Although some people will object to any religion being taught in public schools, and they would be correct if it were simply proselytizing rather than unattached study, I for one believe that human beings should be as educated as possible on all forms of religion, philosophy and mythology as can reasonably be accomplished. In other words, ignorance is not bliss – it leads firmly to fanaticism and intolerance.
Moreover, I personally do not hate religion at all. In fact, I’ve dedicated my life to studying comparative religion and mythology, including and especially the remotest faints of religiosity and spirituality dating back many thousands of years. Tracing religious motifs and doctrines to their oldest and often most logical representations in the mass human psyche is a major pass-time of mine. And I surely wish that such studies had been included in public schools when I was a child, as I would have been absolutely fascinated.
Furthermore, presenting children with a smorgasbord of human religious/spiritual beliefs and philosophical concepts dating back many thousands of years will serve to make them into better people, plain and simple. I say this not because I am concerned about any “morality” they may pick up from one or more faiths but because they will be able to look more dispassionately at these ideas and the cultures who perceived or developed them, without all the bigotry and hatred to be directed at others
Now, this contention
Along with this course or courses in public schools should be taught the history of atheistic ideation as well, including the rejection of supernatural entities being “real people.” In other words, there needs to be material about mythology and mythicism.
Also, each child should be exposed to religious ideation so they will not find it to be the mysterious forbidden fruit and find themselves accepting the supernatural claims and megalomaniacal fanaticism. If a child feels he or she is missing out on something, as he or she may be in a nonbelieving, atheistic household, he or she may be more interested than other children who have been raised alongside religion. We’ve certainly heard of children of atheists converting to one religion or another – one of the most famous or infamous atheists in history, Madalyn Murray O’Hair watched her own beloved son grow up to become a minister. Sadly, when O’Hair was viciously murdered and dismembered by a paroled murderer she had employed, it took the efforts of her estranged minister son to provoke law enforcement to keep pursuing the case.