Essay:School Prayer and the First Amendment

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This essay is an original work by LeoS. Please comment only on the talk page.

Since 1962, ordinary Christian American taxpayers have been subsidising a public schooling system that, quite apart from its many failings and overwhelming liberal bias, insists on suppressing religion in the lives of young peoples. Liberals who support the destruction of classroom prayer insist that they are supporting the First Amendment right for people to hold different beliefs, and that the separation of church and state prevents it.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The separation of church and state was designed to prevent the system whereby in England, senior bishops automatically gain seats in Parliament. It does not mean that the federal government should be attempting to secularize the nation. Indeed, attempting to do this would be a violation of the First Amendment which guarantees a freedom of belief. Liberals attempt to use this to claim that specifically Christian worship would be intolerant. In fact, even if the minority beliefs were disadvantaged (and exposure to Christianity will have anything but that effect), suppressing classroom prayer only disadvantages the majority Christian student population.

School prayer always stuck to the First Amendment. It allowed the majority Christian student group to use their freedom of belief and to create a feeling of mutual respect in the classroom. Nobody is forced to contribute against their beliefs; they can simply wait quietly and respect others' beliefs, in accordance with the First Amendment. Before the ban on school prayer, nobody was forced to act against their beliefs. Now, a majority of the students are forced to act against their beliefs.

This is not just a moral injustice, it is a constitutional one.

There has to be a reckoning.

But how can that happen? In this, just like Roe vs. Wade, liberals pass laws by stealth through the courts. Judges are meant to interpret laws, not create them, and yet liberal judges and justices have continued to pass laws against the will of the people and the Constitution. A cursory glance through the U.S. Constitution reveals no mention of “school prayer” or “abortion”; so how can it ban one and legalise the other? Whatever you believe about those two issues, you cannot argue that the Constitution rules on them; it quite simply does not.

So, how do we proceed to return school prayer to its rightful place in our classrooms? How do we stop multiculturalism and militant Islam infecting students? One way is through a constitutional amendment. Personally, I feel that this is not the way to proceed. Firstly, it is overwhelmingly difficult to achieve; two-thirds supermajorities in Congress and three-quarters of the states will not be easy to create. The other disadvantage of the amendment route is that it will allow liberals to misrepresent our efforts. We are not trying to create a new right; only affirm the ones that already exist.

My favoured solution is for the court that originally outlawed prayer to follow my argument and thus reverse its decision. Again, this may be difficult. It may be easier for the court to simply say that the Constitution has no ruling, and let the elected Congress and President decide. That is the democratic way. Unlike liberals, I am not afraid of democracy. Real democracy will bear me out, and will restore classroom prayer. Liberals who fear the results of genuine democracy try to circumvent it through the courts. We need a succession of strong, conservative presidents to reshape the Supreme Court, and thus repeal the unjust precedent.

Leo Samuels