religious lessons
Rep. Sheila Butt introduces bill in response to complaints

A Tennessee state lawmaker is introducing a bill to ban the teaching of "religious doctrine" in public schools until at least the 10th grade. Representative Sheila Butt's proposal was created in response to a number of complaints from parents about the social studies curriculum being taught to their children.

Rep. Butt (R.) explains that the rationale behind her bill stems from the fact that students can feel conflicted if something they are taught in school differs from what they are learning at home. Children's minds are being shaped and taking in a great deal of information. She feels that sorting it all out is perhaps something that they are not equipped to do before high school.

Therefore, she proposes that any religious lessons, or any study of religion, be restricted to grades 10, 11, and 12, and done only in the context of a course on comparative religion wherein no emphasis is placed on any one religion over another. If any teacher for grades 9 or under wishes to mention any religion or religious belief, they must first submit it to the State Board of Education for approval.

The Real Complaint: Islam

The objections from parents that compelled Butt to act consisted in children learning about Islam as part of a comparative religions section in the 10th grade social studies curriculum. Students learned the histories and basic belief sets of Christianity, Judaism, Shintoism, Hinduism, Buddhism and other major faiths. No complaints were known to have been brought forth in regards to anything other than the section on Islam.

The unrest was exacerbated when Greg Locke, pastor of the local Global Vision Bible Church, filmed a video and posted it on the Parents of Wilson County Schools webpage. In it, he claimed that the lesson taught on Christianity was "watered down," while the section on Islam amounted to what he considered "nothing more than absolute brainwashing". The county school director called Locke's claims blatantly false and offered that his video was made with the intent of inciting parents.

religious lessons
The law would pull both Islam and Christ from school lessons if applied without bias. These moms have their own agenda.

Rep. Butt asserts that many students cannot tell if they are simply learning about what a religion teaches or if they are the victims of a scheme to convert them. US Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R.-Tenn.) pointed out that "there is a big difference between education and indoctrination" when asked about the situation, and she is correct. There is such a difference, it begs the question as to what the lawmakers like Butt think is actually going on.

Tennessee has a fairly high population of conservative Christians, many of whom oversee and implement the state standardized curriculum. Indoctrination isn't the sort of thing that happens by accident. Are Butt and Locke supposing that there is a conspiracy among local educators to bolster the ranks of Muslims in the state? Perhaps.

The website called Conservative HQ praises Butt's bill as saving America. The group feels it addresses their concerns of the Muslim concept of Al-Taqiyah, which they say "is variously translated as infiltration, subversion or deception, but from a political perspective it means to disguise one's true self in order to win the war against the enemy." The fear is that secret evil agents of Islam are disseminating the notion of "a non-existent peaceful Islam in Tennessee's schools" to blind the public awareness of a coming takeover. While Butt has been praised by those that agree with these sentiments, she hasn't expressly voiced agreement with the specifics of their worries.

The Possible Effects

religious lessons
Political cartoon on TN's Teach the Controversy law

Most of us would agree that actual religious indoctrination should have no part in public schools. If passed, this law could have some notable changes to how subjects are taught in Tennessee, but perhaps not in the way Butt thinks.

Her bill demands that the curriculum of a subject stick to facts and omit any religious dogma. This, however, might include the "teach the controversy" additions to science lessons codified into state law in 2012. These were designed to encourage students to question the validity of agreed upon science as a means of opening the door for religious beliefs. Of course, previous bills allowing the overt teaching of creationism, and another for Intelligent Design were already shot down by federal courts.

It might also be argued that "abstinence-only until marriage" sex education would fail to abide by Butt's rules. These lessons have been found to teach inaccurate information, not reduce student sexual activity at all, and have a negative impact on pregnancy and STI rates due to students never learning safe sex practices. All of this harmful and counterfactual teaching is done in accordance with a religious notion that puts a woman's virginity on her wedding day as paramount to her value as a mate. It will be interesting to see if passed, whether the law would be used to target only Islam or if it would actually cover all faiths as it purports to do so in its wording.

A Non-Issue

Many academic or politically liberal websites are charging Butts and the parents that took issue with the curriculum as being needlessly biased. They point out that parents had no issues with kids learning about any other religion in the lessons and that many that support the bill seem to even explicitly admit having a dislike and/or fear of Islam and Muslims.

religious lessons
Would kids in art get to learn about the masterpiece painted on the Sistine Chapel?

In defense, Butt hoped to clarify her position to reporters. She considers the curriculum on Islam to be indoctrinating because the amount of information learned is more than some parents would like. Essentially in her view, this goes beyond learning about Islam, because kids learn a lot about Islam. This doesn't really answer detractors and isn't internally consistent.

It also seeks to revise history for the students. Religions has always been a major factor in world history. It was used to justify slavery and segregation, suppression of women voting, and emigration, including the very founding of the United States as well as politics today. It's important to look at everything involved in shaping historical events so we can learn from them.

The restriction of lessons on religion to just one class could negatively impact other subjects. Religion factors into more curriculum than is appropriate to teach in a comparative religion class. Would kids in choir not be allowed to sing Handel's Messiah? Or art students barred from studying Michelangelo's David statue? So much of our art and science involves religion and wouldn't fit nicely into a social studies lesson. Students should study these things in the context of their own subjects.

"The reality is the Muslim world brought us algebra, 'One Thousand and One Nights,' and some can argue it helped bring about the Renaissance," explained Nashville Public School social studies teacher Kyle Alexander. "There is a lot of influence that that part of the world had on world history."


The Tennessean


  1. bri's Avatar bri

    We had the same in Luxembourg. An Indian mother wanted to come in and talk to the three year old kids about Divali. which basically meant special clothes for the little boy, special cakes and orange juice. With 18 kids it was one american mother who kept her child out for the day so he didn't become contaminated,. Guess mericans just have more phobia than the rest of us.

    1. Bro. bill barr's Avatar Bro. bill barr

      That is sad I spent a wonderful day at a Hindi wedding it was beautiful and my belief in Holiness was not harmed in any way. As a matter of fact I was treated with respect and reverence. My finding has always been people find my deep rooted belief in primitive Christianity to be a pleasant deviation from meaningless main stream and political Christianity. i try to approach all people in the way those early followers did by example and love. Jesus must cringe when people do anything that can be construed as unloving or unkind. i have met a lot of non Christians that live a Christ like life and jihadist that call themselves Christian. In his holy love bro bill

      1. Dark Gray's Avatar Dark Gray

        Hindi is a language. What you probably attended was a Hindu wedding (although it may have been conducted in Hindi :-).

        Sorry, I'm nitpicky by nature. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself.

        1. hindu2u's Avatar hindu2u

          As a Hindu our weddings are conducted in the ancient language Sanskrit and in the common language or America English the English language for information Hindi has 900 to 100 words being used in the English language. OM

          1. Dark Gray's Avatar Dark Gray

            Thank you for the information.

      2. Rev. Charles Deaton's Avatar Rev. Charles Deaton

        Our young children need not be introduced in school about Towel heads that would as soon kill you as to look at you. Keep this crap out of our schools, we don't need it or want it. If as an adult they wish to learn this kind of crap ISIS is made of then let them do it when they are at an age to make that decision . Your an adult and if you want to go to a wedding whether it be a Jewish, Hindi , or ISIS. that's your right. But try to teach our kids the way they have to dress and the little girls cover their faces is just plain wrong. ITS TIME TO TAKE AMERICA BACK.

        1. Dan Atatakai's Avatar Dan Atatakai

          Why the hateful response? Could it be because you are also not understanding of the facts of Islam? To use pejoratives as you have (towel heads?) seems to be from ignorance, not an understanding.

          ISIS, fyi, is no more Muslim than the Ku Klux Klan or more than 150 neo-nazi groups are Christian, even though they may claim to be. Their actions go counter to the teachings of their theological claims.

          Where is America where it needs to be taken back?

          1. renie's Avatar renie

            Sir towel heads is a better word then what most around the world call people who wear rags around their heads. I grew up hearing people call them diaper heads. so towel heads is better word then ragheads diaper heads.

          2. Reverend Daniel H. Fenner II's Avatar Reverend Daniel H. Fenner II

            Every religion has some extremists. Did you see that preacher wanting to kill all the gay people. In my book this is the same type of bigotry. People need to stop putting their own hatred in place or in their religion's name. Hatred is a learned behavior period.

        2. hindu2u's Avatar hindu2u

          What kind of Rev are you. There is only one almighty God that is for all humans you need to study religion and not make in educationed statements America needs to be smart and know who is an enemy of rightness Om

        3. Robyn Reviere's Avatar Robyn Reviere

          WOW. I certainly would not allow my children to attend any function where you may have influence.

        4. JG's Avatar JG

          Here here!

          1. Reverend M's Avatar Reverend M

            Rev Ken, You call yourself a Reverend??? Do you understand anything at all about your religion? It has nothing to do about America. Do you understand anything about Jesus' teachings and beliefs? Apparently not. You are a prejudiced bigot!

        5. Valdis's Avatar Valdis

          First of all, Muslims don't wear towels on their heads. Sikhs and some Hindus wear turbans. Some Muslims, mainly Saudis, wear a head covering that originally was used to protect them from the sand, and has become a cultural symbol now. Muslim women are required to cover their hair, and torso to the wrists, and from the waist to their ankles for modesty reasons. No one had a REAL problem with Muslims until 9/11. Since then, Muslims have been made out to be the bad guys in almost EVERY political situation since then. The reason Muslims are so angry is because they're tired of being demonized. And over 90% of Muslims worldwide have condemned the actions of the "Islamic State." But it's never good enough for people so Hell bent on hatred.

          The reason children are taught about other religions in the most basic way, is because it is essential for a well-rounded education. It is necessary for children to learn that not everyone is the same. And a basic understanding of different religions can help a young person grow beyond that of ignorance.

          I was taught about Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Jainism, Hinduism, and Pagan polytheism in my world history classes throughout elementary and middle school. By high school, religions were just a foot note in history class.

          I believe that I'm a better person for it. In the age where you can't trust the media, it's better to be educated before society corrupts you. That way, tolerance and understanding can blossom. If we can't even show the decency of teaching our children that Islam is not the devil, how can WE expect Muslims to show us respect and tolerance? No one religion is better than the rest.

          Education IS NOT the same thing as indoctrination. But you seem to think it is.

          1. Sylvia's Avatar Sylvia

            Eloquently and intelligently said.

          2. Little-Known Blogger's Avatar Little-Known Blogger

            "No one had a real problem with Muslims until 9/11."

            Sorry, no; the truth about Islam has been known since its beginnings, and the United States has been on the front lines of protecting the victims of Islam since its inception.


          3. Jennifer Kemper's Avatar Jennifer Kemper

            Thank you for a sane and inclusive post. We are more at risk when there is ignorance and denial about world religions other than Christianity. My own religion is mocked and made fun of in the media, ignored in school and generally disrespected to the point where I do not talk about it, unless asked, and even then reluctantly. Education can't hurt you, except by lack of it.

          4. Parthenia Whitsett's Avatar Parthenia Whitsett

            Yahweh commanded us not to make mention of the names of other gods or to participate in the worship thereof. Also, indoctrination is just that, indoctrination. We are told by Yahweh to train up our children to go in His way so that when they are old, they will not depart from it. Teaching children about other religions or life styles is interference in some cases with the command of their GOD if they are Hebrews. If you train a child to be sinful, the child will be sinful. When you teach them to be righteous, they will be righteous.

        6. EmJay's Avatar EmJay

          Are you mad? I'm shocked to see this kind of bigoted stuff on here. I thought this was a site about love, tolerance and mutual human understanding in a humanist context.... Who took your America? Was it corporations? Was it politicians? It certainly isn't Muslims. You daft racist.

        7. James's Avatar James

          Your the reason Christianity is such a hated bigoted religion. If you choose to hate then you are NO Christian. You are a Satanist plain and true. Jesus was nailed to a cross for a lot less. What should we DO with you? Nail you to a cross?

        8. Rev. Jo-An Josephine's Avatar Rev. Jo-An Josephine

          How very Christian of you! But if you truly believe that it's time to take America back...I say Goodbye, it was nice knowing you, can't wait to see an America where there is nothing but the Natives that GOD put there. Stop being self righteous. We are ALL immigrants.....You want to go back to whatever Country you came from? I didn't think so. PLEASE be more courteous to other ppl. We are ALL human. We are created the same, born the same, bleed the same and die the same. Not one is better than the's called RESPECT!!!!!

        9. renie's Avatar renie

          100 percent agree

        10. Most reverand Dave's Avatar Most reverand Dave

          Rev Ken, I hate to see your bigotry here on this site. Your first sentence proves it. The one thing I hate about Christianity is the hypocrisy shown by so called men and women of faith. I feel sorry for you.

        11. Peter Chappell's Avatar Peter Chappell

          It is refreshing to look at the flood of ignorant and racist viewpoints on this site which proports to be peaceful and reverential. I guess $20 does not make you more intelligent or a minister. This shows the fallacy of this ministry. At least the corporation is profitable.....they will always have that

        12. Minister Carey's Avatar Minister Carey


          Question, rev, Ken. Take America back to where? Take America back to the way it was before the slave trade (both trans-atlantic and american slave trade)? Before the pale-face was taught how to navigate the seas by the Moors (the black-face people who wore the fez and the turban - the "towel heads" as you call them). The Moors who civilized Europa/Europe? Take America back to the way it was when the millions of American Indians who lived here were thriving (even though tribes fought tribes, clans fought clans, brothers and sisters fought each other). Please enlighten me. Ken, have you read "White Slavery in the Barbary States" by Charles Summer; The Civil War of 1812 by Alan Taylor? Now there ain't but one race on this earth and that is the human race. From this original race came all the other ethnic groups of people. And quite a few of these different groups of people were at some point enslaved by other groups. The Caucasian, the African, the Mongoloid or Red Indian (mixed Asian and Black Americans), and the Copper-toned/Melanin-dominate, indigenous Americans (first called Indians, then called Negro, now called African American) were once enslaved by the Moors and later by the so-called "free white persons" (the Albions, later named Europeans, after they conquered the Moors in Spain) who came to the Americas. Thus, we have a whole lot of earthlings acting out due to post traumatic slave syndrome. Fear and insecurity are ass-kickers. So folks are going to hate on one another and blame one another for what goes wrong in their lives. What is sad, is that folk hate on one another and in most cases they really don't know why. Religions like Christianity have be co-opted and corrupted. Real history has been changed, destroyed, or hidden, and as we all know, a lack of knowledge can cause people to act real stupid and say real stupid things. Smh.

    2. David Horsman's Avatar David Horsman

      Religion must never become a formal part of the education system. It is not the role of the state to educate our children in religious matters. That is the role and responsibilities of the family to raise their children in their own culture and religious beliefs. We can allow families to discuss their religious dress or particular occasions to foster understanding and respect or offer religious studies courses from educators who have studied and know the traditions and beliefs of many different religions.

      1. Carol's Avatar Carol

        I agree.

      2. Dan Atatakai's Avatar Dan Atatakai

        David - As a form of indoctrination or the like, I happen to agree with you. Now, sociological or philosophical area of study, I believe it is vital for the healthy growth of both the student and society as a whole. When "light is shining on a subject, ignorance is banished." Sadly, there is way too much ignorance regarding the various theologies, both theistic and non-theistic.

      3. Dr. Griffith's Avatar Dr. Griffith

        I don't believe you understand what they are teaching. It is not religious "matters", but world civilization. To understand the world people need to u deist and the people and a large part of that is religion. Take the USA for example, someone needs to understand Christianity to fully understand the people. Yes, there are many religions here, but Chrisitanity is the dominate one. The biggest problem with learning about Christianity is that what people learn is not the US version of Christianity. Chrisitanity is love and forgiveness (the women of Charleston, SC who forgave the killer of their congregation are a great example). The people who profess to be Christians, yet hate other religions, the poor. homeless, anyone on food stamps, I could go on is not the Christianity people would learn in school.

        With your logic students should not learn about much of anything because their parents should be teaching them what to think, isn't that brainwashing?

    3. Rev.Leo Secrease, ll's Avatar Rev.Leo Secrease, ll

      It seems that way. You know, people who don't know enough to have an opinion shouldn't open their mouths and expose the ignorance within.

    4. Jay's Avatar Jay

      I'm always impressed, and a little shocked, at the fear that consumes those professing Christianity - or any of the Abrahamic faiths' 3 pillars and multitude of factions. It's a sad sad thing, embracing these false illusions of sequestering information from children, in the information age. The opposite of God's Lovingkindness has always been fear...When we allow fear to consume our emotions, mind, heart and soul, there is no room for Creation in our lives...and this void becomes filled with this 'World of Man' dysfunction. Christ, and His examples of living in perfect union with God, needs no defense. Who among us has the right to take from God, His throne of judgement, and sit there to condemn others in this world we fear...not love? Most of the children at the center of this won't be kept from the knowledge of our world, and the mess created by religiosity...

    5. renie's Avatar renie


    6. renie's Avatar renie

      you have your country because of us picky Americans as you say. in fact all of Europe wouldn't be free country's if it was for our soldiers and treasure spilled for your citizen's lazy asses so shut the hell up you ungrateful Europeans.

  1. William Thompson's Avatar William Thompson

    Islam has no place in our public school curriculum. The simple fact that a jihad has been waged against us is cause enough to stop the influx. No where does our God instruct us to tolerate this invasion.

    1. Rick's Avatar Rick

      what god?

      1. Bro. bill barr's Avatar Bro. bill barr

        The one that is the architect of the universe. You will meet this great being one day. I hope you make prevision for what can be a grand meeting,

        1. Dark Gray's Avatar Dark Gray

          I've met God, and I'd agree it was a grand thing. I'd argue, though, that there's not much one can do to prepare for it. It's just too overwhelming.

    2. Bro. bill barr's Avatar Bro. bill barr

      Mr. Thompson it is great to see your enlightened view of how things are. We would not want students to know how the spread of Islam was stopped and defeated in France from spreading over Europe or how the great City of Constantinople had been the center in the world for learning prior to Muslim invasion. It would be a shame if in health class it was taught that young girls in Muslim controlled countries are mutilated to ensure they never enjoy the gift that God gave us to to ensure procreation is carried out, if you need to remove the word God and replace with the word nature. It would be horrible if in history class students learned that Islam has been spread by sword in ways that would make the inquisition look like a party. You never gain an upper hand on any enemy of state unless you learn their culture and what they think. Let me say that again what they think not how they think. We can look at the world one of 2 ways facing them or looking over our shoulder. I would rather look them in the eye then expose my back. Lord Bless you bro. bill

      1. Rev. Charles Deaton's Avatar Rev. Charles Deaton

        Bill, this just plain and simple it don't need to be in our schools. There is nothing to learn about their culture other than they are killers of the innocent. Let's put GOD back in our schools, not Islam trash.

        1. EmJay's Avatar EmJay

          Dismissing other people off-hand without knowledge of their culture or beliefs will only ever lead to misunderstanding, prejudice and violence. We shouldn't have god taught in schools at all. We should have morality and philosophy taught instead. Then people would have a rational basis for their opinions and the ability to think through new ideas without knee-jerk reactions.

      2. Dan Atatakai's Avatar Dan Atatakai

        Bill - just a quick comment on what you are talking regarding female genital mutilation:

        There are more cases of such mutilation in Christian countries in Africa than in Muslim countries.

        As this article states, it is more a central African problem, not one involved directly with Islam alone.

      3. anglea's Avatar anglea

        New International Version "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Mathew 10:34

      4. EmJay's Avatar EmJay

        Your comment is thoughtful, but don't forget that we shouldn't skim over the great conflicts, invasions and massacres caused by Christianity. Let's be fair!

    3. Minister Rob's Avatar Minister Rob

      Islamic/Christian/Jewish/Hindu/Antitheist/Buddhist/Wiccan/Satanist/Pastafarian/etc. INDOCTRINATION has no place in our public school system.

      The NT instructs tolerance. Secular law instructs tolerance. Several religions and/or philosophies instruct tolerance, or at least pay it lipservice.

      What is AGAPE love? Who are its proponents, past and present.

    4. Minister Rob's Avatar Minister Rob

      INDOCTRINATION has no place in our public school system.

      1. zidders's Avatar zidders

        I thought that's what public school was for?

    5. Mini ben's Avatar Mini ben

      One of the main tenets of ulc is complete religious freedom. I think to state any opinion against any religion is in contradiction to our brotherhood. Salaam.

    6. Dan Atatakai's Avatar Dan Atatakai

      William - Do you believe that Christianity or Judaism should be taught in your public school curriculum?

      I suggest you learn what the term "jihad" means. In the overwhelming number of cases, it does NOT mean a war against anyone or anything, but an INNER struggle of right and wrong.

      What invasion are you talking about?

      Simple Abrahamic Faith 101 lesson for you, William. The "Allah of Islam" is the God of Abraham, the same deity as worshipped in Christianity and Judaism. Unlike most people's thinking, it is NOT the polytheistic "moon god" with two daughters of Pre-Islamic polytheism. Islam is, like your own beliefs most likely, against polytheistic beliefs.

      I look forward to hearing from you for your explanation of why you are against learning about other religions. Are you against ALL other religions being taught (as in a Comparative World Religions class) or just against Islam?

    7. Valdis's Avatar Valdis

      The concept of Jihad means a personal struggle in a path towards God. Not to wage war on others.

  1. Tom's Avatar Tom

    No matter how the class material is written, there are going to be parents who feel it is an attempt to indoctrinate children. Indoctrinate children just like they do in their own homes and churches. I guess one man's indoctrination is another man's coercion. Personally, I feel it is better to have an unbiased view of all religions presented to a child rather than have them grow up thinking one way is the only way and all others are evil. Tenth grade is a good place to start and certainly above the age of reason. If the material is well written and properly presented, parents should have no fear.

    1. Bro. bill barr's Avatar Bro. bill barr

      Absolutely and if you have raised your child to love their faith they should be more then willing to expose their child to everything including secular outlooks. Children should be taught how to think not what. In Christ Love bro bill

  1. Terry HAyes's Avatar Terry HAyes

    There have always been in groups and out groups. Whites were in blacks were out. Americans were in Japanese were out. The U.S. citizens of Japanese back ground were so far in out the government lock them up. A Catholic priest will not come and pray with a non practicing Catholic. Heterosexuals are in Homosexuals are out. Germans were in and Jews were out. Jews were out six million plus lives. All of this in group, out group, I'm right, you are wrong, is so much garbage. All these factions are a creation of man. When will we stop living in fear of each other; we should stop for a moment and see how we all struggle and ask what can I do to help this PERSON.

    To the ladies with the Christians against Islam banner. May God forgive you.

    1. Brother Tim's Avatar Brother Tim

      AMEN for you Brother Terry, if more could see your expression of God the world would be a better place. Its funny how most folks misinterpret these religious books called bibles. another misinterpretation is folks do not seem to understand Jesus's most profound statement of Do onto others as you would have them do onto you. They live by do onto others before they do onto you,

    2. Jason Colvin's Avatar Jason Colvin

      Thank you. I couldn't agree more. The so-called Christians who live in fear and bash all other religions should look in the mirror with an open heart and open mind. They will see the exact thing they are condemning. Our children are intelligent and should learn about all people and religions without bias views or hatred from the teacher.

  1. J. Paul Lanier's Avatar J. Paul Lanier

    A high school course in comparative religions is essential in high school, especially if combined with discussion among students.

    1. Dan Atatakai's Avatar Dan Atatakai

      J. Paul - I happen to agree with you wholeheartedly. To have an understanding of what others believe is vital in understanding the person. To break down the walls of hatred, ignorance and bigotry through understanding means one must learn what those ideas happen to be. To hide trembling behind the lack of understanding only causes more division, hatred and violence.

  1. Bro. bill barr's Avatar Bro. bill barr


  1. Rt Rev Dr N's Avatar Rt Rev Dr N

    I don't believe they should ban religion in schools, they should keep this in the schools but have classes for different faith's. Even though Christian, I have many Muslim and Hindu friends, we never discuss our differences, we never argue, we are friends and respect each other's faith. Unfortunately, there are radical people but one can not put a blanket over the whole religion and say, they are all bad. All of my friends are sickened and horrified what is happening in ISIS in the name of supposed faith. When we look at the planet, I mean really! look, we should know how small it is and we all live on the same planet, we should therefore stand alongside each other, not only to protect the planet but the people on it. This means giving freedom of choice, for everyone to follow their own faith in peace without the disruption from others. Yes, I find it important to keep religious studies in school, religious studies that suit all.

    1. Rev. Jo-An Josephine's Avatar Rev. Jo-An Josephine

      I like your words. I agree that they should teach religion in schools, all or at least a few different religions. If you are going to ban one, then ban them all or teach them all.

      Wise words!

  1. Jessica Martini's Avatar Jessica Martini

    Religion was not taught at high school. In college I was free to follow my own pursuits. I think it is best that way. State Schools and minors... Keep religion out. There is plenty of history and science to learn that is not being taught 0.o

    1. Rev. Charles Deaton's Avatar Rev. Charles Deaton

      Amen, Jessica !

      1. Rebbetzin Parthenia's Avatar Rebbetzin Parthenia

        Religion was not taught when I was in school; however, we could bring religious text to read between class. I always carried my Tanakh and meditated upon Torah. Last night, I realized doing that was a blessing from the God of my Fathers because it protected me from indoctrination into things that were not good for me physically or spiritually. You soon become what you condone and you soon become like those with whom you associate. As the Scripture says: Except two agree, they cannot walk together. Therefore, one should be careful about one's associations. Even as Reb. Shaul said, evil communications corrupt good morals. Many conflicts have been waged over religion and each successive religion has been just as corrupt as the one put down. When one learns not to do evil to his/her neighbor, then one has learned the Torah's intent of doing unto others as you would have them to do unto you.

  1. Bro. bill barr's Avatar Bro. bill barr

    Exposure to the worlds major religions is far different then converting people! If a student goes into the Army or find themselves in class with students from other cultures will help them to have background and a scale of understanding as to why the person is dressed the way they are or can't eat certain foods. It has helped me on several occasions to have had a well traveled Geography Teacher. He became a life long friend and I am not even sure what his religion was Christian but I have no idea what branch. To properly learn chess learning about the medieval Christian Church is helpful and a part of my 6th grade public education. As a evangelical fundamentalist I believe strongly in public education being compulsory . Home schooling is a joke in 99% of the cases, parochial and charter leave a lot to be desired. I would like to see a comparative done with 5,000 or 10,000 of these students compared to similar group of publicly educated after 10yrs. To see how they compare with income, number of children and cost for public entitlements reliance on food banks and social welfare programs. These groups would be reliant on 12th grade or equivalent education with out the benefit of secondary education. I think we would see a real argument for public education. bro. bill

    1. Rebbetzin Parthenia's Avatar Rebbetzin Parthenia

      Hallucinations can occur even when one is awake. The public schools of this country are in dire straits. The students have been grossly disserved and that wasn't very difficult to do considering that it was done on purpose. Most students can't compose a sentence, diagram or tell you what type of sentence they have written, to wit: whether or not it is simple, complex, compound or compound complex. (some teachers can't explain what I have just written and yet they are teaching.) As Yahashuah said: It is enough that the disciple become as his teacher; however the old Hebrew proverb he quoted continues: but woe unto him if his teacher lacks knowledge. I am an advocate for closing the public education system because it has been hijacked by those with nefarious (evil and wicked) intentions.

  1. Amber Castleman's Avatar Amber Castleman

    No matter what children need to learn all they can about God and Islam to help them better in the future without it they wont be able to stand up against their future battles

  1. Carl Jerome's Avatar Carl Jerome

    tolerance and intolerance are the crosses on which we crucify those with whom we disagree. doesn't this miss the point of the gospel, and all the great religious faiths of the world?

  1. let them know the truth..!!!'s Avatar let them know the truth..!!!

    i think they should learn about islam .. the true religion..!!!

  1. Ronald Downie's Avatar Ronald Downie

    I think we should just keep the belief in God the way we did years ago In the Ten Commandments period

  1. Valerie Ward's Avatar Valerie Ward

    If a school is teaching religion, it should teach all religions. One religion is not better than another.

  1. Terry HAyes's Avatar Terry HAyes

    You are correct that no religion is better than any other religion. As other cultures enter the world arena all countries need to learn about the cultures and beliefs of of others.

  1. G.R. Traver's Avatar G.R. Traver

    The facts are that here in the United States it has been ruled and legislated that there is separation of Church and State. What is fair for the goose is fair for the gander was the old saying. Therefore, no teachings of Islam just like no teaching of any other Faith.
    Let's not forget the fact and become insensitive to current world events, there are not any Methodists beheading non-Methodists for not converting. Islam is the shroud that terrorist clothe themselves in to claim religious persecution and political legitimacy.
    I believe the crux of the matter is that citizens feel that the government is giving a pass, special treatment to those who support to those who want to destroy America. Imagine - every citizen being equal under the law.

  1. sarah's Avatar sarah

    Yes kids should be taught about all religions. It's important to the future of this great country that they be well informed and that tolerance be reinforced in them. We should take every opportunity to teach our children to make well informed decisions about all people and begin to put to rest the hate and fear and prejudice that is so prevalent in our world today. They should be given the chance to change the world in a positive way.

    1. Rev. Jo-An Josephine's Avatar Rev. Jo-An Josephine

      Nicely said!!!

  1. Howard Stone's Avatar Howard Stone

    This is an issue that should not be pushed upon our children, as many of our public schools are doing. This is an individual families option. It is up to the parents to teach their children their beliefs. Any time a public or political governing body is involved this becomes wrong, especially when they keep pushing separation of church and state. This is a direct violation of what they are telling other religious entities'. Therefore it goes against the constitution of freedom of religion..

    1. Howard Stone's Avatar Howard Stone

      If you are going to teach religion in the public schools. Then to be fair to all. You would have to teach every religion of the world, not just that one.

  1. fantumofthewinds's Avatar fantumofthewinds

    I would just assume you keep it all out of our schools , weather we speak of one indoctrination or the other, fairy tales have no bearing in our public schools . But learning of culture and learning to get along, as a nation. Discrimination leads to judgement , judgement leads to bullying, and bullying leads to harm . If you wish to teach anything , teach ancient cultures around the world , not indoctrination, allow each to draw their own conclusions, after all we are all thinking things , yes even our children .

  1. Mike's Avatar Mike

    The problem I see with teaching about Islam is the bias of the person doing the teaching and/or the political correctness of the teaching. Are they going to teach that Islam is a religion of peace and love or will they teach about the belief of honor killings and the killing of someone that draws a picture of Mohamed? We have people that put a cross in a jar of urine and call it art and we may be offended but we do not call for killing them or riots, but talk about doing something similar to a Koran and the followers of Islam gather to riot and talk about killings. Bottom line is that the political correctness police will never allow the radical views of Islam to be taught in school so our children will only have a one sided view of that religion, buts that’s just my opinion.

    1. Little-Known Blogger's Avatar Little-Known Blogger


  1. ralph baginski's Avatar ralph baginski

    knowledge is power, why limit your child's access to learning? having a basic understanding of the ideas behind various religions is not indoctrination. it only serves to create an individual with the ability to decide for themselves, and perhaps approach people of different faiths from a position of compassion and understanding. fear and hatred are not Christian values, and a narrow mind has never accomplished anything of worth.

  1. Sharon's Avatar Sharon

    Teaching world religions without making things good/bad then I am fine with learning about ALL religions. I am a retired educator.

  1. Gary's Avatar Gary

    I had Comparative World Religions in college. Still have the book for quick references. It was a great class and gave the fundamental beliefs without trying to convert. I have no problem with that. As for keeping all religion out of schools, if it was truly keeping all out, I might be tempted to agree. However, I am sure what this person who sponsored the bill means is all religion except fundamental conservative Christianity. Even if you kept all religion out, as was mentioned earlier, how do you teach music, art and literature?

    As for some of the extreme and nasty comments above, it makes me think of getting more into Deism. All the hatred from organized religion is really disheartening. I keep thinking of Jesus admonition, worry about the beam in your own eye before taking the splinter out of your brother or sisters eye.

  1. Terry HAyes's Avatar Terry HAyes

    My email has gone crazy with all the comments about faith. Reading these responses only a few have been educated in the fundamentals of other religions. All of us should look to others to find understanding. My faith is correct for me, it may not be for you. If I tell about my beliefs am I indoctrinating you? If you tell me about your faith are indoctrinating me? When a child goes home are the parent not indoctrinating the child into their beliefs? Public schools should be giving the children information about all things.If a description of a country does not include a culture's religion the class is incomplete. In each culture there are many beliefs. Schools can teach without indoctrination language, mathematics, science, history, geography, economics, and the ability to use knowledge to determine what is correct and true. If a description of a country does not include a culture's religion the class is incomplete.

    Are we discussing faith or education? Perhaps the lawmakers faith is so weak that she fears she may be indoctrinated.

  1. Carlene Stover's Avatar Carlene Stover

    Honestly! I think all religion should be taught and the differences to them, and let our children decide where God wants them to go. It is our job to train them up in our own religion, but it should be our children's choice on what religion is best for them.

    I was born and raised Catholic until I was in the 6th grade. I always brought home our lesson book to read in advance and try to understand what we were going to learn. As I read the scriptures and the lesson, they did not correspond at all. I literally stood up in class and told them that they were teaching a bunch of lies. I got sent to the Priest office and got Excommunicated. But for those 6 years, I felt that I belonged somewhere else and not at that church. I tried several churches of my friends and still didn't feel that that was where I belonged. One of my friends was Protestant. She took me a few times to their kids bible study. I felt a little link, but still not where I belonged. She brought me to this conference that the guy (Can't remember his name) was a veteran from Texas and he his face was all scared as if he was burnt. He was not of the Protestant faith. He was more Pentecostal. That is where I got this strong link with God. It was so strong that I actually walked up to the alter, not knowing it to get prayed for. The last thing I remember is being in the van heading back to the church to get picked up by our parents. I knew from that time on that that is where God wanted me. I could not find a church like that in my home state close to my home.

    When I met my first husband, who was a preacher's son, was Apostolic. I felt right at home for awhile. Then it was like God was pulling me a different direction. I still believe in the Apostolic religion as far as the believes, but I don't agree with their bylaws. I have no clue where God is pulling me yet. But, I know it is a church that baptizes according to Acts 2:38. (Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.) I heavily believe in that scripture and when ever some religious person asks me to try their church the first thing that I ask is, Do you baptize according to Act 2:38? They have to look it up and then they say no, we baptize in the name of the father, son and holy ghost. I asked them and what is that name? They reply the father the son and the holy ghost. I say, "No, it is saying that they are the same name. Jesus Christ!" They respond they are three different people. I say no. Are you a son? Yes! Are you a father? Yes! Do you have a spirit in you? Yes! What's your name? Then I say, God came down as his son to teach us how he wants us to live and he was the spirit in Jesus that taught us how to live. So there for the name of the father, son and holy ghost is Jesus Christ. They get all mad and walk off.

    I wish they had taught me more about different religions then they did. Our history, teacher just had different religions on paper in a hate and went around the room and we pulled a religion and had to do a paper on it. So, we just learnt about one religion. I wish that he had done more, so that I could have tested the waters persay to see where God was pulling me. Our children should be taught about different religions to test their waters and not be pressured into their parents religion. It only causes rebellion. God might not want them in that church. Each of us has a different job that God wants us to fulfill. And the children should have the tools to decide where they think God is wanting them to go and what they think their God given job is. It is unfair to control them and make them be in a certain religion. God gave us free will for a reason. I could go on forever, but I will stop there.

    1. Carol's Avatar Carol

      Carlene, I hear your frustration. I am astounded that in 6th grade you had that kind of gumption. In any case, I can offer one point that might present a another perspective for you. I, too, was raised Roman Catholic. My main complaint was that they taught mostly on the new covenant. I have grown and it has taken me a number of years.

      I have come to learn that many - not all - churches believe in the Trinity. That is, three persons in one: The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost. I do not. I do not believe the Holy Ghost is a person. The Holy Spirit is the essence of God. It's the power of God. As a child, when you said the Apostles Creed, you pronounced " I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, ..." and that Jesus "is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty." In Gen 1:2 ... "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Can you read there that it blew like this wind? And in Gen 2:26 "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..." This is implying that Jesus - The Word - was with him. The implication here is that the Holy Spirit has no substance - no likeness to be copied.

      And in John 3:5 "Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born [c]again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

      The concept of the Trinity is so ingrained in some churches' thinking and teaching, unless one has a strong will to truly learn from the bible, one will follow like sheep. Please do not think, however, I denigrate their love of God and of Jesus. I do not. But I also believe that it is not for a young child to make a decision to learn many religions - UNLESS the responsible parent or parents is willing to sit down with the child and read about the religion together. I would NOT trust an educator in today's schools to present THEIR opinion of the religion.

      And in the end, I think children should learn the required subjects first to make their way in today's secular society. When they are old enough, they can make an effort on their own to pursue a religion that speaks to them.

  1. Dragon Priest's Avatar Dragon Priest

    The last time I checked, the constitution forbade ANY laws from respecting any religion. Islam has a way of legitimizing violence, murder and hate because of their god. They will say otherwise but I have read that book and it does say to kill them that do not follow Mohamed and this allah moon god. That should not be allowed to poison a child's mind with such hatred.

  1. Carole Lynn Steiner's Avatar Carole Lynn Steiner

    Islam is a hate ... not a religion. It preaches hate and murder, and YOU - if you are not a Muslim - should be killed. If schools would tell the truth about Islam, that would be fine; however, the truth will not be told. Islam treats women and girls despicably. Again, this is not a tolerant, loving religion. It is hate.

    1. Dan Atatakai's Avatar Dan Atatakai

      I hate to tell you this, but your perceptions of Islam are ONLY from the radicalist side. This would be like judging Christianity by the acts of the Ku Klux Klan or a multitude of neo-Nazi groups.

      Islam does not demand killing anyone who is not Muslim. In fact, the Qur'an COMMANDS that all Muslim respect "People of the Book" who are Christians and Jews.

      Islam is one of three major Abrahamic faiths, coupled with Christianity and Judaism. Allah of Islam is the same God of Abraham as the Jews and Christians each have for their deity.

      The issue of treating women and girls despicably, as you say, is untrue. Again, you are more talking about local traditional practices, but NOT of Islam itself. If you doubt it, look at Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Women and girls are treated with a great deal of respect there.

      If you have any specifics as to why you believe Islam is a "hate" as you call it, please post your reasons.

      1. Carol's Avatar Carol

        Hate may be a strong word, however, let me offer this.

        The Bible vs. the Qur'an: The Infidels (aka, kuffar) are simply, those who reject Islam. They have made themselves enemies "to Allah, and His angels and His messengers, and Gabriel and Michael." And Allah, himself, "Is an enemy to the disbelievers." Qur'an 2:98

        "Thou wilt not find folk who believe in Allah and the Last Day loving those who oppose Allah and His messenger, even though they be their fathers or their sons or their brethren or their clan." 58:22

        "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." Matthew 5:44-45

        The Bible versus the Qur'an: "Let not the unbelievers think that our respite to them is good for themselves. We grant them respite that they grow in their iniquity. But they will have a shameful punishment. Qur'an 3:178

        "Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation..." 2 Peter 3:15

        For women?

        Divorce Qur'an style: A Muslim man may divorce his wife simply by saying. "Talaq" but a Muslim woman may not do the same. And if there are children, they go with the man and he owes her no financial support or any other kind of support. Oh, but wait. He can change his mind and take her back for reconciliation sake. - a woman's testimony is worth half that of a man. 2:282 - allows a man to marry up to four wives and also to have sex with slave girls. 4:3 - a son's inheritance should be twice the size of that of a daughter. 4:11

        If not downright hate of the Infidel, then certainly a limited tolerance and only to the extent that that tolerance does not stand in the way of full implementation of Shari'a. Even a twentieth century Egyptian Koranic scholar al-Ghazali, often cited as a reformist has written ominously "Oppressing Islam and denying it the right to life cannot be tolerated. It must be explicitly stated that blood will continue to flow until the evil desire is removed and the power of Islam is restored and the Shari'a protected and its complete implementation guaranteed. Do the oppressors understand"? What do you think that means?

        1. Dan Atatakai's Avatar Dan Atatakai

          Carol - - There is no intent of ill will toward you, but I believe another perspective may be important to be stated here.

          The "infidel" is not just someone who is not Muslim, but the invader, who would trespass on another's land, rape, pillage and murder those in their own home. It also is one who would stop another from attending prayers or going on their pilgrimage. Remember that the Qur'an also commands the Muslim to respect "People of the Book" who are Christians and Jews.

          "They are not all the same. There is a community among the People of the Book who are upright. They recite Allah’s Signs throughout the night, and they prostrate. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 113)"


          "They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and compete in doing good. They are among the righteous. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 114)"

          The unbelievers are those who are the murderers, rapist, pillagers, and those hostile toward another. It is not just because they are of another religion.

          About forgiveness?

          Whether you reveal a good act or keep it hidden, or pardon an evil act, Allah is Ever-Pardoning, All-Powerful. (Surat An-Nisa, 149)

          Make allowances for people, command what is right, and turn away from the ignorant. (Surat Al-A‘raf, 199)

          That is so. And if anyone inflicts an injury the same as the one done to him and then is again oppressed, Allah will come to his aid. Allah is All-Pardoning, Ever-Forgiving. (Surat Al-Hajj, 60)

          About a man being able to marry up to four wives:

          This was written during the time when there were no social services programs. If a man's brother(s) were to die, especially in a war-time condition, the brother is to "marry" the widow and take in the children, NOT for a sexual partner, but to care for the other family. In nearly all cases, the widow and children would be housed separately and were not to be used as a literal wife for sexual favors.

          Genesis 4:19, 23 - Lamech is the first of a long line of biblical men with more than one wife. It seems that God approves of such marriages.

          A priest can only marry a virgin. No harlots, widows, or divorced women will do. (God really likes virgins.) Leviticus 21:13-14

          It goes on and on with inequality between men and women.

          I suggest that if you find the Qur'an offensive, you would probably find the Bible just as offensive as it seems to include all of the same kinds of "crimes". In fact, the Bible has 3x the number of passages promoting violence as the Qur'an. Of course, the Qur'an is also 1/3 the size of the Bible, so they about equal out.

          1. Carol's Avatar Carol

            Dan, I likewise bear no ill will toward you and we could probably go back and forth all day long.

            There are verses in the OT that are not favorable to contemporary life, indeed. However, the NT can be relied upon to foster love and kindness to all people. There is no moral equivalency here. There not one organization today that commits violent acts and justifies them by quoting the bible and invoking Christianity.

            I also know of the Qur'an that many verses have been abrogated by another verse. "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost all spiritual good." 3:85

            Surah 113 and 114 as you point out that people of the book are to be respected - if they are converted as it implies in those verses. "...they recite Allah's signs..." and "They believe in Allah and the Last Day..."

            It is very difficult for me to believe that any Muslim loves (or respects) a Jew. Their anti-semitism is rooted so deeply in their hearts and in their teachings it would take a millenium to uproot it and burn it out. As well as for Jews, it is equally the same for Christians and some other non-Muslims, unless we choose to convert and pay the jizya and be subjugated under the Islamic social order, we will never be equal.

            You and I are quoting back and forth. Would a child be able to do the same? Could a parent be confident of what their child would be taught about Islam? Or Christianity? or Hinduism? Or Judaism? That is where I have the most trouble with teaching it - or any religion - in a public school.

    2. Rev. Jo-An Josephine's Avatar Rev. Jo-An Josephine

      I too have read certain parts of the Qur'an.....and I interpreted them differently than you. But since you believe it's hate, have you ever read the Bible? I have, many, many times, and I believe it to be nothing but violence and hate and incest and rapes. Go ahead, read it again before replying to this comment. It's all about interpretation and perception. Doesn't mean I'm right....but it certainly doesn't mean I'm wrong either!

    3. Little-Known Blogger's Avatar Little-Known Blogger

      Carole, you are absolutely correct. It is good to see someone on this thread capable of rational thought.

  1. Rev. D H Zielinski's Avatar Rev. D H Zielinski

    We live in a country where , fortunately , we can still practice our own religious and faith based beliefs. As a parent, I taught all of my children about our religion and I taught them about as many religions as I could, In the process I myself learned a great deal about people in general. I believe that an open minded attitude helps everyone to understand, not just the religion, but people in general. If we had a little more understanding in general perhaps we would be less likely to blow each other up on a regular basis. From what I have learned from studying other religions, I don't believe that any of our " Creators" would want us to hate each other or despise each other because we worship in different ways.

    1. Najam Aldin's Avatar Najam Aldin

      I am a Muslim. Its a good thing all of you aren't KKK. ISIS was only created to distract away from the KKK and confederations modern version which is now called police. I know many nonmuslim people who are not good at all. These people want to drink liquor and be as rude and unfriendly as possible to strangers. These people hate it when nice well mannered Muslims are present which highlights how bad of a bad person it is

      1. Carol's Avatar Carol

        Intolerance on display here, without a doubt. Not to mention a little reverse racism.

  1. Rev. F. W. Irvin's Avatar Rev. F. W. Irvin

    I'm an Iraq War Veteran and have spent a few years time in the Middle East. I have spent time on the front lines and broke bread with Muslims on a daily basis. They are some of the nicest most hospitable people I've had the pleasure of interacting. Yes, every religion and culture has its bad seeds that commit atrocities in the name of their deity. The United States has plenty of Christian fanatical groups labeled terrorists by the Department of Homeland Security (Bachelor's in Criminal Justice specializing in Homeland Security).
    As far as teaching about Islam in schools, I think it's a great idea for youth to know of all major world religions both contemporary and historical. In a Christian-dominated society, it wouldn't hurt for a young person to skip indoctrination and learn a little bit about another culture, and the rest of the world as a whole, before they choose their spiritual path. Learning about other religions objectively and factually gives children the opportunity to be open-minded and respectful towards their fellow human beings. Many Christians say the United States is a "Christian" nation. I always say its a melting pot of different cultures, religions, and beliefs (Son of an immigrant).

    1. Rev. Jo-An Josephine's Avatar Rev. Jo-An Josephine

      I applaud you !!! Very well said and described. I agree!!!

  1. Brother Rog's Avatar Brother Rog

    Religion is a very personal journey. if religion is to be taught in public school it should wait until high school, offered as an elective, and give equal time to every known major religion. The curriculum should be based on the history of each religion with no bias. Just my opinion

    1. Najam Aldin's Avatar Najam Aldin

      And at what age did you teach your children religion? As a result are they happily married and on the road to seeing you as a grandparent?

      1. Dan Atatakai's Avatar Dan Atatakai

        Najam - I do not understand one's marital status has to do with the understanding about the various theologies. Please elaborate.

    2. Dan Atatakai's Avatar Dan Atatakai

      Rog - I agree that it should be taught objectively. Whenever the topic would arise in any of my cultural classes, I would teach it "from the inside", meaning what it is the practitioners believe and why they believe it, not putting my personal spin on it. To do anything else would be inappropriate and against any ethical behavior as an educator.

      Understanding a religion is not a demand to actually believe that belief system.

  1. HeidiAnne Leon's Avatar HeidiAnne Leon

    In my opinion, it would be great to have my kids who are in high school to learn about all religions. i think it, would help them be more open minded to people of all faiths, not just their own. it could help them decide what religion they want to follow when they get older as well. This country and the world are made up of individuals of different religions. No one religion is better than another. In my opinion, when Jesus said that "His house has many mansions, this is what He meant."

  1. Dylan's Avatar Dylan

    So what if the kids learn about Islam? Seriously?

  1. Thomas Keach's Avatar Thomas Keach

    This is a simple one for me. If you can't teach Christianity in schools then you can't teach about Islam in schools. It's in the US Constitution about separation of church and state.

  1. Joseph Lee Langer's Avatar Joseph Lee Langer

    1. This is not about what the kids are confused about. It's about the parent's irrational fears, and the fact that they want to make sure they have indoctrinated their kids before they really understand that there are other choices.

    2. It seems to me this law is likely to backfire, because it leaves open many opportunities for others to challenge anything that would constitute Christian indoctrination. These are the same people who have claimed to want to bring God back into the schools.

    3. From what I understand what was being taught was already in compliance with what this law would say anyway. They were teaching facts (The fact, that a religion believes certain things.) about religions, not indoctrinating anyone.

    This is just another tempest in a tea pot.

  1. Queen's Avatar Queen

    Yes, I feel that children should learn as much as they can, about everything they can. I know that knowledge is power, it also help you not to be afraid. Too often, in this country, we are afraid of what we do not understand and the media does not help. The media find the worst in everything that is how they make money though FEAR. As a parent, I want my family to understand every religion so they do not have to live in FEAR. As a Minister, I follow all faiths and ways of life; I cannot say I love everyone if I select whom to love. What I have found is that we are all trying to see the face of God we are just taking different road to get there, and that is ok. FEAR NOT FOR I AM ALWAYS WITH YOU I have read that in all the religion that I has study. How can you love God and not love your brothers and sisters “it did not say only if they believe the way you do”.

  1. Jay's Avatar Jay

    I’m always impressed, and a little shocked, at the fear that consumes those professing Christianity – or any of the Abrahamic faiths’ 3 pillars and multitude of factions. It’s a sad sad thing, embracing these false illusions of sequestering information from children, in the information age. The opposite of God’s Lovingkindness has always been fear…When we allow fear to consume our emotions, mind, heart and soul, there is no room for Creation in our lives…and this void becomes filled with this ‘World of Man’ dysfunction. Christ, and His examples of living in perfect union with God, needs no defense. Who among us has the right to take from God, His throne of judgement, and sit there to condemn others in this world we fear…not love? Most of the children at the center of this won’t be kept from the knowledge of our world, and the mess created by religiosity…

  1. Just one person in a big world's Avatar Just one person in a big world

    All this arguing and hatred. Just what our governments want. We all all members of the human race. We have one planet to get along on. Imagine if we did what we could accomplish. All we have to do is treat each other with love and respect that every deity of every religion teaches.

  1. James Pace's Avatar James Pace

    I think everyone, especially kids should learn about every religion that can we expect our children to make an informed decision about what they believe if they haven't been give all the information.

    1. Carol's Avatar Carol

      I agree each child should learn about religion. They should be taught that there is a higher being than themselves. That is true for teaching Christianity, Judaism, Mormonism, Hinduism, Buddism and yes, Islam. And it should be taught in the home NOT in school.

  1. Little-Known Blogger's Avatar Little-Known Blogger

    What Islam has brought us is 1400 years of war, murder, torture, rape and enslavement. That is all any rational human being should need their children to know about it.

    1. Dan Atatakai's Avatar Dan Atatakai

      Let's look at what Islam has brought about to the world:


      Are you aware that it was Islamic scholars who learned about the immune system?

      Did you know that scholars of Islam came up with the concept of Algebra?

      They named many of the stars as well.

      I do not see how this is a bad thing.

      The purpose of children learning about Islam as well as other theologies is because the children will learn what Islam is REALLY all about and not just rumors like you have stated.

      1. Little-Known Blogger's Avatar Little-Known Blogger

        Well, none of that is actually true. Even if it were, it hardly makes up for the hundreds of millions of people who have been murdered, raped and tortured--not by accident of people who were not good at being Muslims, but by people who were directly following the clear and explicit instructions of Qur'an, Hadith, et al.

        1. Dan Atatakai's Avatar Dan Atatakai

          Your "clear and explicit" instructions of the Qur'an does NOT demand terrorism. Any Muslim who performs such acts goes COUNTER to what Islam teaches. Here are a few minor examples of how I back my claim:

          Terrorism is above all murder. Murder is strictly forbidden in the Qur’an. Qur’an 6:151 says, “and do not kill a soul that God has made sacrosanct, save lawfully.” (i.e. murder is forbidden but the death penalty imposed by the state for a crime is permitted). 5:53 says, “… whoso kills a soul, unless it be for murder or for wreaking corruption in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and he who saves a life, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.”

          If the motive for terrorism is religious, it is impermissible in Islamic law. It is forbidden to attempt to impose Islam on other people. The Qur’an says, “There is no compulsion in religion. The right way has become distinct from error.” (-The Cow, 2:256). Note that this verse was revealed in Medina in 622 AD or after and was never abrogated by any other verse of the Quran. Islam’s holy book forbids coercing people into adopting any religion. They have to willingly choose it. Therefore, any "Muslim" who demands conversion to Islam is not, in reality, Muslim.

          Islamic law forbids aggressive warfare. The Quran says, “But if the enemies incline towards peace, do you also incline towards peace. And trust in God! For He is the one who hears and knows all things.” (8:61) The Quran chapter “The Cow,” 2:190, says, “Fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! God loveth not aggressors.” Can we say "self-defense"?

          You are taking the actions of a few radicals and making it the norm, when in reality, it is nowhere near the truth of what is really happening in the world.

          Yes, I am against any form of terrorism, including those who claim to be Muslim but act quite the opposite. I am also against those who claim to be Christian and do the same thing - murdering people "in the name of God".

          1. Carol's Avatar Carol

            I compliment you sincerely if you indeed abhor any form of terrorism and truly mean it. In any case, before I begin to cite some verses that I know, please do not choose the ever-present Christian vs Muslim moral equivalency in your argument that so many Muslims choose. We are NOT debating the actions of Christians vs. Muslims here or in the World. I've said it before and I repeat. There isn't ONE Christian organization that exists today that commits murder in the name of GOD. There may be a few evil people but no Christian organizations condone murder. In fact, there is more good done today in the name Christianity than can compare to any religion in history. Christians are the most compassionate and generous people in the world. On the other hand, your claim above that "You are taking the actions of a FEW radicals..." Really? a few? We've seen crucifixions of children, murder of both Christians and Jews (women among them), beheadings, people thrown off buildings, burned alive, amputations of hands or feet, priceless relics from lost civilizations completely eradicated, not to mention planes being blown up. This was not done by a few.

            Qur'an 5:32 "teaches that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind." Nice. Sounds peaceful enough, but it is so often misquoted, misinterpreted and dissimulated and -frankly I have learned - used to confuse people who are not familiar with the Qur'an. Let's read on... 5:33 "Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth to cause corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment." And, 5:34 "Except for those who return repenting before you apprehend them. And know that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful." I read submission and conversion.

            In the eyes of Muslims, non-Muslims who reject Allah and Islam are spreading corruption and are targets to be killed. It is also believed that Muhammad's intention for that verse was to imply (to Muslims) that killing another (innocent) Muslim would be synonymous to killing all mankind.

            I read another post on this blog that in the Qur'an there is acceptance of Christians and Jews: How about 5:51 "O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are in fact allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you - then indeed, he is one of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people." And, 5:55 "Your ally is none but Allah and therefore His Messenger and those who have believed - THOSE WHO ESTABLISH PRAYER AND GIVE ZAKAH, AND THEY BOW IN WORSHIP." Submission and conversion.

            Further about acceptance, particularly of Jews: 5:59 "Say, "O People of the Scripture, do you resent us except for the fact that we have believed in Allah and what was revealed to us and what was revealed before and because most of you are defiantly disobedient?" (Disobedient to Allah but NOT to GOD.) And further, 5:60 "Say, "Shall I inform you of what is worse than that as penalty from Allah? It is that of those whom Allah has cursed and with whom He became angry and made of them apes and pigs and slaves of Taghut. Those are worse in position and further astray from the sound way." I cannot and will not believe that Muslims respect Jews (or Christians), no matter how much you tell me that the Qur'an says so.

            Children of Islam are taught to think of Christians and Jews as apes and pigs. (My mother can remember hearing those things during WW II) This is not acceptance. These children are heralded as warriors with guns on their shoulders. Mothers who have lost their sons through martyrdom are rewarded. These women give freely of their children. What mother sacrifices her children? God does not require sacrifical lambs! Muslims dance in the street when Westerners die. Iran chants Death to America!

            You've heard the old adage, "Actions speak louder than words."? If Islam is peaceful and Muslims are peaceful people, why aren't there a million Muslims protesting in the streets about this violence? We have enough Muslims in the U.S. to constitute a pretty good showing. Why aren't they exposing and reporting those radicals in this country's mosques? Muslims defend themselves and preach about how peaceful they are. They are doing NOTHING to help protect the citizens of this country - a country in which they also live and enjoy the benefits of.

            Actions DO speak louder than words.

  1. Carol's Avatar Carol

    Dan, Dan. It's clear you're a devout Muslim. I respect that. But what have they done lately? Let's say in the past 50 years.

    1. Dan Atatakai's Avatar Dan Atatakai

      You assume, and along with assumptions, they usually run about 95% wrong. In this case you are 100% inaccurate. I am not of any of the three major Abrahamic faiths. I have just studied the various theologies for the past 4.5 decades as an adult, both personally and academically.

      You could say the same thing about Christianity. What is it that it has done for the benefit of humanity in the past 100 years?

      Science has done more to benefit civilization than just theology alone. Science and non-theistic religions seem to have advanced humanity far more than any other major groups, imho.

      1. Carol's Avatar Carol

        You're right, Dan. I did make that assumption but not without some justification given your zeal.

        In any case, Christianity as a whole and Christians in particular are some of the most generous peoples on earth. They are missionaries and have been for centuries. They bring not only religion but charity and education to the poor in many countries; hospitals, clinics, soup kitchens, farm aid, relief and aid during national disasters. They crusade for people who are in fear of their own governments. Mormons have been the keepers of genealogies for centuries, including and up to the present time.

        Science has indeed benefited civilization but "science" is not some abstract idea. It is made up of scientists: Christians and Jews. These are contemporary scientists. Muslims HAVE certainly made many significant contributions but not in recent times.

        Islam is a way of life, not simply a religion.

        1. Minister Rob's Avatar Minister Rob

          The generosity of many Christians could be seen as "conditional". This is known as "lovebombing".

          1. Carol's Avatar Carol


    2. Richard F.'s Avatar Richard F.


    3. Dan Atatakai's Avatar Dan Atatakai

      Carol - No, I am NOT a Muslim at all. In fact, I am not of any of the three Abrahamic faiths. I am just making statements of fact about the misunderstanding of the actual theology of Islam.

      You stated, "How about 5:51 “O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies." Poor interpretation from Arabic to English. The term should be "defenders", not "allies". The Muslim is to stand up to the threat and defend him/herself.

      What have Muslims done lately? How about standing up and condemning violence and terrorism done by the "fake Muslims"? There have been global protests to demand that Islam is NOT about terrorism, but of compassion. is one of many reports of how Muslims are standing up against terrorism.

      Here is an older list of organizations of Islam who have spoken out against such actions. Some of the links are no longer in effect because they are so old, but you can see them doing something about it.

      About your claim that Muslims are not doing anything to better their cause by protesting publicly:

      One of the major problems is that this kind of reporting does not make mainstream media because, sadly, IT DOESN'T SELL, therefore it does not improve media's ratings. Sadly, humanity seems to love bad news and is not so fond of good news.

      To ask about what Islam has done in the past 50 years? How about annual donations to food banks to help starving people of the world. How about aid to devastated areas of the world from earthquakes, typhoons, etc.? There was even aid to Japan because of the three major earthquakes on March 11th of 2011.

      Now, to counter your question - what has Christianity done to help the world in the past 50 years?

      1. Carol's Avatar Carol

        I'm confused. Are you Dan or atatakaidanjp? I implied Dan might be a Muslim. I never implied you - as atatakaidanip - was a Muslim. Are you also Dan?

        At any rate, I haven't answered you sooner because I was enjoying a truly wonderful American tradition of Thanksgiving with my family.

        I find your zeal extremely curious. One doesn't usually find such enthusiastic proponents outside of the faith. There are only a handful of "faiths" in my knowledge. You say you're not one of the "three" - you haven't declared yourself, although I'll tell you it isn't necessary. But surely you know that Hindus and Buddhists (even though Buddhists are technically not either monotheists or polytheists) are believed to be SO misguided by Islam as to be targets for warring and execution. "And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful." Qur'an 9.5 Is there a dissimilation for that?

        I read a very provocative article today by popular Saudi Sheikh Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid about The Logic of Islamic Intolerance from which is the Qur'an 3.85 quote and Muhammad teaching (just below). I won't go into detail but suffice it to say that he didn't accept a quid pro quo understanding of Islam and Kufr. To him there was no equation between Islam and Kufr (non-Islam). He went on but above and beyond all that Islamist REALITY, one sentence jumped out at me. "As for the so-called “people of the book”—Jews and Christians—they may practice their religions, but only after being subdued (Koran 9:29) and barred from building or renovating churches and synagogues and a host of other debilitations that keep their (false) religious practices and symbols (Bibles, crosses, etc.) suppressed and out of sight." In case my brethren haven't noticed, it is happening NOW in this country.

        What about “Whoever desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers” (Qur'an 3:85). And Prophet Muhammad said: “By Him in whose hand is the life of Muhamad (By Allah) he who amongst the Jews or Christians hears about me, but does not affirm his belief in that which I have been sent, and dies in his state (of disbelief), he shall be of the residents of Hellfire."

        Back to standing up and condemning violence: I am not going to denounce those references you presented here. They are evidentiary, albeit a bit dated and not all relevant to the U.S. What I am going to say is that unless and until Muslims who truly abhor what is happening to innocent people of all faiths are willing to stand up to their Imams and strongly protest IN THE STREETS and make sure the American media knows about it I can safely say they will not be trusted. Frankly, I rather doubt that it will happen. It simply isn't part of their brief. They are not taught to be inclusive of ANY OTHER RELIGION. To your point that that kind of news doesn't sell - there are many media outlets that would love to put that visual out; they would love to throw that in the face of Christians and Jews for that matter.

        And you point out that there have been global protests to demand that Islam is NOT about terrorism, but of compassion. There are at least 18 verses in the Qur'an that ask for the pre-emptive murder of the kafirs (Infidels). Does not compute!

        And finally, I won't accept your moral equivalency challenge here either. Read some of my prior posts on this subject and you will find my answer to what has Christianity done.

  1. Richard F.'s Avatar Richard F.

    I believe it should be taught objectively and comparatively--ONLY AT PAR with other Spiritual paths as part of History. Nothing more!

    Separation of Church & State:

    Remember Spain and the Catholic church 400 years ago? The "Inquisition"? That's why!

    Our Founding Fathers and Mothers were much ahead of their time! They thought of nearly everything.

    It's all right there in our Bill of Rights and our Constitution, beautifully laid out.

    This is not a Sharia Law nation. If you don't like our Bill of Rights and our Constitution---first door, take a left.

    We're not perfect, but we have managed all these years.

    I am very proud of my country. One does not have to have religion to be an upright, moral person.

    God---Bless America!

    In Jesus' name. Amen.

  1. Minister Rob's Avatar Minister Rob

    Blood has been shed in the name of most organized religions. Blood has been shed without religion too.

    Two teenagers were recently beaten in the name of "loving" Christianity. One of them died. ISIS kills in the name of Islam. Moses and his followers allegedly killed in the name of Judaism. Stalin killed in the name of atheistic communism.

    If anything religious is taught in PUBLIC schools, it should be WORLD religions, or nothing.

    We are all children of the same universe.

    1. Carol's Avatar Carol

      Rob, Murder is murder, whether done by a Christian or a Hindu or a Jew OR a Muslim. There are evil people. Doesn't it make sense to look at a group as a whole to see what kind of behaviors are fostered by that group. Do MOST Christians commit murder?

      If any "religion" is taught is school, first of all, it should NOT be taught at the elementary school level or at the high school level either. Fourteen to 18-year old kids are having a hard enough time with mathematics and reading. If they want to pursue these individual courses on religion in college, why not.

      BTW, do you have a dog in this fight? Who is going to teach these religious courses? It's so easy to say - of course, kids should learn about other religions. Will you research who will teach YOUR child about another religion?

      1. Minister Rob's Avatar Minister Rob

        Do most Christians murder? That depends on perspective. From the perspective of fish, chickens, cows, bacteria, insects, etc., yes. It is the circle of life...the fabric of life. Most PEOPLE are somehow also complicit in the murder of other people. It is a harsh fact of life.

        I was taught about world religions a bit in public high school. There was an impartial curriculum to follow. What's the problem?

        1. Carol's Avatar Carol

          Well, Rob. It seems my point missed its mark. How my question of whether or not Christians murder to, yes, when it comes to killing chickens, cows, etc. is quite a leap.

          Nevertheless, to answer your "what's the problem?" query, given the current academic results we're seeing in our high school kids, they don't have adequate time for the study of world religions. We aren't even in the World's top 20 when it comes to math, reading and science skills and our ranking continues to fall.

          There is a place for the study of religion in everyone's life; it begins in the home and frankly continues throughout one's life. As a person matures, he/she can pursue any religious study but the fundamentals of earning a living and making a place for oneself in society should be the purpose of public schools, not religion.

  1. Dawn's Avatar Dawn

    Ignorance has NEVER provided advancement, clarity or peace. However, to properly teach this subject, means that the teacher must provide an educated description of the basic premise on which the titled religion was founded, and not on personal judgements or the actions of extremists. This could indeed be the challenge

    Then you have those that are so controlled by fear that they are terrified of any unbiased exposure/education to practices other than their own. However, I believe this to be the definition of an extremist.

  1. Marquise's Avatar Marquise

    Hey everyone. Why is it that we are going back and forth about all this stuff. I don't feel that its right we get on here and bash each other. We all shouldn't be on here talking to no one out of anger. Anger doesn't bring peace and kind to no one. I read this article and i believe that they should have different classes for different belief's. If a child in high school wants to learn about it then its fine. I am a firm believer in Jesus Christ and my walk with him is going wonderful. Yes I have good friends from other faith's but we keep our views to ourselves and we just get together and have a good time. We all have to treat everyone right anyways for this world to be a better place. Going off on one another isn't going to solve no situations. All this name calling and stuff on here isn't going to get us no where. We all have to first sweep under our own door step before we can sweep under someone else's.

    Love You All, Marquise

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