Is this legal?

That’s the title of a page within the website of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools. This organization is responsible for producing and supporting Bible study curricula for American public schools. The mission statement assures that the curricula are perfectly objective and neutral, and thus in line with the requirements of secular government. I have my doubts, and I’ll demonstrate the source of them.

On the one hand, the page titled Is This Legal? ends with this quote:

It might be well said that one’s education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization. It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literacy and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.

School District of Abington Township v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203,225 (1963)

This is a perfectly admirable quote, and nothing within it betrays an intention to subvert the Establishment Clause. However, the page begins with these words:

There has been a great social regression since the Bible was removed from our schools. We need to refer to the original documents that inspired Americanism and our religious heritage.

These words are manifestly untrue. The US has suffered no such “social regression” (whatever that might mean), and the foundation document of the United States is not the Bible, but the Constitution. The Constitution is the defining statement of Americanism (whatever that might mean), and it carries no mention of God, and mentions religion only to guarantee the free practice (or nonpractice) thereof. If the goal of the NCBCPS is to rewrite history so as to name the Bible the foundation of US culture and religion (ignoring the dozens of other faiths followed by Americans, and those who follow none), then they are no better than the “America was founded as a Christian nation” crowd.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: