(Guest post by Greg Forster)
OCPA carries my article on secularization and schooling:
Our schools produce secularization because they are forced to educate students in a pluralistic society without allowing those students to integrate their education with the reality that human beings are religious creatures. We have a government school monopoly, which means one size has to fit all. But one size can’t fit all when it comes to the things that matter most.
Educating children without reference to religion produces secularization in multiple ways. Children learn from an early age that their own religion, whatever it is, is a private hobby, because it’s not part of what we teach them about in school. Children also learn that the parts of life that don’t actually happen in a religious setting should be organized without reference to religion, because the knowledge base upon which our social and cultural systems are based was taught to them in exactly that way.
Worst of all, while schools make major efforts to teach moral character to students, they can’t ground virtues like honesty, generosity and self-control in any adequate source. This leaves them either indoctrinating children in an essentially selfish morality (teaching students that “you’ll be happier in the long run if you don’t lie” also teaches them that “what makes you personally happy is the standard for judging what is morally good”), or just wagging their fingers and telling students to be good without telling them how or why. Neither approach actually forms students with the character and virtues that a free society needs.
Exercise your right to bring your whole self into the public square by letting me know what you think!