Knocking on the schoolhouse door

To the editor:

How many Catholics remember attending catechism in the classrooms after school? I do at my grade school in Illinois. I distinctly remember Father Pesit. A priest who had been in combat as a military chaplain and took no sass or back talk from us students (he broke a pencil over Cliff Beato’s head simply because Cliff was tapping on his desk as the priest spoke.).

And today you would be hard pressed to find any school that hosts catechism classes. As a society, we’ve allowed the state to remove most every reference to God from the schools.

While the establishment clause was meant to prevent a state established religion, the modern interpretation is to ban all religions by a misinterpretation of that clause in our Constitution’s first amendment. It was never meant to ban religion, it was meant for the federal government to embrace all religions.

Allow the Christmas tree, the Menorah etc. etc. Embrace all religions. Don’t ban them.

Yet the New York Supreme Court in December 2011 banned all church and religious organizations from renting empty classrooms for non-secular activities. While this is one approach to avoiding the appearance of establishment of religion, embracing all religions would be the alternative.

Someone asked me that since I believe God and Jesus, how God could ever allow something like the Sandy Hook tragedy to take place. I answered I don’t know since God isn’t allowed past the schoolhouse door anymore. Perhaps we should start there.

Gary Shade
Apple Valley

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