In Defense of the Constitutionality of Critically Discussing Religion and Ethics in Schools in Light of Free Exercise and Parental Rights
affiliation not provided to SSRN
Ohio State Law Journal, Vol. 70, p. 1565, 2009
This paper assesses whether a state could constitutionally mandate the critical discussion of religion and ethics in schools in a way that did not exempt religious objectors from participating. Such broadly critical courses have been proposed by numerous others; and such proposals and courses frequently meet protest from (especially fundamentalist) religious parents fearing an attempt to undermine their children's particular religious faith. Imagining that a state mandated participation in a course of "Critical Discussions," and attempting to take up the strongest imagined form of such a religious challenge, this paper concludes that the legitimate interests of the state in promoting skills of open discourse (and especially on ethical and religious topics) argues conclusively against any First Amendment or parental rights (14th amendment) need for religious exemptions from mandatory participation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 64
Keywords: First Amendment, Parental Rights, Values Religion in Schools, Criticizing Religion, Curriculum Challenges
Date posted: April 5, 2010
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