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Engel vs Vitale - Research Paper Example

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Author [Manager] [Subject] 27 May 2015 ENGLE V. VITALE 370 US 421 (1962) Facts: The Board of Regents in the State of New York has allowed the recitation of a voluntary prayer “Almighty God” before the start of the day in school. Several of the students of the public schools through their parents complained that such mandatory requirement…
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Download file to see previous pages Amen”. The parents of the students filed a case against the school for violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Issue: Whether or not the recitation of the prayer violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Held: The Supreme Court held that the mandatory requirement of recitation of an official prayer in a public school in unconstitutional as it violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. “The justices have observed that the place of religion in our society is an exalted one, but in the relationship between man and religion, the State is firmly committed to a position of neutrality. Students may pray silently as they wish. What the Constitution forbids is the sponsorship or encouragement of prayer, directly or indirectly, by public school authorities (Edwards III, Wattenberg and Lineberry, 107)”. The Court has given an emphasis on the importance of separation between church and state. The promotion of a religious belief by the school through the recitation of a prescribed prayer creates a Constitutional infirmity. It is considered as a religious activity, and the promotion by the school of a particular religious belief to be adapted by its students is constitutionally impermissible. The Court did not agree with the defendant’s position that the promotion of the religious belief is not coercive. It further explained that mere promotion such as recitation of an official prayer in school is sufficient to establish a violation. The civil liberty of the freedom of religion is a right guaranteed by the Constitution which must be upheld and respected by the school authorities. According to Judge Albert Rosenblatt, “by Establishment, we mean state religion, in 1791, the framers of the Constitution recognized that the country (USA) would do better not with just a single religion, but a diversity of religion in relation to Madison and Jefferson’s thinking and we value it today as Americans, and felt good about the role of the separation of the church and the state. However, First Amendment prohibits establishment of a religion, it did prohibit state religion which means, when the government did support a national or state religion, which means all tax payers are paying to support a particular a faith or creed that is not yours. As Americans, we do not want the government to support one particular religion. It is not politically ideological, cultural and financial that we pay or support one particular religion” (State Court Watch). Rosenblatt’s view that the separation of the church and the state is inviolable should be upheld. “Thomas Jefferson has argued that the first amendment created a wall of separation between the church and the state, forbidding not just to favouritism, but also any support to religion at all (Edwards III, Wattenberg and Lineberry, 106).” In this particular case, students should not be exposed to the practice of recitation of a voluntary prayer which is not in accordance with their religious belief. Every person must be given the freedom to choose their own religion and faith. Religious liberty is a right of a person recognized under the constitution. The principle of federalism teaches us that the government of this nation is shared by two sets of sovereigns, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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