Yes. Teach them religion as history, but don't avoid the part about all the deaths and suffering religion has caused.
But, in a lot of countries they don't even teach the alternative, evolution; so, it will be a long time until religion will be taught just as history.
Way back in High School- we had a "Comparative Mythology" class- Greek, Roman, Babylonian, Norse, and a few Chinese and SE Pacific mythologies where on the curriculum. Me and a few others also brought up the mythologies that are still called religion. Of course the religious people in class didn't like it- because the one THEY believe is the REAL religion- not like those false ones. That's why nobody believes in them anymore.
Religion needs to be as far from school and children as possible.
If you let one religion in school- you would have to have them ALL in school. Just reading off the names of every one of them would take the whole day. The walls would be covered in various religious posters, beliefs, and commandments. No time to learn anything but fairy tales all day.
Religious Education is an oxymoron.
I got through 12 years of religious preaching in my school system and I can tell you it shows how stupid people are. Not only that most people agree with religious preaching in schools, even though my country is officially secular, but the stupid things I heard in those religion classes are beyond my willingness to accept this situation. From unscientific claims to flat-out anti-scientific ones, I had to endure teachers saying that the Earth is thousands of years old and that scientists are worshiping the Devil and that's why they come up with these "atheistic" claims. I bet that without the religion class I would have come to the realization that there probably is no god much sooner, but I wouldn't have really understood how religion can warp the minds of people. I grew up in a pretty non-religious family, but my religion teachers had me convinced for some time that all their non-sense was true. That's why I oppose childhood indoctrination so much, because the minds of children are so easy to manipulate that I get scared even thinking of children being raised by fundamentalists.
The study of the religious phenomena would be awesome, if done properly, but preaching in schools is a disaster for the students' minds. I have overcome my beliefs, but most people don't. According to a 2002 census, only about 0.15% of the population declared themselves atheists, agnostics, non-religious, or didn't specify a religion. The rest of them are all religious people and that's scary. I suspect that the number has risen with the much less religious new generations, but I don't expect it to be a remarkable rise. Anyway, I thank Saint Internet for saving my mind, because the school system wouldn't have.
Anyway, I thank Saint Internet for saving my mind, because the school system wouldn't have.
What I would have given to have Saint Internet around when I went through my crisis of faith.