Alright, kids, take a seat, hold onto something that is anchored to the floor and find some shelter. We are about to enter a storm. There may be a bit of turbulence. Get ready for another Lecture with Liz.
That word, in and of itself has the power to drive people crazy and get them ready to start spouting their opinions immediately.
Religion in school.
Say those three words together in mixed company, and you should be ready to run for cover.
The fact is, everyone has an opinion. Some people try really hard to share the popular opinion, others make it their job to have an opinion no sane person has, but a lot of us just believe what we genuinely believe. My opinions tend to be a bit different, but they are certainly genuine.
So, lets get to it, shall we?
Why they should teach religions in school. Notice I said “religions” with an “s”. Keep that bit in mind while I illustrate my point.
Throughout history, religion based fear has been rampant. Hitler and his Nazis wanted to kill the Jews, the Catholics and Protestants fought so hard over Ireland that they have it effectively divided. Even today, here in America, we have people so afraid of Muslims that we have taken the entire religion of Islam out of context. There are extremists in every group. Look at the Westboro Baptist Church, for example. Would you say they are an accurate representation of Christianity? No, they are to Christians as ISIL is to Islam.
Now, I want to say, I do not believe they should teach religion as religion in schools. I believe they should teach it as education. I feel like, if we taught children about religions – what they believe, the values they hold, what their holy days are for, etc., we, as a people, would realize that most religions operate on mostly the same principles. I think we would find, in fact, that if you take out the names and dates and events, the values and “rules” would all pretty much line up with each other.
Most importantly, perhaps, if we learned about each religion in school, we would understand them, and have no reason to be afraid of them.
When Arienette gets to the point where she is curious about religion, my plan is to spend a month or two at each of the different “churches” we can find. We will go to a Catholic church, and a Baptist one. Pentecostal and Unitarian. I will take her to the Mormon Temple and the Kingdom Hall. We will look for a Mosque and an Buddhist Temple, a Synagogue, and whatever other Holy buildings we can find. We will take notes and discuss the teachings of each, as well as who was most welcoming, and how it felt to be there. We will talk about everything we experienced, and I will let her make the decision of whether she wishes to continue at one of them, and what she believes. I am looking into obtaining a copy of every religious book I can find as well. It is important to me that my girls are educated about different peoples. Different cultures and religions don’t necessarily mean the people in them are bad people; only that they are different. I want us to embrace those differences, learn about them. Not fear them.
If we taught religions in schools, we would have a better understanding of the people around us. America is a melting pot. We have peoples here from all cultures, all religions. It is time that we took the initiative to know about them. Knowing about them will help us all to feel safer and more accepted. If we could only stop fighting amongst ourselves, we could start focusing on the important issues such as rebuilding our once great nation; but that is a lecture for another time.