All religions should be free to distribute their literature to schools
Stabroek News
October 9, 2001

Dear Editor,

With reference to your editorial [SN 4.10.01] on the Book of Hope, your proof that Guyana can be nothing else than a secular state is the reason we are in all these problems. The assigned pre-eminence of secularity, enticingly disguised as neutrality, is nothing other than the worship of Mammon. Secular humanism is itself a religion.

You go further, and call upon the secular state authority, the Ministry of Education, to immediately withdraw permission, and to assure parents it will not happen again! Well thank God you were not elected the guardian of the little enough education we receive in this country. Has it occurred to you that many parents and guardians might like to have this literature? That they may become better informed in matters as important as religion in their world?

Why do you apparently dismiss the option that other religions may distribute their literature to schools? Let people judge the truth for themselves, and let the truth set them free if it can.

The Assemblies of God are to be commended. They are not waiting on the state to provide few or no books to children getting "free education". I find it hard to believe that they can force children to go over to their religion with teachers of all religions watching. Their Jesus did say, "Let the little children come to me; do not hinder them."

Your last suggestion is the most reasonable. Let those parents who are offended by the books, who have not thrown them away, hand them in for eventual return to the Assemblies of God. But those who wish to keep them must be free to do so. The last thing we need is unnecessary state control of information. I am surprised that an independent private newspaper like yours at the forefront of the fight for freedoms does not seem to have thought out the consequences.

I should certainly be interested to know what proportion was returned. And I look forward to seeing literature from the other religions.

Yours faithfully,

Alfred Bhulai