The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Religion's persistence in school makes some students uncomfortable

It seems as if freedom of and from religion has become a forgotten constitutional right.

We're seeing more and more Christian propaganda on the news and in the media disguised as free speech, but we are also seeing it in a place where it shouldn't be--in public schools.

There has been talk of George W. Bush reinstating God into the public schools. In a policy speech delivered in the primary campaign in Gorham, N.H., he talked about reaffirming (Christian) morals with programs in public schools and about setting up a program for teenagers to pledge to abstain from sex.

Yet, throughout the entire speech he made references to biblical verses and right and wrong moral systems. He suggested in a strong but roundabout way that Christianity was the best way to instill these morals, and that as president he hoped it would be done.

Yet the Christian community didn't wait for him to be re-elected. They have been on their mission for the last couple of years: To make God more and more evident in the school systems. First by having the idea of creation by God and by Darwin taught side by side (such as in King George and many more in the South) and now, most recently, these little pamphlets are being found everywhere around my school.

They talk about how Christianity is the right religion for you, and how if you're not a Christian you will spend forever damned in eternal hellfire-- and suggest a vast array of churches you can go to, to find your salvation.

How fair is this? How fair is it to go into a school, where freedom of religion was once protected, and see that someone has placed propaganda everywhere for anyone of any faith to see? How fair is it that King George's administration has done what appears to be little to stop this so far?

Once you step into a public school building, you are entering a secular holy land. How fair would it be for a Christian private school student to go into his classroom and find Muslim or Hindu propaganda?

It wouldn't be fair at all, and many would be up in arms. Yet separation of church and state isn't being enforced.

We aren't protecting our freedom of and from religion anymore. We aren't protecting one of the first freedoms for which we founded this country. Regardless of what religion we are, or what religion we think everyone else should be, it is our human and patriotic duty to protect our rights and our freedoms.

I for one will not stand to see my freedoms stripped by allowing one faith to influence what I'm being taught in school. It is unfair to me and unfair to every other person that does not belong to the same faith.

We pride ourselves on being such an open, loving country, but we are failing if we allow ourselves to lose that one thing. Do not open your arms to something that will ruin our reputation of a land where all men are equal.

Open your arms back up to the knowledge that we are truly diverse, one of the only countries that can boast that. Don't let us become yet another theocracy when one of the reasons we were founded was to escape another.

Be true Americans and fight for your freedom of and from religion.

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