Tuesday, October 23, 2012

And Let the Schools Say…AMEN?!

"One nation, _____ ___, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all" right? Modifications to our once standard school day's morning routine reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance have now moved to the back burners to ensure that no groups in our schools are excluded. But why? Our kids today (and a vast majority of adults) are profoundly illiterate when it comes to religious knowledge. As a nation, we need to stand up and bring some religious unity into our hearts and back on our playgrounds.

     Separation of Church and State has been a hot button issue for years, but few people actually take the time out to develop the tolerance needed to comfortably accept the idea of religion wrapped in our public school teachings. According to the Nationwide Survey of American Religious Knowledge, conducted circa 2008, non-believers of religion scored higher than religious followers on basic questions ranging from "What is the holy book of the Muslim faith?" to "How many candles does a Menorah hold?". There's really no surprise here that those who claim no faith are more tolerant and understanding of other people's faiths and doctrines then those that swear by one faith and express disdain towards everyone else's beliefs.

     Now while it is true that public schools shouldn't promote any particular religious set of beliefs, religious based extracurricular groups must be allowed, by law, in public schools. According to the Equal Access Act of 1984, any publicly funded school that allows extracurricular clubs must also allow religious clubs and groups. So having faith based groups in our school after school programs is only half the battle. We just have to finish the fight against our own internal ignorance 

     So what should we do? I suggest we introduce the history of religions as a part of our school's core curriculum and see how fast the ignorance dissipates. Only thirty-six percent of the people who participated in the religious knowledge survey were aware that public schools can lawfully teach religion courses at a comparative level. And while religion isn't necessarily required to maintain good behavior in our classrooms, children in today's societies could take away some positive outlooks on life from lectures on other religions around the world.

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1 comment:

  1. I strongly agree. The easiest, most efficient way to combat adulthood ignorance is to teach from an open-minded perspective while children are young. Religions history, among other things should be a general ed class from elementary school through college, it would only serve to reinforce the things learned in History course, of course...that depends on how genuine and unbiased the history teacher is...