Pastor Bond said because deep religious values shaped the history of our nation’s founding, it’s impossible to keep religion out of public schools. He’s probably referring to how the Christian pilgrims gained the confidence of the heathen Indians who taught them how to survive the harsh winters in the settlements, then turned around and stole their land.
Well, they didn’t really steal it. In 1626, Peter Minuit betrayed the local Indians and purchased Manhattan Island from them for 60 Dutch guilders, which was equivalent to one and a half pounds of silver. Not bad when you consider Christ was betrayed for just 30 pieces of the same shiny stuff.
Even with silver prices today at about $30 per troy ounce, Minuit should have been the one who was crucified. We shouldn’t forget how Christians in this one nation under god shaped America from sea to shining sea by massacring defenseless Native Americans. Maybe they thought they were Arabs.
Bond suggested that it is “appropriate” to teach faith in schools because the “majority of Americans still believe in God.” He says, “People work so hard to keep Jesus out of our schools” because “when Jesus is placed side-by-side with other world religions and world views, the truth of his claims become self-evident.”
What is he thinking? The majority of Americans probably cheat on their income tax, but they don’t teach you how to do it in public schools. If the majority of Americans believe in a god, they can study the Koran, Bible and catechism in their own churches and schools to learn the history of their dogma. That’s one reason why they receive tax-exempt status from the American taxpayer. We don’t have to spend taxpayer money to compare Christ with the other self-proclaimed deities in history.
Organized religions are political. Individual faith is spiritual. The politics of religion are already taught in schools. Beginning with the birth of civilization, we’re taught how theocratic tribes have fought wars to protect, preserve and expand their religious beliefs, superstitions and wealth. Even today, democratized theocratic states such as Ireland, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are fighting the same wars that tribes have been fighting for a thousand years. Some would say the United States is a theocratic democracy at war with the Muslim world to preserve its own religious beliefs, superstitions and wealth. Just try to build a mosque in your neighborhood or get a Jewish person elected mayor of Salt Lake City. The proof of religion’s politics is self- evident.
The best example of worldwide religious politics functioning as a Political Action Committee is the theocratic democratic republic of the Vatican.
Rabbi Beyer suggested students need “a class in cultural diversity and secular values” that teaches integrity, kindness, compassion, honesty and respect for each other as an alternative to teaching religion in schools. But these social values should be taught at home and in the classroom everyday, not as an alternative class for students to fall asleep in.
Phil Bryan summed it up correctly. He said Buddhists believe in the laws of separating church and state. And because we are a multi-ethnic society, religious education could never be fair to every denomination. Broad philosophical boundaries separate collective religious-political beliefs from individual non-religious, mystical principles of faith. The original understanding of god was intuitive. In his curiosity of awareness, ancient man searched the heavens above and looked deep within for answers regarding his existence. Through contemplation and without reason or any physical senses, he understood the truths of his god. Through meditation, his natural intuition and faith in his mystical spirituality, he understood the signs of the stars, the principles of science and the meaning of his life. His ancient mysticism still lives deep within us all.
We don’t need public schools to teach us about religion. We don’t need political religions using their faithful to build cathedrals of gold, preaching what and who their god is. All we need to do is look deep inside ourselves to find our own personal god, something most humans do just before they go to sleep.
So if you are looking for god you won‘t find him in the tapestries of political religions. Just close your eyes for a few minutes – he is right in front of you. He always was and he always will be.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist. The polemics of his articles can be discussed at email@example.com. His website is www.thefarsidechronicles.com.