Should Religion Be in Schools?
November 28, 2017
Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece by a staff writer who wishes to remain anonymous. The ideas here are in no way endorsed by Martinsville High School, Print Publications, or the staff/adviser therein. Publication students are encouraged to explore their first amendment journalistic rights.
There is so much controversy surrounding the topic of religion in schools. Many argue that religion can be a positive thing and should be allowed in schools, whereas others feel that any religious expression within schools is wrong and should not be enforced. While I can see and understand both sides of the argument, I personally am biased in opposition to having any religion in schools.
The first and main reason that I am opposed to the idea is due to the fact that the main religion promoted is Christianity. I have had some rough experiences with the Christian faith, as I have seen corrupted sides of it. My family was involved in a cult, though at the time we had no knowledge of it. We listened to the preacher at the church we attended and she distorted the Bible. She did this to the point of making it seem like eating any more than necessary to survive was a sin. Some of the members of the congregation were so devout in her sayings that they were hospitalized. There is even one known case where a child died by following her Biblically-based teachings.
In addition to this, I have spent my whole life being guilted for things that I do not necessarily see as being “evil,” but they were said to be so in the Bible. I have since decided to pursue other religions, eventually settling on the philosophy of Deism.
After choosing this religious route, I started noticing more the high rate of Christian specific propaganda, which I feel is discriminatory to other religions. While I personally do not take much offense to any displays of the Christian faith, I wish that there were more opportunities and representation for other religions as well. Ideally, it would be a group that would be similar to FCA, or Fellowship of Christian Athletes, but for people who are not necessarily Christian. The reason for this limited perspective may be due to our current President’s close-minded persona, but it cannot be entirely attributed to this considering that it has been a problem for years.
Consequently, I believe that some organized religions promote a close-minded point of view. Many religions state that they are the “only” religion that is correct. They state that the only way to achieve “salvation” is to follow their religion or their savior. Some are even extreme enough to say that thinking in a way that is against the religion could cost you your salvation. This not only promotes a close-minded point-of-view, but it does so through fear. I also believe that there is no way to know if one religion is correct. This is a philosophy also held by Agnostics, that being the founding principle behind their philosophy. Considering the variation behind all the religions, and some of the similarities, this viewpoint is understandable.
I feel that the message that there is only one correct religion and the method they are using to get it across is unhealthy, especially if we want to create innovative thinkers and philosophers. We cannot come up with new ideas if we are stuck on old philosophies. Granted, I believe there are some good morals and messages within most religions as I agree with the philosophies that speak of treating others in the way you would like to be treated.
My final issue with any promotion of religion in schools, or unfair representation of it, is the inaccuracies within them that some people take for truth. I believe that in some cases, religion encourages ignorance to scientific fact. The stories in many texts, such as the
Quran, Torah, and the Bible are scientifically inaccurate. Until I was in the fifth grade, I was not allowed to study evolution or learn things under an accurate timeline because it contradicted our faith. I was living with acceptance of complete inaccuracies, in complete denial when others would contradict my “truth.”
I feel that the implementation of religion in schools can lead to ignorance. It can cause some people to take fiction for fact and stunt their chances of becoming innovative and critical thinkers. Also, I think that it is discriminatory in some cases where one religion is more strongly represented than others, or is the only one represented. I feel that it is not right to inflict a way of thinking or a set of beliefs upon a person. By endorsing religion in schools, it would be doing just that; it is putting someone in a position of authority and them telling gullible children that one set of beliefs or one way of thinking is the right way, and that is just wrong.
What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments section below. If your comment is school appropriate, you’ll see it approved under the story.