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Sun, Dec 16th - 2:12PM

December 16th 2007 - The Sunday Edition

Letter from the Editor

We don't teach religion in schools any more. We preach tolerance, acceptance and multiculturalism and we celebrate the festive season, but theological debate in schools in almost non existent.

The problem is that there is so many religions, so many view points that people think our kids will either not be able to grasp the fundamentals of idealogical debates (in other words we think our kids are too stupid to figure it out for themselves) or we're desperately afraid that our kids will come home brainwashed into believing in some new religion, cult or Satanism.

Parents simply don't want their kids coming home with "new ideas" about religions and faith. And they certainly don't want their kids questioning the existence (or honesty) of God, Jesus, Santa Claus, Buddha, Muhammad, the Bible, the Torah, the Quran or whatever you happen to believe or not believe in.

Jack and Jill went to school.
And learned about evolution.
Jack and Jill came back from school.
And Mom and Dad got a lawyer.

It is common knowledge that public schools are expected to be ivory towers of atheism, where science and knowledge are preached in one class and freedom & multiculturalism is taught in another. 85% of the world's population still believes in the existence of a higher power. The other 15% either don't worry about it or are active atheists who point out the flaws in religion.

But there are flaws in the Big Bang Theory too. As a chemistry teacher who studied my share of physics in university, I'm sorry but even I don't buy into the big bang theory. The theory states that there absolutely nothingness. Nothing at all, not even dimensional spaces... and then suddenly, somehow the universe exploded outwards creating atoms and molecules and eventually forming life.

It doesn't offer any explanation for how this happened or what the initial cause was beyond the idea that nothingness cannot exist and therefore there must be something. The Bible also states that in the beginning there was nothingness, only god, and through his conscience and deliberate actions created the heavens, the earth and all creatures upon it.

I am sorry, but I just can't buy into this theory that nothing existed. SOMETHING must have been there and always was there.

Even Einstein, the great 20th century physicist saw flaws in this way of thinking.

I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. - Albert Einstein, 1954.

I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings. - Albert Einstein.

And frankly I agree with Einstein. There must be some kind of guiding force in the universe (similar to the Phoenix Force mentioned in X-Men comic books) which guides both creative and destructive forces. Scientists know that gravity draws atoms together and is directly related to how stars are born, die and collapse into black holes, but we don't understand WHY gravity does what it does.

Gravity, that most elusive of energy sources, is so far away from our understanding that we simply cannot explain it. We can't see gravity, only its results. We can measure its power, but cannot understand how or why it does anything. It is the driving force of the universe.

Yet I don't see anyone worshiping the power of gravity, because gravity lacks consciousness.

Religion tends to concern itself with more mythological ways of explaining why things happen. The universe acts in mysterious ways and we explain these things as "acts of god" or "miracles" or sometimes "deja vu". Events effect us emotionally and we can't blame the universe or gravity so we blame god instead.

I could rant about this all day, but my point is that we should be teaching religion and philosophy in school. We should be allowing children to develop their own ideas about the universe, its origins and where the human race is going. We do offer philosophy in high school and university, because at that age students should be able to grasp the concepts.

But what's wrong with allowing kids to study the basics of these issues sooner? Philosophy is an important part of learning logical thinking and you can't have a solid religious understanding without the philosophical knowledge to back it up. Far too many lazy people point to the bible as if it really is the "word of god", a factual document and don't bother to actually learn more about the universe and around them and question WHY.

And that is truly sad when people fail to even question why they are here.

Suzanne MacNevin
Editor of the Lilith eZine

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