Preachin' in school, settled 36 years ago | Arkansas Blog

Monday, November 2, 2009

Preachin' in school, settled 36 years ago

Posted By on Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 10:14 AM

In response to our post last Friday about the Benton School District allowing the Gideons to visit fifth graders and talk about their work and leave Bibles behind, a blog reader sends along the ruling in a 1973 case in which U.S. District Judge Oren Harris ruled that the Cross County School District, in allowing the Gideons to visit the fifth grade, had violated the First Amendment by  promoting religion in school.

We repeat -- 1973.

From the opinion:

The fact that someone from the Gideon Society visits each of the elementary schools in the School District annually and presents the Gideon Bible to each student of the fifth grade class is of some significance. The Court has already determined that the Bible is an instrument of religion. The fact that it only contains the King James Version of the New Testament, Book of Psalms, and the Book of Proverbs, does not change the religious character of the Gideon's presentation to fifth grade students. The fact that a student is not required to accept the presentation is of no significance. ...


The practice, therefore, as approved by the School Board and permitted by the school authorities of distributing the Gideon Bible by a representative of the Society to the fifth grade students in the elementary schools of the Cross County School District is an exercise of religious character which is prohibited by the First Amendment to the Constitution as made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Maybe this well help school officials who claim not to understand why setting aside time to talk with evangelicals:

It has been argued that to apply the Constitution in such a way as to prohibit the practices respecting the establishing of religious services in public schools is tantamount to hostility of the Government to religion or toward prayer. The Supreme Court has consistently struck down such contention. Nothing, of course, could be more wrong. A manifestation of such hostility would be at war with our national declaration as embodied in the First Amendment guaranty of the free exercise of religion. The First Amendment rests upon the premise that both religion and government can best work to achieve their lofty aim if each is left free from the other within its respective spheres.

Read the full ruling here. Blog fans and Arkansas school officials, too.


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • "Delta Exhibition" winners announced

    The Arkansas Arts Center announced the winners of its 60th annual "Delta Exhibition" last night: A slideshow.
    • May 25, 2018
  • Philip Mann to leave symphony after 2018-19 season

    The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra announced in a press release today that the next season of the symphony will be Maestro Philip Mann's last. The ASO will give Mann the title of "Music Director Laureate" and hopes that "Mann will be able to continue his highly successful relationship with the ASO as he grows his international conducting presence and broadens his role within classical music."
    • May 24, 2018
  • 'The Beyond,' works by O'Keeffe and others, to open at Crystal Bridges

    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art goes above and into "The Beyond" with an exhibition of 36 works by Georgia O'Keeffe spanning her career and works by contemporary artists whose sensibilities hearken to O'Keeffe's. The show opens Saturday, May 26.
    • May 24, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • UPDATE: Hutchinson moves to cover himself on cut to War Memorial Stadium

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson apparently felt the burn from KARK's exclusive Tuesday night on his plans to cut state support of War Memorial Stadium in half beginning July 1, 2018. He has a so-far secret plan to make the stadium self-sustaining. We bet that doesn't include state support.
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Trump's strangulation of Obamacare

    If he can't kill it outright, Donald Trump will do all he can to cripple Obamacare. Vox has detailed reporting on deep cuts in federal spending that support nonprofit agencies that help people sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
    • Sep 18, 2017
  • Arkansas Supreme Court refuses to rehear invalidation of marijuana act

    The Arkansas Supreme Court today denied a request to rehear its decision invalidating Issue 7, the medical marijuana initiated act.
    • Nov 3, 2016

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation