Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Vidal v. Girard's Executors (1844)

In Vidal v. Girard's Executors, the U.S. Supreme Court declared:

"Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament, without note or comment, be read and taught as a divine revelation in the college - its general precepts expounded, its evidences explained, and its glorious principles of morality inculcated? What is there to prevent a work, not sectarian, upon the general evidences of Christianity, from being read and taught in the college by lay-teachers? ...[W]here can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament? Where are benevolence, the love of truth, sobriety, and industry, so powerfully and irresistibly inculcated as in the sacred volume?"

Here the Court recognizes the value and importance of the Bible. This is one of countless statements from our early days that show the general feeling about the Bible that existed within the U.S. The decision recognizes the logical value of learning fundamental ethical principles from the Bible, which was obvious to most of the populous at the time.

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