Public prayer has recently risen as a point of conflict in the past several years. Outcries have been raised when prayers have been practiced in schools or given in favor of other religions.
Here at the university, it is a practice that normally precedes events.
The Student Government Association presents a resolution every semester that supports voluntary prayer before any university-sponsored events. This year it was passed, but not without dispute.
One argument presented against the resolution was that the Constitution ensures the government can make no laws for or against certain religions.
Truly, the foundation of this country was built on the idea of freedom of religion, but at the same time, that does not mean that religion is not an active part of culture. Prayer before an event is a cultural expression, and these prayers are an optional part of events.
Another issue with these prayers is the fact that they are representative of only one religion.
Troy is one of the more diverse institutions in the state and has a multitude of international students from a range of different countries. Though Christianity is the majority religion, many students adhere to other religions or to none at all.
With this in mind, it seems like this resolution is alienating to those students. The resolution states that no specific religion should be represented and that everyone is not required to participate in the prayer.
The resolution is written with inclusion and representation in mind, but in reality, how unbiased are these prayers?
Offering a moment of silence for prayer before an event is a possible alternative.
In the end, a prayer is a few moments of dedication that is harmless, but considering the diversity of the university, it seems that this resolution is insensitive to the minorities on campus.