Teaching World Religion in the Public School System

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Teaching World Religion

In America, the idea of teaching world religion inside the public schools is often seen as reprehensible. This, unfortunately, is caused by the many different interpretations of the separation of church and state in the Constitution of America. This program of study has helped many children in other nations to have a greater awareness and understanding of the religions that surround them in the world. We believe that the teaching of world religion would be a great boon to America and her students. As an example we need to look no farther than California. A school in Modesto, California has recently implemented a system used to study religions and has been a remarkable success.

Of course, what is actually being taught in theses class is of great importance to many people. If one were to force a comparison, the closest analogy would probably come in the form of a political science class. In a political science class, a student can be taught the basic principles of communism and socialism and not be influenced to become a member of that political party. The same occur here in these programs. In America, however, it would also focus on the First Amendment rights, of which freedom of religion is one.

These classes would primarily be concerned with the major religions of the world. Five of these religions; Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, would be the primary centers of discussion. In stressing the level of detail, we believe that it is important to give some examples of what would be taught about each of these religions. For one, the gods of each religion would be taught. This means that it would be taught that Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are all monotheistic and have the same God, while Buddhism has no apparent external god and Hinduism has as many or as few gods as the believer chooses. Other topics would include the sacred texts of each group, such as the Old and New Testament of the Bible, the Koran, the...
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