An argument against the school prayer amendment

In the cases Engel v. Vitale and Abington School District v.

An argument against the school prayer amendment

In order to combat the growing influence of the Religious Right, this brochure is being mailed to schools, school districts and state Secretaries of Education across the country.

Should Students Pray in Public Schools?

An argument against the school prayer amendment

Public schools exist to educate, not to proselytize. Children in public schools are a captive audience.

Arguments Against School Prayer

Making prayer an official part of the school day is coercive and invasive. What 5, 8, or year-old could view prayers recited as part of class routine as "voluntary"?

Religion is private, and schools are public, so it is appropriate that the two should not mix.

The radical school prayer amendment would negate the First Amendment's guarantee against government establishment of religion. Most distressing, it would be at the expense of the civil rights of children, America's most vulnerable class. The most quoted argument against prayer in school is that of “separation of church and State.” This was actually derived from a letter that Thomas Jefferson had written in , in response to a letter he had received from the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut concerning religious freedoms. It was not or is not part of the First Amendment. The School Prayer Amendment is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution intended by its proponents to protect the right of the students if they wish, to voluntarily pray in schools, although opponents argue it allows for government sponsored prayer.

To introduce religion in our public schools builds walls between children who may not have been aware of religious differences before. Why Should Schools Be Neutral? Our public schools are for all children, whether Catholic, Baptist, Quaker, atheist, Buddhist, Jewish, agnostic. The schools are supported by all taxpayers, and therefore should be free of religious observances and coercion.

It is the sacred duty of parents and churches to instill religious beliefs, free from government dictation. Institutionalizing prayers in public schools usurps the rights of parents.

School prayer proponents mistake government neutrality toward religion as hostility. The record shows that religious beliefs have flourished in this country not in spite of but because of the constitutional separation of church and state. When religion has invaded our public school system, it has singled out the lone Jewish student, the class Unitarian or agnostic, the children in the minority.

It was commonplace prior to the court decision against school prayer to put non-religious or non-orthodox children in places of detention during bible-reading or prayer recitation.

The children of Supreme Court plaintiffs against religion in schools, such as Vashti McCollum, Ed Schempp and Ishmael Jaffree, were beaten up on the way to and from school, their families subjected to community harassment and death threats for speaking out in defense of a constitutional principle.

We know from history how harmful and destructive religion is in our public schools. In those school districts that do not abide by the law, school children continue to be persecuted today. Individual, silent, personal prayer never has and never could be outlawed in public schools. The courts have declared government-fostered prayers unconstitutional - those led, required, sanctioned, scheduled or suggested by officials.

It is dishonest to call any prayer "voluntary" that is encouraged or required by a public official or legislature. By definition, if the government suggests that students pray, whether by penning the prayer, asking them to vote whether to pray or setting aside time to pray, it is endorsing and promoting that prayer.

An argument against the school prayer amendment

It is coercive for schools to schedule worship as an official part of the school day, school sports or activities, or to use prayer to formalize graduation ceremonies.

Such prayers are more "mandatory" than "voluntary.The Establishment & Execption Clause of the First Amendment School Shootings increase after God is removed from our schools.

in saying that in this decision the Supreme Court has held that God is unconstitutional and for that reason the public school must be segregated against Him?" Curlett school prayer case.

The radical school prayer amendment would negate the First Amendment's guarantee against government establishment of religion. Most distressing, it would be at the expense of the civil rights of children, America's most vulnerable class.

Government-directed prayer in public schools violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, even if the prayer is denominationally neutral and students may remain silent or be excused from the classroom during its recitation. Contrary to their assurances, a school prayer amendment would rewrite church/state law, and would open up a gaping hole in the middle of the First Amendment.

The Argument Against Compulsory Prayer in Public Schools

On this page we present the case against amending the Constitution, and losing our religious freedoms. An amendment is needed not to mandate or even to encourage school prayer but to restore to the people their right and responsibility to deliberate and decide a question that bears upon the kind of education they want for their children.

School prayer, in the context of the state-sponsored establishment of religion in violation of citizens’ First Amendment rights via the Fourteenth Amendment.

Use of the Regent's prayer was initially upheld in both New York State Court and in the New York Court of Appeals, Arguments for and against school prayer.

Engel v. Vitale - Wikipedia