Prayer in Schools

Joe Kennedy of Bremerton High School


This morning, I was watching and listening to the ladies of ‘The View’ and one of their Hot Topics concerned the High School Football Coach who wanted his team to pray after the game.

One of the ladies, and I won’t name names, said that prayer had been taken out of schools because other religions and Muslims were ‘upset’ about praying to God.

Actually, Muslims had absolutely nothing to do with prayer being removed from our schools.  And neither was prayer removed by immigrants from other countries.  Prayer was removed from our schools by AMERICANS.

The first case was Engel vs. Vitale.   The excerpt below is from Wikepedia.

Lehman Engel

Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case that ruled it is unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and encourage its recitation in public schools.

The case was brought by a group of families of public school students in New Hyde Park, New York, who complained that the voluntary prayer written by the state board of regents to “Almighty God” contradicted their religious beliefs. Led by Stephen Engel, a follower of Judaism,[1] the plaintiffs sought to challenge the constitutionality of the state’s prayer in school policy. They were supported by groups opposed to the school prayer including rabbinical organizations, Ethical Culture, and Judaic organizations. The acting parties were not members of one particular religion; despite being listed in the court papers as an atheist, plaintiff Lawrence Roth later denied this allegation and described himself as religious but not comfortable with prayer.[2] The five plaintiffs were made up of 3 Jews and two self-proclaimed “spiritual” people who did not belong to any one organized religion. The prayer in question was:

“Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee,
and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers
and our country. Amen.”[

The second case, the one I remember most, because as I’ve said before, I grew up in rural Latham Alabama.  And I clearly remember assembling, outside, in front of our school rooms to recite The Pledge of Allegiance and prayer afterwards.  The sight of row after row of children, lined up, with their right hand plastered to their chests, reciting in unison the Pledge of Allegiance is something I will never forget.

The second case against prayer in school was Murray v. Curlett:

Madalyn Murray O’Hair

Madalyn Murray O’Hair (née Mays; April 13, 1919 – September 29, 1995),[1] who also used multiple pseudonyms (her most preferred being M. Bible),[2]was an American atheist activist, founder of American Atheists, and the organization’s president from 1963 to 1986. She created the first issues of American Atheist Magazine. One of her sons, Jon Garth Murray, became the nominal president of the organization from 1986 to 1995, but she remained de facto president during these nine years.

O’Hair is best known for the Murray v. Curlett lawsuit, which led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling ending official Bible-reading in American public schools in 1963. This came just one year after the Supreme Court prohibited officially sponsored prayer in schools in Engel v. Vitale. After she founded the American Atheists and won Murray v. Curlett, she achieved attention to the extent that in 1964 Life magazine referred to her as “the most hated woman in America”.[3][4]

We should not blame others for the crap we do to ourselves.

And finally, let me say it was a pleasure seeing Sheri Shepherd back on The View this morning.

A Tiny Kitten With A Big Mouth

Eliza D. Ankum
Author of
Flight 404
Ruby Sanders A Novel
Jared Anderson A Novel
Dancing With The Fat Woman



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