Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by thunder13, Jul 4, 2006.
Jul 4, 2006
Do you think that bibles and prayer should be in schools?
Religion is a personal matter. I don't think the government should dictate religion.
I agree, however, like the saying goes, as long as there are tests in school, there will always be prayer!
Amen to that
I agree bibles and prayer should be in schools. the government should not take our religion.
I think it should depend on what the community wants in their schools.
If there is enough interest then they should be able to offer classes on the bible.
I got in trouble during my student teaching because I did a simulation of the Protestant Reformation in my class because a Catholic school teacher thought that I was messing with her beliefs.
Everything that I stated was a fact and we learned a lot of neat things about Catholics in the process (many of my students are Catholics). Many of them thought that it was the best lesson that I taught during my four weeks time period because it was so interesting to them...but my cooperating teacher can never use that lesson because the teacher who was upset went to the Principal and made a huge stink about it.
TexasAggie........that is a shame she was upset. That happens to be such a significant historical event!
Jul 5, 2006
(I am assuming you mean in public school.)
When the Bible/Koran/Talmud, etc is being used for the purpose of converting or reenforcing religious beliefs, it is wrong. However, keep in mind that these are considered works of literature. Do you realize how many similar versions of creation, Noah's ark, etc exist in all cultures of the world? So, of course having these books in school does not "dictate" religion unless it is being used for that purpose.
Formal prayer, or prayer that is required would not be appropriate. to forbid someone from praying - say before meals - would be wrong. And, of course since prayer is simply talking with God, I suspect that it goes on all day long - kids and teachers alike.
To forbid the teaching of religious historical events like the protestant reformation is educationally unsound unless it is being used to express opinions over documented facts.
Stories from the bible are actually listed as suggested reading in the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks.
As wig said, though, when reglious books are used to try to convert people, it is wrong and they have no place in public education when used in that way.
Not having bibles and prayers in schools is not taking away anyone's religion. The courts have upheld students' rights to pray privately or to lead prayer groups in schools- the schools just can't lead them. There are plenty of private schools which teach religion- choose one if that's your desire.
The Bible belongs in the classroom and as someone pointed out, the kids are praying during the tests.
I really think that the ACLU and its liberal kin have done quite a disservice to this country. Twisting the 1st Amendment the way that they have has started this country into a moral decline that may well be unrecoverable. The 1st Amendment does prohibit the government from establishing a religion and from restricting the free exercise of religion.
The courts have gone far astray from the original intent, zeroing in on the phrase "separation of church and state". This is a quote out of context. The "wall of separation between Church and State" was needed not to protect the state from the church, but rather the church from the state. It is clear from Jefferson's writings that he
Now, thanks to certain groups, the original intent has been perverted into a weapon used to bash the Christian church. The groups don't even realize (or maybe they do!) that their 1st amendment fervor has been has turned into a zealous attempt to have all Americans to worship secularism/humanism at the altar of big government.
:sorry: I get crazy when I start talking about political stuff.
I have Bibles in my classroom. I teach 1st grade and I took some of my children's easy reader bibles that they were finished with. One of my ESL students (from a European country) took one home, read it with his family and came back asking me if he could take an Accelerated Reader test on it. I told him that there was no test for the Bible and he said, in his very broken English, "But this book very nice. Stories very nice too. Should AR test." Some people might object but I feel like his whole family was exposed to something they might not have read and I didn't force anything.
That's uplifing! Thanks for sharing. I agree. Unfortunately, I think religion is thought of with a negative connotation these days. Things like you mentioned would drive some parents off the deep end here in NY. Sad. There are too many other things in the world to worry about.
Being the (likely) lone Jew on the board I am opting to keep my mouth zipped.
I teach literature, and we encounter religion pretty regularly, especially in poetry. When it comes up, we discuss it. We always keep it "just the facts" and avoid any personal comments. We also don't limit to one religion. We discuss them ALL.
When I was taking AP English back in 1987, we read 2 books from the Bible as required reading, yet I was in a public school. Interestingly, in addition to several "church-going" families, we also had several who never went, one with Jewish family, one who's family was VERY strict with their "non-mainstream" religion, and one athiest. Everyone did the work with no problems. After all, we were studying it as literature, not as religion.
I have two Bibles in my classroom library--a King James and a New International. I have them mainly for reference, but the kids do sometimes read them. Our library also has a Bible. One of my students brought in the Koran.
Our faculty has prayer at our first & last meetings of the year, but that's a choice of the faculty . . . and a reflection of our town. And like others have already said, as long as there are tests, they'll be prayer. You can't dictate what people do in their own minds. I've said a few prayers before a particulary rowdy group of kids enters my room. LOL
ImaTeacher- that's exactly the right approach.
Do you think that bibles and prayer should be in schools?
I could write so much - but to spare us all I will simply second Emccoy's statement.
I am a preschool teacher in a private Christian school. (My kids attend this same school.) Bibles, prayer and talking of Jesus IS part of our curriculum. Teaching denomination or religion is NOT.
God made us all with a FREE WILL, meaning WE can choose whether to believe/read/pray or not. What I have a problem with is when ANY part of government OR society tells public school children they aren't allowed to bring a Bible to school or whether or not they can pray!
I attended a public high school when I was a teen. I remember every day after announcements, over the loud speaker, a prayer was prayed. This was by a student that chose to do so. We also had a club called "AGAPE" that met every morning for prayer, yes on school property, and did "good deeds" in the community. This same school had biology books that taught the "theory of evolution". To my recollection, no one in the community complained about either one!
I wish more schools and students had this same freedom today. I can understand in a public school with so many diverse religions/nationalities it not being required. BUT, I believe if the students wish to have such a "club" or an organized time for reading and prayer it should NOT be discouraged!
In many cases the right for a student to have a bible for their personal reading or students gathering together to pray is a right which has been upheld by courts.
Heh. Our little town is known for the "Monkey Trial" (theory of evolution). Good 'ole Dayton TN.
I am a Methodist Christian, and though I don't believe that man came from monkey, I don't see why any high school shouldn't be allowed to teach it as a "scientific theory". [theory..not fact]
We had a big uprising in our town one year over the word "evolution" in general. Apparantly most adults here think the word is evil and have absolutely no idea that evolution occurs all the time! Men are getting taller, many species of birds have beaks that evolve over time... Just because attributes of animals can slowly evolve (micro evolution?) doesn't mean that I'm saying that men came from monkeys (macro evolution).
It's my opinion that microevolution has nothing to do with religion at all ...what do you think? Should it be taught in school? Is it really teaching against the Bible?
To proslytize, no. As literature, absolutely.
Prayer is personal; people do that silently.
I used the Bible when I taught mythology, even. There are lots of mythological references in there.
Since a public school is, um, PUBLIC, no one set of beliefs should be emphasized over another.
But as literature? Definitely.
Being the (likely) lone Jew on the board I am opting to keep my mouth zipped.
First of all, never keep your mouth shut on a topic like this. It helps to let others know how you feel. I'm not a christian but I will tell my opinion.
the way I see it is that if you are going to have a bible in your classroom then you need to have a copy of the koran/talmud and so forth in your classroom as well. There is no way to justify only making one religion accessible to children. Especially due to the large mixture of religious beliefs within a small community. I do not see having these "BOOKS" in a school/classroom setting as being a problem. The problem occurs when teachers/principles start "recruiting" students. Children's minds are easily molded, and this is a area where parents choice prevails. Unfortunately, we do have a large number of teachers who try to "recruit" students...even if they don't realize that they are doing so. In my personal opinion, I believe that a child should be exposed to a large variety of religions and their cultures; and then, ONLY when the child is ready, the child should have the right to choose his/her own religious beliefs.
Most of my friends are christians...however, i am not. After spending a lot of time with them I found that most of them only do what their parents told them to. They didn't choose to get baptised...they did because mommy/daddy said it was good. This is why I believe that children should not be forced into ANY religion.
Well...I hope I didn't make too many people mad. lol anyways...
I teach in a parochial school, but I stand by my other post on this thread. However, I would like to point out that many people cannot afford to pay their taxes for public education and pay tuition at a faith based school. So they really do not have a choice, making that a poor argument. But prostelyzing should never take place in the public schools.
In response to: "the way I see it is that if you are going to have a bible in your classroom then you need to have a copy of the koran/talmud and so forth in your classroom as well."
With all respect, I completely disagree. If I choose to keep the Bible on the corner of my desk, which I do, then I have no obligation to place other religious documents there as well.
yes you do...what if you have children of other religions in your classroom? are you willing to upset them by not having a representation of their religion within your classroom?
by the way THIS IS WHY RELGION AND STATE ARE KEPT SEPARATE!!!
I understand that you have your own beliefs and that is GREAT! but the children need to come first..therefore...keep your bible inside your desk...not on it...
Historically, prayer and bibles were part of the public school curriculum. Separation of church and state is not in the Constitution. If you study the history on this topic, it is very interesting, especially in light of all the changes that have been made in the past 40 years.
But, the country was much more unified in terms of religious beliefs in its inception. Nowadays, if we gave equal time to all religions, we'd be teaching comparative religions all day long!!
then that is infringing on my rights. If a child asks me what it is I will answer it is a Bible. I would bring in other religious books too, I don't have any problems with religion. I don't think it's a bad thing. I would never force a child to look at it if he or she didn't want to either.
I am looking into Catholic Schools for a career, simply because I choose to teach in an atmosphere where religion is accepted and is more or less the driving force. Again, I know that a public school is public and I would not discuss religion with children, but I would answer questions about religions of all kinds if asked. Fair is fair.
The Bible will remain on my desk. Please do not be so rude as to tell me what to do.
Good for you!
Get real! If the children are so easily molded, then it shouldn't be that difficult to explain that the teacher's beliefs do not necessarily match that of the student.
This is what I was talking about when it comes to the wrong interpretation of separation of church and state. The 1st amendment guarantees freedom in religious exercise, not freedom from being offended by something else.
The sooner activist judges get their craniums out of their derrieres, the better off the country will be.
Couldn't have said it better myself!
And THIS is why I stay out of these discussions. My mother told me it was never a good idea to talk religion, politics and sex with people I don't know well enough to know their middle name. That's my policy - and this kind of bickering is why I stick to it.
Smart lady that mom of yours!!!!!!!!
I would love to hear how your religous freedom has been abridged by
some "activist" judge. Personnal religeon or political activism doesnt belong in a public school.
btw I remember well praying twice a day in public school and even reading bible verses........................didnt kill me or my peers but there is too much diversity now to insist on it.
Jul 6, 2006
As far as the "private" or "faith-based" schools are concerned, in a town like ours public school is the ONLY choice. There are a few who home-school, but with the limited resources they have in our area they seem to fall behind. (One group doesn't permit internet usage either.) In order for a parent to send their child to a faith-based school, they'd have to drive a minimum of 20 miles to take the child to school . . . an option that most parents don't have. While there are scholarships available at some schools, the price is restrictive for most of our families.
My husband--who's from a large town far from here--went to a Christian school. Religion wasn't the main reason he went there, but he said he did enjoy being in a faith-based school. (He's got a learning disability/social issues, and the smaller classes & extra attention was what he needed.)
A value system that is thrown askew if a few honest questions are asked, is not a good value system. Parents need to learn to answer a child's simple questions with something other than "Because God told us to." That might indeed be the answer, but it needs some citations and support to make it viable for someone who was raised differently. I instantly suspect anyone who can't deal with questions.
I can, however, picture God throwing his hands up in despair at how His followers contort his messages.
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