Religion: Corrosive Influence

To the U.S. Supreme Court, the First Amendment† means that there is a "wall of separation between Church and State." In the Vashti McCollum case last spring, the court told an Illinois school board not to allow the teaching of religion in the public schools (TIME, March 22). Last week, meeting in Washington, D.C., the Roman Catholic bishops of the U.S. denounced the court for this "entirely novel and ominously extensive interpretation."

As the bishops see it, the First Amendment makes only two things unconstitutional: 1) "the setting up by law of an official church"; and 2) "discrimination between religious bodies." The...

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