1) Our government was based on religious principles from the very beginning. The Declaration of Independence says:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by God with certain unalienable rights..."
Indeed, it speaks of God, creations, God-given moral rights, the providence of God, and a final Day of Judgment - all of which are religious teachings. Indeed, the Supreme Court affirmed (Zorach, 1952) that "We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being." And school prayer has been an important part of our religious experience from the very beginning.
2) The First Amendment does not separate God and government but actually encourages religion. It reads:
"Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
The first clause merely declares that the federal government cannot establish one religion for all the people. It says nothing about "separation of church and state." In fact, five of the 13 states that ratified it had their own state religions at the time. The second clause insists that the government should do nothing to discourage religion. But forbidding prayer in schools discourages religion.
3) Early congressional actions encouraged religion in public schools. For example, the Northwest Treaty (1787 and 1789) declared:
"Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary for good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of learning shall forever be encouraged."
Thus, religion, which includes prayer, was deemed to be necessary.
4) Early presidents, with congressional approval, made proclamations encouraging public prayer. President Washington on Oct. 3, 1789, declared:
"Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me 'to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer...'"
5) Congress has prayed at the opening of every session since the very beginning. Indeed, in a moment of crisis at the very first Continental Congress Benjamin Franklin urged prayer and observed:
"In the beginning of the Contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible to danger, we had daily prayer in this room for Divine protection. - Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered... And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance? ...I therefore beg leave to move - that henceforth prayer imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service."
Congress has begun with prayer ever since. If the government can pray in their session, why can't the governed pray in their (school) sessions?
6) Public schools had prayer for nearly 200 years before the Supreme Court ruled that state-mandated class prayers were unconstitutional (Engle, 1962). The fact that prayer was practiced for nearly 200 years establishes it by precedent as a valid and beneficial practice in our schools.
7) Since the court outlawed prayer, the nation has been in steady moral decline. Former Secretary of Education William Bennett revealed in his cultural indexes that between 1960 and 1990 there was a steady moral decline. During this period divorce double, teenage pregnancy went up 200%, teen suicide increased 300%, child abuse reached an all-time high, violent crime went up 500% and abortion increased 1000%. There is a strong correlation between the expulsion of prayer from our schools and the decline in morality.
8) Morals must be taught, and they cannot properly be taught without religion. There cannot be a moral law without a moral Law Giver. And there is no motivation for keeping the moral law unless there is a moral Law Giver who can enforce it by rewards and punishments.
9) Forbidding prayer and other religious expressions in public schools establishes, in effect, the religion of secularism. The Supreme Court has affirmed that there are religions, such as "secular humanism", which do not believe in God (Torcaso, 1961). Justice Potter (Abington, 1963) rightly feared that purging the schools of all religious beliefs and practices would lead to the "establishment of a religion of secularism." In fact, the beliefs of secular humanism are just the opposite of the Declaration of Independence. By not allowing theistic religious expression, the courts have favored the religious beliefs of secular humanism, namely, no belief in God, God-given moral laws, prayer and a Day of Judgment.
10) To forbid the majority the right to pray because the minority object, is to impose the irreligion of the minority on the religious majority. Forbidding prayer in schools, which a three-quarters majority of Americans favors, is the tyranny of the minority. It is minority rule, not democracy. Why should an irreligious minority dictate what the majority can do? The majority wishes to preserve our moral and spiritual values and, thus, our good nation.