Religion in School

Amber - posted on 04/14/2011 ( 85 moms have responded )

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With all of the religious issues we've been hearing in the news lately, I'm thinking that it might not be a bad idea to teach religion in schools.
I don't mean ONE religion. I mean to have a class that specifically looks at all religions, or the belief in no religion, and their basic ideologies/principles, how they started, who they worship, and why.

I started having this conversation with a few friends earlier this week. My personal belief is that it could help promote tolerance and understanding. So many people make inaccurate comments that are fueled by propaganda, and they really have no idea what they are talking about.

What do you think?
Should we include religious studies as long as it is an all inclusive class to provide information without promoting a single religion?
Would this fuel the fire more?
Would it not make any difference at all?

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Merry - posted on 04/15/2011

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I think in theory it's a good idea, but I'd worry that you could get some biased teachers sometimes and one religion would be pushed, or another religion could be mis taught with a prejudice. Most people have a chosen belief system, so it would be hard to find so many teachers who are able to put aside their beliefs to teach unbiasedly.
Also, there could be problems if the kids aren't encouraged to talk to their parents.
But if it was able to work well, I think it would be an amazing class.
I'm going to homeschool, our personal belief is Christian, but I too will be teaching the histories and beliefs of other religions as well as what atheists and agnostics believe.
I think kids should know as much facts as they can, and facts about religions etc are important to know too!

Jodi - posted on 04/14/2011

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I think we are better off having religious studies in schools than left out altogether. We SHOULD be studying all religions. The problem at the moment is that people FEAR what they do not know or understand. So many of the current problems are the result of lack of understanding. We all understand, I think, that there are extremists of all religions (including Christianity, history will tell us that story), but an understanding is important to every day living.

I do also think that teaching religion can't really be totally avoided, because much of our history and many of our wars are religion based. How can we understand our history if we don't have some knowledge of religion? The two are heavily intertwined.

Jenny - posted on 10/01/2011

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"and atheists need to practice what they preach. you don't want Christians forcing their beliefs well don't force yours... respect the boundaries here. "

I don't get it. Why aren't atheists allowed to advocate for facts and reason? Believe whatever you want but don't think you are beyond critical thinking and discussion.

Cassie - posted on 04/26/2011

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Honestly I think a club is more to the answer. Because we do not have the right as a people to force religion on anyone & many parents would be outraged at the idea of a class. But a club would possible be more subtle maybe? Honestly I embrace the Coexistance theory but am a Christian myself. I don't judge & respect that. But I think a class is a bit over the top.

Becky - posted on 04/15/2011

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Unless you live in a very small, uni-cultural, single religion town, your children are going to encounter peers who come from different religious/faith backgrounds. So I think that educating them about the histories and beliefs of these religions is a great idea. We are Christians, but I certainly have no objection to my kids learning about other religions.

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Sally - posted on 02/14/2012

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my sons school(not church run) teaches R.E. They cover all religion and i think its great that his getting facts in an unbiased way.

P.S I should add that we are in the uk where you have to take R.E. Even C of E and catholic schools have to teach about all faiths or non- faiths but they are going to be biased about it. If you don't want your kids to learn about it or pray then don't send them. The clues in the name.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/13/2012

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I for one am not religious. I only look at myself as spiritual. I am not up to speed on many religions, mainly because I have never had an interest and don't like a lot of the "pushiness" that comes with it. However, I think it is a great idea!



I think it would really help to have children taught the many different religions and the different aspects each one holds. As long as it was not a "push" teach. I do not want my children being pushed to believe in any one way but, if it was to encompass all religions absolutely. Just because I am not fully flavoured in all the different types of religion does not mean it is not a good idea. Actually, I wish we had something as such back when I was in school. ;)

Kaitlin - posted on 02/13/2012

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I think that World Religion classes are great! I think it's an important way to *START* learning about the world and how various peoples and cultures believe. However, I think it is important too to realize that what you have been taught in a classroom is not always what a group of people believe. You don't ask a foot doctor about an eye surgery, and you don't truly learn about another person's or groups beliefs without asking them (or their leaders-rabbis, monks, priests, pastors, imams, etc). You do run the risk of learning something that is not true by asking a person who has a general idea rather than specific knowledge, and you never know what a person's biases are. All in all- yes, teach it in schools, but also teach kids (and adults for that matter) to get to the heart of a subject, to ask those it matters to, and to not trust everything a teacher in a public setting tells them.

Ruth - posted on 02/13/2012

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My oldest is 6 and he attends Key Bible at school for half and hour every Wed....It is non denomnation and the KEY is just lurning about the Bible....I think it is great for them and I dont think its a bad thing, Our school is very open too all relgions and beifes and I love that, My son takes a new testment too school everyday (He say's it helps him feel calm he has ADHD) and the school has been very wonderful with him about that!!

Alessia - posted on 01/03/2012

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World Religions classes are sometimes taught at the high school level and most definitely as electives in college. I think it is important for everyone of all belief (and non-belief) systems to learn about other cultures and their mythologies.



People are often surprised how familiar I am with religion considering I am an atheist. Fascinating subjects to study!



I only take issue when religion invades the science classrooms. Doesn't belong there.

Jane - posted on 01/03/2012

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Perhaps it is just here in England, but we do have Religious Education in our schools from primary school upwards. It covers all religions and the cultures that surround them. Each term they cover a different religion. My son's teacher was actually very surprised that my son knew so much about the different religions as we are atheists, but as he told her, he loves to debate and you can't do that unless you know your subject! LOL!! Seriously though, in a multicultural society, it is important that everyone understands the others point of view.

Bernie - posted on 01/03/2012

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I think Christianity is taught in all primary schools here, known as Bible in schools.
I'd be open to the idea of religion taught in schools if it took all faiths in consideration.
If my son wants to follow a faith then I'd support him but won't be going to church with him.

Jenny - posted on 01/02/2012

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I have no problems with crosses or talking amongst themselves during breaks about their religion of course. It would be more along the lines of handing out bibles (as the Gideons have been known to do with school district endorsements) group prayer, allowing of some symbols such as the Kirpan which can be a safety hazard, proselytizing in any form, scheduling prayers into the school day (as happened in Ontario recently) and those sorts of things. When there are safety issues, it takes away from the schooling or if it heads into recruiting territory is where I draw my line.

Krista - posted on 01/02/2012

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It depends on how you define "expressing", Jenny. I would not be comfortable banning kids from wearing crosses, or other religious symbols, as long as they do not pose a safety hazard. Nor would I be comfortable with banning students from talking about their faith amongst themselves. That just smacks a bit too heavily of censorship for my liking. But as far as TEACHING goes, then yes, I agree that religion has no place in it, unless it's in a comparative religion class, or if studying a period of history where religion is a key component to the sociopolitical events of the time.

Jenny - posted on 01/02/2012

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Why should they have the right to express religion in school? Why can't we keep schools the last bastion of critical thinking where the teaching of life skills, proper grammar and academics occurs? School has NOTHING to do with religion outside of academic teaching about the customs and societal influences of them. Do we really need to have religion in every fucking nook and cranny because some segment of the population "believes" it? Give it a rest already.

Krista - posted on 01/02/2012

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As far as I'm aware, Dusty, students are absolutely free to express their own religion while at school. But the school itself is not allowed to appear to officially promote or sanction one religion over others. And that's rightly so.

Nelly - posted on 01/02/2012

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Our children go 2catholic schools and they also go 2sunday school we also go 2 church every week religion is very important to us

Dusty - posted on 01/01/2012

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I don't know if having an all-accompying class would help. But I don't think that religion should be taken out of schools. (any religion) I think everyone should have the right to express their own religion in the school system. Whether it be Christians, Atheists, Mormons, etc.

Shelley - posted on 10/05/2011

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I think that theoretically it would be a fantastic thing to have theology classes in school, taught from a historical standpoint, but practically I think it is just too open to abuse - and there are too many people that would be open to abusing the classes.

Adults can't even listen to one another's religious views without insulting the others, and pushing their own. Now imagine how easy it would be for them to do so without any other adults in the room to challenge them. Christian teachers even refuse to teach (or learn about) evolution properly at the moment, now imagine them talking about Allah or atheism, Firstly, they wouldn't be able to talk about other religions and the beliefs behind them as they wouldn't understand it themselves, and secondly, there is just no way around their bias.

I don't mean to target Christians here, but I have experienced them generally to be the most closed minded and bias people when it came to other beliefs and religions. Having said that, I live in South Africa, where there are many more Christians (and many of them conservative) than Muslims, so I haven't met many fundamentalist Muslim people; the ones I have met have been really nice people that were very tolerant of others.

My eight year old son goes to a public school, and in SA it is supposed to be illegal to have any religious practices in public schools. His school, however, prays before meals and at assemblies, and sings hymns. It maddens me to no end, but I don't want to cause a scene and cause any possible targeting of my son.

I was chuffed with him though, as he is quietly dealing with it in his own way. he doesn't sing or pray, and when a teacher picked up on him not praying and shouted at him, he told her that he is not a Christian. She er'ed and mumbled 'ok', and that was that. Good kid, sticking by his principles without being bullied by authority.

If they could have it as a subject that teachers actually study for, as in metaphysics, I would be one that would love to teach it. The history of myths and religions is fantastic and enlightening - it ties in with the way people were thinking and progressing at the time, as well as the influence on politics and, well, everything really. I would bring music of the time into it too (but that is just me). I think the more people understand of history of not only other people, but of their own, the more tolerant, open-minded, loving and interested they will become in this world and the complexities of it.

Enough ranting and raving.. peace, ladies

Corinne - posted on 10/05/2011

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I wholly support religion being taught in school and I think the idea of having different religious leaders come into school to teach about their faith and how they practice that is awesome. Unfortunately, when I suggested something similar to the parents at the school gates, they were mortified. They don't want to step up and speak out against the head teacher making the kids pray and they don't want people of other faiths brainwashing (their word, not mine) their kids. Hhhmm.... not sure I get their thinking.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/03/2011

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Donna, whatever you told her is probably better than what my husband might tell our 7 month old. And I hate when people use religion for things too. For example my ex suddenly decided he was a born again christian after our divorce (He was everything from Satanist to Agnostic before and during our marriage) He now acts like his slate was wiped clean and I'm some kind of whore for having sex with my new husband before marriage. Uh huh... my number is 3 his is somewhere in the double digits.

Brittany, I've heard the 'Catholics are going to hell' speech a few times myself. Especially down in Texas, but I got it from a woman I took care of in New York once too about how Catholics pray to people and that's not the same as praying to God. I call BS because I was raised Catholic.

My mama (maternal grandma) lights her candles every evening to St Theresa of the Little Rose (her Confirmation saint) and the Virgin Mary and prays that they'll help her children, grandchildren (my Godless hubby included LOL) and great grand children. If I ever have a problem, I call her up and ask her to light a candle for me. I may not exactly practice Catholicism anymore, but I'm ecclectic in my beliefs and I've seen her candles and prayers in action.

I did almost violate one of the rules of being a Care Aide which is not to debate religion when the husband of this lady I was taking care of was reading an internet rumour about Obama. It was the standard thing about him being a Muslim and banning the National Christmas tree. He tried saying that Muslims don't even believe in the same God as Christians and I tried diplomaticaly to say that they do, but they just believe that Jesus was a prophet, not the son of God. I had to back down though. They are a nice couple, but around my grandparents age and much more set in Christianity than my maternal grandparents (my dad's parents are both deceased) Besides I could've lost my job.

On the bright side though being a care aide gives you insight to a lot of different religions. I worked at a predominantly Jewish assisted living facility and had to do inservices on Passover and the High Holy days (those are starting this weekend by the way- a friend of mine is getting married Saturday on Rosh Hoshana) I find that being better informed makes me a better parent.

Donna - posted on 10/03/2011

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thats true. I forgot what i told my daughter when she asked who jesus was lol. Pesonally i feel that some ppl like to use religion as an excuse to get away with certain things

Brittany - posted on 10/03/2011

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""Brittany: holy shit, woman. That's awful.

You know what, though? Vicious assholes like that would be vicious assholes whether they were atheist, Buddhist, or Seventh-Day Adventist. "

Absolutely. I wish I still had my former youtube channel. I had a good number of subscribers (about 1000 and at the time, that was A LOT!) I did atheist commentary. I got the most amazing hate mail culminating in death threats. I decided to not let it get to me. After each email, I'ld do a video showing it and giving the person's name in the video. Apparenlty bullies don't like that."

I have been called all kinds of things from all different people of different Religions. You would not believe some of the things that have come out of some Protestant mouths, once again not bashing Protestants.

My whole point behind that post is to show that if we taught Religion in schools stuff like this would not happen.

Last year my children went to an "Open Door" Christian school. Meaning all Religions were welcome. Caoleb was asked, by another student, what religion he was. He said he was Catholic and his Mama prayed to Mary. When I picked him up at school he told me he did not want to be Catholic anymore. I asked him why and he said that if he was Catholic and I was Catholic that I would not get into Heaven and he wants his Mommy to go to Heaven.

I went to the school director and she said she would take care of it but, wanted to remind me that they teach a very Southern Baptist education and this could continue to be a problem if I have my Catholic children in her school.

She lost her job.

Caoleb went to K-4, Caoilainn went to K-3 and Rarui was in the Pre-K program. Caoleb came home again and said the same kids were picking on him, a whole year later. I once again went to the new director and he called a conference with the parents. This did not stop.

I withdrew my kids from that school. Caoleb is now in a public school and he has not experienced any issues.

No child should be scared to go to school because, of his religious beliefs or lack of. No child should be made to pray in school and should the school want to sponsor or support a prayer time, then the parents should have a form sent home asking. For those who do not wish to have their child involved in the prayer time, their children can spend some extra time in the Library. It is not going to hurt anyone to have prayer in school, as long as it is done with respect.

What would be really awesome is if they had different Religious leaders from the community come in to show the children how different Religions Pray. That would be a fantastic learning experience. Children are very hands on and I do not know any other way to be more hands on then actually doing it.

If this were the case, Religious leaders from the community coming in and showing the children, perhaps the parents of Atheist children would not mind their child sitting in, to learn and see, they do not have to participate but, the experience of seeing it and learning would be a great one.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/03/2011

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Donna, you can just tell your children that Jesus was a man who lived a long time ago. Some people believed he was the son of God and others believed he was a great prophet (That's what Muslims believe)

I was raised Catholic and became interested in other religions in college. My 7 year old went to church until we moved to BC. But she knows about Judaism, Islam and some parts of Wicca.

Donna - posted on 10/03/2011

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we were taught about the different religions in global 1 in 10th grade. it was more edjucational than anything which is fine with me. ive chosen to be atheist, so has my husband. Which led my 6 yr olds to ask me why do ppl go to church. i told them its to pray to jesus. they were like whose jesus. it totally slipped my mind that they dont have any clue about religion. its ok though if they have any questions i am still open to answering them

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/03/2011

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Corinne, that would be the time my husband would tell our 7 year old daughter to take a quick nap. Of course my daughter was going to Church with my parents and attended Catholic school last year. But my husband is an Atheist and a smart assed one at that.

Since this is a public school I would raise the issue with your principal. No your daughter shouldn't be excluded from the assembly, but it is an invasion of your personal rights and your child's. Do you know of how any of the other parents are reacting?

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I don't know how the system works in the UK but I would raise such 'holy hell' if my son was forced to do this. And yes, this is absolute force because I guarantee you, none of them were given a real option. I'm sorry to hear you're going through that.

Corinne - posted on 10/03/2011

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This is a real sticky subject for me at the moment. My husband and I are atheist and sent our daughter to a community school (we're in U.K) were all religions are supposed to be given equal measure. At the beginning of this term my daughter started asking why we didn't pray, so I explained that myself and her daddy don't believe in God or Jesus and therefore have no reason to pray. After some gentle pressing, we found out that the schools head teacher has started praying in assembly, all the kids are told to put their hands together and bow their heads in prayer. This is a serious overstep of the mark. How dare this woman tell a school of over 300 children to pray? I have no problem with my children being taught about ALL religions as a 'this is what Christians/Jews believe' but to be told to pray? When I raised this with her teacher, they asked if I wanted my daughter excluded from assembly! Why? Maybe the head teacher should have informed the parents of her intentions, the she would see how many of us are disgusted with her. Sorry 'bout the rant. :)

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/02/2011

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Nicole, I read the link WTF people! Ok so the atheists don't believe in God, no one is forcing them to. Shouldn't they stop kvetching and leave the dead in peace?

That said, my 7 year old went to Catholic school last year and in New York state all Catholic schools have to include religion in all their classes. I'd suggest trying to include religion (every religion)

Brittany! Damn that is nasty. And I thought EBF moms (I breast feed ) could get nasty about formula! That is just mean and hateful.

The worst I ever got was being told as a Catholic I couldn't go to heaven because we don't worship God we pray to idols (saints) Someone needs to read.

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"Brittany: holy shit, woman. That's awful.

You know what, though? Vicious assholes like that would be vicious assholes whether they were atheist, Buddhist, or Seventh-Day Adventist. "

Absolutely. I wish I still had my former youtube channel. I had a good number of subscribers (about 1000 and at the time, that was A LOT!) I did atheist commentary. I got the most amazing hate mail culminating in death threats. I decided to not let it get to me. After each email, I'ld do a video showing it and giving the person's name in the video. Apparenlty bullies don't like that.

Nicole - posted on 10/01/2011

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also more so what i mean by over stepping boundaries. like the one girl has posted im am talking about down right attacks on faith or down right attacks on atheism. hell my SO is agnostic and i dont judge him. when people of my own faith are telling me im going to hell. and my ex was an atheist ( which i got more hell over )
but what i mean by bible humping if you read there is a passage in the bible that a man or woman can be saved if god can see them through the eyes of a christian. if you want the actual verse i will go dig out my bible from the depths of my closet and post it. that is what i mean by over stepping ...god hates people that dont believe in him and ill go to hell??? read some more and clearly... obviously you have not learned very well that god is not hateful...

so really i have nothing against people of different back rounds. but i believe there are certain boundaries. some people more often then not like to cross them in attacks be verbally or physically. i have had an atheist bud in a conversation i was having with a friend and start spouting off on us. and im sorry i dont know you and why are you eaves dropping then getting pissed because you happened to be dropping on something that was non of your business just cause we happened to be having a conversion about religion???

Nicole - posted on 10/01/2011

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there were 7 rescuers that a street was named after. the street was called "seven in heaven way" an athiest group got on that about how church and religion should be seperate and that they should have not called it seven in heave way. however this is what their families have called them since the tragedy. im guessing they were friends or had all worked together. it was maybe back like may i think this happened.

personally i believe if thats what their families consider them and that is how the public knows of these recures then thats how it should be. i dont thik it is bringing religion into state or nor do i believe that it is forcing religion.

here is an article on it.
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/atheists...

all you have to do is google seven in heaven and it will bring up all the results and articles on it. i think in this case the atheists group is over stepping.

April - posted on 10/01/2011

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i would support it if it were to be strictly factual. as long as our educators remain unbiased, i don't see a problem.

Krista - posted on 10/01/2011

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Brittany: holy shit, woman. That's awful.

You know what, though? Vicious assholes like that would be vicious assholes whether they were atheist, Buddhist, or Seventh-Day Adventist.

Brittany - posted on 10/01/2011

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The simple answer to this question is you would have a real fight on your hands. The ignorant parents of some students would flip the heck out!

The logical answer to this question is yes. Children should be educated on different religions. This would help created a more harmonious place to live. This would create less ignorance and more understanding of beliefs.

I will admit that most, NOT ALL!!!, Atheists I have meet have not been very pleasant towards me. I am not knocking Atheism or anyone who is. I have been called stupid, a moron, whore, slut, bitch, c*ocksucker, motherf*cker, told that the Virgin Mary is a slut, told that they hope my children are violently murdered so I can see how awful and hateful my God is, told that they hope I get cancer and die, I have been spit on and one individual even told me he would "rape the Jesus out of me." All because, I am Catholic. I do not find these to be very nice or funny things to say to someone with Faith. I find it awful that these individuals who want to complain that they are being oppressed by Christians are telling me how wrong I am, threatening my life and taking joy in publicly humiliating me. No these incidents did not happen on the internet, they happen in very public places.

I do not and I refuse to shove my beliefs down another throat. For that matter I do not even force it upon my children, often when I do attend church I am by myself, my husband does not like going to church even though he is Christian.

Before anyone attacks me I would like to make it clear that I do not stereotype ALL Atheists into this group. I know there are good people out there who are Atheist and for whatever reason do not believe in God. We all have the right, to choose what we believe or choose not to believe at all.

These are my personal experiences. I have also had very nasty run ins with Protestants. That is a whole different topic, indeed.

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"i hate more then atheist groups trying to say they are offended and trying to push their thoughts of things like "seven in heaven way" that honors victims of 9/11 who were firemen and heroes a"

I don't think I'm familiar with this. Could you please give some details so I can look it up?

Angela - posted on 10/01/2011

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I would be for it but as stated taught as theology.

World history and current events involve religion not to matter if we are religious or not.

I am not religious at all but in the USA for example Christianity shaped the country, it is a part of American History. To leave that a non topic is like taking a part of history and pretending it is not there.

Religion is a part of of everything not to matter if you believe in it or not. Not talking about it makes it taboo and leads to intolerance in my opinion.

Nicole - posted on 10/01/2011

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i took religion in catholic school...where we briefly talked about other religions but it didnt talk of them in a good light and it mostly taught about being catholic......if the class was all inclusive and was taught alongside history class i would be all for it. in a sense it is apart of history. through my church confirmation i had to learn all about the Methodist back round and the history of my faith. along wiht our bible teachings. so i think it would be a good things maybe it will qwell the religious debates. the bible humpers will calm down and stop throwing the good book. and the athiests wont get their panties in a bunch.....

im a devout methodist and there is nothing i hate more then atheist groups trying to say they are offended and trying to push their thoughts of things like "seven in heaven way" that honors victims of 9/11 who were firemen and heroes and then you have the bible humpers that throw their damn bibles before really taking the passages to heart and reading the entire book front to back.....really if you are christian you will learn that god accepted every one and loved every one and to be christian means to look up to and follow god and his son with the holy spirit.. thus meaning to love thy neighbor and putting those books down.

and atheists need to practice what they preach. you don't want Christians forcing their beliefs well don't force yours... respect the boundaries here.

Mel - posted on 04/26/2011

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I think if people are religious they can pt their kids in private schools. Im not religious but I do believe in God and I am sending my daughter to a christian school

Amber - posted on 04/26/2011

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Hmm...I guess it's a chicken/egg situation, which came first?

I think that it's a touchy subject because so few people have quality information on a wide range of religion. So in my mind, giving information would remove some of the tensions and stereotypes that give rise to the ignorance.

And while it might be difficult to find teachers, it wouldn't be impossible. I had an amazing college professor who I learned about different philosophies and religions from. I didn't know until the end of the course what his specific beliefs were (he is an atheist). He taught every religion with respect and openness. We discussed the religions and common critiques of each religion. (usually printed contradictions in their respective documents)

I don't think his opinion would have come out except there was one woman in our class who was a very conservative Christian. She made very rude comments about several of the other religions and any scrutiny of Christianity. He finally made a comment about her "Christian tolerance at work" which led to a discussion of his beliefs after she threw her book and stormed out...

Jenn - posted on 04/26/2011

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I think it is a great idea in theory if it could be done with absolutely no bias, however many people feel so strongly about (or against) religions that i don't think it would be possible without upsetting someone. I would be fine with it if it covered all religions and what the consist of, their beliefs, traditions, history, etc, including atheism etc and only if it was not mandatory. However, I would be very pissed if i found them so be promoting a certain religions or criticizing another etc. I think it is just to touchy of a subject.

Cassie - posted on 04/26/2011

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I would honestly be most worried about who would be teaching that class or even club. They would have to be VERY well qualified but still will they honestly remain completely objective no matter how strange the idea? There are alot of people who are just not that accepting of other religions. & what if it caused fights among the members. There is honestly just way too much room for something to go wrong. Even amongst those who would elect to take the class or club.

Constance - posted on 04/26/2011

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I personally don't believe that religion should be in school. We live in a wonderful country that allows us to practice what ever religion we want to and that is hundreds of religious practices. There is absolutly no way that any school could cover all of them equally. Also religion is is a very personal experience and a lot of people would believe it is goi against their religion for their children to learn about another. religion. I am 100% about teaching children about tolerence and being open-minded for everyone.
But religion is just like sex ed. Ignore the ignorance that kids are still having kids and people that call God by a different name there is something wrong with them.
If more people could be open minded about thei kids having more culture and education then we would be in better place in our country. We aren't there yet hopefully soon.

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I would be ok with a "religion" class in school, as long as it included all religions and also discussed the possibility of none. It should definitely be an elective though, and not required for graduation.

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You can't teach a religion class without leaving out some points of view. And where do you draw the line??? I appreciate the sentiment of your suggestion. Unfortunately, I think that when it comes to public school, we have to respect the Bill of Rights and keep Church and State separate.

Amber - posted on 04/18/2011

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@ LaCi ~ My school really didn't cover any religions at all. The only comments about religion were in reference to wars being started. But they did not say anything about what the similarities, differences, or overall beliefs that any had. I didn't know anything about alternate religions until I started doing research on my own and taking elective classes in college.

It's wonderful if some schools are including it, but many, many schools do not offer any basics at all. That's why it's something that I feel is necessary.

LaCi - posted on 04/18/2011

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Well, I went to public school, and we did talk about religion. It wasn't incredibly in depth. We did cover the basics in english, world history, and social studies courses. So I'm really not sure what this is about. Schools are allowed to talk about religion, they just aren't allowed to make you participate in one.

Jan - posted on 04/18/2011

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It seems to me that by not teaching anything about religion in schools we teach soemthing very important to children: we teach that them the spiritual has no place in their day-to-day lives! Is this really what we want people to grow up with?

Catherine - posted on 04/17/2011

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I actually taught ninth-grade world history for a bit, and religion was a part of the curriculum, just by default. It's impossible to teach the Roman Empire without the rise of Christianity, or to learn about the Middle East without discussing the development of Islam. I taught everything factually, and I think it was a real eye-opener for the kids to actually learn what some of these faiths were really about. The kids were exceptionally interested in learning about other religions, especially Islam and Buddhism, which I was impressed with considering that I taught in a school whose population was most Christian and white. They knew they didn't understand, and they wanted too, so I definitely think it should be included in the curriculum. I also think that in the interest of teaching tolerance, areas of overlap should be emphasized (that the Bible, Torah and Qu'ran all share enormous amounts of the same writings, that Jesus' Golden Rule was also touted by Confucious, etc.) and not just the areas of disagreement.

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My son went through a world religions class this year (9th grade) and in my opinion it was a joke. They spent exactly 1 class to go over Hinduism, Shintoism, Buddhism and about 4 other Eastern religions 'thoroughly' and about 1 class each on Christianity, Judaism & Islam. I frankly don't see the point of having a class on the world religions myself but as an atheist, I'm admittedly biased against teaching religion in any context but the fiction section of English class.

Amber - posted on 04/16/2011

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I'm really glad that so many people are for this type of education. The only problem is I can't see politicians or school boards having this much consensus.

Educating the masses wouldn't leave much room for them to make false statements and spread unwarranted fear.



*Edited to change a wrong word*

Jocelyn - posted on 04/15/2011

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I'm totally fine with a World Religions class, Religions History Class, Theology etc, either required or optional, just as long as there is no focus on any one religion.
I am all for knowledge, just not indoctrination.

JuLeah - posted on 04/15/2011

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I think it is a great idea. We study other cultures with the kids, music from around the world, foods from all over the globe, history of our country and others ... why not religion?

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