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The key issue here is the cultural value of "tolerance" (for other's beliefs).
Where tolerance is missing, balkanization occurs, and the nation so afflicted
remains at war with itself and never achieves it's potential.
However do not mistake the current anti-religious movement in the US with
tolerance. It is in fact the epitome of intolerance. It's practitioners
emulate the Inquisition's quest for religious purification, except in their
case, the "religion" they seek to impose is Atheism.
It is interesting to note that Spain, (the country that participated most
enthusiastically in the Inquisition), participated the least (among European
nations) in the industrial revolution, and even today remains economically weak
compared to its more tolerant neighbors.
Anderson Whittle wrote:
> "Governments enforced prayer will fragment parents, teachers, school
> governors and ultimately the students. Rather than teach values and morals,
> school prayer could result in confrontations over who and what is considered
> "holy". It can balkanise students into competing religious factions, and
> isolate the many students who have no religious beliefs whatsoever. You must
> have a certain admiration for a man who will swim against the current. A
> man whose beli......"
> Good schools
[ Excess quotations omitted. ]
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