Religion in Schools

All who have given attention to the subject are aware of the increasing tendency of the age, in many quarters, toward materialism. The unprecedented development of mechanical devices which tend to lighten toil, to make communication easier, and to increase almost immeasurably the opportunities for entertainment and the pursuit of pleasure, has turned mortals away from concern in spiritual affairs. As a result, less and less attention has been given to religious education, until quite generally it has disappeared from the curricula of public schools, except for the desultory reading of the Scriptures.

In the countries whose citizenry is composed of many races with a wide diversity of religious convictions, it seems difficult to give instruction on spiritual subjects in public schools without inciting prejudice and animosity. Because of this tendency to lessen the attention given to religion, those who are thinking deeply of the future are seriously concerned and, in consequence, are looking about for methods and means of improving the situation. For they are convinced that education, even though it include ethical and moral teaching, unless it also comprise definite instruction in religion, falls far short of fulfilling the vision of the Founder of Christianity and of safeguarding the highest interests of the people. It seems to have been forgotten that Jesus' hillside sermon contains the essence of right thinking and doing; and the Ten Commandments provide a foundation for ethical teaching which may not be lightly put aside.

Mrs. Eddy, fully aware of the lack of religious instruction in the schools, states in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 235), "School-examinations are one-sided; it is not so much academic education, as a moral and spiritual culture, which lifts one higher." To meet the need in some measure, our Leader established the Christian Science Sunday Schools, defining in the Manual of The Mother Church the type of instruction to be given therein. Thousands of children have blessed the wisdom of our Leader for the wonderful privilege of attending the Sunday school until arriving at the years of maturity. The spiritual truths received through this pure channel have set their feet in the paths of spiritual attainment so firmly as to enable them to go forward with gratitude and thanksgiving.

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"The bond of perfectness"
November 15, 1924

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