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Oregon House votes to end ban on classroom religious garb

Catholic World News - February 15, 2010

In a 51-8 vote, the Oregon House of Representatives has repealed a 1923 legislative ban on religious garb in the public school classroom. Prospects for passage in the state senate are uncertain.

The 1920s were a time of intense anti-Catholicism in Oregon in which the state’s citizens, deeply influence by the Ku Klux Klan and Masonic lodges, went so far as to vote in a ballot initiative to ban parochial schools (a separate measure from the law that banned religious garb). In the 1925 case Pierce v. Society of Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, the United States Supreme Court unanimously struck down the ban on parochial schools. Pope Pius XI cited a passage from the Supreme Court’s decision in a footnote of his 1929 encyclical on Christian education:

The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excludes any general power of the State to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right coupled with the high duty, to recognize, and prepare him for additional duties.

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  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Feb. 15, 2010 3:25 PM ET USA

    "The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right coupled with the high duty, to recognize, and prepare him for additional duties." That ought to be a poll question to determine how far liberal fascism has progressed in our nation.

  • Posted by: Cornelius - Feb. 15, 2010 11:52 AM ET USA

    Now I'm confused. If the Supremes struck down the law in 1925, why is the Oregon House bothering with repealing it? Didn't it become dead on the books after the Supreme Court decision? Has there been any attempt to enforce it since then?

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