A Leap of Faith in the Classroom; Public School Students Would Benefit from Studying World Religions

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 3, 2013 | Go to article overview

A Leap of Faith in the Classroom; Public School Students Would Benefit from Studying World Religions


Byline: Michael Taube, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Many public school officials cringe at the very notion of teaching religion in the classroom. By doing so, theyAAEre missing out on a real opportunity to promote religious tolerance and education to impressionable young minds.

Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, co-creators of the successful History Channel miniseries The Bible, want to change this attitude about religion. In an intriguing Wall Street Journal op-ed last month, the two Hollywood stars suggested itAAEs time to encourage, perhaps even mandate, the teaching of the Bible in public schools as a primary document of Western civilization.

Ms. Downey and Mr. Burnett wrote that the Bible has affected the world for centuries in innumerable ways, including art, literature, philosophy, government, philanthropy, education, social justice and humanitarianism. While acknowledging the act of teaching this important religious document is of course a touchy subject Aa it is possible to have education without indoctrination.

For proof, they briefly discussed the 1963 Supreme Court case of Abington School District v. Schempp. An important portion of the courtAAEs decision was also reprinted: "... the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as a part of a secular (public school) program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.

I may be a non-religious Jew, but I completely agree with Ms. Downey and Mr. Burnett. The Bible is an important component of our worldAAEs history and development. Teaching the Good Book in the public schools would, therefore, enhance a studentAAEs educational experience and intellectual journey.

That being said, why stop there? We could go much further. For instance, I once proposed the introduction of a course on world religions for Canadian public schools. I firmly believe it would greatly benefit the U.S. public school system, too.

A mandatory course on world religions would substantially increase a studentAAEs knowledge of Christianity, Judaism, Islam and other faiths. It would also reduce the amount of fear and discomfort some individuals still have when it comes to learning about other traditions, entering different houses of worship, and so forth.

Moreover, it would give our society a more comprehensive understanding of religious history, teachings and groups. It would be crucial to include course materials with passages straight from the Bible as well as the Torah, Koran and many other religious texts.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Leap of Faith in the Classroom; Public School Students Would Benefit from Studying World Religions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.