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Parents of 900 Groups Oppose Introduction of Prayers in Schools

The United Parents Association here today reaffirmed its opposition to the introduction of prayers in the public schools. It announced that with one dissenting vote, more than 900 U. P. A. delegates adopted a resolution opposing the Board of Regents’ proposal for prayers in public school classrooms on the ground that this would highlight “outward manifestations of religious differences.” The resolution, as adopted by the U. P. A. delegates, reads in part:

“The dual foundation of religious liberty plus separation of church and state upon which our American democracy rests has allowed the flourishing development of all religions together with the evolution of a system of public education for all children, free from sectarian strife and divisiveness. This is our basic conviction, best stated in the words of the United States Supreme Court, ‘We have staked the very existence of our country on the faith that complete separation between state and religion is best for the state and for religion.’

“Therefore, we must, as loyal Americans, oppose the Board of Regents’ proposal for prayers in school, well-intentioned though the Regents’ motives may be. This proposal would bring into the public schools outward manifestations of religious differences, since we know that children of different religions pray in different ways. Some kneel and make the sign of the cross; some clasp their hands and bow their heads; some pray with heads uncovered, some with heads covered.”

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