August 24, 2011
By Frederick W. Schmidt
So, here is the cultural narrative that I often hear: Conservative Christians want to impose their values on our schools. Everyone else prefers an information-based education that relies on the power of knowledge to inform life choices, but those choices belong to the individual.
The narrative is simple, clear, and easily falsified.
To be sure, some conservative Christians (though not all) are interested in shaping the curriculum of our schools and with it the values our children are taught. And there are certainly others who advocate for a values-neutral environment.
The problem with this narrative, however, is that there are people out there advocating for values-based education who are not Christian conservatives. The best and most obvious example is also the most recent, because it has so-called liberals, as well as conservatives troubled: Sex education in New York.
Read the full essay.
The Reverend Dr. Frederick W. Schmidt is director of Spiritual Formation and associate professor of Christian Spirituality at Southern Methodist University, Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, Texas. An Episcopal priest, he also serves as the director of the Episcopal studies program. He is the author of several books, including Conversations with Scripture: The Gospel of Luke (Morehouse, 2009) and What God Wants for Your Life (Harper One, 2005).
Schmidt's column, "The Spiritual Landscape," is published every Monday on the Progressive Christian portal.