Prayer in School IS the Answer

Putting prayer back in schools may in fact BE the answer to our problems. I have thought about this and have changed my mind, perhaps it is time to do this.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I am an Atheist or more correctly an Anti-theist. On this I have not altered my feelings or convictions.

But, in light of the many tragic events that have occurred, we have nothing to lose. Of course, this flies in the face of the stubborn fact that there has never been a scientifically valid study demonstrating the efficacy of prayer, no repeatable experimental process unequivocally showing a direct effect of prayer, and no consensus on what form of prayer works best, or at all.

Then there is the annoying secret agenda driven US Supreme Court that obviously wants to turn us all into Marijuana smoking, same sex couples, with full health care.

They consistently shoot down any attempts at reintroducing prayer in the public classroom.

But I have a solution.

We introduce Prayer as part of the educational curriculum. Each day we have every student in the United States recite a different prayer, from all 22 major religions, and the thousands of sects, off-shoots, and myriad of minor religions. We have perhaps two fifteen minute Wikipedia style lessons daily explaining the tenets, doctrines, and precepts of the religion to educate our children.

There is a risk here.

Studies show the religiosity decreases with higher educational levels. We risk unveiling the faults, fallacies, and inconsistencies rampant in all religious doctrines. If you have ever read the Bible, or the Koran, or any other “God inspired” document, it can be troubling.

The other problem will be the resistance from within the religious organizations themselves. They support prayer in school now, but what if it were all prayers and all religions?

In a document written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, entitled “Dominus Iesus“, he essentially says the only true Church is the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Pope Benedict, as then Cardinal Ratzinger, encourages embracing all religions as having “some” benefit in directing men to the true God. Yet he clearly states all other doctrines are wrong, but tolerable, in as much as they provide some benefit to finding the true path, as long as everyone knows the Catholic Church is the one and only true faith.

I am afraid such teachings illustrate the true message of the general attitude in the United States toward prayer in school, it must be the “right”, meaning Judeo-Christian, one.

This invites interference from the heathen Supremes once again.

But education, that is a worthy, Constitutionally friendly, goal.

Let’s teach them about all religions. Let’s pray in all faiths, all languages, all doctrines, to all the “Nine Billion Names of God” to borrow from the title of the Arthur C. Clarke classic.

It would be the biggest test of the effect of prayer on the world. Schedule one or two sessions per day. 180 days per school year. By the time all public school students graduate high school we would have generated a significant number of prayers.

Perhaps it would change the world, or maybe it wouldn’t and we could move on to other solutions.

Blaise Pascal, a brilliant philosopher, once proposed what has come to be known as Pascal’s Wager.

“God is, or He is not”

A Game is being played… where heads or tails will turn up.

According to reason, you can defend either of the propositions.

You must wager. (It’s not optional.)

Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.

Wager, then, without hesitation that He is. (…) There is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite. And so our proposition is of infinite force, when there is the finite to stake in a game where there are equal risks of gain and of loss, and the infinite to gain.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal’s_Wager)

To summarize, if you believe in God, and he exists, you win, if he doesn’t you’ve lost nothing, if you deny the existence of God, and he does exist, you lose.

So for the investment of a few hours on Saturday night or Sunday morning perhaps you buy yourself some Eternal Salvation Insurance. Besides, there is no football on then anyway.

My point here is that there is a significant number of people in this country that BELIEVE prayer would make a difference.

We can pacify the multitude, test the premise, expand understanding of different faiths, and, as Pascal is intimating, play the odds.

If it works, great, if it doesn’t we can move on to a more intellectually sound, scientifically established, rational approach to preventing tragedies.

And taking all the guns, as promising as it sounds, is equally untenable.

Pray hear me, I beseech thee.

Advertisements

About Joe Broadmeadow

Joe Broadmeadow retired with the rank of Captain from the East Providence Police Department after serving for 20 years. He is the author of the novels Collision Course, Silenced Justice, and Saving the Last Dragon available on Amazon in print and Kindle. Joe is working o the latest in a series of Josh Williams and Harrison "Hawk" Bennett novels and a sequel to Saving the Last Dragon. In 2014 Joe completed a 2,185 mile thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail
This entry was posted in Mind Wanderings, Serious Thoughts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Prayer in School IS the Answer

  1. Cathy says:

    Science cannot prove the benefit of prayer, but it also cannot disprove it most likely. The existence of god does not need proof because it is a matter of faith. You could argue that prayer does nothing and maybe it doesn’t on a big scale but I have seen and experienced many examples of prayer benefits on an individual basis. How do you think mom survived everything she had to in her life? Prayer was a big benefit to her. Maybe if everyone prayed in their own way, things like mass shootings wouldn’t happen because individuals would have a means to help themselves instead of acting on these impulses. Learning about different religions would be a good addition to schools because I think people would understand each other better and a little reflection on the possibility of a god ( any god) probably couldn’t hurt. I try to rationalize god existence because logically it does not make sence, but when it comes right down to it, I can’t help myself, I believe! As far as the guns go, there is absolutely no need for anyone to have a gun that can shoot so many bullets without reloading, barring a zombie apocalypse.

    • Let me ask you this. If one of children broke their arm and you went to a doctor you would expect them to set the arm. If the doctor said, I have a treatment that I, and millions of others, believe works, but we can’t prove it works, but no one can disprove it would you let them treat your child with it? Of course not.

      I do not doubt for one moment Mom took comfort in prayer. I do not doubt that her prayers were, in fact, answered for the most part in as much as she believed they gave her strength to carry on. But that strength was not some external, benevolent, ominpotent being, it was her own inner strength.

      You can’t help yourself because you were indoctrinated at your most impressionable time in your life. As was Mom, Agnes, and all our family.

      Prayer works if you believe it does, not because it changes, prevents, or mollifies reality. Nothing can alter the physics of the universe.

      As for the gun part, why do people need cars that go faster than 65mph, why have a house that consumes more electricity than some villages in the third world, why do you have two cars? Its not that no one needs a gun that has a high capacity magazine or a large caliber, its what they do with it.

      Timothy McVeigh killed 167 people with materials all within shopping distance of your house. If not guns, then they will find a way to kill.

      But the part of your message that I find most encouraging is that you read what I write. Disagree with me, I truly appreciate that you read and take the time to respond

  2. Cathy says:

    Many arguements to the above but I can’t stand writing them or anything for that matter. I do like to read most of what you write, even if I don’t agree. The broken arm argument is kind of lame as most people pray when there isn’t another obvious solution. ( I said most).

    • More unanswered prayers than anyone can imagine

      Believe if you like but there are no arguments that rely on faith just empty unsubstantiated hopes

      Pray for me. It won’t help or hurt

  3. Cathy says:

    You can’t prove that.

  4. Cathy says:

    I knew you would write something. You have to have the last word. And no you didn’t!

    • So if I can’t prove something it has no validity, right? I agree, therein lies the problem with blind faith. I am expected to accept belief in God without proof, but you won’t accept that the lack of proof of God is as valid.

      And yes I always try to have the last word but I do listen

  5. Cathy says:

    I said I don’t need proof, it is a matter of faith. I do have proof (for myself) by the way.

    • Belief is not proof. I have in doubt of your sincerity, or the depth of your faith. I believe you believe. I just think you’ve missed the true source of the value of faith. Any benefit, hope, effectiveness of our prayers did not come from a God that rewards proper devotion, ceremony, or procedure. It comes from within you, you have that innate ability.

      And that’s my last word unless you say something else, and being a Broadmeadow I know you will so this will go on forever

  6. Cathy says:

    Can’t stop myself. I don’t believe god rewards ceremony and I am not sure he does anything in response to my prayers, but help me to see things clearly. Doesn’t mean he does not exist. You don’t have to believe but you must see that there is some benefit to practicing a religion in some cases. If nothing else but to have some sense of belonging. By the way, I am all for separation of church and state. I don’t think there should be a prayer said everyday in school and if that were to change, I would want all religions to be represented. I believe in god, but I do not practice any specific religion. Prayer in school is not the answer, guns in school are not the answer either. I also have the ability to think on my own as did mom and Aggie. My current beliefs are not because I was indoctrinated at an impressionable age.

  7. Cathy says:

    I disagree! Good night!

  8. Regina says:

    As always…very thought provoking. Enjoy your work very much, I hope a book is coming soon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s