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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 14,404,149  

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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 Still Attend High School. I Do Deal With The Oppressing Of... Aug 22nd. at 10:44:51 pm EDT

Vivica Windswept (Keaau, Hawaii US) Age: 16 - Email

I still attend High School. I do deal with the oppressing of pagan religions like many teenagers. I dont find it so bad here, in Hawaii, where i live now. I lived in California and didnt notice it at the time, but its not easy being pagan in school. Prayer in school is wrong. This is all purely my view. As a Wiccan, i dont feel comfortable bowing my head and praying to Jesus. Its false. Im proud of my beliefs and quietly submitting to that kind of torture is hard and belittles myself. Even if I just smile and dont pray, Im still singled out from the rest and feel awkward. The 10 commandments in school is wrong as well. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." What kind of message does that send? The reason they wanted to put it up in the first place so that as the children see it over the years, mabie it will get imprinted into their brains so we dont have another Colombine. How will my fellow pagan friends feel, if they grow up and see that in the classrooms, in a place where we are supposed to be in happy learning enviroments? I think that religon should stay out of the schools. I also feel that if that sweet Christian can wear her cross, why cant I wear my favorite pentagram shirt? If religious symbols are alowed, all should be allowed. Every religion should be respected. Why is this called "The land of the free" if the constitutional rights arent enforced, like freedom of religion?

First Thought: State Should Not Be Involved In Religion In Any Way... Aug 22nd. at 8:27:38 pm EDT

Barbara Brown (Goodyear, Arizona US) Age: 53 - Email

First thought: State should not be involved in religion in any way, shape or form.

Second thought: School/Education should not be involved in Religion in any way, shape or form.

Third thought: Each child will bring their own beliefs to school. This should remain private.

If Pentacles are banned, Crosses should be banned. If the Wiccan Rede is not allowed, the Ten Commandments should be banned.

All I am saying is Equality means everyone not just select groups of people. Apparently, many of our elected and selected officials tend to forget this important fact that Freedom means freedom for all, not just for the current majority. The State should always remain separate from school, from religion and
our private lives.

What's Wrong With A Few Moments Of Quiet? Whether It Be For... Aug 22nd. at 8:04:44 pm EDT

Kendra Neece (Detroit, Michigan US) Age: 26 - Email

What's wrong with a few moments of quiet?

Whether it be for prayer , meditation, gathering yourself, or which ever you choose to do in your religion.I don't mean that they need to have someone to guide them and put down rules of what you should do in your moment of silence, but these few moments can mean alot to someone who needs it.School and other students can be very distracting, those few minutes can help students and teachers alike to gather your senses at the begining of a very long nerve wracking day.

Much To The Dismay Of The Far Christial Right, The Founders Of... Aug 22nd. at 7:57:15 pm EDT

Mary Wilson (Cartersville, Georgia US) Age: 35 - Email

Much to the dismay of the far Christial right, the founders of this country were not necessarily Christians, they were Deists. Even Pagans can be considered Deists, the belief in a diety (or in many cases dieties). But you would never hear the far right admit to this fact. I've a feeling if the founders of this country were to see what one very active group was doing, they would be flabbergasted. I can see ole Ben with his jaw on the floor. They founded a country based on freedom, certain freedoms they did not have in their ancenstral homelands, including the freedom to choose their own religion. Even the puritains came to this country to have freedom to practice their own religion.

The constitution provides for the separation of church and state. Who are we to undo what works in a civic secular society. If it keeps up at the direction we are going, then I fear this country will become the very thing our founders escaped from.

I Am A Student At My Local Highschool. I Would Like To... Aug 22nd. at 6:35:29 pm EDT

Kathleen (Windsor, Ontario CA) Age: 17 - Email

I am a student at my local highschool. I would like to share with you an experience while at my elementary school when I was younger. Every morning after the bell rang, we would all stand up for the national anthem (I live in Canada). After the anthem, we would sit down and stay quiet for the next few mintues. During this time, we would have different readings. Usually a quote or thought for the day. Sometimes they mentioned God or Lord but for the most part, they were not religious in nature. Then, they would wish us happy holidays if it was that time.

But they didn't only focus on Christian Holidays, they might say, "You may notice that some of your classmates are missing today, that's because all our Jewish Friends here are at home celebrated Rosh Hashana with their families." or "Happy Chinese New Year! Wish a happy day to all our Chinese friends." or even. "Well, this is our last day for the winter holidays, Happy Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa and Winter Solstice!" It was wonderful. Our teachers would let us teach the class about any holidays we may be celebrating at home. I taught my class about Hanuka as we celebrate it at home because my Dad is Jewish.

Now that I am in High School. Mornings are boring. We stand for O Canada, sit down and listen to the announcements for the day. What meetings are today, whats for sale in the Cafeteria today and what teacher is having a birthday today. Fun but not like in elementary school.

I enjoyed learning about different religions and cultures in school. There were no kids in my neighbourhood so without school, I would never have met other children. At school, I met other children who came from China, Japan, Algeria, Egypt, Spain, France, Brazil, Guatemala and Australia. I learned about Kwanzaa, Columbas day, Cinco de Mayo and more. I taught Hanukah, Passover, Christmas and more.

If you haven't got my drift here yet, I believe religion does belong in schools, to a degree. I do not believe that the 10 Commandments belong in schools. If you follow them, you should know them, and therefore don't need them posted. If they post the 10 commandments, they should post the Wiccan Rede and the rules the Muslims follow. If they want to say "Jesus Loves You", then they need to also say, "The Goddess is Alive, " and "I Made it to Nirvana." I taught other about the religion and culture I was raised in, but they taught me about theirs. Noone every told another that they were stupid for believing differently. We enjoyed hearing about why they thought something or why they believed another. Sure, Religion can be in School, but ALL Religions.

As for Church and State, or in my case, Church and Province (LOL), they don't really mix. I don't believe I can make a proper statement on Church and State at the age of 17, but I have contributed what I think about religion in School.

I'm A British Hedgewitch, Who Like Most British People Went To A... Aug 22nd. at 3:29:25 pm EDT

Jenny Kiernan (Shropshire, England UK) Age: 24

I'm a British Hedgewitch, who like most British people went to a comprhensive school. As Britain is still officially a Christian country morning prayers and hymns in assembly were carried out every day.
I would try to avoid these as I have never been a Christian, though the rules were that unless you were of a recognised non-Christian faith (such as Hindu or Muslim) you still had to sit through the prayers.
Most kids followed the prayers blindly, but only a very small minority paid very much attention. For myself I feel that pushing religion on children in this way is a waste of educators' time, especially in a country where church attendances are falling and most adults may consider themselves Christian, but only go to Church once a year at most.

However, schools in this country have learnt over the years to be tolerant of other faiths and some incorporate their prayers into morning prayers as well.

I Really Honestly Do Not Have A Difficulty With The Voucher System... Aug 22nd. at 2:32:28 pm EDT

Catherine M. Wagner (Minneapolis, Minnesota US) Age: 31

I really honestly do not have a difficulty with the voucher system -IF (and ONLY IF) it is administrated fairly. If a religious group chooses not to start its own school, that is not enough reason to disagree with the system. However, if the system is written in such a way that only one religions schools are covered by it, then yes, I would disagree firmly.

As for the separation, if there is a growing number of people who would like to see religion taught in schools - again, my only insistence is either ALL or NONE. If you are going to teach the precepts of one religion, you must teach (in a fair and open-minded manner) the precepts of ALL religions. If you are not willing to do so, or are not capable of doing so, then you must teach none.

A Few Well-known Politicians Have Been Been Campaigning For "character Building" In... Aug 22nd. at 2:00:04 pm EDT

Keira (Akron, Ohio US) Age: 20 - Email

A few well-known politicians have been been campaigning for "character building" in our schools. As a future pagan teacher, I agree with that. However, putting the ten commandments on the walls isn't going to do the trick. Teachers, parents, and administration working with students is what is going to work. We can teach "good character" to our students through good example and caring. Why try to force a religion on students when we can teach the basic tenants of being a good person that is acceptable to any religion? I think that politicians are making this way too difficult when it really very simple.

Hummmm, Uhhh, The Seperation Of Church And State. In Theory It Is... Aug 22nd. at 1:44:35 pm EDT

Silver MayKitten (Springfield, Missouri US) Age: 55 - Email

Hummmm, uhhh, The seperation of church and state.

In theory it is a nice theory, but it just is not practical as long as people are people and religion is a part of life even for those who feal they have no religion. People will have their own beliefs and naturally will want to express them.

I live a stones throw from an elementery school, which some real estate people will tell you is a blessing (however my windows are also a baseball's bat, a basketball's goal attempt and a volly ball's volly away from the playground.) And I am a similar distance from my covensted. The proximity of the two makes for interesting experiances.

For one thing you never will believe again in childhood innocence when your kitchen window is just behind home plate, even first grade kids get a little wild in their speech. But when most of the kids on the schoolground are misAssembly of (THE_ONE_AND_ONLY_REAL)_GOD_ and the few kids that are B'Hai, Moslem, Catholic, Budhist, Baptist, and Pagan are a distinct minority . . .
well the fur flies. And on one occasion a teacher ran over our crone's cat on purpose, and braged about it to the other teachers, in my earshot! The principal ordered her to appologise to Amber, but she never did.

My belief is that religion has a place in education, religion has an obvious place in the study of history, astrology, biorhythms and numeroligy can be studied as part of math or science, How the facts of Magick differ from the views of magic life as in Harry Potter, or The Worst Witch has a place in the study of literature. I think you can think of other links between what is studied in school and what of religion should be taught.

Religion and education are inseperable so lets at least get them togather in a way that works positively.

In The Late 80's/early 90's When I Was In... Aug 22nd. at 1:17:46 pm EDT

SilverCat (Boston, Massachusetts US) Age: 25 - Email

In the late 80's/early 90's when I was in high school, there was a fundamentalist Christian group in our high school who tormented students who were not Christian, calling them horrendous names, spitting phlegm onto the handles of their lockers, pushing them in the halls, etc.. typical kid stuff to a point, but when parents of the tortured kids came into complain, and then the group's parents came in to defend their kids, nothing was done. The situation continued. Of course, if that had been any other religious group, it would have been broken up immediately, and punishment would have been handed out to all involved.

Religion is just another thing that emphasizes how different kids are, and many of these kids who believe they should be "saving" the world are encouraged to batter their classmates. I think the religious leaders of these organizations should realize how poorly it reflects on their churches as a whole.

In a large urban setting like Boston, there's an advantage--so many nationalities and belief systems are present that it becomes impossible to enforce a religion within a school. But in many communities, particularly in the south and the midwest, where religion is strongly emphasized, it's impossible to escape. It is these communities why religion must not be enforced in a school. If a community feels that religion *should* be introduced in school--allow it as an optional class at the junior high/high school level. Break it up throughout the day so that not everyone is there at the same time, and allow it as an option to a study hall or something. But a school-wide prayer is NOT acceptable!

Also, parents need to find some way to get involved in school happenings in a way that shows that they are just other members of the community. Help with an open heart and hand, and SHOW that we are good people, rather than just pitching a fit. School systems are hurting for assistance these days---they will not bite a hand that feeds them if it's done warmly. Even if it's just to help sell 50/50 tickets at a football game---these actions help the school, and help win your family respect in your town.

I For One Believe That Church And State Should Be Forever Completly... Aug 22nd. at 1:17:06 pm EDT

Leroy Hilyer (Layton , Utah US) Age: 21 - Email

I for one believe that Church and State should be forever completly seperate, however I don't believe in denying anyone the right to practice thier religion. My stand on the whole Religion in schools debate is that children have a right to practice thier religion publicly or privately as long as that practice doesn't infringe on the rights of another person. I feel that the administration and facalties of schools should allow the opertunity for children to learn the facts and histories of many different religions yet not be taught or forced to practice them. I feel that religion should not be left at the doorstep! I do however feel that the schoolyards should be multi-faith areas where only the practitionars make decisions on what they practice. The teaching of a faith is the job of a parent, and only to their own children. Overall I feel that this is a very hard path to take, and that the brunt of this battle will fall on the teachers, but I still hope that the outcome is fair to all involved.

Morality Should Be Taught At Home In The Family, Not At School... Aug 22nd. at 12:26:35 pm EDT

Darke (Carbondale, Illinois US) Age: 23 - Email

Morality should be taught at home in the family, not at school. But if you're going to allow religion, allow them all equal time and equal access.

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