Teach me faith

Ontario is debating whether to further spend our tremendous budget surplus on doing the same thing umpteen times, i.e. teach kids that 1+1=3 (or however many you want it to be – at any point in time – if you’re an accountant, or statistician, or politician, or Conrad Black). Because we can’t figure out a way to take a bunch of kids, put them in the same school, teach them all the same common subjects, and give them the option to take some specialized subjects based on their interests or preferences. That’s a highly sophisticated concept of “electives” that hasn’t made its way to the education system yet. Oh wait… unless you’re opting to study in French. In which case you’ll get triple the funding and honorary citizenship of Quebec.

Of course offering electives does not address the core problem: why in God’s name would we want to teach our kids ANYTHING about that social pariah of subjects… the R-rated word… “religion” (shudder!!)? They should grow up knowing less than a common snail in Pakistan what the whole fuss is all about, or what are all the glorious reasons each faith (and its remotely visible followers) should be avoided like the plague. Ignorance and avoidance are the mature approaches to resolving social segregation.

IMHO, a politician in this time and space would have an easier win if s/he fought for “workplace safety regulations” for prostitution (a legal profession in Canada, mind you) than trying to get children actually informed and educated about religion. They (kids, politicians and prostitutes alike) might grow up and (another shudder) choose to be religious, heaven forbid!

4 responses to “Teach me faith

  1. interesting post, personally i feel religious education should start only after some level of primary secular education.

    most of us(asians) grow up in a religion anyways, so there is already a bias. I dont think its such a good idea to re-inforce the bias or confuse the poor kid by presenting him with something different from what he is being taught at home so early in life.

  2. Thx for sharing Shez. I can see your point. There is another perspective that says: allows kids of any and all faiths to understand any and all faiths, as a matter of comprehensive education, in addition to teaching the other subjects. This is different from “religious education” per se. Belief and practice comes from understanding and observation, not from the rote method. And even at home, the approach should be the same, i.e. a demonstration of one’s belief by practice, but educating and informing the child on a broader level, so they understand that faith is a choice and a responsibility.

    Kids are smart. They get it better than we do at times πŸ™‚

  3. Hmm….I think religion does play an important role in maintaining our sanity……And I guess some religious education, be it another religion, is always better than no religious education……

    And about when to start…..hmm…..I think we should remember our days as kids….we were much smarter than grown-ups treated us…and I remember wishing that I’d grow up fast, so I didn’t have to deal with the stupid talk…….though I regret growing up now :p

    But the point is……Kids should be taught from day one……just so they don’t grow up and then wonder, hey wait a sec, why didn’t my parents tell me about this and that……..Eventually everyone goes on a spiritual journey….and they’d appreciate the headstart….At least the concept that there is a Higher Existence, and that this life has a purpose and is not the product of random events……..

    Hmm…..unrelated but….I remember when I went to give my SAT exam in Egypt, this Arab approached me…..and hez like are you a Muslim? And I looked at him bewilderded and answered…”Yeah”……And hez like….”Yeah a Muslim cuz you were born a Muslim, not cuz you know anything about Islam.” And he just left…….without getting into a discussion…..and leaving me angry at the random comment…..But who is to blame? Us, our parents, our teachers, or the Arabs?

    That said, I appreciate us trying to be good Muslims, and we should be lauded for the extra effort we have to make in understanding it, since we are not Arabs……..And I think they should be more receptive than scournful when it comes to talking to Non-Arabs……..

  4. Interesting thoughts Aftab. Thanks for visiting and sharing! I agree that all efforts should be encouraged and appreciated, and a general respect all around always seems a bit scarce; I’m not sure if any one ethnicity is particularly worse at it πŸ™‚ Blame doesn’t get us anywhere, and alhamdulillah in today’s world we all have the opportunity to find info if we’re truly looking… so may Allah guide us all to the right path, aameen πŸ™‚

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