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: Nov. 17, 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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| I Believe That No Religion Should Be Shut Out. If Child Wants... ||Aug 24th. at 6:08:32 pm EDT|
|Crystal (Honolulu, Hawaii US) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I believe that no religion should be shut out. If child wants to pray, let them. But, it should not be organized to make everyone pray. If you want your child to have set prayer times, that is what a private school does. I also think that if public schools want to have a bible study class, then they should organize other religios voluntary classes to accomodate the other religions. A child has a hard time dealing with peer pressure and if everyone is praying he/she feels uncomfortable and like an outsider if they don't pray.
I am in the military and when we get new commanders, they always like everyone to bow their heads and pray with them. That makes me uncomfortable, because it is not what I practice.
| To Be Perfectly Candid, I Don't Believe Any Politician Would Care One... ||Aug 24th. at 5:09:53 pm EDT|
|Chuck (Worcester, Massachusetts US) ||Age: 20 - Email |
To be perfectly candid, I don't believe any politician would care one whit about prayer in schools if it weren't a hot button issue. However it is, especially in the bible belt. We seem to be searching for some kind of happy medium between the scales of freedom of speech and seperation of church and state. However this is in a perfect world. Many people use their religion as how they define themselves, don't they have the right to be able to display the symbols of their belief system as they see fit? well again yes and no, it SHOULDN'T raise an issue if it were confined to personal expression, except that entire area is tricky. Where does personal expression and and propagandizing begin. Then there is the fact that religion A find the symbols of religion B morally offensive. That's the REAL sticking point. everyone finds something offensive and everyone wants their persoanl limits respected, preferably without being inconvenienced with the responsibility of respecting others. So what to do. It seems that some poeple are simply very good arguers, and enjoy the heart of a roaring conflict. These people are looking to pick a fight, and will fan the flames, just as fast as others try to put out the fire. The problem is because of this, no practical solution exists, that people won't pick to peices the minute it comes out. Freedom of relion and freedom of speech are both an illusion. to put such things in a law limit the freedom capable of being utilized. You are allowed to worship freely, except if your rastafarian and need to use pot, or something else, or you can worship but not here etc. Freedom of speech is something you have as long as you aren't famous. for anyone even slightly famous to speak their mind would lead to libel and slander suits right and left. Also as long as you don't say anything that makes powerful people angry you have freedom of speech. so what does that mean, take them out of the constiution and speed the way to the country becoming a theocractic dictatorship? I hope not. I think I'll just follow Ian McDonald's example from Bruno the Bandit. I'm going to stay true to myself, and let what I believe my faith to be, not what others belive it is or shpould be, guide me. Home schools are starting to look better and better, huh? Just one question though. it isn't meant to be sarcastic or anything I just would like to know, but do they have this kind of problem in Canada?
| Spirituality Is Something That One Lives. It Doesn't Just Leave You When... ||Aug 24th. at 3:32:58 pm EDT|
|Melanie Pohl (Auburn Hills, Michigan US) ||Age: 20 - Email |
Spirituality is something that one lives. It doesn't just leave you when you walk through a door. So naturally the issue of Spiritual beliefs and practices would enter into the educational environment.
I myself have never felt the need to set aside a specific time during the day to pray. For me, if I need to pray, I can pray anywhere and any time. It is a private matter that doesn't require a massive performance. However, some people's needs and differ from mine in that matter. That's fine. What isn't fine is to infringe on anyone's needs simply because they differ from someone else's.
I don't have a problem with prayer in school, as long as it is done on an individual, personal level. Not everyone prays, and not everyone who prays does so in the same way. To set aside specific "prayer time" in school would be to alienate those who do not pray, and has the possibility to favor one set of religious beliefs/practices over another. If those people who require prayer time must be accommodated, then set aside some personal time. Students can use this time however they personally see fit. Of course, there are always problems/challenges that can arise, and I frankly don't know what to say about these as I can't foresee every possibility. But some amount of "personal" time would accommodate those who need prayer time, without alienating those who do not pray.
| If Gov. Bush Wins This Election (goddess Help Us All!), The Problems... ||Aug 24th. at 2:11:15 pm EDT|
|Janice (Ft. Worth, Texas US) ||Age: 56 |
IF Gov. Bush wins this election (Goddess help us all!), the problems with religion in schools only escalate...a lot! I live in Texas and he has about ruined this state. We are lowest in education, health care, etc., the schools are a mess. He is very anti-Pagan! All those of voting age need to vote against him in this election if they want to have rights any place, not just schools! Spread the word! Bush has commented himself that he does NOT "recognize" Wicca as a religion or our rights! Every Pagan NEEDS to go to the polls and vote him out of a chance to become President or we all face years of suffering and going "back in the closet" again, anyway! BB, Janice
| I Liked The Way That Religion Was Dealt With In My School... ||Aug 24th. at 1:05:24 pm EDT|
|Victor J Kinzer (Bloomington, Indiana US) ||Age: 19 - Email |
I liked the way that religion was dealt with in my school. No official funding or promotion by faculty could exist. But non official religious organizations were allowed. They were strictly before the first school bell rang and after the last, but they were allowed. Religious people do not check their relgion at the door and they should not have to. If a student wishes to pray that is their business, however there should be no time set aside officially for such activities. The problem is that the people in charge of most of the schools are christian. So they don't see it that way. We just have to remind them.
| Just Recently It Came To My Attention That My School Permitted Christians... ||Aug 24th. at 9:09:43 am EDT|
|Zane (Sippy Downs, South Australia AU) ||Age: 15 - Email |
Just recently it came to my attention that my school permitted Christians to wear a crucifix (even though there is a no jewellery policy in our school) when I wore my pentacle I was told to take it to the principles office. I fought and told them that it was religious and its what I believe, my teacher did not give in. I brought it to her attention that if I was made to take it off I could sue for discrimination......Did I do the right thing?
| In Terms Of Church And State, There Is Not A One Shot... ||Aug 24th. at 6:39:07 am EDT|
|Jogagirl (Chickasha, Oklahoma US) ||Age: 23 - Email |
In terms of church and state, there is not a one shot answer that will solve every problem and situation. Prayer is a great source of comfort to many people of all religions and spiritual paths. Prayer is said at athletic events, baccalaureates, graduation cermonies, etc. But to actually bring prayer back into schools as a way to corral behavior and bring about some sort of moral fiber, is a segue into alienation. There are many children who(believe it or not), are not a member of any religion or spiritual path, hence when the time for prayer comes, they may not know or understand what is going on around them. That may also be the case with trying to post the Ten Commandments. Although the Ten Commandments are a good set of rules through which to teach children some forms of basic decency, they come from a religious precept. What is the point of posting such rules if the religious precept is not known, understood, or studied by the intended target population? All the problems of this country are not going to be solved this way. In terms of religion and education, if a teacher wants to teach about a specific religion (Buddihism), he/she should teach about other religion/spiritual paths as well and with the permission of the parents. Religion and education clash in many ways, one of which is on the topic of evolution. To me, if a teacher wants to teach about creationism, then that teacher should teach about other stories of Creation as well. Then the teacher should teach evolution in the frame of science (as it is meant for) with explanation that the fossil record is biased and many of the "catches" that exist in the theory of evolution. As stated before, there is no one shot answer to these (and many other) problems, it will take a collective of ideas and solutions to see us through.
| Merry Meet All, Does Any One Here Believe That The Goverment Should... ||Aug 24th. at 2:50:27 am EDT|
|Alex Brave (Elko, Nevada US) ||Age: 18 - Email |
Merry meet all,
Does any one here believe that the goverment should control religion? Does any one here believe that pentacles should be baned from school? If we can't look at this from the prospective of those who DO how can we change this situation?
Not every one who wanders is lost, Alantis
| Well I Feel If This Is A Public School Than Why Not... ||Aug 24th. at 1:40:07 am EDT|
|Chris Rowe (Portsmouth, Virginia US) ||Age: 14 - Email |
Well I feel if this is a public school than why not have our public beliefs. I mean if we can't do this than how can we be ourselves. The whole youth follows something and/or someone. The school would like each indivisual to show positive attitudes well how can u if your forced not to be your self. The school is free to express it's (School Spirit), but the student/students can't express there self, there spirit, I think that is a bunch of crock. I feel one should be able to speak and act freely in a PUBLIC school. Religion in school isn't a big crisis I mean when the luch bell rings...HELLOOOO.. that's out time not theres.
I feel religion in school should be allowed.
| I Pulled My Son Out Of Public School To Teach Him At... ||Aug 24th. at 12:38:50 am EDT|
|Jess (Wichita, Kansas US) ||Age: 26 - Email |
I pulled my son out of public school to teach him at home for many reasons. Being easier was definately not one of them but religion was among them. We live in a relatively small city and so we are still somewhat in the closet. I don't like having Jesus shoved in my face but as an adult I can walk away. My 9 year old son however would be suspended for walking away because it would be against their "standard conduct". I would like to believe in seperation of church and state (schools) but I don't think I'll see it in my lifetime. If a church oriented school was what I had wanted then I would have sent him to a private school! Besides, I would think it was disrespectful to any other religion to do such a thing. If you're going to teach one then teach them all!
| We Live In A Small Town,the School That My Children Attend... ||Aug 23rd. at 11:05:10 pm EDT|
|Bo'Wind Art Do'bhran (Nappanee, Indiana US) ||Age: 36 - Email |
We live in a small town, the school that my children attend have a bible study, of course being an open minded person that Iam, I let my children go to a christian bible class, I had to let them learn for themselves what path they wanted, the questions my son asked me after the first weeks of the class were scary, The teacher told my son that "he would go to hell if he did not behave" , it took me a while to calm down. My son and daughter were scared they then asked me what I thought about what the teacher said, well, I explained to them what mommy believes and told a few stories, and my son said "Wow, that sounds nice and easier to believe!
I wouldnt mind if there is religion in the schools if and only if they allowed all religions. Maybe, someone should start the first Pagan Elementary School.
My kids would be the first to enroll.
| In My Humble Opinion, I Would Regard The Ten Commandments As The... ||Aug 23rd. at 9:13:45 pm EDT|
|Dolphinwitch (London, England UK) ||Age: 31 - Email |
In my humble opinion, I would regard the Ten Commandments as the Christian moral code - though if I remember correctly they were not the original commandments, as when Moses saw what his people were doing when he first came down the mountain he smashed the tablets of emerald and went back up for a while before coming back with the tablets of stone. Kind of makes you wonder what was on the orignal ones, doesn't it? Anyhow, that's way off topic. Here, in the UK, I know of a primary school where there are Buddhists, Seventh Day Adventists, Plymouth Brethren and Pagans, along with the usual Christian children. At assembly some of the children have to leave at a certain point because their beliefs do not allow them to be told some things, which is slightly concerning, BUT the school allow them to do this without question as that is how their religion works. The headmistress of this school, when asked about Paganism and whether she or the school governors would have any difficulties coping with Pagan children, responded that there were no problems as far as she was concerned, expressed interest in Paganism and how it worked and asked if the children concerned might require any days away from school for religious reasons. if only ALL educators could take such an enlightened view.
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