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The Forerunner

What Happened When the Praying Stopped

By Editorial Staff
Published April 6, 2008

ALEDO, TX (FR) – How did the removal of voluntary prayer from the schools of the United States affect our nation as a whole? That question has been answered in detail by a research company in Texas which has gathered and tabulated statistics from hundreds of sources relating to the rates of moral decline in America.

Specialty Research Associates, under the direction of David Barton, has released a report entitled America: To Pray or Not to Pray which uses over 100 pages of graphs and statistical analysis to prove that crime, venereal disease, premarital sex, illiteracy, suicide, drug use, public corruption, and other social ills began a dramatic increase after the Engel vs. Vitale Supreme Court decision was made in 1962 which banned school prayer.

Prayer in schools prior to 1962 was utilized in school districts all over the U.S. in many varieties. Some teachers used extemporaneous prayers, simply expressing their thoughts and desires; others implemented structured prayers, such as the Lord’s Prayer or the 23rd Psalm, or others approved by local school boards. New York students prayed each day: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence on Thee and beg Thy blessing over us, our parents, our teachers, and our nation.” It was this simple prayer which came under fire and went to the Supreme Court for the landmark decision.

Says David Barton, “It is impossible to know how many of the 39 million children were involved in daily verbal prayers, but most accounts indicate that a clear majority of the students voluntarily participated in daily school prayer. Is it possible that the prayers that were being offered by these children and their teachers across the nation actually had any measurable, tangible effect?”

It was this question that led Barton to uncover the statistical proof that the removal of prayer did indeed take its toll on America. Below are just a few of the charts featured in Barton’s report, with a brief explanation of each:

Figure 1: The SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) is an academic test that measures the developed verbal and math reasoning of a student exiting from high school or some similar type of learning facility. The results of these tests are commonly used by colleges and universities to indicate the strength of a student’s academic preparation and his potential for success on the college level.

Figure 1 shows how drastically the actual knowledge of high school students began to drop at an accelerating rate after 1962. Barton notes in his report that the upturn in SAT scores since 1981 is due to the increase in private Christian educational facilities which began to flourish at that time. Statistics have proven that students from private Christian schools showed higher academic achievement and higher test scores.

Figure 2: This graph shows the increase in sexual activity in unmarried teen-age girls after the 1962 Supreme Court decision. It is evident from the figures provided that in the years previous to the removal of prayer the rates remained stable and relatively unchanged. In the post- prayer years the numbers immediately began to soar. The sudden increase on the graph appears as if a great restraining force had suddenly been removed.

Figure 3: Unwed women 15-19 years of age showed a phenomenal increase in the rate of pregnancies after the School Prayer decision. Note that the figure jumps drastically after the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision which made abortion legal in the U.S. The United States now has the highest incidence of teen-age motherhood in any Western country.

Figure 4: For the 15-19 and 20-24 age group, the rates of youth suicide remained relatively unchanged during the years from 1946 to the School Prayer decision in 1962. But in the years since, suicides among the same group have increased 253 percent, or an average of 10.5 percent per year.

Figure 5: Stability in the family has also been affected since the 1962 decision. Divorce, single parent families, couples living together but not married, and adultery are areas of family breakdown which have experienced radical growth in recent years. In the graph above, the increase in single parent families (households with only a mother and children) are detailed. Note the dotted line at the bottom, which shows the rate of growth prior to the 1962 decision.

Figure 6: Crime, productivity, and national morality had been on a fairly stable level prior to the 1962 decision, but that is no longer the case. It is obvious that such a quantity of students praying for their nation had a very positive effect on the course that this nation had taken. The rate of violent crime, as shown above, has risen over 330 percent.

If you would like a copy of America: To Pray or Not to Pray?, send $7.95 to Specialty Research Associates, P.O. Box 397, Aledo, TX 76008. All of the figures and statistics compiled in this book are taken from data made available by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Center for Disease Control, Statistical Abstracts of the United States, Vital Statistics of the United States, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other official sources.


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Your comments are welcome!

I love this site and prayer should be continued in schools. There should have never been a law that banned prayer from schools. There is just absolutely too much going on in schools for there to not be any prayer. The devil is busy and he’s targeting us, the youth, and the future.

Posted by Davielle Thomas on 10/02/2008 11:23 AM #

My name is Sydney. I am a fifteen year old high school student and the Editor and Columnist of the school and community newspaper in a small town in Georgia. I am currently writing an article review and was in need of statistics to support my theory that prayer should be continued in public school systems across America. Your website has provided me with that information. I very strongly beieve that prayer should still be continued in all schools and that it’s affects would greatly improve issues such as teen pregnancy, abortion, alcohol and drug use, and overall behavior of children of all ages. Thank you.

Posted by Sydney on 10/15/2009 07:53 AM #

Thank you so much for publicizing the info about the Wallbuilders’ and David Barton’s findings on the effects of taking prayer out of the schools — And for letting people know how to get the book!

Posted by Roberta on 07/30/2011 10:53 AM #

Dear Mr. Rogers, Your web site is a Godsend. Thanks for having a heart inclined towards Jesus. Our God is an amazing God and it is clear that you are doing everything in your power to spread the Gospel to so many that are need of salvation through faith. Thanks again for your prayer and God Bless you!

Posted by Agostino Miraglia on 11/14/2011 09:59 AM #

In the 1960’s there was still a large amount of discrimination for women in the workplace. Many careers were closed to them. Many, even those that were employed, relayed on their husbands for survival, so even a unhappy wife could not leave her husband. Thus they could not get divorced. Additionally, divorce law was more restrictive than it was then as compared to now (child custody, spousal support, ability to get divorced, etc…). The two reasons above could explain the rise in divorce rates.
Crime, productivity, and national morality had been on a fairly stable level prior to the 1962 decision, but that is no longer the case.
Your last two points:
Productivity, the U.S. has sifted from a manufacturing economy to a service economy this point is fallacious.
Morality: Very loose definition. Your morals, mean nothing to a person that is of another religious affiliation.
Crime: The Vietnam war occurred in this time period too. As you can tell from our courageousness service members PTSD is a major problem. With PTSD comes self destructive behavior such as drug use and alcoholism. To fund these drugs, crimes had to occur. As a result of the increase in drug demand more drug dealers and gangs formed. As these gangs combated each other for money and land crime rates increased. When the post war economy slowed many were drawn to these gangs for “quick money”.

Anyway there are probably many factors but, I am somewhat busy so I hope that you remember correlation is not causation.

Posted by Jeff Chang on 01/23/2012 11:57 PM #

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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

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The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
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