I found this on another blog and replied to it there…but I wan’t to clarify a bit more than was needed:
And then someone wrote the rest. I know Ben Stein did not write all of it but I am responding to the piece as a whole.
I will disagree on one point…
In keeping the Bible out of schools as scripture. (There are other reasons to read Bibles, Qurans, and such in schools with have nothing to do with the practice of religion. But that is another topic
People seem to think that is best to leave certain teachings to the schools then are shocked to learn it is not in that school to teach these things.
From sharing to morals to religion…schools are not responsible for these things…parents/family are. Those whose children become murderous thugs or even various n’er-do-wells generally can trace their child’s behavior to a simple statement that they themselves have made:
They can learn that school.
A school’s purpose is to lay down information and discussion of that information. A child is molded well before they are 3. Realize that the majority of children do not even see a school before they are 5 or 6 and ask yourself why they don’t share, or why they don’t read, or why they don’t understand that killing is wrong. Then think, did you discuss this with them
Putting religious aka moral study in schools is not a solution. It causes dissent and battle of which schools are already too saturated with. Kids will find the slightest thing to fight over. Take uniforms. If you allow even one inch, fights ensues. It the case of my daughter’s school shoes are the kids (re: parents) choice. So a whole social class of shoes has popped up despite the fact they have the same shirt and pants as everyone else.
It is the same with religion.
Having said this I agree with most of what Stein said. Decorations, displays and general good wishes are just that. Good wishes and nice decorations. People getting bent out of shape on them really should find a better pastime. Trying to ascribe Christian symbolism to decorations we’ve only be putting up for 150 years, because we have royal fever, or not enjoying a nice manger display and telling my daughter who the principles are is silly…and I’m pagan. Note I said nice manger display…there are plenty of bad ones but tastelessness knows no religious, racial or national boundaries.
But having a teacher tell my daughter that following the 10 commandments is ludicrous when as a pagan some of them don’t apply and her mother is covering the important ones. Having my daughter come home saying that her teacher told her you shall have no other gods before God I would be shocked, and after having long discussions with her about religion, I would have the same with here teacher. Thou shalt not kill is good common sense…You shall have no other gods before Me…is religious dogma.
Throwing out the Ten Commandments does not me we don’t say you don’t kill…it means we don’t say you must be Christian or Jewish or whatever.
The holidays (Starting with Halloween and ending on 12th night but some times Ramadan for certain folk, which encompass winter/harvest festivals from just about every nation and religion) are time with one central theme which spans the entirety of belief: Coming home for a brief moment just being with and being nice to people. It doesn’t matter what day you celebrate it, what matters is that you get a little time to catch up and be safe and warm.
That’s my take on it.