Thursday, December 3, 2009

Brian Edwards' Letter to the Editor - The Observer (Sarnia)

In the Thursday, December 3rd edition of The Sarnia Observer, there is a letter to the editor from a "Brian Edwards". Rather than paraphrase it, here is the complete letter:
Sir:I was talking to a teacher from the Chatham-Kent school board and she told me about a program for building character in our school children. She signed up thinking it was a good idea. She went to the first meeting and was shocked to find that the program was about teaching our children that all gods are one god. This program wants to teach our children about other religions -- Muslim, Hindu, Buddhism, etc., but nothing about Christianity.

It just makes me wonder what our country is coming to, when our Christian heritage is pushed out the back door of our schools and governments. How can this be considered building character in our children by teaching them that what they see in the media about terrorism is okay to learn about in this religious program? I know that not all Muslims are terrorists, but if our children are allowed to learn about these religions and not our Christian heritage, they will end up thinking terrorism is okay if it is a religion.

I think it's time Canadians and Christians stand up for our heritage. This program should not be allowed in our schools if Christianity (Christmas, Easter, The Lord's Prayer, etc.) is not allowed in our schools. Has it come to the point where Christians and our government are too politically correct to put forward our heritage of Christianity that this country was built on?

As a Christian, I believe it is our duty as parents to teach our children about our heritage and stop worrying about other religions being insulted by Jesus Christ.

Come together Christians and stand up for Jesus. -- Brian Edwards

It would be one thing to argue "Religion should be kept out of schools altogether" but that is not what Brian is suggesting. Brian, "The Free Dictionary" online defines "bigot" as "One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ." To show that Brian is not a "bigot", I suspect he'll write a letter to the editor showing concern that Christianity is being taught in foreign nations that currently worship other gods or traditions. His letter will complain that Christianity should not be taught in third-world nations because of the horrible history that it has (or have Christians forgot about their even recent history?) and he'll actively support the continued instruction of their equally silly myths and traditions without interference from Christianity.

Many have suggested (and I would tend to agree with) the idea of teaching comparative religions. If the "program" that Brian is referring to is just that, it might be a great idea and could show teachers and students how silly all religions are. After all, all gods are the same - they fail to exist*.

And, Brian, does Jesus really need you to stand up for him? Couldn't your almighty, all-knowing and all-powerful (but imaginary) friend handle this battle himself? Couldn't he simply make the people instructing the course speak in tongues so no one could understand the course that is being taught? Would that not achieve your goal? And, even better, it'd be a bit of evidence to support your beliefs!

Happy Winter Solstice Brian!

*I say that in the "almost certainly do not exist" sense but until evidence is presented for the existence of a god, I would suggest that they do not exist.


NathanColquhoun said...

I have a number of problems with a letter of his.

1. He ends his entire letter with the line "Come together Christians and stand up for Jesus." Which completely negates everything he said in his entire letter. He turned it into a battle with a line like that, and is trying to play victim.

2. I think the whole debate about teaching religion in school is a mask for what the real debate should be and that is how we are teaching our kids. If all we are doing is implanting knowledge into them, then of course everyone is going to argue about what knowledge to implant (especially religion). We however know better, this is a horrible way to teach. We should be teaching kids how to learn and get them excited to learn....then we don't have to worry about this stupid debate. I think you as a skeptic probably would agree with that....teach kids how to think critically, how to learn, get them excited to learn.

3. I'm tired of the heritage debate also. Give me a break. We can't teach everyone's heritage all the time to everyone. I'm sure if we spent a semester teaching kids about native studies there would be an uproar amongst the parents....even though really...that is our heritage well before we founded our country.

Maybe, I'll write into the paper on this one...think it's worth it?

sarniaskeptic said...

Nathan - I think it is really worth it. Sorry for taking so long to get back on this one.

If you're interested in learning about what/how we should be teaching - there is an excellent book by Stephen Law - "The War for Children's Minds".

I would suggest that you and I are not all that far apart on our opinions as they relate to education of children so I suspect you'd enjoy the book.

Sarnia Bookkeeper can definitely get it in if they don't have any left.