Opinion: An Agnostic's Argument for Why Religion Should Be Taught in Public Schools

September 22, 2005

Source: The Dallas Morning News


On September 22, 2005 The Dallas Morning News ran an opinion piece by Deborah Mitchell, an agnostic and frequent contributor to Collin County Opinions. Mitchell argues that religion should be taught in the American classroom. "One lesson I learned when my kids went off to elementary school was that talk of God could not be kept off the playground or out of the classroom. Students in my younger son's class, mere first-graders, often spoke to him about Jesus, angels and the devil. I also found that my older son's teacher and classmates sometimes talked of God and religion... We cannot strain our religious beliefs out of our thoughts, ideas and actions anymore than our government can keep religion out of our courtrooms. Our faith as a nation shapes our laws and is the seed of so much controversy: abortion, gay marriages, stem-cell research. Since religion is so ubiquitous, we might as well acknowledge it and give it a place to hang its hat in the classroom... In order to fairly represent and understand all the individuals in our communities, I believe there is a place in our schools for teaching all religious and non-religious world views. This way we can grow tolerant, open-minded, critical thinkers. And yes, I want my children to understand your religion on their way to finding their own."