West Virginia Mother Wants School Bible Course Ended So Her Daughter Doesn’t Have to Attend
When I was about 9 years old my elementary school announced that our class, a group of fourth graders, would be taking part in a sex-education course. They sent a letter home to all parents and let them know the dates of the course. This allowed parents to decide whether they wanted their kids to be in the class or not.
My parents decided that they did not want me in the course and signed a form requesting that I be excused from the class during that period.
So, every day during the sex-education class – which only lasted a week or so – I went to another room and did other work while my peers and friends took part in the course.
This is a logical step for any parent that objects to a particular course being offered by their child’s school. The right of parents to opt their child out of any non-required or non-essential course is a right that every school should respect. Parents, not the school or the government are the ultimate human authority in the life of any child. And the final decision of what a child will and will not be taught is a right that schools must respect.
What my parents did not do in response to the announcement that there would be a sex-education course in school is to tell the school how offended they were, secure the assistance of a drama-inducing social justice organization, and demand that since their child would not be taking part in the course, no child should be allowed to take part in the course. Because that, my friends would be crazy.
But, as you know by now, crazy seems to be the modus operandi in our current culture. Here’s an example.
A mother in Mercer County West Virginia is suing the school her daughter attends because the school offers voluntary Bible classes. Yes, you heard that right. This misguided mother is demanding that the school end a 75 year program that offers voluntary Bible courses because she doesn’t want her daughter attending the class, and, here’s the fun part, she doesn’t want others to know her daughter is a non-believer. So, just to make sure no one potentially calls her daughter a name, or looks at her funny, the mom wants the school to end the course.
A recent report states:
A kindergartner’s mother is suing her public school system in West Virginia, asking that it discontinue a 75-year practice of putting kids in Bible classes that violate the U.S. and state constitutions. The woman, identified as ‘Jane Doe’ in the federal lawsuit backed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, says her child will be forced either to take these weekly classes at her Mercer County elementary school or face ostracism as one of the few children who don’t. Her daughter is called ‘Jamie’ in the suit. ‘Jamie will either be forced to attend Bible indoctrination classes against the wishes and conscience of Jane Doe, or Jamie will be the only or one of only a few children who do not participate,’ the lawsuit says. ‘Jamie will therefore be made conspicuous by absence, and essentially be identified as a non-Christian or nonbeliever, subjecting Jamie to the risk of ostracism from peers and even school staff.’”
The problem here is that the Bible classes are not mandatory or forced. A school official made clear that the “courses are voluntary, financed by a nonprofit group and that the system’s 19 elementary and middle schools provide alternative courses at the same time.”
So little “Jamie” doesn’t have to go to the Bible class. And, she can simply attend another class that, presumably, other kids will be attending during that time. It sounds like a really easy decision for mom. But then again, that would require logic, reason, and the belief that your child is not a snowflake that will instantly melt if another person looks at her funny.
The burning question I have is: if there is an alternative class offered, and the Bible class is not mandatory or forced, why is this mother causing such a problem? Why can’t she, as my parents did so many years ago, simply place her daughter in one of the alternative classes and be done with the whole situation?
My very uninformed and presumptuous answer is that this is an opportunity for the Freedom From Religion Foundation and this (possibly) atheist mother to stick it to Christians. This is a chance for people that don’t like the Bible and don’t believe in God to use the momentum created in our culture over the last decade to demand that everyone respect their atheistic beliefs while they happily trample over the Christian beliefs of everyone else.
You see, atheists have no problem demanding that everyone respect their beliefs, and atheism is a religion all to itself. Atheists are quick to cite law and rulings, and anything else they can to demand that society respect their desire to live in a world without any reference to God whatsoever. They don’t want to hear about God in music, speeches, television programming, movies, or anything else. And they will gladly scream and yell and threaten to sue to make that point very clear.
What they, somehow, do not see, is that by demanding that we respect their views, they not only disrespect the views of Christians, Catholics, Muslims, Mormons, and every other religious group; they trample our freedoms in an effort to exercise their own.
The freedom of religious groups and atheists are at eternal odds with one another.
Listen, the bottom line is that this may not be about atheism at all. This mother may be a kind, decent person that simply doesn’t want her daughter in Bible classes. This may have nothing to do with trying to further distance our society from God and the foundational principles our republic was founded upon from the Bible. This might simply be a case of a mom wanting to exercise her right to determine what her daughter will and will not be taught at a public school.
If that is indeed the case, I will stand arm in arm with her and defend that right; but only if she is willing to help defend the right of every other parent to exercise the very same right. And, for many parents, that right is the right to have their kids in a Bible class.