will be faith based.

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