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OpEd–School motives — Why should I go to school?

Religious leaders: if you sermonize on how God loves education in subjects like science, math, history, and literature, let us know.

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Reverend A.R. Bernard at Christian Cultural Center gets excited about God and education. Photo: Tony Carnes/A Journey through NYC religions

 

This is a question from students that many pastors, rabbis, priests, and imams often don’t answer.

In two dozen interviews with religious leaders, we have asked, ‘Have you ever preached on how much God loves education? How much God loves science, literature, and mathematics?” The answers have always been something like this: “No, I haven’t. Hmm, that’s an interesting idea. Maybe some day, I will. We do give out book bags.”

School is coming up. That “some day” should be now. Book bags are best given with the pulpit speaking out God’s endorsement of going to school, studying hard, and discovering the whole world and its peoples that God has created.

Religious leaders: if you sermonize on how God loves education in subjects like science, math, history, and literature, let us know. Always good to hear of the exceptions to the rule.

For those public and private school teachers in our audience, I wonder what your kids would answer if you asked, “Why do you think you should go to school and do well?” My experience is that the answers will not involve God. Rather, the answers will be the answers that many religious leaders give: so I can get a good job; so I can get a good profession like doctor; or to please my parents.

Ask your students, and let us know if any of them point to God’s love of education or science, math, history, or literature.

Is God a motivation for learning? Or do kids just see God and school as two different worlds that have little to do with each other?

-- Let us know your thoughts by comments, Facebook, twitter or email to editor@nycreligion.info

 

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