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OPINION: Bring religion back into schools

By Christian Stevens

In today’s day in age, there is no doubt that religion in our youth is dying out. Luckily there are still many children, teens, young adults, and adults that have kept their religion sacred, and have not lost their faith, but sadly many have not and many of them have lost their faith during their high school years. To help fix this I would like to see BHS offer a religious education class that teaches about the world’s major religions: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Judaism.

One of my favorite Bible verses is John 3:16 and it states “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” I strongly feel that as a world we need to bring religion back into school’s to give those who have lost their faith a way to find it again so that they may not perish and so they receive eternal life.

Many may be wondering why teens have lost their faith. I honestly feel it has happened for a few reasons, the first being teens don’t understand their religion. From an article titled “We must teach about religion in high schools,” it mentions that in a 2010 survey, more than 3,000 Americans were asked some simple questions about the world’s religions and most of them could only answer about half of those questions correctly. In that same article, it mentions that in a 2005 survey a study done for the “Bible Literacy Project” only 10 percent of American teens could name the five world religions covered in the Henderson High School’s world religions unit in Hendersonville, Tennessee. That is absolutely heartbreaking to me that so many teens were not even informed or knew anything about religion even after taking a class on it

The second reason why teens fall away from religion is that of the separation between church and state. The first amendment says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise.” This amendment is taken the wrong way and in today’s society, people feel that they can’t talk about their religion without offending anyone.

This way of thinking needs to end if we want the youth to come back to their religion. As a Roman Catholic, I strongly believe in my religion and that my religion is right; however, I also feel that believing in some sort of hierarchy and living life to be as close to the higher power is better than not believing in anything at all, worshiping the devil, and living however you want. Mark 13:13 says “You will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.” This shows that not everyone will accept others beliefs, but in the end, the one who stays true to their faith will be saved by Jesus.

Many argue that if students want to learn religion in school, then they should go to a private school that is associated with that religion. This is most definitely the wrong way to feel. For one, not every family can afford private school, and secondly, why would a parent want to keep their child uneducated about other people’s religion when in reality one can’t drive without seeing a variety of different churches?

In an essay named “Schools Should Teach Religion” by Jeff Passe and Lara Willox it states that “without studying religion, how can a student possibly understand such topics such as the Crusades, election of John F. Kennedy, America’s first Catholic president- not to mention more recent events such as 9/11; and the position of the Christian right on abortion, gay rights, and stem cell research?”

With a class at BHS that teaches many different religions, the school would not be violating the First Amendment because the government is not promoting and encouraging kids towards a specific religion. In today’s society, we must learn to cope with diversity. With a class like this,  religion would be brought back into the youth; also, it would allow kids to better adapt to diversity. So let’s all take the advice from Ephesians 6:11 and put on the armor of God so that we may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.

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