Sunday, February 27, 2005

Topic of the Week - The Christian Right and Public Education

Appropriately, in today's New York Times on the front page of the "Week in Review" section, there is an editorial by David Kirkpatrick on the debate between The Christian Right and almost all others on whether God and Christianity should be required in public education in the course of American History. The article compliments this week's topic of the week very well - The Christian Right and their attempt to incorporate Christianity as part of public education's curriculum.

One has to be careful here and pay close attention - this is a slippery slope initiative. The leaders of The Christian Right have devised a rather brilliant strategy to incorporate religion, specifically Christianity, into our public educational system. Their argument and stance entails:

"Christianity was prevalent throughout American History, especially with our Founding Fathers and it was incorporated throughout the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. In addition, our first President, third President and 16th President all incorporated Christianity into their policies. Benjamin Rush, one of our founding fathers, argued vehemently that public education must rest on vigorous instruction in the Christian religion. The Christian Right states all references to Christianity by our Founding Fathers, Lincoln and other references should all be incorporated, AND defined as historical specific to America's Christian value system ...then and now."

By focusing on the historical aspects of Christian doctrine pervasive among our Founding Fathers and political leaders, The Christian Right wants all public education to incorporate this "history" in defining the values AND belief system of our political system into public education. The slippery slope here is if Christianity becomes part of our American History classes as part of the defined curriculum, this will open the doors to incorporate Christianity into other courses ... and eventually as part of a stand-alone curriculum. You must know, this is the overarching objective of The Christian Right. And more importantly, you should know that the pressure The Christian Right is putting on elected officials at the grass roots level is very, very intense and organized.

And remember, separation of Church and State includes our public educational system in that our schools are funded by our government tax dollars ...which is absolutely against the foundation of this country. Funding of and support of one religion over other religions by our government is simply unconstitutional.

If you have a reaction or comment on this Topic of the Week, post your comment by clicking on the 'Comments' below.


At 11:43 AM, Anonymous San Fran said...

Good topic of the week, PWB. I want to add that while your focus is on the Christian Right's agenda on incorporating religion into our public educational system by a tactic focused on the subject of American History, another argument one could make is that if The Christian Right believes so strongly on the importance of Christianity in education, then why not incorporate all religions into the system? Native American, Judiasm, Mormon, Hindu, Islam and others, in one form or another, have been part of our American History. American History is not just about our political history and/or political leaders but involves other areas of our culture. So...I wonder how The Christian Right would feel about this argument?


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