The Western world is in danger of forgetting that education of the young is not just a matter of imparting factual knowledge and technical skills, but, if it is to be education in the true sense of the term, must concern itself with morality as well, and indeed primarily. Its proper task is to prepare the child to become a balanced and integrated adult and a responsible member of society. If this task is not faced and fulfilled, then education is a failure and even a menace.
To the peripheral watcher from the British side of the Atlantic one of the most startling contradictions in the American way of life is that a great people, who flourish the slogan “This Nation under God,” should, because of the interpretation they place upon the principle of complete separation between church and state to which they are dedicated, systematically exclude all religious instruction and worship (including the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer) from the state schools. This means in effect that America’s schools are godless institutions, or at least institutions which God is officially forbidden to enter. This would be understandable in an atheistic country, but in a country that professes to place itself under God it does not make sense. It can hardly be hoped that such a policy will be productive of God-fearing citizens.
For a spectator to make so radical a criticism is no doubt rash. Be that as it may, it is certainly not meant to imply that all is fair in the British pedagogical garden. Of this we have been forcibly reminded in recent days by both political and medical leaders. It is true that religious instruction is compulsory in the state schools of Great Britain by Act of Parliament, as is also the opening of each school day with ...1
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