Religion in Schools: a Line Not to Be Crossed

Advocates of a constitutional amendment to authorize group prayer in public schools (``Prayer in School,'' Nov. 21) overlook the following:

Every student now enjoys the right to pray silently in school whenever he or she pleases and in the manner learned in the home, church, synagogue, or mosque. The Supreme Court's 1962-63 rulings held unconstitutional only prayers sponsored, prescribed, regulated, or managed by some level of government.

Religious leaders know that there is and can be no ``one size fits all'' prayer, that children's values are developed mainly in the home and from TV, and that a dollop of state-sponsored prayer has never been shown to be a positive influence on children in any country.

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School-prayer advocates seem to have a low opinion of individual consciences, families, and religious institutions, as they want government to prop them up.

In our wonderfully diverse and pluralistic country, it is strange that anyone would want any level of government to decide when, where, and how our children will engage in religious expression.

Claims that our public schools are unfriendly to religion are nonsense. Our elected school boards, administrators, and teachers are a cross section of our population.

The Bill of Rights has not been amended in 200 years. It would be most unwise to do so now. Edd Doerr, Silver Spring, Md. Executive Director Americans for Religious Liberty

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