Religion Should Be Taught In Public Schools

3344 words - 13 pages

“If we ever forget that we are “One nation under God,” then we will be a nation gone under” -- Ronald Reagan (BrainyQuote). Ronald Reagan makes a great point. America was created as a place for religious freedom. Now that freedom is beginning to be stripped away from us. One of the biggest reasons is due to the argument concerning whether or not religion should be allowed in school. It is believed, by many, that allowing education and religion to coincide is going against the first amendment. This argument is one that dates back to the eighteen hundreds, and has yet to be resolved. It is an American citizen’s right to freely express and learn about religion wherever they please, including the public school system.
Many individuals believe that the first amendment prohibits religion to be taught or exercised in a public school setting. They believe this because they feel as if it infringes on an American citizen’s right. Often times there can be discrimination against minority groups. An example of this was after the 9/11 attack in New York. Discrimination against Sikh-Americans became increasingly worse because they were often accused of being allied with Al Qaeda. People are worried that if we do teach the religion in school, bullying will grow to become an even bigger problem (“Religion in Schools: A”).
The United States was founded by individuals looking for religious freedom. Since this was the basis of colonizing America, the leaders believed religion needed to be included in the constitution. James Madison became very involved in the process of deciding what was to be added into the Bill of Rights to protect the different religions. In the end of the rewriting and rewording, Madison’s amendment was finalized to say “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the exercise thereof” (“Religion in Schools: United”). This simple statement has caused quite an argument on what it truly means. Thomas Jefferson interpreted it by saying, “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god, that he owes accounts to none other for his faith or his worship” (“Religion in Schools: United”). In other words, no one can tell you who or what to worship. That decision lies solely in the citizen’s hands. In attempt to end all doubt, the government created The Establishment Clause. The Establishment Clause prohibited the government from establishing an official religion, or preferring one religion over another (“Religion in Schools: United”).
Some religious and political leaders are seeing eye-to-eye on the religion in school debate. Tom Cabaniss, a senior pastor at a church in North Carolina, believes that religion should be taught in schools as a matter of education, and education only. If students were more actively aware of other religions they could better understand each other. An unnamed political official believes that since religion plays such an important role in...

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