He wrote in letters: “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government” and “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. You sound like non-believers are not capable of being moral and only non-believers view pornography and engage in self-indulgent behavior. Pot, meet kettle! I can only encourage and make sure I keep my own nose clean. 1. I see, Richie. Indeed, even by your desperate and twisted misuse of the Chapter, our current government does indeed allow for replacing elected officials. You were the one who said you objected to particular flavors of Christianity or other faith systems not being allowed to teach the class. It is just as valid and relevant as evolution. In an 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, he wrote: “ Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, thus building a wall of separation between church and State. That serves those who believe in God. “How is it with the wealth of Jeffersons writings, you have no opinion on where his soul is?”. He’s not totally dim. First you appeared to ONLY want those who agreed with your faith tradition (my faith tradition and those who believe as I do would not be hired by you, according to your earlier comments). So maybe you could stop trying to misrepresent my position and instead discuss the topic honestly. You have no truth.  ” You apparently didn’t read any of the links I provided, but part of the point is that the desire to keep everyone free to live and worship as they please began with the Constitution’s restriction against a national religion and that sentiment eventually found its way into individual state philosophy as well. We get one more chance to disprove your presupposition from the positive, without any evidence at all? You could have said, “Yeah, like that, Dan.” and then foregone all the gnashing of teeth and objecting to particular teachers because of their belief system being different than yours. The data, how it was achieved, what has been discovered–these are the backbone of science. 2 So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow. Dan. However, in Notes on the State of Virginia, Jefferson supported “a perpetual mission among the Indian tribes” by the Christian Brafferton institution, at least in the interest of anthropology, As president, he sanctioned financial support for a priest and church for the Kaskaskia Indians, who were at the time already Christianized and baptized. We’re talking about teaching just the opposite. I focus on addressing why critic's arguments against my views fail rather than the traditional positive case-making for the Christian worldview. … Our sister states of Pennsylvania and New York, however, have long subsisted without any establishment at all. Apparently you must have been just talking out your ass expecting me to reverse my position because of it. We’re a more diverse society. For it to appeal to you, the class would have to inject the same socialistic, morally bankrupt nonsense you do. Now, it appears you’re back to advocating one faith tradition (not one denomination, mind you, but only a faith tradition that is conservative evangelical friendly). Way to “read between the lines” Dan. can you come up with an explanation for those? That Jefferson had his own perspective on Christianity? I have been hearing this debate since long, after which I decided to dig it out myself. All of which places me comfortably in the anabaptist tradition. Then we’ll both know. You, apparently, cannot handle the possibility that what I believe is indeed true, so you crumble in a heap and accuse truth seekers of indoctrination and brainwashing. But I don’t think the issue should be avoided in the fashion it is currently. Does that make my interpretation objective? Rather, it is simply the general discussion of the existence of a Supreme Being. On the other hand, if you have a world history class and want to cover religions involved in a given historic era, that’s fine and that happens already, from a simple historic point of view. BUT, for the purposes of this discussion and the question posed by the title of the post, which claim is likely to be true and which false would be a great learning exercise for any school to pursue. Thanks for the kind words. Why? There is a difference between preaching religion and teaching about religion. Why is there the need to do so? Isn’t it wonderful that we agree? True enough for Christians in Arabic speaking lands but not so much for 100% of the Christians that I have encountered in English speaking lands who have universally declared that Allah is not God. Do you ever, like, read history, or just isolate those parts that can be used to appear to support your preferred beliefs? I’m confused. Not surprisingly, you miss the point. Or consider this, Marshall: conservative religious types (at least of the sort that you approve of) are on the decline across the US in many places. No one here, for example, suggests that there should be religious litmus tests for elected anyone. I find it awfully convenient that skeptics only choose to reference the same 3 or 4, and not the other 200. The other is an infringement on religious liberty. It is hard to teach history without teaching about various religions and the effect they have on history. In 1779 Jefferson proposed “The Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom”, which was adopted in 1786. A Bart Ehrmann perhaps. There’s no downside. Who’s going to teach? The argument can proceed on these lines until John Barron expressly declares that a particular God does not exist. In a 1787 letter to his nephew and ward, Peter Carr, who was at school, Jefferson offered the following advice: “ Fix Reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. I’m claiming that the Christian tradition, despite the denomination of any particular state or group, was THE faith tradition that had the greatest and most profound impact on the founding of this country. It was the predominant influence on morality of the time, and it frankly still is today in this country. If you reached that conclusion by way of reason with a rationale then that means you have considered arguments and evidences for your assertion that “God exists” is false. What they shouldn't teach is faith. How do you know you aren’t defying your god by trying to alter his plan? Romans 13:? You represent a minority within a minority. It should be a class that students choose to take and have options to choose from such religion in regions. They may indeed influence the kids to there perspective, but the kids aren’t required to vote the same way their teacher does when the time comes. Parents, who probably don’t have a college degree or training in this subject matter, are a better choice than a complete stranger with training and a degree in this subject matter for sex education. Is it not enough that you can teach your children in church and in the home? You fear so badly that it is you who will be proven wrong and that is why the thought of such a discussion in public schools is so frightening to you. Marshall, you continue to use a university in Jefferson’s VA 200 years ago, as if it’s got some weight in this conversation. Who is going to decide the curriculum? Another reason why religion should not be allowed to be taught in public schools is because many school officials and teachers do not know enough about other religions besides their own. Your comment is more ludicrous than normal, even by the standards you’ve set for commentary. I’ve seen what public education has done to documented history, twisting and distorting facts to fit their prejudices. IF you’re a citizen of this country, YOU’RE a member of MY SIDE. Must have been some other Marshal Art, because I never said that. “You guys can’t agree on anything outside your own narrow interpretation of the good book.”. Jefferson intensely opposed Calvinism. i don’t claim to “know” anything of the sort. Now YOUR undies seem to be riding up on you. Or STD’S! Religious instruction in Qld schools facing review. Also while living in the White House, Jefferson began to piece together his own version of the Gospels, with the first draft being “The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth…Being an Abridgement of the New Testament for the Use of the Indians, Unembarrased [uncomplicated] with Matters of Fact or Faith beyond the Level of their Comprehensions”. There is a separation between church and state in this country and it would be against our own constitution to do so. Your views are especially suspect regardless of the topic. But how and why did a minority of non christians or lazy christians in a “christian” nation built on christian principles pull the carpet out from underneath manifest destiny? At least this gives our kids some understanding. I don’t know that I’d trust a government run public school system to fairly represent any of the world’s major religions. Is it not enough that we don’t teach non-theism to your Sunday school class? More so that the aversion isnt necessary. Check out this awesome Essays About Why Religion Should Be Taught In Schools for writing techniques and actionable ideas. Schools should teach religion. Oh really? You haven’t given any reason that religion shouldn’t be taught, but simply made assertions that I exposed as the inanities they are. Religion is a way to show our differences through our unity. That’s understandable. And no, there is absolutely NO loss of religious liberty because even if ONLY Christianity was to be taught, even if ONLY a specific form of the Lutheran version was to be taught, there would be no pressure on any student to conform, to adhere, to be baptized as a Lutheran or anything like that in order to get a passing grade.  ” “What a bummer that your team lost…….I wonder why the zealots lost……….and continue to lose?”. That’s so sad. “Does the faith traditions of the many non-Christian-specific Theists – including the founders – not count?”. In 1970, a little fewer than 5 percent of the U.S. population was foreign born. I mean if I’m the minority, how did I have such an affect on the outcome of your zealot philosophy? It was one of only three accomplishments he put in his epitaph. Now sure, there are some teachers that just aren’t suited for the task. The christian identity members? How and why would you choose one faith tradition’s version of “God” to talk about? You ask, “What are the evidences and arguments that point to your assertion tjat the proposition is false? Indeed, you can find founders that would never vote for an atheist. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. I think that it should be removed if it only for one religion. So, IF all you are talking about is having a world religion course to relatively objectively educate students about all religions, then I doubt that most people would care. “And what is your measure for a faith tradition having some connection to American history?”, Stupid question, especially given the links I’ve provided, each of which contains a clue or two for your perusal. I hope this clears up at least THIS incredible misconception of yours. The details can all be addressed and the matter suspended until they are fleshed out, but one needs to address the central question first: Why shouldn’t religion be taught in schools? Again, try to answer the question put to you: HOW will we decide which person is going to be offering the class? When Jesus, or any religion pretty much, is freely discussed in any area where anyone feels compelled to bring it up, more people keep in mind the things they hear and learn and their behavior is altered for the better, even if only for a little while. Crime They did not form this nation. They’re diversionary. A minor quibble, just pointing out this reality. That’s a rhetorical question. John Barron, If anyone were too put evidence in front of you the list would go on, the same vice versa. Why did your god allow for it? Because if all it takes to be “objective” when it comes to interpreting the Bible is to rely upon original language textual clues, and we’re both doing that, then we’re both being objective. This exclusion would likely make the student the target of bullying … Dan, Your’e doing it wrong. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Williams_%28theologian%29. Maybe one with a more christian totalitarian bent? Well then it’s a damned good thing that doesn’t happen by the mere teaching of Christianity in public schools. And why not prove the existence of your god from the positive, since you have so much proof and evidence, instead of convincing yourself that the deductive method includes non believers disproving from the negative? A mother who defrauded a small country school’s parents and citizens’ association has been ordered to repay thousands. “So you and the majority of the founders lost this fight a long time ago. That utter nonsense should be kept to denominational schools. Grade school level used the Bible to teach reading and spelling, using religious words, stories and concepts to that end. Aren’t you promised a paradise in heaven for just accepting Christ? That you would posit that there is no difference between a faithful Christian and a devoted muslim shows that you have no idea about Christianity at all, and your perspectives surrounding religion and the existence of God, or any god, is not based on any serious investigation on your part. I’ll try to use only small words this time. Unless youre familiar with dan and his “hermeneutical” methodology, youre going to be comming at my comment from a different perspective. Help Matt Preston's search for the best cafe in Bundaberg and support your local, passionate team by casting your vote. Why would such fringe beliefs “need” to be taught in the first place? Observing inter-denominational intolerance in the United States, he extended his skepticism to Protestant clergy. But I wasn’t advocating specifically that. Will you force teachers to teach something they don’t believe? “Why isn’t your religion taught in public school? “You seem to have a lot of special interest spin, always know when other christians are wrong about how they practice their faith, plenty of presumptuous blathering about the secularists and all of their devilish ways, but you don’t know why your god has manufactured this exact construct? YOU, Dan, would be a horrible choice, not “anabaptists” in general, because I would not judge any other anabaptist based on YOUR description of who they are and what they believe. , Jefferson, Jesus, and the Bible Nothing about the suggestion has anything to do with forcing, by government fiat, a set of beliefs on anyone. Not everyone in this country is the same religion and some have no religion at all. So, like with Nash, I again ask why bother posting any comments if not to engage the central question “Why shouldn’t religion be taught in schools?”. The mere claim of one group is not evidence against the claim of another. And to boot it would seem that these very few “flawed” perspectives won the day. That is, the fight against having religion involved at a governmental level was led largely by Christians who recognized that having the state involved in Christianity would run the risk of corrupting both church and state. Also unprovable would be the notion that merely discussing the possibility of the existence of a god, even the Christian God, would indicate an establishment of religion. Indeed. I know other atheists who aren’t so fearful of discussions like this. Once they do so our argument can proceed to proof that Baal, Moloch and Chemosh exist since these are all names of God in various languages. I wonder how it actually took place in the past. The zealots say your going to hell. Once again, not every fears truth. Now your acting like Dan. So once again we come to the question of why not? This is really idiotic. You see, little Danny, I only elevate my opinions to where they belong based on the evidence that supports them. People devoted to God and the teachings of Christ do far fewer bad things the more devoted they are. Marshall, if I was teaching again, would you want me teaching the kids about God? You know, ONE political ideology over all others. Good morals results to healthy sexual behaviors and avoidance of diseases (Oakley et al, 1995). Our acknowledgement or rejection of truth has too great an impact for that. On what basis would we establish one particular faith tradition as the state sanctioned one? Try studying the Bible for the details of just how this works. I think religion is a topic that should be part of any educational program – it’s not the schools place to teach children any particular religion (unless it is a religious school, such as Canada’s Catholic school system, at which point, that’s often part of why parents send them there), but religion has always been an inseperable part of people’s lives and the events of history. Do you want your god to punish you for disobeying his construct? Fears of establishment are totally unfounded,since schools lack the power and authority to establish into law any religion. Conceding that, because no one is suggesting establishing anything more than a fearless search for truth, you have yet to provide any reason why religion should not be taught about in public schools. The only gibberish, of any age, with which I come into contact is pretty much just yours and that of people like you. 3. Schools do not only aim to teach children basic things, but also help them become good adults. News Here are the basics of one of my favorite political/social philosophers, Thomas Jefferson, who had some hard fights, with christian zealots while in office and after: He makes 3 specific points that would seem to entirely undermine your position John, Can you find them? Are you looking to really sidetrack this discussion because you have no intelligent argument for prohibiting the teaching of religion in public school? You REALLY just can’t bring yourself to admit that your opinions about unprovable matters are your subjective opinions, can you? And the lower the grade level, the more superficial the teaching so as to keep it simple for the tykes. “. “Or STD’S! In short, that believers are anti-science, which is also untrue and, in my opinion, unprovable. They do not hang more malefactors than we do. “BTW your proposition about the existence of your god, requires “YOU” to prove the claim, not I, no matter how many times you you repeat otherwise.”. If christianity was so important to the fabric of these guys, why did they go out of their way to make sure that it’s influence was mitigated? To what end would it be discussed? The best part about the links I’ve provided, is that they provide, in context, the words of the founders based on their actual writings. I’m old enough that I remember having a teacher in about 1970 in Kentucky who still led the class in a very Christian prayer every day. Crime, STDs, suicides, drug and alcohol abuse, child and spousal abuse, abortion, sexual promiscuity and immorality…the nation is lost by the secular whiners’ suppression of religious influence. It’s obvious that many believers would object to their child being too critical of their own religion because of something they heard in school. But it wouldn’t come to a democratic vote except to decide whether or not religious instruction should take place at all. They are a fun way of learning life lessons, values and morals in a positive and influential way because they are so fun, relaxed and in a caring atmosphere. 5. As a consequence, at least half of adults outright embrace creationism and reject evolution. But that isn’t what is really sought here, if I’m understanding John’s point correctly. And this is a guy you think wasn’t a real believer in Christ as God. So if my understanding is wrong, I would expect you have some evidence to counter mine. Which is the “non-Christian-specific Theist” religion to which you refer here? It has answered beyond conception. We have all seen headlines of angry parents storming school board meetings protesting that their little Johnny was being illegally “exposed” to this or that religious belief and demanding separation of church and state. We know the vocabulary of the ancient Greek and Hebrew language. Until then, answer the question of the post’s title. “Religious liberty demands that we don’t promote and isolate one religion over the others at a gov’t level.”. But that would be meaningless, I suppose. In his 1787 Notes on the State of Virginia, Jefferson stated: “ Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined and imprisoned. Its goal was complete separation of church and state; it declared the opinions of men to be beyond the jurisdiction of the civil magistrate. As I repeatedly noted, though, I am fine with having a World Religions class, one that did not require a religious litmus test to teach (ie, that you have to subscribe to some belief system to teach). Similarly, in the Muslim World the emergence of formal education was driven by religious purposes. But I think I understand that you recognize that the truest interpretation of Scripture is the same as what I follow. When a Christian prays to God the Christian, necessarily and inevitably, prays to Allah. It is deceitful to presume that teaching Christianity is equal to promoting it. Why isn’t christianity, right now, taught as part of public education? Who’s going to decide what ideas about God would be taught? Or wouldn’t it be fair to say that we’re both using our subjective opinions about unprovable matters? You often don’t look at the evidence you provide US, so I wouldn’t be surprised. Change ). Religion can as well play a major role in preaching abstinence which is one of the laws taught in the church. Why has your god allowed for this to happen? You’re either a hypocrite or an idiot – which is it? All the arguments utilized on behalf of the proposition “Yahweh exist” are equally effective when used on behalf of the propositions: “Allah exist”, “Baal exist”, “Zeus exist”, “Ganesh exist” and so forth. You can’t have it both ways, John, at least I can’t see how you can. Try paying attention. 5. Regardless of how that discussion takes place, there will always be those who are critical of the education system as a whole and look at anything they do as a failure. Willing to engage anywhere, including within the public school system. In a letter to Samuel Miller dated January 23, 1808 Jefferson stated: “ But it is only proposed that I should recommend, not prescribe a day of fasting & prayer. If you want your kids to study those fairy tales, send them to Sunday school if you can't afford private. I’m suggesting it be taught so student understand better the founding given the influence of Christianity on the founders and the people of the time. You’re fear-mongering just as Nash was doing and for the same reason. But none of those questions matter until the initial question of “why not?” is answered. How? 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and import duties, and give respect and honor to all to whom it is due. Again, where? Teach them to be kind, have manners, teach them how to lose, yes it needs to be done as many have no idea how to be a good loser. What’s with you guys getting all upset? From where does this irrational fear even come? Those questions might make such a course unfeasible, but they don’t answer why religion shouldn’t be taught. These values, however, must not be taught as religious tenets. It is never enough for truth to be restricted to one venue. What we can’t do is give one religion special attention over the other or promote a particular religious text as a singular truth. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”, “ May it [the French Revolution] be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. But here’s a tip for the meantime: if you think your question is relevant and worth anyone’s time and consideration, offer first an explanation why that would be so. Regardless of the topic, subject or complexity, we can help you write any paper! No, Marshall. An argument which proves too much happens to prove nothing at all. Marshall, you are a bigot. But it misses the point, which is that I’m willing to lay it on the line and be proven wrong. Yes, in the simplest of terms. There’s no threat to religious liberty by having religion taught in schools. But that does not mean that rules and laws that align with Christian teaching could not be enacted. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Hmm, “Obey the government”. its poor reasoning to say that because others are bad at making a case, therefore your view is by fiat correct. Religion should be taught in the home, not at school February 17, 2013 11.04pm EST . 200 years ago, we were more homogenous and no one would object to one particular flavor of Christianity being taught in schools. Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.