Religion within our Education

Essay by Babiboireppn05High School, 12th gradeA+, September 2004

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I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation that is indivisible with liberty and justice for all. Is anything wrong there? Is this the way we should recite the pledge in public schools? Now look at the word "Holiday", what does it look like? If you were thinking "Holy Day", you would be correct. However, who should declare the change in the saying of the flag? Who should declare which holidays we observe in our school system? Who should declare if we teach religion in schools?

Religion influences nearly everything in our daily lives: from the architecture of buildings, the food we eat, and the books we read, to the rituals of marriage and death, and the customs of courtroom and government. Religion shapes our beliefs, moral codes, national identities, and now it should help define other cultures in the classrooms.

Today, I will try to convince you that we need more religion in public school systems by elaborating on the sense of community it brings and the freedom of religion that we are given. I will also give reasonable solutions to these denied rights, we as Americans face.

The search for religious freedom brought many of the first European settlers to the shores of the New World, and, for more than 200 years, the first Amendment has protected religious freedom. At first, students recited "The Lord's Prayer" to begin the school day, and vacationing during Christmas and Easter breaks became a commonplace. Society then evolved, welcoming immigrants from many different parts of the world; these new populations brought their own worldviews and ways of celebrating holidays.

In 1962, our Supreme Court ruled in the case Engel v. Vitale, that prayer is not normally permitted in...