- What is Atheism
- Law & Politics
- Press Information
- Christians Take Over Interfaith Army Chapel in Combat Zone
- Press Kit
- 9/11: 'Never Forget' Must Include All Victims
- Atheists Advocate Separation of Church and State at DNC
- Congressman Pete Stark to Speak at 2013 National Convention
- American Atheists Announces 50th Anniversary Logo Design Contest
- American Atheists Announces Harassment Policy for Conventions and Conferences
- American Atheists Jubilant Over Latest Religion Report
- American Atheists Removes Religious Billboards from Charlotte
- Former Pastor Now American Atheists Public Relations Director
- Former Pastor Teresa MacBain New Public Relations Director
- ITALIAN JUDGE LUIGI TOSTI ACQUITTED!
- American Atheists to Protest Bradford County, FL Decalogue on May 19
Supporting Civil Rights for Atheists and the Separation of Church and State
No doubt about it. Prayer in schools is a controversial issue, and one with a good deal of heated rhetoric -- with little understanding. What are the facts behind this controversial practice? Is prayer in the schools a \solution\ to a wide range of problems, both real and exaggerated, which confront kids and the rest of American society? Is religious ritual and instruction the only way to teach \values\ and ethics?
AMERICAN ATHEISTS grew out of the famous U.S. Supreme Court case Murray v. Curlett which helped to end -- at least in theory -- the practice of bible and prayer recitation in the public schools. Since then, that legal case and the woman behind it - Madalyn Murray O'Hair -- have been blamed for rising teen pregnancy rates, crime, drug use, violence and youth-related problems. Today, religious groups are insisting that we \put god back in the classroom\, and begin to emphasize religion in the teaching of history, civics and other subjects.
But what are the facts behind the school prayer controversy? Study this important issue and you may find that it involves a good deal more than many religious advocates would have you believe!
There are serious legal and ethical problems involved; and there is the danger of turning our schools into religious pulpits, rather than institutions which teach children subjects like math, science, biology and history.
And what about moving beyond just the practice of having prayer in classrooms? Many religious groups want \more of a role for religion\ in the teaching of everything from history to biology. Some want to emphasize the \religious contribution\ in the history of our nation, and the world; others insist that evolution should not be taught in schools, or want \equal time\ in the science classes for bogus doctrines like Creationism.
AMERICAN ATHEISTS supports the idea that public schools must remain \religion free zones.\ School administrators and teachers have no business in promoting religious beliefs or ceremonies; such a practice violates the basic liberties of millions of school children (and parents) who have no religious ideology. And official prayer in schools also ignores the growing pluralism in American culture over which religion is \right\.