The development of business and science in the 20th century made people think more about the economic growth and private income rather than about God or spiritual growth of their souls. People get used to think that all that they have to do in their life is seek to have a good job, house, furniture and other tangible things. Additionally to this, they are convinced that they can fill their spiritual needs with different types of entertainment and consumption of food. As a result of this, people lost something important that kept the human attention on moral principles and values. More people are ready to do everything in order to maintain and increase their wealth. At the same time, they forgive to think that the majority of people all over the world are living in very poor conditions and suffering from a shortage of food. Nowadays, it can be observed increase in the violence rate not only among adults, but also among students and children in schools. In order to change the situation, it is necessary to change something. The one of the ways to turn the children attention to the positive and spiritual direction is to return the school prayer back to American schools.
School prayer is a mandatory rule that obligate each student to have a prayer in public schools. Depending on the country, the prayer in school could be prohibited, permitted or required. There are many reasons why some countries do not allow for schools to have a daily school prayer. For 200 years the American society had prayer at school. The situation began to change in 1955, when there was developed prayer for schools by the Ney York Board of Regents. In 1962, Steven I. Engel claimed about violation of the First Amendment rights. He brought action against so-called “Regent’s prayer” as he saw in this the attempt of government control through religion. As a result, the school prayer was prohibited. It was stated in the American Constitution. Thus, the main reason to eliminate the prayer from the schools was a desire of government to separate the church from the state. Today, the American students do not have a prayer at schools for more than fifty years. “The Supreme Court inevitably sided on June 25, 1962 – a day that lives in infamy in the minds of many religious individuals and free-speech advocates.” After more than fifty years from the ruling of this law, the United States of America faced many changes during this time. Many of them led to the transformation of moral values and ethical behavior of Americans.
For the last several decades, the U. S. faced many natural cataclysms. One of them was hurricane Katrina in 2005. “More than 1,800 people died in the storm, nearly 1,600 in Louisiana. Overall, the storm damage covered more than 90,000 square miles and displaced nearly 300,000 people, causing more than $81 billion in damage.” In September of 2001, the country faced the severe terrorist attack during which there were killed many people. It finished the perception of people about safety and isolation of American continent from the rest of the world. There were many other events that can make the American society think about their causes. Does it have to do with American people stopped believing in God? There is no clear evidence of this. However, everything in this world cannot happen without a reason. If we draw parallels with the Bible, it is not difficult to see that people were punished by God for the loss of faith in him. The great example could be the Great Flood. Today, the American society has the most developed health care equipment, but it still suffers from many diseases and health problems. The U.S. has a huge territory, but it still has to be worried with the lack of natural. The country has the one of the greatest military capacity, but it suffers from different terrorist attacks and its soldiers are dying in many military conflicts. America lost its spiritual values. Consequently, it cannot organize the proper way of living for its residents and protect American families from external threats. It could mean that American people is paying dearly for their actions and the loss of faith in God.
There are many reasons why the school prayer should be returned to American educational facilities. The daily school prayer sets a high standard of the human behavior. Humanism assumes that our world and the planet has nothing to do with the existence of the higher intelligence. It only states about random formation of our world. However, it is necessary to take a closer look at nature and processes in it in order to understand that it is not true. The nature represents many processes that inherently are linked with each other. There are many living forms on our planet that independently think and collaborate with other species. It is wrong to consider that such a perfect and well developed system could be originated on its own without the existence of the higher intelligence. Returning prayer to educational facilities would establish the philosophy of the existence someone greater than a human being. It would change the way of how people think in the positive direction. Students would recognize that they are something more than just a set of bones and tissues that move forward through space and time. It will change their attitude towards wealth and people inequality in the modern world. The prayer in school would show them other values that would help to develop and organize the society with less crime and violence rate. It would help to establish the society with high moral values and ethical norms.
The absence of the school prayer in U.S. schools led to the loss of morality in the American society. New research has shown that the vast majority of Americans admit that the level of morality in the United States is sharply reduced. “According to a new Gallup poll, 82 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats say that moral values in the U.S. are only fair or downright poor. 40 years ago, only 33 percent of Americans felt that way.” It is an indicator of the decline of moral values since that time when school prayer was prohibited in public schools. There are also other more meaningful statistics that tells about the decline of moral values. From that time when the practice of prayer was canceled in public schools the rate of pregnancies among teen aged girls and sexually transmitted diseases among students age from 10 to 14 increased in four times. There was also increase in the rates of divorces, single parent families and rape committed crimes. There was decreased the productivity rate. The American nation faced problems such as alcoholism, use of drugs and obesity. Many Americans stopped to read Bible and follow those values and principles that are incorporated in this holy book. As a result, the modern America suffers from different problems.
It is necessary to return a prayer practice to public schools in order to save the educational system from the complete degradation. “The educational outcomes among high school and college youth point to grave condition and an uncertain future.” The overall level of academic performances among students of different levels is very low in comparison with previous years. Many Americans are illiterate, and some part of them even cannot read. Everything was different many years ago, when students had the practice of prayer in public schools. The removal of prayer from schools may not the only reason why the American educational system suffers from so many problems and low academic results among students. However, those negative trends that American society faced for the last decades may indicate the spiritual decline. Therefore, it would be improved if the American government decided to return prayer in schools.
The American society had been lived for 200 years with daily prayer in schools. Nowadays, when we do not have this practice in schools, the United States of America raised the generation that less care about the problems of others. The current generation cares of how to earn more money and looking for ways to spend them on things that do not lead to their spiritual development and high moral principles. The decent part of American population thinks more of themselves that people who surround them. A prayer in school would explain for students that living for others could bring more pleasure and serenity to their lives than the constant desire of buying new things over and over again. The modern society faces the global problem of the environmental pollution due to the overconsumption of products. Additionally, in that time when Americans is the most consumer nation, there are many people who suffering from the shortage of food and drinking water on the other side of the world. The United States of America lost its moral face. The prohibition of the school prayer is one of the reasons of this.
The American people have to understand that if they want to raise the next generation on the right moral values and ethic principles they should provide schools with prayer for students. Religion contains all necessary practices and norms that can put the young generation on the right path of their development. It is known that children do not have the strong consciousness in comparison with adults. Thus, it is very important to show them the spiritual way for their development in order to raise the right moral society in the future. It would help to form and prepare children to be responsible adults that know how to respond to the problems of others and make positive contributions to the development of the American society.