RE: High School Bible class attacked

From: Donald Perrett (E-mail) <donperrett@theology-perspectives.net>
Date: Thu Aug 04 2005 - 02:14:03 EDT

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu]On
Behalf Of Carol or John Burgeson
Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2005 11:36
To: donperrett@interstrenuus.com
Cc: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: High School Bible class attacked

Don wrote, in part:

"While I personally don't see the necessity for biblical study in public
schools, seeing as it can be obtained in church or private schools, I
also
don't see the alarmist reaction as being helpful. The course is not
"forced" on anyone even by the anti-YEC admissions. It is an elective."

Burgy: Of course it is an elective; that is hardly pertinent. By being
offered,
it has the tacit endorsement of the government (school system).

Suppose I wished to teach in public school a course in Greek mythology --
only I teach it as sober fact. Or perhaps the "history of America" as
understood by Mormonism. Or maybe astrology -- after all, lots of people
believe in it. Maybe I'd like to teach a course which insists that
nonwhite people are inherently inferior. I can think of other examples,
but I think the point is made.

Don P response: In most courses on Greek Mythology it is taught with a
sociological perspective that this was believed to be true, at that time.
Teaching any form of history is done from a certain perspective. Once upon
a time most people did not know of the scandalous exploits of many of our
founding fathers, now some "bad" things are taught. There are courses that
teach history from an African American perspective, why not a Mormon one, or
do you consider them "inferior". As for the race issue, that really isn't a
comparison, unless you are trying to infer that evangelicals are racist.

"If a majority of parents want this course to be available to their
children so
be it. It high time for the rest of the population to stay out of other
peoples homes."

See argument above. It is high time for some people to stop using the
government to promote their particular views. That's what church-state
separation is all about.

Don P response: You say "some" people, what about others. There are some
who object to homosexual literature being offered in public schools but many
schools still do. Are you the only one to decide what should be promoted or
not? I do agree that it fringes on church-state. If this were a compulsory
course, I would fully agree. There are a lot of electives that are either
of little value or are controversial in nature being taught in schools
around the country. In L.A. they were teaching Buddhism, not sure that they
still do. It claims to have been taught as a sort of Eastern philosophy,
but it is in fact a religion. Would this be disqualified under your
criteria?

 "Even better, use the same amount of effort to get course electives into
school that would teach proper science from a Christian perspective.
Then
perhaps everyone will win."

Still not a good solution. Teaching proper science is commendable;
teaching it from a "Christian perspective" is not -- unless you include
"from a Muslim perspective, from a Jewish perspective, from a humanist
perspective, etc. etc.

Don P response: Absolutely. It should be taught from the perspective of
those in the school. How else does one learn? Learning is not just
memorizing facts and figures, but also finding practical applications,
including religious ones. You cannot detach religion from peoples lives and
then wonder why they object. I'm not saying that the government should
teach religion, especially a specific one and only one, WHICH was the
objection of our founders. Our founders had many religious views and wanted
everyone to be able to express their religion as well as their politics
(60ish style). "Freedom of Speech". But they also did not want the
government to instill any one specific ideology (including religious and
non-religious views). Separation of church-state. The constitution does
not say the government cannot allow religion to be expressed or taught. It
does however say that it cannot establish a religion. So either this course
is creating a new religion or you believe it is going to make a particular
religion the only legal religion, like good old England was back then. If a
90% Muslim community feel that it is important for their children to learn
history or science from a Muslim perspective that would be "great".
Inclusion into the community in this way might help Muslims to feel that
they are accepted. Hey Burgy try reading the liberal paper US Today 8/3/05
edition. At the bottom of page 5A there is a nice article on some factors
that have lead to the recent events of late. The Muslim in this article
does not blame the West for pushing their politics into the Middle East as
many did after 9/11. He does point out that the West must be more
understanding of the Muslim perspective and their culture, which is a
religious one. If we began to educate our children about peoples views, be
they religious ones or not, then perhaps people can reach a higher level of
peace. If not for school, and maybe TV, where would our children learn of
the views of other people? How would we begin to "respect" others, unless
we know where they're coming from? Isn't that what the agenda of the
homosexual literature is in our schools. If teaching one view is good then
teaching many views is better. Imagine if our meteorologists only used one
piece of data to decide the weather. Of course they do use a lot more than
that but still tend to get it wrong. The point is, don't suppress knowledge
even if it is the wrong one. As long as people are allowed to see all, or
nearly all, views, then they will decide for themselves. Or are we trying
to force a particular science only and down with God agenda. Creationism in
school worries me, but God in school does not. After all if YOU believe God
is everywhere then he's already there, it's just that some people want to
give him some recognition.

Don P
Received on Thu Aug 4 02:16:57 2005

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