Textbooks that Omitted Religion Violated the First Amendment

A federal district court in Alabama ruled that public school textbooks that omitted reference to

A federal district court in Alabama ruled that public school textbooks that omitted reference to the significance of religion in American history and in current American life impermissibly promoted a religion of secular humanism in violation of the first amendment to the United States Constitution.

The court observed that though religion has been one of the most vital forces to shape our culture, "one would never know it by reading these books." Omitted were much of the history of the Puritans, the great awakenings, colonial missionaries (except when depicted as oppressors of native Americans), the religious influence behind the abolition of slavery, women's suffrage, temperance, and modern civil rights and peace movements, and the role of religion in the lives of immigrants and minorities.

"These books," concluded the court, "discriminate against the very concept of religion, and theistic religion in particular, by omissions so serious that a student learning history from them would not be apprised of relevant facts about America's history." Such deliberate underemphasis amounted to the establishment of the religion of humanism. Smith v. Board of School Commissioners, 655 F. Supp. 939 (S.D. Ala. 1987).

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations." Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

ajax-loader-largecaret-downcloseHamburger Menuicon_amazonApple PodcastsBio Iconicon_cards_grid_caretChild Abuse Reporting Laws by State IconChurchSalary Iconicon_facebookGoogle Podcastsicon_instagramLegal Library IconLegal Library Iconicon_linkedinLock IconMegaphone IconOnline Learning IconPodcast IconRecent Legal Developments IconRecommended Reading IconRSS IconSubmiticon_select-arrowSpotify IconAlaska State MapAlabama State MapArkansas State MapArizona State MapCalifornia State MapColorado State MapConnecticut State MapWashington DC State MapDelaware State MapFederal MapFlorida State MapGeorgia State MapHawaii State MapIowa State MapIdaho State MapIllinois State MapIndiana State MapKansas State MapKentucky State MapLouisiana State MapMassachusetts State MapMaryland State MapMaine State MapMichigan State MapMinnesota State MapMissouri State MapMississippi State MapMontana State MapMulti State MapNorth Carolina State MapNorth Dakota State MapNebraska State MapNew Hampshire State MapNew Jersey State MapNew Mexico IconNevada State MapNew York State MapOhio State MapOklahoma State MapOregon State MapPennsylvania State MapRhode Island State MapSouth Carolina State MapSouth Dakota State MapTennessee State MapTexas State MapUtah State MapVirginia State MapVermont State MapWashington State MapWisconsin State MapWest Virginia State MapWyoming State IconShopping Cart IconTax Calendar Iconicon_twitteryoutubepauseplay