Pros & Cons of Religion In Schools
Is school really the place for religion? Students go to school to learn how to question everything that is around them and to look beyond the superficial, yet religion is based on unquestioning faith. Is it really possible for religion and learning to be compatible? Well, it must be, since there are plenty of schools that have embraced a religious ethos. There must be some positives associated with teaching and practicing religion in schools, though in an enlightened world there are many parents who don’t accept that there is even a god. These parents may be more reluctant to accept the benefits of religion in schools.
Pros of teaching religion in schools
Clearly, then, it depends where you stand on religion. If you believe in a god and are religious, you may want your child to be educated at a religious school, because it instils in children with the same belief system that you have. There is a certain amount of togetherness and solidarity among students who all come from a similar religious background, which could help to make the school environment more harmonious. You know that your child is being taught according to your religion, and that you don’t have to worry that he could be exposed to something unsuitable.
Cons of teaching religion in schools
However, this could make your child more sheltered from the real world. He may only associate with children from his school, who have the same kind of beliefs that he has, so it is difficult for him to see life from another perspective. He might believe that his religion is the only, valid one and that other religions are inferior, which could prove to be awkward as he gets older and has to deal with people from all different sorts of background. Much of what is taught in school should be about questioning things and looking for evidence, which seems to go against what religion is about.
For atheist parents
If you’re an atheist parent, you probably won’t want your child exposed to religion in such a way that they become indoctrinated. However, you may not have a choice if there are only a few schools in your area and religion is practiced in all of them. If you send your child to a school where religion is practiced and you’re not of that religion, your child may feel out of place and ostracized for being different. Indeed, religion in schools can lead to problems if people are not prepared to tolerate other students’ beliefs.
Boils down to your perception on religion
For good or bad, religion is a feature in many schools. In religious schools, religion obviously features prominently, but even schools which are not designated as religious may have a religious component to them. Clearly, whether you regard religion in school as a positive thing or a negative thing will depend on your overall attitude towards religion.