Preach to the Kids? / Regulation of Behavior?|
(Top Posts - Distance From Belief
in theism - 050603)
The secularization of teaching
about the facts (just the facts, no preaching allowed) on religion to
young children would fall within the standards supposedly in use for teaching
of Comparative Religion in High School. No preaching is allowed if those
standards are appropriate and fall within the boundaries of legal separation
of church and state (the curriculum, of course, would be different based
on the younger age level).
However, if those standards are flawed, and teachers (or legislators)
try to abuse them to promote a particular religion (in America, that would
likely be to promote Protestant Christianity in most school districts),
you'd have the problem that you fear.
Of note, the current American political fad is to try to create an ecumenical
Judeo-Christian-Islamic God of all ... something intellectually meaningless,
but nevertheless used (with disregard for Hinduism and all non-monotheistic
religions, like Buddhism).
Those who respect the right to believe and disbelieve as one chooses should,
at some point, be able to create public tolerance campaigns which promote
the rights represented in the first amendment.
However, that being said, the secular education of young children, on
religion, should provide the intellectual tools which diminish the deleterious
impacts of single-mindset indoctrination. Most kids (in America) are not
educated in that way and many of them grow up with a life-long feeling
of intolerance towards alternative religions, disbelievers, doubters,
and others distanced from faith.
As for the single-mindset indoctrination crowd, the first amendment protects
their right to push their religion, at home, and in churches-synagogues-mosques-tents-temples-wherever.
Ideally, curriculum on religious education should be made part of private
schools (and home schooling) based on state standards for education.
As for regulation of behavior, that would continue as it does now, with
parents and school teachers and other child role models continuing as
The only difference within the secular education model for teaching religion
as a mandatory part of school curriculum is that the children would have
the tools with which to make their own determination as to the efficacy,
or lack thereof, of the particular religious paradigm being offered them
at their home (and religious institution, if applicable).
Keep in mind, with school curriculum respecting logic and reason, the
facts on disbelief and doubt and open-minded search for verity would be
part of the curriculum, and would respect those of us who have chosen
to approach religion skeptically (3 cheers for us).