I decided to persuade my audience of the need for prayer in the school for a speech I was expected to do in public speaking. I think it is important for children to be introduced to God. I spent many Sundays in church growing up, always by myself. My family had no interest in the practice of religion, although they believed in God.
Before this speech, I believed the government had no right to dictate our child’s introduction to learning, including religion. I soon came to realize that it was not the government forcing God out of our schools, it was the people. While doing my research, I was surprised to find that I changed my point of view. I will explain why…
There is a distinct difference between religion and spirituality, even though religion is spiritual, and spirituality can also be considered religious. I loved the interpretation of this subject in the blog, “Religion vs. Spirituality, What’s The Difference?” (2010)https://preventdisease.com/news/10/092910_religion_spiritualty.shtml
“True spirituality is something that is found deep within oneself. It is your way of loving, accepting and relating to the world and people around you. It cannot be found in a church or by believing in a certain way.”“Religion vs Spirituality, What’s The Difference?” Preventdisease.com.
There is an estimate of 4,200 different religions in the world, and can be categorized into several main religions. It is the teaching of a sacred book. Religion is guidance from others, in a place of worship:
- House of worship
- The Ganges River
The definition of spir-it-u-al adjective, airy, motivated by the soul, holy, religious.
- Spirituality lives within us; a gift obtained with life.
- It is present, here and now, it is not guaranteed in the form of religion.
- It seeks sacredness in all books, recognizing the fundamental difference in everything and everyone.
- Spirituality doesn’t judge, it is living every moment with God, giving us acceptance of what is, giving you peace of mind.
With 4,200 religions, it is impossible for a school district to accommodate religion without singling any child out…
There were several legal battles involved in the release of religion, from public schools. There are two essential clauses regarding religion, in The First Amendment of the US Constitution:
- The Establishment Clause that prohibits the constitution from passing laws that aid or show a preference for one religion over another.
- The Free Exercise Clause which reserves the right of citizens to except any religious belief and exercise in any religious ritual.
These trials were formed, as parents took a stand for their children, who were forced to partake in one religion, which threatened their own:
- Engle v. Vitale (1962). Prohibits prayer time set aside.
- Wallace v Jaffree (1985). Prohibits a period of silence set aside for prayer or meditation.
- Lee v. Weisman (1992). A violation of the Establishment Clause that allowed clergy to be invited to deliver invocations and benedictions at middle and high school graduation ceremonies.
- Santa Fe v. Doe (2000). Prohibits student religions that proscribe prayer or meal accommodations, that sometimes would impact or interfere with student learning.
Today, teachers and students are prohibited from pushing their one belief on any of the 4,199 other religions. Schools began dismissing religious students, to accommodate specific prayer times during the day and began offering adjusted meal choices in order to accommodate religious practices. Even though it is not societies intention, our religious beliefs segregate our unity as a society.
Bullying has always been a problem in schools, religion is just one more thing separating students, as well as society. Bullies commonly choose victims that are different. Here are a few reasons:
- They are physically different
- They are highly gifted
- They have a handicap
- They may be of a different race (As I was the only white child in my second grade class.)
- They could be a member of an ethnic minority group
- They may have a different sexual orientation or gender identity
“A common characteristic that victims tend to share is how their individual differences stand out from their peers”.
Morgan, H. (2012). What Teachers and Schools Can Do to Control the Growing Problem of School Bullying.
While doing my research for this speech, I was scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook when I noticed this quote:
“Church should be your excuse for missing things, not vise versa! #Priorities, #You say you want to be blessed.”
Posted by, Springridge Pentecostal Church.https://www.facebook.com/430057603818482/posts/1216545708502997?sfns=m
To me, this Facebook quote was meant to make society feel ashamed for missing church. If adults use church to separate society, we should expect our children to do the same. If society would focus on the word of God, the holy ghost, and the spirituality of it all; there separation of view, would transition to understanding. There is human nature: where we gain who we are from our creation. There is human nurture: where we gain who we are from our environments. I am an expert of my life not yours, I have not lived my life in your shoes, and realizing that everyone believes their way of living is the right way. Society will gain acceptance, when its realized that we cannot change people, but we can change how we let people affect us. Perceptual positions integrates your view of society into complete understanding. Perceptual Positions is referenced from, “The Ultimate NLP Course” on Udemy the link is below. https://www.udemy.com/nlpcourse/learn/lecture/4387754?start=229#overview
Think about your religion, how does it make you feel?
- What do you get from the effort you put into your religion?
- What do you feel about people that may not be as active in their religion, or more active?
- How does it make you feel when you think about individuals that have different religions or none at all?
- Do any of these questions make you uncomfortable?
First Position (Self)
If so, then this exercise will be an eye opening, and spiritual experience. Find uninterrupted time, this exercise is carried out in the mind.
- In the first position you will carry out a visualization, imagine you are having a conversation with any individual that has a different belief, that makes you uncomfortable.
- Does somebody come to mind? If not make up your own person.
- Imagine this person is sitting right in front of you, in detail explain how your religion makes you feel, and how their religion makes you feel. Tell this person everything you would want to tell them.
- Now move on to the second position.
Second Position (Other)
Become the individual with the different religion or no religion at all, that makes you uncomfortable.
- If an individual you know comes to mind, go as far as replicating how they move, sit or stand.
- Acquire their beliefs, values, experiences, thoughts, and feelings.
- See yourself through their eyes, and speak to yourself as if you were still sitting in the first position.
- Sitting in the second position, in detail say everything the other individual would say to you in response to you in the first position.
- How do they feel towards your difference in beliefs?
- Does their beliefs give them the same, or more joy then your beliefs?
- Are they uncomfortable with your beliefs? If so, how does that make you feel?
Take A Moment To Contemplate the conversation.
- How did their reaction make you feel?
- Do you change your reaction towards them?
- Has your view towards them change at all?
- How do feel after the conversation?
- Let’s go a bit further, to the third position.
Third Position (Observer)
You are now the person that is detached from, both points of view. A person, that has never met you or the other person, just passing by listening to the whole conversation play out.
- As the observer, what advice do you give yourself in the first position?
- How could your reaction in the first position be modified to improve your position?
- Were you aggressive in delivering your position?
- Where you careless of any position but your own, coming off heartless?
- Let’s go now, to the fourth position.
The Forth Position (System)
You are now humanity, looking at yourself in the first position.
- Imagine there are 4,200 religions and they are all looking at you and your position on your religion.
- Are you acting in an ethical manner in the first position?
- How would society react if they were watching the first position play out?
- Now, let’s go to the fifth position.
The Fifth Position (Universal)
You are now looking at yourself in the first position, through God’s eyes.
- How would God judge you, in the first position?
- Would God lead the situation differently?
Last Go Back To The First Position
- Has your perspective changed at all?
- What do you see differently?
- Do you have any advice for the people that agreed with your thoughts?
This exercise can help you find peace in what you do not understand, help with conflict resolution, and help show empathy in a bullying situation. You can download or print a PDF of this exercise through the link below. https://www.dropbox.com/s/kl9m1w95npnxg0r/PerceptualPositions_pdf.pdf?dl=0
I would like to talk to you about enlightenment. You cannot solely depend on religion to gain enlightenment. If you are spiritual, or religious in a spiritual sense enlightenment is attainable. Mateo Sol explains enlightenment in his blog, 5 Different Forms of Spiritual Ascension. Which Have You Experienced? Found at https://lonerwolf.com/spiritual-ascension/
Enlightenment is a rare experience it’s the total death of the ego; our fears, stress, anxiety, and depression that come from hopes, wants, and needs, is finally understood and all that remains is pure awareness, presence, love, and truth, a gift of grace.
As parents, we naturally keep our child’s best interests in mind with all that we do, we need to keep all children in mind while protecting our own. A child has every right to find peace through their religion, as adults we have no right turning sacredness into difference.
Parents I urge you to teach your children spirituality, they will gain acceptance of all ethnics, peace in their own religion, and gain their place in this world.
(c) 2019, Andrea R Rice, All Rights Reserved.