Religion and Prayer Must Not be Permitted in Public School Essay

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Early American colonists anticipated a country full of freedoms and opportunities. As the new government was beginning to develop, the Founders took into consideration the restrictions placed on them and their fellow immigrants in their former home lands. One difficulty the colonists encountered back in Europe was the inability to practice a desired religion or not to practice one at all. Since the newly formed country was made up of people from more than one religious background, the government had to come up with a way to accommodate all of its citizens. Understanding the country's diversity, the writers of the Constitution of the United States of America included in the First Amendment the words, "Congress shall make …show more content…
Since the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment protects the citizens from being influenced or offended by government sponsor ed religion, prayer in the public school system is intolerable. Accordingly, the idea of secularism was first proposed by James Madison in the religion clauses, because he wanted to avoid any sort of political influence on religious institutions (Alley 1 8). As a result of Madison's initiation of the concept of secularism, the role of religion in government institutions such as schools is now considered unconstitutional.

In defiance to the Court's separation of church and state ruling, many public school districts persist to support the exercise of prayer. Numerous cases have arisen reflecting the opposing views on the role of prayer, including the 1962 precedent setting court case Engel v. Vitale. The debate occurred because the children of a New York public school district were required to recite the following lines every morning: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon thee, and we beg t hey blessing upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country" (Sikorski xi). In response, the Supreme Court immediately reprimanded the school system by declaring the act unconstitutional and banning the prayer. The school and other advocates ar gued that the prayer was nondenominational and should

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