Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Religious discourse

As a rule, I don't engage in religious or political discussion with people. One reason is that is always seems to turn personal. Why can't we have conversations about things and still walk away as friends.

Right, because people don't seem to know what those are.

I broke my rule today and got into a religious discussion on someone's Facebook page. It turned personal for me when I said I didn't think that it was the public school's responsibility to teach Christian heritage, traditions or beliefs, as one poster said they should. He then proceeded to say he was glad that his children weren't in my class. Wow. Since he has never had a conversation with me other than my post me I find it amazing he can pass that kind of judgment. (Edited to add- upon further reflection and conversation, turns out that we DID have a conversation once before.)

But I don't think public schools should. What would they teach? Each denomination thinks what they do is correct. Can you imagine the fights over what goes in the curriculum?
Personally, I don't think there should public led prayer at school. Prayer, unless you are in an intercessory group, should, in my opinion, be a private thing. What if I don't agree with what the person is praying out loud? If I am standing there aren't I essentially saying that I am in agreement?

I hear all the time that God has been kicked out of public schools. No, he hasn't. At my school and probably most schools kids still have every right to pray on their own, wear a cross or Star of David, etc. They can wear shirts with bible scriptures. They just can't distract from instruction (bc ya know, that's what they are going to school for, to learn) And as a public school teacher, I cannot teach MY beliefs. I am quite ok with that. I wouldn't want someone whose beliefs I disagree with teaching my nephew that theirs was the correct way. I think it is the parents' responsibility to guide their children. In my classroom I do my best to be fair, to show my students that I love and care for their well being and that I want them to be the best person they can be. My hope is that they know my heart and what kind of person I am through my actions.

Am I perfect? Of course not. I screw up all the time. Do I have all of the answers? Oh Heck no. I am still trying to figure stuff out. I struggle with & question things all the time. I think that's how we learn though. And conversations, without destroying the person, are key.

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