Difference of Opinion our Greatest Strength

A series of books published by Greenhaven Press are carried by our Public Library and the High School Library. Thank you both for making these available. This series of books, on a multitude of subjects, is titled "Opposing viewpoints." The motto on the back of each book reads, "Those who do not know their opponent's arguments do not completely understand their own."

In the last thirty years, in America, there has been an orchestrated and concentrated effort by some public school superintendents and officials to remove prayer, the Bible, God and religion in general from "their" public schools. Because of this, I'm afraid they are losing touch with their opponent's arguments.

Of course, some of these school officials claim to want diversity for our children. In others words, they want our children to be exposed to and share with others many different views; other than and except for views they are taught at home and in their own family environments. "It's perfectly okay if children wish to exhibit behavior which reflects their religious values at our schools, we just don't want them to upset our open humanist environment of diversity by talking about them."

Today, I challenge this spirit of arrogance which some public school officials display, by charging that you do not completely understand your own arguments and values. You should take a lesson from this newspaper, The Times. On December 23rd of 1995, this paper showed the real spirit of diversity by reflecting the views of this community on the cover of the paper with a Christmas scene, a Bible quote and a touching "non-materialistic" article about Santa Claus in our County.

My letters are printed on this opinion page as frequently as I write them, with a real show of tolerance for diversity. The pages of The Times are covered with genuine thought provoking diversity ("just ask Mr. Harker!"). THAT IS RESPONSIBLE JOURNALISM! I thank the publisher and editors for this.

Shame on you, guardians of the gates of public education, who are scared to death that a student might whip out a Bible during a classroom discussion on the theory of evolution. If you deacons of diversity are afraid that other students may want to get out their Bhagavad-Gita (a Hindu holy book), the teachings of Buddha, the Koran, the Torah, or the writings of Confucius; then I say, "Get them all out, this is America!" The truth has no problem with diversity, it is human lies and deceptions which need to be shielded and protected from the truth.

The Times and Greenhaven Press are honestly practicing openness and toleration of diversity. That is why I place such a high value on both these media and educational instruments. I give them both my praise and my full support.

Those public educators who personally believe that the philosophy of humanism should be the public schools' "exclusive" opinion of diversity (think about that contradiction), believe that mankind, rather than God, is the center of all truth and possesses the power or potentiality of solving their own problems without a need for God. I realize some of you truly believe this with all your hearts, but why can't we talk about it in a real diverse environment--like adults and young adults--in our public schools?

The open and civil sharing of differences of opinion (real diversity) still works, even in the late twentieth century. Some of us believe "there is a God and we need God in America again!" That is our opinion. Please respect it for the sake of diversity.

--Kenneth J. Wolf #50 (01/13/96)

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