Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny
I'm not sure where this 'debating people's religion' and 'I'm right, you're wrong' comes from.
That is where it will eventually lead to.... either by how the class is conducted and how far they wish to expand their course.... or by others purposely bringing it to this end result. You can not teach these religions and their backgrounds to students without explaining their views towards those who don't believe what they believe..... which will lead to "They claim they're right, the rest of us are wrong" lessons.... which then will lead to either the teacher bringing up the questions or students who have an issue with such claims raising the questions that will eventually lead to the end conclusion I already explained.
If the class is taught to explain what various major religions believe in, there is no right or wrong. It is what it is.
Once again, if that is all that this class is going to be, then there is not point in wasting time, resources and tax money/funding on something these students can freely learn about on their own free time in churches and the sort...... and in most cases, excluding the occasional donation, are free.
As you said, which confirms my previous argument.... the course is to explain what various major religions believe in.... there is no right or wrong, it is just what they believe in.... thus once again, the class is just a mere over-glorified Sunday School for the particular religion being discussed that day where the students are dictated what is, and there is little room to explore beyond "What Is" since it "Is" what it "Is".
There is no challenge to the student other then memorization and testing on what one remembers.
If you allow a debate in class over each religion, then you open up a big can of worms and eventually the class will be shut down.
If you don't allow a debate in class over what is being taught and it's just yet another avenue to dictate religious dogma to our children without question.... then once again.... what's the point beyond sending your child off to church to learn the exact same crap?
Unless the child in the public school who's being sent to mandatory religious classes is planning on joining a church or mosque to become a priest or religious leader of a community, there is no logical reason to create this class and force it to be mandatory. A very small fraction of the overall population decides to seek out this type of career anyways, and the amount of these people have continually been dropping more and more as years go by..... so no argument or justification exists there either.
The Pope is head of the Roman Catholic Church, but not the Anglican Church or the Greek Orthodox Church. That doesn't make it right or wrong, it just is. What is wrong with learning that?
Why do you need an entire class in public school to tell someone this? Besides it being pretty basic common knowledge, all one has to do is ask and most of the time they'll get the right answer. They can walk along the street from school, take a short stop into the local church and ask.
Going into a church to seek out these answers isn't like walking into an automotive manufacturing company and asking them how an engine is built.
Who does the Pope lead?
The Roman Catholic Church.
Why doesn't he lead other Christian churches?
Because they all practice different things and believe in slightly different things.
Why is that?
Because God said so.
Eventually all lessons in religion will lead to one final answer "Because God Said So."
If someone is that interested in the differences between each religion, they can either go to a church and ask, or they can Google it.... or they can read up on the latest news from around the world.... or they can wait until a Mormon or Jehovah's Witness makes a house call to answer all their questions.
Besides what they already teach about certain religions and mythologies in History class, nothing else is needed.
What is wrong with learing that some JW's don't celebrate birthdays, as they feel it tries to make the individual more important than Jesus.
What's wrong is it's practically useless information that most won't even use in their everyday lives, if ever in their life.
They don't celebrate birthdays because it makes them more important then Jesus?
Wow... whoopty do for them.... if there is no exercise for the students to ask questions why or to challenge the reasoning behind this belief..... it's pointless dictation of a religion the student probably isn't, nor ever will be a part of.
I'm sure there might be one or two students interested in this type of class.... but 96% of every other student wouldn't give a damn, nor would I blame them.
Without debating the beliefs and challenging the class on those beliefs, the students are just going to get an explanation like:
"JW's don't celebrate birthdays, as they feel it tries to make the individual more important than Jesus."
^ It is what it is as you say, therefore there's nothing else to say.... so when the class is over and the students are walking to their next class, they're not going to gain anymore tolerance then what they previously had..... they're going to think JW's are frick'n nutz and backwards for not celebrating birthdays.
Then eventually the class will be seen as unproductive and pointless, and be canceled.
If debating and challenging the beliefs is permitted, then what will happen is the religion in question will be picked apart and trashed to absolute crap.... then religious people will complain that their religions are being taught in an unfair manner that makes them appear to be primitive, backwards nut jobs..... then they'll argue that a priest or creationist etc. should teach the class, not a certified, educated teacher...... then those not religious will see this as a further encroachment into our public schools and teaching their children their various religious beliefs.
And if that didn't happen, then other religious people will complain that a person from a particular other religion was teaching the class and would pose a conflict of interest by perhaps promoting their own religion more over then the others, etc. etc......
My ex girlfriend's University prof in her Philosophy class was Christian and made it clear to everybody on the very first day that he was, by claiming that anybody in his class who doesn't believe in Jesus and the Bible should get up and leave his class now because they won't pass. This is one of the many reasons I have great disdain towards the concept of mixing religion into our public schools. The University was privately run, therefore there's not much room for argument against that wanker professor who had his own bias from the get go..... but when it comes to publically funded schools, everybody has a legit right to speak their minds, for or against such an idea.... and I am against.
What is wrong with learning facts about what other religions believe? It's not to emphasize one over the other, or make a religion out to be better or worse. It is simply to give basic facts about it.
What is wrong is that none of it is needed or required knowledge in the first place. None of it has any bearing on one's individual life, none of it is needed to be known for getting a job (unless you want to be a priest) Giving basic facts about religions isn't needed and all one needs to know towards "basic facts" can already be found in the History Text Books of senior high school students.
Having a class solely on religion is about as useful and practical as having a class on Bronco Riding.
We can't all run around and tell our children there are no other religions, there are no people in the world who have different beliefs.
Who ever said that?
Right from the get go in my first post in this thread, I stated very clearly that if I want to teach my own children about one or more religions, or if they wish to learn about one or more religions on their own, they are not only free to do so, but already have plenty of available avenues to seek to get that information, ie: churches, mosques, religious people randomly knocking on your door, etc.
The only people who claim "there are no other religions, there are no people in the world who have different beliefs."
are other religious people who feel their way is the only way, and anybody who thinks differently from them are evil sinners who deserve to suffer in hell for all eternity...... That's basically all one needs to know about religion, as everything else simply falls into place after the fact.