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bullet "Americans are being denied the right to express their religious speech in the public square." Ralph Reed, Christian Coalition.
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. (This is not a typo; this is a 19th century statement.)
bullet "In matters of faith, the majority has no power." Historic Protestant saying. 1
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 decision, Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, 2000-JUN-19. 2
bullet "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets that they may be seen of men.  Verily, I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly..." Matthew 6:5-6, The Holy Bible

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Topics covered in this essay:

bullet Introduction:
bullet Overview of court decisions and the First Amendment
bullet Is there any way to allow prayers at public school games?
bullet Historical court rulings
bullet The Santa Fe School District (Galveston TX) case:
bullet Introduction: Background; Supreme Court ruling
bullet Comments: Reactions to the ruling; Reporting inaccuracies; Author's opinions

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Related essays on this website:

bullet School prayer: introductory essay
bullet Teaching about religion and the Bible
bullet What the Bible says about public prayer
bullet Separation of church and state issues

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  1. "U.S. Supreme Court rules, 6-3, that prayer before football games in Texas is unconstitutional," Department of Public Affairs & Religious Liberty, Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2000-JUN-19.
  2. The text of the Supreme Court's decision in Santa Fe Independent School Dst. v. Doe is at:

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Copyright 1999 to 2001 incl., by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Created 1999-NOV-7
Last updated 2001-DEC-2
Author: B.A. Robinson

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