The First Amendment Was Created To Protect Americans’ Basic

1820 WordsMar 9, 20178 Pages
The First Amendment was created to protect Americans’ basic human rights. It states that the government has no right to make laws or prohibit the freedom of religion, speech, and press. However, with the First Amendment stating that there is freedom of religion, why are children and teachers not allowed to participate in religion during school or on school property? The creation of the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause is the reason why. Curiously, there is no other right in the First Amendment that has a clause dedicated to it. Then why is the freedom of religion subject to such clauses when the other freedoms are not? The First Amendment joined the Constitution of the United States on December 15, 1791. The Amendment is…show more content…
The prayer was, “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and beg Thy blessings upon us, our teachers, and our country” (Oyez 1). The state of New York approved the prayer, and the prayer was nondenominational. Children whose parents did not want them to recite the prayer did not have to participate, and were excused; reciting the prayer was voluntary. Therefore, the prayer was not mandatory and was supposed to serve as a purpose of moral education only for those who wanted to acknowledge God as the source of all blessings. However, New York Lawyers argued that the prayer offended the Establishment Clause, suggesting that the state of New York was officially approving a religion by approving the prayer. This action eventually led to the Supreme Court ruling the prayer as unconstitutional. With the success of ruling Engel v. Vitale unconstitutional, the case set a precedent for many more court cases in which the Supreme Court used the Establishment Clause as a jurisdiction for removing religious practices in public schools. Due to the United States’ Supreme Court reviewing religious cases, on average, more than once a year since 1962, the Establishment Clause and Free exercise Clause have taken on a whole new meaning in public schools. Now, the two clauses are disjoined. The Establishment Clause has become the more favored one of the two, compared to the Free Exercise Clause, which is almost obsolete. Today, students
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