Once again, another dispute that seems so simple to solve, but is obviously too challenging to agree on because of the ridiculousness of how people get caught up on the idea that their way is the only way.
I say allow religion to be taught in public schools, but in order to stay within the confines of the constitutional position regarding church and state, as well as to maintain civility and logic, they all must be taught. Not only that, but the non-secular oppositions to religion must also be a part of the curriculum. If religion is to be taught in schools, it should be as a history, and/or as a type of sociology, it could potentially present a well balanced understanding of what each of the different belief structures are grounded in. For any of the arguable details that are often times divisive, it should be noted that the details are based upon a particular perspective. This could also lead to philosophical debates that could certainly charge the ability of students to think more critically about the afterlife, spirituality and the concept of god(s)/goddess(es).
What is the value of this:
1) A more holistic way of thinking about the details and the history of what many people believe is the most important decision one can make.
2) Students would learn how to better discuss these issues in a civil manner that will promote social growth rather than continuous destruction.
3) Students would get a more fair chance at deciding for themselves what they believe to be the truth regarding the divine.
4) The introduction of logical thinking along side religion (not spirituality) to the greater masses may allow for a more meaningful purpose to it all.
5) Because religion is such a powerful force in this world, the details of them should be recognized just as, but hopefully more responsible than, history (namely American history).
I would like to add that I do not believe that faith should be taught. Of course you cannot teach one without the discussion of the other, but for an educator to take a position on faith would destroy any possibility of a success or progress.
Here’s a great TED talk on the subject: