Bea Fields Blogging Contest – Bring Religion to Public Education!
Let’s talk religion in public education, not a specific religion but the discussion of all religions and how they influence the world in both negative and positive ways. We are a global community and we are becoming more so with each passing day. We must learn to work within a social structure of kindness and understanding or are we going to continue to perpetuate hate and discrimination.
The 80’s brought about many unfortunate social circumstances and hands down the worst was the acceptance of politically correct language. As a nation we have become so strongly influenced by our social image that we dare not speak freely of our intimate thoughts. This breeds resentment, misunderstandings, and hate. If we were allowed to freely discuss our thoughts and disagreements we would learn social skills such as impulse control, critical thinking, compassion, and emotional intelligence.
Picture a class room at a city college with 60 people listening to a lesson on social psychology. The tone of the room is one of free expression open to asking questions. I pose a series of questions to the class: Who in this room believes in God or some form of higher power or divine source? On average 75-80% of the room raise their hands. Out of those of you who believe in God or a higher power how many of you practice an organized religion? Result 60-75% yes. How many of you practice that religion on a weekly or daily basis? The number drops to 20-30%.
Out of those of you who practice an organized religion, how many of you would say YOUR religion is the WORD OF GOD? Result 100% yes. Ok let’s take it further; if your religion is the word of God that means you DO NOT believe someone else’s religion is the word of God, is that correct? Result 100% yes. Ok now that said, if your religion is the word of God and someone else’s religion is not the word of God then their religion is basically a mythology, correct? Result 100% yes. Now with that logic, your religion is the word of God and the “other” religion is a mythology, would it be safe to say to the person practicing a different religion YOUR religion is a mythology?
This is when the eyes widen and the moth drops open and the face looks stunned. When the realization comes over the person, “Yes it is true; to a person who practices a religion other than my own they consider MY RELIGION A MYTHOLOGY just as I consider their religion a mythology.” This is an incredibly powerful realization.
Here’s where it gets powerful, if you believe someone else’s religion is a mythology and your religion is the word of God do you want your personal life to be governed by their religion? Do you think they want their personal life to be governed by your religion? NO, of course NOT! This is where the importance of the separation of church and state come into play. This is where laws SHOULD NEVER BE BASED ON RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE. It’s ok to base laws on human values but not on religious doctrine.
In order for us and our children to know the difference we MUST openly discuss religion from an objective perspective. The outcome will bring us closer together showing us how much our religions have in common instead of focusing on how different our rituals are. This conversation will also punch holes into any doctrine or teaching of religious fanatics who force their perceived view or interpretation of “Gods Law” on all people while disregarding basic human rights.
So, how do I propose we bring religion into the public schools? By creating a series of courses evaluating theology and mythology as expressed through the historical impact on the forging of societal norms, nations, and how they influence the development of war and peace. These courses need to be standard practice in grade school, middle school and high school like reading, writing, and arithmetic. It is important that a person CANNOT claim it is against their religion to attend. They must be mandatory. This practice will foster critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and openness to allowing others the basic freedoms given to us by the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Religion is one of the most powerful forces in the world. It influences how you perceive yourself in the world and how you place meaning and value on your experiences. It affects your social identity, your political views, and various levels of entitlement especially if you view yourself as the chosen people of God while others are NOT chosen.
The best place to start the impartial dialogue is in school. School is a place where you can explore the world of ideas. Where you can express differences of opinions and passionately debate differences without forming judgments against the person or the concept. This is where we explore the limitless possibilities, think outside the box, and encourage innovation. People are killing each other every day for their religious beliefs and that is exactly why it is so VERY IMPORTANT that we create a safe place for future generations to work out their differences and stop the killing.
To talk more about this topic and how we can make America a better place join me at Janines God Bless America Tour.com! Category Education.
About the author ~ Janine Elias has been traveling across America on a Patriotic Pilgrimage in search of how we as a nation can live up to our full penitential. With an extensive background in psychology, relationship development, and education Janine is Americas Relationship Coach!If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!