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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| So, Say We End Up With "prayer" In School. Picture This...day... ||Aug 21st. at 11:12:09 pm UTC|
|Cate (Boston, Massachusetts US) ||Age: 40 - Email |
So, say we end up with "prayer" in school. Picture this...Day 1 of freedom of religion on school grounds.The christian fundies gather in the chapel and the Wiccans & Pagans gather in the soccer fields for an open circle.
Day 2- the christian fundies are appalled over the "satanists" goings on in the fields. The Pagans, well we explain it is our Constitutional Right not their Religious Right (which is neither!) and that this is "our prayer" and you know what......no more "prayer in school" issue! Simple. Done. Pray on your own time not school time!!!
| This Is Oddly Enough Not An Area I Had To Deal With... ||Aug 21st. at 10:58:55 pm UTC|
|BrightRaven (Williamsburg, Virginia US) ||Age: 22 - Email |
This is oddly enough not an area I had to deal with in high school, despite the fact that I live in a very rural area. My friends knew I was Wiccan, and if any of the teachers heard us talking, they never commented. The issue of prayer in school never really came up- no one tried to lead anything, and the FCA (Federation of Christian Athletes) met *before* school, not during. I never tried to wear a pentacle to school, but I don't think anyone would have done anything if I had. There is a good chance, however, that I'm going to have a fight on my hands soon- I'm trying to start a PSU- Pagan Student Union- at my public university. We have been voted "Most Religious Campus" several times by various publications, and yes, the religions are pretty much all OT based. Most of the people I know are very open minded, but there's always close-minded jerks to be found. On the Ten Commandments issue, fine, post it if you want, but stick the Rede up there, find a nice all-encompassing Buddist statement, give us a line on Krishna's love of life, and for crying out loud, if you're going to try and be *Christian* remember the Golden Rule!! Hello! It seems that most "Christians" uphold the OT Ten Commandments over the NT Golden Rule. Not very Christian of them. Most of all, school districts need to stop this banning pentacles crud. It was actually a symbol used by Christianity in the Middle Ages; um, 'scuse me, but just what was it that Sir Gawain had painted on his shield? Not the crucifix, darlins.
The school boards have shown us one thing, and that is that *they* need to be educated. They need to learn that the world is bigger than they can imagine, and there are many more paths on the Mother's body that they can ever realize. Just because it is not a path they understand does not mean that it is invalid or evil. Face down the unknown and welcome it, rather than running from it.
| Religion Should Be In Schools If ~everyone's~ Religion Is Mentioned And Honored... ||Aug 21st. at 10:07:24 pm UTC|
|Doreen Summer Rain (Southeastern Michigan, Michigan US) ||Age: 36 |
Religion should be in schools if ~everyone's~ religion is mentioned and honored - Atheism, Native American, Buddhist, Islam, Judaism, Wicca, African religions, Santeria, Jainism, X-tianity, Satanism, etc. The standard practice of only having X-tianity mentioned is a negative practice, and should not be tolerated if religion is in schools.
If the only solution is to use only X-tianity in schools, then NO religions or churches should be mentioned or practiced in schools.
| As Long As There Are Pop Quizzes There Will Be Prayer In... ||Aug 21st. at 10:05:14 pm UTC|
|billielu (ft.scott, Kansas US) ||Age: 48 |
as long as there are pop quizzes there will be prayer in school...what that prayer entails is personal and private! The rest is not for the school to teach.
| As A Junior In High School Who This Action Will Affect Directly... ||Aug 21st. at 10:04:21 pm UTC|
|Kyle (Lyons, New York US) ||Age: 16 |
As a Junior in high school who this action will affect directly, I know exactly how a person of different religious background would be uneasy by the posting of the Ten Commandments at public school. To me I'm a little offended that a country considered to be a "melting pot" for different people, races and religions, would try to support an act of superiority over those who are not of their background or lifestyle. Their thoughts were to produce an environment to promote a sort of peaceful feeling when seeing it walking down the halls. For me, I don't believe any religion should be represented in a public school or any public building. There must be a separation of church/any religious practice and public areas where a person(s) might not be of that one particular practice. I've spoken out about this issue to people before. And their rebuttal was always the same: "If you were of that group, would you still be against an act promoting it?" My answer was also consecutive: "Yes!" I was raised to care about everyone and their feelings and ideals. To the idea of representing other religious practices also, sounds possible, but their is always someone who will not fit in and be offended. Then there are those who's religion (a.k.a. any form of Paganism in this case) that would be hesitated to be represented or even thought of mentioning. The best example I can think of is; would an atheist want to attend a public school when assured separation of church and state, want religion shoved in their face? When reading someone else's opinion they spoke of the little things in this country. Such as the line "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance. For me this was not a big issue. Since I did not worship the Christian God implied in the pledge, I simply rewrote that section. "One nation under Brigit, daughter of Dagda, with liberty and justice for all." A result just a few turning heads with confused looks, but they soon deal with it.
| I've Always Been Strongly In Favor Of The Seperation Of Church And... ||Aug 21st. at 7:49:14 pm UTC|
|Fiona (Durham, North Carolina US) ||Age: 31 |
I've always been strongly in favor of the seperation of church and state, particularly as it relates to the school system. Even as a high school student, I didn't have any clearly defined religious beliefs, but I would have felt uncomfortable being forced to pray in school. It's my feeling that no religions should be allowed in school unless all possible religions are equally represented....which would be a logistical nightmare for the school board. One thing that many people seem to overlook, however, is that religion is still in the classroom, at least last I heard, since almost all schools have the class recite the pledge of allegiance at least once a day which states that ours is One Nation, Under God (although at least it doesn't specify which God). And while we're talking about the murky division of church and state, what about the "In God We Trust" bit that's printed on all of our money. It's these little things that opened the doors for the bigger issues and just shows that while good intentioned with regards to seperation of church and state, our forefathers were perhaps not as careful as they should have been in applying it themselves. If you think about it though, at the time, their only real concerns were different types of Christianity. Enough on that, though. As to the voucher issue. My boss is a Catholic and pays the tuition to send her son to Catholic School because she does want him to have a religious education and I respect that. I also understand, therefore, her frustration at paying taxes for a public school system that she's not utilizing, AND tuition for her son's school. I don't know if vouchers are the answer, but I can understand the sentiments involved...for parents who choose to use private schools or to home school....as well as for people who don't have any children at all.
| If The Schools Are Allowed To Post The Christian Ten Commandments, Then... ||Aug 21st. at 7:15:58 pm UTC|
|lilith (dayton, Ohio US) ||Age: 34 - Email |
If the schools are allowed to post the christian Ten Commandments, then they should also post other religions rules or concepts.
Personal, I do believe that we all have the right to believe and practice whatever religion that we want as long as we do not trend or degrade any other religion..... I can not foresee that could be done effectively in a school enviorment.
| I Don't See Why Schools Can't Simply Post Some Non-religious Ethical Guidelines... ||Aug 21st. at 6:53:39 pm UTC|
|Siobhan (Tucson, Arizona US) ||Age: 26 - Email |
I don't see why schools can't simply post some non-religious ethical guidelines like don't kill don't steal be nice to people, etc, which is basically the 10 commandments without "thou shall have no gods before me", which really is the problem commandment when you think about it. If you simply post some secular ethics that people from all religions can abide by ( I personally don't have anything against the golden rule myself) then kids could have some guidance (although whether posting things like that in school will really change their behavior is doubtful)without getting any particular religion shoved down their throat. I personally have not experienced any religious discrimination, however my best friend was treated very badly when we went to Catholic elementary and Jr high school because she was not Catholic, at the time I was Catholic by default, even if I didn't believe in the Catholic doctrine since about 4th grade, my family, who had attended and taught at that school for 3 generations was and that was all that mattered. I am at University now, now and it is much freer here (as was high school when I went, it seems very different now, its amazing how much difference 8 years makes!), however i bought a tee shirt with the school seal on it and guess what is right in the middle of it? yup, a cross. I haven't decided yet what I am going to do about it tho.
| Religion Should Not Be Allowed In School, Except As A Display Of... ||Aug 21st. at 6:47:15 pm UTC|
|Tasha (Arlington, Texas US) ||Age: 20 - Email |
Religion should not be allowed in school, except as a display of personal beliefs (such as jewelry, or clothing). I don't want my son going to a school that has the 10 commandments desplayed, unless the Wiccan Rede and all of the other world religions teachings are up there next to it. Schools are a place for learning, not the place for religious debates. There was a reason the founders of our country kept the church away from the state and schools, and we need to keep it that way.
| Personally, I Believe That It Should Not Be Posted. In America There... ||Aug 21st. at 4:09:07 pm UTC|
|Morganna (Birmingham, Alabama US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
Personally, I believe that it should not be posted. In America there are far to many religious beliefs for simply one to posted any where on school grounds. If the 10 commandments do go up, then would it not be reasonable for all sacred texts to be added to the wall. My question is would the Christians be allowing of this?
| Hmmm... The Seperation Between Church And State. One Of The Biggest Questions... ||Aug 21st. at 3:56:18 pm UTC|
|Amber (Toronto, Ontario CA) ||Age: 18 - Email |
Hmmm... the seperation between church and state. One of the biggest questions around right now I think. Some people want the church in the school and others fight to keep it out. Which is the right choice? Or are they simply a matter of points of view?
I, as a teen witch who is going into her last year of highschool this fall, have found myself thinking about this topic a great deal. I like to keep up on whats going on around me in the pagan community as well as all news. We have heard more lately about children being told to remove their pentacles at school because some think that the pentacle is a 'gang related symbol' Know, all good little witches know that this isn't true and lots of others do as well, but unfortunately there are still those people out there that do not understand that. Either because they are genuinely unknowing or simply dont want to accept the fact.
It is our right, in fact, all peoples right, to wear religious symbols on them. Do we have a right to harrass others about them, to condemn others about them? No. But wear them we can.
This is one reason why, in my humble opinion, we should keep the church in the church and school as an open place where we learn all points of view. After all, that is what school is all about. Teaching children all the facts from all views so that they can maturely come to their own conclussions based on information around them. Teaching children to reach past what is simply taught and to really learn something.
Canada is a culturally rich country and there really isn't any one religion around here. Plus, no one religion is any more 'correct' then any others.
Christianity is good for Christians. But it isn't right for everyone and to single out or support one religion over another is not right. It can create animosity between groups and cause more problems then is solves. Everyone, every student, every teacher should feel comfortable and safe about who they are in school and should never fear being discovered as 'different' then the 'majority'.
Ok, maybe I am ranting a little. I cant always help it. But I have seen what a non seperation of school and religion can do and it isn't always pretty.
So, in closing, if you haven't already got this ;o} Im all for keeping school and religion in their respective distances and keeping the peace between all. I know that it is possible for all religions to get along. My personal group of friends is very diverse: Christians, Roman Catholics, Sikhs (sp), Muslims, Athiests, What I call Logic Thinkers (dont really have a 'religion', doesn't believe or disbelieve in god, just likes everything to make sense),
Wiccan, and 'Other' :o} And we have the most interesting religious debates. Talking and discussing openly and without judgement. We are accepting of eachother and I thank my lucky stars that I found them.
| Here In Indiana, The Ten Commandments Issue Is A Hot Potato That... ||Aug 21st. at 3:34:08 pm UTC|
|Morrigan (Indianapolis, Indiana US) ||Age: 32 - Email |
Here in Indiana, the Ten Commandments issue is a hot potato that is about to explode. The mounting has already been set up on the state house lawn, waiting patiently for the Bedford limestone 'monument' to be placed upon it. To make it acceptable, they have included the state constitution on the backside, as if this move will make everything palatable for all. Such 'sugar-coating' hasn't gone unnoticed. The Indiana chapter of the ACLU has been watching the whole event with microscopic eyes. No one, from politician to common joe, is saying very much, but I fear it is merely the calm before the storm. Indianapolis Public Schools are being quiet, doing the only thing that can be feasibly done: they have decided to hold off on posting anything up, electing instead to sit back and watch the fireworks as they unfurl. IPS can't afford to fight in court due to a severe lack of budget, so they are just sitting back and waiting to see which side prevails in the matter. Personally, I really don't want it up. BUT, should it come to pass that it does, then it should be amended that if ONE religious ideology is represented, then ALL ideologies should have EQUAL time. That includes Juidism, Islamic, Paganism, Hindu and every other religious faction out there. But in my opinion they are putting up the wrong memorial: The first and largest one to be set up should be a large statue of the almighty dollar, since that is what it really boils down to in the end...
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