WASHINGTON (Feb. 7)
President Reagan, in his State of the Union address last night, once again urged Congress to adopt legislation permitting prayer in the public schools.
Reagan did not mention any specific proposal in a brief comment in which he thanked Congress for passing last year the law requiring high schools to permit religious groups to use classrooms after school if other organizations have this extra-curricular privilege.
“But no citizen need tremble, nor the world shudder, if a child stands in a classroom and breathes a prayer,” the President said. “We ask you again: give children back a right they had for a century-and-a-half or more. ” The statement was loudly applauded.
However, neither the call for school prayer nor Reagan’s request for legislation ending abortions are expected to be pressed by the Administration while Congress engages in a long struggle over the President’s proposed 1986 budget. Reagan did not mention the Mideast in his speech, which only slightly touched on foreign policy issues.