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Engel V. Vitale Summary

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The issue in this case was whether school-sponsored nondenominational prayer in public schools violates the Establishment clause of the first amendment (Facts and Case Summary - Engel v. Vitale, n.d.). This case dealt with a New York state law that had 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 (Facts and Case Summary - Engel v. Vitale, n.d.). This law had also allowed students to absent themselves from this activity if they found that it was objectionable. There was a parent that sued the school on behalf of their child. Their argument was that the law violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, as made applicable…show more content…
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. I don’t agree that the Pledge of Allegiance violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment because you are not praying to anything or anyone. I would agree that the nondenominational prayer does violate this clause. The reason being is that schools are not allowed to require that there is to be a prayer because it comes down to the separation of church and state. Church is where you can go and pray, as well as practice your religion. The state, however, cannot mandate that there be prayer in school because it is not something that they can do because of the First
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