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12 Bumps

Does the moment of silence really serve a purpose?

Illinois put the mandatory moment of silence in schools to test again, and it passed 2 to 1 in the appellate court. The dissenting opinion makes a lot of good points though - the only people who contacted the legislature about the law at all where people pushing for Abrahamic prayer in schools. Not a single Hindu, Pagan, agnostic or atheist who wanted "time to gather their thoughts" was asking for it.

Is there a specific reason that kids need a designated time every morning AT SCHOOL to pray (have a moment of silence)? Are they incapable of praying quietly to themselves before lunch or before a test? Does that "moment to gather their thoughts" actually accomplish that purpose, or does it go like it normally does in my son's class - where the kids are making faces at each other and trying not to giggle, fidgeting and wiggling the entire time? Even here in bible land, kids don't pray at THAT time.

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 12:19 PM on Oct. 16, 2010 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (82)
  • This is a blog from the Chi Trib, but it has a good sized exerpt from the dissenting opinion, and a link to the full pdf if you want to read the whole thing:


    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 12:20 PM on Oct. 16, 2010

  • Personally, I think it is something that has been/is being done to appease those who believe that religion should be reintroduced into public schools. It's the best the government can do without crossing the separation line. I find it hard to believe that it's something the children are begging for.

    Answer by Erin814 at 12:23 PM on Oct. 16, 2010

  • I just thought they did it out of respect and to give a moment for people to think about it.

    Answer by mommy_of_two388 at 12:26 PM on Oct. 16, 2010

  • Silence is golden to any teacher or mother who has a room full of children. Don't we all run to see what's wrong when the kids become silent.

    Answer by depressedmom65 at 12:29 PM on Oct. 16, 2010

  • The thing is...every student has the right to pray or reflect whenever he/she sees fit. It should be a completely independent activity. If time is being put on the schedule for it, then the school/government is leading and encouraging.

    Answer by Erin814 at 12:32 PM on Oct. 16, 2010

  • I think, as has already been stated, that it's intended to appease those who insist that there be prayer in school. As that is illegal, it's a compromise. While I think it's very unlikely that very many children do take that time to pray, if they are inclined to do so, this is their chance.

    I'm like you, though, NP.  I don't see why this is necessary.  If parents want to reinforce prayer, wouldn't it be a great time to do it at home, before the school day begins?  If I want my child to eat broccoli, you can bet I'm not going to send it to school with her, in hopes that she'll eat it at lunch (rather than introducing it to the trash can)--I'm going to serve it at dinner to be certain that it gets eaten.


    Answer by jsbenkert at 12:35 PM on Oct. 16, 2010

  • – collapse
    This country was founded by Christians. It is on our currency and many of our patriotic songs. The reason it has become an issue is non-believers want to not hear about it because it makes them uncomfortable. What they don't realize is that "uncomfortable" feeling is actually God trying to convict them and open theirhearts to let Him in and do some good for them. Some people are just too stubborn and don't know a good thing when they see it. They end up having miserable lives and can't figure out why. Here in the Bible Belt, there are several students who try to keep prayers in school and Meet You At the Pole, etc going.

    Answer by SweetLoveofMine at 12:36 PM on Oct. 16, 2010 (hidden) + expand

  • Where have you been SweetLove? We've covered the "this country was founded by Christians" fallacy ad nauseum. It was not. Some of the founders were deists, some were Christians, and some were Agnostic or Atheist. "God" was not on our currency, in our pledge, or other areas of secular life until there was some religious flurry and a giant push by people who wanted to ignore our First Amendment. It does not belong in any of those places, so to argue that its being there as some sort of proof is bogus.

    Also, I am not "uncomfortable" by the idea of prayer in school.  It's simply wrong.  Read the First Amendment.  Read the guidelines by the U.S. Department of Education.  I don't want your version of god pushed on my children.  Do you want me to push my thoughts of a deity on yours?


    Answer by jsbenkert at 12:41 PM on Oct. 16, 2010

  • Generally, I don't see why the world needs to stop, so to speak, for anyone to pray. The ability to think is always available & always uncensored; if you can think you can pray, anytime, any place.

    It up to an individual to make their own spirituality & spiritual practices a part of their life. That includes fitting it in to their life & their schedule. It should not be up to any school to provide the time & space to pray.

    Answer by BubbaLuva at 12:47 PM on Oct. 16, 2010

  • – collapse
    It isn't "my thought it is simply the truth. And whether or not you believe it now, a day will come when every mouth will confess that God is ths God and every knee shall bow and your mouth will be silenced. You will not be allowed to say anything more. And if you are still stubborn before leaving this Earth then you will receive eternal damnation. Simple as that. No argument, I don't argue, I state the truth and you can choose to believe it or not-not my problem, its yours. You do have a problem with prayer in school obviously because you're hot as fire about it. You contradict your own self. So sad. But I will pray for you anyways as it is my duty.

    Answer by SweetLoveofMine at 12:48 PM on Oct. 16, 2010 (hidden) + expand

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