James Leroy Wilson's blog

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Do Public Schools Violate the First Amendment?

Obviously not, but then, I don't believe in the Doctrine of Incorporation. But David Friedman makes an intriguing point about how the courts have decided that public schools should be "neutral" toward religion:

"To compel children to go to schools, paid for by taxes, in which they are taught that their religious beliefs are false, is not neutrality."

In the comments, Gil Guillory writes:

"These are some of the same problems that Mises cited in Human Action. Once you get past reading, writing, basic artihmetic, and, perhaps, teaching a working knowledge of what the laws of the country are, teaching children becomes a form of indoctrination. That is, all of the good stuff is value-laden, and necessarily must advocate a worldview, which for the religious, is a religious one."

All the more reason to support the separation of School and State.

3 comments:

  1. Libertarian Jason5:51 AM PST

    Amen, brother!

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  2. One issue is that the courts don't seem all that clear on what constitutes "religion" within the meaning of the Establishment or Free Exercise clauses. Do you need a supernatural premise, or can any normative proposition be deemed religious? Is a factual assertion religious simply becuase it condradicts an assertion that some believer somewhere might hold as a matter of faith?

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  3. one of my pet peeves is seperation. you are entirely correct. i think theory should be optional courses till one gets to a university. one of our major problems is we are sucking wind in the basics at the k-12 level. (excluding math theory which should not rub against anyones faith unless they are a flat earther.)

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