Government shouldn’t impose religion
To the Editor:
I would like to respond to Dawn Hankins’ column of Oct 5th, “Bible belongs in school.” In it, she laments that the Bible is not displayed
in schools, and of course longs for Christian teachers and principles to lead as disciples of their faith.
Ms. Hankins even goes so far as to say, “Remember, there is a First Amendment right for all Americans to be respected for their religious freedoms.” Then she advocates teaching one particular religion to public school students.
People who long for the good ol’ days of prayer in school are not interested in individual religious freedom. They say they want prayer in school. I’ve got news for them, prayer has never been taken out of school. All you have to do is visit the lunch room in any school, or look in on classes just before final exams, and you’re going to see lots of prayers.
No, these people don’t just want individual’s religious freedoms. They want state-sponsored Christian prayers, where a teacher stands before a class and leads them in a Christian prayer. I wonder how Ms. Hankins would feel if a teacher stood before a class and led them in a Hindu prayer chant, a Muslim prayer, or a Jewish prayer? Ms. Hankins doesn’t just want prayer in school, she wants the right kind of prayer, her kind.
The point is, the First Amendment says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” And guess what? Public schools are actually run by the government!
And when schools start pushing one religion over all others, it goes against our constitutional rights. The solution is to have no religion taught in public schools.
Contrary to what many have been led to believe, the Founding Fathers were not Bible-thumping Christians. Some were Christians, yes, and some were Deists, Unitarians, and agnostics. They came from 17th-century Europe, and knew full well the tyranny of churches that were enmeshed in governments. When the Supreme Court took religious teachings and prayers out of schools, it was following the spirit of the First Amendment.
Children are citizens also, and they deserve the freedom of not having one particular religion forced upon them in public schools.
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