Here we go again, this time in Spencer, Iowa:
Public school officials in Spencer, Iowa, have proposed a policy that would offer students elective classes on the Bible and on arguments against the theory of evolution.
Concerned that public education has often “gone too far” in excluding religious influences, the officials are hoping to restore balance to the issues and allow for the inclusion of religious expression in their public school. “This nation was founded on the idea of religious liberty,” the proposal states. “A well rounded education must include an understanding of the ideas which molded the nation, many of which were religious.”
If adopted, the school district could offer “The Bible in History and Literature” and “Critic of Darwinism, a scientific approach” electives. But religion in the curriculum is not the only thing the policy is pushing for.
The proposal also states that graduation speeches will not be regulated on religious content and graduating classes will be permitted to choose whether to have prayer at their ceremony or not. Through the policy, students would also be allowed to distribute religious materials and the school may not forbid student expression solely because of religious content. For school employees, the policy states that teachers may choose to answer questions about personal faith issues and they must maintain an officially neutral position on religious issues.
Neutral position on religious issues? Who the heck do they think they’re kidding, this is Spencer, IOWA, after all. I foresee much litigation and heartache in the future of the local school board. Did they ever hear about Dover PA? One thing always bothers me about this kind of thing, and it has happened many times here in my own little corner of the world: The god-fearing (isn’t that a hell of a thing, to worship something you fear) parents of Spencer already absolutely control the spiritual upbringing of their children, why do they feel they need to control the spiritual upbringing of the other children?
I mean, look at it this way, they have many options: They can home-school, send their kids to Christian schools, and they can have them trained in their own churches. Why do they feel they have to turn the public schools into religious training academies? I would like my grandchildren to have the same shot at a reality-based education as I did, and teaching alternatives to Darwin does not fit within that model.
Spencer Superintendent Greg Ebeling said any future policies would not serve as a means to force religion on students but rather to help draw lines on what teachers can talk about what they can’t, according to KCAU TV. More often, teachers choose never to address such subjects as faith and religion because of fear of offense or lawsuits, Ebeling noted.
The purposes of the policy, as outlined in the proposal, are to: stop discrimination against private religious expression, educate about and not indoctrinating religious faith, promote dialogue between schools and community concerning faith, create a climate of academic freedom concerning faith issues, and allow for student and employee religious expression within the law.
The proposal adds that in adopting the policy, the school will “neither promote, [nor] disparage religious faith.” According to KCAU TV, the school board will hold an open discussion with the public about the proposed policy.
Hmmm Won’t promote religious faith? Once again, this IS Spencer, Iowa we’re talking about, isn’t it? I don’t see them promoting anything else other then religion, otherwise why would they want these courses in the curriculum? With teachers free to talk about whatever they like, what will stop them from running an all-day, five-day-a-week Sunday school?
“But gee whiz, the courses are elective, and the teachers won’t be allowed to promote religion.” Yeah, right, and what about the minority of students whose parents don’t happen to buy into the grand Christian delusion? What about them? Talk all you want about “fairness” and “balance,” I grew up in the 50’s, when we said the lord’s prayer every morning after the Pledge of Allegiance, all of us, that is, except for the half-dozen or so Jewish kids who had to stand in the back of the classroom with their heads bowed while us “real Americans” prayed to our imaginary friend.
I don’t think that this kind of thing is what America is all about, or ever was, for that matter. To say that America was formed by Christians who were searching for “religious freedom” is to forget that the original new england settlers were people who had been thrown out of several corners of Europe because when they were in power, they wouldn’t allow anyone else religious freedom.
I have no problem with anyone practicing their religion, and in spite of all the restrictions anyone is free to pray in school any time they wish. The school board just can’t make it policy, and that protects the religious as well as the non-religious.
A local school board here in Brunswick County looked into having an outside ministry teach a bible course in the Brunswick County schools until they were informed that they could allow that as long as any other religion was allowed the same privilege. The “wall of separation” exists for a reason, and yet it seems that the “most arrogant of religions” is constantly trying to scale it. Someday they may succeed, and that will probably mark the end of Christianity as a force in this country.