Sunday, December 6, 2015

Fear of "Religious Education"?

Celia Walden's "Why are we so afraid of teaching Religious Education properly to children?" is rather poorly thought out and very misleading. The title itself conveys a number of the problems contained within the piece. To start with "religious education" as a term is rather amorphous and subjective. Walden never even attempts to narrow the scope of the phrase. She also includes the word "properly" in that title that is equally problematic. It doesn't take long to realize that she herself has a rather narrow understanding and perception of the subject she so pathetically blathers on about.

Personally, I see no reason to be afraid to teach about religion within the appropriate context. Teaching what the major world religions have believed over time and how those beliefs have effected history and society is quite reasonable. This means the teaching "about" not the teaching "of" religion. Promoting a particular faith or attacking a specific faith or even the lack of faith should not be allowed under any circumstances within the confines of public education. Mixing "religious education" into History, Philosophy, or Sociology classes, among others, is not only appropriate it is favorable, assuming it is approached in the manner I referenced above.

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