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Not smarter than a fifth grader

The headline March 25 "SD59 votes yes to Bibles" caught me by complete surprise, mostly because I thought we were smarter than this.

The headline March 25 "SD59 votes yes to Bibles" caught me by complete surprise, mostly because I thought we were smarter than this.

My child is in Grade 4, and we have been trying very hard to instill a sense of fairness and equality in his young developing view of spirituality and religion. He is being raised neither catholic, nor jew, nor muslim or any of the others. This is because we feel it's important for him to learn about the diversity in our society regarding faith, learn about the various religions; they're differences and likenesses, then make up his own mind what he chooses to believe, if any.

We do not feel it's fair to impress on a young mind what he should or should not believe with regard to religion. And to hand out Bibles (the written word of only one particular faith) seems very unfair to the other religious documents that deserve equal respect. And that's what I'm trying to teach my child... to respect everyone despite their differences or religious beliefs. Can the school district explain to me, as a taxpayer... why the Qura'an wasn't included in the discussion about what documents to be distributed to fifth graders? Would it be granted if a Muslim organization had made the request as the Gideons did with the Bibles? And what's worse... there wasn't even discussion about how it fits with the education mandate?! That's disgusting for a group whose primary role is the education of my children.

My personal opinion is that religious organizations are the worst thing to happen to God. Of all the great wars our civilization has seen, religion is the basis for the huge majority of the bloodshed. When it comes to teaching religious diversity and equality, it seems obvious now that local school board officials are NOT smarter than a fifth grader.

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