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Prayer in the Public Schools

QUESTION: When was prayer in the public schools outlawed?


The U. S. Supreme Court issued two bans on prayer in public schools. The first ban came in 1962 and the second was issued in 1963. The bans were the result of a court case sponsored in part by Madalyn Murray O'Hair. She was but one of the litigants in the lawsuit, but her name became synonymous with the case and the promotion of atheism. The ban not only outlawed prayer in public schools but it also banned Bible reading in public schools.

Madalyn Murray O'Hair was the founder of American Atheists, Inc. which not only sought to ban prayer in public schools but also actively promoted atheism and the continued separation of church and school. Madalyn Murray O'Hair was born in 1919 and mysteriously disappeared in 1995. It is assumed that she was murdered and her body was discovered in 2001.

In addition to be credited with the banning of prayer in public schools, Madalyn Murray O'Hair is also credited with trying to petition the U.S. government and the FCC to ban the use of the word "God" on the airways. However, unlike the ban on prayer in public schools this proposed ban is an Internet hoax, and her organization denies the rumors that this petition to ban the use of the word "God" on the airways was her doing.

Madalyn Murray O'Hair is survived by her son William J. Murray, the president of the Religious Freedom Coalition in Washington D.C. Unlike his mother who fought to ban prayer in public schools, William J. Murray is a strong Christian who fights for the rights of Christians around the world.

Learn more about Prayer in Public School.

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