Separation of Church and State Attention Progressives
Why The Double Standard?
Why is it when little Johnny or little Jane quietly bows his or her head to say a silent prayer before they eat their lunch at school, or quietly reads their Bible during recess they are guilty of violating "Separation of Church and State"? But if someone in authority, like a teacher, says something like "OK, class let's pray to Allah" at a public school full of kids from all sorts of backgrounds it's called teaching about other cultures? Why isn't it called a violation? Why the double standard?
When you read carefully the original text document i.e. the actual letter it should be obvious that he wasn't advocating for what some in our society refers as Separation of Church and State, that is, people of Faith should keep their opinions to themselves ...
In the letter to the Danbury Baptist Association written January 1, 1802, President Thomas Jefferson uses the term Separation of Church and State. When you read carefully the original text document i.e. the actual letter it should be obvious that he wasn't advocating for what some in our society refers as Separation of Church and State, that is, people of Faith should keep their opinions to themselves and the government should censure what ministers, priests, rabbis or imams preach in their places of worship. In actuality, he advocates that the government should not be in the businesses of controlling peoples religious beliefs or forcing people to act against their own consciences. In other words, Separation of Church and State was never meant to shut up people of Faith but to prevent government tyranny against people of Faith no matter what that Faith is.
The starting lines of the first amendment of the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution is as follows: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof
Well the progressives may say, "It's not a church.." Hold on there buddy! You better sit down because I have news for you and I don't want you to fall down in a faint and hurt yourself!
The starting lines of the first amendment of the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution is as follows: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
Please note: It does not say congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of a church, or a synagogue, or a mosque, or a temple, etc. What this means is that we do not have a Church of the U.S., or a Synagogue of the U.S. or a Mosque of the U.S. or a Temple of the U.S. etc. There is no religious litmus test that you need to take in order to become a citizen of our nation.
Please note: It does not say or prohibit the free exercise thereof unless you are a Christian, or Jewish, or Muslim, or Hindu or Buddhist, etc. What this means should be obvious!
Educate don't indoctrinate - Educate don't proselytize
Educators should stop demonizing one religion while praising another. Ditch the indoctrination please! If you want to teach about other cultures-- to teach tolerance you do not do it by forcing children to pray to a god that is not their own. And you do not put on a pedestal one religion while demonizing another. That is not teaching tolerance--that's indoctrination! Educate don't indoctrinate.
Students should not be put on the spot. Educators make sure you are just educating and not proselytizing, please! A few years back in an article in Voice of the Martyrs there was a story about a young Sudanese Christian boy about 9 years old whose back was badly scared. How did it get scared? He was thrown in a fire by Islamic extremist because he refused to deny his faith in Jesus Christ and become a Muslim.
Please note: I am not trying to paint all Muslims as terrorists. Muslims have been victimize by those who hold an extremist version of Islam. It is disingenuous to glibly label as racist or Islamophobic those who simply comment on the acts of evil done in the name of Allah as if it is the same, for example, as a lynching of a black person by the K.K.K. That is down playing the trauma of the real victims of racial and religious hatred and violence.
Now imagine the psychological harm if he or some other child with a similar experience immigrated to the U.S. and while at a public school the teacher said "OK, class now we are going to pray to Allah." Or what if after the Holocaust a teacher brought out a picture of Adolf Hitler and said, "OK, class now we are going to pay homage to Adolf Hitler." Progressives do you get my point? Educate don't proselytize.
Remember when you were a kid and you had show and tell?
I'm a Christian but I am not a teacher. But if I were I would never, never say something like, "OK,class now we are going to pray to Jesus" because I understand not everyone believes like I do and that's o.k. It's called freedom of religion.
If you want to teach about other religions in order to teach tolerance there is a better approach. Remember when you were a kid and you had show and tell? Why not have kids in a class room take turns to share something about what they believe. They can talk about a religious holiday they celebrate, etc. They can say I am a (insert religion) and this is what I believe. That way no one is being coerced to believe one way or another. It is just simply sharing.
Until next time take care everyone!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 Rebecca Fahlin Freelance Copywriter