Religion In Public School Essay
Show More“If we ever forget that we are “One nation under God,” then we will be a nation gone under” -- Ronald Reagan (BrainyQuote). Ronald Reagan makes a great point. America was created as a place for religious freedom. Now that freedom is beginning to be stripped away from us. One of the biggest reasons is due to the argument concerning whether or not religion should be allowed in school. It is believed, by many, that allowing education and religion to coincide is going against the first amendment. This argument is one that dates back to the eighteen hundreds, and has yet to be resolved. It is an American citizen’s right to freely express and learn about religion wherever they please, including the public school system.
Many individuals…show more content…
This simple statement has caused quite an argument on what it truly means. Thomas Jefferson interpreted it by saying, “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god, that he owes accounts to none other for his faith or his worship” (“Religion in Schools: United”). In other words, no one can tell you who or what to worship. That decision lies solely in the citizen’s hands. In attempt to end all doubt, the government created The Establishment Clause. The Establishment Clause prohibited the government from establishing an official religion, or preferring one religion over another (“Religion in Schools: United”). Some religious and political leaders are seeing eye-to-eye on the religion in school debate. Tom Cabaniss, a senior pastor at a church in North Carolina, believes that religion should be taught in schools as a matter of education, and education only. If students were more actively aware of other religions they could better understand each other. An unnamed political official believes that since religion plays such an important role in history, it would be improper to try and completely separate the religion and the government. Religion in school should be allowed in school as long as it is respectfully approached. Religion should not be watered down. It is what it is, and students should be allowed to know that religion has impacted their lives, even if they are not openly aware of it
Essay on Religion in Public Schools
1442 Words6 Pages
The subject of religion in public schools is one that has been debated vigorously and passionately. The warriors from the Right and Left fail to appreciate the facts because they are caught up in the rhetoric and have difficulty viewing this emotional topic dispassionately (Haynes, 2011). Both sides are right about one thing: this is an important subject.
The debate on religion in the public school is complicated by the fact that there are two clauses dealing with religion in the First Amendment (Warnick, 2012). The Establishment Clause, which disallows the establishment by the government of any particular religion, and the Free Exercise Clause, which prohibits the state from proscribing the practice of religion, are a source of…show more content…
These uncertain areas include (a) whether schools endorsing religious views if they allow student-initiated activities to involve school resources and audiences, (b) the lengths to which schools can and should go to in accommodating religious beliefs and practices, and (c) how schools can make certain that accommodations do not become endorsements nor imply such (Warnick, 2012).
In addition to the areas of ambiguity, there is the problem of religious ignorance (Giess, 2012; Haynes, 2011). There is a marked and dramatic ignorance among Americans about religious traditions including their own (Giess, 2012). Ignorance is no virtue and especially so when the opportunity to harm one’s students through intolerance and ignorance is more prevalent than ever before. The US, the predominance of the Christian religion notwithstanding, is becoming more and more diverse religiously (Gunther & Purinton, 2011). This type of ignorance is a contributor to the escalation of religious intolerance that has manifested itself in increasing numbers of hate crimes (Haynes, 2011).
Educators need to understand the impact of religion on the lives of their students. According to Gallup poll data, nearly 95% of teens believe in God and 86% believe that Jesus Christ is either God or the Son of God (Gallup & Lindsay, 1999 as cited in Ream, 2003). These and other similar statistics demonstrate the importance of considering religion when dealing with young people. Ream