Public prayer and public universities: Is it OK?

October 25, 2012


These days it is hard to do much of anything without offending someone. Whenever religion is involved especially, red flags start flying up everywhere.


The main argument by those wishing to eradicate publicly endorsed prayer from public universities is, of course, the separation of church and state.


But if someone wants to pray, should not they be allowed to do so? Maybe. What are we to do when the prayers before graduation last 45 minutes because we have a Christian, Hindu, Muslim, etc., who all wish to have their turn to pray?


What about the agnostics? How will we respect their wishes?


Someone is going to be offended. It is inevitable.


Or is it?


The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, along with other universities, seems to have found a fix.


According to Patheos’ website, the university used to recite Christian prayers before football games, but has now turned to more inclusive measures.


“University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Chancellor Roger Brown said this afternoon that the university immediately will begin observing a moment of silence, rather than a spoken prayer, before its football games,” according to Patheos’ website.


Brown said the administration believed the moment of silence would allow everyone to reflect on his or her own individual beliefs.


“Events such as football games should provide opportunities to bring all members of our community together,” Brown said.


We live under a government for the people. Not just Christian people, but all people.


Majority rules in the government though, and non-Christians are a minority, in the South especially.


If this is true, and others never had the interest of minorities in mind, things would be a lot different in this country. African Americans would still be slaves and Affirmative Action would have never been enacted.


It is difficult for many to place themselves in the shoes of others, but imagine, what if it were you sitting in the nosebleeds, listening to a prayer to Satan being sent up from the public address system?


If tables were turned, even more people would be offended, but what is the difference? Would we have more people calling for a separation of church and state then?


Many people fail to realize there is a call for a separation of all churches and state, not just a separation of any church that is not Christian and state.


Maybe many are forgetting the group who established this nation: the protestants. Protestant shares the same root word as protest. These very people were the ones who protested against the religions of the countries they left.


It is time people take a moment of silence for themselves and reflect on the views of others.


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