“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” -First Amendment, Bill of Rights
James Madison, the author of the Bill of Rights, granted every American citizen the rights to freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition through the First Amendment. Perhaps the most controversial of these freedoms throughout history is the freedom of religion. The strength of the First Amendment was tested in the landmark case of Engel v. Vitale in which ten students spoke out against …show more content…
The defense employed the common argument that the children were given a choice on whether they wished to partake in the prayer, therefore it cannot be proclaimed unconstitutional. In an 8-1, however, the Supreme Court determined that the school prayer was in direct contradiction with the Establishment Clause which was put in place to prevent government interference with religion. The reasoning behind the court’s decision was that education is mandatory in the United States for all children, and public schools must maintain a separation from any religion. This separation from religion does not include individuals praying on their own time in a public-school environment, and religion can be an academic subject if all religions are addressed without …show more content…
Vitale was greeted with conflicting emotions. While some saw it as a victory for religious freedom, some Christians were outraged that the government shunned God by banning school wide prayer. Political and religious leaders have claimed that the case has promoted atheism and that moral values have been undermined by removing religion from public education. These people wrongly believe that the ruling outlawed all prayer in public schools when it prohibits schools from writing or choosing a specific prayer and encouraging all students to partake in reciting it. Even today, over fifty years since the case, the opposition of the ruling continues to rail against the “godless public schools” and complain about how the Supreme Court “kicked God out of the schools.” These critics blame the absence of prayer in schools for tragedies such as school shootings and drug
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The Supreme Court case of Engel v. Vitale’s decision was based on the establishment clause. The case of Engel v. Vitale struck down state organized prayer in school. The prayer had government endorsement and was thus considered unconstitutional. The Supreme Court case of Oregon v. Smith used the free exercise clause the basis of their decision.
an you imagine yourself having to start your daily school routine with a prayer? This became a serious question to be taken up by the Supreme Court of the US, in November of 1951. Following an increase in in juvenile crime (many believe caused by the Korean War). The New York Board of Regents adopted a prayer to be recited in NY public schools (Dierenfield 67). The prayer was established because “...the regents believed that such a program would ensure that school children would acquire ‘respect for lawful authority and obedience to law’ ”
The reasoning behind that decision was that the provision allowing students to absent themselves from that activity did not make that law constitutional. The purpose of the First Amendment was to prevent government interference with religion (Facts and Case Summary - Engel v. Vitale, n.d.). Justice Douglas concurred with what the court had found. He took a broader view of the Establishment Clause, arguing that any type of public promotion of religion, including giving financial aid to religious schools, violates the establishment clause (Facts and Case Summary - Engel v. Vitale, n.d.). I would agree with this decision in some ways, but there are some that I do not agree with.
In 1951, the following prayer was written that was intended to be recited each morning as part of the regents’ Statement of Moral and Spiritual Training in the Schools: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country.” Because the regents made the recitation of the prayer each day entirely optional to the school boards and the individual families of students, many New York school districts shunned the prayer because of their eclectic student bodies. Not only was the state religiously and ethnically diverse, but religious instruction in state schools was declared unconstitutional by the 1948 Supreme Court decision in the McCollum vs. Board of Education case. Because of the constantly increasing controversy about religious teaching in public schools, at least 90% of New York districts were not using the prayer by the late 1950s. Then, in 1958, five parents (of varying religions and ethnicities) of students within the district filed a lawsuit to stop the use of the prayer in their schools.
The Importance of the 1st Amendment In 1787 our founding fathers assembled the constitution of the United States of America. Of this which contains the most important document to the American citizen, the Bill of rights. The first Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances” These freedoms granted by the Bill of Rights are often known as freedom of expression. These rights are most important to a truly free society. The first amendment provides us with new ideas and dismisses the fear of punishment
Civil liberties are rights guaranteed to citizens in the Constitution that the government cannot interfere with, however, in the name of national security, they do. The government sometimes finds it necessary for Americans to give up some of their basic rights to keep the nation protected, but many people find this unnecessary. A law-abiding citizen’s extremely personal information should not be essential to finding terroristic threats within this society. Under no circumstances should an American citizen’s civil liberties be violated in a time of war or crisis, because those are assured rights that are most valuable to their freedom during national conflicts.
The question on whether the 2nd Amendment in the U.S. should be changed or not has become a widely discussed and argued topic as of recent, due to recurring incidents of shootings occurring on U.S. soil by its own inhabitants. While many would be in support of the right to bear arms, including myself, I do believe that the current gun laws need to be made more restrictive than they are in their current state, for the sake of the country and the safety of its people. I’m well aware that I am not a U.S. citizen and that I have no say in what decisions are made there regarding the country’s constitution, but I feel that what I have to say is shared by many of America’s people and that it’s not only Americans that are affected by guns but also those who are visiting the country from abroad. There are many problems regarding America’s very unrestrictive gun laws at present, whether it’s the fact that there is no federal minimum age for possession of a long gun, or the fact that individuals don’t
The Second Amendment protects the right of people to keep and bear arms. This amendment was a controversial among different people in the government. It was between letting the people keep their weapons or to not let the people keep their weapons. This amendment was important to the framers of the Constitution because it provided the country with a well-regulated militia. The Second Amendment states "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Censorship of The First Amendment This paper will discuss how censorship denies citizens of the United States our full rights as delineated in the First Amendment. It will outline how and why the first amendment was created and included in the Constitution of the United States of America. This paper will also define censorship, discuss a select few legal cases surrounding freedom of speech and censorship as well as provide national and local examples of censorship.
They Did It ! Recently a decision was made that will change America forever. On August 18th Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th amendment, therefore granting women the right to vote in all states. This decision with certainly be met with both support and opposition from many.
In the late 1700’s, James Madison wrote the first Ten Amendments that are listed in the United States Constitution. The Bill of Rights were written to ensure American citizens that they have freedoms and rights that the government can 't infringe. Out of the Ten Amendments, I believe that the First and Eighth Amendment are the most significant. The First Amendment grants us freedom of speech, religion, press, petition, and for people to assemble peaceably.
“The students alleged that Westside 's refusal violated the Equal Access Act, which requires that schools in receipt of federal funds provide "equal access" to student groups seeking to express "religious, political, philosophical, or other content" messages” (Board of Education of Westside Community Schools v. Mergens by and Through Mergens). Many still argue today that Westside 's prohibition against the Christian club, consistent with the Establishment Clause, makes the Equal Access Act unconstitutional.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated… We all know the fourth amendment. It's the amendment that guarantees our safety within our homes and our personal belongings. Yet, how much do you know about the fourth amendment? The fourth amendment is full of history, controversy, and discussion, even in modern day.
Freedom Anyone in the world with an occasional source of internet has no choice but to see the seemingly outrageous news stories, posted weekly on events in the US. American’s have made their distrust in the government more than obvious, which in many cases, the government has provoked. The largest debate in the states today is the with the concept of freedom and where the lines are drawn between social security, equality, and one’s rights. Freedom is and always has been heavily emphasized in the development of the 50 states. It’s brought peace and war both figuratively and literally.