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The high court in most cases has also banned the posting of the Ten Commandments, including the 1980 Stone v. Graham case, in which it struck down a Kentucky law requiring that a copy of the Ten Commandments be posted in every public school classroom. Copies of the Ten Commandments were paid for through private donations.

In Virginia, state Sen.-elect Charles W. Carrico Sr., Washington County Republican, introduced a constitutional amendment during this year’s General Assembly session that would allow prayer “and the recognition of religious beliefs, heritage, and tradition on public property, including public schools in order to secure further the people’s right to acknowledge God.”

The amendment cleared the Republican-controlled House, but was left in a Senate committee, and Mr. Carrico said he’ll continue to press the issue.

“I do intend to fight that battle as many times as I have to,” he said. “There’s more cases than you would imagine where people are intolerant of other people’s beliefs, and that’s not what our Constitution lays forward.

If we’ve got to spell it out so that everyone understands it, then that’s what we’ve got to do. It seems that in this country today that every religion is tolerated except for the Christian belief.”

Delegate David L. Englin, Alexandria Democrat, called the comments regarding Christianity “absurd,” saying that Mr. Carrico “doesn’t like the fact that the First Amendment of the Constitution protects minority religions from majority religions. His argument is with the Founding Fathers, not with anyone alive today.”

A 2007 study from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that nearly 80 percent of 35,000 American adults polled identified themselves as Christian.

“If a government entity is subjecting children to a particular religion, they’re in violation of the United States Constitution, plain and simple,” Mr. Englin said.