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April 17, 1987 - Image 26

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-04-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Vote ZOA

Zionist Congress Elections

Action Slate

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p Friday, April 17, 1987

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

OP-ED

Alabama Decision

Continued from Page 7

bias. He assumes religious
neutrality is religious advocacy.
This is erroneous.
The public schools must have
no role in religious matters.
Compelling the public schools
to teach about religion com-
promises the neutrality of the
state. It is not possible to teach
about religion without making
certain choices which
necessarily become en-
dorsements of a point of view.
For example, in teaching about
Judaism, would the texts in-
clude Humanistic Judaism?
Some Jews would object. Would
the texts include all aspects of
Orthodox Judaism? Some Jews
would object. Would the texts
teach the Far Eastern
religions? Some Christians
would object.
The judge asserts that the
failure of the texts to teach
about the influence of religion
in American history is wrong.
Most historians conclude that
Thomas Jefferson and other
leaders of the Revolution were
entirely unmotivated by mat-

ters religious. But fundamen-
talist revisionist historians
have discovered historic
"evidence" that this is a "Chris-
tian" nation. Will the schools
resolve this debate or teach
both points of view? Teaching
the fundamentalist view is an
endorsement of scholarship
that many view as flawed.
The decision reveals the
court's bias; the judge did not
approach the question without
a point of view. He wrote that
" . . there
is no doubt that
.
adherents to the religion of the
Humanist Manifestos affir-
matively seek the exclusion of
influence by theistic religions
in the public schools" and
treating religion as a private
matter is a view ". . . of religion
. . . Humanists have been seek-
ing to instill for 50 years."
The judge iSS not neutral on
thfs question. His obvious par-
tisanship produced a decision
that is intellectually flawed and
dangerous. It threatens the
neutrality of the public schools.
It should be reversed.

Herzog Urges German
Restraint In Arms Sales

West Berlin (JTA) — Presi-
dent Chaim Herzog of Israel
declared here last week that
"Germany has an historic
responsibility to help Israel in
the vital task of survival and
to abstain from any act which
might strengthen those who
are at war with Israel and are
its declared enemies:'
His remark was a departure
from the prepared text of his
speech at a dinner given in his
honor by the Berlin press
Association. It was in direct
response to an article pub-
lished by Franz-Josef Strauss,
the Prime Minister of Bavaria
who strongly advocates the
sale of advanced German
weaponry to Saudi Arabia.
Strauss is leader of the
Christian Social Union (CSU),
the Bavarian sister party of
Chancellor Helmut Kohl's
ruling Christian Democratic
Union (CDU). Herzog, who is
winding up a five-day visit to
West Germany, the first ever
by a president of Israel, con-
sidered the subject important
enough to address.
He stressed in his speech
that Germany has a lasting
moral responsibility toward
the survivors of the Holo-
caust. Herzog also told the
prominent West German
journalists attending the din-
ner that too much emphasis
has been given the Arab-
Israeli conflict.
Herzog was welcomed to
West Berlin by Mayor Eber-
hard Diepgen. Accompanied
by his host, President Rich-
ard von Weizsaecker of the

Federal Republic, the Israeli
President placed a wreath at
the Ploetzensee memorial to
Germans who had opposed
the Nazi regime and paid
with their lives. It was a sym-
bolic act greatly appreciated
by the West Berliners.
Earlier in his trip to Ger-
many, during a visit to
Bergen-Belsen, Herzog
unveiled a rock quarried in
Jerusalem at the site off this
former concentration camp
and dedicated it to the
memory of those who per-
ished in the Holocaust. "I do
not bring forgiveness with
me, nor forgetfulness,"
declared Herzog. "The only
ones who can forgive are the
dead. The living have no right
to forget. Thus I will surely
remember, with a heavy
heart."
The brief, moving ceremony
at Bergen-Belsen followed by
a few hours Herzog's arrival
at Bonn where he was greeted
with a 21-gun salute and
personally welcomed by
President Richard Von Weiz-
saecker of the Federal Re-
public.
Several hundred people
assembled at Bergen-Belson,
including Holocaust sur-
vivors and West German
dignitaries, headed by Von
Weizsaecker and the Prime
Minister of Lower Saxony,
Ernst Albrecht. Many fought
back tears as the El Mole
Rachamin, the prayer for the
dead, was chanted by a
cantor.

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