Richard Estey: Keep churches, public schools separate


To the Editor:

I was reading about the attempt to put church into our publicly funded school system by having a Bible study class in the high school. What a great idea.

It should go like this: First period could be Bible study. Second period, Islamic studies divided up into Shiite and Sunni. And a discussion on the Quran and Allah. Third period would be teachings of Buddhism. Then fourth period, Tao.

Fifth period, Hindu studies. And, of course, sixth period could include Atheists.

Then all the regular professors and instructors who teach things like science, biology, chemistry, math and language skills would get on buses with all the students who are not attending a religious class and go to all the churches around town and hold regular classes.

I'm sure the churches wouldn't mind donating space to the publicly funded school system.

On second thought, maybe that's not such a good idea.

Maybe we should keep publicly funded schools separate from churches and have a meeting with the churches who teach the Bible and see if they can have more classes on weekends and evenings at the church.

Bible study is a wonderful thing, but study it at home or at the church of your choice.

Do not ask the publicly funded school system to pick up the slack.

Richard Estey



grannyrett 9 years, 1 month ago

It is important to understand other religions. It lets us understand the mindset of other countries. We need to know how much other religions effect the interaction between us and other countries. Religion plays a huge role in the government of some countries. How can we hope to deal with them if we do not understand their principles? I don't think we need to favor one religion over another, but I think it is important to understand how religion plays a part in our relationships with other countries.


Frank Estey 9 years, 1 month ago

Agree one hundred percent with your idea on religion courses in the high schools.

Each religion views theirs as the only true religion and will not OPENLY disparage another religion. Who will make the judgment on which dogma is Number one???

Bring this conflict into the public school it becomes even more difficult to EDUCATE not INDOCTRINATE.


jdsd00 9 years, 1 month ago

The way I see it we need to teach of both veiws, non biased and let each person make up their own mind. If our schools teach the theory of evolution then to be fair it would be necessary to teach of religion also. I don't mean a specific religion just the intelligent design theory. Then the student could seek out other information, either way, outside of the school system.

The other idea that I also see as relevant is the role of the bible in founding this country. I do think we should teach, from a historical stand point, about how and why our founding fathers did what they did.

The key to teaching this in schools is unbiased teachers. Religion is a personal decision and needs to stay that way.


Isis 9 years, 1 month ago

This does not belong in a PUBLIC school. Isn't this what "Bible School" is for at church? This is most appropriate for a private school. As a taxpayer, I whole heartedly object.


jdsd00 9 years, 1 month ago


The only two reasons I have for in school teaching is that the Evolution Theory is taught so it would make sense to also teach the other side of the coin. When we teach only one idea and not mention the other what is that saying to our children? Teach both or nothing.

The Bible is a major part of how our goverment was set up. I belive that should be understood by our students.

I agree that students should go to churches to learn in more depth about religion but, If the school would touch on the subject the student would know about different religions and where to go for each religion. My point being that if I walked into the Catholic church and asked about intelligent design I would get a baised answer that would point me to the Catholic chruch. Even if you ask your parents you will get a biased answer. Who is going to tell me about all the other religions or ideas?


grannyrett 9 years, 1 month ago

Please don't misunderstand me. Different people believe different ways. This is okay by me. Some countries are more influenced by their religions than our country is. If we are to have political relationships with these countries, wouldn't it be better to understand where they are coming from? I agree that religion should be taught in church. But our children should also know how other governments work, how much religion influences their politics, and what those influences are. Maybe what I am trying to say is that although we do NOT need to teach religion in our schools, it may be important to understand the impact that religion has had in our country, in other countries, and in our relationships with them.


Globe 9 years, 1 month ago

I don't believe Native usually knows what he is talking about, but this time he has it correct. Those who keep stating that they teach the "theory of evolution" in school so they should teach religion are way off the mark. "Evolution" is a scientific theory that is based on fact. Fact - Evolution takes place every day. Just in the last 100 years we have had species evolve to be more suited for their environment. Fact - mankind's DNA only differs from the chimpanze by about 1%. Fact - other species of hominids have roamed this earth over the last 100,000 years (hmm science has the earth at 4 billion years and relgion has it at 6,000 years) many who had brains very close to the size of modern humans so they almost undoubtedly had the capacity for abstract throught, tools, and dare we say a conscience. Today's religion is an eveloution of mankinds search for answers (Christianity today is nothing like it was 2,000 years ago nor is it even close to what it was 100 years ago). It is still an important part of mankinds' existance because as many say "religion starts where science ends." Many things exhist in the cosmos that we will never find the answeres to with science. Early relgions attempted to explain many of the things science explains today (e.g. those bright shiney things in the sky aren't dead ancestors they are balls of gas burning millions of miles away). Today, science and reason tell us that we are the result of 4 billion years of the right conditions, atmosphere, and temperature, a "rock soup" if you will. What is left is our intelligence that keeps us asking "are we all alone out here?" or "is there more to this existence than what appears?"

In the end, religion is neither based on fact nor is it reasonable. It can't be proved nor disproved. And while the bible may be a historical document that is based on fact it can no more be taught as factual and true than a Harry Potter book can be.


jdsd00 9 years, 1 month ago


I am not going to turn this into a debate on evolution vs creation.There are alot smarter people than I still debating these issues and it will probably continue for quite some time, but I belive that by only teaching one side our school system is endorsing only one option. There is a reason that both sides have argued for years over this. Neither can prove their side 100%. The true FACT is both, to this point in time, are THEORYS and should let the individual make up his or her mind. If you do not belive this then you have not studied both equally with an open mind.


I agree with your statement on the use of the Bible in the government and that is all I would accept being taught in a history class.

Here is another idea instead of saying religon call it creation science or intelligent design. Religion was the wrong word to describe my thoughts. The last thing I want is someone standing up in school preaching to our kids, that is not right. There are a ton of scentists out there who are dedicated to proving creation just like evolution. Schools should teach both theorys. The basic idea that I would like to see in schools is that we are not 100% sure what happened.


lonelyone 9 years, 1 month ago

Religion is such a touchy issue. I would hope that IF this class makes it's way into the school, it would never be someone "preaching" to the kids. I would hate to think that it would become Mormon V Catholic and Methodist V Baptist and so on. It might be interesting to have some one walk you through all those begats and why Moses could part the waters. Someone who could really teach the Bible, not religion! And I personally think there is a difference. But there are some very strong opinions on here for and against and I just don't see it happening at all.


Tiger 9 years, 1 month ago

Teach religion in a sociological and historical context. Put it in a class entitled Religious Mythology and don't include any indoctrination.

It's important for kids to understand the damage religion has done in our world throughout history and to show them how to spot the radicals and steer clear.

Religion plays a large part in history, Hitler used the New Testament words of Jesus to justify his slaughter of the Jews. The Inquisitors justified burning, flaying and torturing human beings, because it was God's Will.

The radical Muslims have been bloodthirsty slicers and dicers for hundreds of years, all for Allah.

Teach our children ABOUT the dangers of religion, just as we teach them about the danger of drugs.


Globe 9 years, 1 month ago


You say that since they teach evelotion they should teach the other side of the coin, but the other side of the coin has over 100 different faces on it (depending on how many religions one is willing to consider). And it isn't a debate here. Currently there is 0% proof (not counting historical facts like the fact that Budha, Muhamad, or Jesus existed) that there is a God or that he/she is working according to our knowledge or understanding. While We know that 4 billion years ago the earth existed and man didn't and 3 billion years ago life existed, but man didn't, 1 billion years ago, complex life existed but man didn't, 250,000 years ago primates existed but man (not as we know him) didn't, and 50,000 years ago we had Cromagnon and Neaderathal and Man. Evolution isn't a theory. They started with the theory, formed a hypothesis, and have been able to prove that hypothesis on almost every level.

You say we can change the name to "creation science" but it doesn't change the fact that neither that nor intelligent design has any scientific basis.

At the college level you can take elective courses titled Study of World Religions. They provide overviews of every major world religion and only state the facts of what they believe and to some extent why, but don't teach it as a theory or as of having any factual basis to them. I could easily support this, but we can't bring in a "Bible" class to our schools.


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