Madalyn Murray O Hair Case Study

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MURRY V. CURLETT Madalyn Murray O’Hair was an American Atheist activist. Madalyn O’Hair was the founder of the organization called American Atheists and served as president from 1963-1986. Since Madalyn was an atheist, she believed that the teachings of the Bible and prayer should not be in the public school systems at all. The case Murray v Curlett was centered on Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s son, William Murray. O’Hair first started up a petition to stop the prayer and teachings of the Bible, but that failed in the results she sought after. She then took the case to a local court judge. Judge J. Gilbert Pendergast dismissed the petition stating, “It is abundantly clear that petitioner’s real objective is to drive every concept of religion out of the public school system.” The case then went to the Maryland Court of Appeals and the court ruled, “Neither the First nor the Fourteenth Amendment was intended to stifle all rapport between religion and the government.”…show more content…
Leonard Kerpelman represented O’Hair and declared that reading of the Bible and prayer in the public school systems went against the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights. Madalyn Murray O’Hair filed the suit against John N. Curlett in June of 1963. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Murray, stating that the court finds forcing a child to participate in Bible readings and prayer unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled 8 to 1 in favor of abolishing all Bible readings and prayer be removed from public schooling. Justice Tom Clark wrote, “Religious freedom, it has long been recognized that government must be neutral and, while protecting all, must prefer none and disparage none.” Atheism has been recognized by the Federal Government as a religion and in this case, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Secular

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