In kindergarten classrooms across Texas, 5-year-olds coming to school for the first time could soon be greeted by picture books, colorful blocks and the words, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.”
As those children grow up in the state’s public schools, they could get dedicated time in the day to read the Bible or pray. And if they are going through a hard time, they could turn to a chaplain — rather than a licensed school counselor — for help on campus.
Lawmakers are working to inject Christianity into the state’s public schools through a slate of bills under consideration in the Texas Legislature.
What critics see as an assault on the separation of church and state, supporters argue is a step forward for religious liberty after a major Supreme Court decision last year.
The religious bills are backed by powerful figures both inside and outside the Capitol building and are arriving as Republicans double-down on what is seen as a winning issue to energize their base: accusing public schools of indoctrinating students with a “woke” agenda.
But despite outcries of indoctrination, opponents of the bills warn that they place a premium on promoting a religious viewpoint to children.
“This is certainly moving towards a preferred faith in Texas, which is something that is deeply concerning,” said Joshua Houston, advocacy director for the interfaith group Texas Impact.
On Tuesday, the House gave final approval to a bill that would allow chaplains without state certification to work inside schools.
Rep. Cole Hefner, R-Mount Pleasant, said the plan is about giving school districts “every tool that we can in the toolbox” to combat mental health problems and other crises. He conceded that districts could eventually replace all counselors with chaplains, and rejected Democrats’ amendments to require parental consent and that schools provide a representative of any denomination if requested by a student, teacher or parent….
Full story in Dallas Morning News.
Police, sheriffs and fire departments have chaplains. They have mental health counselors available to them as well. Why it can’t be a both and for schools as well seems to be a good question.
This is a great idea! We need chaplains available in California schools, too. Especially, in the high schools! Plus, like Texas is soon to have, the 10 Commandments prominently displayed in all classrooms. And time set aside for teachers, staff and students to read the Bible– or any other religious book– and pray, each day.
Whoever wrote this must have been Catholic and maybe in Texas they would use the Catholic version of the 10 Commandments.
There is a different numbering system, because Protestants commonly combine our 9th and 10 Commandments and split off “Thou shalt make no graven image” from the 1st. The wording is identical to both.
Because they are Bible Christians and the Bible combines them.
Combines what now? No bible I’ve ever read includes ordinals for each ‘thou shall’. Exodus or Deuteronomy. And since when did Catholics worship idols (besides money, sex, food or people like any other Christian)? As for “Bible” Christians, the Bible is pretty clear that ‘Sola Fides, Sola Scriptura” just ain’t there and the real presence of the Body Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ…is. Catholics are the original “Bible Christians”
They are not numbered in the Bible and it is not said that they are 10.
Nobody else does it the way Catholics do.
Apparently the Catholic way comes from a writing by St. Augustine in the 4th century.
Saint Gus, maybe I can shed a little light here. (I suspect you’re not the great Augustine of Hippo.). You’re partially correct. Catholics and Lutherans generally prefer the numbering going back to the great 4th/5th century Saint. And, the original Scriptures had no verse (or chapter) numbers. Some of the difference is related to the two renderings of the Commandments, one in Exodus and one in Deuteronomy.
Christian legislators will love this until an Iman shows up at a local public elementary school. I bet these legislators will not be so excited about their idea when angry parents call their offices. Perhaps this law will boost enrollment and enthusiasm in and for Catholic schools in Texas. I would not want my child meeting with a Baptist minister.
I would assume that, if invited to, the Satanists will insist on being involved also.
Folks can love this as much as they want, but it is against the First Amendment of the Constitution. Period Stop! “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” When the government puts Christian chaplains into the schools, it is establishing a religion for the state. Read the writings of the Founders. They were afraid this might happen. This is not America.
“When the government puts Christian chaplains into the schools, it is establishing a religion for the state.” I wonder about this, Bob One. Right now it appears that atheism is the functional religion of the state — that is, the public forum is largely void of religious representation. I find it hard to square this with the first amendment’s second clause. At heart is the question how the second clause is consistent with the first, with both equally embraced by government. To remove the idea of Christian chaplains from the school seems to violate the free exercise; if the chaplains can be generic Christian representatives answering to no particular denomination with purely voluntary participation from parents/students, it is hard for me to see how this is establishing a state religion. Jefferson’s wall of separation is not in the Bill of Rights, and there is no guarantee that his solution was the correct one. I say this as one with no great background in legal matters, mind you. I just think Jefferson has been used to advance a practical atheism in our schools, and we are now reaping what we have so long sown. I might add, the study of religion ought to be in the curriculum as the history of ideas. As a topic of study this is no establishment of a state religion.
Dan, you are making an assumption that chaplains would be Christians. What about the Jews? What about the believers of Islam? What about the … you name the religion. The state may not designate one religion as the state religion. Theocracies don’t work; think Iran.
Something as simple as saying the Our Father at the start of school is essentially saying that Christianity is the state religion. Then of course you would have a discussion about the use of the Protestant or Catholic form of the prayer. Let’s jus have a short reading of a verse or two of the Bible, you say. It would have to be from the Old Testament, would it not? Jews don’t use the New Testament. Or which part of the Book of Mormon would you use in a public school? And it goes on and on.
Bob (I think it’s not Bib), there is a difference between “putting” and “allowing.” And, yes, those from other faiths would be permitted as well. It’s about the “free exercise” clause. Since many schools have men in drag teaching young children, what’s the problem with a chaplain of any faith being available? I’d rather have a child speak with a rabbi than a drag queen. We just need to make sure that Catholic chaplains are there. In a free exchange of ideas, we have nothing to fear and should take advantage of the opportunity to share our Faith.
Men in drag are not teaching young children in schools. stop it.
not teaching, I’m sad to say you’re wrong. You can assert that is not happening, but it is. See below from a liberal, secular teen magazine:
Truth matters. And, children’s innocence should be protected.
The drag queens in the Castro mentioned in the article (the only ones in schools) work with ages 16-25.
Those are not young children.
The title of the article misleads.
The Drag Queen Story Hour picture is from a library in Boston. Not a school.
Bob One, chaplains of all religious faiths can assist any group. We also traditionally have chaplains who offer prayers at city, state, and national events. We do not have an established religion, such as in the U.K., with the Church of England. But our country does recognize religious faith in God, and the fact that we are “One Nation Under God.” That is very important! God gave us this great land, we owe Him everything, abundant gratitude!
In the public schools, we can have chaplains of different faiths come on different days, to assist the kids. Catholics,
Mormons, Baptists, other Protestants, Pentecostals, Jews, Muslims, etc. Most Christian chaplains are trained to help and support various types of people, especially in times of great tragedies or catastrophes. In those cases, I would rather have a Billy Graham chaplain or any other Christian chaplain pray with me, and comfort and support me, if a Catholic chaplain was not available. I would not want to go see a secular counselor who is probably “woke,” leftist, and anti-Christian. Our country has become too destructively secularized, “woke,” leftist, sinful, and anti-Christian, dominated evilly by the Death Culture! We need to re-incorporate religious faith in God, morality, and good family values, back into our country’s day-to-day life. We need to change America into a Culture of Life, blessed by faith in God.
Fundamentalism in the form of race/gender ideology is steam rolling students and their parents. That isn’t a religion? Of course it is. It meets every criteria as enforced by politicians and school boards. *That* isn’t America. Most troubling is the selective application of what religious expression is acceptable and which is not by Catholics, no less. Especially when the truth of Catholicism is inadmissible and the claims of materialistic atheism are not.
Saw that coming from 1000 miles away…
I think we’re seeing that freedom of religion is a bad idea. The Feeneyites and European Christendom and the Crusades had it right. It should be Catholicism and only Catholicism. Every other religion is false.
Do you reject all the teachings of the Church since the Second Vatican Council? If not, how do you decide which you accept and which you reject?
That seems like Martin Luther and Protestantism.
As the Catechism teaches (CCC 2108), “The right to religious liberty is neither a moral license to adhere to error, nor a supposed right to error, but rather a natural right of the human person to civil liberty, i.e., immunity, within just limits, from external constraint in religious matters by political authorities.” So, you prefer that Catholics (like Mr. Newsom and Mr. Biden, kings, emperors, and Fr. Feeney) impose religious practice on all?
That’s the kind of beautiful family it takes lots of money to have.
Your argument is the same as that of mothers who complain about the garbage in schools. They wouldn’t even think of homeschooling because “mom MUST work” to keep up the family’s standard of living. Yes, money is more important than souls of their kids.
Are these “chaplains” going to be screened? The Southern Baptist denomination has a child sexual abuse problem that may even be worse than that of our Catholic Church! For more info see the Dallas Morning News article on 2/11/2019.
Chaplains…must pass a background check, be endorsed by a religious organization and must have some training to meet the Department of Defense chaplain standards.
When I was young, passages of the Bible were recited during Christmas Nativity plays in public schools, and Bible verses were sometimes quoted by teachers at public schools, such as “Do unto others…” Everyone went to church (or synagogue), and everyone was familiar with the Bible. Children sang religious as well as secular Christmas carols in public schools. Clergy of all faiths took turns giving invocations at town Christmas events, graduation ceremonies, and football games, all over the country. Catholic priests always made themselves available for talking, and for Confessions, outdoors, at all public high school football games, in our town. American politicians of all faiths, often referenced God in their speeches. Everyone believed in God, and Judeo-Christian morality and good family values were promoted and upheld– even by “naughty” businessmen and politicians, who sinned grievously. They knew right from wrong, and still showed up in church, on Sundays, with their families. And the Catholic ones respected God and the Church– and never went to the altar rail, to receive Holy Communion. They never questioned, nor dared challenge God, the Church, and morality, like today’s wayward, false Catholic politicians– Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden– that was unheard of.
In public elementary schools in the mid to late 1940’s in California, Catholic sisters and Protestant Sunday School teachers could take children out of classrooms once a week for about thirty minutes to an hour to teach catechisms if parents wanted. Those of other religions went to Saturday/Sunday temple schools. Priests and minsters gave graduation prayers but around 1990 it got controversial when a minister at one college graduation thanked God for “our various sexual preferences”. People stopped listening and prayers at some graduations went downhill from there.