The mini-series “The Bible” (finale tonight) has been a ratings blockbuster for The History Channel. Americans are very interested in spiritual things.
At the same time, in the name of tolerance or political correctness, there are some who are trying to ban all things related to the Christian faith from public spaces. There were reports last week that some schools were prohibiting the mention of the words “Easter bunny” and “Easter eggs”. Those two symbols are part of the secular traditions of Easter – what are these PC police afraid of? That’s the equivalent of banning Santa Claus from Christmas . . . excuse me, I mean winter celebrations.
I believe faith played a large role in the establishment of the US and plays a bigger role in the lives of everyday Americans than many in the education and political establishments believe or acknowledge. But I would not have a problem if schools did not mention any religions except where historically relevant. That’s equal treatment.
The problem is that children are now taught about many faiths, but not Christianity. Islam is experienced at a Texas high school that has girls wear burqas, my daughter’s class read a book that laid out the tenets of Buddhism through a fiction story. Schools in Wisconsin have presentations from Native Americans that include explaining their spiritual beliefs, in Hawaii kids are taught about the Hawaiian goddess Pele. (The spiritual beliefs of native peoples are not history, many follow these “religions”.) Some school districts allow Muslim children time to pray during their required times each day, while in other schools children are reprimanded for praying individually over their lunch.
I think it is good for children to learn about the religious beliefs of various people groups, and how they have impacted history, literature, music, etc. But what Christians and Jews believe, and their place in history also needs to be taught. Just because Christianity has historically been the religion of the majority of Americans (the ratio is changing), does not mean that it should be eliminated from education. Obviously, who should be included in “diversity” is up to those in power.
Despite attempts to eliminate most religion from the public sphere, the popularity of television and movies such as “The Bible” show that spirituality cannot be eliminated from people’s hearts. Most religions have existed for thousands of years and will continue despite current hostility.