There are two subjects sure to stir debate in Oklahoma: Football and Religion.
I’ll decline to discuss the former — that’s been done enough this week. My last post here was about a call-to-action by a New Jersey Christian activist to bring Bibles to school this week to coincide with See You at the Pole day.
Bob Pawson urged children to take their Bibles to class and quote passages they felt were relevent to their class subject. (Not sure how that would work in Algebra….)
I asked news.ok readers what they thought of Pawson’s campaign, and whether they’d support non-Christian groups doing the same thing. What if Muslims brought the Quran to school?
Here are some responses emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Claude of Yukon said the real question is “Are we a nation under God as our national flag salute states or is it under Allah or Buddha.” Claude goes on to say, “We should study the Bible that expresses our belief in God and is commonly accepted by our religious traditions of all faiths — not the Bible of some foreign religion.”
Does Claude know that the Bible originated outside the United States?
Cheryl of Warr Acres said Pawson’s campaign could lead to chaos in the classroom. “Some with fervent views on their beliefs might resort to physical violence,” she wrote.
Robert, a high school teacher in Oklahoma City, said students have the right of religious expression, as long as it doesn’t disrupt regular classroom activities. He said the Bible is a great source of literature and helps put other works in perspective.
“For example, I am teaching the early English epic Beowolf. The monster Grendle is said to be the off-sprig of Cain, the first murderer in the Bible. Most of my students don’t know who Cain was or the story from Genesis.”
I even had an e-mail from Pawson himself, who saw my earlier posting. He said the campaign is intended to generate dialogue, not disruption. He said Muslim students should bring their Qurans and prayer rugs because everyone has equal rights under the constitution.
What do you think? I’m open to further discussion on the matter. Football? That’s another matter.
Susan Simpson, Education Writer