Some public schools are starting to use the Waldorf education method, which is also known as Steiner education. It was developed by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner and is based on his anthroposophy form of philosophy.
Anthroposophy is a philosophy that believes in a spiritual and mystical way of looking at the natural world. It tries to focus one’s thoughts and imagination of any object, living or non-living, by exploring its spiritual nature. It is based in humanism with an almost animistic belief added on. Sometimes, it delves into Hinduism, Gnostic Christianity, reincarnation and the occult.
Evidently there are some schools in the Sacramento City Unified School District that are using the Waldorf education method and some people believe that this is unconstitutional because Waldorf education and anthroposophy is a form of an occultist religion. Consequently, the Pacific Justice Institute has filed suit against the school district for using taxpayer money to pay for the promotion of occultism. The case was just argued in front of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
President of the Pacific Justice Institute, Brad Dacus discussed the case saying,
"We at the Pacific Justice Institute recently argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that it is unconstitutional for tax dollars to be used to fund a school that is pushing an occultic religion, such as anthroposophy, while at the same time, tax dollars are not being allowed to be given to schools that are promoting Christianity or Judaism. This double standard is unconstitutional and must come to a halt."
Personally, I agree with the lawsuit in that it is a double standard and that taxpayer monies are being used by the public schools to teach forms of religion when they won’t do the same for Christianity or Judaism. However, I’m doubtful that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will rule in favor of Pacific Justice Institute because of how liberal that court is.
Additionally, other forms of humanism, including evolution, have been challenged in courts as being a form of religion that is being taught in the public school classrooms, but all of these challenges have failed. The courts seem to be blinded into thinking that humanism is not a religious belief and therefore is legal in the schools. I strongly suspect the same will happen in this case and the courts will allow the public schools to continue a operate with a double standard.