The appropriate balance of religion in American public education is something that’s been debated since Horace Mann initiated the first public schools in the 1800s. In the most recent episode of Us & Them, host Trey Kay hears from Linda K. Wertheimer, author of Faith Ed: Teaching About Religion In an Age of Intolerance.
In the 1970s, Wertheimer was a 9-year-old student from the only Jewish family in a small Ohio town. She was confused and felt very uncomfortable when the “Church Lady” would appear in her class each week to have the kids sing “Yes, Jesus Loves Me.” Linda was the only kid who didn’t know the words to the song.
Trey spoke with Beth Vorhees about America’s tense history in addressing religion in public school classrooms.