Monday, November 21, 2005

Separation of Chu---Christianity and State

The venerable 9th Circuit Court of Appeals once again defied common sense and reasonable jurispendence by issuing a ruling supporting a school district for using a curriculum which calls for seventh grade students to role play as Muslims. The curriculum basically calls for 10-15 days of teaching on Islam including students role playing as Muslims during the 7th century by taking Muslim names, reciting Muslim prayers and sayings, making a pilgrimage to Mecca, and becoming well versed with Islam's 5 Pillars of Faith. This curriculum is done as a means of understanding Muslims and the religion of Islam better. The 9th Circuit rejected the lawsuits brought by Christian parents who were rightfully incensed that their child be forced to participate in the rituals of another religion.

All I can say is: Wow! If a Bible club so much as has a bake sale in a public school the ACLU comes in, literally, like a bat out of hell to stop it. Americans United for the Separation of Church and State cannot stop screaming about encroachment of Christians into state areas. Also, who can forget the Michael Newdow who tried and lost to have the words "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance and is currently attempting to have "In God We Trust" removed from currency. If Christians so much as breathe wrong in the public arena, people are up in arms that the "Establishment Clause" has been violated.

It should be noted that I do not think prayers should be in school and I support separation of Church and state in order to protect the Church from having its beliefs dictated by the state. I also have no problem with anyone teaching various religions in school as a point of history and cultural diversity. Yet this so clearly crosses the line I am unsure how the 9th Circuit could get it so wrong. I can only imagine the outcry had someone introduced a curriculum in which children would role play as Christians, sing Christian hymns and recite Christian prayers. Each group would form a "church" with a pastor and decons. As they role played they would have a church service, practice things like tithing and even have an altar call to accept Jesus. There is no doubt in my mind it would be tossed out. Yet in this case, in the name of "cultural awareness" children are asked to effectively practice a religion which to some may be as offensive as apparently Christianity is to everyone else. If my child were placed in such a situation I would be deeply offended. Jesus stated in John 14:6 that He alone was the only way to the Father and that according to Acts 4:12 there is but one name under heaven by which man can be saved and only one source of salvation. Those two verses alone render any other religion false in nature and to participate in the rituals of another religion is tatamount to idolatry. One vital point missed by the world about most devout Christians is that this is a life or death matter for us meaning we would rather face death than deny Christ. Salvation in Christ is not religious exercise nor is it some kind of lifestyle choice. We hold that God is Holy and that He sent His Son to die for us. He gave us immeasurable grace and saved us from death, so pardon us if we tend to be very devoted to our Lord and have chosen not to tinker with that, even a little bit.

On the flip side, I would think that Muslims seeing American school children reciting their prayers and role playing their most sacred tenets would also be deeply offending. This line of thought is precisely why I do not want prayer in school because the last thing I need is an agnostic teacher praying a meaningless prayer which he does not believe himself and in the process denigrating the whole act.

It is clear that a double standard is at works when it comes to the introduction of Christianity in any public setting versus that of other religions. Christianity is the butt of all jokes on television and the followers of Christ are largely regarded as wackos. In cases like this I am reminded of words of the song "Taboo" by a group called Ian Eskelin:

For the sake of argument
Say Jerry Springer were the president
"No inhibitions" the national theme
There'd still be one thing making Donahue scream

Taboo we've come to the last
Taboo there's an audible gasp
When you claim there's a God who's objectively true
It's Taboo

Party on let freedom ring
For the shock jobs and the gangsta kings
But mention Jesus in the public square
The tables turn and the the tempers flare

Taboo that's a no can do
Taboo the ACLU
Say when we sneeze could we please drop the God Bless You
It's Taboo

God isn't really dead
He's under house arrest
Will amnesty protest?
No I don't think so

I could kiss a kangaroo
Sick my spitz on your shih tzu
No one blinks at anything i do
Until I claim the resurrection is true

Taboo I'm breaking the last
Taboo how about you
Do you claim Jesus name as the ultimate truth?

Of course it is not like Christ did not warn us.

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