Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Some Background on the School Prayer decision

From the Wikipedia entry:

The case was brought by the families of public school students in New Hyde Park, New York who complained that the voluntary prayer to "Almighty God" contradicted their religious beliefs. They were supported by groups opposed to the school prayer including rabbinical organizations, Ethical Culture, and Judaic organizations. 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 plaintiffs argued that opening the school day with such a prayer violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (as applied to the states through the Fourteenth), which says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." The governments of twenty-two states signed on to an amicus curiae brief urging affirmation of the New York Court of Appeals decision that upheld the constitutionality of the prayer.[1] The American Ethical Union, the American Jewish Committee, and the Synagogue Council of America each submitted briefs urging the Court to instead reverse and rule that the prayer was unconstitutional.

See what I mean about the generic prayer?

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