Whose text? | Letters to the Editor | Indy Week
Pin It

Whose text? 

Although Bob Geary and I share a hot-button issue, I cannot agree that simply displaying religious texts in public-school classrooms benefits "the study of religion" "Front Porch," April 26].

The Ten Commandments are "lessons from the Torah," so Geary's exhortation to hang them alongside lessons from the Torah is redundant. But it does bring up some core issues, namely how shared texts would be claimed, how religious texts of any origin would be selected, translated and/or abridged, and how they would be explained.

When a teacher is asked why Roman numerals appear next to the words of the Ten Commandments, will she know that the Roman Empire criminalized Torah study on penalty of death, which makes the placement of Roman numerals with any Jewish text about as respectful as using Nazi swastikas? Will she know that Hebrew letters also function as numerals, so their placement next to the Commandments would at least be more culturally appropriate?

More to the point, why should she be required to know any of these things? It's not her job to teach the nuances of religious history or to enforce boundaries between the study and the practice of religion (boundaries that are, for many religious people, somewhat less than relevant). Such instruction belongs in religious schools, not public schools, unless religion is the subject specifically being studied.

Geary declares that Americans don't have the right to impose their religious tenets on everyone else's kids, but the display of sacred texts in public-school classrooms, whether the intent is to impart moral decency or to enhance the "study" of religion, does just that. It imposes someone's religious views--or, more accurately, what someone has decided is the least common denominator of a particular religious view--directly into the line of sight of schoolchildren, some of whom might belong to a different religion or to no religion at all.

Latest in Letters to the Editor

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Letters to the Editor



Twitter Activity

Comments

As the owner of Surf Club I wanted to respond to Chris Allens letter. Surf Club received a noise complaint …

by surfclub on Bang the Drum Softly (Letters to the Editor)

Thank you Ellen and Jessica for writing and for educating others. Your words were very touching and offer a great …

by Erica Wolak on What About the Pigs? (Letters to the Editor)

Most Read

  1. The Hard Part (Peripheral Visions)
  2. Agit-Prop (Letters to the Editor)

Most Recent Comments

As the owner of Surf Club I wanted to respond to Chris Allens letter. Surf Club received a noise complaint …

by surfclub on Bang the Drum Softly (Letters to the Editor)

Thank you Ellen and Jessica for writing and for educating others. Your words were very touching and offer a great …

by Erica Wolak on What About the Pigs? (Letters to the Editor)

Thank you to Ellen and Jessica for their comments, and to the Indy for running the series on the disaster …

by Anika on What About the Pigs? (Letters to the Editor)

Thank you to Ellen and Jessica for sharing this horrific reality with Indy Week readers, and thank you to Indy …

by Sena Crutchley on What About the Pigs? (Letters to the Editor)

Thank you Ellen and Jessica for speaking up for those with no voice. I've been vegan for over 3 years …

by Steve Griffin on What About the Pigs? (Letters to the Editor)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation