Praying For Common Sense: Many People Of Faith Support Secular Public Schools, Too

Nov 2, 2014

Photograph: Barry Batchelor/PA

By Sarah Jones

A recent Christianity Today column provides an evangelical argument for keeping public schools secular.

Author Caryn Rivadeneira, who identifies herself as a devout Christian, objects to the idea that public schools are devoid of prayer, and of God Himself. She argues that for believers, God is present everywhere.

“Prayer never left schools. And God never did either. To suggest otherwise should make us shudder. And yet, that’s what campaigns full of good God-fearing folks seem to be saying,” she wrote.

“Though I understand it’s pleasant for some to hearken back to a day when a tight-bunned teacher led children through a crisp Pledge and a Prayer (no matter what her heart, mind or soul actually believed) as somehow holier, better, safer, they weren’t,” she added.

To Rivadeneira, this is a matter of faith, too. According to her personal creed, God is ever-present, and the suggestion that humans can either remove Him or return Him to school rises to the level of doctrinal heresy.


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