“In every case defending students’ rights to pray, the students have prevailed, even teachers have the right to pray in school.”
President Bill Clinton stated at James Madison High School, July 12, 1995:
“The First Amendment does not require students to leave their religion at the schoolhouse door …
If students can wear T-shirts advertising sports teams, rock groups or politicians, they can also wear T-shirts that promote religion …
Religion is too important to our history and our heritage for us to keep it out of our schools …”
“Nothing in the First Amendment converts our public schools into religion-free zones or requires all religious expression to be left behind at the schoolhouse door …
Government’s schools also may not discriminate against private religious expression during the school day.”
Though students continue to have the right to “voluntarily” pray in school, WHERE and WHEN did the effort begin to remove “mandatory” prayer from schools?
In 1959, a few liberal atheists filed a lawsuit to stop New York’s “mandatory” school prayer, which took place every morning after the Pledge of Allegiance.
“Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen.”
The A.C.L.U. represented the atheists in the case, Engel v. Vitale, which went up to the Supreme Court.
The A.C.L.U. was started by Roger Baldwin, who wrote in 1935:
“I am for socialism, disarmament, and ultimately, for abolishing the state itself … Communism is the goal.”
Baldwin also wrote:
“I joined. I don’t regret being a part of the Communist tactic, which increased the effectiveness of a good cause. I knew what I was doing. I was not an innocent liberal. I wanted what the Communists wanted.”
Reagan told the Annual Convention of the National Religious Broadcasters, January 30, 1984:
“I was pleased last year to proclaim 1983 the Year of the Bible. But, you know, a group called the A.C.L.U. severely criticized me for doing that.
Well, I wear their indictment like a badge of honor.”
In the Supreme Court decision of Engel v. Vitale, 1962, Justice Hugo Black sided with the atheists and ended the three century old tradition of state-sponsored “mandatory” prayer in public schools.
Hugo Black, interestingly enough, had never been a judge before being appointed to the Supreme Court by President Franklin Roosevelt. He had been a Democrat Senator and former K.K.K. member from Alabama.
Justice Hugo Black also supported Democrat President Franklin Roosevelt’s internment of Japanese during World War II in his Korematsu v. United States decision.
Around the time of Hugo Black’s Engel v. Vitale decision, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, an atheist proponent of socialism-communism, attempted to defect in 1960 to the U.S.S.R. (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), but was refused entry, as reported by son, William J. Murray.
Returning to Maryland, Madalyn Murray O’Hair sued the Baltimore City Public School System (Murray v. Curlett) to have “mandatory” Bible reading taken out of public schools, using her 14 year old son, William J. Murray, as the plaintiff.
The case went to the Supreme Court where it was combined with the case of Abington Township v. Schempp. As as result, “mandatory” Bible reading was stopped in America’s public schools.
An interesting note is that Madalyn Murray O’Hair had the habit of hiring felons to work for her to project a tough image. In 1995, three of the felons she employed murdered her, mutilated her body, and buried it in Texas.
Her son, William J. Murray, years earlier, had disassociated himself from his mother. He became a Christian, a minister, and an author, writing about his atheist upbringing in the book My Life Without God (2012).