If you spend enough time involved in the fight to maintain the separation of the church and state, you tend to see the same arguments from theists used over and over. Even though the arguments have been refuted over and over, they still use them and act like it is a way to get a checkmate against real religious freedom. One such argument is believing if only religion were put back into the schools all the problems in the world will disappear. The reality is much much different.
Something interesting I found on the Intertubes the other day gives a good example of an argument about putting religion back in the schools. It was a blog post about a book by Jeff Wallace titled “In God We Trusted”:
What Wallace uncovers is not taught in schools due to separation of church and state regulations. These regulations contradict Mississippi’s Constitution, which supports exposing the nation’s Christian roots instead of hiding them. It is this withheld information that can change the course of action within the U.S. today.
By properly educating our nation on the principles that are the basis and foundation for all of our laws, constitutions, and the original reasons for our nation’s founding, we will be able to chart a course that will restore our nation back to its original purpose,” Wallace said.
Those separation of church and state regulations? I believe most people would call it the 1st amendment. This is a typical evangelical Christian argument – “If we only let God into the schools everything will be peaches, Unicorns and Rainbows!!!”
Where this argument fails is that God is in the schools, for those that believe (believers say God is everywhere right?), but the state, in the form of the school staff, isn’t allowed to force children to believe or to cheerlead for a particular religion.
Students can read the Bible and pray as much as they want (as long as they don’t disrupt classes) but their teachers can’t tell them to do it.
When evangelicals talk about letting God into the schools they are really talking about indoctrinating children into a particular religion – the one the evangelicals follow of course.
The average person knows such agenda is against our country’s “original purpose” which is freedom of religion and from religion. The public schools are not the place for organized or state supported religion.