Creationist Wisdom #702: Church On School Time

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the News Leader of Staunton, Virginia. Their headline is Bible study, not science, the answer, and the newspaper has a comments section.

Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote her by using her full name. Her first name is Rose. Excerpts from her letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

In reference to [an earlier letter], I would like to share my answer as to why Weekday Religious Education is very important to the children of today.

She’s talking about this letter, written by Melissa: No need to involve school time in teaching about God, which the same newspaper published a week ago. It says:

Have I missed something? Is the local government storming churches, threatening to close them? No. But by the way some in the religious community talk, you would think that were the case. If you want your children to attend Bible class, then take them to church. Take them everyday, twice a day, once a week, whatever. No one is stopping you. There is no need to involve school time in teaching children about God and the Bible.

Melissa’s letter also mentions:

a “full-page ad in Sunday’s paper about Weekday Religious Education,” and she says: “the Staunton School Board voted to eliminate W.R.E. release time from city schools. … That 30 minutes would obviously be better spent in science class … . Thank you, Staunton, for being a progressive, commonsense city.”

Because Rose’s letter is a defense of W.R.E., we’ve located an article in the same newspaper that explains it: What is WRE anyway? It mentions a US Supreme Court case, Zorach v. Clauson, which narrowly approved a similar procedure in New York — which involved neither religious instruction in public school classrooms nor the expenditure of public funds.

In her response to Melissa’s letter, Rose asks:

First, have you studied the reason why America was founded? It was founded by people who were leaving their countries to establish a new country to have the freedom to worship God in the Biblical way without persecution.

Rose is thinking of the Puritans who founded the Massachusetts colony. We admire their bravery, but they were totally whacked — see Salem witch trials — and their view of things did not result in the founding of America. We’ve discussed that before in Salem and Philadelphia: A Tale of Two Cities Also, we don’t know of any source of accurate numbers, but our guess is that, except for indentured servants who had no choice, most of the early settlers came to the American colonies for economic opportunity. Let’s read on:

Also, our laws we go by in America are written on Biblical principles and this is the main reason the USA is the greatest country in the world, because it was blessed by God.

[*Groan*] That again! See Is America a “Christian Nation”? Rose continues:

Second, many children have no way to get to a church because their parents do not go. They have their reasons. My church has buses that go out every Sunday morning to bring little children to church, but not all children have this privilege.

Egad — the nation is suffering from a church bus crisis! The government has to do something! Here’s more:

Science is good, but it’s not the answer to being able to hear Bible lessons taught.

Rose is right! We need to get our priorities straightened out. Moving along:

Have you ever wondered why so many young people today have no respect for authority or even human life? They have become rebellious because they have no hope in their lives.

[*Curmudgeon sheds a tear*] If only those youngsters had been provided with church buses! In this next excerpt, the mysterious parentheses are in Rose’s original letter:

(The Bible) explains God’s authority when the end of our lives come. … The Bible has answers to all questions pertaining to life.

So true! And now we come to the end:

Some of these children may not have the opportunity to hear about God because it was not available to them by going to a 30-minute Bible class through W.R.E.

Rose weeps for the children because the Staunton School Board is so cruel and short-sighted. Great letter!

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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13 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #702: Church On School Time

  1. Poor Rose, she wants her comminties children to know that pi is 3 (not the stupid 3.14159… taught in schools) and that if you look straight up and see that the sky is blue it is because of the waters above. She also wants you to know that 2.8 million Hebrews escaped slavery from ancient Egypt and wandered for 40 years around the Sinai peninsula and left no trace whatsoever (Praise the Lord, another miracle!).

    Surely all of the answers are in the Bible, especially all of the answers to those pesky science class questions (the answers are all: a. God did it (for mysterious reasons)).

  2. Poor, misguided Rose. Yes, get that hated government to provide bus service for the kids. And do all the kids go, or have to go to these wonderful religious instructional times? Or do some remain behind only to be taunted by the religious kids, a standard practice.
    Schools do all sorts of odd things. When my son was in elementary school, some music students were bused off school so they could practice music together with others. Those staying in school had no studies as the teacher could not just teach half a class. I complained and the board dropped that program like a hot potato.

  3. Rose, as do many religious fanatics, demonstrates an astonishing ignorance of history and US law (it’s founded on the Constitution, not the holey bubble). And since Rose thinks religious myths should be taught in public schools, how about the inspiring story of Muhammad’s horse leaping up into heaven with him on its back (I’ve seen the slight depression in the rock that people swear is evicence it really happened!), or how Genish got his elephant’s head. So many gods, Rose, so many myths, so little time. There’d be no time for anything that people should know, like history, the basis of laws in the US, science…. Perhaps that’s what Rose wants.

  4. Religious education is only to teach what other people believe, not to indoctrinate. Riiiiiiight. Like what Trump does with his “people are saying” trick. This gives him an escape so he can later say he was being sarcastic or he doesn’t really believe it, he’s merely reporting what OTHER people believe.

  5. … freedom to worship God in the Biblical way [ by setting fire to a Pequot village and shooting 600 women and children as they flee the burning homes] without persecution. Hell, if you can’t do that, how can there be any religious freedom?

    I’ll go look now for the Bible’s answer to what we should do about Climate Change.

  6. David Williams

    The USA used to have religious education in schools, but it was banned by the Supreme Court in 1948: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCollum_v._Board_of_Education

  7. @Uzza While you’re looking, let me know what the bubble has to say about quantum mechanics too. If all the answers are in there, surely that is too.

  8. To be fair about this, she restricts that to questions about life.

    There would be, for example, answers about microbes, the majority of life. Many important questions about microbes.

  9. SIlly Rose still relies on science when making sure those beloved children to church – the answer how come those buses actually work isn’t found in her favourite Holy Book.

  10. If Rose is so concerned about the children she should be strongly against having her religious mythology taught in public schools. After all, her god killed every child on the Earth during a alleged fantastically huge flood.

  11. Dave Luckett

    @ Abeastwood: “Rose, as do many religious fanatics, demonstrates an astonishing ignorance of history…”

    Her ignorance extends to the idea that early English-speaking immigrants to America were fleeing persecution, and wanted to establish a place where they were allowed to worship according to the Bible. Nonsense. Totally false.

    They were separatists, not refugees. They didn’t like the Church of England, because they thought it corrupt, and they wanted to separate from it. The main reason they thought it corrupt was because it accommodated what they thought of as Roman Catholic practices. Stained glass windows. Candles. Statues. Smells and bells. Altars, not just a table. And bishops. They didn’t like bishops.

    What they wanted was a place where they could enforce their ideas about worship and Church order, and not be offended by the sight of others who thought different. They weren’t about to tolerate ungodliness. They weren’t about to tolerate any godliness but their style of it, either.

    The result was a theocracy, and an unmitigated disaster. It was a model for the United States of how not to organize a Constitution, and it was faithfully repudiated in the Constitution that emerged. But the theocrats, and their descendants, were not about to let a little thing like practical consequence or the rights of others come between them and their vision of a State.

    So here we are, four centuries later, still having to cope with people like Rose, who believe that their religion must be established and privileged for all time, and who are perfectly prepared to enforce it.

  12. michaelfugate

    Which is why the current dubious buzz phrase is “religious liberty”. Which is why we get Mike Lee’s First Amendment Defense Act. Christian privilege will not go quietly; they are inordinately pissed about marriage equality.

  13. I am all in favor of religious instruction on one condition. It includes every religion in the world with over 100 Million adherents. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, Taoism, Wicca. That should do it. Wonder what she would think of that?