50 Year Anniversary of Landmark Case for Separation of Church & State


Today marks the 50th anniversary of a landmark case for the separation of church and state – Abington School District Vs. Schempp. The court decided 50 years ago, in an 8-1 decision (do you think that would happen today?), that mandatory Bible reading in public schools was unconstitutional.

Justice Tom C. Clark said of this decision,

“The place of religion in our society is an exalted one, achieved through a long tradition of reliance on the home, the church and the inviolable citadel of the individual heart and mind. We have come to recognize through bitter experience that it is not within the power of government to invade that citadel, whether its purpose or effect be to aid or oppose, to advance or retard. In the relationship between man and religion, the State is firmly committed to a position of neutrality.”

At the time, it was Pennsylvania and four…

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