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Scoot's Blog

Tune in to "The Scoot Show" for lively, candid discussions about news, politics and culture with WWL's "Radical Moderate!"

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Scoot: America?s wrong turn - no prayer in public schools?

Do you subscribe to the theory that the reason we have so many problems stemming from a lack of morality is because prayer was removed from public schools?

Fifty years ago, school-sponsored prayers in public schools were declared unconstitutional and I continue to hear people refer to that as the flashpoint in time when American suddenly took a wrong turn.  The topic of crime among youths is an ever-present topic on our show and almost without fail I hear the chorus of voices singing about how all of our problems started when they removed prayer from public schools.

America was beginning a dramatic change in 1964, the year prayer was banned from public schools, but it’s impossible to ignore the events of that have collectively contributed to the America we live in today.

In 1964, The Beatles arrived in America and dominated the music charts; the Civil Rights Act was passed; President Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare Bill and the Great Society was born, the mass murderer known as the “Boston Strangler” was captured, there were nightly reminders on the news that the Cold War was a serious threat to the safety of every American citizen, three young civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi, that year began less than 2 months after the President of the United States had been assassinated in Dallas, TX. and 1964 was the year the “anti-Establishment” generation was born.

To blame any wrong turn America took on the single act of removing prayer from public schools in 1964 is far too simplistic, but that theory has gained the honor of being the tipping point over the years, because it conveniently supports the fear that “they” are removing Christianity from our society.  But the truth is, “they” cannot take Christianity or any faith from anyone.

If young people are not taught to pray at home, then does anyone really think that one prayer in a public school would really instill a sense of morality that would change the course of generations?  The other major problem with a school leading a prayer in public schools is that it essentially asks the government to create or select the prayer.  Do you want the government choosing the prayer your child says at school?  If there was prayer in public schools, today there would be much more controversy over the prayers that are being led by the schools than no prayer in schools.  Furthermore, Christianity does not have a monopoly on religion in America.  Would Christians be happy if their children were forced to say a Jewish or Muslim prayer in school?

The year 1964 was a year when America did change, but not because prayer was removed from public schools.  The impact of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in late November of 1963 has never been given the credit it so deserves.  That was the moment that created the “anti-Establishment” generation.

A young generation quietly watching the news and witnessing their parents’ reaction to that tragic event subconsciously created a deep distrust in the Establishment.  The President is the figurehead of the Establishment and if he could be assassinated, then what faith could a young generation have in the Establishment?  And so the “anti-Establishment” generation was born.  The Beatles arrived in America only months following the Kennedy assassination and though they have been credited for creating the “anti-Establishment” generation, with a new look and a new sound that defied Establishment norms, The Beatles were introduced at a time when a young America was unknowingly searching for an identity and a new direction.

Prayers in public schools were banned in 1964, but there were many signs that America was about the change and pointing to the removal of prayers from schools gives many Americans a simplistic definition of what was really going on.  This is also a cop-out for parents, who have not made the effort to teach their children to pray.  That’s a parent’s responsibility – not the schools.
Remember, no one can take away your faith or morality.  That comes from within.   As our nation has become more secular in many ways, each of us must look at ourselves and realize that if we have lost our faith or morality – it’s not because there is no prayer in school or Christmas symbols on public property.  If we have lost faith and morality, it is because we allowed it – “they” didn’t take it from us.

And to set the record straight – the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public schools cannot lead prayers, but children can pray in public schools.

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Topics : EducationReligion_Belief
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Locations : DallasMississippiTexas
People : John F. KennedyLyndon Johnson

06/20/2013 10:08AM
Scoot: America’s wrong turn – no prayer in public schools?
Please Enter Your Comments Below
06/20/2013 10:43AM
the true power of prayer is its ability to convince the weak and needy that it actually works. Next time your child is sick, don't take him to a doctor, just pray, works everytime!
06/20/2013 11:08AM
Amen, Scoot!
One of your best blogs...spot-on commentary. Well done.
06/20/2013 1:21PM
Great Points
Makes sense to me.
06/24/2013 9:07PM
Scoot, Can you elaborate on how much you understand the Bible? I'm not talking about "religion", I'm inquiring about the contents of the Bible. Tell me what you are reading and getting out of God's word? I'll await for your response. If you don't read and understand God's word, you are no more qualified to discuss what is contained in it, then you are qualified to talk about what it is like to be an NFL QB, or your opinion of how it feels to be a black man in America.
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