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B’nai B’rith Youth Convention Favors Teaching History of Religion

An overwhelming majority of the 180 teenage delegates attending the 37th annual convention of Aleph Zadik Aleph–boys division of the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization–said today that they would favor courses in high school curriculum on history of religion, comparative religion and other aspects of religion with emphasis on moral and ethical teachings of various faiths.

At the same time they flatly opposed the idea of released time in the schools, holiday celebrations there, and other strictly sectarian programs which they labeled “rituals.” Most delegates felt that teachers, adequately trained, could do an impartial job in teaching about history, ethics and differences of religions. They suggested that representatives of various faiths be utilized by teachers to help prepare and present courses.

Some of the youngsters said their own opposition to these “ritualistic” practices in schools, however, needed to be tempered by prevailing viewpoints in their home communities. The delegates emphasized that high school courses in comparative religion would not be designed to replace religious instruction under congregational auspices. The courses would augment religious instructions in churches and synagogues.

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