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Religion being taught in schools?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Leopold Stotch, May 29, 2013. | Replies: 228 | Views: 7297

  1. Leopold Stotch

    Leopold Stotch IncGamers Member

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    While at work today and sorting thru uncooked buffalo wings, I recalled something from a couple of weeks ago. My brother and I got on the topic of... something and it prompted us to go back to our old high school website. There, we could see who was teaching there, what classes, etc. I noticed one class that stuck out like a sore thumb. The guy teaching it was someone my brother knew, I think, or had heard about... :dontknow:

    The class is Bible Literature. You study the Bible and its stories. Now, iirc, religion + schools = :nono: . It is not a mandatory class, afaik, however I'm sure if there were some other Holy Book studying class or a class about a specific religion period, so much hell would be raised (example: Islam). But because I am from a small, southern, country, predominately white community where there are 30 churches within a mile radius this class is okay. If this were on a college campus, I would be okay with this because in college you can study pretty much anything you want and there are specific programs aimed for theology degrees. But this is high school and isn't there something where religion shouldn't or can't be taught in schools? -.-

    Just want to know how others feel about this. Also, did anyone else's school hold FCA meetings before school on certain days of the week? FCA = Fellowship of Christian Athletes or some **** or is it just a southern thing?
  2. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    There are religion classes here as well, even in elementary school (at least when I attended it), but they aren't mandatory. In high school, you usually have the choice between religion and philosphy. I chose religion back then because philosophy was said to involve more homework :whistling:.

    I have no problem with that, but school classes like "bible literature" would worry me a bit, as it is about a particular religion which sounds like a handicap for others.
  3. Dawnmaster

    Dawnmaster IncGamers Member

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    Here in Belgium you have 2 major school systems:

    Catholic schools & State schools

    Catholic schools have an inherent mandatory Bible class which also covers other major religions.
    State schools have something we call "zedenleer" (roughly translated "study of decency"?)

    But the Islam community have their own classes and sometimes even schools were children are thaught Arabic Language and the Teachings of the Quoran.

    Personally I don't have anything with religion (eventhough I've been to Catholic schools all my life), but I would send my kid there (not to convert him) but because I know discipline and values are held higher there than in the State schools.
  4. Dredd

    Dredd D3 Off Topic Moderator

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    The Bible may be a book of bronze-age fairy tales, but the impact its had on our culture and psyche is ubiquitous. I'll go so far as to say that the Bible is the rosetta stone for all of western literature. Those whose interest in reading goes beyond mere pleasure would do well to know their "good book". Would-be literary scholars and critics who would ignore that advice lack the insight necessary to excel. Even if your interest in reading stops with pleasure, you'd still be doing yourself a favor by flipping through the Bible now and again.

    The same applies to studying the literature of other cultures. Know their myths or you're going to be hopelessly hamstrung. Salman Rushdie is a favorite example of mine. Know nothing of Islam? Never picked through the Quran? Leave The Satanic Verses on the library shelf then. It's impenetrable.*

    I digress. Studying the Bible "as literature" (the context is important) doesn't present any constitutional problems as far I know. In fact, I support the idea of such a class (for reasons given above) provided it's not compulsory and not used as a front to subvert children into the religion or sneak junk science into the curriculum (by the way of "[STRIKE]intelligent[/STRIKE] design").

    To answer your second question, the public school I went to had no such classes or clubs; however, on Wednesdays some of us got out of class for an hour to study scripture at a Catholic church down the block. My memory is a bit fuzzy but I think I attended that study from age 7 though 13 (or thereabouts).



    *And while you're brushing up on Islam, you'll want to study a bit of Hinduism as well.
  5. kestegs

    kestegs D3 Monk Moderator

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    Dredd pretty much nails it, except for the part about fables and such. ;)

    We never had any classes like that here, but we did have FCA.

    You may not like intelligent design, but it's a whole lot more logical than the big bang theory and evolution. That's junk science to me.
  6. LozHinge the Unhinged

    LozHinge the Unhinged IncGamers Member

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    kegs, why is the intelligent designer altering germs to make them resistant to our current range of antibiotics?
  7. kestegs

    kestegs D3 Monk Moderator

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    So you're admitting that there's an intelligent designer?
  8. LozHinge the Unhinged

    LozHinge the Unhinged IncGamers Member

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    So you're avoiding answering my question? You know, the question I asked before you asked your "question"?
  9. kestegs

    kestegs D3 Monk Moderator

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    But you don't even believe in the premise of the question, so what's the point?
  10. LozHinge the Unhinged

    LozHinge the Unhinged IncGamers Member

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    If you could answer the question, would I not then be able to decide whether the premise was legitimate or not?

    (To answer your question which was the answer to my question that answered your question to my question that you never answered.)
  11. kestegs

    kestegs D3 Monk Moderator

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    O, I see!

    I don't necessarily agree that He is altering them. Could be though. Not real familiar with the question in general though. Wouldn't it be better to ask why the intelligent designer created germs that are constantly mutating? To which I would also respond that I don't know ;)
  12. LozHinge the Unhinged

    LozHinge the Unhinged IncGamers Member

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    Is there anything else you would like to tell us about concerning things you do not know? :nod:
  13. Stevinator

    Stevinator IncGamers Member

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    I think his point is to make a point.



    Anyway, I don't think people get as riled up about the bible being taught when it's a class about religion. As long as there are enough people interested to keep the class afloat, I don't really mind much that people learn what's in the bible. What annoys me is when it creeps into science class, and interferes with teaching kids how the world works. But as literature, or when labelled clearly as religion, that's fine. In my experience most people have not actually read much of the bible. I blame the difficult language. When you go to a bible study, you read this stuff, either outloud or to yourself, it doesn't make any sense, then the leader tells you what it means. I think for most folks, that's as close as you can get unless you pick the easier to understand version. Or you study languages for a living and learn to read in latin or greek (or aramaic).
  14. Dredd

    Dredd D3 Off Topic Moderator

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    Happened in my middle school biology class. The teacher decided we'd be skipping the chapter on evolution. We were told we could read it ourselves if we liked, but that we wouldn't be tested on the material. He then gave us a sheepish lecture about being created whole and perfect in the image of our maker. I asked him if we'd be quizzed on THAT bit and earned an hour of detention. -.-

    I was going to bring this up in my first post but I was already drifting into tl;dr territory.
  15. kestegs

    kestegs D3 Monk Moderator

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    I also don't agree with that, just to be clear.

    My preference would be for both evolution and ID to be presented as theories. Neither one has indisputable proof they are right.
  16. jmervyn

    jmervyn IncGamers Member

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    I took a class of this nature in high school, as well as university. This isn't the same as evangelism; it's literature. If you can have a class about Sci-Fi literature, or mythology (both of which I also took in high school) there's no reason whatsoever that you can't teach a class about a specific religion, it's literature, as well as comparative religions.

    The point at which it crosses a line is obvious, yet seems to escape the fascist liberals in our media and education system. When you move from discussion to action, as when you have a bunch of 6th graders attend a mosque (girls in back, no menstruation allowed!), or make the Muslim version of the "confession of faith" (couldn't find the specific article about CA school I remember), or punished for NOT doing so, or even get Islamic 'soft peddled' culture in textbooks... well, THAT's when you have a problem with evangelism/proselytism (summary site). A teacher was fired for giving a Bible to a student WHO REQUESTED IT, but you can cart the whole class off to the mosque and stack them up nose-to-fanny?
    In honesty? I think it's patently Satanic. C.S. Lewis put it extremely well (he hints at it in "Screwtape proposes a toast") in his masterpiece The Abolition of Man, but even the Rush song "Freewill" admits it - choosing not to fill a vacuum with one thing means the vacuum will be filled with something else.



    The so-called "separation clause" was to prevent precisely what Islam is accomplishing now; the power of the Federal Gov't being brought to bear in favor of a particular creed. The individual state governments always had this within their purview, and the point was that if you had an individual state that wanted to have some sort of screwball theocratic model, they could give it a whirl.

    Sheesh, I would have thought THAT was obvious:
    [​IMG]
  17. Glurin

    Glurin IncGamers Member

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    Some people just need to loosen up a bit IMO. Separation of church and state never meant that anything even remotely religious must be purged from any public venue. It just means that the government should have a neutral stance on the topic. Neither establishing, nor condemning any particular religion.

    Thing is, they don't really contradict each other either. I really don't mind either being taught, so long as the teacher doesn't get a stick up his butt about one being the absolute, all encompassing truth and the other being made up fairy tale rubbish. I'd much rather science class be taught by a true scientist. Someone who questions the world around him and doesn't consider himself an "expert" even if others do. Someone who will teach how to do science rather than what he thinks is true because "scientists" say so.

    That's a pretty tall order though, and would require a complete, though badly needed overhaul of the scientific curriculum in our public education system.
  18. kestegs

    kestegs D3 Monk Moderator

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    You're right. When I say I don't believe in evolution I mean that I don't believe in traditional evolution like Darwin believed.

    You make a good point about teachers/scientists not questioning things, as that really is the basis of science.
  19. LozHinge the Unhinged

    LozHinge the Unhinged IncGamers Member

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    I look at ID in a similar way to other unprovables, such as the idea that two n-dimensional membranes bumped uglies and squirted out our universe. Sure. Maybe ID created whatever it is that brought the observable Universe into being. ID, membrane theory, flying spaghetti monster, whatever.

    What I object to is the introduction of magical fairies into the explanation of how the universe works now. Observation shows speciation in action, evolution is entirely self-consistent with strong circumstantial evidence which does not require us to pull in an unprovable agency for explanations. Simple organisms into complex organisms into specialised organisms, all logically explained.

    The arguments regarding ID in action, today, right now, they all seem to boil down to "bananas were made just for us". I don't need ID to explain how the Universe currently works.

    And no one, wild-eyed religious fanatic nor frothy-mouthed atheist scientist, is going to persuade me how the Universe was created in the first place - how could we know for sure? How could we know with even a fraction of the certainty we have for the process of evolution?

    Anyway, the point of this post, which got a little diluted, is that ID (or God, as he is more honestly referred to) can have the Pre-Big Bang reality and rational science gets what happened afterwards. Yes, I am generous-hearted :yes:
  20. Vivi

    Vivi IncGamers Member

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    I work at an academy that trains students to become primary school teachers. I am not a teacher btw.
    It's, specifically, a multireligious academy.

    You can specialize, if you wish, to become a teacher with the extra specification enabling you to teach at protestant, catholic or muslim schools. (I know of those 3, there may be others, dunno. I don't teach). It's not compulsary.

    I think it's profound knowledge, knowing about religion. It must be taught with an open mind though, with respect towards other religions. There is no ultimate truth, opinions will always differ and it's important we all get along. This can only be achieved if you know of the religions, rather than prejudice.
    It is wrong to teach someone what is right or wrong based on one religion. But there's a lot of common ground for religions.

    So yes, I say it must be taught. As a general subject to learn about the world religions and what they're about and what other people believe, so you can make up your own mind.
    And if you have a specific belief or want to convert anyways, then there's nothing wrong at being taught this at school, provided it's not meant to teach you how to convert others.

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