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Has religious hysteria gotten worse over time? (S/O speakers at schools ?)

When we were in jr high (early 80s), one of our Muslim classmates turned 13 just before the start of Ramadan. Our geography teacher had him do a short talk about the customs and how he would be fasting, praying, etc during school hours. This was done for education and to put a stop to potential bullying (note - we didn't need a special day or a lecture to have a teacher speak up about it, it was part of their JOB). No notes went home about it, people mentioned it to parents, nobody cared. In another class, a student explained his name as derivative of a Hindu god and what that god was known for. No notes, nobody cared. At confirmation time, the students were at lunch whining about the essays they had to write about their saints. No notes, nobody cared.
Why is it now religion only comes up when kids are trying to convert their classmates? Why need consent before anything else is allowed a mention?

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Asked by NotPanicking at 10:36 AM on Oct. 22, 2010 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (20)
  • I hear you! I will never understand this idea that we have to shelter our children from the beliefs of others. When I was in HS there were mostly Christan kids - although there were a few Pagans, Jewish kids and Athiests... I remember the hell that those "other" kids were put through because they were different. And, being one of them, we learned early on you had to stand up for your beliefs, but that you were on your own. For those of use who were different by choice - like myself - we were not only not permitted to be open with our religious beliefs but there was a HUGE double standard which allowed the Christian kids to go overboard with their preaching. And when issues were brought up, we were told to "stop trying to be weird" and "just try to fit in." I even remember one of the Jewish kids being attacked just before Christmas and the kid that did it got 3 days in school suspension...


    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 11:33 AM on Oct. 22, 2010

  • Keeping all that in mind, I think we need to allow these exposures. It's ridiculous that schools and parents feel like we need to give warning before we expose kids to others. If anything we should be uplifting people for their differences and not endorsing the "try to be like everyone else" attitude.

    And just to add to the rant... If you do think you need a warning before your child is exposed to someone elses life, maybe it's time you pull your head out the sand and realize this country is made up of all different walks of life and all different beliefs and your kids need to learn to live with these people, just like you did. If your child was the minority, you may just think differently, so grow up and understand what that kid goes through before you decide to endorse censorship and support the bully tactics used by the majority rules attitude...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 11:38 AM on Oct. 22, 2010

  • I agree with what you're saying. People are so terrified that their children may be exposed to religions or beliefs other than their own (gasp!) that they want to completely hide it from them. All that does is breed ignorance. If children were actually educated on different belief systems, my guess is that there would be less bullying and prejudice.

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 12:11 PM on Oct. 22, 2010

  • I think so. It is becoming ridiculous.

    I was a Hindu (Indian Descent) Girl growing up in the 60's & 70's. My husband was Sikh (also of Indian Descent) growing up in the same time period. Our experiences as children were very different than what our son (now 18) experienced growing up. Especially in the wake of 9/11.

    We suffered far less harrassment, far less bullying, far less odd looks, far less rejection,. far less fear & anger.etc.back then, than my son has experienced in the last 10 years alone.That's in school, and out and about in general.

    We actually experienced more curiosity over fear, being asked questions in school and freely answering them just to share with friends/classmates, the occasional "odd" look but not malicious looks (which now a days the looks my husband & son recieve are defnitely more malicious and full of fear and anger).

    I can say this. Times have changed (and not for the better).

    Answer by pixie_trix at 3:01 PM on Oct. 22, 2010

  • It makes it really hard to teach kids about other customs and traditions without talking about religion. I think it's nice to hear from people who actually practice the religion but it seems too upsetting to others so schools can't do this. 

    I think we have to teach our kids that some people do cross a line when it comes to some issues including religion, however they could face this online when no adult is around.  I'd rather my kids hear from normal people practicing different faiths first then zealots over the computer.  We have to understand other cultures and traditions because the we live in is global, I think it also helps to understand many of the world religions. 


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 4:10 PM on Oct. 22, 2010

  • I agree, it's strange.

    Answer by UpSheRises at 4:17 PM on Oct. 22, 2010

  • We are going through another scare like before the 1900's. Witch Trials anyone? It had nothing really to do with witches but fear and hostile take over. Over time people have just become crazy with all of this stuff and sheltering their kids.
    I do have to say that this isn't new for certain area's of the US. Like Idaho has always been that way. I grew up in Meridian and I remember they REFUSED to allow the small amount of kids who claimed they were pagans to have groups to get together at school. And even treated us girls differently. I remember getting F's and being sent to the principle because they felt like it.
    I think the scare is just spreading now. To places that are just not use to it.

    Answer by Momma_Halo at 4:43 PM on Oct. 22, 2010

  • Okay hostile take over and greed and I am not referring to the European witch trials at all. But the descrimination of the Quakers.

    Answer by Momma_Halo at 4:44 PM on Oct. 22, 2010

  • I don't mind students sharing with other students.. it's going to happen anyways.

    It's when you bring in an outside influence/assembly that things get a little more cloudy. Such as speakers for the day. I do like the idea of culture being introduced with the religious aspects of it. And think that should be encouraged with the education. But I don't want a simple education in just the religions beliefs. That could make it ugly for the minority that aren't of those beliefs.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 5:32 PM on Oct. 22, 2010

  • Example:
    the boy you brought up is a great way to improve religious tolerance..

    but you could also go and have a speaker that talked strictly of their beliefs. (some of which could include discussing issues like homosexuality, or "non-believers" and thus go from being a practice in tolerance to a practice in intolerance).

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 5:33 PM on Oct. 22, 2010

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