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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 19,641,009  

Vox Q Stats

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Reponses: 122

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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. Reverse Sort 

I Think That Religion Should Not Be Forced Upon Anyone At School... Aug 29th. at 9:39:55 pm EDT

SilverPanther (Rockville, Maryland US) Age: 14 - Email

I think that religion should not be forced upon anyone at school, but I also think it would be nice to have opportunities for everyone to practice their own religion. There should be a moment of silence everyday (before tests especially), so people could pray, meditate, etc. When studying world religions, they should also include Wicca, that way the number of people thinking it is evil shall go down. Pentacles should never be banned (or otherwise let the crosses be banned as well), and saying the Pledge of Allegiance should be optional. At my middle school we were forced to say it, and even though I was not Wiccan back then, I still did not feel it was right. As for the Ten Commandments, I have nothing against them being posted as long as they omit the obviously Christian ones (such as dont worship other gods, because that is just rude, and forces christianity on people. everything else is just moral.) and they ought to post the Threefold Law and the Wiccan Rede as well, not only for balance, but also to eliminate prejudice. I also think that, since there are Christian and Jewish schools, there should be Wiccan schools too.....because sometimes I just wish I could go to a school where my religion is practiced and where I am accepted for who I am.

Sorry, I'm A Bit Late On This One But.... As A Child... Aug 30th. at 7:44:20 pm EDT

Michele Frykas (Winnipeg, Manitoba CA) Age: 27

Sorry, I'm a bit late on this one but....

As a child in school, I remember saying the Lord's Prayer right after 'O Canada' and before 'God Save the Queen'. At the time, I was a practicing Catholic, and very naive, so it didn't even occur to me that there was a problem. I even remember our grade 3 school teacher reading the Bible to us.

As I grew up in the public school system, things changed. The prayer issue was left up to the school principal. The only maditory thing was the playing of the national anthem and of God Save the Queen. (Both songs mention the word God, as far as I could tell, that was never really an issue).

The best solution I came accross was in High School. The pricipal there recognized that there were Jews, Muslims, etc in the school and instead had a "moment of silence". Thus, if you felt like praying you could, in whatever words you wish, or for the truly non-spiritual....reflect upon last nights hockey game.

I have no problems bringing religion or prayer into the public schools as long as ALL religions are allowed, honoured and educated. Public education should reflect the needs and composition of the students. If the schools choose to include religion, it should present it in an educational manner, not presented as a biased, inclusive mind-set. We are developing minds, not dictating beliefs!!!

I Have Attended Both Private (roman Catholic) And Public Schools. In The... Aug 30th. at 10:04:09 pm EDT

MoonDancer (North Hollywood, California US) Age: 32

I have attended both private (Roman Catholic) and public schools. In the private high school I attended, we had daily prayers over the loudspeaker and mandatory attendance at the occasional school masses. I never thought it was correct or fair to force the non-Catholic students to attend these events. (About 10 students per high school grade level were non-Catholic). To the school's credit, we were also required to take a semester-long class in comparitive religions, and during that semester were required to attend a service of a faith that was not our own.

I have mixed feelings about schools teaching about religions at all. In some instances, a "comparitive religions class" may be some students' only exposure to other faiths (other than through their own faith system, if they subscribe to one). So such a class COULD be enlightening and dispell misinformation. However, I would find it hard to teach about other faiths (or even my own) in an impartial manner. I figure that if such a class ever was available in a public school, attendance would end up being optional (like how parents can hold their children out of the sex education classes).

As far as the mention of God in the Pledge of Allegiance, people should know that the "under God" phrase was added basically because of the "Red Scare" -- our Pledge apparently is quite similar to the Russians' pledge, and the phrase was added (in my opinion) to make sure we were "godly" folk and not "godless Russians". (No offense intended to any Russians, I am trying to capture the ideas prevalent in the 50's). (Segue: we also used to salute the flag, but that too was dropped because it was reminiscent of the Third Reich salute.)

There Is An Old Saying, "your Right To Swing Your Fist Ends... Aug 31st. at 2:30:15 am EDT

Lisa / ChaosMoth (Mountain View, California US) Age: 16 - Email

There is an old saying, "Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins." Yes, if I were a high school student (I currently attend college) I should be allowed to pray. Heck, come to think of it, I should be allowed to cast spells in class, too -- since when inspiration hits, I've been known to improvise visualizations, silently and with minimal movement, using jewelry and local items for props. But all of this can be done silently and without bothering others. I don't buy the 'disruptive clothing' idea. Who's making -you- look at -my- dress? People should be allowed to write, think, dress, learn, and manipulate energies in any way they choose AS LONG AS they do not violate the rights of others to do the very same. So I could muck around with crystals to help clear my head in the middle of Geometry class, presuming that it wouldn't interfere with my ability to listen (I have a problem with our public education system, and spent most of my abortively force-fed years reading books under the desk -- which is why I'm in college now, majoring in psychology, instead of languishing away in yet another "memorize this and write it down tomorrow" session. So take my words with a grain of salt when it comes to such iffy features of high school such as 'learning'. I'm assuming here that the high schools in question are better at teaching than the one I suffered.) But I couldn't exert my will toward making the teacher fall in love with me. Or burst out praying. People should not be allowed to do these things in front of the class either.

Outrageous magickal questions aside, this is a noise pollution issue, and a control issue. Come lunch hour, I could hug a tree and commune with the Goddess. But whilst trapped in that stuffy little classroom, my prayers should be silent. As should those of any Christian students. And assemblies and public events only give voice to one. It may be late at night, and my mind is a little overstretched today (as must be apparent to you by now) but I'm suddenly struck with an amusing visual. Imagine the Great Rite being performed on a podium. Prayer is sacred, yes, but keep it to yourself and your dearest!

My Thought Is That Religion Should Be Kept Out Of Public Schools... Sep 1st. at 12:33:40 am EDT

Trisha D (Detroit, Michigan US) Age: 34

My thought is that religion should be kept out of public schools. Certain things are passible because they are flexable. Meaning ; Say the Pledge of alliegence. If you cringe at the WORD God., replace it . Christmas or other holidays that are typically celebrated in school are typically generic. Explain to your child your point of view (parents have to take responsibility regardless of faith)If you find it too offensive remove the child for the day.

Private schools are another matter. You CHOSE whether or not to put your child in that atmoshere.
Our children are there to be educated about "wordly" subjects. At young ages , difference become too big and overshadow any educational progress that they should be making.

The state should have total "hands off" policy where religion is concerned. In this of all countries that should be understood. Did'nt many of our ancestors come here in the beginning because they thought that they would be able to practice freely the faith of their choice?
Crystal Heart

Last Spring We Had A Court Battle Over Whether The Lords Prayer... Sep 2nd. at 1:32:08 am EDT

catlady (Sasdkatoon, Saskatchewan CA) Age: 50 - Email

Last spring we had a court battle over whether the Lords Prayer should be allowed in the public schools. Bottom line? It was banned. Now our school board is juggling a hot potatoe because it can't decide if it should instruct its teachers to not conduct that particular prayer in the classroom. Instead, they are opting to require that every day a different "prayer" be said in accordance with the religions of the students in the classroom. The question then is, "What 'prayer' would a teacher initiate for a pagan child?

The reason for the ban was to get prayer completely out of the schools, instead, the school board has chosen to try a different tactic for the same result. What a shame. Children shouldn't be forced to pray at all, never mind to whatever god someone else in the classroom believes in.

If The School Board Would Take A Good Look At The Melting... Sep 2nd. at 9:02:11 am EDT

Cellina Rhiannon (Madison, Virginia US) Age: 28 - Email

If the School Board would take a good look at the melting pot of diverse backgrounds in which most school districts are situated, I hope that they would see the need to be flexible and changeable in making allowances for all religious paths. Right now, there is no balance and to achieve it they need to look into receiving CORRECT info about the religious path, as much as we need to be willing to step out of the closet and procure this info. Fear stems from what is not understood and it is up to us to educate the masses about our Pagan part in this. I think about this with sadness as the child who is supposedly reaping benefits from posted Commandments is sitting next to another child who is forbidden to wear a pentacle to school. This type of contradictive one-sidedness is where we need to start. If they honor Christianity, and enforce prayer in school, than only half of their job is done. The U.S. so far has taken such an ineffectual approach at discovering a fair and equal way of honoring all religions. The schools are there to EDUCATE, so why should this be so difficult for them? We need to be involved as leaders of our communities and reach out and speak out. It is time we are heard, it is time they were reminded of First Amendment Rights, it is time to let them know we are everywhere!

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