Keep Religion Out of Schools

One of many fine ideas to come out of the United States of America: that in a pluralistic, multicultural society, state and religion must be kept strictly separate. And that means, among other things, no religion in schools. 

The Smuggler - Night of the Swallow http://www.flickr.com/photos/25803264@N02“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the president — should he be Catholic — how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference, and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him, or the people who might elect him.”- President John F. Kennedy, Sept. 12, 1960

CEA http://www.flickr.com/photos/centralasian/“I do not believe that any type of religion should ever be introduced into the public schools of the United States.” –Thomas Edison

History by Day http://www.flickr.com/photos/45829817@N02/“The divorce between Church and State ought to be absolute. It ought to be so absolute that no Church property anywhere, in any state or in the nation, should be exempt from equal taxation; for if you exempt the property of any church organization (school), to that extent you impose a tax upon the whole community.”- President James Garfield

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sakraft1“I hold that in this country there must be complete severance of Church and State; that public moneys shall not be used for the purpose of advancing any particular creed; and therefore that the public schools shall be nonsectarian and no public moneys appropriated for sectarian schools.” – President Teddy Roosevelt, Carnegie Hall address, October 12, 1915

Marion Doss http://www.flickr.com/photos/ooocha/“I believe that prayer in public schools should be voluntary. It is difficult for me to see how religious exercises can be a requirement in public schools, given our Constitutional requirement of separation of church and state.”- President Gerald Ford

http://www.flickr.com/photos/paukrus/“Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate.” – President Ulysses S. Grant

Image Editor http://www.flickr.com/photos/11304375@N07/“We should not have teacher-led prayers in public schools, and school officials should never favor one religion over another, or favor religion over no religion” – President George W. Bush 2000

Marion Doss http://www.flickr.com/photos/ooocha/The public schools shall be free from sectarian influences and, above all, free from any attitude of hostility to the adherents of any particular creed.” –President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Angela N http://www.flickr.com/photos/aon/6849165906(On the Supreme Court ban on prayer in schools): “I endorse it. I think it was correct. Contrary to what many have said, it sought to outlaw neither prayer nor belief in god. In a pluralistic society such as ours, who is to determine what prayer shall be spoken and by whom? Legally, constitutionally or otherwise, the state certainly has no such right.” – Martin Luther King JR. 1965

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About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)