A long tradition of involving religion in political matters exists in the United States. According to Servin-Gonzalez & Torres-Reyna, questions have come up concerning the relationship between how government activities are conducted and the prevalent religious values in the United States (592).
The American population has, however, for the longest time been split concerning whether political decisions should be largely influenced by religious beliefs. Servin-Gonzalez & Torres-Reyna write that although most Americans accept that the clergy and other religious groups have a role to play in politics; most people feel that these religious people should not be involved in actual politics and campaigns (593).
Religion is used as a tool for ensuring that politicians keep in line with the moral issues of the society. In essence, this means that religious leaders are tasked with the responsibility of keeping politicians in line and ensuring that they do not oppress the society. One of the ways in which religion has contributed towards political strategies in the United States is through the practice school prayers. Prior to 1963, public schools used to conduct religious prayers but the Supreme Court banned this practice in that year (Servin-Gonzalez & Torres-Reyna 599).
In subsequent years, although public opinion has increasingly supported religious prayers in public schools, the Supreme Court has ensured that religious activities are not encouraged in schools. In this case, Servin-Gonzalez & Torres-Reyna write that the religious groups have failed to influence political decisions because the constitution has not been changed to permit prayer in public schools (600). Concerning the issue of reading and teaching of the bible in public schools coupled with prayers, religious activity has failed to convince the public to take up political action and change the constitution.
During the Reagan