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Religion in public schools.
  #1  
Old 05-01-2016, 11:12 PM
cindybubbles cindybubbles is offline
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Default Religion in public schools.

Ok, let's talk more about what happened in this thread here, since this forum is more appropriate.

I for one, think that religion should not be in public schools where students of all faiths, and of no faith, assemble in order to learn and grow. Any parent who wants to put the fear of God in their children should send them to a private religious school, which, of course, should be funded by the local church/synagouge/mosque/etc.

Public schools should not be treated as free, taxpayer-paid religious schools, after all, even if most of the population there is full of right-wing Christian fundamentalists.
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Old 05-02-2016, 12:48 AM
TheHuckster TheHuckster is offline
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Religion as a neutral topic in history and civilization class is fine by me. If you get into preaching or stating that one religion is more "valid" than another, that's when it crosses the line.

But, as a topic for education, religion's influence on history, art, philosophy, and culture is too important to ignore. I mean, if you're a history teacher, how do you even get into The Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, or the Salem Witch Trials without having some kind of religious backstory? Should we refrain from even displaying famous works of art like The Last Supper or Michelangelo's David just because they reference religious figures?

Teaching the various religions, for me, should actually reduce bigotry and hate if it's taught in an objective, inclusive, and neutral way. If you leave all religious education to parents and private realms, the kids in bigoted households who teach them that Muslims are evil or Jews are out to take over the world, there's no educational part to counteract that.
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Old 05-02-2016, 01:46 AM
cindybubbles cindybubbles is offline
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The way that some people act, though, is as if the public schools where they send their kids should be nothing more than glorified Sunday Schools, and any attempt to teach other religions is, to them, corrupting young minds with evil. That's what I want to stop. Then, once the emphasis on a certain religion is cut out from the public schools, we can ease all religions back in as a neutral topic.
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Old 05-02-2016, 03:48 AM
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Talon Talon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cindybubbles View Post
I for one, think that religion should not be in public schools...
It's not just you. In the US, it's the law. First Amendment of the Constitution.

Not only that, it's a good idea. Religions invariably splinter into factions and denominations, often with opposing beliefs. Which version of religion is the government supposed to back in the public school?

The parties who want to break US law and allow religion in the pubic schools shouldn't be too sure that it's their religion that ends up being taught. Sadly that point sails right over their heads.
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Old 05-02-2016, 04:51 AM
Aragarthiel Aragarthiel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHuckster View Post
I mean, if you're a history teacher, how do you even get into The Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, or the Salem Witch Trials without having some kind of religious backstory?
Not just that, but how do you explain the founding of America without going into religion? Immigrants were pushed to America by religious oppression, and it's why the very first amendment we wrote into our Constitution forbade anyone from oppressing religion. It is 100% impossible to teach an accurate and detailed history class without religion.

It's why it irritates me when people say "This is a Christian country, XYZ thing should be illegal!" No, we are not a Christian country. That was the whole point in the First Amendment.
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Old 05-02-2016, 07:47 AM
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Racket_Man Racket_Man is offline
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I know back in my Primary (Catholic school) and HS (public school) for World History (and especially European and Middle Eastern history) they HAD to at least touch on the religious aspects because that permeated history to a VERY great extent.

In college (public college) 25 years ago I took a class called (I think) A Survey of Western Religions to satisfy one of the my required credits. This class covered The history of Judism, Christianity, and Islam from the (????) beginnings to present day. I wonder how that course would look today in the crazy climate of College and the PC Police (however you choose to define that as in students or government or close-minded persons)

Some people have to remember that there IS NOT one religion in this world BUT MANY. There is even a debate as to: do all of these belief systems actually represent different paths to the same end or conclusion (think of pathways around a mountain all leading to the top) or all of them really that different leading to different deities (meaning different paths to different mountains)?
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Last edited by MadMike; 05-03-2016 at 12:52 AM. Reason: Please don't quote the entire post.
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:07 PM
cindybubbles cindybubbles is offline
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In my Catholic school, we learned about other religions in my World Religions class. We even visited a synagogue and a Buddhist temple and saw Islamic artifacts at the museum.

Perhaps it's the parents that need a good religious education instead of just having people tell them that "God hates so-and-so, so you better not be that, or else you suffer eternal damnation!"
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:13 PM
Shangri-laschild Shangri-laschild is offline
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I'm ok with facts being taught, I'm not ok with belief being taught.

"People of this religion follow these rules and believe these things" -fact

"This is the truth about god and this is the correct way to follow him" - belief

So long as you say on the facts side of it, I don't see it as interfering with the separation of church and state or with the 1st amendment. History and culture are being taught but no one is having a religion pushed on them or being told they can't/shouldn't practice the religion of their choice.

Granted the actual execution of that idea is tricky once you add in the actual people and expect all of them to be able to separate the two concepts.
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  #9  
Old 05-05-2016, 02:47 AM
Kheldarson Kheldarson is offline
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Religion is a human institution with a direct impact on our history. To understand a number of events, including, potentially, why we began agriculture and civilization, you have to understand the religions of the people of that region.

This is a separate concept from "you have to believe this religion". Public education does not teach theology or dogma. The focus is on basic tenents of the religion (the core) so students can understand why different regions would clash as they did.

Religion belongs in its historical context at school; faith does not (barring private religious education). A good history teacher makes sure to frame it that way.
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  #10  
Old 05-28-2016, 07:58 PM
Estil Estil is offline
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I don't come by here nearly as often as I used to but I'll go ahead and weigh in on something I always thought was a bit odd. You know how you often hear things like "God was taken out of schools" or "you can't pray in school anymore" and whatnot? Shoot I remember researching a term paper for college back in the day on this issue and I couldn't help but notice that in actually, God/prayer/etc never really went anywhere. Here's what I mean:

1. No one is stopping you from having your choice of religious book (Bible/Koran/etc) or reading it or most anything else on your own free time. No one is stopping you from saying grace before your lunch. There are still religious extracurricular clubs/groups/prayer around the flagpole thing before school, and of course there' still under God in the Pledge of Allegiance (those who don't believe in God are more than free to just omit that part, just like how when I was a Catholic I omitted the "men" part out of the "for us men and for our salvation" because I personally thought it was embarrassingly if not sexist, at least outdated sounding.

2. As for the whole Creation thing being taught in schools and such, let's put it this way, do you learn sentence structure and grammar in math class? Do you learn about mass and energy in social studies class? Do you learn how to climb ropes and play dodge ball in art class? Of course not, that's just silly...they just don't belong in those subjects. I have nothing against creation stories and theology and so on for what they are, but just like was shown in that one Deep Space Nine episode about that subject...they're just not science. Science is all about things that can be backed up by things like hypothesizes, theories, laws and so on. Religion/spirituality/mythology and so on don't work that way. You can't prove the Biblical or any other creation story and really isn't the whole idea of having a belief/faith and such is that you don't necessarily have or expect it to be provable or even make sense...but you just believe in it anyway. Shoot even in Catholic or other religious/private sorts of schools (correct me if I'm wrong) don't they teach matters of faith/belief as separate subjects/courses anyway?

While I may identify overall as a conservative/libertarian in the political sense, I'm very much an independent "there's no such thing as a one true faith and there's nothing wrong with being Christian/Jew/Muslim/Hindu/Zeusian/etc" as far as the religious sense goes (I'm not comfortable with any sort of hive mind sort of thing where you're expected to just go along with the group no questions asked; I have to totally feel free to draw my own conclusions)...though where I'm from it's very Baptist dominated (Catholic a healthy second but Baptists are clear overwhelming majority) and you can bet if I said anything like that to them or that thinking negatively of LGBT's is no different than thinking badly of someone because of their skin color or where they come from is equally wrong, they insist I'm against God and I'm gonna burn baby burn when I die :P So yeah, I personally can see where openly endorsing a particular religious faith in public schools can go very wrong.

Last edited by Estil; 05-28-2016 at 08:01 PM.
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