The liberal Earl Warren court went on to say that this ruling should not be construed to mean banning the Bible from school, precisely what some school officials are doing these days.
They wrote: “The holding of the Court today plainly does not foreclose teaching about the Holy Scriptures or about the differences between religious sects in classes in literature or history.”
They go on to speak of the influence of the book: “Indeed, whether or not the Bible is involved, it would be impossible to teach meaningfully many subjects in the social sciences or the humanities without some mention of religion.”
To recap, they said: “morning devotional exercises in any form are constitutionally invalid.”
But lest anyone construe their decision to mean the Bible was not allowed in public schools, they said: “Any attempt to impose rigid limits upon the mention of God or references to the Bible in the classroom would be fraught with dangers.” Today those dangers are clear and present.
Our history is replete with our nation’s founders and leaders extolling the benefits of Bible-reading. John Adams said about the Scriptures: “…the Bible is the best Book in the world. It contains more philosophy than all the libraries I have seen.” And in 1789, George Washington referred to “The blessed religion revealed in the Word of God.”
Patrick Henry said, “The Bible is worth all other books which have ever been printed…” President Jackson said the Bible is “the rock upon which our republic rests.”
The Bible is the book that even the world’s leading atheist says people should enjoy, at least as literature. Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, said in reference to the Bible, “We can give up belief in God while not losing touch with a treasured heritage” (p. 344). Obviously, I don’t buy his premise. Yet he calls the Bible “a major source book for literary culture” (p. 341).
So what’s the problem here? Why is the Bible, the book that gave birth to education for the masses in the first place (“The Old Deluder Satan Act,” Boston, 1642), to be banned in schools?
As the Supreme Court once said in a different case: There is not some gigantic magnet at the threshold of the public school, removing the Constitutional rights of those who enter.