As soon as an atheist like myself mentions religion the theists gather up their weapons ready to pounce. I sometimes feel the venom before I have finished writing.
So, when the subject came up on the topic of whether religion should be taught in schools I think some people were prepared for my views to be somewhat controversial. However, in truth, I feel that religion is a very important part of our history, and it should definitely be taught in schools.
By that I don’t mean children should be indoctrinated into any particular religion of that country and nor do I think for one moment that they should be coaxed into thinking that the word of the Bible or any other holy book should be thought of as factual. What I would rather see is the history of all the main religions being taught so that children could see how people’s thought patterns from different cultures and throughout history have shaped society.
We also need to remember that religion was our first real attempt at science as it looked to the stars and made us try and explain our existence. We of course knew nothing then and so were mostly just guessing. There is a reason why bacteria and microbes and viruses are not mentioned in the Bible, this was simply because man did not know they existed.
Religions have given us other things that are worthy of mentioning, we have wonderful pieces of art and some of the architecture spawned by a belief in a certain religions introduced us to a creativity that may not of existed if those beliefs have not been followed. I find it hard to gaze up at a Cathedral and not be awed by the sheer beauty and power of such buildings. Some of the buildings and architecture of the Moores intrigues me and make me think about the history of that area. Other Gothic type buildings take me in another direction and this is all good for the senses and it is completely possible for us to enjoy this but still not believe in the religion that spawned it.
No I think the history of religions should be taught in our schools but nobody should be forced to believe in a particular type of religion. As that is simply brain washing a person into believing that a certain type of religion is the real one and the others are fake, somewhere someone will be saying the exact same thing about theirs.
History, culture and art are all things that should be taught and various religions have had their influence in that, and so to learn about them and how they shaped our lives is very important.