World Religion in Public Schools

Topics: Christianity, Education, Islam Pages: 2 (543 words) Published: February 17, 2014
Imagine a world where nobody knew anything about religion. No one would have the slightest idea what any religion was like, besides your own, if you even had one. That is the kind of world we would be living in if religion would not be allowed to be taught in public schools. Teaching world religions in public schools has been controversial since America was founded. We have come a long way from the Pilgrims on the Mayflower, who taught their children the Bible and the Christian faith. Now, religion has been made very difficult to exist in the classroom. Students should learn about world religions in school because “humans have always believed in natural occurrences through religion, used religion to go to war, and more times than not, to cooperate with others you need to understand their religion” (Shapiro). First, human beings have always been religious. “For thousands of years, we have inquired into the meaning of life, expressing our thoughts in the form of religious myth, ritual, and theology. Teaching religion can help children ask the core questions of life: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? Why?” (Shapiro). Second, humans often use religion to justify warring against each other. Throughout history, many terrible wars have been fought over differences in religion. For example, the Crusades, fought in the Holy Land and Europe between the Christian and Islam religions. Another instance of war due to religion was the Nazi’s persecution of the Jews before and during World War II. Students need to learn about conflicts like these to prevent similar things from happening in the future. Third, “children live in a world where working with others often requires an understanding of their religion” (Shapiro). Nowadays, especially in the United States, it may be difficult to determine what the religion of your neighbor is, maybe even your friend. That is because we live in an incredibly diverse...
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