|"But teacher, I don't want to pray right now."|
"According to a Pew Research Center poll conducted last year, 65 percent of Americans said 'liberals have gone too far' in attempting to keep religion out of schools and government. A smaller number of Americans, around 48 percent of those surveyed, told Pew that conservative Christians have gone too far in trying to 'impose religious values on the country.'"
I don't quite understand why it is that the religious right--and even people who aren't with that group, but think forced prayer in school or anywhere else is okay--doesn't quite get that prayer is optional for individuals no matter where they are. I pray under all kinds of circumstances, in many different places and sometimes even during a conversation. Nothing and nobody stops me. It's my choice.
Forcing people to pray in a manner that is foreign to their belief, however, is as bad as forcing a person to eat horse meat if that is repulsive to him or to have sex with an animal. It is not natural, not pleasant and results either in total capitulation to a notion he doesn't believe or rebellion. Neither of those is good.
Praying when you want to is good, legal and ethical. Praying when you're told is none of that.