Abington School District vs. Schempp
Required School Prayer
In 1949, a state-wide law was passed in Pennsylvania that required public school students to read scriptures from the Bible and recite the Lord's Prayer everyday in class. This law stayed intact until Edward Schempp challenged it nine years later. Pennsylvania wasn't the first or the only state to enforce law making it mandatory for students to read from the Bible during school. Twenty-five additional states had laws allowing "optional" reading for the Bible. But in eleven of the twenty-five states, courts had decided those laws were unconstitutional.
Mr. Schempp took the case to court in to 1958, claiming that required reading for the Bible and recitation of the Lord's Pray prohibited free exercise of religion for his children, and was therefore unconstitutional, under the First Amendment. Mr. Schempp son, Ellory, stated under oath, that he didn't not believe in Jesus Christ, or the Christian beliefs. He testified that ideas opposing to his were presented to him while he was at school in Abington High. He received punishment because he refused to stand at attention during the recitation of the Lord's Prayer and when requested to leave during the exercise, his demands were denied.
One of the greatest witnesses was Rabbi Dr. Solomon Grayzel. Dr. Grayzel explained the psychological harm that could come from reading the New Testament without explanation. The context of the New Testament, without explanation of the work, had caused grievances in Jewish children while in similar required situations. This also came to show that if a Jewish child could be offended and upset by the Bible reading, any child of a family rejecting the principles of the Trinity and Jesus Christ would be equally offended, to the point that reading the Bible could be considered blasphemous.
In argument for the recitation of the Lord's Prayer, they said that reading the Bible not only was essential to the building...
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