A Bible in a school classroom

Students – especially those who live in heavily-religious communities – can be subjected to innumerable religious overtures while at school.


The law is clear: government must remain neutral on religion and is forbidden from favoring any one faith over another. But that certainly hasn’t stopped religious folks from trying to inject their views and beliefs into the public sector. And perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the nation’s school system.

If you think about it, the classroom is the perfect breeding ground for religious propaganda. It’s filled with young, curious, impressionable children ready to have their brains molded in any which way. And while some schools manage to abide by the law and stay neutral when talking about religion, others consistently struggle to do so.

Students – especially those who live in heavily-religious communities – can be subjected to innumerable religious overtures while at school. Below are just a few recent examples that have made headlines.

Ten CommandmentsTen Commandments Bill

The first story involves a bill proposed in Tennessee that would require the Ten Commandments be placed in every school statewide. State Rep. Credell Calhoun (D) introduced House Bill 1100, which would impose the following three requirements on all public schools:

  • A mandatory 60-second moment of reflection must be held every morning
  • Schools must place a poster featuring the Ten Commandments and the words “IN GOD WE TRUST” in every classroom, auditorium, and cafeteria.
  • At the beginning of each school day, teachers must recite the Ten Commandments aloud to their classes. However, anyone who objects can be excused from the activity.

Supporters of the lawmaker praised his efforts to stand up for their religious convictions, but it’s unclear if the bill has a serious chance of passing. Critics scoffed at the idea of the Ten Commandments in schools, characterizing the idea as an unconstitutional government endorsement of Christianity.

Christian Retreat Canceled

A public school district in California was forced to cancel a field trip to an outdoors camp after the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) filed a complaint back in December. The Dixie School District had been planning a retreat for a group of fifth graders at a well-known camp called Alliance Redwoods. So what was the issue?

It turns out the camp has an overtly Christian message, and will only hire Christians to work there. The mission statement says it all: “A place of renewal where our guests meet the Creator in his Creation.”

Rather than argue the complaint, the school district responded that it was canceling the trip.

Protest against Islam in schoolsIslamic Indoctrination

Last year a group of parents in New Jersey alleged their children were being indoctrinated with Islamic messages. During one religious studies class, students were shown a cartoon explaining the five pillars of Islam and given a homework assignment with fill-in-the-blank questions such as “There is no god but ____ and ____ is his messenger.” The correct answers were “Allah” and “Mohammed.”

School district officials explained that since the course covered the basic belief systems of all major religions, Islam had to be taught as well. But the parents said the assignments went too far, and risk brainwashing kids into thinking Islam is the only correct religion. They are now pursuing legal action against the school district.

Why Not Stay Out Entirely?

While the law might seem straightforward on the issue of religion in schools, in reality things aren’t so clear cut. Given this grey area – and religious folks’ propensity to exploit it – some people question why public schools should even get involved with religion in the first place.

What if the topic was avoided entirely? Well, banning all religions could potentially prevent students from being indoctrinated by one religious message or the other. But skeptics point out that Communist China has tried to enforce a similar ban, and the results haven’t been pretty.

Thoughts?

 

87 comments

  1. Phil says:

    I think Christianity should the number 1 religion globally.

    1. Clay says:

      I think you’re right. At least one other religion (I won’t mention it) has started to infiltrate the U.S. already and they’re not going to stop until they take control.

    2. Wanda Houchin-Campbell says:

      TOTALLY WRONG, not everyone is a Christian and you should not shove your belief up every ones butts.
      I am not religious I am Spiritual and have my personal relationship with MY CREATOR!!! Religion is none of anyone else’s business, it is PERSONAL!!!

      1. Pavel says:

        I agree. Religion is fine until it’s organized 🙂

      2. William Millhouse says:

        I agree, I am not Christian and vehemently object to it being shoved down my throat, I am Wiccan and judge no one for their religion and expect the same from others.

      3. Phil says:

        Christanity seems to be the most civil belief globally today. It is simple 10 basic rules easily understood. You don’t have to be a Christian to see this. Christianity treats all as equals, there are no spells other than simple prayers. It doesn’t treat women like animals or wish harm on people. It can be a little strict but we all agree everything can not go your way. Jesus Christ was a simple man like you and me. Christianity is good foundation to grow you belief and in the end we have one God and only one God. You can call him/her what want as you value others and not judge them because they don’t agree with you. Yes when you have people in any religion that want to control you it wrong. God is meant for us to be kind to each, respect your neighbor and grow as one.

        1. Chill Draggon says:

          It’s obvious you don’t know much about other religions.
          Your 10 simple rules were for the Israelites…ever hear of Moses?
          And how civil was the Inquisition? How civil are the Xians who judge and hate others.
          Seems you don’t know much about Christianity either.

          1. phil says:

            Its obvious you are one those who are judging people for what their opinion is. first of all the 10 commandments were a metaphor and a story how large groups of people can not get along and need rules. the times you are talking about weren’t very civil not like now. But i love you any brother.

      4. John Owens says:

        Nobody is shoving anything down anyone’s throat or up their butt. If nobody speaks of religion, soon there will be none.

        1. Chill Draggon says:

          JO,
          No religions? Do you mean no religious persecutions? No religioswars? No religious prejudices? No religious genocide? No religious money-grubbing televangelist millionaires preying on the gid-needy gullibke?
          No religions? Sounds like a cure for many of our planet’s problems!

    3. 2028now says:

      Haha! That is funny. One friend of mine thinks it should be Voodoo. Another says Hindu. Still another says Bahai. And they’re all wrong. Religion shouldn’t be a competition to see which has the most believers, nor should it be considered any more than an opinion as everyone has their own opinion about religion.

      1. Amber Fry says:

        Absolutely!! There is no reason for religion to be in competition. If your believes lift your spirit, enrich your soul, and connect you with the source then there is no reason for it to be in competition. The divide and spread of lies and hate only creates a fast track away from anything remotely religious or heavenly.

    4. Rev paul says:

      Agreed Islam should be banned from being taught in school I know if I had a child in school I would not want that child to learn Islam and become a terrorist

      1. Diana says:

        That isn’t right to say. Every religion has their bad apples. You’re judging all Muslims for what some do.

    5. Ken says:

      Phil, You’re a beginner troll. Ha ha.

      1. Phil says:

        Ken you may think I’m a beginner but my beliefs don’t make me say things just to feel better about myself. God bless you!

    6. Chill Draggon says:

      Phil,
      Your opinions are subjective and you are entitled to hold them, but it would be civil of you to hold them closer to yourself.
      However, facts are not subjective. Christianity is not a monolithic organization and is global in name only, but neither in practices nor beliefs. Consider polygamy, the Virgin Mary, televangelists, born agains, fundamentalists, etc., etc.
      Please pontificate only after looking past your particular version of the bible and all its metaphors (which is also not global, but comes in many flavors for specific politcal reasons) into the wider world of reality.
      Question: Are you saying the Old Testament a collection of metaphors? And the New Testament?
      It was good of to be feeling defensive only over your opinions and not over observable facts.

  2. Terry HAyes says:

    Phil,
    You have got to be kidding. Diversity is the way of progress. There are enough churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples to spread religious beliefs. If people do not wish to fund abortions why should money fund the propagation of a faith? What ever faith a family or person chooses is their choice. Your choice of faith is yours and yours alone. If people respect your choice to be a Christian you should respect their choice of religion. Without that respect you are better than a terrorist. Without respect there cannot be peace.

    1. John Owens says:

      I find in my own life that it is very difficult to respect people of different belief if they make it a point to disrespect mine. My philosophy there is, don’t start any trouble, and there won’t be any trouble. Start something, and don’t expect me to let it pass.

      Diversity itself is a red herring. Companies talk about it and some politicians talk about it, but they are ALL hypocritical about it. They want to APPEAR to be diverse when it comes to ethnicity and gender, but the very last thing any of them can really tolerate is diversity of opinion or free thought, which would be the ONLY real benefit of diversity. Companies who claim to want diversity actually want yes-men and yes-women and politicians want easily manipulated disciples who in turn cannot STAND diversity of thought. Diversity for diversity’s sake does no good for anyone. To artificially thrust people together as an attempt at social engineering is to try to plow the sea. Different ethnicities will work side by side in a factory, and at break time, they will automatically segregate. That is the nature of the animal in humans.

      1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

        J O diversity is not a red herring, that would be spreading fear of other ideas like you do with your fear mongering of communists etc.

        Diversity is the tried and true history of our species as it has spread, fought assimilated, changed spread and fought again and again. Like a cook making a fine meal, many herbs and spices and ingredients have to be blended, cooked, re blended and re cooked to achieve something beyond the imagination of an unskilled cook.

        Nature, god, the great spirit, whatever one wishes to call the powers that be, is a master chef that understands breaking eggs is the only way to mix things up.

        Do not fear the inevitable fall of one culture to another, as in time so to will that one fall and so on. Fearing change is madness that leads to stagnation.

        And yes this country was founded to be a great social experiment. Thomas Jefferson said for a government and country to remain free of corruption there must be a revolution ever decade.

        A great example of our own was the civil war. Sure it was brutal, bloody,and full of tragedy, but in the end it is what made the U.S. a world wide legend as soldiers from the civil war where seen as the greatest warriors of that era. It promoted rapid advances in fire arms that lead to cartridge firing repeating rifles and revolvers. It forced closed minded ignorant fools to recognize that people of non white skin tones where actually human.

        When a child does not play nice with others you do not isolate them to just their friends you give them a stern talk, or even a swat on the ass and tell them to get along or go stand in the corner and miss out on play time until they grow up enough to be a part of society.

        I also know you see yourself as some kind of christian tough guy, news flash real christian followers are 100% peaceful even in the face of violence and death. If thrown to the lions they kneel and pray they do not fight back nor complain. So if you cant let everything pass do not try to walk the walk.

        Jesus would want you to accept being crucified without complaint. That is what a real christian does.

        1. John Owens says:

          You must have been on a different medicine when you wrote this one. You are truly schizo.

      2. Linda says:

        John, I grew up on an Air Force base and it was totally diversified and I am so glad I had that experience. Diversity broadens our horizons, teaches us to be understanding or at least, tolerant.

        Companies can’t afford for there to be free thought running the place. The guy who is risking the money has to have the say so… and the rest of us can try to learn their position, contribute an idea, but if we don’t agree with them, we can quit. Employees quitting can become a problem for them too.

        1. John Owens says:

          My family was military and we lived overseas. I was usually the minority. I have nothing against diversity if it occurs, but forcing it for its own sake is stupid, and you partially validated what I said about the workplace. Many want to pretend that diversity of thought helps solve problems, so we need diversity of ethnicity and gender to provide it, but they won’t tolerate diversity of thought, so that’s all BS.

      3. Chill Draggon says:

        I’m sorry to read your dismal opinion of people. I’m also sorry to read you believe humans are inherently doomed to racism.
        You’ve just attemptied to justify your own racism.

        1. John Owens says:

          Chill Draggin’, You DO realize going around calling people racist when it is unfounded is just as bad as calling them racial slurs, don’t you? And it detracts attention from ACTUAL racism. My opinion is NOT dismal. It is true, based on observation. It is NOT racist to congregate with one’s own ethnic group. Your inability to comprehend that does NOT make me a racist. It just means you are learning-impaired. Perhaps you are sorry because of that.

          1. Chill Draggon says:

            John, Oh John,
            You obviously don’t realize your purposeful misspelling of my name is a childish reaction when you have no adult way to express yourself.
            You also protest too much. So many denials. And using all caps, which is equivalent in text to vocally shouting, further adds to your disbelief in your own words. Everyone can see you are a racist.
            If you took the time to look outside your ethnic tribe, you would notice that people all around you congregate for reasons that have nothing to do with ethnicity. That fact that all the groups you “observe” are seen as ethnic reveals you are predisposed to think only in terms of race.
            Here’s a suggestion: have your DNA tested, if you have the courage. You may find, as many have, that what you believe is your personal ethnic tribe is really a cultural tribe and your ethnicity is totally different. Oops!
            I’ll bet you tell people: “I’m not racist. I have friends who are______ (Fill in the blank. If a racial word comes quickly to mind. Guess what? it’s another indication you’re a racist.)
            Counseling may help you openly admit and overcome your problem. You are obviously uncomfortable.
            Good luck!

          2. John Owens says:

            If you took the time to read what I actually WROTE, which, obviously you did not, you would shut the Hell up and stop feeling so damned superior. How many languages do you speak? How many do you read and write? How many lovers from other religions and ethnic groups have you had? How many different countries have you either visited or worked there? You are reading your own ignorance into my life experience, where it has no place.

          3. John Owens says:

            And just for the record, the only time I use all caps is to emphasize a particular word. It is not shouting, you moron. It is because there are no italics or bold letters here. Jackass.

    2. Phil says:

      Diversity is why the world is on a wrong path today.

    3. Phil says:

      Christanity seems to be the most civil belief globally today. It is simple 10 basic rules easily understood. You don’t have to be a Christian to see this. Christianity treats all as equals, there are no spells other than simple prayers. It doesn’t treat women like animals or wish harm on people. It can be a little strict but we all agree everything can not go your way. Jesus Christ was a simple man like you and me. Christianity is good foundation to grow you belief and in the end we have one God and only one God. You can call him/her what want as you value others and not judge them because they don’t agree with you. Yes when you have people in any religion that want to control you it wrong. God is meant for us to be kind to each, respect your neighbor and grow as one.

      1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

        I assume you refer to the 10 commandments. Those are not christian those are Jewish. The christian tenants would be the 7 sins and 7 virtues.

        But like most wannabe christians you seem woefully lacking in understanding the history and composite nature of the bible.

        Anything old testament is just history not dogma meant to be followed by those who choose to view Jesus as the Christ.

        1. Phil says:

          I assume you believe that people even little people don’t need guidance? The stories we read in any part of the bible are stories. They stories of what happens when a large groups of people run amock with theory own theories. What happens Is chaos. You see it now people don’t know if they are men if they are men and same with women and I can go on and on. If you don’t have a strong foundation of beliefs the society will fall. You see it now and that foundation is religious (spiritual) most of us want to believe in good even you don’t want to. You yourself assume i call myself a Christian which I never said. What I said is that Christianity is the most civil belief we have love thy neighbor means to respect and right there is a large group with none. God be with you it is people like you with a little knowledge think that they are enlightened .Would I do believe is that your one to think he is intelligent because you read a book yet that most likely is all you done in life. You should step outside and see what is happening take yourself out the book and experience life yourself not through a book but through experience. You then will see through your own eyes instead of the eyes of someone else. Even way back they knew people need guidance so the metaphor was the Ten Commandments.

          1. CHILL DRAGGON says:

            Phil,
            Now you’re descending into invective, which not very civil of you.
            Better for me to read books and learn of other experiences that am I can accept or reject upon reflection. Would you believe that reading has sometime informed me of facts I wasn’t previously aware of and gave me a better appreciation of the subject matter.
            Diversity of thought, I find for myself, is a very satisfying way to navigate the maze of life.
            Nature promotes diversity to sustain life. Hundreds of thousands of Irish died because there was no diversity in their potatoes, which had no way to survive the blight.
            Beware blight of the mind.

          2. T'Keren Valmaz says:

            Lets see Philly we can see you are all about feelings. You feel that there is something wrong with transgenders, we can see you feel christians are the most peaceful as if that is a catch all term when many christian spin offs espouse hate as dogma. Including radical christian zealots like the VP Pence.

            Have you never watched or read anything about the Dali Lama who is generally called the nicest man alive? They sell a great book here on ULC called the art of happiness. A truly great read.

            To put it bluntly yes I am a pretty smart cookie. I can beat a computer chess program on max difficulty I can read about a thousand pages a day, I have pretty good recall of what I read without having the anomaly of a photographic memory. And I always try to be open minded and educate myself on the myriad cultures of the world and their faiths being a ULC minister. Enlightenment goes hand in had with a willingness to self educate no matter how old you grow.

            I certainly hope the abrahamic god is not with me. That is a blood thirsty and manipulative diety that makes Zeus and Odin look like nice guys by comparison.

            And Ive seen plenty of the world I love to walk in nature and study the creatures that call the wild home.

            Nor are the Ten a metaphor they are clear guidelines that among other things direct and condone mass murder of those that believe other then the word of the supposed god that decreed them. Or did you miss the part about what was done to those that worshipped the golden calf?

            You are also clearly in need of reading to help you with your command of writing. Which normally I dont bring up as I understand english may not be your primary language. Yet I suspect it is and you are just some willfully ignorant troll.

    4. Lee says:

      So you are pro choice as I am. Whatever a person chooses, it is their choice to make and should not be judged by a lot of other people that have a problem minding their own business and thinking that their opinion is better than the person that is in the position to make the decision.

  3. DrRGRivera says:

    THAT’S AN ONGOING DECEPTIVE FIGHT. GOD IS EVERYWHERE PEOPLE CAN NOT BE.
    HOWEVER, YOU CAN CHOOSE TO RESIST AND PROHIBIT DIVERSE HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND PRACTICES. ….Matthew 22:21 Jesus said “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” –
    Mark 12:17
    New International Version
    Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him.

    New Living Translation
    “Well, then,” Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” His reply completely amazed them.

    English Standard Version
    Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.

    Berean Study Bible
    Then Jesus told them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” And they marveled at Him.

    Berean Literal Bible
    And Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar the things of Caesar, and to God the things of God.” And they were amazed at Him.

    New American Standard Bible
    And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him.

    King James Bible
    And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.

    Holman Christian Standard Bible
    Then Jesus told them, “Give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him.

    International Standard Version
    So Jesus told them, “Give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were utterly amazed at him.

    NET Bible
    Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were utterly amazed at him.

    New Heart English Bible
    And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” They marveled greatly at him.

    Aramaic Bible in Plain English
    Yeshua said to them, “Give what is Caesar’s to Caesar and what is God’s to God.” And they marveled at him.

    GOD’S WORD® Translation
    Jesus said to them, “Give the emperor what belongs to the emperor, and give God what belongs to God.” They were surprised at his reply.

    New American Standard 1977
    And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him.

    Jubilee Bible 2000
    And Jesus, answering, said unto them, Render that which is of Caesar unto Caesar, and that which is of God unto God. And they marvelled at this.

    King James 2000 Bible
    And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marveled at him.

    American King James Version
    And Jesus answering said to them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marveled at him.

    American Standard Version
    And Jesus said unto them, Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled greatly at him.

    Douay-Rheims Bible
    And Jesus answering, said to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.

    Darby Bible Translation
    And Jesus answering said to them, Pay what is Caesar’s to Caesar, and what is God’s to God. And they wondered at him.

    English Revised Version
    And Jesus said unto them, Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s. And they marveled greatly at him.

    Webster’s Bible Translation
    And Jesus answering, said to them, Render to Cesar the things that are Cesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they wondered at him.

    Weymouth New Testament
    “What is Caesar’s,” replied Jesus, “pay to Caesar–and what is God’s, pay to God.” And they wondered exceedingly at Him.

    World English Bible
    Jesus answered them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” They marveled greatly at him.

    Young’s Literal Translation
    and Jesus answering said to them, ‘Give back the things of Caesar to Caesar, and the things of God to God;’ and they did wonder at him.

    1. DrRGRivera says:

      The Fight to Keep God out ….. IS A LIE FUELING IGNORANCE FURTHER.

      1. JOHN MAHER says:

        I was taught at a VERY YOUNG AGE and it was POUNDED into my HEAD that GOD is EVERYWHERE and ALWAYS in YOUR HEART and MIND, SO LETs GIVE GOD a BREAK and LEAVE GOD OUT of the SCHOOLS, I think GOD WOULD REALLY take KIND to THIS !!! DUMP DOTAR ORANGUtRUMP !!!

        1. Tom says:

          John…i agree…the sooner people realize that God is everywhere and in everything, the sooner the divisive results of religions will take place…there should be no teaching of religions in public schools…parents can send their children to religious private schools, and college students can study theology, if they so choose…there is no innocuous exposure to religions…Tom

      2. Rev. Dr. Marion Ceruti says:

        You are right, Rev. Dr RG Rivera. Some people have waged war on God in schools and look at the chaos that has resulted. The fact is that we will NEVER be able to stop students from praying in public schools as long as these schools have written and oral exams.

        God bless you.

    2. William Waugh says:

      So, eh. ……what’s your point?

    3. Linda says:

      Dr. RVRiveria, the point being… EVERYTHING is God’s. What is TRULY Caesar’s?

  4. Swan says:

    One could replace the word “religious” with “Christian,” and “religion” with “Christianity”, and so on throughout this article and retain its apparent topic of discourse. Of course that’s a natural assumption given Christianity’s prevalence in Western culture, and this seems written mainly for a U.S. audience, but an assumption that leaves many of us religious “others” wanting to make a bit of a crow-bar separation.

    Christianity, like a few other major world religions, is a missionary religion; meaning it seeks to convert as many as possible, if not the entire world, and we’re all rather used to that by now so such behavior is expected, at least here in the U.S. I realize not every adherent of a such beliefs acts in this way, but it does seem characteristic of Christianity in general. Less so of non-Christian missionary religions, despite fears of a Muslim take-over in the West, esp. the U.S. – we don’t much hear about Buddhist proselytizing in our schools or town halls, though it too seeks to save the world. I suppose its a difficult salient point to say it in this way, to point out that this is here a uniquely Christian, and perhaps further uniquely American problem.

    Please know that mean no insult, I simply feel I see it in this way currently.

  5. Steve says:

    As a committed Pastafarian, I think we should be teaching the gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in schools.

    There. That sentence makes exactly the same case — and the same sense — if you replace Pastafarian with Christianity (or any other religion) and FSM with JC (or any other religious prophet). I’m pretty sure one does not need religion, or even a belief in any magical being, to live a good, just, and moral life. If you want to teach religion in our public schools, make sure you do it in the “history of literary fiction” curriculum.

    1. 2028now says:

      You’re right. There are plenty of amoral Christians. Plenty of self-serving people who believe in a god. One doesn’t need religion to be a good person.

    2. Anna Brown says:

      RAMEN!!!!

      1. Rev. Dr. Marion Ceruti says:

        Thank you for proving (once again) that brevity is the soul of wit.

  6. John Owens says:

    Some study of religion has to be necessary to any knowledge and understanding of history. Schools’ function is nowadays more a medium for indoctrination than for instruction in actual knowledge and practice in deductive thought. It has become little more than a communist daycare center, more interested in brainwashing than teaching. The problems come when people disagree as to what form that brainwashing should take, or what should be its goal. If we look at society, it would appear we have veered off the optimal path in education some 50 or more years ago, and rather than return to it, we seem to be getting further away. Change is not always good, in fact, it very seldom is, when it comes to a society.

    1. JOHN MAHER says:

      RIGHT JOHN BOOGER BUTTERFLY OWINS YOUR PROBABLY STILL WEARING YOUR FIRST DIAPER YOUR so AFRAID of CHANGE, HOW WILL YOU MARCH in YOUR DADDY’s MILITARY PARADE, MOORE and MOORE VILLAGE IDIOCY,,,,

      1. John Owens says:

        Fear of change and suspicion of change are two very different things, but to the simple mind might seem the same. Change always brings unintended consequences which advocates for change are usually too stupid to consider ahead of time.

    2. Rev. Dr. Marion Ceruti says:

      How true – you hit the nail on the head. Have you noticed that schools began their decline right around the time when the federal government began to get involved in “education?” By excluding ideas except communist ones, schools have come to resemble prisons more than educational institutions. We do a disservice to students when we ignore important areas of human development, such as religion. Teaching about the various religions in schools does not mean that the the state promotes a single “official” religion. Students should be made aware of various religious teachings so they can see for themselves similarities and differences. It can be approached as a way to stimulate analytical thought.
      That this approach is rejected constitutes evidence that only one thought pattern is allowed.

      God bless you.

  7. Kerrie Walker says:

    Given that we are a nation of many religions, religion needs to be kept our of our public schools. If parents want their children educated in their religion, there are many choices.

  8. Clyde says:

    1. I taught the Bhagavad Gita, the Old Testament/Torah, the New Testament, the Koran, and the Iliad in World Literature class. It would have been wrong to have only taught one or two. Totally legit, because we need to understand their intrinsic involvement and impact on today’s society. They are literature; for example, the King James version of the Bible is the longest blank verse (non rhyming iambic pentameter) poem ever. They are great works: Read them all, then tell me which one you prefer. Not one word, until then.
    2. As long as there are math tests there will be prayer in school. Organized prayer in school is distinctly and clearly unconstitutional.
    3.The pledge of allegiance should pledge allegiance to the constitution and the nation, not to a symbol of imperialistic hegemony and genocide, as such is our flag. Eliminate the “under God.” It is unconstitutional. And, under any theocracy it is impossible to have “liberty and justice for all.”
    4. The Creator has plenty folk kissing its ass many, many, other places, many other ways. In fact, the Creator’s address is Everywhere, the Universe. Public school is not a fair venue if one merely human religion has preference over the other.
    5. Let them go to the private religious school of their choice, but NOT ONE RED CENT should come from the rest of the taxpayers to fund it.
    6. Why is it in Tennessee even the Democrats are theocratic bullies? We should have the Bill of Rights posted at every school site in America, not Moses’ hallowed wish list (that would actually officially endorse the three major monotheistic religions, not just Christianity, as reported above). The comedic prophet George Carlin used a reductionist process to hone it down it into the One Commandment: Don’t be an immoral asshole.

    1. Steve says:

      Well said, Clyde.

    2. Wendy says:

      I’ve read them all and more. I prefer the Daodejing. It’s such a perfect example of Eastern philosophy. I wish I could read it in Chinese, though, because so much gets lost in translation.

    3. John A Anderson, CD says:

      Point of fact from someone who has done some research, even though I am a Canuck. The words “under God” were not added to the Pledge until the 1950’s, as a response to “godless Communism”

      1. Lee says:

        Myself and a lot of other people omit that when we pledge allegiance to the country.

  9. Pastor B Stevens says:

    PUBLIC SCHOOL ! Want a Christian retreat go to a private Christian school plain and simple . Public school is for all faiths or none at all . It’s not a recuriting arm for ummm the new arm of Gods Army being created by certain evil men . Stay out of public schools it’s neutrail ground .

  10. Frank Villari says:

    Participating in this ongoing debate concerning religion, atheism, spirituality, et al, does little except provide fuel for the League of the Perpetually Offended. Wouldn’t it be better to simply offer an “elective” class on comparative faith? I would think that the opening and activating of minds is what education is all about. The comparison of world religions is one step in this direction. I took several classes like this when I was young, comparisons of religion as well as the the “isms” of socialism, fascism, communism, and capitalism. It is the job of education to open minds and educate, not to indoctrinate. Our institutions of “higher” education would be well served to remember this. Just saying.

    1. John Eubanks says:

      Good job Frank. Sensible and pragmatic. Something really hard to find nowadays.

  11. Steve says:

    Frank, you’re being rational again.

  12. rabbi jim says:

    Greetings all! I think the Parables of Yeshua of Nazareth should be taught in all schools, religious and public alike. The parables are filled with morality and goodness – something this society needs more of right now. Lets put morality teaching in schools on all levels. Shalom and have a wonderful day!

    1. Pavel says:

      “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
      So good and forgiving, eh? 🙂

      1. rabbi jim says:

        Kind greetings all! Pavel, please excuse me, but, I don’t get your meaning. Whether you agree with me or not. But, society needs more morality and goodness, for sure. Shalom, and have a wonderful day!

  13. rabbi jim says:

    Greetings, again. If all young people were taught the parables of Yeshua of Nazareth, and had been all along, what a beautiful society we would be living in right now. People would be kind and caring on a much larger scale and evil, crime, greed, and nasty behavior would maybe be non-existent, or at least somewhat, in this society. How wonderful! Shalom and have a wonderful day!

    1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

      And Id also have had the end of my cock cut off. so no thank you and no the world wouldnt be better off under the archaic rule of your faith built upon falsehoods. You all should thank the babylonians for teaching your ancestors how to read and write.

      Actual history shows that Babylon allowed the Hebrew people to integrate, have businesses, political status, wealth and be part of their society. Yet the utter tripe that is the fable of the tower of babel continues to be spread as part of your so called history.

      Want to know what really causes a people to be targeted by others, declaring themselves the chosen people and their god the one and only true god. That kind of thing is pure antagonism. At least the romans tolerated other gods as long as you gave lip service to roman gods as being the best. Hard core jews, christians, muslims, mormons and so on, on the other hand will say your going to hell if you dont fall into lock step with their faith.

      When someone condemns another to hell for not believing you make an enemy of them pure and simple. To an Athiest its just something to laugh off to someone of differing spirituality its a verbal threat and nothing less.

      1. rabbi jim says:

        Kind greetings all! Mr Valmaz, you have a very twisted mind, dude. I am suggesting that morality be brought into the classroom only, not GOD. The parables are filled with good moralistic values, something that is very lacking in society today, especially in youth. Please, take your head out of your ass and realize this. The world would definitely be better off, if only somewhat. Shalom, and have a wonderful day!

        1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

          Not such a peaceful man of god now are you nor very civil, Not once did I make a personal insult nor attack towards you but towards the faith you espouse as superior to all others.

          Morality should begin and end at home school is a place to learn how to civilly act with society as one grows older.

          I personally view the The Hebrew god as being a bloody and manipulative diety as the old testament clearly portrays a being those terms can be accurately applied to.

          You may see yourself as morally superior but you are most lacking in modesty and civility.

          Instead you insult me for not sharing the same view of the world we live in and do not feel society lacks morale behavior as a whole. I firmly believe the good drastically out number the bad. Its just that media on all sides like to head line the bad to the point it seems to be overwhelming the world.

          IMO if the world was so filled with strife and amoral monsters, the streets would run red with the blood of the first born, plague pestilence and famine would be rampant rather then isolated to places constantly victimized by holier then though corrupt leaders who often use one faith or another as their excuse, and It would be sane rational coldly calculating people committing mass murder and never being caught rather then mentally ill people in dire need of real help themselves.

          keep your morales to yourself but learn some civility and accept your views are your own if you want civility directed back at you.

          May the Darkness of the Void consume your soul and keep it safe forevermore in Oblivion.

          Just an FYI that is my version of your Shalom peace be with you.

  14. 2028now says:

    I don’t want my sons to have to go to a Christian retreat sponsored by the public schools. If I wanted them to go to a Christian retreat, I’d send them myself. I feel the same way about the Ten Commandments. If I wanted them to recite these every day, I’d have them do it myself and send them to Sunday school. It is up to me and my wife what we believe and how we want to raise our children. It is not a responsibility of the school. — That being said, I see no problem with having classes in World Religions if the classes are factual and unbiased.

    1. JOHN MAHER says:

      N O to SECULAR, N O to SECULAR, N O to SECULAR, WHAT ELSE ???

  15. Craig says:

    There is no Law that Christianity is the “one true religion” or the only valid religion. Most others predate Christianity. If you’re going to “teach” religion in the school system, then you teach religion: expose children to all faiths without pushing one over another. It will expand diversity and community.

    Teaching religion in schools is not to indoctrinate people into a religion–that’s called brainwashing.

    If you’re going to teach Christianity, then you teach Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and yes, even Pastafarian traditions AND without passing judgment on those religions.

    Otherwise, keep it out of the schools.

  16. Coach darrell says:

    Why does the website and this article have such a leftist slant? It seems like the article is going out of its way to support Islamic rights, but wants to limit the topic of Christianity and America’s Judeo-Christian heritage. Teachers are not preaching the Gospel in the public school classroom, but they are not going to deny their faith either. … to go to the other extreme and deny God is much more of a Stalinist strategy which did not work out too well for them.

    In God we trust. 🇺🇸🙏🏻

    1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

      You may trust in your god I trust in myself and those wise enough to do the same. News flash this is the ULC a non denominational ministry, so more often then not it will at best be neutral to the dogmatic and zealous radical archaic old world views of christians.

      You do relize even satanists can be ordained through the ULC they and the Luciferians are legitimate churches with faiths no less valid then your own view right?

      Nationalism is the tool of tyrants.There is a reason the mad dictator Napolean is often called the father of nationalism. As he used it to stir people into a mindless frenzy to wage war on those he disliked.

      May the Darkness consume your soul for the Void and keep it forever safe in Oblivion!

  17. Bill Fox says:

    The 1st Amendment is clear about religion. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” So, the government cannot force secular belief at the expense of religion.

    1. Rev. Dr. Marion Ceruti says:

      I agree with you. Freedom “of” religion is different from freedom “from” religion. The idea of the 1st. Amendment was that no state religion should exist, as it does in Vatican City and in Saudi Arabia. The government cannot force citizens to worship in a certain way, to the exclusion of all else. It does not mean that atheism should become the de-facto religion. Actually, I see any religion as “valid” as long as it teaches love and harmony as opposed to killing those who do not agree.

      God bless you.

  18. Daniel A. Young says:

    PUBLIC schools MUST be secular. They are not about religion, they are about math, science, literature, history, etc. Making all public school students participate in a particular religion (why is it always fundamentalist, Protestant Christian zealots who insist on it?) in that context is as absurd as the state forcing Sunday School teachers to teach math, science, etc. Why can’t you just accept it that there are other religions in America, so NO religion is even brought up in government-run institutions? It’s the job of churches, preachers, and parents to teach Christian “beliefs” to their children. The state is not obligated to teach kids you religion or beliefs, expose them to it, or impose it on the rest of us, non-Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, etc. We don’t get to force our views on your kids in a public school, either. Be grateful for that and stop trying to violate the Constitution that protects us all equally from impositions by “someone else’s religion.” Christians have all the freedom in the world to practice in churches, the home, and spread their message on street corners, in book shops, in mass media of every kind. The Christian message is not be suppressed. It just doesn’t belong in public institutions and public schools that serve EVERYONE, and where ALL religions are excluded!. I can’t believe we’re still having this argument!

  19. Jacob says:

    In all honesty, I’d prefer for schools to remain entirely secular. Despite my personal love of God and His wishes for humanity, I respect that He gave humanity free will, and acknowledge that others believe differently than I. I have no right to force my beliefs onto them, just as they have no right to force theirs onto me. I believe the same is true for children. They deserve enough respect to allow them to find religion through church, rather than through public education.

  20. Rev. D J says:

    I have to agree with George Carlin. And, in reality, humans can’t “take” God out of anything. We must be a constant amusement to heaven.

  21. Joe Bill Schirtzinger says:

    I don’t think we should have public schools funded by the state or local governments or even federally. I think that a school should be a community matter that is a non-profit entity that has the ability to teach about secular or religious issues as it sees fit in its curriculum. I think there should be oversight by other non-profits like a university system to ensure that no one tries to take over the system at a community level to “teach children only what they wish”. Education should be separated from the state, along with the church. This would of course, not preclude schools that are also non-profits wishing to teach a particular spiritual tradition. Likewise, I certainly believe the college system should be a non-profit entity as well.

  22. Tom says:

    The problem with religions is that they are all man-made, and people become adherents in order to hide in the mob mentality, rather than connecting directly with God…we are all fully capable of experiencing the peace of God, but our egos interfere, and this allows the religions to get a grip on us…it does not help…no one needs religion to be a compassionate, loving person…no one…Tom

  23. Tom says:

    Joseph…again, i object to moderation/censorship…Tom

  24. Jeff says:

    This is a very delicate item. The Government cannot pick one religion over another but then again it is not allowed to stop or hinder the religious practice of anyone. Recent victories by several religious groups have shown that schools in general have taken a stance that is not within the Constitution by attempting to remove prayer, students carrying their books of worship or even giving testimony to other students. As long as every religion has the same opportunity religion cannot be suppressed. Prayer is OK as long as it does not point to a particular belief, religious clubs can be allowed as long as all religions can have clubs. When we as a society begin to dictate when and where we can worship then we start down a road that is ripe for misuse. We have taken the stance that if something is offensive to me then it should not be allowed rather than if something is offensive I have the right to walk away and ignore it.
    A good example is several years ago when another organization against religion filed suit against the military because Bibles were provided to recruits if they wanted them. This, in their opinion, was a direct violation of the Government not favoring one religion, but, to make the long story short, a little investigation showed that several religions were asked to provide religious materials to the recruits at the recruiting station in order to comply with the Constitution, even Wiccans were asked to provide material, but the Christians were the only group to send material, not Jews, not Muslims, not Hindus no one but the Christians. It was determined that the Bibles were allowed because the other groups decided not to act , they were given the opportunity but refused. And the recruits were not forced to take the Bibles, they were made available, once again a choice. If the recruit was an Atheist he did not have to have a Bible, a choice. Our mind is a wonderful thing and as long as we are allowed to exercise it and make choices then it will only get stronger, to think that the Government should make our choices for us is disturbing at the least, dangerous is more like it.

  25. John Owens says:

    You cannot teach any accurate history of Europe without some mention of the influences of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Moslem Conquest, and the Reconquest. You cannot teach any accurate history of the United States without speaking of the different religious groups that figured so much in the history of it. You do not have to teach that the doctrines are correct, but where they carry great influence (like Joseph Smith supposedly being a prophet to whom an angel appeared) accuracy dictates that a certain amount of that must be mentioned. Most of you don’t seem to mind if teachers advocate for political and societal practices, but you seem to think they should never mention anything about religion. That is A) stupid and B) willfully ignorant and C) total denial of a lot of historical influence and D) all of the above.

    1. Tom says:

      John…to say that history is revisionist is an understatement…as has been said by many before me, history is written by the winners…search for accurate histories of the Celts, or the Assyrians or the Sioux or the Pueblo, or any of a myriad of religions that have come and gone…there is no accuracy…but i agree with you that we should teach everything…unfortunately, the money/international oligarchy has taken history and political science out of the educational equation, as it does not serve their purposes…the power in this world wants the solitary divisiveness that is the result of the technologies of today, which isolate everyone as much as possible, through texting, social media, sound bites, etc…and it certainly suits the money to set different countries and religions against each other…in the end it is sad in terms of this world, but it is still karma, and ok spiritually…peace…Tom

      1. John Owens says:

        Yes. We might choose to coexist, but for that option to even exist, others must choose it also.

  26. Tom says:

    Joseph..as per my previous request, please provide the guidelines for moderation and release…thank you…Tom

  27. Diana says:

    I see nothing wrong with learning about different religions. I do not believe school should should only teach one religion. Children should be taught to have an open mind, and that they have a choice. They should be taught how different religions came about. They should be taught the histories of each religion. To teach or allow only one religion teaches hate.

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