I would like to comment on John Calvert’s July 19th letter to the editor, “Our schools are in crisis." I agree with him that the traditional liberal arts curriculum has been replaced by a progressive ideology. Calvert points out that North Dakota's Constitution calls for a curriculum that promotes a "high degree of intelligence, patriotism, integrity and morality.” I would like to address another point relative to his argument. How do teachers promote morality in the classroom?
I’ve read that many of our public schools declare that science is the only source of truth and knowledge. Science, however, does not give students understanding and wisdom. Science alone does not promote morality. It cannot distinguish good from evil. For instance, science teaches how the atomic bomb was made, but science cannot dictate whether it’s wise to actually use it. How do you teach right from wrong without a moral compass?
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Our children and young adults spend 13 years in an environment that is hostile to religion. Any kind of religious expression is closely monitored for fear that a religious expression or gesture promotes a particular religion which could be offensive or hurtful to other students. God is irrelevant and faith must not be discussed. Students are trained to approach intellectual and moral problems through a secular lens. The biggest questions in life are considered without reference to an all-knowing God or his wisdom.
My concern is that public schools tend to program students to displace moral beliefs with atheism. Science and faith are incompatible. Public schools forbid discussions that would shed light on this apparent conflict. Our godless public schools teach students that they don’t need God or religion. Sadly, it is becoming evident that our public schools are evangelizing our children to become practical atheists. In 2015, only 28% of high school seniors attended religious services and the percentage is declining every year.
It has been shown that there is a positive correlation between religious activities and academic performance. The research indicates religion promotes self confidence and encourages intelligent decision making and critical thinking. Religion defines who we are as individuals and as a nation. And as North Dakota's Constitution calls for, it promotes a higher degree of morality in our children.
The First Amendment of our Constitution says Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion. Acknowledging and discussing the existence of God in no way establishes a national religion. We must stand up against progressive secular groups like the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation that threaten litigation when religious views or God is mentioned in the classroom. These leftist groups want to weaken and eliminate religious liberty altogether. They are the real bullies.
If our public schools cannot acknowledge the existence of God or religion, then promoting a "high degree of intelligence, patriotism, integrity and morality” is not attainable. I realize this is my opinion but I hope our wise teachers and administrators think seriously about this. We all want what is best for our children, don’t we?