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• A federal appeals court ruled that the constitutional guaranty of religious freedom did not exempt a fundamentalist Christian school from state approval. The Massachusetts compulsory attendance law requires children to attend schools (public or private) that have been "approved" by the state. Private schools are approved if their educational program is comparable (in thoroughness and efficiency) to public education. A Baptist church claimed that it was a sin to "submit" its private school to secular authority for approval, and accordingly that the law subjecting the school to state approval violated the constitutional guaranty of religious freedom. Specifically, the church's religion taught that "God is the sovereign and the final authority in all human conduct [and that] to submit [the church's] educational ministry for the prior or continued approval of secular authorities would ...

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  • March 1, 1990

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