To pray or not to Pray
“The trend of taking God and moral teaching out of schools is a diabolical scheme,” declared the Reverend Billy Graham soon after the Engel versus Vitale and
Schempp verdict (Haas 30). The debate over the separation of church and state had been swirling through courtrooms for years. The controversy over school prayer in the Engel versus Vitale case started over a prayer recited in the New York public school system, known as the Regent’s Prayer. A group of three parents found the prayer unfair to their children and decided to take their case to court. After hard work and tough battles the case came to the Supreme Court. On June 25, 1962 the court made the decision to ban prayer from public schools across the nation. Yet, the prayer is beneficial to help minimize juvenile delinquency, does not favor one religion, and revives America’s spiritual heritage.
“Something is terribly wrong with our education system. The evidence is everywhere: children who cannot read, graduates who cannot reason, danger in school yards, and indoctrination in classrooms,” (Free 1). Since the court outlawed prayer, the nation has been in a moral decline. Serious crimes in schools have risen to 3,000,000 a year, violent assaults have risen to 465,000, and the number of teachers attacked per year reaches 5,000 (Crisis). Taking prayer out of school has allowed immorality and violence to seep into the public school system. Teen pregnancy, school shootings, and drug use have become more prominent then any other time in our country’s history.
Teen pregnancy increased two hundred percent from 1960 to 1990 (Geisler 2). Without moral instruction and values teens are going out and getting pregnant without even thinking of the consequences. Children are having children. Some take the easy way out and have abortions, which are unfair to the innocent child at hand. Between 1960’s and 1990’s abortion has increased one thousand percent (2). There is a strong correlation between the expulsion of school prayer and the rise in teen pregnancies and abortions.
A study by the National School Safety Center reported school deaths have occurred in all but eleven states (Facts 1). Guns caused seventy-seven percent of all violent deaths in schools (1). Two hundred and thirty-five school-associated violent deaths occurred in the United States over the past eight years (1). One in twelve high school student...