Here are some short excerpts on this topics from another ACLU briefing paper, 'Church and
Here are some short excerpts on this topics from another ACLU
briefing paper, "Church and State":
'Nevertheless, the principle of separation has been regularly tested.
In early America, even after church establishment ended, some state
legislators sought to revive the compulsory taxation of citizens to
support religious institutions. In this century, public schools were
once required to teach the biblical version of the earth's and
humanity's creation, while the scientific theory of evolution was
Why can't schools be required by law to teach the biblical theory of
the earth's origins-- "creationism"--in addition to teaching
"Creationism" is a religious dogma that, unlike scientific theories, is
not subject to scientific verification or revision based on new data.
In a 1987 decision striking down a Louisiana law that forbade the
teaching of evolution unless instruction in "creationism" was also
offered, the Supreme Court held that such "balanced treatment"
mandates are really designed to promote particular religious doctrines
and are, therefore, unconstitutional. Of course, nothing prevents a
school from teaching about various creation-of-the- world beliefs in a
comparative religion course, which would be constitutional as long as
the instruction imparts information about different religious
traditions without promoting any religion.'
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank