God in schools?

To what degree should religion be allowed in public schools? On one extreme I see a Christian controlled curriculum where things like evolution are kicked out but on the other I see the atheist extreme where the history of Thanksgiving can be covered so long as no mention is made of the Pilgrim's faith in God. Also I see music classes where all religious songs are removed even if they represent the pinnacle of wester culture. At the same time you see the pushing of a non-religious social agenda at all levels of curriculum. Saying that homosexuality is normal and ok is a moral judgement and teaching that to every kid is a form of indoctrination.

So is there some kind of happy middle ground or will this be a matter of both sides imposing their views on the other?  I guess in the long run I see education going private again so that parents can send their kids to the schools most likely to reflect their beliefs.  Personally I think a private system with public vouchers given to the poor would vastly improve the education system in the US anyway.

A happy medium is very easy to find. No offence, but I think Americans (the most vocal ones, anyway) are a little crazy when it comes to religion and education.

At primary school we studied the Bible and learned hymns (including the National Anthem - which of course is pretty religious itself). Even the school song mentioned God. This wasn't a religious school or anything, yet no one had a problem with it.

At secondary school Religious Studies was compulsory for the first four years (after that point whether or not you did more depended on your GCSE and A-Level choices - if you wanted to you could study religion for all seven years). During that time we learned about Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism. We also learned about Greco-Roman paganism in Latin, Greek, and Classical Civilisation classes, and during the Sixth Form we had a compulsory philosophy course which went into a range of religious and non-religious philosophical systems. During history lessons we also learned about various religion-related matters (eg. the Crusades, the Reformation). In science classes we would learn about evolution etc., as you would expect.

Every Friday we had religious assemblies. You could go to the religious assembly of your choice (eg. some Jews and Christians preferred to come to the Muslim one, and visa versa), or go to a generic secular one if you wanted. At the religion ones, we would usually bring in outside speakers (eg. a local rabbi for the Jewish one).

This was all considered perfectly normal, yet from what I hear on Fox News it would raise a lot of eyebrows (or worse) in the US.

In the US we have god in some of our public schools. Christianity is strictly forbidden but in some of the public schools in NJ and now Chicago (and maybe Detroit?) they have muslim prayer rooms and students are excused from class to pray at the appropriate time. In certain school districts across the country, especially in California and Virginia, students (usually 7th graders) are required --all of them-- to attend a three week course on Islam where they read sections of the Koran, learn the pillars of the faith, wear robes and adopt an arabic name.

Meanwhile you're not allowed to say "Merry Christmas".

IBI,
What country do you live in? In the US a public school curriculum like that would not raise eyebrows, it would cause lawsuits.

IBI, What country do you live in?

England.

God save the Queen!

It is similiar in Australia, I think it works well, allow knowledge and choice, and encourage understanding.

the rev

In America you can only talk about God after some kid is rampaging through the halls shooting people up ;-(

I might be wrong but I think Muslims are required to pray 3x a day not sure if it has to be at specific times.

Pneuma: I'm not sure what type of victim trip your on but at least you can see how offended someone can be if another person's religion is forced on others in schools. So you can surely agree we need to keep it out.

"especially in California and Virginia, students (usually 7th graders) are required --all of them-- to attend a three week course on Islam where they read sections of the Koran, learn the pillars of the faith, wear robes and adopt an arabic name."

This is the first I've heard this. California is pretty damn liberal but Virginia?!?!? No way, I don't believe it. I'm not saying your lying but did you hear this as a rumour somewhere or am I wrong?

"Meanwhile you're not allowed to say "Merry Christmas"."

lol. Dood the victim role should be from those that had theyre holiday stolen.

I see this as a great argument for private schools, which is actually how most people were educated through most of history. The idea of compulsive and public schooling is new and has proven to be largely a failure. Poorer families are relegated to public schools even if the standards and conditions are low and the curriculum goes against their belief systems.

With free competition in the market and vouchers for lower income students the level of education can be raised. The issue of what is included in the curriculum can be individual to the school. The Fed. government could establish standardized tests for elementary and high-school education which every child would have to pass to get their "degrees" so if schools were not getting their students to a national level of competence they would soon go out of business. The key, however, would be for each private school to establish themselves as going above and beyond the national level.

I might be wrong but I think Muslims are required to pray 3x a day not sure if it has to be at specific times.

It's five times a day at certain times, but there are all sorts of mitigations. You shouldn't be walking out of work/lessons to pray.

At my school you could pray as much as you wanted, but you had to do it in your own time. Eg. Some Muslims would get together for Friday prayers during their lunch hour, in a room which had been set aside for them (during that hour each week - it was used for other things at other times).

Generally the school would accept the pupils' religious requirements/desires, as long as this could be done sensibly and without disruption. Eg. Jews were permitted to skip late classes on Friday if necessary (especially during winter), but the teachers made sure they kept up with any work they missed.

"I'm not sure what type of victim trip your on but at least you can see how offended someone can be if another person's religion is forced on others in schools. So you can surely agree we need to keep it out."

I think your reading comprehension skills need to be assessed.

Personally, I don't want religion in schools in any form. The mention of God in the Pledge, or at football games or at graduations is not religion. Otherwise, it has no place there. Also, I'm an agnostic, although I have been reading some christian books lately.

"This is the first I've heard this. California is pretty damn liberal but Virginia?!?!? No way, I don't believe it. I'm not saying your lying but did you hear this as a rumour somewhere or am I wrong?

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/living/9870348.htm?1c

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=15593

http://www.cbn.com/CBNNews/CWN/020802IslamTaught.asp

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=25997

LOL @ you and your responses. Wondering why one group is permitted to do a thing while another is not only not permitted to do that, but anything even remotely like that is not "playing the victim".

It's an odd thing that a public school teacher can be fired for wearing a small cross necklace and a student can be suspended for praying privately over their lunch in the school cafeteria, but when it's not christianity you are permitted to teach it and have prayer rooms. Isn't it?

I am also a product of the English school system and you left out one small point IBI, the CANINGS!!!

Good point. At primary school we had corporal punishment, and it was an excellent way of keeping the kids in line.

Yeah, God is a God of black and white. Like slavery, Calvinism and Arminianism, the trinity, blessing and poverty, Grace and justice etc.

If I have learned anything over the years, God is a God of paradox, not black and white.

the rev

If I have learned anything over the years, God is a God of paradox, not black and white.

I second that.

I found God without my intelect, I live God with reckless abandon. If you are still in black and white world, you will grow up someday. The Holy Spirit can teach even you.

By the way, the acceptence of paradox is usually considered anti intelectual. But hey, I am just a silly mystic what do I know.

the rev

Yes

He was fully God, and fully man.

Both ideas are true, yet they are contradictory in nature. How can two contradictory things be true at the same time? Paradox You see God is beyone our comprehension at times.

the rev

if you thing paradox makes sense, you don't understand the word

the rev

According to my "American Heritage Dictionary",paradox means.....

paradox-noun

1.A seemingly contradictory statement that may nonetheless be true.
2.One exhibiting inexplicable or contradictory aspects.

The fact that Jesus was both fully man and fully God is known as the "great paradox".Look at the first definition.Jesus being a man SEEMS to exclude the possibility that He is God.The emphasis is on the word "seems".Because although Jesus was both man and God (which seems to be contradictory),it is true at the same time for those of us who believe in the hypostatic union.No,none of us can nor will understand it in this life.