Sunday, May 17, 2009
DOES GOD EXIST AND SHOULD WE TEACH ABOUT HIM IN SCHOOL?
Fr. Tim Finegan over at the Hermeneutic of Continuity found this video from "New Moment New Ideas Company" which they made for the Government of the Republic of Macedonia's Ministry of Education and Science. It's to promote religious education in schools. As I work as a chaplain in a school I agree that religion should be taught unfortunately one immediately gets into the problem of which religion? What we have in Ireland is a system whereby religion is compulsory unless one has a genuine reason for not doing it (e.g. different faith or none at all) but only examined at the Junior Cert level (at about age 15). The status of religion in senior cycle is a problem too. Since it generally isn't taken as an exam subject it lacks any real status among staff and students alike. It's easy to dismiss it as a waste of time when one does not have to answer questions on it. Making it an exam subject means one has to decide what gets examined and how and if everyone has to do it (which would add to the pressure of the Leaving Cert).
What of course gets left out in all these considerations is that religious education alone gets students to ask the deeper questions and to begin their search for the truth, to understand that there's far more to the world than can be measured by experiment and that there is order, meaning and purpose to the cosmos.
Hopefully they realise that not only is there a God but that He sent His Son to save us.