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.


  1. Libertarian Jason5:51 AM PST

    Amen, brother!

  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?

  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.)