I recently stole a look into my nephew's high school history book. It has three chapters on Islam but only one mention of Jesus. Some parents are concerned that these kids are required to read Islamic doctrine and recite Islamic prayers, which the teachers consider "education." Yet Christianity is not taught because it violates the supposed separation of church and state. Is this not contrary to court decisions?
And since my nephew and my children attend church every Sunday and we are making every effort to raise our kids to be good Christians, is the school not violating our civil rights if they are required to recite Islamic prayers?
Actually the courts have supported teaching about religion as long as no proselytizing occurs. However, I am not aware of any laws that mandate equal time for the different faith systems. It would be helpful if the fans of multiculturalism promoted giving equal attention to the major world religions, but Christianity seems to be the only faith that often does not get a fair hearing.
Reciting prayers is definitely over the line; I would gently inform the teacher or administrator in charge that while you do not mind your child learning about other faith systems (preferably with Christianity getting equal time), forcing a child to pray definitely violates the restrictions established by the Supreme Court on prayer in school.
About the Author
Don Closson served as Director of Administration and a research associate with Probe for 26 years, until taking a position with the same title at the Centers of Church Based Training (ccbt.org) in 2013. He received the B.S. in education from Southern Illinois University, the M.S. in educational administration from Illinois State University, and the M.A. in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He has served as a public school teacher and administrator before joining Probe and then the CCBT. He is the general editor of Kids, Classrooms, and Contemporary Education.
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Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.
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