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that the political system of the American people is based on this principle, and also granted that the public school is an institution of the State, and not of the Church, then the only conclusion, at all consistent with the premises, is that the school should be a fair expression of the character of the State. This is the conclusion adopted by the author; and his main effort in this volume has been fully to state the premises and show that they prove this conclusion. The argument is addressed to the people as citizens, and not as religionists, whether Protestant or Catholic. In the latter aspect they can never agree upon a common school policy: yet in the former they should agree by fully respecting each others' rights as citizens, and hence by asking nothing of each other which they do not as cheerfully concede.
BROOKLYN, September, 1876.
RELIGION AND THE STATE,
THE BIBLE AND THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
STATEMENT OF THE QUESTION.
THE NEW POLITICAL PROGRAMME.
Ex-Speaker Blaine, in his letter of October 20th, 1875, addressed to a gentleman in Ohio just after the election in that State, suggested an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which he has since submitted to the House of Representatives in the following form:
"No State shall make any law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; and no money raised by taxation in any State for the support of public schools, or derived from any public fund therefor, shall ever be under the control of any religious sect; nor shall any money so raised ever be divided between religious sects or denominations."
The first clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution declares that "Congress shall make no
law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Mr. E. P. Hurlbut, formerly one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, in a pamphlet published some years since, and entitled "A Secular View of Religion in the State," suggested that this amendment should be so altered as to read as follows: "Neither Congress nor any State shall make any law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The words in italics are the ones which Judge Hurlbut proposed to add. If there be good reason for imposing such a restriction upon Congress, there must be an equal reason for imposing it upon the several States. While Congress has no power except such as has been delegated to it by the Constitution, the States possess all governmental powers except such as the Constitution denies to them or grants exclusively to the General Gov ernment. There is nothing in the fundamental law of the land to prevent them from establishing Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Judaism, or even Mormonism, according to the will of the majority, and imposing special disabilities and burdens upon the dissenting minority. Mr. Blaine proposes to withdraw this power from the States, and subject them to the same restriction that now applies to Congress.
The only difficulty that we feel in regard to this part of the amendment respects the extent of its
application. Does the language reach and inhibit all religious tests as qualifications for voting or holding State offices, and all exercise of the power of taxation in support of religious institutions? The constitutions of some of the States contain religious tests; and those of New Hampshire and Connecticut provide for a tax levy as the means of sustaining Christian societies. Those who believe in the absolute divorcement of the State from religion, and who think it expedient to place this doctrine in the organic law of the land will, of course, approve of Mr. Blaine's proposition, so far as it goes; yet they will naturally raise the inquiry whether it is not too narrow in its scope. In their view it is less, except by a very liberal construction, than the whole truth; and for this reason they are likely to regard it as defective.
The other part of the amendment relates specifically to the School question. Its provision is that 66 no money raised by taxation in any State for the support of public schools or derived from any public fund therefor shall ever be under the control of any religious sect, nor shall any money so raised ever be divided between religious sects or denominations." This language clearly comprehends and precludes all propositions for a division of State school funds among religious sects, or placing any portion of such funds under the control of any such sect. Would it settle the much-debated School question? It would do so in part, since it