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Christianity In primary schools.

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Commander Rofl
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#1

Posted 16 May 2013 - 10:20 PM

Christianity has always had a loose presence in Primary schools, I cannot speak for American Elementary schools of course but I expect it is the same if not more so present. Everyone remembers in Primary schools singing Christian/Catholic hymns and listening to the teacher (usually the headmaster/headmistress) tell a Fable or story that usually relates to the Bible.

I'm not saying it's preached in primary schools but I remember if you didn't sing or even do the actions you'd get told off, I also remember maybe once a month some Christian puppet group would come in and do a little "performance" which usually involved the two puppets (one male and one female who had Yorkshire accents despite the fact we were in Derby) talking about how if you put your faith in god you'll go to heaven and the rest of it.

I know now it was simply to teach us that bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people, and I suppose it worked. I personally think this type of "religious teaching" can have it's good points (apart from the puppet aspect which was just annoying.) Some stories in the Bible are good moral teachings... and some aren't.

Do you think this should continue or should they go for a more Liberal approach. Some would say Contemporary Hymns and religious stories are classed as preaching, should this be kept out of schools?

sivispacem
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#2

Posted 17 May 2013 - 06:56 AM

I'm a firm believer in the principle that religion of any kind has no place in the running of society or social amenities. That includes education establishments. The same way I dislike the idea that the diocesan archbishops and bishops have a role the House of Lords, I dislike the principle of religious involvement in state education. The French model of enforcing secularism in all public institutions is something I'm a supporter of.
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Cyper
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#3

Posted 17 May 2013 - 11:54 AM Edited by Cyper, 17 May 2013 - 11:58 AM.

Well, I agree completely with sivispacem.

Besides, if we base our teachings on beliefs, where to draw the line?

If it's ever going to be equal then we can't say that it just Christianity that should be teached in school. Because that is not fair.

When the school ends in June here in Sweden, that is often celebrated in churchs, or at the school, but it more or less always includes singing songs with roots that clearly traces back to religion. (Example: ) There is also various performances by students (example: ) Certain schools does not allow this celebration to take place in the church, though, and other's claim that particular songs are allowed, while others claim they are only allowed if it edit's the religious message.

Many people in Sweden believes that this is something that should stay - but not because of religious beliefs - but because of tradition.

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#4

Posted 17 May 2013 - 07:12 PM

In here, it's a primary subject that you have a grade for. I'm no longer a believer and i should have the right to quit it.
Religious teachings should no longer be allowed in educational establishments, it's something personal, it shouldn't be forced at people.

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#5

Posted 18 May 2013 - 12:55 PM

I think we used to sing a few hymns in primary school, but they were extremely secular in nature and were mixed in with songs from musicals and Beatle's songs (we had a big book of "school songs" that included all of those three) and I remember going to the annual Christmas carols celebration and being extremely shocked by the hymns ("he loves me, he is out king" or whatever the f*ck) so I don't have any experience with having religion forced on me at school.

Anyway, when people say they want religion out of school I'm not sure if they actually mean "no religious teachings, period" but if so, I don't agree. We had a weekly hour of scripture in primary school, and the way it worked was, you opt out if you're an atheist and play games or whatever, or your choose your faith and an authority from that particular religion comes in and teaches a class. My mum signed me up for a few different ones so I could learn about my peers. I did Catholic studies, Buddhist studies and Bahß'Ý studies (because it encompasses most religious profits and a great deal of religious teachings) and I learned a a lot, and that knowledge still benefits me today. Shame there weren't any Muslim families in my area so I didn't get a chance to learn about that.

There are religious people in the word, and like it not, their religion shapes them and is apart of our culture. No sense in insulating kids from athiest (and the less religious) families from religion. People need to know about the religions of the world.

sivispacem
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#6

Posted 18 May 2013 - 01:31 PM

I certainly think that children should learn about religion. I don't know how much has changed in the decades since I left primary school (a C of E one, in case you hadn't guessed from my response), but I do remember having about half an hour a day dedicated to hymns and readings from the bible. For a good deal of the time- in fact, until part way through my last year- it was relatively secular in nature; biblical stories were used predominantly to demonstrate moral and ethical ideas. But our headmistress moved onto pastures new and the headmaster who replaced her was full of 17th-Century Protestant zeal. I remember him holding an assembly in which he told the Year 5 and 6 students in no uncertain terms that any kind of sexual activity before marriage was wrong, and that the only reason they had to show films and have discussions on sex education were because the government were trying to destroy the morals of the church.

I think part of the problem also lies in the lack of religious diversity in education. Again, I've got no idea whether it has improved in the last nearly 20 years but I don't think I was formally taught about a single religion other than Protestant Christianity until I was about 14.

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#7

Posted 18 May 2013 - 09:54 PM

I went to a Catholic primary school a bit more recently than you. I was only aware of Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity, Anglican Christianity and Judaism until I was about nine years old, when we had brief lessons about other main religions including Islam and Hinduism. My school wasn't too pushy on religion, however despite having gone to Catholic Primary and Secondary schools, as well as Sixth Form College, I am in favour of totally secularisation (is that a word?) of the education system, as well as nationalising private schools and abolishing same sex schools, but those are two matters for two different threads.

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#8

Posted 19 May 2013 - 06:24 PM Edited by elanman, 19 May 2013 - 06:27 PM.

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Saturday, May 18 2013, 13:31)
I certainly think that children should learn about religion. I don't know how much has changed in the decades since I left primary school (a C of E one, in case you hadn't guessed from my response), but I do remember having about half an hour a day dedicated to hymns and readings from the bible. For a good deal of the time- in fact, until part way through my last year- it was relatively secular in nature; biblical stories were used predominantly to demonstrate moral and ethical ideas. But our headmistress moved onto pastures new and the headmaster who replaced her was full of 17th-Century Protestant zeal. I remember him holding an assembly in which he told the Year 5 and 6 students in no uncertain terms that any kind of sexual activity before marriage was wrong, and that the only reason they had to show films and have discussions on sex education were because the government were trying to destroy the morals of the church.

I think part of the problem also lies in the lack of religious diversity in education. Again, I've got no idea whether it has improved in the last nearly 20 years but I don't think I was formally taught about a single religion other than Protestant Christianity until I was about 14.

Very similar situation with me until the age of about 11. However, my primary school was in all other aspects rather progressive and benign and in no way was as extreme as yours, Sivis.

It's quite frankly worrying that I remember assemblies during which we'd be told of bible proverbs and made to pray, given that numerous students in attendance would've been non-Christian theists such as Muslims. With that said, religion only really came into RE lessons otherwise, but we only began learning about faiths other than Christianity in year 7.

RE in primary school was colouring in bible scenes and doing word searches; in years 4 and 5 we would copy out passages from a children's bible, which served as handwriting practice I suppose. My guess is that schools wanted to instil in children moral lessons through use of the bible, but to me this just seems pointless as a lot of the content of the bible is just not applicable to modern-day situations and kids would probably relate far better to contemporary examples.

I also shudder to think about how much time was wasted learning RE in primary school as society suffers the consequences of poorly elucidating the principles of mathematics to young children. I know this is a little off-topic, but when I'm in contact with children (or in some cases 17/18 year olds) sitting their mathematics GCSE for the 4th time in the desperate hope to achieve a C grade, without which society will offer little to them, I become very unsettled and wonder what the hell their teachers were doing back in primary school. I think this underlies a wider problem in primary schools were pragmatism is eschewed due to an unclear specification and wasteful activities like RE and art.*

However, for secondary school I largely share Melchior's sentiments in that children should be well educated in the working of all faiths prevalent in the western world as this encourages reverence and discourages ignorance.




*For the record I am in no way denouncing the validity or merit of art or theology, but these subjects have no place in the critically important period of primary school, during which children develop the skills which will dictate the course of their academic future.

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#9

Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:31 PM

No religion regardless of which or where should be enforced on anyone. Especially those who are not old enough to understand it.

When I was in school we had to sing a lot of random religious crap, not all christian but still, we were never really told why we were it was just " you have to ".

It is a good idea however to teach children about each religion and their beliefs but the underlined point is to never force that on anyone and if any child is not comfortable with singing a religious song they should be allowed to sit out. And more importantly, told they don't have to take part.

Alot of stuff at school was always that you just simply "Had" to do things. Even regardless of religion there are always reasons someone is going to not feel comfortable doing something and it is damaging to force them into situations against their will.

Education of religions is good, it helps to understand others that do choose to believe in such things. But religious suggestion and implied religious meanings on things shouldn't be allowed.

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#10

Posted 08 July 2013 - 02:20 PM

I don't know if it is everywhere the same, but here you got the right to chose.
You are a Christian? then you can follow some lessons about Christianity.
You are a Buddhist? then you can follow some lessons about Buddhism.
You are a Shintoist? then you can follow some lessons in Shintoism.
You are an Atheist or they don't got a teacher for you who knows about your religion? Then you can follow some extra lessons about math or physics (for example).

But I do think children should learn about religions on an early age for the same reason they learn different languages at an early age. They are young and are better in learning things then when they are adults.


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#11

Posted 21 July 2013 - 03:48 PM Edited by El Zilcho, 21 July 2013 - 03:50 PM.

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Friday, May 17 2013, 07:56)
I'm a firm believer in the principle that religion of any kind has no place in the running of society or social amenities. That includes education establishments. The same way I dislike the idea that the diocesan archbishops and bishops have a role the House of Lords, I dislike the principle of religious involvement in state education. The French model of enforcing secularism in all public institutions is something I'm a supporter of.

I second this wholeheartedly. Regardless of my views against religion itself, its imposition on the young at such a formative time, treated as a matter of education rather than as one of personal morality, is the complete wrong approach. French La´citÚ is also something I would advocate.

At least we can say religion is a far more private matter when it comes to politicians and their beliefs - it is much worse in that respect in America, where God is frequently 'summoned' on the campaign stage to reach out to the many religious voters.
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#12

Posted 03 August 2013 - 03:06 PM

Certainly all schools should be integrated religiously.

I feel sorry for those who are forced to learn certain beliefs, because that isn't the essence of religion, it should be embraced individually. The core values of kindness, charity and love should be highlighted. As well as the reasons why and how humans have utilised religion for their own uses and blacken its name, similar to philosophy, politices, economis


D4 Damager
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#13

Posted 16 August 2013 - 07:04 PM

QUOTE (El Zilcho @ Sunday, Jul 21 2013, 15:48)
QUOTE (sivispacem @ Friday, May 17 2013, 07:56)
I'm a firm believer in the principle that religion of any kind has no place in the running of society or social amenities. That includes education establishments. The same way I dislike the idea that the diocesan archbishops and bishops have a role the House of Lords, I dislike the principle of religious involvement in state education. The French model of enforcing secularism in all public institutions is something I'm a supporter of.

I second this wholeheartedly. Regardless of my views against religion itself, its imposition on the young at such a formative time, treated as a matter of education rather than as one of personal morality, is the complete wrong approach. French La´citÚ is also something I would advocate.

At least we can say religion is a far more private matter when it comes to politicians and their beliefs - it is much worse in that respect in America, where God is frequently 'summoned' on the campaign stage to reach out to the many religious voters.

I agree completely with both of you; religion should be a choice made when someone is old enough to have examined all of the options available to them, and not something which is foisted upon them -- especially by a public body such as a school.

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#14

Posted 16 August 2013 - 08:52 PM

QUOTE (Chris Fromage @ Monday, Jul 8 2013, 15:20)
Then you can follow some extra lessons about math or physics (for example).

I think this should be the default no matter what religion you are. There should be some form of general religious education but maths and science are by far more important than learning about your own religion during school hours.

Overall I don't believe there is much for us all here to debate, since even the religious among us will believe in school secularisation since it's only the devoutly religious who'd not want this. The real question is why the f*ck do the majority of primary teachers seem to be those devoutly religious people? I had a beyond frustrating time during Primary school due to being an atheist child (since I wasn't brought up with any religion in my family) with situations such as having detentions for refusing to pray in assembly, but I've only recently began to question why it is deemed acceptable for these places to attempt to be Christian institutes.

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#15

Posted 17 August 2013 - 05:10 PM

QUOTE (d0mm2k8 @ Friday, Aug 16 2013, 20:52)
QUOTE (Chris Fromage @ Monday, Jul 8 2013, 15:20)
Then you can follow some extra lessons about math or physics (for example).

I think this should be the default no matter what religion you are. There should be some form of general religious education but maths and science are by far more important than learning about your own religion during school hours.

Overall I don't believe there is much for us all here to debate, since even the religious among us will believe in school secularisation since it's only the devoutly religious who'd not want this. The real question is why the f*ck do the majority of primary teachers seem to be those devoutly religious people? I had a beyond frustrating time during Primary school due to being an atheist child (since I wasn't brought up with any religion in my family) with situations such as having detentions for refusing to pray in assembly, but I've only recently began to question why it is deemed acceptable for these places to attempt to be Christian institutes.

Where in Sweden have you been forced to pray in school or even been encouraged? I've never heard of that.

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#16

Posted 17 August 2013 - 08:10 PM

yes they should because 1 thats what they tought back when school started. second people are straying from god and need to learn now more than ever. and i remember i did a report about god in school i got an f and wasent even allowed to say it in speech speech class. i got in trouble for talking about god in school aswell. we dont need advanced math chemistry science or all that other crap. we need the bible in school that should be the textbook. now im not saying turn school into a church because i personally dont like church i just read my bible and pray. god bless you all even if your athiests.

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#17

Posted 17 August 2013 - 09:10 PM Edited by D4 Damager, 17 August 2013 - 09:24 PM.

QUOTE (confederatestatesgta @ Saturday, Aug 17 2013, 20:10)
yes they should because 1 thats what they tought back when school started. second people are straying from god and need to learn now more than ever. and i remember i did a report about god in school i got an f and wasent even allowed to say it in speech speech class. i got in trouble for talking about god in school aswell. we dont need advanced math chemistry science or all that other crap. we need the bible in school that should be the textbook. now im not saying turn school into a church because i personally dont like church i just read my bible and pray. god bless you all even if your athiests.

I think I've found the real reason behind you getting an F.

QUOTE (DE4TH @ Saturday, Aug 17 2013, 17:10)
Where in Sweden have you been forced to pray in school or even been encouraged? I've never heard of that.

He's not Swedish; Dom comes from the UK if I recall.

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#18

Posted 18 August 2013 - 08:44 AM

QUOTE (D4 Damager @ Saturday, Aug 17 2013, 21:10)
QUOTE (DE4TH @ Saturday, Aug 17 2013, 17:10)
Where in Sweden have you been forced to pray in school or even been encouraged? I've never heard of that.

He's not Swedish; Dom comes from the UK if I recall.

Oh, okay. The flag confused me.

confederatestatesgta
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#19

Posted 18 August 2013 - 04:54 PM

why do you think i got an f because you think im a loser or a bible freak? just so you know i normally make good grades so stfu

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#20

Posted 18 August 2013 - 05:51 PM Edited by D4 Damager, 18 August 2013 - 06:16 PM.

QUOTE (confederatestatesgta @ Sunday, Aug 18 2013, 16:54)
why do you think i got an f because you think im a loser or a bible freak? just so you know i normally make good grades so stfu

No I think you got an F because of your broken reasoning and horrible spelling and grammar.

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#21

Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:19 PM

Well, this is a sticky subject to talk about, I've lots of opinions about this because I'm looking this from different sides. In my country (whose population is %99 Muslim, in formal), religion lesson totally concerns on Islam and children start to learn about Islam when they go to 3rd grade, which I think is pretty early for religion studies. The students are taught about Islam and they are given almost nothing about other religion (they are given general things about them). If children are given about other religions too, I can say "Yes." for it. And if religion lesson is compulsory, I think it should be given by the 6th grade, during which the human mind starts to get shape and start to learn "the life". So people can find which/what is right for him/her. Or religion lesson could be optional, so if the people who wants to learn religion can go for it meanwhile people who don't want to learn about religion aren't forced to it. Religion is a general subject about life, if it doesn't given in a sided way (in a wat that doesn't concern on one religion), I can say "Yes." but I know it's too hard to become real.

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#22

Posted 03 October 2013 - 10:43 PM

Religion is one big clusterf*ck in Mexico.

 

A lot of people here are Catholic, or at least claim to be. There are devouts, there are those that claim to be Catholic but don't practice, and then there are the irreligious (let's not forget Protestants, indigenous beliefs, the small Jewish community and the Mormons).

 

Up until 1992 it was absolutely taboo to talk about religion in most public places. Basically, unlike the United States, there was quite literally no such thing as religion in Mexican schools, and it continues to be that way (unless it's a private Catholic or Protestant school, which there are some). Anyone that has held or does hold a religious position may not run for any part of the government.

 

Though most people still have a religion, there is quite a number of people here (including myself) that don't identify with a religion. Personally, I'm a deist. Many Catholics here anyway don't even practice much. The topic of religion in Mexico and its purpose in daily life is very sensitive. But basically, religion has not existed in public Mexican schools since the mid 1850s (before we even had a public education system).


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#23

Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:36 AM Edited by lil weasel, 10 October 2013 - 07:37 AM.

Seems to me that in the United States parochial schools were frequent in the 1800 to 1920s however the Jewish and Protestants  realized that it was too expensive and thus allowed the States to take over the burden.

The small loss of religious indoctrination was more than compensated by the reduced expenses to those Religions.

Only the Catholic parishes continued to squeeze the money out of the parishioners up in to the 70s. But now, more and more RC schools are closing. Probably because of labour laws that required the teaching Nuns to be paid a decent wage. As I understand it the Nuns were paid wages of less than 50% of that of the State teachers.


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#24

Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:58 PM

I attended a Catholic primary school, and I don't particularly recall any atmosphere of indoctrination or zealousness. Religious education featured maybe once or twice a week in the curriculum, and obviously focused majorly on Catholicism. But other than that, on a day to day basis it didn't really have much bearing on how we were taught in general, or how standards were enforced. If anything, it fostered some sense of community and shared identity amongst us (more at high school) than I saw in non-denominational schools in the area. I recall little in the way of racism or sectarianism coming from students at my school, although we were certainly on the receiving end of it from the nearby non-denominational (read: Protestant) school.

 

All in all though, religious schools are increasingly out-dated and divisive institutions, and we should probably move towards totally secular education. I just feel the supposed "problems" they pose are blown way out of proportion or outright made-up (especially in Scotland, some of stuff spouted about Catholic schools is absolute bile). Secularisation will be a pretty unpopular policy to implement, and maybe viewed as unecessary/discriminatory by some, but the simple fact that the taxpayer should not be picking up the tab for specialised religious education should win the day.

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#25

Posted 12 October 2013 - 09:10 PM

I went to a C of E school, graduated in 2006. They are quite happy to shove their opinions about spaghetti lords or whatever down your throat, flex their god complex like they're on a mission from the man himself and have no problems telling everyone gems of bullsh*t such as "You just don't know if you're gay until you're 16, because that's the age you're allowed to have sex." I'm not gay but that grain of truth totally blew my mind, way to ignore an issue by relying on the naivety of those you're supposed to be teaching. Just how deluded do you have to be to convince yourself you're helping the younger generation by telling them complete lies and contradictory values, then releasing them into the world with nothing but your bubble wrapped bullsh*t?

 

They're f*cking mental heretics who may as well be worshipping the sun (it actually exists and serves a use), the future has no place for them. They are hypocritical god botherers whose IQ doesn't breach 80 between them. Stretch my skin across the universe and write hate along it and you wouldn't have a billionth of my dislike for these preachy hopped-up-on-hope assholes.

 

Yeah, I didn't like state education. Mostly because of the state of education. 

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#26

Posted 16 October 2013 - 05:12 PM

I worked in a church school. Pretty much all staff had no religion. We taught the kids about religion and Christianity but we never told them which was right, wrong, etc etc.


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#27

Posted 17 October 2013 - 09:01 AM

I worked in a church school. Pretty much all staff had no religion. We taught the kids about religion and Christianity but we never told them which was right, wrong, etc etc.

Obviously a church school with secular staff will have secular teachings. But by and large- and this should be obvious- religious schools don't attract secular teachers. I've heard a number of horror stories from friends of mine who went to catholic primary schools, like being sent outside for asking too many questions, and eleven year olds being taught that humans are inherently sinful and that only faith in god can save them.

 

I don't know if you were just giving a random anecdote or if you were implying that church schools are neutral entities, but if it's the latter you're totally wrong.


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#28

Posted 17 October 2013 - 06:18 PM

I'm not gonna' hate on anyone's religion, that's no way to make friends, but I think one of my favorite Youtubers said it best. "There are no Christian children, only children of Christian parents."


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#29

Posted 17 October 2013 - 09:02 PM

I'm not gonna' hate on anyone's religion, that's no way to make friends, but I think one of my favorite Youtubers said it best. "There are no Christian children, only children of Christian parents."

 

I was going to chastise you for the brevity of your response, but it's a decent point.


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#30

Posted 30 October 2013 - 12:59 AM

I didn't even think about this, I am not christian however I listened to all of the crap they fed me in Elementary school and still persist to try to feed me now, as said earlier in the thread religion has no place in the running of a society. I have however yet to see a school system that is null of religious practices. I too believe, that a society shouldn't be directly associated with a particular religion whether or not it is Christianity Islam Judaism or any other that I haven't named off, but what can we do.





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