Should Religion be Taught in School?
Imagine a world in which violence due to religion is so common. These stereotypes that people have created have caused borders between one another. People believe teaching about religion will cause more division when in reality if more children understand each other we are able to create more unity within the student body. Schools play a huge role in children's lives and teaching them about various religions and religious practices can help them grow up becoming less ignorant and more tolerant members of society. These students are the future. Teaching them about all different religions would help them not only socially but as well as academically. It would allow students to understand important literature, history, and art. Therefore religion should be a topic taught in schools.
Religion is involved and needed to help students in learning and being equipped in other subjects. According to "The Dangers of Religious Instruction in Public Schools'' By- Annie Laurie Gaylor" it states "In the best of all possible public school environments, it would be ideal, of course, to include, at least at the high school level, a class on comparative religion. Most social studies and geography classes already study the religious affiliations of an area and some of their identifying tenets. U.S. students should not grow up in ignorance of the world religions.” This means that in school religion is something that is intertwined with the material so leaving it out would leave out parts of history. And it would also leave our students with an incomplete education making them ignorant to the religions of the world. According to the text "We Must Teach about Religion in High Schools'' By- Joseph Laycock" it says “Without some understanding the world’s religious traditions, students are ill equipped to understand literature, history, art, or the current political landscape...The point is to empower students with useful knowledge about perspectives and worldviews other than their own.” This shows that religion is needed to understand many parts in school such as history and art. If we exclude religion from these topics then we will not be fully preparing our students with knowledge about views that are not their own.
In addition, learning about other religions helps create unity and diversity in the student population. According to "Schools should teach religion. What they shouldn't teach is faith.” By- Linda K. Wertheimer'' states “Teaching about world religions is the better approach, because such instruction can help erase stereotypes of religious minorities and fill a pressing need to reduce ignorance about religion.” This means when we teach religion in schools we allow for a better understanding of each other because the stereotypical barriers were removed. This allows the student body to be more united rather than divided due to stereotypes. In “We Must Teach about Religion in High Schools'' By Joseph Laycock states “Religious literacy is necessary to the health of a democratic, pluralistic society. Religion is not a discrete and ahistorical phenomenon; instead, it is embedded in the very fabric of human history and culture.” This means that the talk about religion isn't something that can be avoided. Religion is integrated into our society and ignoring something that is embedded in the very fabric of human history and culture is only going to hurt our youth. Teaching religious literacy is extremely impotent for our society and our democracy.
However, there are many people that believe the opposite. There are many people that believe that religion should not be taught in school. They believe that when teaching religion teachers will not be able to stay in the middle ground. According to “Five Reasons Public School Teachers Should Not Be Teaching Religion To Our Students” By- Brian N. it states “The real question we must consider whether typical public school teachers-particularly teachers at the lower lever-can truly be trusted to be objective about “teaching” religion? ... In summary, no. Teachers cannot be trusted to be unbiased towards religion.” This means that the issue is not the teaching of religion it is how the information is going to be presented to the students. However, in the same text, it is also stated that “Education is primarily a State and local responsibility in the United States (US Dept. of Ed., 2016). The Supreme court has help the stance on the First Amendment that requires public schools to be neutral towards their treatment of religion, showing not favoritism.” This means that the standard for teaching is to remain unbiased towards religion. Our teachers have to be able to be trusted to teach. They are in charge of teaching everything else, why is religion the exception. Teachers can add their opinion in every aspect of the school. Whether in math saying this formula is better or in art saying this artist is better. We need to have faith in our teachers to be able to teach. That is why they are there. If we stop them from teaching such a crucial part of human history all aspects of the school will be impacted.
To conclude everything that has been stated, religion should be taught in schools.In a religiously diverse nation, it is important for students to be knowledgeable on the multiple religions and belief systems there are. Teachers would have to learn how to teach different religions without showing favoritism. If religion is taught in public schools, the average American would be more tolerable, open minded, and respectful towards others.