Tuesday, January 02, 2007

God in the Classroom

Nat Hentoff's column
addresses David Paszkiewicz, a high school teacher recorded expressing his religious beliefs about how those who disagree with him will go to hell. Hentoff claims that these views violate the separation of church and state, citing Justice Felix Frankfurter's view of "strict confinement of the state to instruction other than religious, leaving to the individual's church and home indocrination in the faith of his choice" and Justice Robert Jackson's view, "We start down a rough road when we begin to mix compulsory education with compulsory godliness."

But does a mere comment by a teacher amount to indoctrination of religion and compulsory godliness? Hentoff seems to make the common mistake of confusing any opinions about religion with the imposition of religion.

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