, Research Paper
Suspending Christ from the School System
I believe there is a connection between no prayer in our school system and its inevitable fall from grace. Ever since the 1962 judgement Engel v Vitale our school system has deteriorated. The judgment was between a group of parents who sued a New York public school district for requiring students to begin each school day by reciting a nondenominational prayer. Written by the New York State Board of Regents, the prayer read: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Attorny for the group of parents stated.” Both the state court and the New York Court of Appeals allowed the prayer to be recited. The Court ruled that requiring students to recite the prayer is unconstitutional. “The ‘religious activity’ of reciting the Regents’ prayer violates the Establishment Clause. This governmentally orchestrated prayer recitation is akin to the practices in English Creation of the Book of Common Prayer. It was to avoid this type of relationship between government and organized religion that many early colonists came to America. The Founders included the First Amendment to ensure that the majority could not officially recognize any particular religion as the use of school prayers does. Concerning the lack of compulsion on students to recite the prayer, Neither the fact that the prayer may be denominationally neutral nor the fact that its observances on the part of students is voluntary can serve to free it from the limitations of the Establishment Clause…”
The Establishment clause is violated regardless of whether there is any “showing of direct government compulsion…whether those laws operate directly to coerce nonobserving individuals or not.” (Mr. Justice Black 1962)
I wonder if Mr. Black knows our Constitution’s authors our forefathers. This country was built on god and moral decisions not the lack there of. Our very justice system was based on the Justice teachings in the bible. The Father of our country (President George Washington On April 30, 1789, said “ . . . it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow-citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. . . .” . Years later On January 20, 1961, President John F. Kennedy said: “The world is very different now. . . . And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe – the belief that the rights of man
come [370 U.S. 421, 449] not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.
“With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”
The world is very different indeed , its not just bad test scores and education we as a people have to deal with but school shootings as well I ask you what is different between then when we led the world in education and the most worries we had was a school bully and now. After the shooting at columbine took place I watched as students prayed and held sermons at the school. All I could think of is God being locked out when it happened.
Alley,Robert S ( 2001). School Prayer: The court, The Congress, and The First Amendment
Digital Communities Presents, the Reston Web, “Restoration of a failed school system” .
. February 22, 192000 at 11:46:34
We the People , religious freedom page 370 U.S. 421 (1962) Engel v Vitale
Spirit of Columbine Tribute Center