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Survey: 65 Percent of Americans Support Prayer in Public Schools
The Christian Post ^ | Feb. 14 2011 | Jennifer Riley

Posted on 02/14/2011 12:04:23 PM PST by wmfights

Sixty five percent of American adults favor prayer in public schools, according to a new survey.

And only 24 percent of U.S. adults say they are opposed to prayer in schools, finds the Rasmussen Reports survey released Friday.

The national telephone survey conducted on 1,000 adults from Feb. 3 to 4 simply asked, “Do you favor or oppose prayer in public schools?”

Compared to last year’s findings, this year’s prayer in public school survey results are slightly higher. Last April, 61 percent of Americans said they favor prayer in public schools.

About the same proportion of Americans who say they pray at least once every day (61 percent) support prayer in public schools (65 percent).

But less American adults this year say religious faith is at least somewhat important in their daily life compared to last year (73 percent versus 80 percent, respectively). The new survey finds 54 percent of Americans say religious faith is very important in their lives, while 23 percent say faith is not very or not at all important in their everyday lives.

The issue of prayer in public schools has long been a point of contention for separation of church and state activists.

But despite activists’ efforts, every year millions of students gather at their schools’ flagpoles to pray. In 2010, more than 3 million students participated in the “See You At the Pole” grassroots prayer movement that allows students to intercede for their leaders, schools , and families.

This year, SYATP will take place on Sept. 28.

TOPICS: Charismatic Christian; Evangelical Christian; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: prayer; syatp
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To: wintertime
Alright, you got me on the public schools contributing to the wealth. I got carried away there. That premise is probably unknowable because you could not do a double blind study.

As far as vouchers being constitutional, I have a problem with that. In my state there are several muslim charter schools that the children get vouchers for. So my tax money is going to educate future terrorists.

I also understand that in your world view there is no neutral. As is the case for many of the world religions. We do though have a secular government and based on that the best that government can do is be neutral.

This of course wasn't a problem for this country for the first 100 years because majority of Americans were some denomination of protestant.

The history of prayer and bible study in school is very interesting. The first group to attempt to get bible reading out of schools were the catholics in the 1850’s. This is because most schools were using the king james version of the bible. They actually won their case in front of the Wisconsin supreme court and bible reading banned in 1890 in that state. However, in most states they were not successful and in Philadelphia there was actual violence against catholics for their perceived attempt to stop the bible readings. This is one of the reasons that there are so many private catholic schools.

Fast forward to today were we are a much more diverse religious nation. Protestants now make up only 51% of the religious in this country. (CIA World factbook) So even though some people may see neutrality as an impossibility I believe the majority of Americans would support it.

Also remember that our constitution allows us to violate 7 of the 10 commandments.

41 posted on 02/14/2011 2:50:40 PM PST by armordog99
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To: wintertime

“So?...It is Ok then for government to FORCE children to think godlessly?”

Crumbs, you are some ……!!!!

I was never forced to thinking godless.

I never confused the facts I learned in school, which included college and an MBA, as being godless. In fact, my studies expanded me intellectually in all directions. It was a wonderful period in my life.

You have a serious problem in la cabeza.

42 posted on 02/14/2011 2:52:22 PM PST by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: GatĂșn(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
That is why there is Sunday School and one’s family at home.

What's next? Catacombs?

Will those citizens with the godless worldview next be saying, “ That is why there are catacombs?”

Do you see?

By attending government school, children learn to compartmentalize their faith into public and private spheres. Your statement above is a perfect example of this! This is in absolute contradiction to Christian belief. The government is forcing children to adopt a worldview and behavior that DIS-establishes their family's religion and ESTABLISHES the government religion of godless secular humanism.

43 posted on 02/14/2011 2:57:08 PM PST by wintertime
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To: GatĂșn(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
Yes, you were taught to think godlessly. ALL children who attend godless government schools are taught to think and reason godlessly, and taxpayers are forced to pay for it.

I believe it is like being a fish. If I were to tell a fish that it was swimming in water, the fish would likely get mad at me.

As I pointed out, it is sometimes very hard for those who defend godless government schools to see and understand that these schools are indeed NOT religiously neutral. They **do** teach the children to think godlessly. They have never been neutral and never can be religiously neutral. NO school is.

There is a **HUGE** difference ( content and consequences) between a godless curriculum and one that is God-centered. I know. I attended Catholic schools 1 though 10th grade, and godless government schools between 10 and 12th grade. I graduated in 1964.

44 posted on 02/14/2011 3:05:00 PM PST by wintertime
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To: jda

Worth re-posting:

For those who don’t know:
- The words “separation of church and state” do not appear in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

- The 1st Amendment says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” {emphasis added}

- It wasn’t until the early 1960’s that prayer in public school was “outlawed” by a new interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

- The history of the U.S. includes prayer and Bible readings in all sorts of public places, including schools and Congress.

- In 1782, the United States Congress passed the following resolution: “The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.”

William Holmes McGuffey, the author of the McGuffey Reader (used ofr over 100 years in U.S. public schools), declared: “The Christian religion is the religion of our country. From it are derived our notions on the character of God, on the great moral Governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions. From no source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred Scriptures. From all these extracts from the Bible I make no apology.”

- Of the first 108 universities founded in America, 106 were distinctly Christian, including the first, Harvard University, chartered in 1636.

- In the original Harvard Student Handbook, rule number 1 was that students seeking entrance must know Latin and Greek so that they could study the Scriptures: “Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life, (John 17:3); and therefore to lay Jesus Christ as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom, let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of him (Proverbs 2:3).”

{Excerpts from}

According to the majority of comments on this thread, our country was wrong for the first 170 or so years. As you accurately note, prayer was part of our public school system up until 1960. What has been the fate of the country sincd then? Increased drug use, STD’s, divorce, and crime. Perhaps there is a correlation...

Also, historically speaking the freedom of religion spoken of in the first ammendment was whatever form of Christianity one preferred. The separation of church and state originates from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Convention who feared a state run religion would be implemented much like the church of England. They wanted to be assured they would not be forced by the state to practice any certain form of Christianity. Jefferson assured them they would be able to practice their brand of Christianity without state intervention. That letter has been twisted 180 degrees to prevent public displays of Christianity. It was never Jefferson’s intent.

45 posted on 02/14/2011 3:12:34 PM PST by kailbo
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To: armordog99
In my state there are several muslim charter schools that the children get vouchers for. So my tax money is going to educate future terrorists.

And...Before there were charters there were well-funded private Muslim schools doing the same.

This is an immigration problem. All immigration from Muslim countries should be stopped immediately. All students from Muslim countries should be required to leave immediately upon the completion of their undergraduate or graduate school educations.

Also...The **BEST** defense against Islam is to have a population of citizens well grounded in their Judeo Christian faith and our nation's founding principles...Neither of which they will ever get in a godless government and socialist school.

I also understand that in your world view there is no neutral.

What is this drivel? Did you learn this "reality is an individual construct" in a liberal/Marxist and godless government classroom?

FACT: All sentient beings have a non-neutral religious worldview. ALL schools have a religiously non-neutral worldview. They either teach from a godless perspective or one that is God-centered.

This of course wasn't a problem for this country for the first 100 years because majority of Americans were some denomination of protestant.

Then you didn't learn much about the history of government schooling in your godless government school.

In Philadelphia and other large cities their were riots with DEATHS over forced government schooling. In some parts of New England children were frog marched by armed police ( and very much against their parent's wishes) to their government assigned, prison-like government schools.

So even though some people may see neutrality as an impossibility I believe the majority of Americans would support it.

Did you learn to be comfortable with the voting mob violating the First Amendment and freedom of conscience in you godless government school? ( Just wondering.)

Also remember that our constitution allows us to violate 7 of the 10 commandments.

The Constitution does not allow the violation of the CONSTITUTION. The last I checked the Constitution is silent on the Ten Commandments ( all of them).

46 posted on 02/14/2011 3:23:48 PM PST by wintertime
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To: kailbo
You are correct that the words separation of church and state do not appear in the Constitution. Also the words right to privacy do not appear either. But both are short hand for the meanings behind the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th amendments.

When the founders were writing the constitution the majority of them were familiar with the Virginia bill for establishing religious freedom. Thomas Jefferson wrote this about that law;

[When] the [Virginia] bill for establishing religious freedom ... was finally passed, ... a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word “Jesus Christ,” so that it should read “a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion.” The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend within the mantle of its protection the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo and infidel of every denomination.
— Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, 1821

The founding fathers could have easily put in the christian religion in the first amendment, but they didn't. In fact they specifically stated that there would be no religious test for public office. The first time ever in the history of man that a government did not have an official religion.

Now was this always strictly applied? No. When 90% or better of a country are a specific sect it is easy for them to dominate.

Here is a quote from John Adams about the founding of this country;

The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.
— John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” (1787-88),

The protestant majority in this country who had control of the courts and legal system used it for almost 150 years to make sure their religious views were supported by the government. It is funny to read these views now and see the blatant anti-catholic bias in them.

The public schools were started in America by the states and in New York and others they were there for poor children who's parents could not send them to a private school. If you got rid of public schools tomorrow you would see the same thing. Many kids would never see the inside of a school.

47 posted on 02/14/2011 3:41:28 PM PST by armordog99
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To: armordog99
If you got rid of public schools tomorrow...

Who is calling for closing the godless socialist schools tomorrow? Very few. Most are calling for vouchers, tax credits, and charters to build the infrastructure. Eventually, complete separation of school and state would be ideal.

But..Ok..What would happen if godless government schools closed tomorrow?

Answer: The **SAME** children who are getting and education today would get one tomorrow. Why?

Why? Because little learning happens in the government classroom. Nearly all the learning is due to the child and parents' efforts IN THE HOME! Government schools are basically sending home a curriculum for the parents and child to follow IN THE HOME!

Please ask parents of academically successful children what their home habits are. Compare the home habits, study time, and study practices of successful homeschoolers and successful institutionalized children. You will soon find that there is little to NO difference between the home habits of successful homeschoolers and institutionalized children. Both spend about the same amount of time in formal home study, both have parents that value education, both share similar extracurricular activities..etc.

Conclusion: ALL academically successful children are either afterschooled or homeschooled. There may be exceptions out there but I have never met one.

Many kids would never see the inside of a school.

There are plenty of godless government schools in this nation that are, indeed, so violent, so dysfunctional, so abusive that it LITERALLY would be better for the child to NEVER attend. Illiteracy and innumeracy can be fixed. Dead or permanently injured (physically, sexually, and emotional) most often can not be fixed.

48 posted on 02/14/2011 4:00:20 PM PST by wintertime
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To: wintertime
1. I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt. You shall have no other gods before me.

The U.S. Constitution does not mention God, Creator, Jesus, or Christianity anywhere. Nor does Constitutional law require U.S. citizens to worship a God. Nor does it prevent anyone from worshiping other gods or no god at all.

2. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain:

This commandment, to never take the name of God in vain, appears nowhere in the Constitution. We citizens can swear and curse any god, in any way we wish.

3. Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you

Not only can American citizens not keep the Sabbath, but we can ignore it entirely without out violating the Constitution.

4. Honor your father and mother...

Sorry, but the Constitution does not require anyone to honor fathers and mothers. We can even despise and hate our parents all we want, without violating Constitutional law.

5. You shall not kill (murder).

At first this may seem Constitutional but it cannot possibly agree with it for the very reason that the Constitution allows the declaration of war.

6. You shall not commit adultery.

The Constitution says nothing about adultery. A man or woman can have sex with as many married people as they like without violating the Constitution.

7. You shall not steal.

Although states have laws against stealing that remain consistent with the Constitution, the Federal government, by using “eminent domain,” can rob and steal from its citizens all it wants (taking private property for “public use,” for example), without violating the Constitution. Close but no cigar.

8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Although one cannot lie in a court of law, while under oath, it says nothing about lying outside the court unless it constitutes slander. American citizens and sitting Presidents lie all the time without violating the Constitution. Moreover the Constitution specifically allows spying and countersurveillance, which guarantees lying to others. Close in some narrow cases, but not at all in most.

9. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife...”

The U.S. Constitution says nothing against not coveting wives. You can desire your neighbor's wife all you want.

10. You shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's.

The Constitution does not prevent you from desiring anything in, on, or around your neighbor's house, or any other house or thing for that matter.

49 posted on 02/14/2011 4:09:01 PM PST by armordog99
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To: napscoordinator
Just wondering. How can people work in an office and home-school their children? Do they work the 2nd or 3rd shift?

Anyway, parents should make the decision.

50 posted on 02/14/2011 8:30:41 PM PST by IIntense
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To: armordog99

Rationality shouldn’t be expected.

Great arguments, loved your posts.

I wonder is there a “God centered” or “Godless” way to teach Literature, Art, the theory of universal gravitation of mass, the history of China?

51 posted on 02/14/2011 10:23:20 PM PST by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: IIntense

Totally understand why you would question that. I work with the husbands and the wives are homeschooling, but they get involved at times when they can.

52 posted on 02/15/2011 12:41:23 AM PST by napscoordinator
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To: armordog99
I think the most neutral prayer is the Our Father. I remember that even Hindus and Moslems have no problem with saying it, so far less any Christian denomination.

btw, sneaky trick you played ;-P
53 posted on 02/15/2011 4:17:43 AM PST by Cronos ("They object to tradition saying that they themselves are wiser than the apostles" - Ire.III.2.2)
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To: allmendream
Thank you. I can understand the viewpoint of there is no such thing as neutrality in education when it comes to religion. For those people then what do you do? I think the system we have set up is the best you can do. You have a public school system and parents have the option to get things changed or opt out and home school or send to a private school.

My big issue is that there is nowhere in the US constitution that authorizes the federal government to be involved in education. I would abolish the department of education tomorrow. If Americans want the federal government to be involved they need to pass an amendment. I would fight against that tooth and nail.

54 posted on 02/15/2011 5:20:18 AM PST by armordog99
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To: Cronos
Our father would be great for the majority of people but what about wiccans, atheist, and such?

I see many “conservatives” on free republic that have no problem with using federal, state, or local government force to impose their religious world view on others. That is human nature though, if you think you have the truth then that is what should be taught.

When I was in officer candidate school I had two good buddies that when we had down time we would discuss many issues. The one guy was an atheist and the other a home-schooled inerrant bible believing christian.

We were talking about government and what the best form of government is. My christian buddy stated that theocracy is the best form. My athiest friend and myself were taken aback by that. He explained his reasoning that if there is a god that created us that we should lived our lives according to his principles.

I had to say that his logic was accurate. Both my athiest buddy and I agreed that it would be the best form of government. I then brought up the fact of how would you know that your leaders were actually talking to god. My christian friend agreed that this is the problem. Unless god starting talking from a burning bush or something like that again you couldn't know for sure if your leader was talking to god or just insane. We all had a good laugh at that.

55 posted on 02/15/2011 5:30:35 AM PST by armordog99
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To: allmendream; armordog99
I wonder is there a “God centered” or “Godless” way to teach Literature, Art, the theory of universal gravitation of mass, the history of China?

If you had attended Catholic school from 1st to 10th and godless government schools from 11th to 12th, and Catholic university followed by state university graduate school, you would know that, YES, there is a difference between a godless and God-centered way of teaching the above.

Honestly, when I read a statement like yours above I conclude that there are only three possible explanations for this thinking:

1) It is like a fish in water, those who swim in the godless worldview are incapable of knowing that they are doing it. I think if I told a fish that he was swimming in water he would get mad at me.

2) They are lying. They do fully understand the complaints and arguments of those who object to state sponsored godless schools but deny that they do.

3) They are financially benefiting directly or indirectly from the government temples of godlessness. ( Misnamed "schools").

What I find odd, is that is it rare to find a Freeper that is determined to impose their God-centered worldview on the children of those who are godless. What is seen here on the pages of Free Republic are calls for vouchers, tax credits, charters, and a move toward eventual complete privatization.

Why would the godlss support a system of compulsory funded, compulsory-attendance, state sponsored "schools" than impose godlessness on other people's children? Are they fundamentally bullies?

56 posted on 02/15/2011 5:35:48 AM PST by wintertime
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To: armordog99
wiccans, atheist, and such?

Let them eat cake....


But seriously - ok, you have a point, something can always upset someone. Perhaps an option to opt out?

57 posted on 02/15/2011 6:23:28 AM PST by Cronos ("They object to tradition saying that they themselves are wiser than the apostles" - Ire.III.2.2)
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To: wmfights

I don’t support prayer in government-controlled schools. The heart of secular government schools is opposed to Christian faith, so the “artifacts” (e.g., prayer) that arise out of such an ungodly educational philosophy will be opposed to the Christian faith.

Maybe our tax dollars can be directed (by parents) to the educational option *they* choose for their children. Maybe magnet schools and charter schools and private schools and home schools could offer a different fundamental philosophy — one more amenable to a Christian worldview. In *that* case, I suppose “prayer in school” would be acceptable.

58 posted on 02/15/2011 6:27:39 AM PST by Theo (May Rome decrease and Christ increase.)
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To: wintertime

How in the world are public schools supposed to include God in the educational process? Are you aware of what the constitution says? There is no way to include religion except as part of current events or history classes. Do you think teachers are supposed to say prayers during the classes and include the students? Ridiculous. Leave praying and religion for church and home. Unless, or course, students want to gather in private in their free time during school hours.

59 posted on 02/15/2011 6:34:22 AM PST by driftless2 (For long-term happiness, learn how to play the accordion.)
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To: wintertime
I do understand your viewpoint, I just don't agree with it. You are presenting an either/or argument otherwise know as the black or white fallacy of argumentation. I assume your are catholic, please correct me if I am wrong. So you believe that the catholic church is the body of christ on this planet. I could reverse your fish argument and use it as equally against you.

Those who swim in the catholicism worldview are incapable of knowing what they are doing. They cannot see that people can disagree on god and the nature of god and because of this the best that government schools can do is have a position of neutrality.

If you are catholic I find it interesting that you would be against neutrality in public schools because for much of the nation's history the protestant majority discriminated against catholics in those schools. This is one of the reasons that there are so many private catholic schools.

You of course have the right to petition the government towards your view and attempt to abolish all government schools. I believe education is primarily the purview of parents. That is one of the reasons I want the federal government out of the education business. This allows more local control of education.

Again I find that vouchers and charter schools take my tax money and provide it to religious schools which makes me support religions I do not agree with. Such as catholicism, islam, and others. Therefore I believe that public schools should be neutral to all religious belief and allow parents to educate their children in religion however they wish. However, I understand in your world view that there is no such thing as neutrality and therefore by not promoting god the are promoting godlessness. You do not want your money going for that. So know we go to the ballot box and see who can get their views inacted as law.

60 posted on 02/15/2011 6:45:16 AM PST by armordog99
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