Engel V. Vitale Case Study

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Garrett Walters Government F.A.P. 12/6/16 Engel v. Vitale The Supreme Court case, Engel v. Vitale, was an extremely controversial case that directly dealt with the First Amendment. Engel v. Vitale was such a controversial case that it has opened the doorway for other cases dealing with church and state. This Court case established a separation between church and state. In 1962 A New York State law required public schools to open each day with the Pledge of Allegiance and a nondenominational prayer in which the students recognized their dependence upon God. The law allowed students to absent themselves from this activity if they found it objectionable. The parents upset with this requirement sued the school insisting that this required prayer was against the religion and belief of…show more content…
The majority stated that the provision allowing students to absent themselves from this activity did not make the law constitutional because the purpose of the First Amendment was to prevent government interference with religion. The majority noted that religion is very important to a vast majority of the American people. Since Americans adhere to a wide variety of beliefs, it is not appropriate for the government to endorse any particular belief system. The majority noted that wars, persecutions, and other destructive measures often arose in the past when the government involved itself in religious affairs. The Court case Engel v. Vitale originated in a New York school where students and their parents felt their rights were being violated when the school implemented a mandatory prayer. Five decades later, Engel continues to be reviled by a good number of televangelists and politicians who take every opportunity to rail against the “godless public schools.” Eliminating school-sponsored prayer, they argue, set America on the road to moral and spiritual
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