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This is the first thorough examination of school prayer to bring together the experiences of parents and children involved in contesting public school sanctioned prayer and Bible reading. Alley explores the way in which terms like "nonpreferentialism," "toleration" and "accommodation" are being used to hide violations of the First Amendment.
Personal interviews were conducted with those involved in seven prominent cases. Each story challenges communities that impose the mores and cultural patterns of religion on their public schools. The result, in most instances, has been angry protests as well as threats against parents and children, and/or property damage.
What's wrong with a little prayer? One need only observe the ways in which religious fervor leads to the use of the Bible and prayer as a weapon against minorities.
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Robert S. Alley is professor emeritus of humanities at the University of Richmond. He is the author of Without a Prayer: Religious Expression in Public Schools and School Prayer: The Court, the Congress, and the First Amendment, and the editor of James Madison on Religious Liberty and The Constitution and Religion: Leading Supreme Court Cases on Church and State.Review:
"...a frank apologetic in behalf of separationist principles, but written with academic sensibility." -- Journal of Church and State, Autumn 1999
An alarming number of school districts are bending to pressure by those on the religious right to allow prayer, Bible readings, and other religious activities in classrooms, while directly infringing upon the rights of many students, believers and nonbelievers alike. Now, for the first time, noted author Robert S. Alley thoroughly examines school prayer, bringing together the experiences of parents and children who object to public school-sanctioned prayer and Bible reading. He shows what happens when people, concerned with education and the basic rights of our children, are forced to seek legal action to protect their constitutional liberties. -- Midwest Book Review
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