The Supreme Court declared that the Bible was “worthy of study” and could be “presented objectively as part of a secular program of education” in the public schools.
Thank you for joining us for the First Liberty Briefing, an exclusive podcast where host Jeremy Dys—also First Liberty Senior Counsel—provides an insider’s look at the stories, cases, people and laws that have made America the world’s leader in protecting religious liberty.
Recently, we discussed the case of Abington vs. Schempp. I explained that the Supreme Court declared that the Bible was “worthy of study” and could be “presented objectively as part of a secular program of education in the public schools.”
But, as I said at the conclusion, exactly how that happens is a more difficult question.
Several groups, including the American Jewish Congress, National Bible Association, and the People for the American Way have agreed that the Constitution permits schools to teach about religion and the Bible without resorting to indoctrination in violation of the First Amendment.
- The schools approach to religion should be academic not devotional.
- The school should strive for student awareness of religions, but should not press for student acceptance of any religion.
- The school may sponsor study about religion, but may not sponsor the practice of religion.
- The school may expose students to a diversity of religious views, but may not impose, discourage, or encourage any particular view.
- The school may educate about all religions, but may not promote or denigrate any religion.
- The school may inform the student about various believes, but should not seek to conform him or her to any particular belief.
While it may be difficult to teach a course on the Bible at a public school, it is neither impossible nor illegal.
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