It has become known to many as the moment when the U.S. Supreme Court kicked God out of the public schools, supposedly paving the way for a decline in educational quality and a dramatic rise in delinquency and immorality. The 6-to-1 decision in Engel v. Vitale (1962) not only sparked outrage among a great many religious Americans, it also rallied those who cried out against what they perceived as a dangerously activist Court. Bruce Dierenfield has written a concise and readable guide to the first and still most important case that addressed the constitutionality of prayer in public schools. The 22-word recitation in a Long Island school that was challenged in Engel v. Vitale was hardly denominational, not even overtly Christian, but a handful of parents saw it as a violation of the First Amendment's proscription again the establishment of religion. The case forced the Supreme Court to take a stand on Jefferson's "wall of separation" between church and state. When it did so, the Court declared that by endorsing the prayer recitation, no matter how brief, nondenominational, or voluntary, the Long Island school board had unconstitutionally approved the establishment of religion in school. - Publisher.