Monday, November 21, 2005

Article on the "Godless Public Schools"

I found a great article on the "Godless Public Schools" by Charles Haynes, one of the speakers at our Washington seminar earlier this year. I would like to hear some of your comments on it. You can read it by clicking here.

3 comments:

Julie said...

I like the article. I'm still concerned that Ethan asked me one day while driving around town, "Mom, do you know that we all have the same mother...everyone in the whole world?" This was the mind of a 5-year-old kindergartener at work. Come to find out that in music class, he was being taught a song called, "The Earth is my Mother."

I was fortunate enough to have learned about this song because Ethan is a very talkative kid, so I was able to explain to him how that song differs greatly from what we believe as Christians and how a great many people get it wrong and worship the creation rather than the Creator. Other less outspoken children would likely be left very confused by the thought that the earth could be in charge of everyone.

Even after a meeting with the principal of the school, we were assured that the school was in no way trying to work against what we were teaching our child. Of course, we know they wouldn't set that as their goal; however, the simple response, "Well, it's in the cirriculum," was not exactly anything to put our minds to rest. Do I think the song should be pulled from the cirriculum? You bet I do, but will it be? No.

I say all this to say that I don't expect the school system to reinforce what I teach my child at home. That's why I take him to church twice a week. I'm glad that my child goes to a diverse public school as opposed to a private, predominantly white school where everyone has the same Judeo-Christian values instilled in them. I think that he will be a better adult for having had the public school experience.

But the school system can inadvertantly teach our children things counter to the Bible (and the Koran, for that matter) and this is often due to shear lack of attention to detail. If we aren't vigilant, our children can entertain all sorts of wild thoughts that are counter to what we teach from the Bible.

Ultimately, though, all parents need to be responsible for their children's spiritual upbringing. Parents need to realize that their child's closest held beliefs will not be reinforced at school. That is where they will be tested, and that's not a bad thing.

Gil Gulick said...

Great comment! I have one question of clarification for you. Please don't think I am trying to start an arguement here, I just want to know what you think.

The following is a quote from your post:

"But the school system can inadvertantly teach our children things counter to the Bible (and the Koran, for that matter) and this is often due to shear lack of attention to detail. If we aren't vigilant, our children can entertain all sorts of wild thoughts that are counter to what we teach from the Bible."

Based on what you have said there, how would you respond to either athiests or Jehovah's Witnesses who have problems with the pledge of allegiance. I am using both as an example, because I don't want just to use the "under God" argument. Jehovah's Witnesses are opposed to the pledge itself because it is an oath. So, asking those children to say the pledge is contrary to what they are being taught at home.

I can tell you how the current interpretation of the law applies to this if you like, but I much more interested in hearing other opinions.

Eric said...

My response to either group is that they are not required to participate in the pledge. Moreover, they are welcome to attempt to change it by contacting their elected officials, just like any other citizen.

The overriding principle of the religious freedom clauses at all levels of government has been that those decisions are the sole purview of the individual, and the government should stay out of the way.