Politics - Teacher Banned from using Declaration of Independence
The Claim: Teacher Banned from Sharing the Declaration of Independence because it has the word 'God' in it.
Why am I including this story?
I am including this because I originally read of it in a book titled: 'The Criminalization of Christianity', a book full of spin, half truths and lies about this and issues involving lgbt individuals. So this is just one more story from this book that is so full of holes.
Where did the story originate?
Well once again, the religious right is operating off of sensational headlines that are designed to sell newspapers more than tell truth. The actual news story is here.
Basically a teacher has been banned from using material with the word God in it per the news article. This would allegedly include the Declaration of Independence.
Let’s get down to the details..
From official court documents listed at the bottom of this web page it is evident that this particular teacher had a specific agenda to teach a very Christian version of the history of the United States. While, as Christians, we might applaud this teacher’s efforts we need to stop and think for a minute. If we pave the way for this teacher to bring their personal religious views to the classroom we also pave the way for other teachers of other religious beliefs to exclusively bring their views to the classroom. This is generally not a good idea.
My take on this..
The key point to make here is that this is not about banning the Declaration of Independence. Instead it is about how much a teacher’s personal faith can be reflected in a classroom setting. It is important to remember that public school is not church. We cannot and should not expect public schools to only support a Christian world view. I know that we, as Christians look wistfully back at a time when the bible was read in public schools. Those days however are gone. The world is a different place. Our country is much more pluralistic. As I have said elsewhere, the role of government is not just to promote our world view but to serve ALL of its citizens. I am unaware at this time of the final outcome of this case. I only know that it is much more complex and deeper issue than a simple headline concerning the Declaration of Independence. This will always be an area of tension for Christian teachers in the public school system. My prayers are with them as they have a difficult task.
Below are references and court documents for you to peruse..