21, Jul. 2013
Should the Bible be taught in Schools?
Public schools are the most diverse schools in the U.S., students come from different religious, social, ethnic, racial, and hierarchical backgrounds. Some students may be Muslims, Christians, Catholics or Atheists. In the article The Case For Teaching The Bible David Van Biema an author who is responsible for writing The Life and Works of a Modern Saint, currently being reissued by TIME books argues for teaching the Bible in public schools. He makes the case for teaching the Bible as a topic of study in public schools. His point is simple - the Bible is the most influential book ever written and no education would be deemed comprehensive if students were left ignorant of its teachings. However, Van Biema’s argument opposes the first amendment of freedom of religion, which becomes hard for one to teach the bible in public schools. Teaching the bible in public schools challenges our human rights and opposes the first amendment because it forces people of other beliefs to learn about Christianity. Van Biema highlights the 1963’s Abington Township School District versus Schempp case, which removed prayers and devotion from the classroom; the skeptics ask whether it is safe to bring back the source of all that sectarianism (42). Bringing back all the sectarianism will only damage the public school education system. However, religion is only a sense of security for one to feel safe in this world, which has become a demand for one to believe in this security.
What the public schools’ educational system needs is a reconstruction that would bring back its diminishing glory but not with the infusion of religion into education, because one's beliefs is not the problem, which is neither the solution to the impaired educational system. What the youths need is to understand respect, self-discipline, and responsibility, which help to shape future leaders. Public schools also needs further edification to help improve the kind of scholars produced from such schools. The bible should not be preached in public schools. Though, the good values it promotes should be mixed with the academia thought, which can create a balance in the life of these kids, but that is if we preach the bible to teach good discipline. Van Biema proclaims that Pastor John Hagee, a fundamentalist pastor and an American founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas complained that The Bible and Its Influences, a curriculum Kendrick, a teacher of who taught the bible in a public high school uses in the class, could “greatly damage” youth too callow to “decipher” what he called its misrepresentations of Scriptures (44). Teaching children the bible will only confuse them, which will lead them to misinterpret scriptures unless it is preached to them. This is because at this youthful age, they are very vulnerable and might not be able to untangle parodies of the bible. We need to let our youths grow psychologically where they have a mind or belief of their own rather than teaching it to them. However, we cannot teach the bible to correctly understand it, we need to be able to preach it. In conclusion, the purpose of religion is to feel a sense of security because when one has security one has a purpose in life. However, with security there should be discipline because we need self-discipline to take responsibility and control of our lives to be able to thrive. Therefore, there is no purpose for the bible to be taught in schools. With our public schools there can be security in the power of education because to receive safety in one’s own education one needs self-discipline in ones own character. Though, we need religion to inform us of what we believe in and serve that’s why we have the church as the house of worship and preaching. Not our schools. The purpose of public schools is providing free education for children of a community or district, which is supported by the United States public funds. Public schools are meant to be free and teaching the bible will make it costlier because of resources that would be made available for that purpose. Supplying more than a 100 religious textbooks, bibles, school supplies, and donations needed for a religion class will become costly for public schools. But as for most private schools that teach the bible those supplies made available for students are paid through tuition. However, Van Biema uses the Boston University religion department’s, new book, Religious Literacy presents a compelling argument for bible-literacy courses. But are we, as citizens, really ignorant about religion and how it came about or do we decide to avoid it and focus on more important things? Which is education, and succeeding in our careers. But as citizens we are not ignorant about religion because we all have our own beliefs, and we accept this as part of life as it basically brings a form of balance to our lives.
Van Biema, David. "The Case for Teaching the Bible.” Time Magazine, 22 Mar. 2007: 40-46. Print.