Did school do right thing by scrapping all religious references?

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," November 12, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: Canceling Christmas? A school district in Maryland voting to strip all religious references from its school calendars, no mention of holidays like Christmas, Easter, or Rosh Hashanah, this coming after pressure from Muslim leaders to give its holiday -- its holidays equal billing.

To Bishop T.D. Jakes and what he makes all of all of this. His latest book is called "Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive."

Bishop, welcome to the program.

T.D. JAKES, CEO, TDJ ENTERPRISES: Thank you. It's a pleasure.

VARNEY: Now, the school didn't have to stop all, all religious references. It could have accepted religious references to Muslim holidays. Do you think they did the right thing by scrapping them all?

JAKES: Well, I think it's a dangerous thing that we're trying to sterilize the educational institutions of an understanding of faith.

That's where we want to include all understandings of all types of faith. We want to educate our children and expose them. And to keep the environment sterile in an education atmosphere, I think, is counterproductive to what school is all about.

VARNEY: Because the school district has essentially taken religious totally out. They -- as you say, they sterilized it.


VARNEY: But you would welcome the inclusion of all religions, their holidays, the celebrations thereof, include it all?

JAKES: Well, I think we should include them, but I also think that we should develop a policy based on how many people that we have that this holiday affects in a very practical, pragmatic way.


JAKES: If we went to a Muslim country, I wouldn't expect them to honor Easter the same way they do in this country, just by the preponderance of its citizens.

And so if we're going to really have a democracy, I think we need to activate those principles regarding education and holidays. But I do think it's important that that educate Christians and everybody about all types of religions, their holidays, and respect each other.

VARNEY: It's not like these Muslim holidays were going to be given days off. It's simply a question of recognition...

JAKES: Right.

VARNEY: ... and a statement, this is the Muslim holiday of this -- of whatever.

JAKES: But this has been going on for years.

VARNEY: And you're OK with that?

JAKES: My problem is, we have been trying to sanitize our environments for years and years.

We -- we have to say happy holidays, if you're politically correct. You can't say merry Christmas anymore or you're disrespecting anybody. It's ridiculous. I think we're too excited about nothing. I think what we really ought to do is be who we are, enjoy who we are, and respect other people.

VARNEY: Yes. Well, why can't we embrace it all as a country of great faith? Look, I come from Europe. You can barely say that Europe is a Judeo-Christian continent any longer. It is not.

Religion has been eradicated, not only from our schools, but our society over there. We don't want that here, do we?

JAKES: No, I don't think we do.

VARNEY: So, what we want is embrace it of all, not rejection of it all.


I don't think we want it anywhere, because if you took religion out of history and you took it away from arts and you took it away from war and you took it away from all the things that it has influenced in some way, then you're giving people a skewed reality of what the human experience is all about, much less the theological dimensions of the notions of a God, of a creative being. We need to expose our children to everything, or have we truly educated them at all?


Let's move outside the school arena for a moment.


VARNEY: How do you feel about people having to work on Thanksgiving, for example? Now, I know that Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday. It's not.

JAKES: Correct.

VARNEY: It's a family holiday.

JAKES: Correct.

VARNEY: It's a feast. We're all included. We get together and we do that.

JAKES: Right.

VARNEY: Some people have to work at some of these stores.

JAKES: Right.

VARNEY: How do you feel about that?

JAKES: Well, I have been one of those people who had to work on Thanksgiving.


VARNEY: Me, too.

JAKES: And I went to work so I could buy the turkey and came home and ate it later and cold.


JAKES: And, you know, I think we have to do what we have to do. I don't think that we can impose a national holiday, to the degree that nobody has to work at all. Firemen and police officers and a lot of people sacrifice their time for the well-being of others.

VARNEY: Are we not losing the family unit to some degree if it's broken up at Thanksgiving?

JAKES: I think that it's not just because of Thanksgiving, but we're losing the family unit for a whole lot more serious reasons than that. But this is just one of the evidences of an ongoing societal adjustment in a wrong direction for what is really good for the country and good for the community.

VARNEY: I'm reading between the lines of what you're saying.

I think you believe that our religious feelings should be celebrated in our hearts. It's got nothing to do with a public holiday.


JAKES: It's more important -- it's most important that it -- it is most important that it's in your heart, and whether you are off for not.

But I would love to live in a country that respected the view of our hearts, because, after all, this is supposed to be a government for the people by the people.

VARNEY: You didn't think that our society does respect what's in our hearts?

JAKES: Not to the degree that we once did. And -- and only time will tell what that erosion does 50 years from now.

VARNEY: Yes, sir.

Bishop, what a pleasure.


VARNEY: It's great to have you with us today.

JAKES: Thank you, sir.

VARNEY: And, by the way, if you didn't already know it, T.D. Jakes is going to be a special guest with Charles Payne tonight, 6:00 p.m. Eastern, on our sister network. That would be the FOX Business Network.

Bishop, thank you very much, sir.

JAKES: Thank you.

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