Return Prayer To The Schools
Praying in School - Let's Bring It Back
I remember a time when we had prayer in school and we saluted the flag (with one Nation under God). It seemed like the right thing to do. We were kids who were raised to respect are parents, our elders, our teachers, our fellow students, our country and our school property. I can't remember questioning it or even being upset because we were asked to do so. I believe we were better students for it. I believe I am a better citizen for it. I ask you, "Is It Time To Return Prayer Back To The schools?"
Prayer in Public School - Overview of Governing Constitutional Principles
The history of prayer in public school is a story of legal interpretation. The relationship between religion and government in the United States is governed by the First Amendment to the Constitution, which both prevents the government from establishing religion and protects privately initiated religious expression and activities from government interference and discrimination. The First Amendment thus establishes certain limits on the conduct of public school officials as it relates to religious activity, including prayer.
"School Prayer" (Murray v. Curlett, 1963)
School prayer was the focus of Madalyn Murray O'Hair, a militant left wing atheist with close ties to the American Communist Party, when she filed a lawsuit against the school board of Baltimore. The local court judge, J. Gilbert Pendergast, dismissed the petition stating, "It is abundantly clear that petitioners' real objective is to drive every concept of religion out of the public school system." The case went to the Maryland Court of Appeals, and the court ruled, "Neither the First nor the Fourteenth Amendment was intended to stifle all rapport between religion and government."
The "School Prayer" case then made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Leonard Kerpelman addressed the court saying prayer in the public schools had been tolerated for so long that it had become traditional and that anything that is unconstitutional does not become constitutional through tradition. He went on to say the Constitution had erected a "wall of separation" between church and state, at which point Justice Potter Steward interrupted, asking where this wording appears. Kerpelman was stumped and an embarrassing silence followed. When he regained his composure, he stated that the text was not explicit on the point but that it had been interpreted to mean so.
Remarkably, the National Council of Churches and several Jewish organizations favored Madalyn O'Hair's case! Not a single Christian organization filed a brief in support of school prayer. The Supreme Court ruled 8 to 1 in favor of abolishing school prayer and Bible reading in the public schools. Justice Tom Clark wrote, "Religious freedom, it has long been recognized that government must be neutral and, while protecting all, must prefer none and disparage none." The federal government considers atheism to be a religion, and this Supreme Court ruling favored atheism, at the expense of the Christian majority.
Prayer in School
Do You Think We Should Return School Prayer to The Classroom?
Impact of Removing School Prayer
Research and Report by David Barton
So what has been the impact of removing School Prayer?
David Barton of Wall Builders has studied the statistical records of history for the past 60 years. In each study you can clearly see a negative impact starting around the year 1962 when School Prayer was removed! Teenage pregnancy rates have gone up 500% since 1962. Unmarried mothers have risen dramatically since 1962. The divorce Rate is so high that many young children don't really understand what a family is. Violent Crimes have risen steadily since the early 60's, and our prison system is bursting at the seams. The SAT scores have steadily declined each year for 18 straight years since 1962 and continue to decline or be low. We once had the best school system in the world, and we are now ranked about 15th among the industrialized nations. This is despite us spending more money then any other nation in the world on our school system. As the poorly educated enter the workforce how can our companies compete with other international industries?
What Happened When the Praying Stopped
ALEDO, TX (FR) - How did the removal of voluntary prayer from the schools of the United States affect our nation as a whole? That question has been answered in detail by a research company in Texas which has gathered and tabulated statistics from hundreds of sources relating to the rates of moral decline in America.
Specialty Research Associates, under the direction of David Barton, has released a report entitled America: To Pray or Not to Pray which uses over 100 pages of graphs and statistical analysis to prove that crime, venereal disease, premarital sex, illiteracy, suicide, drug use, public corruption, and other social ills began a dramatic increase after the Engel vs. Vitale Supreme Court decision was made in 1962 which banned school prayer.
Prayer in schools prior to 1962 was utilized in school districts all over the U.S. in many varieties. Some teachers used extemporaneous prayers, simply expressing their thoughts and desires; others implemented structured prayers, such as the Lord's Prayer or the 23rd Psalm, or others approved by local school boards. New York students prayed each day: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence on Thee and beg Thy blessing over us, our parents, our teachers, and our nation." It was this simple prayer which came under fire and went to the Supreme Court for the landmark decision.
Says David Barton, "It is impossible to know how many of the 39 million children were involved in daily verbal prayers, but most accounts indicate that a clear majority of the students voluntarily participated in daily school prayer. Is it possible that the prayers that were being offered by these children and their teachers across the nation actually had any measurable, tangible effect?"
It was this question that led Barton to uncover the statistical proof that the removal of prayer did indeed take its toll on America. Below are just a few of the examples featured in Barton's report:
A. Young People
1. For 15 years before 1963 pregnancies in girls ages 15 through 19 years had been no more than 15 per thousand After 1963 pregnancies increased 187% in the next 15 years.
2. For younger girls, ages 10 to 14 years, pregnancies since 1963 are up 553%.
3. Before 1963 sexually transmitted diseases among students were 400 per 100,000. Since 1963, they were up 226% in the next 12 years.
B. The Family
1. Before 1963 divorce rates had been declining for 15 years. After 1963 divorces increased 300% each year for the next 15 years.
2. Since 1963 unmarried people living together is up 353%
3. Since 1963 single parent families are up 140%.
4. Since 1963 single parent families with children are up 160%.
1. The educational standard of measure has been the SAT scores. SAT scores had been steady for many years before 1963. From 1963 they rapidly declined for 18 consecutive years, even though the same test has been used since 1941.
2. In 1974-75 the rate of decline of the SAT scores decreased, even though they continued to decline. That was when there was an explosion of private religious schools. There were only 1000 Christian schools in 1965. Between 1974 to 1984 they increased to 32,000.
a. That could have an impact if the private schools had higher SAT scores. In checking with the SAT Board it was found that indeed the SAT scores for private schools were nearly 100 points higher than public schools.
b. In fact the scores were at the point where the public schools had been before their decline started in 1963 when prayer and Bible reading/ instruction was removed from the schools.
c. The scores in the public schools were still declining.
3. Of the nation's top academic scholars, three times as many come from private religious schools, which operate on one-third the funds as do the public schools.
D. The Nation
1. Since 1963 violent crime has increased 544%.
3. Illegal drugs have become an enormous & uncontrollable problem.
2. The nation has been deprived of an estimated 30 million citizens through legal abortions just since 1973.
Copyright by David Barton:
If you would like a copy of America: To Pray or Not to Pray?, send $7.95 to Specialty Research Associates, P.O. Box 397, Aledo, TX 76008. All of the figures and statistics compiled in this book are taken from data made available by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Center for Disease Control, Statistical Abstracts of the United States, Vital Statistics of the United States, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other official sources.
Minnesota's Constitution says no prayer in public schools
BY Oliver Steinberg
Your Jan. 27 editorial says "Officials are wrongly seeking to regulate prayer in a Minnesota charter school." Are you sure?
Charter schools receive tax money from the state. The crystal-clear language of Article 13, Section 2 of the Minnesota State Constitution says:
"In no case shall any public money or property be appropriated or used for the support of schools wherein the distinctive doctrines, creeds or tenets of any particular Christian or other religious sect are promulgated or taught."
This Constitutional barrier obliged penniless Irish immigrant families to pay the expenses for Catholic parochial schools in the 19th century, and it ought to apply equally to the 21st century's Somali immigrant families if they want Islamic schools. If you don't like it, feel free to begin the process of amending the Constitution. In the meantime, should the law be flouted? If Muslims get exempted from the law, why shouldn't every other sect?
Your editorial further asserts that "federal guidelines allow for prayer in school." It would be most informative if you were to identify those guidelines, if they exist, and explain how they relate to various United States Supreme Court decisions regarding state-sponsored prayer or other religious exercises in public schools. "Guidelines" are nice, but decisions of the Supreme Court on constitutional disputes, interpreting the Constitution itself, are the law of the land.
St. Paul resident
We the American People...
We the American People is a lens that seeks the truth about "Freedom" and the ability to retain that Freedom, the Freedom I feel all Americans seek and want to preserve. I have provided documentation and references and challenge all to join in on this quest toward preserving our freedom.
How to Return Prayer to the Schools Without a Constitutional Crisis:
By Bruce Davison
It has already been decided by the United States Supreme Court
that student lead and student initiated prayer is allowed on school
property so long as it is not conducted during school hours or is
disruptive to the activities in the classroom, etc.
There are seven simple steps to be accomplished:
1. Sunday school teachers should thoroughly explain the students'
right to engage in prayer in public and how to appropriately do
so. Also, they need to know how to respond appropriately to the
occasional criticism by uninformed school personnel.
2. Use Sunday schools and/or Christian churches to teach students
who attend grades 1 thru 12 at public schools several simple 60
second prayers. These prayers would be part of the memorization
process taught in all Sunday schools.
3. Explain to the students when (what times of day and what
settings) it is appropriate and when it is not appropriate to pray
while they are in school.
4. Encourage the students with the most leadership skills to start
engaging in these one minute prayers (aloud) just before school
starts, at anytime during the lunch hour, and anytime after school
but before boarding a bus.
5. Encourage leadership type students to, by example, encourage
others to also engage in these one minute prayers.
6. Thoroughly explain to the students that any interference with
their legal prayer efforts needs to be reported to their parents
and to any other adult who is sympathetic to their efforts to
indulge in prayer while at school.
7. The parents of all the involved students need to be supplied
with contact information for such organizations as ACLJ, ADF,
Focus on the Family ........, etc.
Sample Prayers are included to get you started but let your own
spirit by guided by God to compose other prayers of equal or
Dear Heavenly Father, we ask your blessings on each of us as we
begin our day of learning. Help us to concentrate on the lessons
and may our teachers be inspired in teaching us the truth in each
of our subjects. Be with our leaders in Congress and especially
our President as this day unfolds. May these leaders use all of
their wisdom in guiding our country in safety, security and
prosperity. We ask these things in Jesus' name, Amen.
And, We Enjoyed The Pledge of Allegiance?
Link Along for Knowledge
Interesting and helpful facts.
- BORN AGAIN AMERICAN
Take time to listen to a great song "Born Again American"
- Free To Pray
The Web Site All About the First Amendment and Religious Freedom A Nation that refuses to teach its' children right from wrong, good from evil, will become a corrupt nation, where sin prevails, evil abounds, and children do as they please!
- Wall Builders
WallBuilders is an organization dedicated to presenting America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built-a foundation which, in recent years, has been seriously
- Concerned Women of America
Excellent cite to keep you up to date
- Eagle Forum
Christian based Organization provides you with all current laws and congressional happenings.
- Alliance Defense Fund
This organization helps defend Christian beliefs.
- American Center for Law and Justice
- Library Magazine
Declaration of Principles The God-given right of religious liberty is best exercised when church and state are separate. Government is God's agency to protect individual rights and to conduct civil affairs; in exercising these responsibilities, off
- First Amendment Schools
First Amendment Schools: Educating for Freedom and Responsibility is a national reform initiative designed to transform how schools teach and practice the rights and responsibilities of citizenship that frame civic life in our democracy.
- National Day of Prayer
Prayer has always been used in this country for guidance, protection and strength-even before we were a nation or a handful of colonies. The Pilgrims at Plymouth relied on prayer during their first and darkest winter. Our founding fathers also called
- About Popular Issues
Prayer in School - A Review of Current Case Law & Constitutional Principles Is prayer in school totally outlawed? Are there times when prayer in school is allowed? It seems many people are confused by the current state of the law regarding prayer
Argument for Prayer in School
What are some arguments for prayer in school?
There are many arguments supporting the view of citizens who favor the return of prayer to public schools.
Prayer in school is constitutional and supports the principle of freedom of religion on which the U.S. was founded:
In banning school prayer, the U.S. Supreme Court has misinterpreted the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. A simple and voluntary school prayer does not amount to the government establishing a religion, any more than do other practices common in the U.S. such as the employment of Congressional chaplains, government recognition of holidays with religious significance such as Christmas or the proclamation of National Days of Prayer.
II Corinthians 7:14
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
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