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Prayer wasted in public school

To the Editor:

As a Christian senior at Grosse Pointe South High School, I was appalled after reading the letter, "J.T.-ACLU Q&A," in the Dec. 12 issue of the Grosse Pointe News.

The letter writer attacks the American Civil Liberties Union, claims there should be no separation of church and state, and asserts that prayer should be included in public schools.

First of all, public schools are paid for by taxpayers. If prayer is a daily activity at school, we would be spending money for students to pray, which they can do silently during school or on their own outside of school whenever they wish.

There are many problems in the world today. Jesus would wish people to worship him by bettering the lives of those less fortunate, not by forcing students to pray to something they don't believe in.

The letter writer claims that the ACLU is "meddling with our schools that wish to have prayers included in daily activities." It is important to remember that there are many different religions in the world. How would Christians feel if they were at a public school and had to pray to Allah or different gods every day?

Teenagers face enough pressure growing up. Students should have the freedom to attend a public school without feeling like an outcast because they pray to a different God or don't believe in one at all. There are many atheists in the United States and it would not be fair that their money would go towards prayer. In order to respect other religions, prayer must not be held in public schools.

Also, the author states, "Get out of our way and let America be 'One Nation Under God!"' Since the letter was from a single person, I am not sure who else's way the ACLU is supposed to get out of. I can only assume that he is trying to speak for the public school students of America, the ones who he is claiming should pray in a public school.

As a public school student, I can assure you that the letter writer does not speak for us. I can't see how prayer in public schools would be helping anyone; a student can say a silent prayer to God anytime he or she wishes.

Prayer in public school is a waste of taxpayer money, which would better be spent helping those in need, and would be completely unjust.

Julie O'Keefe

Grosse Pointe Farms

Julie O'Keefe
December 19, 2002

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