Aug 262002
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

How would you feel if you showed up to your first day of freshman orientation to find out a required class for you would be solely focused on teachings of a religion opposite of your own? We wouldn’t be very happy, and come to find out some students in North Carolina were not very happy either.

The University of North Carolina is currently being sued by some students with help from a Christian conservative organization because they were being forced to take a class called “Approaching the Koran; the Early Revelations.”

We think having the class such as this as an option for students is OK. But requiring the class violates the First Amendment of the Constitution.

The First Amendment requires a separation between church and state. So a public university being funded by state or federal money requiring students to take a religion class violates that law.

We believe that classes teaching cultural diversity are OK, but requiring students to learn solely about one religion is not right.

A school in the San Francisco Bay Area school district is also being sued for allegedly violating the Constitution in how it teaches the Islamic religion to their students.

A seventh-grade class at a school in this district participated in a simulation that required acting out some aspects of Muslim culture, such as picking a Muslim name, wearing Muslim clothing, memorizing Islamic prayers and playing a dice game, “which acted out a ‘Jihad’ or holy war,” according to a story on the Knight Ridder news service.

This is mostly outrageous because it was at a public school and because it was with seventh-graders. At that age they are required to be in school and can still be a bit more impressionable than college students.

We think that learning about other religions is a positive thing. But it should not be forced upon people, especially in public schools.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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