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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

the case for god (in school)

look out i'm on a rampage.

god belongs in school.  this is why.

"one problem with our current society is that we have an attitude towards education as if it is there to simply make you more clever, make you more ingenious.  sometimes it even seems as if those who are not highly educated, those who are less sophisticated in terms of their educational training, are more innocent and more honest.  even though our society does not emphasize this, the most important use of knowledge and education is to help us understand the importance of engaging in more wholesome actions and bringing about discipline within our minds.  the proper utilization of our intelligence and knowledge is to effect changes from within and develop a good heart."

not my words.  the dalai lama's from "the art of happiness".  

i don't know the stats, but we've got to be one of the only countries that goes out of our way to completely ignore god in the classroom.  we americans are so liberal, so rich in material wealth, so forward-thinking and leading the world in so many ways.  but we, as a community, seem to have forgotten the source of our humanity.  if what i see on tv and read in papers is a reflection of my country, it seems that to the vast majority of americans, god is an inconvenience.  we have no time to think about the universe.  no time to meditate or pray.  no time to take care of the planet or our bodies.  no time for wholesomeness.  no time to take a break from work.  we're too busy doing important "stuff" in this country. 

isn't it time to EVOLVE?  to push this "stuff" aside and give god props?  keep in mind i use the word god loosely.  i'm not talking about the Power of Him or Her - more just US.  all of Us with our diverse spiritual beliefs and deep Love for something greater than ourselves. 

but how can we make spirituality a clear focus in our daily lives?  i think we need to start the routine at an early age.  why are academics more important than spirituality?  how do we use math and science to create a better future if we are not thinking daily of world peace and prosperity?  won't we just create the same old crap we've been making for a hundred years?  do we really need more CFCs, nuclear bombs, and slutty pop stars?  it's time to up our game, america. 

i'm not suggesting that any one particular god should reign on high over the public school system, but some mention of the universe would be appropriate during our children's formative years.  if the idea of universal belonging squeaked into the classroom to remind our children of morality and basic human kindness, would it be so bad?  can't we take a vote on this or something?  our kids learn about war and drugs and sex and politics but not god?  huh???? 

i'm not a holy roller.  i don't want to convert the world to my very merry un-religion.  and i'm very liberal.  i not only tolerate an individual's spiritual choice, i embrace it.  but you know what?  jesus is a bad ass.  so is muhammad.  and buddha.  and countless other late spiritual leaders...  gandhi, mother theresa, martin luther king.  even today's trailblazers like deepak chopra, brian weiss, ram dass, bobby mcferrin, doreen virtue, elizabeth lesser, the man famed by oprah, john of god...  the list goes on, of course.  their ideas and lives are fascinating and beautiful and so worth teaching our little children. 

there is nothing more important on this earth than our spirituality.  spiritual evolution is the sole purpose of the human experience.  why is the mention of it so effing taboo???  why do the atheists' votes ring loudest?

if we teach all ideas with equal respect, then no one is alienated and our children have a chance to accept one another before forming prejudices against one another.

i know i'm being idealistic.  the actual process of creating this sort of curriculum would be an absolute knock-down-drag-out and virtual impossibility on a federal level.  but i'm of the utopian sort and just had to purge that thought.  thanks for humoring me.  and please share you thoughts!!!  do you think this could ever happen?  do you idealistically think it should?



  1. I agree Vanessa! We live in a pluralistic society. I think one of the most important aspects that should be taught to children in school concerning religion is tolerance and respect towards one another's beliefs, as well as how to love each other. I have my personal beliefs, but I always feel like I'm not allowed to express them in any way without being attacked. When I'm attacked, my natural instinct is to defend. Although, I'm learning how to keep quiet. I've found that if someone really wants to engage in a meaningful conversation, I am willing and I am willing with an open mind and heart. I can have those conversations and respect that someone's views differ from my own. And that's OK. However, if they only want to attack me and my belief, it's not worth a single response. My belief is not the same as yours BUT I love reading your blog each day. I love the way you write, I love your insight and believe it or not the principals you lay out for your readers are the same principals that have been taught to me within my religion. Anyhow, sorry for writing a book. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing!
    - Angel

  2. please keep writing books, angel! ;-) this is what i hoped for when starting this blog - a conversation with lots of people who have different ideas!

    thank you for engaging and sharing!!!