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Muslim and Christian Parents are Working Together

June 1st, 2023

The Supreme Court recently ruled that Maine must fund religious instruction at parochial schools if it also funds private, secular education.
Muslim and Christian parents filed suit against their kids’ school for not allowing them to opt out of lessons on gender and sexuality.

Christians and Muslims have not exactly seen eye-to-eye over the years. After all, there was that whole business about the Crusades. More recently, tensions have been stirred up by conflicts in the Middle East, terrorist attacks, and so on. But it is important to note that there are certain things that Muslims and Christians agree on, and this was highlighted recently when parents of both religious faiths decided to sue a school district in Maryland. This is both encouraging and worrying, especially if you are concerned about the state of religious freedom in the nation. 

Muslim and Christian Parents Sue for Not Allowing Them to Opt-Out of Gender Lessons

On May 24, it was reported that two families had sued their Maryland school district for not allowing them to opt their children out of lessons involving gender identity and sexual orientation. Even after citing their religious beliefs, Maryland essentially forced their children to attend the controversial lessons due to a policy that completely prohibits opting out. As a result, the families are now suing in federal court, claiming their First Amendment rights and their free exercise of religion rights were violated. They may have a point. 

What makes this lawsuit all the more interesting is that the two families are from completely different faiths. One family is Muslim, while the other is Christian. This immediately dispels any notion that this lawsuit is based on “white supremacy” or “Christian extremism.” Instead, it highlights the fact that parents of many different faiths would rather teach their children about sexuality at home instead of letting the government do it for them. 

The controversy revolves around a set of books called Pride Storybooks. The name is a bit of a giveaway, and it does not take a genius to figure out what they are about. The stories feature gay and transgender themes – themes that are obviously at odds with both traditional Muslim and Christian teachings. 

The family is represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. A representative from the organization stated:

“Children are entitled to guidance from their own parents, who know and love them best, regarding how they’ll be introduced to complex issues concerning gender identity, transgenderism, and human sexuality. Forced, ideological discussions during story hour won’t cut it, and excluding parents will only hinder, not help, inclusivity.”

Other Examples of Multi-Faith Cooperation

This is not the first time Christians and Muslims have worked together. In 2014, members of both religions worked together to combat modern slavery – setting up the Global Freedom Network. In 2017, religious leaders from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim sects came together to chide Bosnia’s politicians for preventing peaceful coexistence. They argued that politicians in the nation often use religion to further their political goals – creating unnecessary divisions in the population. 

Examples such as these show us that religions are more than capable of working together toward common goals. Another example is the Universal Life Church, a multi-faith organization that accepts people from all faith backgrounds and spiritual traditions, including the growing number of “nones.” Universal Life Church ministers champion religious freedom, social justice, and spiritual expression in keeping with the tenet to “do only that which is right.” If you would like to learn more about the Universal Life Church, visit our website and become a minister today! 

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