I agree with the July 4 letter writer who said America needs more morals and discipline, but he makes some factual and historical errors.
First, according to U.S. Supreme Court case 99-2036, student religious clubs can meet in public schools just as other clubs can, such as the Boy Scouts. The apparent rub for the writer is that they cannot be sponsored by public schools. Students can bring their own Bibles and use them by themselves.
"Removing the Bible from public schools" historically started with the Cincinnati "Bible Wars" long ago. There is not space here to go into detail about that, but suffice to say that in 1870, the Ohio Supreme Court, in Board of Education v. Minor, affirmed that the board could remove the readings of the King James Bible from public schools.
Judging from recent and not-so-recent political alliances, I am not convinced that "putting religion back in public schools" would have a net positive effect on our moral climate. If school-sponsored readings of the Bible should be reinstated, should school sponsored readings of the Quran or other religious texts be started as well?
Unless times have changed, students are still required to say the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of the day. Does this mean that they now practice "… with liberty and justice for all" in their daily lives?
— John Jensen
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