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Editor Note: These are schools that are either affiliated with a religious institution,
or that include religious instruction as part of their curriculum.
We have applied to a Christian school for our daughter who will
be in Kindergarten this Fall. I love just about every aspect of
the program except one. Their science program, although strong,
is based on God's creation. As a believer in God, but not
creationism, I am struggling with whether to send my child there.
Has anyone else with this dilemma sent their child to a
Christian school that had this approach to teaching science and
been okay with it? Did you teach your child anything on your own
about evolution? How do believers in God deal with bible
passages that they don't agree with?
You don't say whether the school teaches Creationism to the
exclusion of evolution, but I am guessing that this is the
case. Most mainstream Christian churches (including the Roman
Catholic Church) acknowledge the viability of evolutionary
theory and propose the creation story as a symbolic or
metaphorical tale, one which actually reflects some aspects of
evolution but imagines it unfolding in a much shorter time-
frame. But fundamentalist Christians propose that the words of
the Bible are literally true, and are thus forced into an
interpretation that insists that geological time can not be a
correct concept. The problem for you may be not just
Creationism, but the entire proposal that the Bible is
literally true. Was woman created from man's rib? Did she
tempt Adam in to the Fall? Literal interpretations of the
Bible lead to hard issues. If you have a problem with the
school's omission of evolutionary theory, perhaps you should
rethink the type of Christianity your child will absorb. It
will be difficult to send your daughter to that school and ask
her to reject a cornerstone of their teaching, namely that the
Bible is literally ''true.'' I can understand wanting a faith-
based education, but perhaps a mainstream denomination would be
more in line with your own faith.
a Christian who does not deny science
I am an athiest, and my child attends a Christian Preschool. I
found myself in a similar dilemma. I let my child ''teach'' me
about things such as God, angels, and creationism. I try to be
very non-judgmental and open. Sometimes I might reply ''Some
people believe that.'' I guess my point is that, in time, my
child will come to his own conclusions regarding religion. When
your child is ready, you will discuss evolution vs. creationism
with your own well reasoned viewpoint. If you love the other
aspects of the school, I would advise you go for it.
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