What do we today share with the most primitive Homo Sapiens? -Questions and seeking for answers. Going back to the very beginning and their beliefs, we can see why they thought everything was caused by some higher force of life. They could not explain it in any other way. People have come a long way since then, and we now do not share their beliefs, but we still get them from a book 2000+ years old.
Today, we can explain everything with science and facts, and all school subjects are based on that. All except religion! We are learning from young age something that is based on beliefs and words, not necessarily facts. The worst part about it is that we do not get a chance to choose if we want to learn it. That choice is made by the parents, and if parents are religious, they will want their kids to have religion. Statistic show that there are more and more of atheists or agnostics, or people who declare themselves, for example, Christians, but do not go to church. Actually, the number of people who never go to church has increased from 10,4% (1999) to 19,6% (2018) . The point is that religion is not adapting to the world, and people are getting more and more distant from it.Why is that? Well, those beliefs may have worked in the past, but now they do not. Church and religion did not adapt to changes. Kids can not be taught something that has stayed the same from the beginning to this day.
How reliable are sources for religion? If someone today claimed that they saw a burning bush which told them something wise, no one one believe him/her. Yet, Bible is full of that. People believe in miracles, which can be easily explained, as a God’s doing. You certainly would not believe any of them today because we have facts, and almost everything can be explained, debunked, or proven. If someone who is 26 years old does not believe everything from the Bible, then why are children being taught exactly that? In addition to this, the Bible, as the main source for religion, has been altered many times. With every translation it lost something or was added something. Maybe the original is completely different then the version available today. In fact, it most certainly is. Church has altered it over the years and hid some gospels which contradict the main points of Bible.
Also, most, if not all religion classes in Croatia star with a prayer. Everyone is expected to pray, however not all children feel comfortable doing it. This is basically forcing religion onto students. In some schools everyone has to pray even if they are not part of that religion at all. How is that okay? But, they are mostly being silent about it because, in Croatia, this is still a taboo topic.
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Can kids actually comprehend what they are being taught? Kids can not really understand all the stories, and they can not ask questions. Making them memorise some stories from Bible, teaching them prayers, and telling everything good about religion makes their view of life very narrow. Every religion teaches its followers that they are the only right religion with the real God, but are they really? How likely is that even one of them is right? The fact that nothing has happened in about 2000 years concludes that it is very unlikely. However, every child is taught that their beliefs are the right ones, and the believe it because they are children. So many religions “cherry pick” what they are teaching kids. False perspective will get them nowhere. The book of Leviticus is a perfect example of that. Every student has heard the summary multiple times, but how many of them have actually read it? Read the Book of Leviticus to a kid and he/she will never want to hear another Bible story ever again.One example- “Both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which you will remove with the kidneys” . Bible, if it has to be, should be taught in a way it is written. There are plenty of “good’ stories, however there are just as much of “bad” and they should be acknowledged.
Another thing which is making harder for parents who do not want for their children to attend religion class is the schedule. In most cases religion is second, third, or fourth period, and parents are worried about their children being by themselves for 45 minutes. In most cases children are by themselves in the school hallways, or walking around the school yard. Concerns from parents are understandable, and schools are the ones who should be fixing that. They should organise something for their students. School job is to provide safe environment for kids. If that is not possible, then they should at least put religion to be first or last period.
Since that is not likely to happen, one solution to this is to have ethics instead of religion. Ethics still does teach about religions, but equally. Religions may not be based on facts, but they are still a big part of everyday life. We have to, at least, know the main ones. Ethics is a great solution because it gives students that knowledge without forcing anything onto them. The main problem with religion class is that we are actually expected to practice it even during the class, however ethics excludes that.
To conclude, I would say that religion does bring some benefits, and it can be a really good thing, however it is way to personal to be in schools. Students could have ethics which gives us some knowledge on all religions out there while not focusing on just one. It is proven that discrimination by religion is a problem which occurs at a very young age, and knowing other religions decreases that. That is why I believe that ethics is a better way to teach kids about it. There are no prayers during the class, no reading of the Bible… In that way every religion is equal and it does not force anything onto students.