Prayer In School

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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To pray or not to pray that is the question. The issue of prayer has been in the courts for centuries but it wasn't until the past fifty years that prayer in school was a concern. In 1963, Madalyn Murray O' Hair took her anti prayer campaign all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States of America. On June 17, 1963, the Supreme Court ruling in Murray v. Curlett, outlawed voluntary prayer in public schools. Since this decision there have been many debates about whether this was the right thing to do. The First Amendment states "Congress should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; of abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the Government for a redress of grievances." There are many arguments lobbing both for and against prayer in school. (Heldberg 2001).

History shows that even our forefathers worried about prayer.

Not just in government but in schools as well. Ben Franklin took a stand to bring prayer to the attention o those at the Constitutional convention. He stood up during the convention and said, " In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had our daily prayers in the room for divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered"¦ and have we forgotten this powerful Friend?" Our country was founded on the prayers of our forefathers and the citizens of that time.

Supporters of school in prayer find a strong correlation between the decision made in 1963 and a moral decline since that time. Supporters feel that since students in schools have not been taught what prayer is or how to pray in school and that is the cause for the dramatic...