Poll: “Does a mandatory comparative religion class (focusing on historical significance of religions & creeds) violate the religious freedoms of parents and their children?”

Poll: “Does a mandatory comparative religion class (focusing on historical significance of religions & creeds) violate the religious freedoms of parents and their children?”

Here’s the question we asked readers:

“Does a mandatory comparative religion class (focusing on historical significance of religions & creeds) violate the religious freedoms of parents and their children?”

Here’s how readers responded:

43 percent           Yes

45 percent           No

12 percent           Unsure

We asked this question because of recent events in Canada where the country’s Supreme Court ruled that compulsory attendance of all students in Quebec’s “Ethics and Religious Culture” course is constitutional.

Readers seem to be divided on the topic.  We at UFI admit that we are unsure as to the wisdom of such a policy.  There doesn’t seem to be agreement on this topic on either side of the political aisle.  We welcome your thoughts on it.

For an interesting perspective, go here.

4 Comments
  • Richard Mohr
    Posted at 11:33h, 03 March Reply

    One could ask, “Does exposure to science classes where an old Earth is taught violate the religious freedom of parents who believe otherwise?” How about, “Does exposure to science that teachers that Earth is not the center of the universe violate the religious freedom of parents who believe otherwise?” Or, “Does exposure to astronomy teaching in which it is argued that creation is still happening violate the religious freedom of parents who believe that all creation finished on the sixth day of Genesis 1?” Then there’s, “Does a compulsory teaching that slavery is wrong violate the religious rights of parents who point to scripture and believe otherwise?” Or, “Does physics which teaches that radioactive decay causes an atom of an element to become atoms of other elements violate the religious rights of parents who believe that nothing new has happened since the first week?”
    What do you think? Have you visited a Christian geocentric website recently?

  • Meagan
    Posted at 17:38h, 05 March Reply

    I voted unsure too–which I rarely do, usually I’m quite opinionated. I could see good things coming out of it, I barely knew what a Muslim was before 9/11–it would have been nice to have learned some things, and I’m still trying to crash course myself on other major world religions because I think they are important. On the other hand, do you really want a person who does not share your faith defining it? What about all the biases–there are a lot of teachers painting Christianity and Judaism in a mostly bad light, for instance, and showing only the socially acceptable sides of Islam and Buddhism. The best way to learn about a faith is to learn straight from its committed members, but if you invite them to school parents will feel that the school is hosting sermons…I just don’t know how it would work out.

  • Meagan
    Posted at 20:27h, 07 March Reply

    Thinking about it more perhaps I would have voted no. Unless the subject can be taught neutrally, you are looking at an almost manditory institution that is telling people at earlier and earlier ages how to view things, what to value, how to approach things and punishes and rewards people based on if they properly absorbed them according to a government department’s standards, and that goes for just about any subject. I’m not surprised at all that Canada did this, I’m sure their politicians want to make sure the children comprehend religion the right way in light of the recent events in the world. What you comprehend and value is very close to human beings much in the way that speech and religion should be. People supported a free source of education years ago because they were convinced that they didn’t have the resources to teach their own children, but times have changed.

  • Wendell Miller
    Posted at 22:38h, 20 March Reply

    Just this past weekend, I ran across the following statement:

    Denis Waitley, in his book Seeds of Greatness, makes this observation: “Recent studies conducted by a Stanford University research team have revealed that ‘what we watch’ does have an effect on our imaginations, our learning patterns, and our behaviors. First, we are exposed to new behaviors and characters. Next, we learn or acquire these new behaviors. The last and most crucial step is that we adopt these behaviors as our own. One of the most critical aspects of human development that we need to understand is the influence of ‘repeated viewing’ and ‘repeated verbalizing’ in shaping our future. The information goes in, ‘harmlessly, almost unnoticed,’ on a daily basis, but we don’t react to it until later, when we aren’t able to realize the basis for our reactions. In other words, our value system is being formed without any conscious awareness on our part of what is happening!”.

    The education proposed has the ability to plant in the minds of children a distrust of all religious values and beliefs. Do you really trust the school system to teach your children religion and values to your children in a sterilized way that makes all religion and myths look the same? I know that is not what I’m looking for my children. I find great great comfort and direction in my life as I have come to understand what Jesus expects of me and of my eternal destiny he has in store for me through his grace if I keep his commandments. I want my children to have this same happiness and purpose in their lives.

    Wendell

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