Another one

Parents of a boy enrolled in Manhattan Beach Middle School are pulling their son out of class because the school is teaching children the tents of Islam, Los Angeles news station KTLA reports.

The father said, “The audacity of this school, to think that they can sit these children down and teach ’em whatever religion they please; it’s preposterous. This is illegal, basically. You can’t teach religion in schools any more, but apparently, in this particular school, at least, that’s not the case.”

Parents said they discovered that what their children were learning about Islam was more about the tenets of the faith than the history of the religion, according to KTLA. One question asked the students to write down teachings from the Koran.

The father continued, “What I saw written in these bubbles was, ‘The one true God, Allah’ in one of the bubbles. In one of the other bubbles was ‘All people must submit to Allah,’ in another bubble. The I turned the page over and I see the five pillars of Islam.”

The parents assert that the students should be taught the history behind the religions, whether it is Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, or others, but not the tenets of the faith.

Father: “Can you imagine the outcry all over this country if children were bringing home paperwork that asked them to write down John 3:16, or asked them to write down the 10 Commandments?” For sure your organization would have been going insane.

Mother: “And if it ended with the Declaration of the Faith, Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior? That’s what the equivalent, I mean, part of us, for our son? We’d be happy about that.”

Father: “But some parents may not be.”

The parents talked to the principal, but the school refused to change the schoolwork, prompting the parents to remove their son from the class. The school would not respond to questions from KTLA.

And where are you and your organization? I’ve seen absolutely nothing from you on this.

But of course you told me it “wasn’t just Christianity” that you wanted your “separation” on, right? And yet in these two examples of teaching the Muslim religion in schools, which is obviously a violation of your “separation of church and state” mantra, your organization is invisible and silent.

Just wondering, are you afraid of a Muslim jihad or do you simply think that teaching Islam in schools isn’t the same violation as teaching Christianity?

(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),

You seem to have a number of problems and I don’t know how to help you.

Our issue is the military. As our organization’s title suggests, the concerns we deal with are freedom of religious choice in the U.S. Armed Forces. Period. That’s where the issue of separating the church and the state come in.

I’ve gone over this a number of times and am beginning to feel it’s a bit silly to try to talk sense to someone who doesn’t understand the fundamental premise. The concerns of the MRFF have to do with ensuring that those in authority is the United States military and its academies do not promote or seem to favor one religion over another. This is because, given the hierarchical nature of the power relationships in the armed forces, a person with a different religion or religious perspective than her or his superior may feel she/he is being required to accept that person’s faith or else be forced to suffer any number of potential consequences for not believing the “right” way.

Your attack on us for not speaking out against what you perceive as anti-Christian bias on the part of some teacher in a school somewhere is completely off-point because the MRFF is only concerned about the U.S. military. Can you grasp that, finally?

I’m sure there are organizations whose brief includes the very things you want to lay on us, but you are wasting your time – and mine, I quickly point out – by attempting to castigate us for failing to right what you consider to be a wrong that does not fall within the ambit of the MRFF.

So go pick a fight with the ACLU or somebody.

Please.

Best,

Mike Farrell

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