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Letter: Don't take religion from classroom

Nonbelievers have always been part of the American

Nonbelievers have always been part of the American landscape, but only recently have they begun to realize that open identification is a way of making a statement against the fundamentalist element in politics, writes David Niose. Photo Credit: Janet Hamlin

I read with great interest David Niose's "Unholy war." The systematic expunging of religious and ecclesiastical references and symbols from public schools has jeopardized the integrity of social studies education every bit as extensively as creationism threatens the integrity of science education.

The history and cultures of Europe and the Middle East, for example, are utterly incomprehensible without extensive knowledge of Christianity and Islam. The colonization and growth of America, the move toward political independence and religious liberties, the movements to abolish slavery and institute social reforms, can only be understood within the context of the beliefs and practices of those who participated in those historical movements.

Even the history of science, in the hands of secular ideologues, has given us an episodic and apocryphal narrative of scientific progress versus religious superstition that has utterly dumbed down the study of these two areas of human inquiry into pop-culture game-show trivia.

In the end, the secular ideologue seeking to superimpose an atheistic world view on history and sociology is as detrimental to education as the religious fundamentalist seeking to replace evolutionary science with creationism.

Paul Manton, Levittown

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