Southern Baptists: Shift from public schools - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Southern Baptists: Shift from public schools

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June 14, 2006

Albany - - If you own property, you pay taxes that support your local public schools. But some religious leaders say you aren't getting your money's worth.

The largest denomination in our area, the Southern Baptist Convention, is considering a resolution calling on members to withdraw from public schools and enter private schools.

On Sunday, it's a place of worship. Monday through Friday, it's a school.

"There's a real need for Christian schools especially for parents who believe that biblical mandate to raise up kids from a godly perspective," says John Davis, Byne Memorial School's new Headmaster.

The church is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, a group that wants its members to take their children out of public classrooms like this and into Christian schools.

Administratiors here say the idea is not to exclude different viewpoints, but to offer what they call the truth.

"We do want kids to understand what evolution is and what other worldviews are out there but we also want them to be able when they leave here to know what a biblical view is what they believe and why they believe it and to be able to articulate that," Davis says. 

But some people we spoke with aren't buying the concept.

"I do still trust our public schools. They have more equipment more facilities, the material is better than the other schools are able to afford I feel," says retired public school teacher, Lavania Carlton.

Shirley Rouse, a Christian parent agrees.

"I'm for the educational system but I'm also for a Christian upbringing and although it starts at home, if they can put it back in the school system, it will help a lot."

Byne's Pastor maintians the Convention's resolution is very important.

"We want our children to know that God created the world. That you can pray and that we will pledge to the Christian flag and to the bible so its really not for us an exit, its really not an alternative, for us it is the way," says Pastor William Sims.

Hundreds of parents with children here feel the same. 

The Southern Baptist Convention also criticizes a federal court ruling that prevents schools from teaching "intelligent design." That's the concept that a "higher intelligence" created the world.