Religion in Schools – a Role-Focus Analysis: The Revelation Preacher
July 11, 2012
Posted by on
This continues the series A Role-Focus Analysis of Religious Arguments.
The fourth category of theistic support for religion in schools is common with “moderate” Christians. It is the “Revelation Preacher” – which characterises an assertive appeal to values.
|Role \ Focus
||But we are teaching values! Christianity has values. What are we doing wrong?
||You secularists are causing the trouble. Why can’t we just all get along like we used to?
||It is intolerant to not want Christian RI in schools. We’re being oppressed.
||Religion is what gives us values. It’s in the stories.
||Religion prevents the breakdown of society.
||Christian RI is necessary for our religious freedom.
||The Christian religion must be taught, because the Bible says so.
||New Zealand law, culture and heritage are Christian.And the Bible? Bestseller!
||The majority rules! Stop complaining, or go to another school.
Objection 4 – The Revelation Preacher (assertive appeal to values)
Religion is what gives us values. And the Bible has such nice stories for children.
- “Peter Harrison, the founder of Keep Religion out of Schools, says his group supports secular values teaching and would support something covering common values like tolerance, love and integrity. These very values are indeed taught to the children, along with other values such as it is not OK to bully, learning how to get along with one another, inclusion and respect of others, caring for the environment, etc. These values are interwoven with stories from the Bible.”
- “If they feel they are missing out on something – well yes they are — they are missing out on learning about the best-selling book of all time (not some mere ‘archaic document’). A book which teaches early world history as well as essential moral values. I have dozens of notes and cards from children who have thoroughly enjoyed the programmed and say they have “learned a lot” — and this includes faith and hope — something to believe in when life gets hard.”
- “As a teacher, I welcome the idea that children in state schools are taught biblical stories. A lot can be learned from the Bible’s narratives and many from the older generation will remember with pleasure the stories and values it contains.”
- Religion is not the source of values. Values are human constructs, rooted in our evolution and maintained through our shared culture.
- There are no values taught in the bible that were not taught for hundreds, if not thousands, of years prior. For example the Golden Rule (the ethic of reciprocity) predates Christianity by over a thousand years.
- Teaching values from the Bible involves cherry-picking the best and ignoring the rest. Avoiding the bad teachings from the Bible proves that our values do not actually come from the Bible after all.
- Schools can teach ethics already. No need for religion.
- Whose religion do you want to teach? If you are going to teach one, why not teach all the major world religions?
- “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” – Steven Weinberg, American physicist.