Stop proselytizing in public schools
Joelle Silver is not to be commended for what she deems freedom of speech. What she is doing is neither inspiring, nor the encouragement of sound values and principles in students. While I am not able to definitively say what she is thinking in these actions, she is going against the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. If she wants to act in this manner in a public classroom, she is wrong. Let her do this in a Christian school, where parents send their children to contain them in a religious environment of their choosing.
Public school children of different faiths and sects should not be exposed to any type of authoritarian pressure or class peer pressure on an emotional subject that may not be to other parents’ liking. Religious tolerance doesn’t just consist of letting others possess beliefs of their own, but also, not inflicting them with your own beliefs.
In my lifetime, there has been a religious force-feeding of the public by shortsighted and emotional individuals, politicians and organizations; including adding “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance by the Knights of Columbus and political allies, and adding “in God we trust” to our paper currency.
We have individuals and organizations seeking to set up crèches and 10 Commandment tablets on public property in the name of religious freedom. When will people recognize the difference between religious freedom and religious zealotry? Most of the people immigrating to this country came to escape the sanctions imposed by the religious sect in power at the time.
I don’t care what or even if you believe. Just leave the rest of us alone with our own private thoughts, and let your so-called freedom of speech evangelism be conducted without public expense in a private place.
Thomas P. Druelinger