Prayer in School….officially?
A number of people in my Facebook timeline are sharing an image that says something along the lines of “share if you believe prayer should be brought back into schools”. I have felt challenged by this, not because as some heart level I disagree with the sentiment, but mainly because I think that they are missing some vital self reflection, in spreading this post.
What I think these people are saying
I think that many of these, by sharing this, are asking for prayer, specifically Christian prayer, to be brought back into schools on a formal basis. This is fundamentally the notion that I take issue with. While I appreciate the sentiment behind the post, the very thought of “official religion” (Christianity) terrifies me. Many of the apartheid atrocities were perpetuated under the formal Christian banner. This is not something any school, in the new South Africa can be part of.
Has it ever left?
To those sharing I would ask this question? Has prayer ever left school? I don’t think it has, as parents of children one hopes that you are praying for your kids all of the time. Most schools have clubs and societies that include faith based societies, which in and of themselves encourage prayer. They also encourage diversity and help our kids learn about others around.
In closing, I would like to think that it goes without saying, but I am going to ask/state it anyway. If any of these posts are being shared, because the person sharing it somehow feels like it is the schools responsibility to instill these values, then you are mistaken. Fundamentally the schools are tasked with educating our children based on a curriculum. It is not their role to raise our children to believe in our faith. This is our role as parents.