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  #1    
Old July 29th, 2012, 04:38 AM
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Learning about the history and customs of religions so one understands how and why they do certain things. This will make people more understanding and tolerant of others around them. I do not mean Bible or other Holy Book teaching.

It's not that there are many religious students who do not believe in evolution but have to learn about it, hence teaching about creationism is only fair, it is the tolerance issue.

I have lived in England where Religious Education is mandatory except if it is against our fith (the irony), up to the American 8th Grade. This has developed a sense of tolerance amongst the English society, far superior to the society in America that I am currently part of. Ignorant remarks are rampart here and I find it due to people not being educated on the subject. It also helps that England very diverse too which would explain why Religious Education is mandatory there.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 05:02 AM
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No no no. If you want to take those type of classes then be my guest. Being forced to is A, unconstitutional, B, theocratic, and C, pretty much entirely incompatible with how the American public education system works. No way in hell should it be mandatory.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 05:11 AM
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YES YES and YES! It should be! People nowadays REALLY need it! Look at the coming generation of youth, almost no one of them knows a fact of what they are following. They're simply blind following their faith.

And..hey, by Mandatory, we're talking like..Mandatory to it's followers right? If not, then yeah..noway in hell it should be.
You can't force religious education to a non-religious person could you?

We need the kind of system that will encourage religious people to explore more of their faith and know how to defend it. Right now, many religions are victims to the media. Basically because the media portrays the ignorant youths of the community....which are probably too common. In order for religion to display it's true potentials, its members need to contribute in that path..and so, we need mandatory education.


If you simply don't want to study about your own faith, or don't even know a thing about it....then why are you claiming yourself to be of that faith? Just leave so that we can keep a better reputation.


It's not a matter of which belief is right or wrong, it's simply about the correct portrayal and dedicated members.


I always give the same example to my friends--- back in the days when I traveled to K.S.A (don't ask...). On my first trip there, I expected to be surrounded by very aggressive and intolerant killers, that's how the West (ignorantly) describe the Muslims. I fell for that description and was kinda worried. I go there and I was in shock. Seriously?! What were people warning us about? Those people were deeply in touch with their faith, they do stuff that proves their identity as Muslims. Trust me when I tell you, they are actually very kind and open-hearted humans. They're extremely religious such that they NEVER forget signs of their God for a day. Heck, an hour actually..or less! Every time you hear them make these Arabic statements that are actually phrases god related,such as "God Almighty" or "In the name of God" or "God bless your soul". Its probably a habit..but it's a good habit, rather than the people who would drop F-Bombs on the smallest incidents.
THOSE ARE THE EFFECTS OF MANDATORY RELIGIOUS EDUCATION!

When you see what I saw, you'll know what I mean when I say "people REALLY need to know more of what they're following". A secular world...isn't as perfect as we think really, we need the blend of both.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 05:14 AM
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No no no. If you want to take those type of classes then be my guest. Being forced to is A, unconstitutional, B, theocratic, and C, pretty much entirely incompatible with how the American public education system works. No way in hell should it be mandatory.
Just to clarify what the British RE system is like, because your reaction seems rather OTT.


In Britain Religious Education aims to help understand the route of both modern day religions and ancient day societies, at the moment it is often called "Religion and Philosophy".

You learn things such as, but not limited to:
  • Creation stories of multiple religions; in my class we studied Christianity, Islam and Hindu.
  • History of Religion; who founded what, how things have changed.
  • Religious festivals; Christmas, Ramadam, Diwali.
  • Religious traditions; clothing, worship, pilgrimage.
  • Religion vs Science; mostly the 'philosophy' side, taking about what the 'main opinion' of different religious groups is towards things like Abortion.

As an Atheist it did nothing but confirm that I do not believe in a God, however that doesn't make the stories in the Bible (or Qu'ran) any less interesting. Also, like Bluerang said, I think it does contribute to a deeper understanding in the current generation. The UK has a very multicultural population, although the older generation are still quite racist the younger people are 99% indifferent to race.

EDIT:// Religious Eduction in the UK is not about teaching people how to be good Christian, it does not involve reading the Bible - you read a diverse array of Religious literature from numerous times/locations/races. It aims to teach EVERYONE something about ALL religions in society.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwiftSign View Post


Just to clarify what the British RE system is like, because your reaction seems rather OTT.


In Britain Religious Education aims to help understand the route of both modern day religions and ancient day societies, at the moment it is often called "Religion and Philosophy".

You learn things such as, but not limited to:
  • Creation stories of multiple religions; in my class we studied Christianity, Islam and Hindu.
  • History of Religion; who founded what, how things have changed.
  • Religious festivals; Christmas, Ramadam, Diwali.
  • Religious traditions; clothing, worship, pilgrimage.
  • Religion vs Science; mostly the 'philosophy' side, taking about what the 'main opinion' of different religious groups is towards things like Abortion.

As an Atheist it did nothing but confirm that I do not believe in a God, however that doesn't make the stories in the Bible (or Qu'ran) any less interesting. Also, like Bluerang said, I think it does contribute to a deeper understanding in the current generation. The UK has a very multicultural population, although the older generation are still quite racist the younger people are 99% indifferent to race.

EDIT:// Religious Eduction in the UK is not about teaching people how to be good Christian, it does not involve reading the Bible - you read a diverse array of Religious literature from numerous times/locations/races. It aims to teach EVERYONE something about ALL religions in society.
/doesn't know what OTT is

Then it's essentially the same as any comparative religion course one takes in College here in the US. Which are still electives unless that's your field of study. Learning about various world religions is great and could help to foster acceptance and understanding to a degree, but school classes won't assuage a few centuries of religeous conflict and misunderstanding.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 05:41 AM
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/doesn't know what OTT is

Then it's essentially the same as any comparative religion course one takes in College here in the US. Which are still electives unless that's your field of study.
Over The Top sorry ;__;

Quote:
Learning about various world religions is great and could help to foster acceptance and understanding to a degree, but school classes won't assuage a few centuries of religeous conflict and misunderstanding.
Bad things always happen in the past, any History lesson will show that people can make mistakes and do terrible, evil things and then later do great things.

With today's intolerance, especially the 'Muslims are terrorist' view which seems to have spread around the US, learning about the true religion rather than focus on the current extremists can only be good.

Not saying it has to take hours out of their day, when I was in secondary school it was only a 30 minute lesson every week.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 05:48 AM
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If you want religious ed. ... go to a private school.
Yeah.
All I have to say.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 06:46 AM
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A whole separate class? No, I was extremely annoyed that I was forced to take art, no one should be forced to learn anything. However a cretin amount of science credits are required to graduate. Why not stick the topic of creation with evolution? But to have a whole class where you study other regions would really be a bother. I can only do well in classes where I have an interest in, and I don't have a interest in most religions.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 06:51 AM
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It was in primary school. Even then (keep in mind they're like 10 or so which is p young), everyone pulled out except like two of us, lmao (yes that includes me in the two). So... I think while it's good for people to learn about other ways of thinking/beliefs, I think it'll just be a waste of time for the person actually teaching it because half the students will find some excuse to pull out even if it's initially compulsory. :(
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Old July 29th, 2012, 07:09 AM
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If you want religious ed. ... go to a private school.
Yeah.
All I have to say.
Uh.... I don't know how much it costs to go to a private school where you are, but I'd imagine that some parents would simply not be able to afford sending their child or children to a private school. Some are barely able to send their children to public school in the first place, y'know?
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Old July 29th, 2012, 09:02 AM
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No, you can't force religious education on children. Parents decide whether children get religious education, not the government or school system.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 10:04 AM
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It's a faulty argument to say "If they teach evolution then they should teach creationism" because:

  1. Creationism is a religious issue, not a science one. Kids don't take a class in "how humanity came to be." They take a science class. If there were a class in "how humanity came to be" then there's more of an argument to include creationism, but there isn't.
  2. Creationism is not the only other idea for how people came into being besides evolution. If, as some say, you want to be fair you should include every religion's creation stories.

If you want to have classes like SwiftSign explains then why not just have a "Culture and Philosophy" class instead since when you talk about religion you're really just talking about how some people have differences in what they believe. Why not just broaden it to include entire cultural things? Music, worldviews, etc. Everyone has culture, not everyone has religion. This would allow everyone to be included.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 10:34 AM
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I think that RE should definitely be mandatory up until an age, if it's done a certain way. If children are taught simply what different religions believe in without being told that these beliefs are necessarily correct, then I think that's fine. I really can't see the harm done in teaching children which religions believe what and follow what ideals - it's not converting them or forcing anything upon them, it's simply educating them.

What's wrong, in my eyes, is teaching children that there is a correct religion. And by that I mean not necessarily saying that other religions are incorrect, but telling children what the beliefs of one religion are true. An example of this would be reading a passage from the Bible as a "factual" story. At a young and impressionable age, things like this could easily lead children to follow a religion which their parents and other family are not comfortable with.

Basically, teaching about multiple religions? Fine. Teaching a religion? Definitely not fine.

edit: SwiftSign summed up what I wanted to say quite beautifully with his post below. Especially,
Quote:
Again, some people here seem to be mistaking 'Religious Education' for Bible Reading or learning how to worship. That's nowhere near what it is. ;__;
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Old July 29th, 2012, 10:40 AM
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People saying you should only be taught things you're interested in - really? You think kids want to learn Maths, or how to analyse poems in English, or learn ancient Latin that they're unlikely to ever use?

School isn't about what you want to learn, it's about learning things that can help a child be rounded in their knowledge and have enough information to make their own choices in life.

Again, some people here seem to be mistaking 'Religious Education' for Bible Reading or learning how to worship. That's nowhere near what it is. ;__;
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Old July 29th, 2012, 10:43 AM
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Absolutely not. Almost every public institution has some form of mixed religion in this country, and only focusing on one religion to teach, and making it mandatory could be against beliefs. Essentially, bringing in religion into schools is like integrating school with Church, which, all IMO, is against the belief of separation of Church and State. Just my two cents.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 10:46 AM
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Absolutely not. Almost every public institution has some form of mixed religion in this country, and only focusing on one religion to teach, and making it mandatory could be against beliefs. Essentially, bringing in religion into schools is like integrating school with Church, which, all IMO, is against the belief of separation of Church and State. Just my two cents.
I'm starting to worry that my posts are in fact invisible.


Religious Education isn't about teaching one religion, it is about teaching children about the diversity of Religions.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwiftSign View Post
People saying you should only be taught things you're interested in - really? You think kids want to learn Maths, or how to analyse poems in English, or learn ancient Latin that they're unlikely to ever use?

School isn't about what you want to learn, it's about learning things that can help a child be rounded in their knowledge and have enough information to make their own choices in life.

Again, some people here seem to be mistaking 'Religious Education' for Bible Reading or learning how to worship. That's nowhere near what it is. ;__;
I think once you're in high school, you can make your own decisions. It would fall apon the student to make educated desicions. In my old high school you only needed to take 2yrs of math, I took it for 4 but I was pleased to know it was of my own violation.

I find no interest in alla, or Mohamed, well not enough to take a class on it, even if it is suplimented with other boring religions. I would list in to a friend talk about it, or vist there church, but that would only be 2hrs of my life. Not a semester.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 12:14 PM
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I think learning about various religions is an important thing, but I don't think it should be mandatory. If you want to find out about something, a course telling you about what it is useful... but with religion I find that doing the research yourself is much more valuable. I'd be afraid the courses would end up being taught by someone with a strong bias and come off as preachy.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 02:22 PM
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I'm starting to worry that my posts are in fact invisible.


Religious Education isn't about teaching one religion, it is about teaching children about the diversity of Religions.
Well jeez, sorry. But I see what you mean by Religious Education. There's a class exactly like that at my school but at least it's an elective and can be taken in any grade level (9 through 12). But my original point of view stands of it not needing to be mandatory in education.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 02:49 PM
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There seems to be a strong hate for all things religion by some on here. I've edited the post to explain what I mean by Religious Education. Thank you to the few that explained my point.
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Old July 30th, 2012, 04:16 PM
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From what I have heard (mainly from a select few) philosophy classes never give you "answers", so to say. What they do is present facts from different points of view and let's you choose which one you think is right.

On the same notion, I think that is how Religious Studies should be taught. I remember that my pastor said they invited a rabbi over to our church for Passover so we could understand Jesus' religion better (or something). While this may not seem like much (after all Christianity is basically a noob version of Judaism) it shows how easy it could be to make things relevant yet of value.

They shouldn't ever give an "answer", but rather, a "question" then "opinion"s. And from what little religious studies I had in middle school (we memorized the 10 commandments and then the five Pillars of Islam) it has made me understand their religion better. Now I know that most of the Muslims don't all hate America and want to blow up airplanes, but rather there are a select few who have radical views. And think about it. Most of us are Christians in America, and when the KKK and various Christian terrorist groups started acting up did they freak out about Christianity? No, because they knew that those weren't the values of Christians.

In the same way, if we had taught them about (and the key word here is about) Islam, do you think they would have freaked out about the dude with the turban next door? No, because they would know wether or not they, the Muslims, think blowing up buildings is part of their tradition. And they would have agreed to build that mosque at Ground Zero, because they knew that they are like us, but worships in a different way. No blowing up things - that is for the loony Muslims. And if we were to do this across the world, learning about every culture and religion, don't you think the world would be a better place?

So my point is, education promotes tolerance. And since America's main value is based off of tolerance, chances are education in that area might let us reach that goal faster.

Edit: Why would reading the Bible or the Koran be a bad thing? It only allows discussion, and explains why they think that way. For example, Ruth and Esther are great examples of not just Jewish values, but values everyone has got to follow! Yet, since it's in a religious text, we can't learn about them. Rather, we have to learn state-regulated bullcrap the bores people. And to be honest, the poetic forms of most religious texts are great examples not only for values, but for literature and ancient language classes and so forth. And while that power could be abused, students are usually smart enough to realize that they are to discuss, not simply be brainwashed by these things. In fact, most classes have "participation" grades so that they learn more, and I think it would be more than helpful here to prevent certain untrue and extremely racist ideas (like "Christians are better than Jews!") from sticking in their minds. Yes, the Jews crucified the Son of Man, God's ultimate gift to them. But through discussion, the more subtle point that everyone rebels and will be punished will be brought up. And stuff like that happens all throughout the texts, and by the end of your 12-year education, you are anything but brainwashed.

That being said you can certainly abuse these texts for negative purposes, like the brainwashing I mentioned earlier. But obviously there will be complaints, and there will be consequences. So extra vigilance will definitely have to be kept in place here. But hey, what's a little effort (extra surveillance of teaching methods) for a big reward (tolerance and world peace)?
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Old August 1st, 2012, 01:48 AM
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I took it in 11th grade alongside Philosophy and I found it very interesting.

I'm fine with that sort of class, as long as no religion is ever treated as "correct", as Alex said. I'd also add that it should be directed at more mature students rather than to kids in elementary school, because they are more likely to take everything as truths instead of legendary stories with morals in them. In that regard, I think that the best moment to study them in some degree of depht is when the kids are ready to study philosophy as well, because the cores of both are very similar.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 04:03 PM
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If you want to study religion, of any kind mind you, it should be your choice, or in the case of younger students, the parents choice. And when the child is old enough to decide whether they want to continue that education or not, they can make that decision. Though I think both Creationism and evolution should be taught at a higher age. When I was taught evolution after going to church all my life (and I wanna say this was first introduced 3rd grade of all things), it made no sense to me and I couldn't figure out where to piece it in and I just went on thinking Jesus hung out with dinosaurs. Hell, I still don't know how to piece it in. It's a bit weird to teach a young child both concepts, which is why I think it should be taught at a higher age where they can decide for themselves what seems most logical or how to fit them both together to where they make sense. And please for the love of God and dinosaurs, don't give me the "evolution is fact" sermon.

This probably makes no sense because I went off about evolution. Basically, religion should only be taught in religious-based schools, and if it's public, it should be by a student's choice.
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Old August 2nd, 2012, 06:58 AM
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No, religious studies should never be mandatory. And it should only ever be offered in high school and post secondary schools where it would be an optional course.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 07:25 PM
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I think it should be up to the kids to decide what their stance on Religion is. Being forced to practice something just because your parents/family do it isn't right. Everyone is entitled to their own views on these matters. It could be beneficial if children learned about the customs of each religion early on (so as not to become biased or stay ignorant), but the parents of these kids who are devout in their faith would not agree. Unless we get all parties to compromise, it will never happen. Its sad, really. People love to fight and discriminate over small differences. World Peace will never happen unless that changes.
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