1962 Engle v. Vital

” Seemingly overnight, a practice that had been part of the routine of public schools in much of the country since their founding-brief prayer to begin the day-had been banished”

pg. 198


One of the main themes from this chapter of American Empire is the emergence, from both the right and the left, of new, seemingly radical groups, that felt that the core beliefs that were essential to the ideology of their political groups were being foregone and forgotten. To me, there is no example of the lost of traditional values more clear and prevalent than the omitting of a daily prayer in public schools. As the quote explains, it instantly changed an everyday aspect of the lives of children that had been apart of country for generations.  When you asses  the effect that this has in the creation of the “new right”, it must have been immense. Conservatism by definition is the fight to keep the traditions of the past alive, and this was the past being changed right before their eyes. Traditionalist must have felt like their backs were against the wall and the only way to fight back was to become more vocal and arguably, more radical.