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Student to Student

David Lambert Park Record intern

Separation of church and state is a constitutional principle that can not just be ignored when it is convenient to do so. The founding fathers did not casually stick the concept into the Bill of Rights because they were all atheists trying to railroad their personal beliefs into the legal foundation of the new country.

The reality is that many of the Founding Fathers had very strong Christian beliefs. But they were also smart enough to see that religion is a private and personal issue, and one that the government should not be involved with beyond protecting its right to exist and be practiced without prejudice.

It is important that the separation of church and state be enforced in the public school system. It seems to me common sense that it is not a good idea to allow teachers to present their own feelings about umm let’s say evolution to a classroom of kids.

The Utah State Senate just passed a bill requiring teachers to present alternatives to the theory of evolution. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, the senator who sponsored the bill, claims that it has nothing to do with faith.

This might be somewhat believable if the Senator hadn’t also called the Supreme Court decision to eliminate prayer in public schools "ill-advised," and then went on to say, "to believe Darwin’s the Origin of Species is a great leap of faith."

There is nothing wrong with stating his views on these subjects. It just makes it hard to believe him when he sponsors this bill and then claims it has nothing to do with his faith.

Science and religion are two very different things, but they do not necessarily have to be enemies. At the same time, I don’t believe they should be mixed particularly at school. It seems absurd for science teachers to take time out of their classes to present a view from The Bible on the origin of life just as it’s absurd for a preacher to take time out of a sermon to present Darwin’s view on the origins of mankind.

Science would not need to exist if humans just told themselves that God was responsible for everything, such as lightning, the oceans, volcanoes, and so on. We would not have seen these origins of these things as a mystery, and therefore would not have tried to learn more about them, furthering the knowledge of the world we live in.

This is why it is important to deal with logical and learned explanations in the classroom. So far, Darwin has offered us the most logical and researched explanation on how we came to be. And that is why we learn it in school.

The State Senate has passed this bill, and now it is up to the House of Representatives to vote on it. I, for one, urge them to turn it down, and uphold the crucial constitutional principal of separation of church and state.

Allow schools to continue teaching without having to include "divine intervention." And give students the right to find religion on their own time and in their own way.


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