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Trump backs prayer in schools

by Harvest Prude
Posted 1/17/20, 12:01 pm

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump marked National Religious Freedom Day on Thursday by announcing new federal protections for students’ religious expression.

What is changing? New guidance requires states to verify that school district policies don’t limit constitutionally protected prayer. States must refer any violators to the U.S. Department of Education. Citing U.S. Supreme Court precedent, the rules say students may pray or read Scripture in their leisure time. They do not require schools to sponsor prayer, and restrictions on teachers and school officials endorsing religion remain in place. The president also ordered nine Cabinet departments to cut rules requiring religious groups participating in federal programs to refer people to alternative providers upon request.

Dig deeper: Read more about the guidance from the White House.

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Harvest Prude

Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Fri, 01/17/2020 04:12 pm

    I am not in favor of Christians forcing others to endure our prayers at public events. While it seems righteous to invoke God’s blessings on our affairs, I do not like coercing a whole crowd of non-believers to stand silently while we display our piety. 

    Matthew 6: 5-6 says, [5] “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. [6] But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

    I have never understood why so many of us have ignored that Scripture when we make our demands to have a prayer at the start of high school football games and so forth. 

  • Steve Shive
    Posted: Sat, 01/18/2020 05:09 am

    I applaud President Trump's actions and guidance on this important issue. On the one hand one can always pray whenever desired. The nature of prayer is such that we can pray silently or in secret whenever we want. But the current misguided restrictions that our president is addressing and attempting to turn back go against the Founding Fathers' intentions. I don’t need to reiterate the clear explanation of Ms Prude’s news update.

    I see no reference in this piece nor in the guidance given in regards to publi, or group, prayer nor to situations that might coerce people to stand for prayer. Prayer at sporting events is not mentioned nor seemingly considered. I don't see how your comments relate to this article not its intention.

    Citing the hypocrisy addressed by Jesus in his remarks has no bearing on any of this. It is wrestled out of its cultural and scriptural context and forced into this situation. If the logic of these comments is followed there might never be any public prayer. There will always be unbelievers present.

    What about prayer in the team huddle? By the coach? I’ve always appreciated prayer for health and safety before sporting events. I’ve never missed it when absent. But I’ve always disliked long winded sermons disguised as prayer. That is patently offensive. But again this has nothing to do with this article.