There is an interesting initiative making its way through the California legislative process. Merry Hyatt of Redding California is pushing to have an initiative, requiring Christmas carols to be sung in public schools, placed on the ballot next year (Read the article here).
I haven’t read the initiative, but I think it is an important for a number of reasons. In order not to polarize the issue I won’t discuss the initiative itself, but want to ask the question, is it wise to take religion out of schools while at the same time teaching that evolution means there is no god?
The message we are sending to our children is that there is no ultimate truth, except to get as much as you can, as fast as you can, any way that you can. We are also telling them that based on science, that anything that can’t be proven by the scientific method cannot be possible. This is a fallacy as science can only prove what is in our physical world, and has no bearing on spirituality. I think it is a waste of time to try to mix the two.
So the question becomes, if we can’t prove the existence of a God or a Higher Power, why teach it in schools? The answer is simple, because it is man’s greatest quest. Regardless of what you believe, we have all thought about this at some point in our lives. It is an important question, and everything that we do revolves around it.
I truly believe that without a belief in a Higher Power, that ethics and morals cannot be consistently taught or applied. Many years ago I was substitute teaching at a high school in a rough community. The subject I was teaching was biology and the lesson was on evolution. The week prior to my teaching, there was a shooting at the school where a student died. We talked about this briefly and I asked the students how they felt about it. What I heard bothered me. A young girl said, “Well, he was just a monkey right? It was just delayed abortion.” Wow. That is what we are teaching our kids to believe.
I understand there needs to be a separation between Church and State. I realize the danger in teaching only a specific set of beliefs to our children. I also understand that religious intolerance is growing. It is vital that we help students appreciate the many different religions out there. I don’t see a problem with singing Christmas Carols. I also don’t see a problem with celebrating Hanukkah or Ramadan.
Why is this important for a leader? Well, on what do you base your decisions? How do you know what your team members are basing their decisions on? Can you expect them to “do the right thing” if they don’t believe there is more to life than just getting what is due to them?
I could certainly keep going here, but would love to hear from you. What do you think?
All the best!
All the time!