While defending his vision of the United States as a Christian nation, Harry R. Hull Jr. (3C, April 15) overlooks a couple of rather important facts.
One is that if public-school teachers and administrators could again lead prayers and Bible readings, they wouldn’t be evangelical Protestant prayers only. Every religious book, including the Quran and the Book of Mormon, as well as every denomination, would have to be accommodated. That means Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, Mormonism, Hinduism, Baha’i, even Santeria (voodoo). Don’t want your children to see the slaughter of chickens and goats? Too bad: Santeria is recognized by the federal government as a legitimate religion, and animal sacrifice is part of Santeria rituals.
Another is that before 1963, when the Supreme Court ruled in Madalyn Murray’s favor and banned Bible reading and prayer recitation in schools, many American public schools were racially segregated. The disconnect does not seem to have struck anyone: Did those Bible readings never include Matthew 22:39, “Love thy neighbor as thyself”?
For that matter, where were the rioters educated who killed two people at Ole Miss when James Meredith enrolled? In segregated Mississippi schools with daily prayer and Bible reading, perhaps?
If Mr. Hull wants to make Christians of schoolchildren, perhaps a more effective means would be daily reading of the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education.