Religion in Public Schools
POSTED: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 9:13pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - 6:58am
The Supreme Court has been ruling on the subject of religion in public schools since 1948. Everything from prayers to Bible reading, religious instruction, even forbidding states from prohibiting the teaching of evolution.
So, as we sit here in 2010, what exactly is allowed right now in terms of religion in public schools. To find out, we went again to our two experts, Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Mathew Staver of the Liberty Counsel from Liberty University. And again, both these men have argued these religion in school cases before the Supreme Court.
“I think we have a dizzying level of religious freedom in this country, certainly for Christians, the majority religion in the country. And that the schools of this country are not religion-free zones”
“The real key within the school context is whether it is student initiated, student led. Or whether it is something that is directed by the school itself.”
“The important distinction is that government, including the local government that runs your schools should not be in the business of promoting religion.”
“It’s a fairly clear divide. Student initiated is fine. Government initiated, in most cases, is not.”
“School students can pray. They can read the Bible. They can even form religious based clubs.”
“You know the Constitution isn’t that convoluted. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has made it that convoluted.”
“The Bill of Rights was created as a part of our Constitution as a way to guarantee the rights of minorities. You know the majority doesn’t really need that kind of protection.”
“We ought to be able to allow for more equal treatment for viewpoints from the Christian and religious perspective within the public marketplace.”