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Should secularism be taught in high school as a part of a civics class or social studies.

Marine 8 Aug 19

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18 comments

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1

Teaching the history of the founding of the US, and the reasons for the first 10 amendments, IS teaching secularism.

Jacar Level 8 Aug 20, 2018

I agree but i also believe that it should br taken a little further that that as when I was taught civics there was not much emphasis on these items.

@Marine Of course. Repetition is a child's friend.

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No, it’s not really an ideal in and of itself it’s just the absence of several bad ideals, which should be evident in any public school curriculum to begin with. The public school I went to did a pretty good job of keeping all their course material secular, as required by law. My science teacher taught evolution and was visibly mad at the ridiculous religious ideals that claim to challenge it. My favorite social studies/history teacher would answer “What!?” Anytime someone said oh my god lol. I’m sure I had a couple Christian teachers but they kept it to themselves. Secularism has to be the basis of all education, and evident in all aspects of public law, not just one class about it. It should be an important focus when teaching American history and the founding of the nation, but that’s about the only time it needs to be mentioned by name more so than practiced.

I agree but this is being eroded in many school classes and the importance of open minded evauation of what is being taught is being undermined by the religious right removing wording from social studies like abortion,contraceptives attempts to include creationism and remove evolution from science classes and just plain attempts to downplay any free thought.

@Marine yeah that’s terrible, I’ve heard mine is among the states being required to put “in god we trust” up around school property. In cases like this where the school itself is actively bucking against secularism I think the only solution is to teach about it outside of school, via things like the satanic temples efforts. I think either the Satanist or FFRF or something are also paying for alternative “god” stickers to be passed out to any kid that wants one, that show any number of different gods to piss the Christians off and reinforce the importance of secularism. Id try to get involved in making material and education like that available to as many kids as possible outside of school if they won’t do it in school. Not entirely sure how else we should go about doing that but the satanic temple seems to have come up with a couple pretty good ideas.

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hell yes

1

Are you familiar with the After School Satan (ASS) clubs put on by The Satanic Temple? They teach rationalist ideas and about critical thinking and science.

Try to get these in the bible belt.

So far there are After School Satan clubs in cities across the United States, including Atlanta, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Pensacola, Washington, D.C., Tucson, Springfield, MO, Seattle, WA and Portland, OR. But really they can happen anywhere that people organize and volunteer to make them happen

1

If they are providing other living philosophies in such classes, then by all means.

Questionable as they are trying to include creationism, snuff sex education and when they do teach it remove abortion and contraceptives from the class. they also try to downplay evolution or remove it completely making these students illiterate of a valued scientific theory

1

I know it's a good deal different in the UK, there's seems to be a lot more pressure and overt Christianising (probably a made up word) of every facet of life in the US but, and this would also apply to the UK although tricky in church schools, teaching critical thinking and how to think would, I would hope over time envelope the secularism you seek.
Getting religious schools or institutions to teach secularism is a bit like turkeys voting for christmas/thanksgiving but you never know, as more and more people question the validity of religions and what they represent maybe we can move forward with something more humanitarian.

1

While students should be taught the constitution in civics class the subject should be taught in the social science curriculum as well. So I would say both.

3

"Secularism" is not as science that needs to be taught. I am a great fan of the secular state, and secularism, as I see it, is made up of these three parts or aspects :

  • separation of religious institutions from the institutions of the state and no domination of the political sphere by religious institutions;
  • freedom of thought, conscience, and religion for all, with everyone free to change their beliefs and manifest their beliefs within the limits of public order and the rights of others;
  • no state discrimination against anyone on grounds of their religion or non-religious world view, with everyone receiving equal treatment on these grounds.

As I see it, the US already ranks highly on all three aspects.

I agree completely but please see my comments

2

Students should be taught that the founders of this nation understood that theocracy is the enemy of democracy. And for that reason they articulated the separation clause in the very First Amendment. Student should also receive rigorous instruction in the life and physical sciences, which roundly refute literal interpretations of the Bible in matters of the nature of the universe and the origin of species. Once these lessons are thoroughly understood, the students will know that secularism is a cornerstone of multiculturalism and the antidote to religious war.

1

Teach secularism ???? What exactly would the curiculum involve?

1

The US constitution gets taught, right? That's a secular document. I think that would be a great time to talk with children about the glory of separation of church and state.

Dietl Level 7 Aug 19, 2018

Please look at my comments above.

2

Honestly I don't think it should.
Instead children should be taught how to think for themselves, Critical thinking, the Scientific method and such.

2

As a former social studies teacher, I would say no. Civics and government classes should be secular only in the sense that they do not deal with religion or rejection of religion at all, except for freedom of religion (including freedom from religion) as a constitutional freedom included in the Bill of Rights. They should focus on the functions and structure of government and on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in a democracy.

I always found that critical thinking in civics was an important part of the instruction. My civics teacher made a very strong point of always looking for the resource of political statements and why they might be taking a particular position. This was a great aid in growing up and learning not to take everything at face value.

@Marine Totally agree. To me, critical thinking is a part of the resources and responsibilities of citizenship.

3

In my opinion, nothing but scientifically verifiable facts should be taught in any school, parochial or otherwise; especially during the early grades. There is enough inevitable confusion for children to deal with and we should not compound the problems by asking them to believe things that don't make sense. If children have a solid foundation of scientific knowledge, everything else might make more sense and allow him or her to move on to something else.

Scientific knowledge is not enough. Schools in a democratic society must also teach sound reasoning processes and critical thinking. People without those tools can be duped far too easily.

4

I'll go with civics, but critical thinking is important.

4

A good grounding of various philosophies in high school would be a great idea -- including secularism. Social studies might be a good place for it. School should prepare the young for the world and they will be exposed to various philosophies. Of course, if parents took the time to expose their children to various philosophies that would work as well.

Well, MAYBE...but I fear it would be opening a scary door. Imagine THE GODLY banging on the Principal's door, demanding more Christianity....less everything else?

@LucyLoohoo They already are banging on the door. I would rather see a balanced program than just a one-side one.

@xyz123 My opinion is...keep that door firmly closed. Give Xtians the proverbial ''inch'' and they'll be demanding entire GOSPELS!

3

I think it's kind of a shame that it needs to be taught at all, but my vote is for civics.

11

I'd be happy if they just taught Civics.

ME, TOO!

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