Sunday, August 26, 2007

Escaping the Secular: Christians and the School System

For the original/full story click here

Ok, so today's paper (Sunday, Aug. 26th if i post after 12am), I have to say when I had heard what made the front page of the paper I was a tab bit shocked! The day before traditional schools start, and the Raleigh N&O runs this story (which I think they do unbiasedly) because of the school relation and Christian (specifically Southern Baptist) parents opting their kids out of the public school system.

Alright, so I know this isn't a new thing. And please know, as a pastor said this morning about this topic, I am in full support of a parent's decision to do what they think is best for their kids. I know that in some places private school is the only option for a truly decent education, but that is def. not the case in the Wake Co. School systems of NC. I also know that there are times that a parent sees the need to home-school their child because of special needs. Again, I completely am in support of that decision.

However, I draw attention to this because of the REASON that is stated by the president of Southeastern:

"In the public schools, you don't just have neutrality, you have hostility toward organized religion," said Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest. "A lot of parents are fed up."

Now I went to public schools, both of my parents have worked within the NC public school system, my mother-in-law was a RR teacher, and my wife is a proud counselor in the Wake Co. School System! There are some strong Christians (esp. my wife) within our public schools! As my wife said on her facebook note, she is proud of the kids that she has the opportunity to help each day!

Now again, I can understand pulling your kid out of public schools for a lot of reasons, but the accusations made are simply unfounded. THERE IS NO HOSTILITY TOWARDS ANY RELIGION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS. But therein lies the problem for these Christians. The Schools are being respectful of all religions and not pushing Christian principles on the many Hindus and Muslims that we have in our area. They are upholding EVERYONE'S constitutional right of freedom of religion.

Now IDK, if anyone watched God's Warriors: A CNN Special, especially the 3rd part about God's Christian warriors (if not, click on the link, and check some of that out!), but this is exactly how the religious right is going. Another quote from the N&O:

"Southern Baptists have become convinced that fighting to change the system is futile. They say public schools have long demonstrated a commitment to teaching evolution over creationism, world faiths over Christianity, sex education over abstinence, moral relativism over Christian claims of truth."

So herein lies the real issue: These religious people with this view (The Religious Right) want to shelter themselves from the "evil" culture. They believe that their kids being exposed to the scientific theory of evolution, the understanding of other faith positions, and responsible sex education (where, News Flash, abstinence is still taught as the foremost sexual choice) will make them "unclean". there seems to me that I remember some other group of people back in the day that didn't want to be "unclean"....who was that??? OH YEAH, the pious Pharisees!!!! That's right I remember that now! Wasn't there someone who told them they were wrong.... who was that guy??? It wasn't Christ was it? No, it couldn't have been! I mean these guys in the SBC are Christian aren't they? That means that they would follow the teachings of Christ right? They wouldn't become like those Christ put the smack-down on! soooo...I guess I'm at a loss on this one.

Seriously though (that was all sarcasm by the way), It deeply saddens me that here in this article, as well as on the CNN special, that all of the Conservative Christians are hiding in their bunkers from the world. This goes back to my last post, they are scared! I just can't wrap my head around what they're so scared of. Well, they've pigeon-holed themselves into a corner by how they've systematically boxed in their God, and ground themselves on the 3 "major" issues (gay marriage, abortion, and abstinence only ed. in the schools), so that as one person said on the CNN special: "they can never admit their wrong, because [in their eyes] that would mean God's wrong! That's what happens when you take a completely literal, black and white, "I know everything about God and I can't be wrong" attitude towards Christianity.

Here's an option; teach kids to think for themselves and stop indoctrinating them (in other words, allow them to become real human beings with all the critical thinking abilities that God gave them), love them and talk to them at home, and perhaps those kids will turn out fine in the end. Of course, I know many people that went to public school and turned out just fine!

The most sad part to me is that Christians sometimes feel like they have to create a "counter culture". This is in their view, a pure Christian culture separate within the existing culture of America. Basically this is a fantasy Role Playing Game where everyone will (idealistically) remain pure because they only listen to Christian music, unmarried men and women are separated and "court" (see the book "I kissed dating goodbye" and the likes), they are taught
creationism only, as well as abstinence only education. Thus enters the mass marketing of Christianity (saved for a later post). However, Christ came into this world to teach us to heal this world and interact with it's culture, not to create a protective bubble and cut ourselves off. Something just doesn't seem to fit well with those 2 perspectives!

yes, I know this is a lot of ranting, but I just want people who live like this to see what they are doing. Because the tighter you pull into that nice Christian bubble, the faster it will implode! Yes, I think that these Christians (esp. politically) are hurting our country and our faith, but according to the Sacred text of the USofA: The Constitution (no not the Bible contrary to some popular thought): they have every right to believe what they choose to believe because of freedom of religion. It would be sad if they killed themselves off just because they refused to live and act in the realm of reality!

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to say that I was the 3,000th hit! :) WAhoo! You're getting famous, Sweetie!