March 27, 2009
"Cincinnati Bible War - The Controversy"
Cincinnati Bible War - The Controversy. The Case. The Decision.
Wednesday, April 1, 5:30 p.m.
Ohio Judicial Center, 65 South Front Street
Linda Przybyszewski, an associate history professor at Notre Dame, will deliver the remarks. Recognized as a leading legal historian, she was a featured contributor to the acclaimed PBS series “The Supreme Court.”
Hosted by The U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society and the Supreme Court of Ohio.
Seating is limited. R.S.V.P. to email@example.com or 614/387.9267.
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In 1873, the Supreme Court of Ohio put an end to the Cincinnati Bible War, declaring the city’s Board of Education could end Bible reading in its schools. The controversy had convulsed the city of Cincinnati, riveted the eyes of the nation, provoked a petition drive, and then a lawsuit. Now, the Bible had lost. Or had it?
The decision pointed to the Ohio Constitution, but then offered its own Bible lesson: compulsory Bible reading violated Christ’s Golden Rule. It was an unusual legal reasoning, but a powerful argument in a land dotted with church steeples. It was attorney Stanley Matthews who returned to Ohio to argue the case for the school board and defended religious liberty in the name of Christianity. His own inspiration lay decades in the past when scarlet fever raged in Ohio. It was an epidemic that changed Matthews, Ohio law and religious liberty forever.