Religious Schools

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Daughter's new school teaches creationism in Science class

Feb 2007

We have applied to a Christian school for our daughter who will be in Kindergarten this Fall. I love just about every aspect of the program except one. Their science program, although strong, is based on God's creation. As a believer in God, but not creationism, I am struggling with whether to send my child there. Has anyone else with this dilemma sent their child to a Christian school that had this approach to teaching science and been okay with it? Did you teach your child anything on your own about evolution? How do believers in God deal with bible passages that they don't agree with? anonymous

You don't say whether the school teaches Creationism to the exclusion of evolution, but I am guessing that this is the case. Most mainstream Christian churches (including the Roman Catholic Church) acknowledge the viability of evolutionary theory and propose the creation story as a symbolic or metaphorical tale, one which actually reflects some aspects of evolution but imagines it unfolding in a much shorter time- frame. But fundamentalist Christians propose that the words of the Bible are literally true, and are thus forced into an interpretation that insists that geological time can not be a correct concept. The problem for you may be not just Creationism, but the entire proposal that the Bible is literally true. Was woman created from man's rib? Did she tempt Adam in to the Fall? Literal interpretations of the Bible lead to hard issues. If you have a problem with the school's omission of evolutionary theory, perhaps you should rethink the type of Christianity your child will absorb. It will be difficult to send your daughter to that school and ask her to reject a cornerstone of their teaching, namely that the Bible is literally ''true.'' I can understand wanting a faith- based education, but perhaps a mainstream denomination would be more in line with your own faith. a Christian who does not deny science

I am an atheist, and my child attends a Christian Preschool. I found myself in a similar dilemma. I let my child ''teach'' me about things such as God, angels, and creationism. I try to be very non-judgmental and open. Sometimes I might reply ''Some people believe that.'' I guess my point is that, in time, my child will come to his own conclusions regarding religion. When your child is ready, you will discuss evolution vs. creationism with your own well reasoned viewpoint. If you love the other aspects of the school, I would advise you go for it.