Are you familiar with the word? What does it mean? Dictionarydotcom lists it as – “the doctrine that matter and all things were created, substantially as they now exist, by an omnipotent Creator, and not gradually evolved or developed.” Can I just ask, what ever happened to plain and simple religion, or Christianity, or even the good old-fashioned “gospel?” Moving on – I know you’re asking why I bring this up? A couple of months ago I listened to something very interesting on one of the cable news stations having to do with the word, and school children. This piqued my interest, since my first children’s chapter book, The Wrought Iron Bridge has a couple of religious references. They introduced this topic on the news, because a school district in Ohio is in a battle against parents, teachers, and civil rights groups on whether it should be added to the curriculum; creationism, that is. The Priest interviewed believes it should not be taught as science, it is a religious belief. Let me begin by saying, as usual this is “my opinion” only.
Now, we all know this is a topic that has been battled since the beginning of the ages. The Pros against the Cons, if you will. Did you know there is a new “hot list” of things that cannot be discussed in the school system, especially in public schools? That list consists of: Evolution, Pro-Life Abortion, Contraception, Abstinence, Legalization of Drugs, Gun Rights, and Global Warming. Okay, not to get off topic – the Priest believes, and I agree as a parent, we must be the first educators. Granted, we are all different, not only physically, but mentally as well; meaning we all have different teaching styles. Also, the world is an extremely diverse place, especially from when some of us attended school. Things have drastically changed, even in the time since my daughter graduated. But, in this news discussion, a very good question arose. Your ten year old is in Science class and learning about evolution. That forward thinking ten year old comments, “But, that’s not what I learned in Sunday School.” Does that teacher address that question quickly, and then move on? Is it the teacher’s place to do so? Like the man of the cloth, I believe our public school system is extremely flawed, because discussing any of these topics there is prohibited. Therefore, it would make the question of the ten year old a difficult one to answer, indeed.
Again, I bring all this up, because my nine year old female protagonist, and her friend is talking to a stranger they meet in the woods. The story in set in 1960 Virginia when this type thing would have been totally acceptable. The stranger has a biblical name that he received from an incident, which he explains to the children. In fact, what he experienced is very similar to the bible story where the name originates. In their conversation, my little girl’s friend doesn’t remember the story of which the stranger speaks. She tells him, “If you think hard, you’ll remember. We learned it in Sunday School last year.” When I listened to this debate, it left me furrowing my brow with concern. But, in thinking about my complete tale, it cannot be categorized as a biblical story, and I never had that in mind as I put it to paper. So, where does that leave me?
My own stubbornness would never allow me to rewrite or delete these references. For that reason, and if someone wants to re-categorize the work, such as making it Christian literature, then so be it. Don’t you agree there are some things for which you must take a stand? As writers it’s imperative we express ourselves, and I don’t believe any civil rights group can shoot that down – fourth amendment, remember. How can I, or any other writer, in all reason and fairness, not write what is in our heart? I know I am going to say this in a broad sense, but doesn’t boldness make for a better writer?
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