The First Amendment to the Constitution means the following:
- Congress can’t establish a religion
- Congress can’t stop free exercise of religion
- Freedom of speech
- Freedom of the press
- Right to PEACEFULLY assemble
- Right to complain about the government
What the First Amendment doesn’t say is anything about the separation of Church and State. That was Thomas Jefferson’s opinion written in a letter. Nothing more.
Up until June 25, 1962 all American children started their school day pledging their allegiance to the United States of America and a prayer. Having been one of those children privileged enough to pray each morning in a public school I can attest to the fact June 25, 1962 was a sad day for the United States.
At a time in our history when school children were frightened under their desks on a regular basis for “duck and cover” drills school prayer was taken from them. The comfort received by a daily reminder that God or the Supreme Being of any faith was there to protect us was gone. The acknowledgement of a higher power was muted.
Then came the birth of “political correctness”. Parents of ten children sued New York because they were offended by prayer. Forget that my mother of four children and the parents of the great majority of school children wanted their children to pray. The United States Supreme Court ruled in Engel v. Vitale that school prayer violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
In an attempt to placate a handful the Supreme Court trampled the rights of the majority to exercise their religious freedoms. “One Nation Under God” should be allowed to worship freely any place they see fit including schools.
It is no wonder that parents of Christian children are up in arms upon learning that although the Supreme Court does not allow their children to pray in public schools, Muslim children are given rooms to pray in. It is not because they are against Muslim children praying. It is because all other children are not afforded equal rights.
Either it is unconstitutional for children to pray in school or it is not. For a nation to print “In God We Trust” on our currency it is not very Christian like not to let children pray.
Let all the children pray. There is a solution to every problem. Larger schools could have home rooms of different faiths. Leaders of all represented faiths could come up with a suitable children’s prayer. Muslim Mondays, Catholic Tuesdays, Jewish Wednesdays….. Find a way.
Like the song says “red or yellow, black or white they are all precious in his sight”. Maybe if children were exposed to other religions they would grow into more tolerant adults. It is sure worth a try. Pitting one faith against another is not the American way.