Monday, October 24, 2011
Wall of Separation?
The article “How Christian Were the Founders?” by Russell Shorto is about the controversial subject of the Texas Board of Education’s plan to change the K-12th grade curriculum. The board, which is made up of mainly conservative Christians, who wish to add an emphasis on Christianity into the history curriculum. Russell Shorto gives background information and knowledge of these changes they wish to include and the arguments behind them. Included in this article are the many view points and opinions of members of the school board, defending their opinions. Even though Shorto includes many examples of the school board’s credibility, the article remains very bias.
I believe that this article and the arguments included have a few valid points made, but I still disagree with the incorporation of religious teachings in public schools. For example, the idea that our founders were all Christians and wanted our nation to be brought up around the same idea. This may be true, but I think that children should be familiarized with multiple religions, IF any type of religion is to be taught in schools at all. It isn’t fair that one religion gets a pass, due to majority ruling. In the article, Randall Balmer, an American religious history professor at Barnard College, explains how David Barton argues that the phrase "separation of church and state" is not in the Constitution. Balmer goes on to say "He's right about that. But to make that argument work you would have to argue that the phrase is not an accurate summation of the First Amendment. And Thomas Jefferson, who penned it, thought it was." This explanation is one of the few pieces of credibility in the article on the opposing side, and an important one in my opinion.