do you want prayer and bible taught in our schools or the teaching of evolution?
There is nothing in the law that prevents the Bible being used as a supplemental text in literature class.
As for evolution, it’s not a text and as such isn’t really competing with the Bible. In fact, it’s a perfectly valid viewpoint to say that God created the evolutionary system (if the best creatures are the ones who are able to adapt, why wouldn’t God be smart enough to think up that process himself?). So we’re not necessarily talking about an either/or question.
Prayer is a different matter. While I think biblical prayer would be beneficial, I wouldn’t want children being subjected to prayers to pagan deities. A recitation of the Lord ’s Prayer to begin and/or end the school day would be acceptable. Students could opt-out of participation if their families didn’t want them to pray.
You didn’t define evolution so I need to do that before answering. Many people consider two types of evolution: macro (“goo” to “you” in millions of years) and micro (genetic variation within kinds or species). I don’t have any problem with macroevolution being taught AS LONG AS alternative ideas such as creation and intelligent design are equally presented. This is the only intellectually honest way to go about teaching origins since belief in macroevolution is very much faith-based. Yes, teach macroevolution IF the others are also taught as equally valid explanations and students can choose. Microevolution is seen all around us and is undisputed. It must be taught in science, but calling it “genetic variation” would be more descriptive, since the term “microevolution” is usually misunderstood.
Evolution is scientific so its far more objective than religion … even if you don’t agree with it wouldn’t you want your children to be exposed to differing viewpoints. In the end they’re going to make up their own decisions when they get old enough. Science is also empirical … something religion cannot say.
Furthermore, if we were to allow the Bible to be taught in public schools then what interpretation/sect should be taught. Should be teach the Catholic version, the Episcopalian version, the Quaker version, the Mormon version, the Evangelical version, the Baptist version, etc …? Do you see where this is going …? If you force teachers to teach religious principles you are, in effect, making them preachers, and that is not their place, nor should it be their function.
As for prayer in public schools I have the same problem. What type of prayer are we going to have? For instance, there are many Christian sects who have a problem with memorized prayers (like the ‘Lord’s Prayer). Forcing these students to say such a prayer would be akin to challenging their religious rights. Then there’s also the question if you have Jews, Muslims, or Buddhists in your class — they each have a different way to pray. Forcing one type of prayer for all just ethically reprehensible, and allowing each time and space to pray in their own way is unrealistic and impractical (for instance Muslim are required to pray five times a day on a mat facing east, remove their shoes, and prostrate themselves repeatedly). Once again I say religion has no place in public schools … if you religious views are really so incompatible with secularism and science then put your kid in a private school where they teach what you do like.
How hard is it for parents to sit down with the children, and teach them watch they want them to know if they disagree with school curriculum? Its easy … my parents would just sit me down and explain “School teaches you about evolution, but our religion teaches us this … ”
I think thats the way it should be …
evolution should be taught as a Science not as a faith. If we open our schools to allow religion then
we MUST teach all religion. After we cover all of the religions there won’t be any time left for Reading, Math, Science and so forth. Bringing in religion will just bring a ton of other problems that will get in the way of education. I feel it is best to leave faith up to the individual and leave it in a church where it belongs, available to anyone who wants it.
You can’t realistically teach Science or History or Literature without mentioning Christianity or God or the Bible. We are supposed to be *teaching* – this means all theories, beliefs, etc. so that the children can become informed, thinking, responsible, contributing members of society. We are not to be censors or to tell them what to think. Granted, the *when* is debatable; I would suggest high school, after they are old enough to make those decisions.
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