PHIL WIELAND: Don't put Indiana education in Kruse control

2013-01-11T00:00:00Z PHIL WIELAND: Don't put Indiana education in Kruse control nwitimes.com
January 11, 2013 12:00 am

It's a sad day for Indiana, one of a plethora, when the chairman of the state Senate's Education Committee thinks the top priority for improving our mediocre, at best, educational system is to require the reading of the Lord's Prayer in schools.

Following his proposal last year to get schools back to the basics, as taught during the darkest of the Dark Ages, by adding Creationism to the state's educational curriculum, Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, kicked off the current Statehouse confab by introducing a bill to let districts require the prayer's recital.

Apparently Kruse is under the impression that having a church on virtually every other block across most of the state provides today's youths with insufficient exposure to the Christian mantra, not to mention those poor delusional, purgatorially destined heathens who aren't of the Christian faith.

Forget the whole separation of church and state thing. I'm not even going to go there. Kruse seems to think it should be every school's goal to encourage intolerance by honoring one faith and not just ignoring the others but also stressing by inference their inferiority and heresy in the process.

That's a great way to speed the creation of a heaven on Earth. Suddenly, the Dark Ages seems like a step up from Kruse's proposal.

Saying the Lord's Prayer is fine in school for any student who individually feels a need for holy comfort, like before a nasty physics test or when threatened with a potentially puberty-delaying wedgie by the class goon squad. Some of us can't flee those conflicts like Forrest Gump. Besides, those girls were pretty fast, too.

For my academic career, I was less likely to say the Lord's Prayer than intone, "Now I lay me down to sleep." Especially during English class. Chanting prayers of any kind en masse is cult-like and should be reserved for church or revival meetings. The only schools that should engage in the practice are the ones run by churches where training in a particular religion is an expected part of the curriculum.

Kruse's proposed legislation would grant schools some broad exceptions, but all public schools need to be exempt, and Kruse needs to concentrate his efforts as education committee chairman on the three Rs, and leave the fourth one, religion, to the churches and the individual families.

Between banning gay marriage and requiring school prayer, too many legislators are intent on turning Indiana into a religious state as repressive, intellectually stultifying and ultimately insulting of their own God as any on the planet.

It's time for them to learn a new R: Reality.

The opinions are those of the writer. He can be reached at phil.wieland@nwi.com or (219) 548-4352.

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