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Religion in schools?

Published: 4 February 2017 (GMT+10)

A high school student from the U.S. wrote in with the following:

iStockphoto classroom
I must say, after reading most of the articles on this website, I am absolutely blown away by your audacity to write articles of this nature, especially referring to religion in public schools. To introduce myself, my name is [name removed for privacy], I’m 15, and attend a public high school in [location removed for privacy]. I went to church when I was younger, but after a few years I decided I did not support what the Christian church stood for. Back to religion in school, it is absent for a reason. If people would like to send their children to a private school to learn about creationism, it’s okay. I don’t agree, but it’s better than forcing all children to learn something that opposes Darwin. I just think you should do a little more research before writing articles that are incredibly biased. And, for the record, society is way too liberal to ever let religion into public schools. Thanks. Ps: love wins!!!

CMI’s Lita Sanders responds:

You remind me a lot of when I was a teenager and I first came across creation information. I thought it was a parody or a joke, because I had never even heard that there were people who thought the earth was only 6,000 years old. But when I actually considered creation and evolution, and which has the better foundation, I actually had to admit that creation actually explains the world better than evolution does. You can read about my testimony here. But I say that so that you know that I’m not trying to be condescending, but actually telling you what my teenage self had to learn.

First, I have to commend you. Reading most of the articles on this website is something few people have done. I can tell from your email that you’re an intelligent, well-spoken, polite person, and that puts you far ahead of many people who write in to us! To be where you are at 15 is quite an accomplishment. But I’m going to have to challenge some of your assumptions, and I hope that you’ll be able to follow my arguments and engage them critically. Can I challenge you to try to refute creationist arguments with sound logic and reasoning (not just repeating what your teachers have taught you), and see if our information holds up?

First, we do not support forcing teachers to teach creation, for the simple reason that we do not want to be portrayed misleadingly by teachers who disagree with us (see our position on The Teaching of Creation in Public Schools). Rather, we believe that parents are the God-given authority and as such have a responsibility to direct their children’s education. Second, it is not correct to say there is no religion in public schools. Rather, the religion of materialism has a monopoly on what is taught in schools. To say that people who disagree with materialism must pay extra to send their children to private schools or homeschool, while the secularists get uncontested control of the public schools which most Americans see as the ‘default’ option, is favoring the religion of materialism over others.

It is actually quite telling that you use the phrase “forcing all children to learn something that opposes Darwin”. Actually, the scientific mindset would say, “Let’s look at all the views. Does anything opposing Darwin have solid evidence behind it? Is there anything in genetics, biochemistry, etc, that is a problem for Darwin?” And there is an increasing number of Ph.D. scientists—who got their degrees in well-regarded secular universities—turning to biblical creation. The inventor of the MRI, the inventor of the gene gun, and the designer of a mechanism for bicycles used in the Olympics have all decided that the evidence is for biblical creation, not Darwin. That there are such qualified people on both sides gave me pause as a teenager, and I would suggest that it should for you, too.

Your declaration that ‘love wins’ is a common slogan, but have you thought about that? People for 6,000 years have understood that marriage was between a man and a woman. Even cultures like ancient Greece and Rome which celebrated male homosexuality understood that marriage was between a man and a woman, because only the union of a man and a woman can produce life. Even today, only the wealthiest, most decadent societies are trying to redefine what has universally been understood to be at the core of the definition of marriage—a husband and a wife.

Finally, you say you left the church because you disagree with what it stands for. You didn’t elaborate on that, so I can’t address your statement more specifically. However, I would encourage you to look at who Jesus is, rather than the faults of His followers. We are all sinful in so many ways, but God is perfect, and His Son, Jesus is the one to whom you should look.

I hope this answer is helpful and gives you some things to think about.

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Christianity for Skeptics
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Gay Marriage: right or wrong?
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Refuting Evolution
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