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Chicago Church Federation Insists on Teaching Bible in Public Schools

A statement by the Church Federation of Greater Chicago insisting that public schools were obligated “to recognize in positive and forthright policy and practice the conviction that true moral, ethical and spiritual values are religious values” evoked strong protests from rabbinical leaders here.

The Protestant organization, in making the bid for teaching of religion in public schools, said the position was “provisional” until it was reviewed by the 27 member groups, Rabbi Henry Fisher, president of the Chicago Rabbinical Association, commented that the general position of the rabbinical group was one of opposition “to the introduction of religion in the public schools on any basis or in any form.”

Support for the Jewish position was offered by the Rev. Edwin T. Buehrer, president of the Western Unitarian Conference, who warned that “as soon as we teach anything” in a school program “which satisfies most Christians, it will offered our Jewish friends.” Dr. George L. Ford, executive director of the National Association of Evangelicals, representing the conservative Protestant groups, said he favored Bible reading in the public schools “without comment.”