Culture Wars?

I was reading through some threads over at Unscrewing The Inscrutable and ran across the following comment by Daniel Levesque.

Real life situation happening in schools across America. Every religion with the exception of Christianity is being freely taught and discussed as a “cultural phenomenon”. Any time Christianity enters the mix someone, usually the ACLU or Americans United for the Seperation of Church and State sues the school. It would seem that, in this situation at least, Christianity is recieiving a certain “special attention” in that it is being supressed in a forum where other religions are free to be taught to the stdents.

Mr. Levesque has his own blog called Raving Conservative.

Since this is something I’ve heard from Christians over and over again, I thought it might deserve some comment here. Other religions are taught in school as part of a foreign culture topic. Understanding a culture’s beliefs are an important part of understanding the culture itself. Christianity isn’t taught because it is part of our culture, something most people in this country already know about. This might be different if the aim of the curriculum was to convert children to one of these other religions, but that’s not the case. It is just a way to let the children know these other religions exist.

10 thoughts on “Culture Wars?

  1. Actually Christianity *is* taught in school… I took a class called ‘Comparative religion – Christianity, Judaism, and Islam’.  Courses like this are necessary because so many Christians in this country have so little clue where their religion comes from and how it fits in with the rest of the world.

    Rants like Mr. Levesque’s are like a wet nose on a puppy – many Christians just don’t seem happy unless they feel like they are being persecuted… even if they have to manufacture hallucinatory persecution, and even if they themselves are persecuting everyone who disagrees with them.

    Mr. Levesque has his head stuck up his ass and is complaining that the world looks like shit.

  2. Europeans are cool.  They seem to be much more level headed about the laws they make.  Glancing through the German Constitution it seems much more rational, clear and fair than our laws.  Do Germans have many problems with civil rights suits that get taken to some equivalent of a Supreme Court?

  3. Do Germans have many problems with civil rights suits that get taken to some equivalent of a Supreme Court?

    Sure they do, although I’m even less familiar with their Constitutional Court than with the Surpreme Court hereabouts. Sometimes they smack down the religious (like in the crucifix and the same-sex marriage opinions), sometimes they chicken out (like in their Muslim head dress opinion).

    The German court system is interesting. The only lawyers alive after WWII were, um, not exactly members of the resistance. All things considered, though, they seem to get the job done – with due attention to the constitution and suitable disregard to public opinion or even political pressure.

  4. Well in 10th grade English we read the bible which isn’t exactly studying religion as we read it for its literary values but thats about as close as you can get. In 9th grade social studies we talked about four or five religions and compared them. We talked about Christianity but briefly for the reason that most people already knew a lot about it compared to other religions(Hinduism etc.) I’m still in high school so this is about as recent as you can get.

  5. Thinking a ways back to my high school days, I don’t remember any religion in particular being taught.

    In studying international issues we did touch upon religions of those countries that held a national belief and recognized state religion.  Much in the same way one would teach international government.

    While I don’t feel it it’s the obligation of the people to teach Christian’s what they’ve been lacking in the millions of churches, I’m all for teaching kids why fundamentalist religious states don’t generally place nice with each other. The True Believers don’t want to hear that part. There’s no realistic evidence to suggest that fundamentalist Muslims hate Americans from a strictly religious perspective.

    As far as reading the bible in school…I think the teacher needs to be reevaluated.  We can sit her and list hundreds of literary works that would have served as better learning tool.

  6. It may sound silly to say it but I almost wonder if teaching Christianity in school would be of service to Christianity or a foil.

    Imagine coming face to face with the inconsistencies and variations in an academic setting. I have faith in the students of America to call bullshit when they see it.

    Imagine the discussions that would be effected when one kid’s particular viewpoints came up against another’s. The class would be full of infidels and heathens to those who had different understandings.

    When you really study Christianity as a whole and try to match up it’s disparate parts, it begins to seem as nonsensical as it really is.

    On the flip-side, violent acts at school would increase dramatically. Kids would be smiting like soccer match attendees in Europe.

    Oh well, let ‘em fight it out like in the Old Testament. – Talk about your multi-visual lesson plan!

  7. Brock – That whole post reminds of and old movie, the title of which I cannot remember.

    In an effort to teach students about Nazism the teacher breaks the class into two groups and they are no longer allowed to interact with each other on any level.  Things quickly deteriorate and one of the students gets killed merely because he has the wrong color arm-band.

    For your class project we could use Christians and Muslims in groups divided without prejudice.  Ahh…the sweet smell of crusades.

  8. Deadscot, I think you mean the movie “The Wave”, by Ron Jones.  It was based on Mr. Jones’ experience teaching high school in Palo Alto in the sixties.

    We were studying Nazi Germany and in the middle of a lecture I was interrupted by the question. How could the German populace claim ignorance of the slaughter of the Jewish people. How could the townspeople, railroad conductors, teachers, doctors, claim they knew nothing about concentration camps and human carnage. How can people who were neighbors and maybe even friends of the Jewish citizen say they weren’t there when it happened. it was a good question. I didn’t know the answer.

    In as much as there were several months still to go in the school year and I was already at World War II, I decided to take a week and explore the question.

    Anyone who believes that Americans are in no danger of becoming Nazis should read this true story, The Third Wave.

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