The payment of tithes was a cause of endless dispute between the tithe owners and the tithe payers - between clergy and parishioners - ... In addition, Quakers and other non-conformists objected to paying any tithes to support the established church. Almost every agricultural process and product attracted controversy over its tithe value. By the eighteenth century the complex legislation surrounding the tithe began to have a detrimental effect ... Tithing was seen as increasingly irrelevant to the needs of the community and the developing agricultural industry."
Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country.
Any student was free to remain seated or leave the room, without any comments by the teacher one way or the other.
But six men on the supreme Court said this short, non-denominational and voluntary prayer constituted an “establishment of religion” in violation of the First Amendment! They (Hugo Black, Warren, Clark, Harlan, Brennan, and Douglas) admitted that allowing school children to say this prayer did not really “establish” a “religion”! They admitted that the prayer:
...does not amount to a total establishment of one particular religious sect to the exclusion of all others—that, indeed, the governmental endorsement of that prayer seems relatively insignificant when compared to the governmental encroachments upon religion which were commonplace 200 years ago…(p.436)
Douglas wrote in his concurring opinion:
I cannot say that to authorize this prayer is to establish a religion in the strictly historic meaning of those words. A religion is not established in the usual sense merely by letting those who choose to do so say the prayer that the public school teacher leads. (p.442)
But these six men didn’t want children praying in school. So, they just redefined “establishment of religion” to mean, “a religious activity”, “a prayer” (p.424), having public school children hear or recite a prayer that “somebody in government composed” (pp.425-427), “writing or sanctioning official prayers”(p.435), and “government endorsement of a prayer” (p.436).
These six men also admitted that even though no coercion was present, and even though the prayer was “denominationally neutral”, it still constituted an unlawful “establishment of religion”:
The Establishment Clause ... does not depend upon any showing of direct governmental compulsion and is violated by the enactment of laws which establish an official religion whether those laws operate directly to coerce nonobserving individuals or not. (p.430)
Douglas said in his concurring opinion:
There is no element of compulsion or coercion in New York’s regulation requiring that public schools be opened each day with the ... prayer (p.438); there is ... no effort at indoctrination, and no attempt at exposition ... New York’s prayer ... does not involve any element of proselytizing ... (p.439).
They thus redefined “established religion” to describe what the N.Y. public schools were doing so that they could then outlaw it. They don’t have that right! We have quoted Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton & James Madison as showing that the essence of an “established religion” is that the civil government selects a particular religious denomination (Roman Catholic or Church of England or Congregational or Presbyterian, etc.), and forces everybody to financially support that particular denomination with taxes or tithes."
Anyone is free to leave their thoughts on the matter here. One of the main reasons that Jefferson and Madison attended expressly Christian religious worship services inside of federal government buildings during their administrations and never spoke out against them was because attendence was compulsory and nobody was compelled to take part in them. That sort of mindset was closer to the friendly relationship between church and state that was much more idealized by the Founding Fathers than the open hostility expressed in these times IMO.