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Separation of Church and State Debate

Separation of Church and State

Presently in America there are serious concern about issues dealing with the church and the state. The main issue is the separation of church and state within the United States, dealing with predominantly with the First Amendment and how Americans respond to this amendment. Throughout history, there have been many court cases dealing with the separation of church and state. The Engel vs. Vitale court case also deals with the First Amendment and, the on, that I will address the case of Engel versus Vitale. The First Amendment is of a great importance to the American people because it describes there freedom that they have.

The court case of Engel versus Vitale went all the way to the Supreme Court whose verdict came to be an overruling of the district court. This case dealt with the public school district of New Hyde Park, New York. The problem in this case was that school officials were allowing a school prayer at the beginning of the day. A main political issue within public schools involves the First Amendment, how the school system enforces certain things and how schools can get around the separation between church and state. The First Amendment is being violated by allowing public officials(teachers) to direct prayer in schools. The reason that this is a violation is because prayer, bible readings and moments of silence are prohibited in public school systems.

The First Amendment has many different interpretations that people are attaching to it. People took this amendment to mean that the government was not intended to be banned from assisting religion or was intended to be erased from public or government officials.

The Supreme Court case off 1962, Engel versus Vitale, was a case about whether prayer should or should not be allowed in public schools. The argument is drawn from the First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment. The Board of Directors of the school district of New Hyde, New York held firm to the prayer they wanted to say at the beginning of school which follows: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon thee, and we beg thy blessing upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country(370 U.S. Sec. 421)." This brief prayer is known as the Regent Prayer.

Ten pupils of the public school asked if this prayer was against their beliefs, and those that their parents instilled in them. Their parents felt the prayer was...

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