Your browser does not support script

Pagan Perspectives

Weekly Question

Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

Views: [32,767]
Responses: [2,666]

The Rules
Note: The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

For Further
Visit The

WitchVox List
of 242
'Net Sites:

Chat Boards
Email Lists
IRC Channels

Past Questions
112. Elders: Who Are They and Do We Really Need Them? - [74]

111. So, You’re Dead. Now What? - [59]

110. What’s Your Favorite Element? - [119]

109. The Broom Closet Revisited: What’s Your Current Occupancy Rate? - [129]

108. Do You Speak Pagan Geek? - [38]

107. Would You Be A Good ‘Reality Show’ Contestant? - [49]

106. What Is Your Inner Animal? - [127]

105. Are Pagans TOO Individualistic? - [56]

104. Have You Changed Your Mind About the War in Iraq? - [258]

103. What Are You Reading? - [95]

102. Do Interfaith Conferences/ Discussions Work? - [29]

101. Have You Made Any Extra Security Preparations? - [85]

100. Why Are You A Pagan or Heathen? - [142]

99. What Moon Phase Are You In? - [70]

98. Would You Live In A Haunted House? - [166]

97. What Natural Objects Are On Your Altar? - [103]

96. If You Were Granted Three Wishes... - [179]

95. How Do You Feel About War? - [153]

94. Who Would Make Your Pagan/Heathen Who’s Who List? - [91]

93. Should Pagans Apply For Federal Funds? - [56]

92. What Do You See in 2003? - [47]

90. Which Christmas Ghost Would You Like To Be? - [82]

89. Bah-Humbug! Are You Offended by Christmas? - [173]

88. Are We Alone in The Universe? - [67]

87. The Pagan Web 2002... Your likes? Dislikes? - [50]

86. How’s Your Gratitude Attitude? - [64]

85. What’s Your Motivation? - [97]

84. Between the Veils: What Did You See? - [80]

83. Time to Talk Politics and Elections… - [109]

82. Your Samhain/Beltaine Musings - [50]

81. ExCUSE Me! Has Common Courtesy Become A Thing of the Past? - [97]

80. Polytheist, Monotheist, Dualist or Other? - [104]

79. Have You Switched Pagan Paths? - [110]

78. Would You Take Part in a Public Event or Protest AS a Pagan? - [268]

77. Pot-Kettle: Do We Have Our Own Fundamentalists? - [91]

76. America 911: One Year Later. What's Changed? Are we Safer? - [103]

75. So What Do YOU Think of the Pagan Web? - [43]

74. What is/was your 2002 New Year's resolution - [23]

73. Do You Believe in Faeries? - [44]

72. Is 'Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men' Possible? - [28]

71. How Do YOU View the Balance of Light and Dark? - [22]

70. What's News? - [22]

69. What Are Your Favorite Yule Traditions or Memories? - [17]

68. Are You Wild About Harry? - [80]

67. What Is Music? - [18]

66. What Did You Do this Samhain? - [8]

65. What ARE the most "Frequently Asked Questions' About Witches? - [31]

64. What Are YOUR book/video/dvd Recommendations? - [119]

63. Have You Done Any Protection Spells or Workings? - [38]

62. What Are Your Thoughts On The Current "War on Terrorism"? - [77]

61. Are You Willing To Give Up Some Civil Liberties To Be Safe? - [69]

60. What About Those Pagan Leaders Again? - [289]

59. 911 America: Talking Through The Terror... - [969]

58. What Are Your Plans For Fall? - [21]

57. If You Were Stranded Alone On A Deserted Island... - [56]

56. What Would You Like to See at The Voice? - [65]

55. What Lies Beyond? - [28]

54. What is the connection between Spirit, Nature and Humankind? - [18]

53. What is 'Will' or 'Willpower'? - [19]

52. Have you ever been to a Pagan Festival? - [26]

51. What Did You Think of 'The Mists of Avalon"? - [44]

50. What's Your Magickal Focus? - [33]

49. Ending Religious Discrimination-What's It Gonna Take? - [41]

48. How Fares The First Amendment? - [20]

47. Are you a Talker or a Listener? - [14]

46. Predator and Prey - What Beasts Live Within You? - [44]

45. Who Do You Trust? - [22]

44. Do You Spend Money with Pagan Merchants? - [24]

43. What's On Your Balloon? - [52]

42. Is There An Energy Crisis? - [30]

41. What Makes You So Special? - [33]

40. What is Your Guilty Little Secret? - [101]

39. Who Are Your Gods? - [55]

38. What Are The Greatest Challenges That Pagans Face Today? - [35]

37. What's On Your Altar? - [45]

36. Should the United States Apologize to China - [32]

35. Pagan Web Surfing Likes/Dislike - [60]

34. What Are Your Views on Abortion, Euthanasia and Suicide? - [95]

33. What Is The Appropriate Response to Bigotry and Religious Hatred? - [108]

32. Why Are Kids Killing Kids? - [60]

31. Whassa Matter With Kids Today? - [71]

30. What Do You Support and Why Do You Support It? - [21]

29. How About Some New Holidays? - [39]

28. Where Did You Get Your Magickal Name? - [93]

27. Where Are The Pagan Social Programs? Do We Care? - [22]

26. What Do You Think About Bush's 'Faith-Based' Initiative Plan? - [87]

25. What Are The Boundaries? - [26]

24. What is Pagan History and What is Pagan Belief? - [44]

23. Who or What is a "Pagan Leader"? - [61]

22. What More Do You Want To Know About Paganism? - [45]

21. What is/was your New Year's resolution? - [19]

19. What do YOU of our newest entry into the Presidential Political Pool? - [61]

20. What have YOU done to trace your family history? - [11]

18. Your Gift, Craft and Holiday Celebration Ideas! - [43]

17. Does Older Equal Better? - [199]

16. What is the best gift that you ever received? - [28]

15. What are YOU Thankful For? - [87]

14. The Unresolved US Election - [263]

13. Divination - [29]

12. Pagan Choice for the y2k US Election - [129]

11. Hollywood Hype - [74]

10. Money and the Craft - [82]

9. Pagan Jokes and Humorous Stories - [37]

8. Misconceptions About Witches, Wiccans and Pagans - [63]

7. The Ethics of Magick and Spellwork - [43]

6. What are YOU planning for Mabon-Autumn Equinox? - [14]

5. Pagan books/web sites-dynamic or drivel? - [46]

4. The Broomcloset-In or Out?... What's YOUR View? - [181]

3. Church and State, Religion in School... What is YOUR View? - [122]

2. How Do You Define Witch/WitchCraft? - [42]

1. Who are you going to vote for and why? - [233]

 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 24,644,025  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 122

Lurker/Post Ratio: 268 to 1

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 

Religion And The State Should Be Separate - There Are No Two Ways... Aug 25th. at 5:28:07 pm EDT

Waves on the Sea (Tulsa, Oklahoma US) Age: 19 - Email

Religion and the State should be separate - there are no two ways about it. This should have been settled a long time ago. If politicians weren't so worried about getting prayer in public schools then they might be able to promote a real education. I suggest everyone start with Locke's "A Letter Concerning Toleration." There is no better argument than this document, and if everyone read it, then they might see the dangers inherent in a state sanctioned religion. When the government or the ruling body refuses to recognize a certain group and the rights of that group, then rebellion and protest are the result. When certain religions are allowed and others are not in schools, that is the first step toward a theocracy; fascism comes to religion. What people don't realize all the time is that the deprivation of rights comes not from a sudden coup, but from the slow erosion over time. If we take that step backwards and sanction religion in schools, diverse or not, we are on that path. Even if all religions are allowed, there is obviously a majority - are we really so naive as to think that this won't cause division and crisis? For the pushing of one belief system over another is inevitable, and the oppression starts all over again. Don't we ever learn? The answer is to just avoid the whole mess altogether.

The School Board In Our County, Voted Last Year To Direct The... Aug 25th. at 7:32:40 pm EDT

Mithriel (Bandera County, Texas US) Age: 37 - Email

The school board in our county, voted last year to direct the Superintendant of the school system, to reinstate prayer in school. This was to happen by having teachers and coaches instructed to initiate a prayer (and I will tell you that all prayers were heavily Christian) at all school functions. More than one member of the school board stated on public record, that this would go against a specific directive from the court of appeals governing our area.

It took a second vote, repeated advice from the attorneys representing he school district, and a letter from me promising to sue the district, to have that vote recast (excuse the pun!) and the decision reversed.

Religion belongs at home or in the heart. Religion in our school district in my county really means that we are all forced into a Christian church at every school event. I have no objections to a moment of silent meditation for personal reflection. I do mind watching my son play football only if I agree to practice someone else's religion.

We Are Taught As Children That The Separation Of Church And State... Aug 25th. at 7:43:45 pm EDT

Mark Chapin (skokie, Illinois US) Age: 27 - Email

We are taught as children that the separation of church and state is one of the founding principles of our country, however, that has never been the case. As long as one religous group is dominant in a governing body, we will never have a true separation. As humans, we tend to look out for our own kind first, then the other guy. In a case where a majority of one group believes themselves to be "right" and everyone else who believes differently "wrong" (as with Christianity), they will tend to make laws and protocal by their religious standards. In a situation where the the only ones living there are of a similar religous belief, then thats fine. However, thats not the case now, nor has it ever been(atleast not when dealing with a largely populated landmass). To ask for true separation of church and state is to ask too much of what is humanly possible. That would take a level of understanding that we as a society just don't have. I have been a pagan my whole life. Never have i been baptised in a Christian church, and I take pride in that. When going to school, I was teased for my lack of Christian beliefs. The fact that I was raised Buddhist caused major concern for more than a few parents. While I can't prove it, I think a few of them may have even encouraged their children to tease and provoke me. I didn't have an easy childhood, nor do I think do alot of pagan children, but then I think that maybe 1800 years ago, chistians probably had a hard time too. While I do have an irrational animosity towards most christians and Christianity in general, I do understand their wanting to control things. While that doesn't mean I support them in their endevours, I do accept that as a human failing. We fear the unknown, and one way to cope with that fear is to control that which we don't understand. I guess what I'm trying to say is simply that separating church is a laudable idea, I just don't believe that it will ever happen.

I Feel There Should Be Complete Separation Of Church And State And... Aug 25th. at 9:17:04 pm EDT

Tourmaline (Laplace, Louisiana US) Age: 44

I feel there should be complete separation of church and state and religion has no place what so ever in our public schools. In my way of thinking the whole issue of the 10 Commandments being posted and having standardized prayers should never have raised it's ugly head. If fearing that the students aren't aware of how to act in society is part of what is driving this issue then a list of ethics could be posted in schools. This list could be drafted with no religious overtones, it could be simply humanistic.

Merry Meet! I Am A Mother Of 3 Children, Ages 13, 8... Aug 25th. at 10:11:52 pm EDT

Tammy "Solstice" Cortez (Moreno Valley, California US) Age: 30 - Email

Merry Meet!

I am a mother of 3 children, ages 13, 8, and 3. I well know the controversy of the school district officials trying to post the Ten Commandments in our public schools. As we all know this frenzy to get them posted hit high pitch when school shootings began to get out of control, such as the incident in Columbine, CO. Now I know that this was not the only catalyst that caused the school districts to take such measures, for we all know how much certain religious groups will take any opportunity to impose their beliefs onto others even if others don't want to hear it.

Anyway, to the point, the school district that my children are in tried to do the very same last year and FORTUNATELY the measure was shot down thanks to a FEW very vocal parents and the help of the ACLU. What really made me angry, however, was the way in which the district board initially put the measure on the table for a vote. It was in an unannounced meeting that many parents, including myself, did not know about. It was initially put to vote and was passed by 4 out of 5 board members. When I found out about it I immediately wrote letters both to the board and to the ACLU letting them know that I was firmly against the postings. Evidently the school board, up against the ACLU, decided to bring the measure to a second vote for confirmation. This again was in an unannounced "emergency" meeting which I only heard about because my neighbor's daughter got kicked from cheerleading practice in order for the auditorium to be used for the meeting. Consequently, when I heard about the meeting, my neighbor and I both went in protest to the posting of the Ten Commandments. We won, but I must tell you that there were only 5 parents, including myself, who came to speak out against the measure, and there were at least 20 parents and ministers who came to speak for it. BIG difference, huh? Interesting that so many people in favor of the measure knew of the meeting and so few opposed knew, huh? :) I truly believe that the only reason that we won our fight was because of the pressure of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU, and my sincere thanks goes out to that organization.

My own opinion about religion in schools is this: If religion is being taught in a classroom then it should only be in a historical sense and it should encompass ALL religions from all over the world. Then our children will learn not only what other religions are about but also about how other cultures live and work. BUT, that is where I draw the line for religion in our public schools. I do believe that our children also have a right to freely express their views on their particular religion and also to wear clothes and jewelry that show their reverence for their particular faiths. I do not believe that it is the school's right to say whether or not someone may or may not wear a pentacle or a cross. If they do put a ban on pentacles, then my feeling is that crosses should also be banned, as well as any other piece of jewelry or clothing that may have ANY religious connotation. HOWEVER, I would like to see our children have the same freedoms as other children and be able to religiously express themselves with their jewelry and clothing. :)

Finally, as to the Ten Commandments being posted in our public schools. My opinion is that there is no good reason for posting them. The Ten Commandments are primarily a Christian/Judeo belief system and to post them in public schools for ANY reason is religious discrimination, plain and simple. With children out there of so many different faiths, it would put our children under tremendous pressure and confusion if they are forced to read or to follow one set of "Commandments." Take for example, little "Jonny Buddhist", a 6 year old first grader, who happens to get into trouble on the playground. He is asked to go to the office and after being chastised by the principle he is then asked to read the posted Ten Commandments. He gets to the commandment which reads "Thou Shalt Not Worship Any Other Gods but Me (or The Almighty, whichever way it reads)" and he gets confused. He goes home to Mommy or Daddy Buddhist and asks them, "Mommy, am I not supposed to worship other gods???" or "Is Buddha the Almighty God?" etcetra. Now after 6 years of teaching from his parents (which is hard work) they now have to sit down and try to explain that the particular commandment that he read does not necessarily apply to him. Now the child will really be confused because on the one hand he has his parents telling him that it does not apply to him and he has the school officials telling him that it does. Are you confused, because I sure would be!!! It just isn't going to be good if this happens anywhere. It won't bring peace, it will only make more segregation and confusion.

Well, that is my opinion. I hope that this helps some of you or gives some good points with which to argue if the situation ever comes up in your neighborhood, as it did mine. Blessings and Peace to you all!!

Love and Light,
Solstice :)

Religion And Public Schools Do Not Mix--end Of Story. Legally, When... Aug 26th. at 1:30:19 am EDT

Tamarisk AstralDance (Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania US) Age: 18

Religion and public schools do not mix--end of story. Legally, when children are attending class, they are a captive audience. They are not permitted to leave the room if a prayer they find offensive is broadcast. They cannot refuse to enter the building if they do not agree with the Tend Commandments in the lobby. By combining religion and public schools, the fundamental rights of American citizens of any age are comprimized to the highest degree. I would wager that the Religious Right would have a completely different opinion if it was the Buddhists and the Daoists and the Hindus and the Pagans demanding school prayer, school celebration of their sacred, high holy days. The Consitution has become a document to protect only the rights of those who have the loudest microphone and the biggest audience. The Constitution was not written for the loud majority. It was written for the near silent minority. It was written to ptorect those who needed the protection of the government, who needed to have their fundamental rights as citizens and as human beings protected. The non-Judeo-Christian community is the minority, though not so silent any more.

As a student who suffered her way through 12+ years of public schools and is now attending a private, Lutheran college, I appreciate fully the seperation of church and state in public schools. Now wherever I turn at Univeristy events, a prayer is said, God is asked for guidance. Now I realice how truly precious the freedom from prayer was in high school. Prayer is a beautiful thing, and it has its place--in private institutions, in the heart, in the home. As my government teacher told me last year, the Jews have long had a saying about prayer: He who prays the loudest is least often heard. Perhaps if those of "We Still Pray" listened to such words; perhaps if they understood that their zealousness is often more offensive than productive; perhaps if they trusted in their own faith and not in the need to braodcast their faith; perhaps if they read and understood the precious and dynamic document which is the US Constitution, this debate would never happen.

Our Beliefs Shape Our Lives To A Great Extent, So I Doubt... Aug 26th. at 4:17:48 am EDT

Silverborne (Middleboro, Kentucky US) Age: 43 - Email

Our beliefs shape our lives to a great extent, so I doubt religion in all its many beliefs and forms can ever truly be kept entirely out of the schools. However, posting the religious tenets of a particular creed on public property or invoking a particular god in public assemblies lends the appearance of government support of that religious faith over others.

Government-sanctioned religion is nothing new - we see the results of it daily in world news in the suppressions, 'anarchies', arrests, and killings of free-minded people who object to being told how to believe. One of the Constitutionally guaranteed rights we U.S. Americans prize highly is our freedom of worship. To deny *anyone* that freedom by forcing them to bow to the tenets of another faith is to deny it to all.

I commend the desire of our officials and educators in wanting to instill the qualities of good citizenship in our children. But there are many secular ways of achieving this goal. For us to retain our religious freedom in the U.S.A., it is vital that no religion be set above another, even in appearance.

I Believe That We Should Be Able To Choose For Ourselves If... Aug 26th. at 5:13:53 am EDT

Tracy (picayune, Mississippi US) Age: 28

I believe that we should be able to choose for ourselves if we want to pray in school, or at a football game or not. If you want to pray, then fine. If you don't, then fine, but don't take away our right to make that choice. The same goes for who you choose to worship. I don't force my religion on anyone, I don't force anyone to choose to be baptist, or catholic, or methodist. Therefore don't tell me when I can pray.

Preaching To The Choir Is What We're Doing Here, Folk. This Is... Aug 26th. at 11:35:31 am EDT

Lady Sine of Silver Star (Elma, New York US) Age: 44 - Email

Preaching to the Choir is what we're doing here, folk. This is just emotional and intellectual masturbation. It makes us feel good to see so many other people who agree with us. Posting commentary like these is good for reassuring those of us who need it--the ones in the middle of the struggle, the ones with children to defend, the activists and the lawyers. What more of us need to do is take commentary about the "slow erosion" of our constitutional rights and the way the Religious Right would feel if it was the minority religions who were demanding our prayers be required in the schools, and post in places where the opposition will see it.


Hmm...maybe this could be a tactic we could try: when they insist they want prayers before school assemblies and sporting events, insist that ALL the religions represented by the student body be represented: sure, you can have your Christian prayer, but if you do, then the Jews, Buddhists and pagans all get to have one, too. I'm not a lawyer, but I think if everyone was represented and given equal time, it would not violate Constitutional law. And they should draw straws to see who goes first. Personally, if I was invoking Nike on my kid's sports team, I'd want to go last!

Any lawyer or legal expert out there want to comment on this? Would it be legal? It would be a way to put our paganism out in public and prove to the general public, which hasn't got a clue what we are about, that we aren't evil, and that we do want to be part of the community at large. If all they see of us is lawsuits that want to stop them from doing they think is right, they are inevitably going to see us in a negative light. Can we try something positive, instead?

Speaking As A Sophomore In High School, As Soon As All The... Aug 26th. at 12:36:45 pm EDT

Claire (Asheville, North Carolina US) Age: 15 - Email

Speaking as a sophomore in high school, as soon as all the fundamentalists are willing to allow me and my friends to conduct rituals on school property during school hours, they can pray in the same manner. The second the Witch's Rede, Three-fold law, Eight-fold path, and any other religious text requested is posted, the Ten Commandments can go up. And if judeo-christian taxpayers are willing to fund the Mother Gaia Holistic School through vouchers, my family has no problem with their tax dollars funding St. Eugene's Academy for Girls. But I don't think the Baptists who overwhelmingly populate the schools here will be willing to give my religion the same privilidges they seek.

I Think We All Need To Re-read The Constitution, Which States "freedom... Aug 26th. at 2:37:38 pm EDT

Lady Ariadnee (Troy, Alabama US) Age: 32 - Email

I think we all need to re-read the constitution, which states "freedom OF religion" not freedon FROM religion.

Religious Practices Should Be Left Out Of Schools. Schools Are Institutes Of... Aug 26th. at 9:23:06 pm EDT

Krista (Cortez, Colorado US) Age: 30 - Email

Religious practices should be left out of schools. Schools are institutes of learning - they SHOULD NOT subscribe to any particular religious belief. The only thing "religous" in schools should be the study of the world's different religions.

 1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    11  

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

80,000 Profiles

Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops

Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2019 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections
(including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.)
are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc.
TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.