Excerpt from Report of the Committee on Schools and Views of the Minority of the Board of Education of the New Haven City School District: Concerning the Discontinuance of Religious Exercises in the Public Schools
As we have before said, the Bible long ago ceased to be a text book of instruction in our schools. Its continued use was only as a means of devotion. The discontinuance of this use, therefore, is no expression as to the educational merits of our English Bible. It is no expression as to its devotional or religihus merits so long as no substitute for it is required. It is simply the declaration that as no relig ious forms can be observed in our State schools without a virtual State sanction of the form in use and of the purely' religious truths therein embodied, and as such sanction is beyond the proper scope of the State, at least where, as here, there is any considerable. Body of dissentients, therefore it ought not to be attempted. The introduc tion of the English Bible as literature, to be studied as Homer and Virgil, Milton, Shakespeare, and other great literary works are studied, is an entirely separate ques tion, in no way connected with that now under discussion. And the value of a knowledge of the contents of the Bible, or of a familiarity with its English style, is also a' matter so distinct in its nature as not to a call for discus sion here.
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