There is a video circulating on social media, made by students (and staff it would seem) at one East Catholic High School as a plea against “prayer shaming.” The video left me feeling conflicted. While I appreciate the students’ interest in participating in the national dialogue on this topic, their response seemed to take the incident from which this “prayer shaming” occurred out of context making the point of the video seem, to me, a bit misguided. In fact, it seems to be an ongoing thing that in times of trial, many people point to prayer being “taken out of our schools” as THE problem.
Students are free to pray in our schools. In fact, I’m fairly certain students do this all the time! What IS prohibited is administration insisting that students pray by leading them in prayer because that assumes that there is only one right belief and one right way to pray and that it is the one modeled by the one who is praying.
The following piece of journalism does a good job of unpacking the situation that led to the making of the video, and in my opinion is well worth the read. I read it as part of my personal ongoing effort to: “listen to understand, not simply to reply.” I offer it to you in the same spirit.