A strong defense of the American system of public education on the basis of the spiritual values it has nurtured in our American culture. The author is violently opposed to re-introduction of formal religious education either in classrooms or through ""released time religious education"", and marshalls cogent arguments in defense of his position. He argues that parochial schools were poor educational institutions in their early history; that public schools have inculcated successive generations with an essential spiritual point of view. The author is a professor in the Colgate-Rochester Divinity School. His thesis will not prove acceptable to Catholics generally, nor to all Protestants, but he does offer food for thought.