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Dr_Evil_Mouse

Religion in School

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Hey all. I'm running a session at school next week where I'll be delving into people's (teachers and students alike) experiences of/exposures to/conflicts around religion in the classroom, and I'm curious to hear what people here might have seen/survived/instigated/mitigated/etc. Thoughts?

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I had a Grade 4 teacher who made the whole class recite the Lord's Prayer everyfuckingday after the National Anthem!

Did it scar me? No. Did it make me join the flock? No. Was it the right place? IMHO, No! (boo Mrs. Kudo)

Would I rather have been reciting Beatles lyrics? YES (i got a teacher in Grade 6 who did that ... thanks Mr. Stark)

It's all about balance ;)

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I preface this by saying that I am an athiest.

When I was a child, just like many of you, it was mandatory to recite the Lord's prayer every morning. Did it impact me in any way? Absolutely not. It was an exercise in memorization more than messaging.

I also had to go to Sunday school with my grandmothers and was exposed to the fundamental principles of religion at a very young age and I'm grateful for it.

I think exposure to religion is a good thing. Afterall, much of the world's politics still revolves around religion and to make informed decisions, we must be educated.

I would support a class on religion, but not from a singular stand-point the way it was for me growing up. I'd love to see kids learn about all different kinds of religions and be able to relate to one in particular or none at all. And if they choose not to follow a religion, at least they approach it in a knowledgable way, unlike so many ignorant people do, which can be dangerous and discriminatory.

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As a full on non-religious type I still took a course at University called "History of the New Testament" Learned almost exclusively about when, why and by whom the gospels were written. It was taught in a "historical/research" fashion and I liked it a lot from an historical POV.

Imagine how empty our history books would be if there were no religious conflict.

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I just don't buy into the soul thing in a sense that when we are born we are inhabited by a soul and when we die our soul keeps going and is passed onto another living thing. I don't believe souls were given to humans by a higher power.

The things that give people their spirit IMHO, are chemical and electrical reactions, DNA, etc.

James Brown had a soul, I know that, so maybe I should reconsider?

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Thanks for these! Wow, you walk away from a keyboard for half an hour and look what happens :) .

Are you talking about theological study and discussions about all religions or being hammered over the head by religion as part of a specific school and/or school board's normal daily routine?

Both. What I want to address is the skittishness in non-religious/confessional classrooms at the post-secondary level around the topic, and where that comes from, so if anybody has anecdotes to give, then please giv'er!

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I can't remember if we recited the Lord's Prayer daily, but I do remember having the Gideons come in and give each student a copy of the New Testament (w/ Psalms and Proverbs). This was in Scarborough, January, 1978 (which would have made it the 4th or 5th grade for me). Looking back, it seems a bit strange now to have a public school board allow (invite?) a religious group in to distribute their material. I wonder if you might try contacting the Gideons about that: when did they stop going into schools to hand out bibles, and why?

Aloha,

Brad

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I don't have a problem with the history of religion (theology). I think removing religion from faith-based schools would never fly, even though it doesn't belong there - it belongs in places of worship.

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Totally agree with the comments regarding the exposure to learning about various religions in historical contexts. It permeates our collective histories and should be learned from (especially how it causes us to divide).

I don't have a problem with the history of religion (theology). I think removing religion from faith-based schools would never fly, even though it doesn't belong there - it belongs in places of worship.

I totally think that religion in a "faith-based school" does belong. That's why it is a faith-based school, right? HOWEVER, it should be fully funded and supported by THAT faith and not the general public. Faith-based schools should be treated as private schools ... which, of course, they all are EXCEPT for the Separate School Board in Ontario :(

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Faith-based schools should be treated as private schools ... which, of course, they all are EXCEPT for the Separate School Board in Ontario

Quite true .. there is an interesting bit of history there, however, regarding the agreement between upper and lower Canada and Ontario's commitment to provide Catholic schools.

There is a debate there to be had about when, or even if, it is permissible to back out of an agreement. I think we hashed out this issue once upon a time in the politics forum.

See the British North America Act, section 93.

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I had a Grade 4 teacher who made the whole class recite the Lord's Prayer everyfuckingday after the National Anthem!

Did it scar me? No. Did it make me join the flock? No. Was it the right place? IMHO, No! (boo Mrs. Kudo)

Would I rather have been reciting Beatles lyrics? YES (i got a teacher in Grade 6 who did that ... thanks Mr. Stark)

It's all about balance ;)

Whoa? You were at Oriole Park School?

Freaking small world.

I still see Mr.Stark in the neighbourhood from time to time.

:content:

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Guest Low Roller

I had to take a religion class in school growing up in Montreal as part of the standard curriculum. I had no real problem with it because it was essentially a continuation of what I heard at church every Sunday or at home. I think the Jewish kids had their own separate religion class (or was it accounting? HI-O!) but I really don't remember that one.

From my point of view, religion (regardless which one) is really just a manifestation of societal moral codes and life lessons that help to raise kids.

Is school the right venue for that? Well if we could trust parents to actually raise their kids then I would say no, but given that the concept of 'parenthood' (and 'family' for that matter) has become so incredibly diluted, that I think that kids should be exposed to it somewhere and it might as well be school.

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Whoa? You were at Oriole Park School?

Freaking small world.

I still see Mr.Stark in the neighbourhood from time to time.

:content:

No shit!?!? Did you go there too? I was supposed to go to Mr. Stark's retirement party (one of my old classmates had informed me of it) but I couldn't make it. He was awesome. I had him the year that Italy won the World Cup in '82. We watched all the World Cup games that he could get on the TV that he rolled into the classroom. Beatles performances for school shows :) He taught us calligraphy. He'd get me to run up to Eglinton before lunch and grab him a sandwich from one of the restaurants (imagine that happening today ).

I was at Oriole for Grades 4,5,6. Lived just down the street on Braemar.

Also found out years later that Mrs. Kudo's daughter and I had a mutual friend in another small world incident.

Kish was one of my best buddies when I was there too (gave him his knickname). He had some brief MuchMusic fame with this;

He does a ton of voices for animated shows and is based in LA.

Small world. Wild.

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Is school the right venue for that? Well if we could trust parents to actually raise their kids then I would say no, but given that the concept of 'parenthood' (and 'family' for that matter) has become so incredibly diluted, that I think that kids should be exposed to it somewhere and it might as well be school.

Do you really think an institution that is supposed to be the venue for learning and developing critical thinking is the proper place to teach mythology as fact?

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Guest Low Roller
Do you really think an institution that is supposed to be the venue for learning and developing critical thinking is the proper place to teach mythology as fact?

Your clear bias permeates throughout your response. Did you not read what I said?

From my point of view, religion (regardless which one) is really just a manifestation of societal moral codes and life lessons that help to raise kids.

Did you get a chance to read it properly this time?

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Do you really think an institution that is supposed to be the venue for learning and developing critical thinking is the proper place to teach mythology as fact?

Your clear bias permeates throughout your response. Did you not read what I said?

From my point of view' date=' religion (regardless which one) is really just a manifestation of societal moral codes and life lessons that help to raise kids.[/quote']

Did you get a chance to read it properly this time?

I think your point of view is wrong.

In addition, if we want to teach kids societal moral codes and life lessons, we can find a better way to do it than by convincing them that here is a man in the sky who will punish them for breaking those moral codes.

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Is there not some danger there of a conflict of basic codes between these children, as they're taught in different systems, which they'll carry into adulthood?

Exactly. State sanctioned institutions should not be used as a means of promoting a moral code based upon religious belief, regardless of the flavour. This is exclusionary and divisive by its very nature.

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I really think that the official 'separation of church and state' concept is part of the problem...although it's fair and can be argued as 'logical', it gives so many people the out to ignorantly brush off any sort of 'old-fashioned' moral codes and rebel against those concepts rather than anything that these kids and their parents have had any direct conflict with.

There really is far too much conflict in schools and that gets in the way of learning and growing.

Ms. Hux had me with souls not being gifts until she qualified it with unproven science.

I think that FAITH-based schools could stand to be less strict with religious doctrine, as while faith and religion overlap, they are independent.

Part of me wishes there were a 'New-Age'(ugh) separate school board to appeal to Atheists/Agnostics, non-religious, non-spiritual people, and religious folks alike. Chances are their teachers would make things at least entertaining.

(While Agnostic loosely translates to 'without knowledge' and Atheist loosely translates to 'without belief' and as religion is independent of spirituality, disbelief in spiritual knowledge and disbelief in God are certainly 2 things I can't grasp at this stage in my life)

Do you really think an institution that is supposed to be the venue for learning and developing critical thinking is the proper place to teach mythology as fact?

Your clear bias permeates throughout your response. Did you not read what I said?

From my point of view' date=' religion (regardless which one) is really just a manifestation of societal moral codes and life lessons that help to raise kids.[/quote']

Did you get a chance to read it properly this time?

I think your point of view is wrong.

In addition, if we want to teach kids societal moral codes and life lessons, we can find a better way to do it than by convincing them that here is a man in the sky who will punish them for breaking those moral codes.

There's an awful lot more to Religion than taking stories literally and having really awful teachers/preachers.

Just leaving it to hamilton's perspective only leads to an 'instead of this' attitude which really only tunes things out instead of welcoming a full range of perspective.

I prefer inclusive to exclusive.

And while hamilton's not entirely right, he's also not wrong.

I think there are possibly better ways to teach kids a lot of things than we are and have been doing, but there certainly is a lot of potential to be realized in opening things up to religion.

I don't really think that society has perfected its alternatives to religion. IMO, Community is certainly a much better teacher than religion, but that's thriving in pockets while it continues to rot away elsewhere.

Too bad that 'the church' seems so out of touch.

It's ruined religion for far too many people.

Instead of PROMOTING religious-based moral codes, they can certainly introduce them into discussion.

Denying this is like saying that Sex-Ed promotes promiscuity and teen pregnancy and I see the hypocrisy in this.

Edited by Guest
I see the hypocrisy, not 'it is hypocritical'. apologies.

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I had to take a religion class in school growing up in Montreal as part of the standard curriculum. I had no real problem with it because it was essentially a continuation of what I heard at church every Sunday or at home. I think the Jewish kids had their own separate religion class (or was it accounting? HI-O)
Your clear bias permeates throughout your response.

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