Fifty years after the removal of prayer from America’s public schools in a case brought by my mother, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, there is virtually no safe place in America for children of any age, not in their schools, not even in their own homes.
America today is a society in which one of every 18 adult men is either in prison, on parole or under some sort of judicial oversight. There are almost daily reports of female teachers seducing young boys. Most children can’t walk to school because it is not safe. Public libraries now display the same gross pornography that landed Larry Flint in jail decades ago. Gambling, once outlawed in all but one of our states, is now a chief source of revenue for most states. Lotteries, the most abusive and dishonest form of gambling, is state operated and steals money disproportionately from the poor.
Loving Christian couples often cannot adopt children in the current culture because they are declared bigots for not accepting anal sex as normal. Homosexuals, the most violent of the abusers of children in our society, are treated as a protected class. State welfare offices pay women not to marry the fathers of their children, and the elderly receive funds to disengage from their children and grandchildren and move to warmer climates.
Courts have ruled that a girl 13 or younger can buy an abortion drug – the “morning after” pill – over the counter, and use this powerful drug without permission of parents or a doctor.
Today’s culture has descended into a decadence contrary to the idealized days of “Leave It to Beaver,” “I Love Lucy and “Mayberry R.F.D.” Is all this the result of Murray vs. Curlett and the removal of prayer from our schools? For decades, I truly believed that this court case which is named for me and in which I was the teenage plaintiff before my conversion to Christianity, caused all this social destruction.
Looking back over 50 years, I now believe that although unquestionably destructive, the removal of prayer was not so much a cause as a result of the social forces swirling through the nation in the 1960s that I was a part of. While my mother managed the Communist Party bookstore in Baltimore, Md., and was the chairman of the pro-Castro Fair Play for Cuba Committee, I was far from being the poor persecuted atheist boy at school. I was the president of the United Nations Club at my high school, the gathering place for the far left. In those days, radical unions associated with the International Workers of the World controlled most major ports in America. The Weather Underground was killing cops and robbing banks for the “revolution,” and Charles Manson led a cult that killed far more people than he was ever tried for. Meanwhile, Harvard professor Timothy Leary advocated LSD for everyone.
During the 1960s, the drug and “gay” counter-culture of San Francisco flourished, and nude bathing at a park in Austin, Texas, began. New York City in the 1960s was far worse than portrayed in the movie “The Cross and the Switchblade”; the city was a hell hole on the edge of bankruptcy. Anti-war protests encouraged by money from the Soviet KGB filled the streets of cities with angry youth, and a communist by the name of Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy.
Is this the idyllic “Leave it to Beaver” 1960s you recall?
The 1963 case removing prayer from the schools did not bring any of this about alone; rather the case was a result of the culture of the 1960s. An activist Supreme Court was led by a former Republican governor who was a radical leftist on moral issues and who saw himself as the leading edge of the sexual and cultural revolution of the 1960s.
The question of course is, “Why is it even worse today? Why do we have a militarized police force, cameras on every corner and social order out of control?”
The honest answer is that the nation is now populated not with the children of the Greatest Generation, but with the children of the 1960’s counter-culture induced by drugs and “free” sex. The cohesive family, the three generation family and the stability it represented, has been obliterated not by the lack of three minutes of prayer in the schools, but by a systematic economic attack by government that began long before the 1963 prayer case.
The first major blow to the family was Social Security, the second Medicare and the third welfare. These programs drove Grandma and Grandpa out of the home and to Florida. Free from the responsibility of caring for aging parents, the “me generation” was able to concentrate on pleasure and material success. Religion was seen as simply an impediment to pre-marital sex, divorce, alcohol, drug use, gambling and materialism. The final blow is Obamacare, which takes away even the responsibility of caring for children from families. The safety net is so broad that the family is simply no longer necessary.
Perhaps a couple minutes a day of Christian prayer or a reading from the Old Testament in the schools over the last 50 years would have reached some people socially, made a few of them more responsible, and saved some lost souls. But George W. Bush and Barack Obama have imported millions of Muslims whose mandated daily devotionals call for the death and destruction of Jews and other “infidels.” A return to prayer in our schools would include this “call to prayer,” which President Barack Obama says is the “most beautiful” sound he has ever heard. It might also include readings from the new Episcopal Book of Common Prayer in which God is genderless, or maybe prayers influenced by the many Methodist and Presbyterian preachers who call for homosexual marriage and the lowering of the age of consent.
The church in America today has dropped its Christ-mandated role of caring for the widows, the orphaned, the sick and the poor. Today’s church “cares” for those in need by helping them fill out welfare and food stamp program forms. If you show up at a Baptist or Catholic hospital without insurance or money, don’t worry – they will send the bill to Barack Obama.
Yes, I am very politically incorrect to those on both sides of the fence. The left will say I am gay bashing and against the “progress” of individual freedom from moral restraints and economic worries. The social conservative right will say I have abandoned prayer for our schools. Neither view is true. I am simply being honest about the date the cultural war was lost. The drift to defeat did not begin with the removal of prayer from the schools. The cultural war was lost in the 1960s in the midst of bean bag chairs, lava lamps, cheap wine and marijuana smoke. That loss has led America to its current financial, political and moral decline.
We do need prayer back in our society, prayer to the Judeo-Christian God who created us in His image. The god of government which would enslave us in eternal dependency must be cast off and the family reinstated as the core building block of society.