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!
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