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(Chicago Trib)   An education group has suggested there is a way to teach religious studies in public school that would satisfy constitutional requirements and be objective. Article to the left, detailed reasons why it would never work to the right   ( chicagotribune.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, religious studies, Education, Religion, High school, Prospect High School, world religions class, social studies, high academic standards  
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1676 clicks; posted to Politics » on 18 Jun 2017 at 10:33 PM (17 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-06-18 08:39:37 PM  
They are correct that there is an appalling amount of ignorance about religions that needs to be remedied.
 
2017-06-18 08:52:53 PM  

Fingerware Error: They are correct that there is an appalling amount of ignorance about religions that needs to be remedied.


If we had mandatory comparative religions classes alongside decent civics classes, we wouldn't be as divided as we are.

We've got plenty of congresscritters that could use some remedial civics lessons. Well, those, and some ethics training as well.
 
2017-06-18 09:01:07 PM  

pxlboy: Well, those, and some ethics training as well.


They've got ethics training...from the Ferengi.
 
2017-06-18 09:03:00 PM  

Fingerware Error: pxlboy: Well, those, and some ethics training as well.

They've got ethics training...from the Ferengi.


HAHAHA
 
2017-06-18 09:04:04 PM  
If it's true comparative religion more power to them. It might shock many Christians to learn how many of their tenets and traditions are lifted wholesale from previous religions. Transubstantiation stolen from Dionysus , resurrecting god also stolen from Dionysus, Christ's birthday stolen from pagans, easter also stolen from pagan religions.

Once you look closely at this thing interwoven in your life , you begin to realize it is a patchwork of previous religions sewn together as a cloak to hide simple control mechanisms.
 
2017-06-18 09:16:22 PM  
Comparative Religion is a perfectly acceptable course to teach at public high schools. That's not what the people pushing for religion to be taught at public high schools want to teach though. They want proselytization.
 
2017-06-18 09:26:01 PM  

Serious Black: Comparative Religion is a perfectly acceptable course to teach at public high schools. That's not what the people pushing for religion to be taught at public high schools want to teach though. They want proselytization.


As far as I'm concerned they can have that if all religions get equal time. And if "Talk Like a Pirate Day" is reserved for the Pastafarians.
 
2017-06-18 09:30:23 PM  
Just basically say if you believe religion A you are an idiot because....
B you are an idiot because...
C you are an idiot because...

Continue until you run out of religions
 
2017-06-18 09:40:34 PM  
covering the history of religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and others.

I have no problem with this.

/atheist
 
2017-06-18 09:44:07 PM  
Yeah...uh...fundy Christians will protest teaching their kid about these other abominations.

Or they will capture the course to show why each other religion is flawed.  In the meantime this course gets outside funding while math, sciences and literature get cut.
 
2017-06-18 10:05:54 PM  
Comparative Religion, I took in high school. No one batted an eye at it, because it wasn't about conversion or about promoting one faith over others. It was exactly what it was billed as: comparing major faiths to one another, and several minor faiths, and a few that were culturally important, but sort of lapsed as practiced faiths, such as the faith traditions of the Norse, the Greeks and Romans and Egyptians.

Teaching the history and basic tenets of other faiths to understand their historical and cultural significance is dandy. Heck, looking at Christianity through that eye is something that more folks need to do, as opposed to just saying, "All I need to know about Christianity is in teh Bible, Teaching Lady!" because WHICH Bible is kind of important. Which Christian tradition does someone follow means a WORLD of difference between not just their practice, but their history as well. Coptic Christians aren't Protestants, and they ain't Catholic, and understanding those differences is just as important as know the difference between Sunni and Shia Muslims. Or Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism.
 
2017-06-18 10:13:21 PM  
The history of Christianity in Britain would be valuable in the Bible Belt. Ease the students into how similar their beliefs are to Oliver Cromwell and then show them what a War on Christmas really looks like.
 
2017-06-18 10:16:37 PM  
As a devout Atheist I applaud the idea of teaching Religious Studies in Schools. Just don't leave any religions out.
 
2017-06-18 10:25:13 PM  
Tell ya what. I'll teach your "religious studies" class. I'll spend time covering why religion exists and discuss where each religion actually came from, including the creation of many of the major figures those religions base their tales on. It'll be based on actual historical evidence rather than on the mythology of the religion being discussed. You won't like it one damned bit.
 
2017-06-18 10:35:17 PM  
Teaching about religion is perfectly OK
Teaching religion is not.
 
2017-06-18 10:36:04 PM  

Sub Human: As a devout Atheist I applaud the idea of teaching Religious Studies in Schools. Just don't leave any religions out.


Except for the dumb ones. Anyone who actually practices Jedi deserves all the wedgies.
 
2017-06-18 10:38:56 PM  
I went to public high school in Texas over 15 years ago and we spent about a month in Geography on religion. My only complaint now is that Christianity was not covered. I don't understand why anyone would ask this man if it was illegal. Maybe they all went to shiattier schools than I did.
 
2017-06-18 10:39:22 PM  
Fundie a have such little faith in their beliefs they won't want their children learning about any other.
 
2017-06-18 10:39:33 PM  
It would encourage critical thinking.

Fundies gonna hate this idea.
 
2017-06-18 10:39:46 PM  
Is not Ms. Betsy DeVos already working to address the deficiency of religious studies in public schools? As I understand, she is working to remedy the appalling situation of fewer than half of public school students being taught that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died to pay for our sins.
 
2017-06-18 10:39:55 PM  

Serious Black: Comparative Religion is a perfectly acceptable course to teach at public high schools. That's not what the people pushing for religion to be taught at public high schools want to teach though. They want proselytization.


This.
 
2017-06-18 10:40:38 PM  
Until they can prove they can teach English and Math, I'm inclined to be opposed.
 
2017-06-18 10:40:46 PM  
FTFA: "The study of religion from an academic, nondevotional perspective in primary, middle, and secondary school is critical for decreasing religious illiteracy and the bigotry and prejudice it fuels," the guidelines state.

It sounds like a good idea.  I know a number of rabid Trump supporters who honestly believe that all Muslims are plotting to overthrow world governments to institute Sharia law, they think it's a basic element of Islam.  The only way to end bigotry is through knowledge and exposure.
 
2017-06-18 10:41:03 PM  
I'll be just as enthused about religious studies classes in the public education system as the priesthoods would be of classes teaching critical thinking skills in sunday schools and seminaries.
 
2017-06-18 10:41:12 PM  

Dimensio: Is not Ms. Betsy DeVos already working to address the deficiency of religious studies in public schools? As I understand, she is working to remedy the appalling situation of fewer than half of public school students being taught that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died to pay for our sins.


Will she add her God, Mammon, to the curriculum?
 
2017-06-18 10:42:07 PM  

stoli n coke: Sub Human: As a devout Atheist I applaud the idea of teaching Religious Studies in Schools. Just don't leave any religions out.

Except for the dumb ones. Anyone who actually practices Jedi deserves all the wedgies.


I don't see why. A religion from a movie isn't any less legitimate than one from a book. Books are meant to be entertaining, too.
 
2017-06-18 10:43:55 PM  
Did you other Farkers seriously not study Islam, Hinduism or Buddhism as part of your general high school curriculum?
 
2017-06-18 10:46:54 PM  

pxlboy: Fingerware Error: They are correct that there is an appalling amount of ignorance about religions that needs to be remedied.

If we had mandatory comparative religions classes alongside decent civics classes, we wouldn't be as divided as we are.

We've got plenty of congresscritters that could use some remedial civics lessons. Well, those, and some ethics training as well.


Simpsons comparative religion
Youtube hS1Kmp92fwA
 
2017-06-18 10:47:16 PM  
All comparative religion class in 5th grade did was to confuse Mormon and Muslim for me to this day.  And develop an urge for spaghetti and the Collander Cult.
 
2017-06-18 10:47:54 PM  

moothemagiccow: Did you other Farkers seriously not study Islam, Hinduism or Buddhism as part of your general high school curriculum?


I went to Catholic school and we studied all religeons.
 
2017-06-18 10:48:51 PM  
We taught religion when I was in HS (late 90's) in my public school. It was listed as an English elective and taught and discussed the religious texts as writings. It was an open discussion of the writings on an academic level. Not a sermon or religious session. This is perfectly fine in my opinion.
 
2017-06-18 10:49:26 PM  
They had a  comparative  religion studies class in the damn 7th grade in Boise, Idaho. In the 1970's. It was not an elective. I think I got a b or something.
 
2017-06-18 10:49:43 PM  

Serious Black: Comparative Religion is a perfectly acceptable course to teach at public high schools. That's not what the people pushing for religion to be taught at public high schools want to teach though. They want proselytization.


Yes, as I was reading the article, my thought was, "Liberals would not have an issue with an academic course on world religions. Conservative Christians, on the other hand, are likely to scream that their children are being indoctrinated into Islam."
 
2017-06-18 10:49:55 PM  
20 years ago, in college, I took a Bible as Literature class. At the start of the class, I was one of only three non-christians in the room, with the rest largely being Evangelical-types thinking their knowledge of the bible would lead to an easy A in a 300-level Humanities class.

By the end of the class, probably half the class would've said they were agnostic or leaning toward that. It was fairly amusing.

So by all means: Please proceed.
 
2017-06-18 10:51:52 PM  

thismomentinblackhistory: Until they can prove they can teach English and Math, I'm inclined to be opposed.


One of the biggest problems in K-12 education today is the constant focus on English and Math, especially in the context of teaching to the state tests.  While both are certainly important the penalties and incentives tied to NCLB have taken a lot of the joy out of education and turned too many schools into assembly lines designed to hammer test-prep in those subjects constantly.

There has to be room left for the arts and social sciences so that students can understand the big picture concepts of how the world works, how others live and the history/experiences that brought them there, and even their own place in the world instead of just learning rote mechanics.
 
2017-06-18 10:52:42 PM  
Yes this could be easily done. It's done in colleges and universities all the time. However, students are generally willing to be more open minded at that level of education where you get students are mostly filled with the crap their parents told them to believe. It can be a sticky situation but comparative religion classes are very helpful from many standpoints: philosophical, cultural, historical. Because religion can't be discussed at all many miss out on how much religious ideology has affected history. How many people actually know that one of the reasons set down by Benedict Arnold for becoming a turncoat was because he was a devout Protestant whom Washington told to go and beg the French, ardent Catholics, for money and support for the revolution? He found the whole thing insulting.

Sorry for the rambling, but in short, it could be done and should be done. However problems abound from both students and teachers who will create a curriculum that is very pro their point of view. Many cannot be objective on such issues.
 
2017-06-18 10:54:03 PM  
Can I take a comparative alchemy technique class next semester?
 
2017-06-18 10:54:34 PM  

theflatline: moothemagiccow: Did you other Farkers seriously not study Islam, Hinduism or Buddhism as part of your general high school curriculum?

I went to Catholic school and we studied all religeons.


I went to public school and we studied nothing of the sort. Was also raised atheist and never really understood the whole religion thing. Wasn't till I got to college that I started seriously looking into the questions that various religions address - got my degree in comparative religion and have continually challenged my own thinking since then. Though I've never been part of any religious community, I'm no longer an atheist. I'd love to see good, academic Comparative Religion courses in high schools. The stories are great; the philosophical, historical, sociological and psychological issues involved are fascinating; and students can get those classes out of the way so that they can go to college for something else that might help them pay their damned bills for once.
 
2017-06-18 10:55:32 PM  

KodosZardoz: Yes this could be easily done. It's done in colleges and universities all the time. However, students are generally willing to be more open minded at that level of education where you get students are mostly filled with the crap their parents told them to believe. It can be a sticky situation but comparative religion classes are very helpful from many standpoints: philosophical, cultural, historical. Because religion can't be discussed at all many miss out on how much religious ideology has affected history. How many people actually know that one of the reasons set down by Benedict Arnold for becoming a turncoat was because he was a devout Protestant whom Washington told to go and beg the French, ardent Catholics, for money and support for the revolution? He found the whole thing insulting.

Sorry for the rambling, but in short, it could be done and should be done. However problems abound from both students and teachers who will create a curriculum that is very pro their point of view. Many cannot be objective on such issues.


..at that level of education whereas YOUNGER students are more likely to be les open minded and believe the crap their parents told them.
Sorry for any confusion. Shoulda used preview.
 
2017-06-18 10:55:45 PM  

Serious Black: Comparative Religion is a perfectly acceptable course to teach at public high schools. That's not what the people pushing for religion to be taught at public high schools want to teach though. They want proselytization.


I like the idea of Comparative Religion classes...
I just wonder how that would play in Kansas.

"Intelligent design" = our dude:  good!
"Anyone else's belief system" = assholes!
 
2017-06-18 10:56:03 PM  

Sub Human: As a devout Atheist


images.duckduckgo.com
 
2017-06-18 10:56:48 PM  
Isn't teaching about religion and comparisons between them in a framework where no religion is inherently true and all are equally valid the best way to kill religion?
 
2017-06-18 10:57:57 PM  

stoli n coke: Sub Human: As a devout Atheist I applaud the idea of teaching Religious Studies in Schools. Just don't leave any religions out.

Except for the dumb ones. Anyone who actually practices Jedi deserves all the wedgies.


Jediism is basically the same moral code (or better) as Christianity, but with a different backstory.
 
2017-06-18 10:58:19 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: thismomentinblackhistory: Until they can prove they can teach English and Math, I'm inclined to be opposed.

One of the biggest problems in K-12 education today is the constant focus on English and Math, especially in the context of teaching to the state tests.  While both are certainly important the penalties and incentives tied to NCLB have taken a lot of the joy out of education and turned too many schools into assembly lines designed to hammer test-prep in those subjects constantly.

There has to be room left for the arts and social sciences so that students can understand the big picture concepts of how the world works, how others live and the history/experiences that brought them there, and even their own place in the world instead of just learning rote mechanics.


And it's not even a laser-like focus on English. it's a laser-like focus on a particular type of English with some crappy grammar mixed in and some nonsensical essay types thrown in to mess with the kids. Actual literary analysis, critical analysis and thinking skills, as well as a focus on any genre other than crappy classics and biased non-fiction that's messing with the actual teaching of English. 

/high school English teacher
//Screw you guys, I teach what I want
 
2017-06-18 10:58:48 PM  

WittyReference: Can I take a comparative alchemy technique class next semester?


All out of alchemy but you can get your degree in baraminology here.
 
2017-06-18 10:58:55 PM  

sithon: Once you look closely at this thing interwoven in your life , you begin to realize it is a patchwork of previous religions sewn together as a cloak to hide simple control mechanisms.


I once failed to explain to my Most Republican FriendTM that 'Merican X-mass' is a relatively new thing. Of course his preffered historian is Bill [Degenerate Gambler] Bennett. Go fig.
 
2017-06-18 10:59:48 PM  

HairBolus: Isn't teaching about religion and comparisons between them in a framework where no religion is inherently true and all are equally valid the best way to kill religion?


Not at all. It's the best way to make people reconsider their long-held beliefs about the subject. Does not necessarily end religion, it only ends thoughtless religion.

And no, those two are not the same.
 
2017-06-18 11:00:00 PM  
Dear fellow atheists,

RTFA
 
2017-06-18 11:02:01 PM  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: Teaching about religion is perfectly OK
Teaching religion is not.


Yeah I have no problem with a comparative religion or history of religion course.  The cultural etc side of religion and its influences throughout history.  Basic tenets of most religions.  Sure.
 
2017-06-18 11:03:07 PM  

ClicheRinpoche: HairBolus: Isn't teaching about religion and comparisons between them in a framework where no religion is inherently true and all are equally valid the best way to kill religion?

Not at all. It's the best way to make people reconsider their long-held beliefs about the subject. Does not necessarily end religion, it only ends thoughtless religion.

And no, those two are not the same.


I should add: a good result nevertheless. A world full of agnostics would be a wonderful place. Silly, but wonderful
 
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