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Sermon Illustrations > United States, foundation of > Engel v. Vitale, June 25, 1962
Engel v. Vitale, June 25, 1962

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The first separation of religious principles from public education. This is the case that removed school prayer. There were no precedents cited. The court did not quote previous legal cases or historical incidents. A new direction in the legal system&md;no longer constitutional.

"Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our Country."

The 22 word prayer that was declared to be unconstitutional and which led to the removal of all prayer from public schools in the case Engel v. Vitale. This little prayer acknowledges God only one time. The Declaration of Independence itself acknowledges God 4 times.

Within 12 months of Engel v. Vitale, in two more cases called Abington v. Schempp and Murray v. Curlett, the court had completely removed Bible reading, religious classes/instruction. This was a radical reversal of law&md;and all without precedental justification or Constitutional basis.