The Instigator
iluvdb8
Pro (for)
Losing
18 Points
The Contender
SnoopyDaniels
Con (against)
Winning
39 Points

Religious music should not be sung by elementary school choirs

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/17/2007 Category: Education
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,349 times Debate No: 580
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (9)
Votes (19)

 

iluvdb8

Pro

From experience i remember singing relgious church hyms in my elementary school choir. Even though i am jewish, i was instructed to sing songs praising jesus christ as our savior and the only true god (not saying this isnt true)

THere are many points to suggest children should not be singing religious music in school choirs

1) the message of the song may be conflicting with the respective childs religion.

It should not be allowed to make a child sing a song about something they do not believe in. forcing a child to make this decision is wrong.

2) school is not a place for religion to be sung.

THere are not just problems with singing these songs, some children may not want to listen to them during a school assembly, but will have no choice but to stay and listen to the religious music

For these reasons and more, i think i can win this debate

DARE TO CHALLENGE ME???
SnoopyDaniels

Con

This whole argument relates back to a completely different argument regarding the constitutionality of public education and its validity and effectiveness in general. The best solution to this, and any problem relating to education is privatization. Were our education system privatized, religiously inclined individuals would be free to incorporate schools based on those values, while atheists could do the same. Thus, debates like this one would never arise. However, I will assume for the sake of this argument that we wish to preserve the public school system or that there is no other option.

I will begin by refuting your arguments for eliminating religious themes and music from school programs. I agree that children should not be forced to participate in any activity that would contradict their religious convictions. However, does it follow that we must eliminate such activities from the school curriculum? Of course not. It simply means that we must allow them not to participate if such is their wish, or the wish of their parents.

Meanwhile, 75% of Americans are still Christian, according to the CIA World Factbook. Should the rest of us simply ignore the importance of our Christian heritage to accommodate a tiny minority? If so, why? Is the United States a democratic republic, or an oligarchy, rules by a minority of those individuals who insist on making an issue out of everything that "offends" them? Like it or not, Christianity is an important part of our past and our present. Why should we simply leave it out of our public education system, which is designed to prepare our children to be good citizens? How can one be a good citizen of the United States if one is never taught the foundational principles of its culture and history? If the last fifty years of American education is any indicator, such a notion is madness.

If schools should not be allowed to produce religious programs complete with religious music on the basis that it is religious and might offend some people, then one must throw out every part of the curriculum which may be construed as religiously offensive. We would have to ignore most of western history, a huge portion of art masterpieces with religious subjects, any literature which contains religious themes or undertones.

Furthermore, if a curriculum does not teach from a Judeo-Christian/religious philosophical construct, it must teach from some other perspective. There is no such thing as philosophical neutrality. Why not start with the moral philosophy with which a majority of constituents hold? Currently our curriculum is geared to teach from a secular humanist, materialist, atheist, relativist standpoint, despite the fact that it goes against the express beliefs of 75 percent of the population, as noted above.

Your second point is circular. You are trying to prove that schools should not have kids sing religious songs, and then you try to prove it by saying that school is not a place for religious songs to be sung. You then go on to reiterate your first argument.

Keep in mind that I don't think this is the ideal solution. To me, the perfect solution (and one which I think is inevitable) is to privatize education altogether. Every educational debate could be solved by doing this. Those who are opposed to religion being taught in schools would be free to send their child to an atheistic school. Christians could send their kids to Christian schools. Muslims could send their kids to Muslim schools. The schools that performed the best would succeed financially, and the ineffective schools would go bust. We would have the best education system in the world within ten years.
Debate Round No. 1
iluvdb8

Pro

I will begin by refuting your points, then i will go on to state some of my own

You said that Religious music should be allowed to be sung by elementary school choirs because...

1) Students do not have to participate if they don't want to, or their parents don't want to.

2) Our country is primarily christian and our country is based on christian values.

3) Schools would have to throw out all curriculum that has anything to do with religion

4) Schools could be segregated by religion instead of today's system

First of all, If a child wants to sing in a school choir at all, he will most likely have to sing at all of the carol events, including those with religious music. In addition, the months leading up to the carol will include practicing the songs that they will be singing, including the religious ones. It is not fair to make students who want to sing, but don't want to be preaching someone else's religion make a choice like that. There is plenty of good, wholesome, non religious music that could be sung instead of church hymns or other such music.

Secondly, you said that our country is 75% christian and our country is based on judeo-christian values. Though our country is also based on the simple need for separation between church and state, and especially in public schools we should not be making curriculum choices based on religion because of how many people in our country are one religion or the other. Also, this debate is not only about christian music. WHat about religious Jewish, Muslim, Hindi, or buddhist music? You have not thought of a single rebuttal for the fact that not all religious music is christian.

Thirdly, we would not need to throw out all curriculum based on religion. Learning about the history of a religion, or a piece of artwork is not the same as preaching the religion to your peers and your parents. When you learn about religion in art work and history, you are simply learning to appreciate art and the learn about religions affect on history. But, when it comes to music, you are singing loud and clear to many people you know songs that have the words "jesus is our savior" or "the jews are the chosen people", which is not right for children, especially in a government regulated or operated school system

Fourthly, we cannot and will never divide schools based on religion. That is back tracking 40 years and re-adopting segregation, except this time the original constitution clearly says that there will be a separation between church and state. I hope that i will never see the day when my children are sent to a school across town because they are jewish and most of my home town is not.

Now, i will like to move on to some of my own points.

Firstly, There is absolutely no reason not to ban this unconstitutional practice. It is unethical to have a young child preach a religion to their peers that they themselves have no religious affiliation with. And, there are thousands of songs out there, why to we have to use music that offends people or forces children to decide between the joy of singing, and preaching a different religion from theirs. There is absolutely no benefit to keeping this music in schools, and that is why i think i will win this debate. Thank you for debating me.
SnoopyDaniels

Con

"First of all, If a child wants to sing in a school choir at all, he will most likely have to sing at all of the carol events, including those with religious music."

So, because one kid objects, the rest should not be allowed to sing what they want? That hardly seems equitable.

"There is plenty of good, wholesome, non religious music that could be sung instead of church hymns or other such music."

For instance? Secular Christmas music is about as crappy and unartistic as you can get. Moreover, why should we sing secular songs during a holiday that is based in religion? It is not as if school choirs arbitrarily sing religious songs during the year. If a kid doesn't want to sing Christmas music but wants to sing in the choir, he can do that. Just skip the Christmas concert.

"Though our country is also based on the simple need for separation between church and state, and especially in public schools we should not be making curriculum choices based on religion because of how many people in our country are one religion or the other."

Our country is not based whatsoever on the separation between church and state. Neither that exact phrase, or anything approximating that concept can be found in the constitution. It simply states that the government should not establish a state religion. Almost all of the schools in colonial America included unmistakably religious themes, including Bible reading and prayer. Even their primers contained Bible verses. If this is unconstitutional, why did none of the founding fathers speak against it? Instead, they encouraged it on numerous occasions!!

Why shouldn't we be making curriculum choices based on religion? Isn't this country all about choice? Why should the government decide that religion can't be taught in the classroom? If a majority of parents want it to be, then sobeit. What is going on in today's classrooms is not some innocent, neutral philosophy. It is blatant atheism, which is as much a religion as Christiantiy, Judaism, or Islam. Many parents are offended by the content of science text books. According to you, we should quit using those text books if it offends even one student or parent. If we shouldn't, then why should we quit singing religious songs during religious holidays in a religious country because one person or parent is offended?

"What about religious Jewish, Muslim, Hindi, or buddhist music? You have not thought of a single rebuttal for the fact that not all religious music is christian."

I think that even a brilliant debater such as yourself would find it difficult to argue that all religious music is Christian.

"Learning about the history of a religion, or a piece of artwork is not the same as preaching the religion to your peers and your parents."

Who said anything about preaching? Music is art, just like any painting. If we shouldn't throw out the study of religious paintings, then we shouldn't throw out the performing of religious songs. And once again, nobody is forced to be in the choir, or sing religious songs.

"When you learn about religion in art work and history, you are simply learning to appreciate art and the learn about religions affect on history."

When you sing a religious song in the context of a religious holiday among religious people, you are simply learning to appreciate music and learn about religion's effect on culture.

"Fourthly, we cannot and will never divide schools based on religion. That is back tracking 40 years and re-adopting segregation, except this time the original constitution clearly says that there will be a separation between church and state. I hope that i will never see the day when my children are sent to a school across town because they are jewish and most of my home town is not."

First, you clearly did not read my argument. When did I ever say we should "force" childrend to go to a particular school based on race? I said that parents would have the option to send their kids wherever they want! That's the exact opposite of what you're accusing me of saying. Second, as I mentioned before, separation of church and state is a lie. But assuming it's not, my proposal would still not be unconstitutional because it would involve PRIVATE schools. The state would not be involved. Thus, no violation of this clause is possible.

"Firstly, There is absolutely no reason not to ban this unconstitutional practice."

I presented several reasons why we shouldn't ban this perfectly constitutional practice.

"It is unethical to have a young child preach a religion to their peers that they themselves have no religious affiliation with."

I agree. Unfortunately for the sake of your argument, nothing of the sort is happening.

"And, there are thousands of songs out there, why to we have to use music that offends people or forces children to decide between the joy of singing, and preaching a different religion from theirs."

What else should they sing ON A RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY? And I repeat again: NOBODY IS FORCING THEM TO SING, LET ALONE PREACH, ANYTHING. If you mention that one more time I'm going to tear my hair out.
Debate Round No. 2
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by candygirl_s 9 years ago
candygirl_s
I know. It just pissed the teacher off that they wouldn't sing.
Posted by SnoopyDaniels 9 years ago
SnoopyDaniels
Awwwww... poor atheists... they were upset. *wipes a tear away*. For crying out loud, atheists don't even believe in God and therefore can't possibly find it repugnant to listen to religious music from any faith any more than I would be offended to listen to secular music.
Posted by candygirl_s 9 years ago
candygirl_s
The only reason I think they should not is because at my school, we had to sing a religious song or two, and there were some athiest people there. They did not enjoy singing along and would be upsetted by the whole thing. Just saying. ^______^
Posted by griffinisright 9 years ago
griffinisright
I like your supporting information, SnoopyDaniels
"So, because one kid objects, the rest should not be allowed to sing what they want? That hardly seems equitable."
Couldn't have worded it better myself!
Posted by SnoopyDaniels 9 years ago
SnoopyDaniels
Cindela:

I'm not entirely sure I understand your point. For one thing, no Christian would be offended to sing a Jewish song, so that particular example doesn't work very well, though there may be a better example that more readily expresses your point.

And besides, since when is anyone required to sing songs that go against their beliefs? I'm sure that they could get out of it by talking to the choir director.
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
SING all the songs , I dont care if my daughter sings a song for another religion ... as long as she can sing her songs she believes in too , Its important for kids to learn about other religions. I went to a Catholic school and we always learned about other religions and we sang other religious songs as well as our own in case anyone in the audience was of another faith and I am okay ... I survived and didnt convert .. Its just be accepting ..Its music :)
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
I don't know when you went to school or where , but now at least where I live , its the opposit they cant sing any song with Jesus or Christmas in it , they do sing Jewish songs. I think they should sing all the songs , sing Christmas songs , sing Jewish songs and any others ..who cares , Let them sing them all ..I sang the dreidal song and never cared as long as I could sing away in a manger too ... What is the big deal ?
Posted by Cindela 9 years ago
Cindela
"What else should they sing ON A RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY? And I repeat again: NOBODY IS FORCING THEM TO SING, LET ALONE PREACH, ANYTHING. If you mention that one more time I'm going to tear my hair out."

They don't have to sing religious songs just because it is a religious holiday. The religious holiday means nothing for many people. For instance, let us say that there is a choir of 100 children. If your statistic is true, then 75 of those students should be Christian. If this is a choir that requires the attendance of all singers all the time, then on Hanukkah they are all forced to sing songs that go against their beliefs. Therefore, they are being forced to sing these songs that go against their religion. And singing is a form of preaching. Singing is the same as talking to someone, except it is to a melody. The same message is being sent.
Posted by SnoopyDaniels 9 years ago
SnoopyDaniels
I find it ironic, in light of the outcome of this debate, that we're discussing "schooling".
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