The Bible, Shakespeare and Public Schools

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 15, 2005 | Go to article overview

The Bible, Shakespeare and Public Schools


Byline: Ernest W. Lefever, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

When I attended public school in York, Pa., in the 1930s, the teacher began each day by reading 10 verses from the Old or New Testament without comment. We then recited the Lord's Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance - two decades before the words "under God" were added.

But things have changed. Since the turbulent 1960s, the secularization of American culture has proceeded apace. The "free exercise" of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment has been under increasing pressure by the ACLU, the National Education Association and other liberal voices who insist that "religion" be banned from the public square.

Americans differ on the role of religion in society, but virtually all of them believe that public schools should not be used to proselytize for one religion over another. But they disagree on whether the Bible, sacred to Jews and Christians alike, should have any place at all in the curriculum of tax-supported education.

Some educators insist that the Bible be banned from public schools because its presence would seriously breach the "separation of church and state" - their words, not the Constitution's. They contend that teaching the Bible would promote sectarian strife and subvert our multicultural society.

But the tide may be turning. A recent survey conducted by the Bible Literacy Project funded by John Templeton found that 90 percent of the top American English teachers consulted agreed that the Bible has had a profound and positive influence on the "laws, morals, politics and other literature" of Western civilization, and that knowledge of the Bible is crucial to a well-rounded high school education. They emphasized that there are no legal barriers to teaching the Bible as literature and that the Supreme Court has not banned the Bible from public schools.

To no one's surprise, recent surveys have documented widespread historical illiteracy in our public schools. One poll found that more teenagers can name the Three Stooges than the three branches of government. And the top 10 hip-hop tunes are better known than the Ten Commandments. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Bible, Shakespeare and Public Schools
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.