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Rationalism vs. Religious Instruction in the Public Schools

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Religious worship is a chronic disease of the imagination contracted in childhood.
—Opening sentence

First published in the United States in 1945, Rationalism vs. Religious Instruction in the Public Schools is an atheist tract by Arthur G. Cromwell. Although it had been written several years earlier, it became famous (and subsequently received national publication) when Cromwell's daughter, Vashti McCollum, sued her local school district over the issue of enforced bible instruction during class time.

Even today, the first sentence of the tract is one of the most incendiary statements in American culture. Newspapers reported that when the tract was read into evidence at McCollum's trial, most of the audience gasped.

The fifteen-page tract is no longer in publication as a stand-alone book.