Prayer In Schools Essay

772 words - 4 pages

The effects of the government’s actions can affect us greatly in the United States. The topic I picked today about prayer in public schools shows how the government does just that. Prayer in public schools has been an ongoing conflict in the world since the late 1900s. It is a very controversial topic that is why I picked it. When it comes to religion people have their own opinions and views on the subject. Prayer in schools is a touchy subject because people have different out looks, different religions, and different briefs. Some people say that say that prayer in schools is a means of psychological stability for young minds. In the United States government officials introduced the ‘’moment of silence’’ to which it gives students a choice to offer a silent prayer. The US Supreme Court has interpreted the issue as revolving around the degree of governments’ ability to indoctrinate its citizens. In the United Kingdom the government enforces that all pupils in the state schools must take part in a daily act of collective worship unless their parents don’t want them to participate. The Frame Work Act of1998 is the act the UK uses to enforce that rule. The debating about prayer in schools around America had two landmark decisions, Engel vs. Vitale of 1962 and Abington school district vs. Schempp of 1963. This was where the US Supreme Court established what is now the recent prohibition on state sponsored prayer in schools. The Engel decision held its argument by saying that the promulgation of an official state – school prayer stood in violation of the First Amendment establishment clause. Then the Abington decision went on to say that bible readings and other school sponsored religions activities were prohibited. The only way the public schools were going to get prayer in the schools was if they followed the three criteria’s; must have a secular purpose, must neither advance nor inhibit religion; and must not result in an excessive entanglement between government and religion. People reacted to the Engel and Abington decisions negatively, where many school districts and states have attempted to reestablish school sponsored prayer in different forms since 1962. Since the 1900s controversy in the courts have tend to revolve around prayer at school sponsored extracurricular activities such as; prayer before football games,...

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