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Prayer in Public Schools

During the past year, the United States watched a heated legal and
emotional public debate concerning the removal of aTen Commandments’
monument on display at an Alabama courthouse (Niemeyer Pp).Recently, the
National Assembly of France, in a 494 to 36 vote, approved banning
headscarves worn by fundamentalist Muslims, yamulkas by Orthodox Jews, and
crosses by Christians in public schools (Niemeyer Pp).Although, the
United States is still debating the 1962 Engel v. Vitale decision banning
organized school prayer, it is difficult to imagine that Congress or the
Supreme Court would ever ban religious images in public schools (Niemeyer
Pp).However, for decades, many religious leaders have believed that no
greater harm can come to religion than when placed in the states’ hands
At issue in Engel v. Vitale was “whether a non-denominational prayer,
recited in every classroom in a school district, violated the First
provision for separation of church and state” (Engel Pp).Many parents
that the NYS Regents-composed prayer violated the First Amendment’s
separation of church and state, while the New York Board of Education of
Hyde Park contended that it was a non-denominational prayer and that the
schools did not compel any student to recite it (Engel Pp). The Supreme
“found that the school district violated the students’ First Amendment
because even though the students did not have to say the prayer, the
the prayer in class would put unwanted pressures on them” (Engel Pp).
Moreover, the “non-denominational prayer was found to be too religious for
state to mandate and was in violation of the establishment clause of the
Dissenting, Justice Stewart, stated,
“The Court does not hold, nor could it, that New
York has interfered with the free ex

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