The below originally appeared August 23, 2003
Why do some people feel the need to erect monuments to their deities on public ground?
I believe in God. I love God. I go to services and pray. But when I visit a courthouse, capitol building, public school, I don’t expect to see monuments to God’s greatness. They don’t belong there. They belong in our homes and in our churches. (Unless you feel such monuments border on idolatry, and your religion states you aren’t supposed to construct idols, then perhaps they don’t belong in your homes or in your churches. But that’s for you to decide.)
Our forefathers were motivated by religion to come to this country. This fact SHOULD be taught to our students. History books should NOT be rewritten to downplay religion’s role in the formation of this country. This doesn’t violate any freedoms.
The stories in the Bible can be taught to our students — as literature. It is important for the literature student to be able to identify allusions to Judeo-Christian-Islamic, Greek, and Roman mythos. Without this knowledge, understanding of literature is crippled.
However, instructing our children as to the proper way to pray is a role that belongs to the parents, and the churches. Organizing school prayer forces one religion’s mode of prayer on those of different faiths. Letting students lead doesn’t solve this, as while each day a different student might lead, each day others will be led down a prayer they do not accept. (And if hypothetically 5% of the student body were one religion, and 95% another, than 95% of the time the minority would feel ostracized.) Setting aside a few minutes each day for silent prayer isn’t offensive, at least not to me. But I don’t see the point. Any child can pray silently at any time during the day they wish. They don’t need the time set aside for them to do it.
There is a time for everything…
There is a place for everything…
dairy shouldn’t be mixed with meat
government shouldn’t be mixed with religion