When I checked my 4th grader's school work today I was mortified at the sight of his AR book. It has a picture of a cute smiling boy and the title "I Am a Latter-day Saint (Mormon)". WTF?  So, I flipped through it and discovered that it is part of a series called "Religions of the World". It is kind of a synopsis of the cult, er, religion's  beliefs and practices. It is from the point of view of a victim, er, member. The series also covers Baptist, Lutheran, Quaker, etc. (I hate that autocorrect capitalizes those!)  I guess the series is kind of a theology primer sort of thing.

My children are almost completely ignorant of religion altogether. We don't teach them about it, and it doesn't come up. Except what they get from the external environment (which can be substantial in north Alabama). This brought up a question in my mind. I asked my son "Did you pick that AR book yourself?" "Yes". "Did anybody tell you to pick that one?" "No" "Did you read it?" "Yes" "Did you like it?" "No, it was horrible!" "Why was it horrible?" "It was about history or something."  haha.

Maybe we're still OK.


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OK so far, but they will do anything to get this stuff into a book that a child can start reading early. It is the job of the christian to see that everybody knows about the man in the sky.

Did it include non-western faiths?

wondering this too myself

I was OK reading this until until your son equated a horrible story with 'history or something.' I just hope this crap doesn't turn him off to studying history. There's so much more to it than names, dates, battles, and an inculcation of nationalism..

I've been re-reading Colleen McCullough's "Masters of Rome" series of novels...she said she did 13 years of research before she wrote the first book, and that woman's original studies and career were in the medical field, so she knows how to do research!  She also had her facts checked by a couple of history professors.  So...even though the books are novels, what she has done is make the real people come alive for me for the first time.

I hated history when I was in school 60 years ago...you're right; memorizing names, dates, battles, and not much else.  No insight into the fights over a "godless" constitution in USA history, or the real lead-up to the Civil War, and so on.  I had to go to summer school one year because I flunked 11th grade American History...it was so boring, I just couldn't wrap my mind around it.

Studying Comparative Religions could be enlightening, IF the course includes the older religions that also had virgin births, last suppers with a hint of cannibalism, crucifictions, and resurrections. But not for 4th graders...I don't think.  Too gross.

Maybe a dose or two of Mark Twain would be helpful in teaching a child what life was like about 150 years ago.  It is much more interesting (to me) to know how ordinary people lived in the past...details like how long it took them to get from one place to another before railroads....let alone air travel.  Stuff like that.

That's the problem with the way history is taught in grade schools and high schools, No insight. There is an excellent book by James W. Loewen called Lies My Teacher Told Me. It deals with the appalling way history is taught to students in this country, prior to entering college. I agree that comparative religion, if properly taught in high school, could be useful. However, in the current climate of the US, all it would probably consist of would be criticizing all religions except for christianity. 

I love that book, Pat. It became an eye opener for me years ago. Strange that lots of North America still does not know why some cultures hate Columbus. Maybe if the truth was ever told about him they would know. Read "Lies My Teacher Told Me.."

Another repugnant (fictional) character is Robinson Crusoe...a slaver and a devout CRASStian.  But you have to read the unabridged version, not the one schoolchildren usually read, or are told about.

You're right about that Pat.

"-or something."

One smart boy you've got there.

Being raised christian myself it was actually the study of world religions that turned me atheist. So, maybe, it isn't all bad.

Agreed it's a shame he's that bored by history, maybe teach him to question what he's being taught compared to the reality. That would make him pay attention possibly!

But the study of other religions just makes people realize, theirs isn't the ONLY way. My nephews, while discussing their own beliefs, would mumble stuff like "Jesus wasn't really born in December," and "Other religions think such-and-such too," stuff like that. It seems less mandatory, and easier to question all you've been raised with. 'cause if you *weren't* raised in THAT religion, you'd be all about the other one.....hmmm!


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