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Instead of Bible Lessons Let’s Teach Civics October 4, 2009

Posted by Bill in atheism, Church and State, Current Events, Religion, Schools, Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

From Fort Oglethorpe, GA, we hear that the Catoosa County Schools have finally heard about the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United states, which prevents the government from establishing a religion. Yes, the Warriors of Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School took the field on Friday night without any Bible verses written on the cheerleaders banners.

Players at the 900-student school began running through the biblical banners shortly after 9-11, however the district finally banned the banners after being advised by the school board’s attorney that the signs violated federal law.

“It seems like the majority of people in our community want this and they don’t have a problem with it, so I think they should be allowed to have the signs,” said eighteen-year-old Cassandra Cooksey, a recent graduate of the school.

As usual when I read statements like this, I wonder what kids are being taught in their Civics classes. Are they learning about how our Constitution was carefully crafted to protect the rights of the minority? Are they learning the difference between a mobocracy and a republic? Are they learning about the Bill of Rights and what each of those amendments mean?

Okay, for Cassandra and all of those others who do not see what is wrong with football players running through banners with Bible verses before a football game, would it be okay if a Moslem student wanted to put a verse from the Koran on one of those banners? Would it be okay if a Buddhist wanted to put a quote from Confucious or if a Hindu wanted to include a quote from one of the sacred Vedas?

What if there was a Jewish football player who didn’t WANT to run through a banner with a quote from the New Testament on it? Would the students be okay with that or would they make fun of him for being different? Would they be angry with him for not going along with their display of spirituality?

Maybe instead of Bible verses the kids should run through banners containing quotes from our Founding Fathers, or, better yet, banners on which the amendments to the Constitution are printed. Maybe then the kids would actually learn something about the foundations of our government, since they evidently didn’t learn about them in school.



1. Mike - October 5, 2009

The 1st amendment says “Congress shall make no law”….not students or cheerleaders. Congress is the only one that can break the 1st amendment. Since this country’s inception the Bible has been read and prayer held in public schools. Yes even by the founders it was considered Constitutional up until 1962 when the Supreme Court thought it knew what the founding fathers meant better than the founders themselves.

Maybe they should run through this quote from one of the founders named George Washington when he was speaking to the Delaware Indian Chiefs attempting to convince them to send their children to American schools. Here’s what George Washington said, “What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.”

2. Dindy - October 5, 2009

Are cheerleaders not elected by th student body to represent the school? Are they only representing the Christian students of the school or all students of the school?

There are a lot of things that happened at this country’s inception that have changed– or do you still own slaves?

And I suggest you check your facts because what Washington actually said was somewhat different: “I am glad you have brought three of the Children of your principal Chiefs to be educated with us. I am sure Congress will open the Arms of love to them, and will look upon them as their own Children, and will have them educated accordingly. This is a great mark of your confidence and of your desire to preserve the friendship between the Two Nations to the end of time, and to become One people with your Brethren of the United States. My ears hear with pleasure the other matters you mention. Congress will be glad to hear them too. You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ.” http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=848&chapter=101782&layout=html&Itemid=27

If you want other quotes from the Founding Fathers, how about this one by Thomas Jefferson: “[T]o compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or
that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor whose morals he would make his pattern…”
–Jefferson’s “Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom,”
Adopted January 1786

or how about this quote by James Madison:
“Is the appointment of Chaplains to the two Houses of Congress consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom? In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the U.S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion. The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them; and these are to be paid out of the national taxes. Does not this involve the principle of a national establishment, applicable to a provision for a religious worship for the Constituent as well as of the representative Body, approved by the majority, and conducted by Ministers of religion paid by the entire nation.”
-“Detached Memoranda”

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