I know everyone has beef with the education system in this country. Everyone believes it needs to be improved in some way or another. My mom is a public school elementary teacher in Florida so I naturally have my own ideas about certain issues. Maybe at some point you and I can sit down and I can tell you about my views on comprehensive assessment tests. But for now I will just stick to one subject that never seems to die out of the news.
I present the following argument as a Christian. I am actively involved in my local church. I believe the Bible. I own eleven Steven Curtis Chapman albums. So with those identifiers in mind I state the following:
I don’t care if creationism is taught in our public schools.
I don’t say this to upset my fellow Christians or to get the atheists to stop being mad at me after my previous posts. I say it because I just think that this shouldn’t be an issue anymore.
It’s not that I don’t believe in creationism either. I do. (That’s another post for another time. Actually I’m not even a smart enough to be a spokesperson for the creationism argument.) I just don’t know why Christians would expect a secular, government-funded institution to teach what one religion believes.
I know they used to teach it back in the 1950s. You know, back when America was saved. The Golden Age of America indeed. But the times have changed since the Golden Age and that’s just how it is. If you’re trying to hold onto an era of what you perceive as the golden age in this country you might be wasting your energy. Time marches on and we can’t expect things to stay the same, nor should we want them to stay the same.
I believe we should, in this case, perhaps accept our defeat and move forward. Our current government is not going to fight for creationism curriculum. We’re lucky they still say the pledge of allegiance and let students have Christian clubs on campus. Pitching a fit on Fox News doesn’t help our Christian cause; it makes us look like whiny babies. Please stop doing that. I get enough criticism as it is because of the way I dress.
If you care so much about creationism being taught in public schools, enough to make a scene about it, then why wouldn’t you be teaching your children in your own home about the Bible? If you teaching your children about creationism is not enough for them to understand the concept, then your church should be teaching it clearly. If neither of those options is enough then you might be really terrible at communicating and you need to get some help. Heaven help you if you try to talk to your kids about sex.
There are some excellent teachers in our public schools in this country. Outstanding, really. My mother is one of them. But my mother is not your child’s mother. If you want your children to be taught everything about life at school then you are not asking for teachers to teach, you are asking for them to be parents. You’re trying to shift your responsibility onto a system. If you’re putting the fate of your child’s entire knowledge of life in the hands of a school system then you are not doing your job as a parent. Schools can’t teach everything because they don’t have enough time, and it’s also not their duty to.
I’m not a parent, but I think that maybe more important than telling your child what to learn, you should show them how to learn. (I feel like I’ve heard that somewhere before.) Raise them to be thinkers that are able to hear opposing views and know what to do with them. We all know people who grew up in bubbles their whole lives until they went to college and heard something that sounded a little different than what had been drilled into their heads growing up. And what happened? A minor bump in the road ended up throwing them into complete confusion, and in some cases complete rebellion, because their faith had no flexibility to it.
I don’t know everything and I don’t know what’s best for students. I only offer you my opinion today. But I do think that I’ve had my share of people disagreeing with me and I’m thankful for it at the end of the day. A challenge to your beliefs makes you further investigate why you believe what you believe. It gives you a reason to do some research and be in prayer. It makes you more than just to be a tape recorder playing back what you hear without having to process it or wrestle with it.
God is not in our school curriculum, but I think he’s all right with that. Perhaps he is content being in our hearts. Emmanuel means “God with us,” not “God on our blackboard.”