The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America reads: ” Congress shall make on law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This amendment is commonly called the Establishment Clause. It forms the foundation of the right of every American to practice their chosen religion freely and without interference of the government. This idea of freedom of religion has been stated plainly in the Constitution, but is vague on the questions raised about the meaning of religious freedom. In 1947, the Supreme Court issued a statement emphasizing the separation of church and state. But one of the questions that is raised is, when is prayer appropriate? Is it separation of church and state when congress opens each session with a Christian prayer or when they swear-in government officials with a bible? For some people in Congress this raises serious questions about when prayer is or isn’t appropriate. In 1962, the Supreme Court decided that public schools didn’t have the power to authorize school prayer. It was stated that religion is private and schools are public. Any prayer in school goes against the basis in which our country was formed upon. America came into existence because colonists wanted religious freedom. Our founding fathers carefully wrote the constitution to grant the freedom of separation of church and state. Students are entitled to the right to express their religious beliefs in school, but it is unconstitutional for the administration to endorse or discriminate against any religion. The practice of coercive prayer is unconstitutional and should be forever kept separate from this nation’s schools. Religion in public schools has been around for many years. In fact, it started in the colonial period of the United States history. This is when the schools were thought to be an arm of the church; therefore their curriculum contained reli…
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