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Essay about Government and Religion: Praying in Public Schools

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Government and Religion: Praying in Public Schools

One very important issue in the United States is the relationship of government
and religion. Should there be any real entanglement between “Church and State” at all? In a letter to a Baptist minister, Thomas Jefferson stated that, “the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and State.” (http://www.free2pray.info/Danbury.html). The phrase, “a wall of separation between church and State”, is often quoted or referenced during discussions concerning the mixture of religion and politics. Politics and religion are generally perceived as two of the most controversial conversation subjects, often leading to heated debates over different issues. Yet, matters are certainly not any lighter, whenever you combine the two topics in a single discussion of their relationship to each other.
One crucial issue in this discussion is religion in the U.S. educational system. Up
until the middle of the 20th century, organized prayer and Bible reading were practiced by public schools across the country. In 1961, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled school prayer to be unconstitutional in the landmark case, Engel v. Vitale. Just two years later, in another landmark case, the court would decide that school sanctioned Bible readings and other similar religious activities should not be allowed as well (http://www.oyez.org/cases). Should these rulings continue to stand in this country? Yes. The government of the United States of America should continue to disallow prayer in the public school system. Praying public schools ...


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... General OneFile. Web. 16 Mar. 2012.
Boston, Rob. "Fact, Not Fantasy: The Real Story of the Supreme Court's School Prayer
Rulings." Church & State 60.9 (2007): 20+. General OneFile. Web. 16 Mar. 2012.
Boston, Rob. "Putting an End to 'Teacher-Preachers' in Public Schools." The Humanist
May-June 2007: 38+. General OneFile. Web. 4 Apr. 2012.

DelFattore, Joan. The Fourth R : Conflicts Over Religion in America's Public Schools.
New Haven: Yale University Press, c2004. Print.

Fraser, James W. Between Church and State: Religion and Public Education in a Multicultural America. New York: St. Martin’s Press, c1999.

Amundson, Kristen J. Religion in the Public Schools. Arlington: American Association of School Administrators, c1986

Rakove, Jack N. The Annotated U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard UP, 2009.


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