Removal of Prayer Snowballs
“Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our Country.”
The 22 word prayer that was declared to be unconstitutional and which led to the removal of all prayer from public schools in the case Engel v. Vitale. This little prayer acknowledges God only one time. The Declaration of Independence itself acknowledges God four times.
Within 12 months of Engel v. Vitale, in two more cases called Abington v. Schempp and Murray v. Curlett, the court had completely removed Bible reading, religious classes/instruction. This was a radical reversal of lawand all without precedental justification or Constitutional basis.
If portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could be, and had been, psychologically harmful to the child. (Abington v. Schempp, June 17, 1963).
The Courts justification for removing Bible reading from public schools. The Court at this time declared that only 3% of the nation professed no belief in religion, no belief in God. Although this prayer was consistent with 97% of the beliefs of the people of the United States, the Court decided for the 3% against the majority.
What happens when a nation stops basing its judgments on a Biblical basis?
Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. George Washington
- If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon and to perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments; this is not a permissible objective.
Stone v. Gramm, 1980, challenging the right of students to “see” the 10 Commandments on the wall of a school. The Court even the defined the posting of the document as a “passive” display, meaning someone would have to stop and look on their own volition.
- What does it mean when the Court declares something to be unconstitutional? It means that the Founding Fathers would have opposed this, would not have wanted this. We have staked the whole future of American civilization not on the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.
James Madison, the chief architect of the Constitution