Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Religious Education: An Oxymoron

So I heard an ad today for a Catholic school on the radio. They were explaining the consolidation of the schools in a local district and said how they hoped they could "keep your children in the Catholic education system." I found this interesting. Imagine if you heard an ad that went like this:
"Send your children to us to learn dead languages, superstition and dogma. Our classes will fully prepare them for a future of fear and guilt."
I suppose it would appeal to those who have no wish to communicate in a global market or understand the emerging science of a new millennium. As a mother, however, I would prefer to give my child the best possible educational foundation for her future. I want her to know that there are microwave signatures at the center of the universe, clear evidence of a big bang. I hope she chooses a language class that will be useful, maybe something Asian since there are such rapidly growing economies in China and India. I want her to grow up full of curiosity: I want her to look at the stars and wonder how many have already exploded into supernovas before their light reached us, not simply say "Wow, God made it so pretty."
I guess my point here is that religion would have us believe that a supernatural being made everything and would rather we didn't ask how. That is in direct opposition to the goals of education.


  1. Catholics do not believe in Creationism, at least not if they follow what comes out of the Vatican. I went to a Catholic high school a few decades ago. We learned about Genesis in the religion classroom, about evolution in the science classroom, and about metaphor in the English classroom.


    Vatican evolution conference to discuss intelligent design, but as cultural issue, not science

    None of this is to suggest that religion makes any sense, but Catholic schools are known for providing a high quality education on secular topics.

  2. Excellent point, Rouge Medic. I admit to being biased against Catholicism as I believe it was a political invention to unite a divided empire. Brilliant move, really, but ultimately used to justify the end of other empires.

    And nearly any private school is going to be better than public education, which is why I am a firm supporter of school vouchers.