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God in Public Schools

John on November 21, 2005 at 7:56 am

When I read the title of this piece from USA today, I expected the worst. But it turns out to be a rather fair look at the over-heated rhetoric on both sides. The writer concludes:

In a nation committed to religious liberty, public schools are neither the local church nor religion-free zones. They must be places where people of all faiths and none are treated with fairness and respect. In the USA, religion goes to school – but always through the First Amendment door.

There’s just one line in the whole piece that seems questionable and that’s this one:

Getting it right, however, won’t be easy after more than 150 years of getting it wrong.

I’m not a lawyer, but couldn’t you also view that 150 years — time when religious expression in schools was often taken for granted — as consistent with our founding documents instead of as one long mistake? I actually think the current policy is fine (when it’s enforced properly) but this still strikes me as a bit obtuse.

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