Twitter icon

Facebook icon

About us
Our statement of belief
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' donated essays
Our forum
New essays
Other site features
Hot, controversial topics
Vital notes

World religions
Definition of Christianity
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
 Bible Interpreting
 Individuals in the Bible
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation & 666
WICCA & Witchcraft
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Compare Faiths

Non-theistic beliefs

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods and Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Confusing terms
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
More information

Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
10 Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Death penalty
Environment/Climate change

Gay marriages

Human rights
Gays in military
Sex & gender
Spanking kids
Same-Sex marriages
Stem cells
Women's rights
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news

Religious Tolerance logo

Religious law and school prayer


Religion and prayer in U.S.
public schools, libraries,
School Board meetings, etc.

horizontal rule


bullet"Americans are being denied the right to express their religious speech in the public square." Ralph Reed, Christian Coalition.
bullet "Public schools can neither foster religion nor preclude it. Our public schools must treat religion with fairness and respect and vigorously protect religious expression as well as the freedom of conscience of all other students. In so doing our public schools reaffirm the First Amendment and enrich the lives of their students". Federal Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley June 1998
bullet"A Congress that allows God to be banned from our schools while our schools can teach about cults, Hitler and even devil worship is wrong, out of touch, and needs some common sense." Rep. James Traficant, (D-OH) 1999-APR-27.
bullet"There is no such source and cause of strife, quarrel, fights, malignant opposition, persecution, and war, and all evil in the state, as religion. Let it once enter our civil affairs, our government would soon be destroyed. Let it once enter our common schools, they would be destroyed." Supreme Court of Wisconsin, Weiss v. District Board, 1890-MAR-18.
bullet"A union of government and religion tends to destroy government and degrade religion." Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, Engel v. Vitale, (1962)
bullet"School sponsorship of a religious message is impermissible because it sends the ancillary message to members of the audience who are nonadherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community. " U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Santa Fe v. Doe, (2000).

horizontal rule

Topics covered:


A general introduction:

  • Part 1: Overview. Prayers during school instruction time. Two major U.S. Supreme Court rulings: Engel v. Vitale & Lemon v. Kurtzman.

  • Part 2: What the U.S. Constitution prohibits (Cont'd).

  • Part 3: What the U.S. Constitution allows. Enforcing religious rights. Factors to consider: prayers in school.

  • Part 4: Factors to consider about prayers in school (Continued). List of landmark court rulings.

bulletAbout prayer in public schools:
bulletThe court case that ended state-sponsored prayer
bulletQuotations from religious and political leaders
bulletPraying in the classroom  -- legally
bulletMoment of silence
bulletPosition of U.S. political parties on school prayer
bulletPopular misconceptions about school prayer
bulletAccommodating prayers by Muslims
bulletAbout prayer at municipal government meetings
bulletTeaching religion:
bulletTeaching religion vs. teaching about religion
bulletPrayer at special events:
bulletSports events
bulletGraduation ceremonies
bulletCourt decisions and public reactions on graduation prayers
bulletAt the flagpole - See You at the Pole events
bulletStudent free speech guarantees:
bulletStudents' religious jewelry and clothing
bulletEqual Access Act regarding student clubs
bulletEvents reported in the media:
bullet1995 to 1997 inclusive
bullet2000 to 2002
bullet2003 to now

bulletOther matters:
bulletRenting school & library facilities to community groups
bulletWhat the Bible says about public prayer
bulletSeparation of church and state issues
bulletThe Pledge of Allegiance prayer
bulletMississippi High school student called "fool." Response by the American Humanist Association.

Sponsored link.

Sources of additional information:

bulletThe U.S. Department of Education guidelines for religion in the public schools at: 

bullet The National Congress of Parents and Teachers and Freedom Forum's "A parent's guide to religion in the public schools," at: This is a PDF file.

bulletFreedom Forum's "A teacher's guide to religion in the public schools," at: * **

bullet National Bible Association and the First Amendment Center's "The Bible & Public Schools," at: This is also a PDF file.

bulletAnti-Defamation League (ADL)'s "Religion in the Public Schools" at:

Sponsored link:


  1. Religion Today news summary, 1999-MAR-19.
  2. ACLU Newsfeed, 1999-NOV-5.
  3. Rutherford Institute has a web page at:  
  4. Natural Prayer Project is available at:
    bulletPhone: 1-800-209-9929 (US only)
    bulletFax: (619) 573-0752
  5. Dave Clark, "Dallas schools attempt church ouster," at: 

Not a sponsored link

Beliefnet Free Newsletters

Receive a daily dose of wisdom, humor, inspiration and more.

Beliefnet is a multifaith e-community designed to help you meet your own religious and spiritual needs -- in an interesting, captivating and engaging way. They are independent and are not affiliated with a particular religion or spiritual movement.

You can choose from among:

bulletTen newsletters that deal with "tools for living."
bulletEight dealing with "religious wisdom" from a variety of faiths.
bulletFive dealing with "Inspiration."

Sponsored links:

Site navigation:

Home page > Christianity > Christian history > Prayer > here

or: Home page > Law menu > here

Copyright 1995 to 2015 by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Created 1995-APR-27

Last updated 2015-OCT-17
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)

Sponsored link.

Go to the previous page, or go to the "religious law menu," or to the Christian prayer menu, or choose:

To search this website:

Click on one of the links ^^ above at the < < left, or use this search bar:

search tips advanced search
search engine by freefind

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Hot, controversial topics

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

Sponsored links: