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The Right To Evangelize At School?

Posted by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 6:04 AM
  • 372 Replies
2 moms liked this

I noticed a new advertisement today, from the Alliance Defending Freedom for Faith and Justice, and I clicked on it to see what it's about.  It's about letting people know their rights regarding faith and public school.  I read the FAQ and according to this group students have the right to pray, read scripture, and EVANGELIZE.

Evangelize is what I want to talk about.  I fully understand that kids are permitted to pray in school, wear religious gear, read holy books, etc.  It's the evangelizing that I question, because it calls into question where one person's right to religious freedom clash with another person's right to religious freedom.  Would you want your non-Christian child to be evangelized by another child at a public school?  I think that crosses the line.

What do you all think?

by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 6:04 AM
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Replies (1-10):
DieselsMom
by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 6:07 AM
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It crosses the line that children aren't allowed to talk to other children about their belief??? I don't see the problem in children talking?

romalove
by Roma on Dec. 4, 2012 at 6:12 AM
9 moms liked this


Quoting DieselsMom:

It crosses the line that children aren't allowed to talk to other children about their belief??? I don't see the problem in children talking?

So if your child tells my child at school about your religion, would you be OK with my child telling yours that they believe a bunch of fairy tale nonsense?  Would you be OK with my child picking apart the more ridiculous tenets of religion and highlighting how silly they sound?  Would you be OK with a child of another religion trying to convert your child to their religion?  Would you be OK with your kid coming home with a Qu'ran or pagan book given to them by a classmate, telling you it all seems way better than what you've been teaching them?

DieselsMom
by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 6:15 AM

Yes :) My child knows that different people believe different things, and he is open to believe whatever fits for him.

Quoting romalove:


Quoting DieselsMom:

It crosses the line that children aren't allowed to talk to other children about their belief??? I don't see the problem in children talking?

So if your child tells my child at school about your religion, would you be OK with my child telling yours that they believe a bunch of fairy tale nonsense?  Would you be OK with my child picking apart the more ridiculous tenets of religion and highlighting how silly they sound?  Would you be OK with a child of another religion trying to convert your child to their religion?  Would you be OK with your kid coming home with a Qu'ran or pagan book given to them by a classmate, telling you it all seems way better than what you've been teaching them?


romalove
by Roma on Dec. 4, 2012 at 6:18 AM
7 moms liked this


Quoting DieselsMom:

Yes :) My child knows that different people believe different things, and he is open to believe whatever fits for him.

Quoting romalove:


Quoting DieselsMom:

It crosses the line that children aren't allowed to talk to other children about their belief??? I don't see the problem in children talking?

So if your child tells my child at school about your religion, would you be OK with my child telling yours that they believe a bunch of fairy tale nonsense?  Would you be OK with my child picking apart the more ridiculous tenets of religion and highlighting how silly they sound?  Would you be OK with a child of another religion trying to convert your child to their religion?  Would you be OK with your kid coming home with a Qu'ran or pagan book given to them by a classmate, telling you it all seems way better than what you've been teaching them?


I see a difference between talking about their faith and evangelizing.

"I believe Christ was God's son."  That's sharing personal information about themselves and their faith.

"Christ was God's son and only people who believe that can go to heaven.  You should read this book, I'm worried you are going to hell" is evangelizing and to my mind should not be permitted at a public school.

I send my kid to school to learn, not to be converted.

One more question, if you don't mind....where do you stand on your child being taught about evolution or creationism in a public school?  

DieselsMom
by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 6:23 AM
2 moms liked this

I am glad that he will be taught that we are evolving, have evolved, and will continue to evolve.....It will be explained that this is only one opinion of how we came to be, and if he chooses to believe it, great, if not, great also! I guess the fact that my husband and I have such different beliefs has made me must more open and accepting to others not believing exactly what I do...I would rather my son follow his heart, after being educated, than just blindly go through the motions of my religion simply b/c that is what he is told.

When you say you send your child to school to learn, not to be converted.....isn't your child LEARNING about these other beliefs? It is part of growing up.....and I don't think anyone is being forced to convert at recess...


Quoting romalove:


Quoting DieselsMom:

Yes :) My child knows that different people believe different things, and he is open to believe whatever fits for him.

Quoting romalove:


Quoting DieselsMom:

It crosses the line that children aren't allowed to talk to other children about their belief??? I don't see the problem in children talking?

So if your child tells my child at school about your religion, would you be OK with my child telling yours that they believe a bunch of fairy tale nonsense?  Would you be OK with my child picking apart the more ridiculous tenets of religion and highlighting how silly they sound?  Would you be OK with a child of another religion trying to convert your child to their religion?  Would you be OK with your kid coming home with a Qu'ran or pagan book given to them by a classmate, telling you it all seems way better than what you've been teaching them?


I see a difference between talking about their faith and evangelizing.

"I believe Christ was God's son."  That's sharing personal information about themselves and their faith.

"Christ was God's son and only people who believe that can go to heaven.  You should read this book, I'm worried you are going to hell" is evangelizing and to my mind should not be permitted at a public school.

I send my kid to school to learn, not to be converted.

One more question, if you don't mind....where do you stand on your child being taught about evolution or creationism in a public school?  


romalove
by Roma on Dec. 4, 2012 at 6:30 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting DieselsMom:

I am glad that he will be taught that we are evolving, have evolved, and will continue to evolve.....It will be explained that this is only one opinion of how we came to be, and if he chooses to believe it, great, if not, great also! I guess the fact that my husband and I have such different beliefs has made me must more open and accepting to others not believing exactly what I do...I would rather my son follow his heart, after being educated, than just blindly go through the motions of my religion simply b/c that is what he is told.

When you say you send your child to school to learn, not to be converted.....isn't your child LEARNING about these other beliefs? It is part of growing up.....and I don't think anyone is being forced to convert at recess...


Quoting romalove:


Quoting DieselsMom:

Yes :) My child knows that different people believe different things, and he is open to believe whatever fits for him.

Quoting romalove:


Quoting DieselsMom:

It crosses the line that children aren't allowed to talk to other children about their belief??? I don't see the problem in children talking?

So if your child tells my child at school about your religion, would you be OK with my child telling yours that they believe a bunch of fairy tale nonsense?  Would you be OK with my child picking apart the more ridiculous tenets of religion and highlighting how silly they sound?  Would you be OK with a child of another religion trying to convert your child to their religion?  Would you be OK with your kid coming home with a Qu'ran or pagan book given to them by a classmate, telling you it all seems way better than what you've been teaching them?


I see a difference between talking about their faith and evangelizing.

"I believe Christ was God's son."  That's sharing personal information about themselves and their faith.

"Christ was God's son and only people who believe that can go to heaven.  You should read this book, I'm worried you are going to hell" is evangelizing and to my mind should not be permitted at a public school.

I send my kid to school to learn, not to be converted.

One more question, if you don't mind....where do you stand on your child being taught about evolution or creationism in a public school?  


Whether I (or anyone) chooses to have their child learn religious beliefs is a personal decision for each parent.  There is a difference between learning what other people believe in a history or comparative religions course and having other kids try to convert your kid.  Do I think that's happening a lot?  Not at my kid's school, but that's partly because of where I live.  I'm in NJ, there is very little of any of this going on.  But a kid in a Bible belt state may have a different experience.

momtoscott
by Platinum Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 6:31 AM
6 moms liked this

 Although it makes me uncomfortable, I think that children should be allowed to talk to one another freely, up to and including "evangelizing" other kids.  Now, what I would tell my atheist child (and have told him) is that if someone starts talking to him and making him uncomfortable and won't back off, he's to go to an adult and report it. 

I believe very few kids are interested in evangelizing, but kids are interested in religions and what each other believes.  I have no problems in their discussing it, and I know that they do this a lot at the junior high and high school level.   

romalove
by Roma on Dec. 4, 2012 at 6:41 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting momtoscott:

 Although it makes me uncomfortable, I think that children should be allowed to talk to one another freely, up to and including "evangelizing" other kids.  Now, what I would tell my atheist child (and have told him) is that if someone starts talking to him and making him uncomfortable and won't back off, he's to go to an adult and report it. 

I believe very few kids are interested in evangelizing, but kids are interested in religions and what each other believes.  I have no problems in their discussing it, and I know that they do this a lot at the junior high and high school level.   

I think this may depend on where you live, if there are few or many kids interested in evangelizing.  My daughter's high school has three religious clubs, one for Christians, one for Jews, and one for Muslims.  They meet after school but have no faculty advisor.  None of my kids were ever evangelized in school, and there isn't a lot of discussion of faith among their peers.  I think in other places this could be different.

I am uncomfortable with the idea that sending a child to a public school in America could mean children are tried to be persuaded to join someone else's faith.  I believe for both religious and non-religious people it's important that they have comfort in knowing school is a place free from religious persuasions.

MommaGreenhalge
by Bronze Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 6:48 AM
1 mom liked this
It would cross the line when it becomes harrassment. And the whole "I send my kid to school to learn, not _"is kind of unrealistic. What, are you expecting kids to be programmed robots that do nothing but learning? Also, when you send your kid to school, you really don't have a say about what kinds of conversations he has. I would rather my kids not learn all kinds of stuff that I know they will be coming home with when they start daycare/preschool. I'll just have to be dilligent about discussing their day with them and using negative experiences as teaching moments to reinforce our family's values
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TCgirlatheart
by TC on Dec. 4, 2012 at 7:05 AM
3 moms liked this
I would be upset with unsolicited evangelizing, but I would want my kiddos and their friends to be able to discuss the similar and different aspects of their lives.
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