Good luck with that idea. The more religious the person, the less they would want to risk their offspring to hop off the bus.I wish I could have opted out of math... I would have been thrilled. But it was a vital requirement, just like knowing about cultures that are not our own, should be.
I know it's a long ways from happening, but I hope it happens soon hahaha! I wish I could have opted out of math too, but alas!
Good to see you're back! I actually really love this idea! It's a shame it would never happen because most religious people behave like Nazi's. MOST I said, not all. Great job man!
This would open the eye's of to many people of the true human potential.. We can't have that happen.. We can not allow people to think for themselves or how to better mankind.
I think a world religion curriculum would be fantastic, especially in our increasingly pluralistic society. I also suspect that fundamentalists would fight such classes tooth and nail, just as they fight teaching evolution and comprehensive sex education. Fundamentalist thrives where there is ignorance, and many couldn't bear to have their children learning about alternative belief systems.
Oops. I meant to write "FUNDAMENTALISM thrives where there is ignorance..."
Sadly, any kind of real education is frowned on in America. Thinking for yourself doesn't allow enough room for faith.
It's a vicious circle. They get stronger with ignorance, and that strength helps them to bring more ignorance. If it isn't their way, then it is considered 'morally' wrong. A new kind of education is too threatening to their stranglehold on their youth.
Totally agree on every point. It is amazing how little we actually know about religion, considering how invested the planet is in it. and yep, most religions will balk, because that would mean giving equal time to the "other" group. Stephen Prothero, author of Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesn't, makes the case that it is a major civic failing in America that we have allowed ourselves to become so vacuous.
it makes it so hard to communicate with other cultures when you don't understand the basics of their culture. I am actually pretty disappointed in myself for not knowing more about other belief systems, and so have begun to try and educate myself a bit more. I would agree with Mr. Prothero, it is a major failing that we allow ignorance to be the norm.
So, it took me a while as I pondered on this topic. I certainly agree that we should make it a requirement to study other religions and I almost think we might be headed in that direction. Sort of. If you squint. In the program I work for, (granted, it is pre-k but it is through a public school district) we are encouraged to bring our students' cultures into the classroom. Because the student population I work with is so diverse we celebrated Vietnamese New Year, we learned about Kwanza, Hanukka, and several Latin American holidays that I had never heard of (All King's Day, etc). The school I am located in also follows a technique called TRIBES which, in an effort to embrace diversity, encourages students to bring in their home cultures and religions to the classroom. Once again, the school I work in has a high population of minority students so the teachers are encouraged to bring in all sorts of different faiths including the, *gasp*, Muslim religion. Because these various religions and cultures are coming from other students within the classroom the students are growing to be more tolerant of each other's differences, mostly because they are establishing friendships prior to these differences being brought up, so after they are the student feels that, well, we were friends before and you aren't any different now that I know this. I wish more school followed this technique, though. The school I work at is unique in the sense of community it has, which is very sad.
I think that is a pretty awesome program! I wish it was implemented much more.