The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 3 - 8/20/2000
Church and State, Religion in School... What is YOUR View?
Church and State, Religion in School... What is YOUR View?
| Reponses: There are 122 responses posted to this question.
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| The Current Furor Over Religion In School Is Often Presented As A... ||Aug 26th. at 11:17:42 pm UTC|
|Pat (Columbia, South Carolina US) ||Age: 47 |
The current furor over religion in school is often presented as a freedom of religion issue. A local public school board has chosen to ignore the Supreme Court, and authorize prayer over the public address system before sporting events. The local news has featured high school students defending the school board with statements like 'no one can tell me what to believe.'
(Of course, in reality, the courts have never proposed to tell anyone what they should believe. No court ruling in the history of the US has EVER prohibited prayer in school. What IS prohibited is school supported public prayer.)
It is clear to me that the 'freedom of religion' school prayer supporters really want is the 'freedom of ONE religion'. Evidence - in a largely Protestant Christian community, the school board grants students the 'freedom' to use the public address system for prayer of the religion of their choice unless it would cause 'a disruption'. Protestant Christian prayer, of course, is not disruptive. But what about other faiths? Would Wiccan prayer disrupt? How about Buddist prayer? Jewish prayer? Roman Catholic prayer?
| The U S Was Founded By People With Strong Religious Conviction; Primarily... ||Aug 26th. at 11:37:32 pm UTC|
|Seeker (Tonopah, Nevada US) ||Age: 50 - Email |
The U S was founded by people with strong religious conviction; primarily Judeo-Christian and Deists. They believed that religion was the basis for strong morals but also believed that the state should not dictate any religious view, hence the mis-understood "separation of church and state."
Healthy religious discussion in school on an intellectual level, on a par with comparative theology, is part of education and helps teach youth basic tenets of morality and other necessities of a civil community.
I would strongly support a return to religion in school, only so long as all religions are given equal respect, including Pagan beliefs.
| I Personally Feel That The Seperation Of Church And State Should Be... ||Aug 27th. at 12:25:18 am UTC|
|Rainbow Zend (Pecos, Texas US) ||Age: 35 - Email |
I personally feel that the seperation of church and state should be complete. This is just one more issue that will distract our nation's children from learning, and that should be their focus while at school. I do not believe that public shcools should be teaching ANY BELIEFS, just facts...not creationism because some people don't BELIEVE in evolution, not the 10 Commandments because many groups BELIEVE in them, not anything that is part of a belief system just because it is widely accepted.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS can and should teach reading, spelling, grammer, math, science, history, geography, music, art, physical education, and so on.
PARENTS should teach morals, ethics and beliefs. Parents who are adamant about these things being taught at school have the option to enroll their children in private schools, and can choose schools with curriculums in agreement with their personal beliefs. They also have the option to home school their children, if they are able to do so adequately. I personally know a 17-year-old young man who is home schooled, also brilliant and open-minded.
| I Am A 17 Year Old Wiccan Currently Attending High School. The... ||Aug 27th. at 12:47:26 am UTC|
|Raven Moon (Belle Mead, New Jersey US) ||Age: 17 - Email |
I am a 17 year old Wiccan currently attending high school. The only time I was ever told to pray in school was during my kindergarden years at a christian school. I think it should be kept that way. There are simply too many religious denominations out there to not offend someone by enforcing prayer in school (be it to God, the Goddess, etc.) I feel that unless a person is attending a school of religious affiliation (i.e. a Catholic school, etc.) religion in school shouldn't mix. It may be true that students dont' leave their religion at the school's front door, but who is the school to impose religious beliefs on anyone (especially the atheists or agnostics).
I feel I carry the Goddess and God with me everywhere I go. However, I do not indicate to people that I feel such things, not on a daily basis anyway. And no Jewish, Catholic, Methodist (etc.) friend of mine has ever indicated to me that I am wrong or that I shouldn't feel that way. Even though, we all carry our religions around with us (for they make up part of who we are) we don't impose them (usually) on anyone else. Schools shouldn't either. I know I'd be pretty miffed if I was made to bow my head and pray every day to someone announcing another religion's prayer. I can barely take saying the Pledge of Alligence.
| If People Want To Pray In Their Free Time, Fine, They Can... ||Aug 27th. at 8:25:03 am UTC|
|Artemis Moonshadow (Kfar Saba, Israel) ||Age: 15 |
If people want to pray in their free time, fine, they can do whatever they want. But making other people who are probably not as religious or not of the same religion is disrespectful. People should pray on their own or in a group of people who share the belief. You shouldn't make people pray if they don't want to. I say you want to pray to God, fine, Allah, great, Vishnu, fine by me, just don't force me to pray to something I don't agree with. That's my opinion.
May the Gods Bless.
| I Believe No One Has The Right To Push Their Religion On... ||Aug 27th. at 12:16:28 pm UTC|
|sharon (ann arbor, Michigan US) ||Age: 18 |
I believe no one has the right to push their religion on anyone else, but they also do not have the right to oppress another's religion. If a child wishes to advocate his/her religion, then who's to stop them?
On the other hand, you cannot have people going around saying one religion is right or wrong.
So, yes, religion and expressions thereof should be allowed in school, but the teaching of religion, unless it an optional class, should not be allowed.
| It Is My Feeling That All These People Fighting For School Prayer... ||Aug 27th. at 2:08:01 pm UTC|
|Jessica Antalek (Schenectady, New York US) ||Age: 26 - Email |
It is my feeling that all these people fighting for school prayer are just pandering to the conservatives. It certainly does the faith no good for people to use it as a bone of contention, and it significantly cheapens the value of prayer. These folks know perfectly well that their God can listen to them even if they pray silently, so they are just using the issue as a way to make themselves look better! In the Christian bible there is a passage where god (either Jesus or Jehovah, I cannot remember if it was old or new testament) says that He is not impressed with those who make a big show of their faith and who pray loudly--that those who silently pray in the privacy of their homes are just as good, if not better! Where does this leave the school prayer issue? I believe that those who feel that it is absolutely essential to pray before a football game or before a test are capable of doing so silently, in a nondisruptive way. If they do not have this skill, then it is their spiritual leaders, not the schools, who are failing them.
I do remember one biology class where a fundamentalist Christian boy objected strongly to the teacher presenting evolution as a part of the class. The teacher gave him the option of leaving the classroom, but made it clear that it was expected as part of the test. The teacher, a very staunch Catholic who went to church every Sunday and very much loved God, is someone I have respected ever since I met him, and set a fine example of a Christian who can also believe in and enjoy science. He was capable of separating education and religion--I only knew of his religion because I got to know him after graduation, visiting him and his large and wonderful family every so often. I wish all Christians could learn from him example.
I believe personal religious symbols should be permitted, proselytizing not permitted. The difference? Wearing the symbol is a form of self-protection and a reminder to oneself of ones spirituality. Many times I have been close to making a decision, then have the weight of my valknot remind me of another factor in the choice I was about to make! Proselytizing is deliberately pushing one's religion on others, and that is not what people are at school for.
These people who are trying to put religion into the schools--do they realize what they are opening the door for? It is not simply a matter of exposing one's children to the influences of other deities, but other flavors of Christianity. "But mom, Johnny Smith is a Christian and HIS FAMILY says evolution is okay!" Once religion becomes a part of school, the kind of religion that the kids are learning may not be what the proponents of school prayer were after in the first place! By then it will be too late, and we will all be screwed. Thank god for the ACLU and the other groups working to make sure everyone, including these clueless ones pushing prayer in schools, will have the religious issues entirely in the hands of the parents instead of some school official.
| I Will Do My Best To State This Short And Sweet. Religion... ||Aug 27th. at 3:01:47 pm UTC|
|Silverowl (Marble Falls, Texas US) ||Age: 22 - Email |
I will do my best to state this short and sweet. Religion of the the people is something that should be free from the control of the state, and it is. Not once Have I not been able to pray anywhere. The state should simply not give preferance to any religion.
Where we to allow teaching of any religion in schools, Even if it were all religions known... were there a whole class related to religions of the world, The teaching would not and cannot be unbiased. This is impossible, for our faiths are such strong factors in our lives. Even an Athiests belief. Anyone who thinks that such a huge part of the community that choses to guide our children could possibly teach without something of themselves coming out to children is foolish. So What it comes down to is that the schools are not some enitity of the state solely... they are the communities that surrond it. Perhapes the problem is that the community does not gather together to interact with each other, and are astounded by the interaction of the community in these children.
This battle, if that is what it is, should be taken out of the schools. The public are waging arguements through their children. Enough already! Everyone should grow up and seek out some unity in the communities.
| I Grew Up In Newfoundland, Canada, Where Much Of The Educational System... ||Aug 27th. at 5:59:50 pm UTC|
|Scotia (Toronto, Ontario CA) ||Age: 25 |
I grew up in Newfoundland, Canada, where much of the educational system was denominationally segregated. That changed less than a decade ago when the people of our province voted Yes! for a non-denominational school system. This vote amalgamated the schools, kicked out the religious aspect and provided ALL school-age children the opportunity to attend any school in their district.
No one can argue with this. To persist in keeping religion as a school educator is both educationally and morally detrimental. All children deserve the same education and all children deserve the freedom to explore / practice their own spirituality. It seems to me that denominated schools tend to forget why schools exist. It is not an institution built to promote and perpetuate religious propaganda - it is a system designed to inform, to educate and to encourage.
Religion is a very personal matter. It is something an individual explores internally, with family, with their religious guides and with friends. It is not an experience taught in textbooks or recited before Homeroom class.
| I Live In Lancaster County, Pa. The Christians Here, All Of Them... ||Aug 27th. at 6:14:54 pm UTC|
|Gillian Romain (lancaster, Pennsylvania US) ||Age: 49 - Email |
I live in Lancaster county, PA. The christians here, all of them, not just Mennonite and Amish, are extremely narrow-minded. One woman who thought I was catholic told me I would go to hell because of my religion! The majority of people here also vote Republican, not because of the person running, but because of the religious views of the evangelists who support that party. If I must look at crosses and WWJD shirts, keyholders etc., there isn't any reason my religion can't be visible. I recently lost a work assignment because someone reported me for putting a spell on her and causing bad things to happen. Of course I didn't and hadn't even had any trouble with the person. The comment I made was that witches aren't evil. That was enough for her, not to mention that I corrected her in front of someone. The problem is, that without legislation to force most humans to treat one another fairly, we will immediately revert to past behaviors. It is why there are laws about religious freedom, who can drink out of which water fountain, and who may marry whom. We must be as visible as we feel we can safely be, and hope that the religious zealots do not take over our government as they did 300 years ago when our ancestors came here looking for religious freedom. Perhaps some day we will find it - if we can teach our children to embrace diversity, rather than fear it. We must teach our children our religion ourselves and let them, and us, teach others by our behavior toward one another. Meanwhile, no religion belongs in school. Not until the christians are willing to teach about the bloody crusades where you believed their way or were killed, or the truth about the Salem Witch hunts. Maybe then we will have some balance.
| Religion In School Is Only As Good As The People Who Allow... ||Aug 27th. at 8:19:54 pm UTC|
|Rae (Auburn, Washington US) ||Age: 15 - Email |
Religion in school is only as good as the people who allow it. If one religion is propped up on a pedistal, other people with different religions feel left out or excluded.. a minority. I believe people have their Goddess given right to practice their religion whereever they choose, as long as it doesnt hurt anyone else. Preaching is a bit of a fine line for me... but if someone wants to learn, tell them about it. Hate should not be in schools... discrimination should not be in schools. Prayer, as long as it is private and non intrusive, doesnt seem like it could hurt anything.
| Religion And School. I Am Going To College In The Uk, Read... ||Aug 28th. at 6:17:53 pm UTC|
|pelates (cambridge) ||Age: 17 - Email |
religion and school. i am going to college in the uk, REad as high school and in juniour high as you would call it they taught us about all religions, and being tolerent. They even taught us about wicca, to an extent. religion in school is good, so long as it is all religions, and the teachers are not biased.
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