Argued: Engel v. Vitale — The U.S. Supreme Court will rule 7-1 that it is unconstitutional for a government agency or agents (such as public schools or their employees) to require students to recite prayers.
In New York, the State Board of Regents had written the following prayer to be recited by all public school children:
"Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country."
Justice Hugo Black writes in the majority opinion:
"Neither the fact that the prayer may be denominationally neutral nor the fact that its observance on the part of students is voluntary can serve to free it from the limitations of the Establishment Clause...
It is neither sacrilegious nor anti-religious to say that each separate government in this country should stay out of the business of writing or sanctioning official prayers and leave that purely religious function to the people themselves and to those the people choose to look to for religious guidance."
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