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Religion and schools: Total removal is wrongPosted Thursday, March 4, 2010, at 9:50 AM
The American Civil Liberties Union strikes again.
The group, which I'd term one of the biggest bunches of agitators in the country, has through a court settlement forced Cheatham County (Ashland City area) schools to stop distributing Bibles during the school day and from using "the Bible or other sacred texts as authority for historical or scientific fact."
When I was growing up the Gideons came around each school year and gave small New Testaments to, it seems like, fourth- or fifth-graders. And through my primary school years we attended school-wide "chapel" programs (seems like they were on Tuesdays), even though some ended up being made up of a few inspirational words followed by old Three Stooges movies or black-and-white instructional videos from the 1940s or 1950s on how to wash your hands, etc. I never felt indoctrinated or forced to adhere to an certain belief. And each day in some classrooms started with a prayer.
I realize there are religious differences, and in a nation founded on freedom those should be respected. But should freedom "of" religion mean total freedom "from" (i.e. even hearing about) Christian beliefs in a taxpayer-funded, public institution? I don't think so, as long as it's not forced on anyone and is presented in a way in which no one feels uncomfortable or pressured.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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