Busted Halo
feature : word on ths street
March 13th, 2007
Word on the Street – Religion & Education

In this secular society, what place does religion have in our public education system?
Compiled by Marc Adams reporting from the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress

Brian, 25
"Well to me, religion is the basis of my life so if anything, it's a good guidance and a good basis to follow. Everyone gets too concentrated on what they are living through right now but religion is all about the after-life and where we are going to go once we die."
Carrie, 31
"I think that in public education, everyone should be learning about religions from around the world, not just Catholicism. To be a functioning member of our global society, people really need to know what shapes the people of the world and their values and why they believe what they believe. I hope then that all of us will be able to create the world that we want. So I think that religion should be taught in public schools but I believe all religions should."
Charlemagne, 37
"I think it plays a big role in the sense that, being a Catholic Christian, it's a big part of who you are. One way of showing that is by just sharing that Christian attitude of love and justice and service in our every day lives. [Our public education system] just seems to be lacking in fairness. For example, the pledge of allegiance might be taken out because it has the word ‘God' in it instead of having that balanced look at both sides of whether it fits or not. There just seems to be more of a prejudice than fairness towards religion in public schools."
Kimberly, 19
"In the public school system, they don't do very much with it. They tell you about it, and they let you believe what you want to believe. But they don't force anything on you. I think they could do a little bit more to shed light on all religions because they kind of have a bias towards certain religions."
Mike, 22
"Of course the United States has freedom of religion so it is definitely there within the culture. But I think they try to push it to the side and not bring it into the school system. And they have good reasons but at the same time I think they go a little overboard and try to push it away. They try to claim that they are trying to give everyone their own freedom and their own rights but at the same time, in doing so, they push religion completely out of school education and that in itself is a belief and somewhat of a bias."
Yvonne, 19
"I think everyone should just have their own views on it. It shouldn't be forced on people. Especially in public schools, everyone has their own different types of religion. For me there is no right or wrong religion as long as they believe in a higher being."
Anthony, 45
"Religion plays a very important role and unfortunately, society today is very misinformed in terms of misinterpreting the separation of church and state. And what that has done is denigrate religion to almost a total exclusion in society. That is alarming for young people because they are now growing up with an alienation of religion. Their formation lacks the basic elements that are able to form their conscious and that's not a good thing for society. So religion does play a very vital role. I feel sorry for a lot of students, the young kids, who are wondering aimlessly without religion as a foundation, as a moral foundation."


 
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