Many conservative persons, religious advocates, government officials (including some in charge of public schools, as well as local, state and federal governments) want prayers at local government or legislative meetings – or in public schools. ACTUALLY, THESE GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED PRAYERS UNDERMINE authentic religion.
Prayer should be a personal communication with God, but making it mandatory or obligatory – or a mindless public ritual – destroys the personal faith aspect and makes it a meaningless governmental routine. It’s ironic that conservatives who oppose “big government” want government to cram someone’s religion down everyone else’s throats. Instead of protecting liberty, they are taking away our liberty to choose any religion or none at all.
Prayer should have spiritual value. But imposing prayer upon people in schools or at governmental meetings destroys prayer’s spiritual value and makes it just an oppressive governmental regulation.
If someone wanted to destroy authentic religion, a good way for them to do that would be to make the government impose it upon us.
Jesus also told people NOT to conspicuously pray in public. He said that is self-seeking rather than honest connection with God. (Matthew 6:5-8)