In view of current interest in the problem of religion and the public school we present for convention approval a statement adopted by the Executive Committee of the NAE in 1957, as follows:

“We believe firmly in the separation of church and state but hold that this by no means implies an espousal of secularism and of practical atheism through the exclusion from our public schools of all reference to God, who is the supreme object of all learning and wisdom, and for all reference to His laws, which must be the basis of true prosperity for men and for nations. This two-fold principle we believe makes imperative the following rules of procedure:

1. While our schools are not free to propound the tenets of a given sect or denomination, yet they should by all means provide the young with an atmosphere of friendliness to the acceptance of the concept of the existence of God, man’s responsibility to God and to fellowmen, and of the benefits accruing to our society through all agencies promoting godliness.

2. In keeping with this, the public schools should encourage the daily reading to the children of a portion of the Bible without exposition, and the praying of the Lord’s prayer.

3. The public schools should grant upon equal terms to all religious groups desiring it, and subject to the permission of the parents of the children participating, the right of gathering their children during a period of time released from the school day, for the purpose of religious instruction under the respective auspices of these religious groups.

4. The foregoing should not be so interpreted as to abridge or qualify the right of religious groups to establish and to maintain at their own cost and subject to equivalent standards or scholarship, schools in addition to the public schools for the training of their children in the branches of learning in harmony with the religious beliefs of such groups.