An Opinion on Freedom of Speech and Religion
Recently a young lady objected to a prayer being posted on a wall in stone. Her religious beliefs are different than mine. Fair enough. That prayer represents “religion” in the minds of a supreme court. I object for a different reason. Not to the prayer which as far as I am concerned can stay there. It is grandfathered in. It is a historical document from another time and place if for no other reason.
I have a different logic and opinion. Would they object to Harry Potter being shown at school? Probably. It too represents a religious belief of an opposing nature. How about Parables from ancient Greece?
That too represents a religious overtone. How about teaching Big Bang theory in Physics? Or Evolution theory? Or Multiverse theory? These are all fairly known scientific beliefs. But they are beliefs. They are not proven in any way manner or form even by Science. Science is effectively a belief system on how the Universe works. Science is a conjecture system based on experiments that are provable by repeat performance. All the above theories and more are not provable at this point in time. Though there is considerable evidence that much of it is true. Do children have the ability to figure out what is and what is not true. Not really. They need guidance. They need to be more questioning.
My point here is as human beings beliefs come and go. That does not mean we have to tear them off of walls. Neither should we press our beliefs on anyone else. In science, you have a belief system just like religion. They have an opinion soundly based on what we think happens. It is based on repeated experiments shown to work today. I would no more tear down a prayer from a wall because someone had a sincere belief in that concept of God, than I would tear down a temple of Jupiter in ancient Rome because it represents their belief system. Neither would I destroy a Moslem or Jewish place of worship because of their belief system.
I feel religion and religious beliefs should be taught as a subject. It should be taught in a positive manner. It is only fair that each of these subjects be taught by an authority in the field. So visiting ministers from various beliefs should be allowed into high schools. It should be presented in a positive and neutral manner. Differences in belief should be discussed by various ministers of those faiths in the school. Then all children have a right to decide for themselves what they want to believe is true. I think a supervisor should be in the class making sure it is taught in a neutral manner.
Tearing things off a wall doesn’t change a belief. I think other beliefs should also be on those walls so as to keep the neutrality the government desires. Aesop’s parables would be a start. Personally parables from Proverbs comes to mind as a representation of Jewish beliefs. I am sure Moslems have parables also. These are not beliefs so much as guidelines to life. I am sure the ancient beliefs of the people that believed in nature gods have value if nothing more than ecology standards. They were a belief system of an ancient female god and were often called witches. As long as they are not promoting any one religious belief, we as a nation should be big enough to allow them all to be represented. Censoring beliefs is just as bad as promoting any one belief in our system.
We send children to school. We gift them an education through high school with a tax system. Probably that is out of date. We need to give them school through college as well. But that is a belief system. I feel most of that time is wasted. Most of these children need to be taught a way to make a decent living instead. Then if they want higher education, fine, provide it. Don’t put our entire country into debt making them pay for it themselves
We need practical education for everyone. The sad thing is, much of our education system is based on something that smells. Starts with a B.
We have to invest in practical education vs theoretical education. I am an engineer at heart. I believe children should know how to sew. They should be able to do a simple oil change on a car. They should be able to fix the sewer line if it is clogged. Many of them need to get into the guts of an engine and know how it works. Whether it is electric, gas, propane, or diesel, they need to have practical knowledge that saves them money down the road. Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a time to get a professional to repair your stuff. If it goes beyond normal everyday stuff, you can get in a lot of trouble trying to fix it yourself. Welding a plumbing line behind a wall comes to mind. A pro can do it in a heartbeat. You might burn your house down.
I think it is all fine and good for them to know how to spell. I think we fall on our faces with the kind of education we are giving. For instance how does memory retention work? Ever see that in school? You probably won’t. I know people that can and will memorize entire documents like the constitution. It is done with specialized memory retention tricks that allow them to pull it out of their brains at will. An institute in Chicago or St. Louis, not sure, studied and teached memory retention. I think it is necessary as a prelude to higher education. Probably should be taught around the 4th grade.
These are examples of beliefs. I feel that we all should have the right to our own beliefs. No one belief should be censored off the walls of any institution of learning. The problem is not belief, it is not representing all beliefs possible as our children come closer to adulthood. I feel that a lot of religious beliefsare out of date with discoveries made in the sciences. But that is something that has to be taken up with religious leaders. They should be responsible for representing their belief system as something that is sellable to the next generation.
A question I have for all children is: How does your belief system work? Does not having a belief system give you the right to choose unethical or immoral paths? What is your foundation of morales?
There is an entire generation of single moms out there right now because of a state-taught religious belief that all religions are obsolete. It is subtle. No one comes out and says it. But it is there. It is implied in the teachings of our institutions and a lot of the media such as videos. Take a good look at what is presented to our youth in those videos. How many of them make heros out of people doing immoral things? How about fantasy? such as witchcraft as presented in Harry Potter and other shows.
Sounds like a plan to put half our youth in desperate circumstances as they have children. Many are children themselves. Who does that son or daughter pattern themselves after? Well, if you have a completely neutral education system that only teaches a belief system in science, that is just exactly what you will get. I think we are big enough to teach children better than this. I think we should expose them to all the belief systems and let them make their own choices. I would no more take a sincere prayer of a student from several generations back off the wall than I would any other historical document. Probably I would post the Bill of Rights on the wall as well. Next to it, I would post the violations of that Bill of Rights put forth by the legislatures of this country. Neither would I take “In God We Trust” off our currency. That too represents a grandfathered in piece of history. It should remain.
If you do not trust in a higher being, that is your choice. Do not attempt to take that choice away from anyone else by censoring in the name of neutrality. There is no such thing as neutrality. The world is full of different belief systems.
Sometime, I will have to get into what I believe vs science vs religion. But not right now. Thanks for listening.