Showing posts with label Prayer In School. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prayer In School. Show all posts

Sunday, June 23, 2013

No War At All

Spend some time talking to Christian conservatives and they'll tell you the same thing all the time. They are oppressed and their rights are being infringed. They want to pray in school, damnit! And the gubmint won't let them. The only problem with this protestation is that it bears no semblance to reality.

"We've gone from virtual silence about religion in the curriculum and virtually no student religious expression in many schools," says Charles Haynes, a scholar at the First Amendment Center and head of the Religious Freedom Education Project in Washington, D.C., "to today, when social studies and other standards are fairly generous to religion, and students are expressing their faiths in many different ways in many public schools, if not most."

Yep. I see it all the time in my district and my children's school district. Kids take time out of their day to pray wherever and whenever they need to do so. Staff and administration make accommodations. And it's not just individual faith expressions that are more commonplace.

Schools are increasingly including Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, and, in some cases, the Bible in their curricula because of concern over Americans' religious illiteracy. (A 2007 study found that only 10 percent of American teens could name the five major religions.)

History of Religion is common class that students can take for a history credit. A few of my colleagues have taught it over the years and it has always seen high registration.

The important thing to remember there is that while schools can't foster religious beliefs, still must allow students to religiously express themselves as they see fit. In short, there is no "War on Christians." It has endlessly amused me that those who bemoan the victim card play it so much, creating a reality that simply does not exist.

Sunday, January 06, 2013