The church-state-school controversy with respect to religious exercises anti observances in public schools promises to be a continuing affair, and the most any discussion (including this one) can hope to do is to lift some aspects of the question into a place of prominence where they may in turn shed some light upon the substantive issues involved. One of the interesting aspects of the discussion has been the claim that in relieving the public schools of the nation of the responsibility for conducting religious exercises, the courts have left the schools free to inculcate without bias the moral values upon which our society rests.

Underlying this contention is the supposition that our religious pluralism comprises three major traditions and no more. Actually, thoughtful persons recognize that, as Bernard J. Kohnbrenner notes in School and Society (May 20. 1961, p. 241, there are four visible pluralistic elements in our society: Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, and secular humanism.

The self-conscious spread of the fourth of these, secular humanism, vastly complicates the problem at issue. In place of a situation in which the public schools are left free to be creedally neutral, we have in point of fact a series of strictures upon public education which actually foster the avowed creed of secular humanism.

But, someone is heard to object, may not the values which we prize be transmitted to students by a neutral public school, and in such a manner as to avoid all sectarian difficulties? Or, another asks, may not any influence upon the lives of children in the public school be accepted as part of God’s pervasive activity in behalf of children? Yet others will prefer that nothing of a religious nature be mentioned in ...

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