Education And Religion Essay, Research Paper
Education and Religion
?Our father?s God to, thee, author of Liberty, to thee we sing. Long may our land
be bright with freedoms holy light; protect us by thy might, Great God our King.?
Since the late 1950?s, when separation between Church and state was forced into
practice, public schools have shown a dramatic decrease in the amount of ethics and
morality taught in the classroom. All the while, school violence is on the rise. All we
need to do is look at the horror with transpired at Columbine to see this sad truth in
action. Because public teachers are terrified of lawsuits they neglect to implement the
importance of ethical and moral values on the youths of our society. While in parochial
schools ethics and morals are continually taught with various religious undertones. These
same elementary principles can be applied, as well as taught, at public institutions
without the use of the religious undertones. Personally I would not posses as high of
moral and personal standards if it were not for the emphasis placed on right vs. wrong in
my grade school religion class.
At the impressionable age of seven I was thrust into the all consuming world of
catholic schools. Where the sociological institutions of religion and education are
intertwined in a complex web of dogmatic beliefs and demanding course loads. This
continual demand of both spiritual and personal excellence, coupled with the numerous
Southern ideologies of my parents, has tremendously nourished my strong willed, ?go
get?em?, conviction filled character. This character, which at times is questionable to
observers, was given it fundamental values on my back porch swing– yet it was
dramatically enhanced by five consecutive years of Mrs. Kennedy?s religion classes.
Mrs. Kennedy was a gentle and even tempered women, who attempted to create
compassionate and understanding young adults; in my case she prevailed. She taught us
to always carry love in our pocket, like we would extra change, for one would never
know when the opportunity would arise to impart some of our generosity in the life of a
stranger. To touch one life with an act of kindness, is in essence, the start of a chain
effect. When compassion lingers, the people we leave are effected by the love we
bestowed upon them. For the person?s life we touch will more than likely share the
kindness we offered them to another individual. The importance of compassion is always
in the forefront of all of my actions. Daily I try to act towards others as I would want them
to act towards me. I have found that this necessary and long founded truth to not only
create strong and lasting friendships, but to aid in my personal happiness as well.
At the tender age of seven one is standing at a fork in the road of life. One path is
leading towards personal destruction and the other towards personal growth and
understanding. Without the proper guiding and mentoring of parents and teachers, any
individual can easily choice the wrong path. With Mrs. Kennedy?s intervention I was able
to pick the road of personal growth. By continually pounding fundamental values and
ethical practices into our character for five consecutive years, Mrs. Kennedy lit the
?correct? path for all of her students. It was then up to each student to make the choice to
live life by rudimentary, sever, or even no morals at all.
With formal religion mixed with formal education, I received a complete
understanding of my personal and academic strengths and weaknesses. For I was taught
the fundamental principles of reading, writing, and arithmetic; as well as the difference
between right and wrong. Personally I believe that each child in the United States of
America should somewhere in their formally education be taught the difference between
right and wrong, good and bad, expectable and nor expectable. In the past theses values
were taught in the home. Yet with the increasing need for dual income families, there is a
decreasing amount of time which parents are able to spend with their children imparting
the necessary lessons on right and wrong.
Our country was formed on the central idea that there is a divine power and
although the Bill of Rights gives us our freedom, it also beckons us to at times to be our
brothers keeper. Personally I was lucky to have the opportunity to learn intrinsic values
which would carry me throughout life while I was in grammar school. I was in a
particular setting were religion was intertwined with all facets of the education process.
Yet, it was not the religion which made a difference in my life, it was the ?right vs.
wrong? standards which aided in shaping my personal views of what is essentially right
and what is wrong. I feel that we as a society need to teach elementary ethical principles
to the youth in our country, for they unfortunately are faced with the mass amount of
violence on television and in all forms of media. Once we impart some virtues in their
lives, most will grow up to be well rounded individuals and with luck there will be less