Defending Religious Diversity in Public Schools: A Practical Guide for Building Our Democracy and Deepening Our Education

Defending Religious Diversity in Public Schools: A Practical Guide for Building Our Democracy and Deepening Our Education

Defending Religious Diversity in Public Schools: A Practical Guide for Building Our Democracy and Deepening Our Education

Defending Religious Diversity in Public Schools: A Practical Guide for Building Our Democracy and Deepening Our Education

Synopsis

Youth leaders would love to get their groups interacting with the Scriptures but many don't know where to start. Uncommon Bible Studies and Resources is the guide youth workers need to equip students to engage with the Bible. Studies are arranged by topic, so it's easy to tie messages together with group study. Plus, leaders will find outlines to help them build a message that flows seamlessly into breakout Bible study. Each study can be completed in 15 to 20 minutes, ideal for the leader who wants to include multiple learning activities in one group session!

Excerpt

In a room full of people, very few practice the same religion; they differ in belief, vary in what they say and do on holidays, condemn different sins, and may or may not go to the same house of worship. This is true in our country and needs to be recognized in our public schools. This book focuses upon these diverse religious individuals in our schools, as well as the ancient religious wisdom they represent.

Recently a teacher in a suburban Midwestern school experienced this religious diversity. Before the beginning of winter break, she asked her third graders what they would do when class ended. the conversation went something like this:

“We decorate a big green tree, sing songs, eat a lot, watch television, and
get lots of presents.
Oh, that’s when the New Year begins.” Most everyone shook their heads.
“Oh, you mean Christmas. We have a birthday cake with candles, sing
happy birthday to Jesus, and blow the candles out.
How can he have a birthday? He’s God and eternal.
No, he died on the cross.
No, only his body died. He’s still alive in heaven with his Father.
No, he’s alive walking around.
No, he’s alive but I eat him when I go to communion.”

A few more added their theological opinions about Jesus, Christmas, and the New Year until someone stated firmly: “I don’t believe in Jesus. We have Hanukkah.” This stopped the conversation until the teacher, ever observant, asked some who had said nothing what they did. An additional flood poured forth proclaiming Kwanzaa, Yule, Al-Hijra/Muharram, Eid al Adha, Gantan-sai, and Three Kings as necessarily included during the winter break.

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