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For week ended August 15, 1999 Posted 29 Aug 1999

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Taste -- A Textbook Case: Houses of Worship

Summarized by Gregor McHardy

Taste -- A Textbook Case: Houses of Worship
Wall Street Journal, page W11 13Aug99 L2
By Joe Loconte: Heritage Foundation Fellow

Does the First Amendment to the Constitution declare an absence of religion from state-sponsored organizations? It was 1948 when the Supreme Court ruled an end to religious instruction in public schools, and since that time not only has preaching and praying disappeared from classrooms, but even association of historical events with the faith that incited them.

But now Oxford University Press is publishing a 17-volume series for high-school teachers that is "the most serious academic treatment of religion ever attempted in public classrooms." The three volumes that have been published so far include "Mormons in America," by Claudia and Richard Bushman, members of the Church. This book "serve[s] up a rich and sympathetic portrayal of what for a time was America's most persecuted religious minority." The article points out, however, that the book will probably face criticism, as Mormons claim to be a Christian denomination, "a claim universally disputed by Protestants, Catholics and the Orthodox."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information