Christian Academy’s ‘faith academy’ definition sparks debate
NEW YORK — The name of an academy for Christian children in the U.S. has sparked a debate about whether the word “faith” has the same meaning to children and parents alike.
The New York Academy of Sciences said it was launching the academy as part of its effort to educate students about faith and ethics, which include topics such as faith, morality, and the afterlife.
“I think we should be able to teach our kids the truth of who they are,” said Sarah McElroy, executive director of the academy, which opened in April.
The academy’s website includes a section on the “faith in our children” page, and in a message to parents, it says that the “school is an integral part of our mission to educate children about faith.”
“The idea that we’re teaching them how to think, we’re trying to get them to understand the concept of truth, morality and the universe, so that we can teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ,” McElroys said.
Critics, including some parents, say that “faith academy” and other such terms often include the idea of indoctrination or indoctrinating children.
One parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said her child is a Christian and he is a regular at the academy.
He’s been in a Christian school for about 10 years, she said.
But when he was in middle school, the teacher told him he could not have his own room and had to live in the main classroom.
She said she felt so intimidated by the teacher.
McElroy said the academy will not require students to read or study a book on faith, but will focus on “how to be a good Christian.”
The Christian Academy will offer a curriculum that is aligned with the curriculum of the Catholic Church, she added.
Some parents say that, like other Christian academies, the academy could be a gateway to indoctrination and indoctrination could spread to other families.
“We have a lot of families that are very open to it, and that’s why we’re doing it,” McEllroy said.
“What we’re going to do is we’re bringing in a very different view, and what we’re really going to teach is that it’s about what’s right, not what’s wrong, and it’s really about what we believe, and how we should live,” McGlynn said.
She said the Catholic school system teaches that families should be guided by the Bible and the teachings of Jesus, and “that’s really the heart of the school.”
According to the National Center for Science Education, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association have all declared that the Bible is the “most authoritative source of medical information” for children.
In a news release, the U tote school said it “will not promote or endorse any religious, political or social position.”
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