Welcome, Audience and Judges, to another thrilling Edeb8!
As a courtesy to my opponent and the judges, I will quickly clarify my formatting.
Important points will be bold or italicized or both.
Information taken directly from sources will be "quoted."
Sources will be cited using superscript and links.
Thank you to the audience, the judges, and my opponent!
Pro would like to help avoid any misunderstandings in this debate by clearing up issues of interpretation.
1. The argument listed - that schools should not make special allowances for any religion - pertains only to public education systems.
2. The argument also implies that no special restrictions be made on any religion, ie if crosses are allowed to be worn, so is the Star of David.
With that out of the way, we begin the argument proper, which we will keep short.
We are very curious to hear Con's argument as to what would be good about allowing religions special allowances in schools. Are we to, for example, allow the teaching of creationism/intelligent design in science classrooms? This would be a nightmare, especially since a Gallup poll has shown that this belief is at an all-time low, and that less educated Americans are more likely to believe in creation1.
Are we to allow preachers to come teach at schools? That would be a gross miscarriage of the laws protecting the separation of church and state.
Should we allow schools to institute required religious classes? One would think these are better taught in churches and private schools, or in the privacy of one's own home.
At the same time, we have to remember equality. If we are going to allow, as an example, school-led prayer, we have to allow for the possibility that a Muslim or Jewish teacher has the right to force their students to participate in a prayer of said religion. While a majority of Americans are Christian2, we must allow the same rights to minority religious voices, unless we are going even further against basic human rights and suggesting that one religion should have privileges that others should not.
In conclusion, Pro asserts that any special allowances for religion - whether for a single religion or for all - can only bring problematic and potentially dangerous results in public classrooms.
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