Prayer in Schools Essay

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"Thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men..."But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret." - Matt. 6:5-6. Hmm, if we just followed these simple instructions that Jesus gave in the bible, then we wouldn't be having this discussion. Prayer in public schools has been a highly controversial issue since the 1960's. Before the 1960's, it was common in public schools to start the day with a prayer. After the first milestone case, Engle v. Vitale in 1962, the supreme court decided that it is unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and encourage its recitation in public schools. I believe that on a individual basis, praying to one's self is okay. Whether it be before a big test, or before you eat lunch, as long as it does not disrupt the class or other children. This gives it a nice balance of religious freedom and the separation of church and state. Having mandatory prayer goes against your religious freedom and that is why it should not be allowed back into public schools. This is where the first amendment comes into play. Without it, we wouldn't have these religious freedoms that we have today. School prayer violates the first amendment. I am a strong believer in the "separation of church and state". No, That actual phrase does not exist in the constitution or the bill of rights but the idea is there. The establishment clause has been interpreted by the supreme court as the separation of church and state. "congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."-First Amendment, Bill of Rights, U.S. Constitution. That means that the government isn't allowed to infringe on

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