Do you think a course in "Religious Tolerance" should be mandatory for all students EVERYWHERE?

Solar Ray Solar Ray
So do you think it would be appropriate and useful to have a course in "Religious Tolerance" taught to young people all across the globe at a certain age.

Personally I think a course like that would be enormously beneficial in dispelling many myths about various religions and cultures BUT I also know it would be extremely controversial to implement and there would be people in every culture across the globe that would very likely boycott and strongly protest against a course like that being taught to their children.

What does everyone think of such an idea? Impossible? Ridiculous? Naive?
04/06/2011
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El-Jaro El-Jaro
If it were handled in a purely intellectual/informati ve manner, it'd be great. I'm actually kinda sad I didn't have a class like this until I was in college.

It's a tricky subject though. I don't think religion should be taught in any government sponsored school; teaching it objectively is a touchy subject.

There should absolutely be a "Don't be that person" class, mandatory.
04/07/2011
markeagleone markeagleone
No, religion is a personal and spiritual thing. The thing that should be taught is to be tolerant and accepting of all people. Religion, in all its various forms, is intangable. It cannot be defined, even by the religions that support the different doctrines. It is more of a person experience. Noone can teach that.
04/07/2011
Persephone's Addiction Persephone's Addiction
I think having some kind of class about diversity in general might be a good idea.
I have to disagree with markeagleone on this - I think that you absolutely can define the tenants of a religion. That's not the same thing as describing faith or religious experiences, or anything of that ilk - those things ARE intangible and impossible to nail a definition on. But when it comes to informing someone about the framework of a religion, that absolutely IS possible.
There is a difference between teaching a class where you tell someone "Jesus is the way, the light and the truth" and having a class where you teach people "Christianity is a religion that entails X, Y and Z." I think a class that discussed the different groups of people that a country has living in its borders might be a good idea - race, religion, sexuality, etc - it might be a beneficial thing to remove some of the "otherness," which is where fear, hatred and bigotry have their roots.
04/07/2011
MaryExy MaryExy
We learned the basics of Islam and Hindu in World History. I think it was good to know, but the fact that it was in history made it feel like we were studying something outdated. A class like this would be wonderful to me, especially when I see how many teachers here put their religious bias on their subjects.
04/07/2011
indiglo indiglo
Ideally, to me, this is something (just like sex education and body acceptance/education) that should be taught in the home. All kinds of things should be taught at home that aren't these days though. I think all those kinds of things are best taught at home from infancy on, including teaching children to be tolerant of all things - not just religion - but also the importance of not being homophobic, racist, sexist, ageist, all that.

I guess since it rarely happens in the home these days, the only other place for it to happen is at school. But like JR said, it would be very tricky, and I agree that religion has any place in a public school, so it would probably get very controversial very quickly. Just a general "how not to be a jerk" class might be a good idea. LOL But then you'd probably have people arguing about what exactly "a jerk" is.
04/07/2011
markeagleone markeagleone
Quote:
Originally posted by Persephone's Addiction
I think having some kind of class about diversity in general might be a good idea.

I have to disagree with markeagleone on this - I think that you absolutely can define the tenants of a religion. That's not the same thing as describing ... More
That's true only if you give the basic framework. Take the catholic faith. It has been subdivided, making Lutherans, Baptists, etc. That all happened in a short period of human history. Then, you look at the church today. There are so many differences, some minor and some major. So, basically speaking, you can say christians believe in Christ. So do a lot of other religions not associated with christianity. So, in my eyes, to give each different belief a fair shake, it would take years and years of study. I think you would find most religious leaders and groups have the same thoughts.
04/07/2011
Sex'и'Violence Sex'и'Violence
I'd prefer if they would just implement a general theology class in high schools- possibly as an addition to an existing history course. It wouldn’t need to be anything extravagant, just something to give children a basic and neutral understanding of each religion's customs and practices and the affects that those religions have had on the development of modern society.
Give kids the facts and let them make their own informed decisions.

I don't think "diversity" and "tolerance" should be pushed on kids any more than it already is. I know I absolutely hated when my school decided to do monthly "diversity" lectures. "Now everyone throw your shoes into the middle. Kids, discriminating based on race/religion/etc. is just like discriminating based on what brand of shoes a person wears" "we all bleed the same colour" pushing globalist rhetoric like that on kids is no better than filling their heads with racist propaganda and only serves to make future generations closed minded. The facts should be sufficient.

I remember when I was in University, my English Prof. and I were having a conversation regarding censorship and the education system. The fact of the matter is that the schooling system doesn't actually teach kids to think for themselves until they hit university. Before that it's all about verbatim answers. Very rarely do high schools teach their students to understand or to draw their own conclusions. But why? According to my prof. it's because you don't want to teach kids controversy. You want to indoctrinate them in your mind-set make them believe what you do and accept it as the absolute truth. Good and evil, black and white and then, once their minds are made up and you can slowly give them the facts because 9 times out of 10, it won’t change their views anyhow.

But how does that encourage education? What are we, as adults, so afraid of that we feel we need to limit the intelligence of our children? Exposing our kids to censorship and propaganda under the guise of "education" only hinders our own development as a society. Of course, I may be wrong here. I am only human after all, and what do I know. Maybe the Dark Ages didn't actually hinder societal growth and development all that much. You're call.
04/07/2011
markeagleone markeagleone
I agree, we have pushed so called "Diversity and Tolerence" down the throats too much. I was educated in a private school system. We had less because we were taught morals. Seeking religion to give out morals is not a path worth taking. Morals should be taught by parents and teachers alike. Morals are the very essance of being human. Religion is a surch for the maker. It is there to help guide someone to life after death. There's a huge difference. I was one of the lucky older generation. My parents taught me morals long before school and church became a part of my life. Religion only allowed me to see things in details, when I questioned things I could not see.
04/07/2011
markeagleone markeagleone
If we had to teach morality in schools, then what the hell are parents for. I have raised kids, and I do believe they have high morals. The school system is overburdened now, so if we keep saying dump it on the schools, we will have moral idiots that flood the country when they become 18. The schools here gave up on history, at least the way I learned it. My daughter had a free pass to the U of M. Do you know, she knew WW2 happened, but that was as far as they took it. So, you tell me, would you be comfortable letting them teach your kids morals, or are you going to be a parent and teach them?
04/07/2011
markeagleone markeagleone
But yes, I see your point. Parents dumped it on schools to teach sex education. I would suppose there will be a day that we knock kids out and give them to the government to raise them and we can go have fun and knock some more out. That way, we aren't burdened with the hassles of actually being parents. I have a six month old boy. I will teach him morals, about sex(when he"s old enough), and everything else I can to make sure he has the best chance for a happy life. That's my wife's and my burden since we decided to have him. I am one parent that will never have that taken off my shoulders, because I love him! Yes, I will teach him about religions. It will be ultimately up to him.


I also take offense to saying people that haven't been taught religion are immoral or intolerant. I have my belief in the Maker, but I know many people who do not. I do not consider them to be immoral or part of any in-tolerant behavior in religion or in human dealings.
04/07/2011
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by Solar Ray
So do you think it would be appropriate and useful to have a course in "Religious Tolerance" taught to young people all across the globe at a certain age.



Personally I think a course like that would be enormously beneficial ... More
SO many thoughtful and wonderful answers! I agree that a class in religious diversity would be amazing the problem is you could talk for an entire school year about just some of the more populous religions and never even cover anything beyond the basic generalizations. You wouldn't have time to mention some of the less populous religions who are most unfairly treated and misunderstood. Then you have Atheism which would be harshly criticized by both adherents and parents/students who believe in a Deity. You would also have the problem of representing the various religions fairly and equally...which would cause it's own problems with both adherents and those who believe differently.

It's a lovely idea but it really starts in the home. Being committed to seeing the good in people and striving to understand that most theology (and most a-theology) stives to lead it's adherents to a life filled with peace and goodwill. It's what people choose to do with that knowledge that causes the strife NOT the theology (or lack there of) itself. Taken at face value I have yet to find a religion or theology that in and of itself is dangerous and needs to be feared and denigrated. The INTERPRETATIONS of the religion or theology are what lead to horrifying acts and terrible deeds.

I whole heartedly agree that a class in tolerance should be taught in every classroom in every corner of the globe. It is said that babies show no innate fear and mistrust of skin color, eye shape, or religious belief and it is taught through isolationism and what we actively teach. Once we move around our global economy and live where our global brothers and sisters live one thing becomes amazingly clear- we are SO much alike that our prejudices and petty judgements are silly and an arrogant way to feel superior. This is something every human shares and something that we should all strive to be better than.
04/07/2011
markeagleone markeagleone
I think it's funny. Everyone looks for solutions to problems of today. The answers are to let the schools do it. Schools are to prepare our children to enter the work force or college. If you say there is religious intolerance, it is there because of the parents. Differences should make a group of people stronger and fit together like a jig-saw puzzle. The one putting the pieces together(the parents)either make or break it. Parents have 100% control, or at least should, over their own kids. Maybe society should look at where the ugly problem starts, instead of pushing it off on someone else!
04/07/2011
markeagleone markeagleone
Quote:
Originally posted by Airen Wolf
SO many thoughtful and wonderful answers! I agree that a class in religious diversity would be amazing the problem is you could talk for an entire school year about just some of the more populous religions and never even cover anything beyond the ... More
I highly agree with you. It does start in the home!!
04/07/2011
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by Sex'и'Violence
I'd prefer if they would just implement a general theology class in high schools- possibly as an addition to an existing history course. It wouldn’t need to be anything extravagant, just something to give children a basic and neutral ... More
This is why I homeschooled our children. I wanted them to THINK first and look beyond the easy answer. Some things are black and white...and to be honest judging someone based on skin color IS like judging a pair of shoes by the color of the shoe. It's simplistic, I agree, but it is a fair analogy. I would take the example farther and say point out the many times I was called an 'Englisher' when I was in Europe by racist bigotted people when I was clearly American! I was then told that because I was a white American that I was responsible for slavery 200 years before I was born and that I hated black people. The truth was so far different since none of my family have ever supported slavery, never owned slaves and WERE slaves for hundreds of years before the Americas were discovered.
Saying that the Dark Ages was the cause of the 'dimming of the intelligence light' is also a dangerous precedent. During those years the world was experiencing a global 'mini iceage' which left the populace subject to famine, pestilence and ultimately decimation. The people did what they had to to survive and humans are almost preprogrammed to pull inward and turn as harsh as thier climate. Still I get your point, and it is the reason my kids have had most of their education done by University through the programs put out for classrooms. I have always presented them with the broader view and then asked them to focus down rather than doing it the other way 'round. It seems only math NEEDS to be taught in a linear fashion.
Sometimes my little thinkers amaze me with how they piece together various information and sometimes I have to correct their thinking. Still they do demand proof before they will willingly believe anything they are told...so I've done something right!
04/07/2011
callsignhusker callsignhusker
yes, but gosh religions are aggravating piles of nonsense...
04/07/2011
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
I'll admit that I didn't take the time to read everyone's well-thought-out essays on the subject. I promise I will go back and read, but for the sake of time at the moment, will just say my piece. I'm sure that I'm repeating.

Church and State are supposed to be separate; therefore, it won't be taught in schools. At least not in the states. Should it? I think a general "tolerance/anti-bullyi ng" course should start at an early age and respect for different religions should be part of that, without specifics.

This, like many touchy subjects, should start at home. The inevitable problem with that is that not everyone has the same beliefs on tolerance which is part of why children aren't tolerant.

It's a cycle. Nothing will change unless someone comes along to educate, but you can't educate because no one wants to change. It's stupid. Politics are stupid. That is all.
04/07/2011
markeagleone markeagleone
Not to someone looking for answers that have no explainible answer.
04/07/2011
markeagleone markeagleone
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
I'll admit that I didn't take the time to read everyone's well-thought-out essays on the subject. I promise I will go back and read, but for the sake of time at the moment, will just say my piece. I'm sure that I'm ... More
I beg to differ, politics aren't stupid, politicians are!
04/07/2011
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
Quote:
Originally posted by markeagleone
I beg to differ, politics aren't stupid, politicians are!
Good point. Which is why I don't like politics. Thus... I don't watch the news. I'm your typically uninformed American because I think people spend too much energy and time arguing about stupid things and don't focus enough attention on the things that truly matter.
04/07/2011
markeagleone markeagleone
Quote:
Originally posted by Airen Wolf
This is why I homeschooled our children. I wanted them to THINK first and look beyond the easy answer. Some things are black and white...and to be honest judging someone based on skin color IS like judging a pair of shoes by the color of the shoe. ... More
I am so glad to hear that you are part of the solution! I want to home school the little guy. I think we are more apt to do a better job than the schools. We have a lot at stake-his future. Glad my wife and I found you on here!
04/07/2011
markeagleone markeagleone
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
Good point. Which is why I don't like politics. Thus... I don't watch the news. I'm your typically uninformed American because I think people spend too much energy and time arguing about stupid things and don't focus enough ... More
I agree. I hardly watch it myself, but it is funny when the solution is in front of their faces and they can't see it.
04/07/2011
IrishLassie IrishLassie
In theory, I think it would be aweseome to have such a class. But in reality, I dont how well it would actually work without leaving your pesonal beliefs in check. But more importantly, I think it's more up to the parents to teach their kids these kinds of things. And we as a society need to stop relying on our schools to be teaching our kids everything. Our roles as parents are to instruct our children. But Im starting to go off topic.

To Airen, I applaud you for homeschooling. I am a product of homeschooling because my parents thought they could give me a better education then the schools. I am very happy for their choice and I wouldnt have it any other way.
04/07/2011
IrishLassie IrishLassie
Quote:
Originally posted by markeagleone
I beg to differ, politics aren't stupid, politicians are!
I agree. Politicians ARE stupid. hehe
04/07/2011
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
Quote:
Originally posted by IrishLassie
In theory, I think it would be aweseome to have such a class. But in reality, I dont how well it would actually work without leaving your pesonal beliefs in check. But more importantly, I think it's more up to the parents to teach their kids ... More
I agree with the statement that parents should be teaching their children. The problem is, they ARE teaching their children. Most children learn their intolerance from their parents, and they learned it from *their* parents, et al. Maybe there should be a mandatory class for parents.... I'm glad that I'm not an intolerant bigot and that I *can* and do teach my kids that you shouldn't treat people badly. But not everyone is like that.

As a parent of a child in the public school system, I can say that there are things that I have to fight my child to understand: For example, "Life's not fair. You can't expect fairness in everything."

Here in Iowa, there's a program called Iowa Safe Schools, that teaches about bullying and tolerance. They focus a lot on protecting LGBTQ children, which I LOVE, but they also strive to bring awareness to bullying on all subjects. I'm not sure how often they are IN the schools with the children, but I know they are involved with the staff and the parents. I wish more states had programs like this.
04/08/2011
Ansley Ansley
Err...religious tolerance? Sure. It'd be better for the parents to take it though.
04/08/2011
ScottA ScottA
I'm not sure if you need "diversity and tolerance" as much as you need "getting along", but unfortunately that's much harder to teach. Really, "getting along" requires years of parental example...
04/08/2011
IrishLassie IrishLassie
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
I agree with the statement that parents should be teaching their children. The problem is, they ARE teaching their children. Most children learn their intolerance from their parents, and they learned it from *their* parents, et al. Maybe there ... More
I find it sad that kids are learning wrong because if the ignorance of the parents. I agree that perhaps they should make it mandatory for parents....
04/08/2011
GravyCakes GravyCakes
you can teach it, but that doesn't mean it'll make them more tolerant. 1/2 the people who would take it would treat it like any other class & bs it just enough to still pass & not have to take it again. some minds might be changed, but being tolerant of all or most religions is just something that not everyone is willing to do. it's a choice. i'm pretty tolerant just fyi.
05/12/2011
Total posts: 29
Unique posters: 14