College Papers

During religion, and this Supreme Court ruling favored

During the time of the oral arguments for the consolidated cases (Abington School District v. Schempp and Murray v. Curlett) on February 27 and 28, the nation was still in shock due to the previous year’s ruling of Engel v. Vitale. As a result of the Engel decision, there had been chaos which led to 150 proposals being produced in Congress in order to alter the Constitution. According to TheFreeDictionary.com, “Attorneys representing Pennsylvania and Baltimore officials denied that Bible reading or prayer had a religious nature, and claimed that it therefore did not violate the Establishment Clause—which, in any event, they maintained, was only designed to prevent an official state religion” (The Free Dictionary, “Abington School District v. Schempp”). Attorneys argued that Bible readings would provide the students with a much better environment filled with good vibes. 
“Justice Tom C. Clark’s majority opinion differed in a few respects from the previous year’s ruling: it admonished prayer advocates for ignoring the law, spelled out in some detail the precedents involved, and laid out the Court’s first explicit test for Establishment Clause questions. Founded on the idea of state neutrality, this test had a vital standard: any law hoping to survive the prohibitions of the Establishment Clause must have “a secular purpose and a primary effect that neither advances nor inhibits religion.”” (The Free Dictionary, “Abington School District v. Schempp”). The study of the Bible or religion was acceptable, but if and only if it is shown as nonreligious education. Based off the First Amendment, there should be no religious practices being conducted within public schools. “While the Free Exercise Clause clearly prohibits the use of State Action to deny the rights of free exercise to anyone,” Justice Clark observed, “it has never meant that a majority could use the machinery of the State to practice its beliefs.” 
In the end the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in favor of permanently removing school prayers and Bible readings from the public schools. Justice Tom Clark wrote, “Religious freedom, it has long been recognized that government must be neutral and, while protecting all, must prefer none and disparage none” (All About History, “School Prayer”). Though the government is to remain neutral, they are to still protect the citizens right of the First Amendment. The federal government considers atheism to be a religion, and this Supreme Court ruling favored atheism, at the expense of the Christian majority.