In my country (Norway) we have religious education all the way from 1st grade through high school. It used to be mostly focused on christianity, but nowadays kids are taught about all religions. They learn about the different religious myths, and customs within each religion, and also about atheism, humanism and agnosticism.
I think it's important that children learn about all the different religions of the world, not just as a part of history, but to better understand other cultures and other ways of thinking. Especially when they are faced with a multicultural society every day. But it's important that every religion be taught from a completely objective point of view, so the children can make up their own minds.
I like your approach. I have also discovered that Norway is one of the least religious places on the planet. If you go to the site imgur.com/russell's teapot, you will see a cute, informative cartoon of a little boy questioning his religious instructor and telling him things such as: According to the last census, over 70% of the Norwegian pop. is atheist. The global peace index rates Norway as the most peaceful nation in the world. They have the second highest GDP per capita in the world. An unemployment rate below 2%. Average hourly wages among the world's highest. Norway is ranked first in the world in life expectancy, literacy, education and standard of living. All while being arguably the most atheist nation on the planet. The ironic thing is, the religious instructor turns around and tells the student, " Well, thank you for the information Russell - I hope they speak Norwegian in HELL!"
I think the rest of the world should be tremendously envious of Norway, don't you?
I wish my country, Canada, which I love very much, could brag about that!
Yes, someone posted the cartoon as a reply to me in another discussion. I absolutely love it! :P
I think Norwegians, in general, are very proud of these things. But statistics aren't everything.
However, when it comes to religious education, I was really shocked the first time I realized that in a lot of countries they don't even mention religion in schools! I can kind of understand why there is some controversy about it, but it shouldn't be that hard to give an objective overview of the world's biggest religions? Religion is so closely linked to culture, so people should really know the basics before going out into the world.
And I think this is all a logic fallacy.
Australia ins are happy and generally laid back people,
Because they drink heaps of alcohol!
Thats what your logic is like...
By the way on the HPI (Happy People Index) in 2008 Vanuatu was first and it is mainly a Christian country, does that mean anything religiously? No. It has everything to do with the CULTURE.
Vanuautians would still be able happy; even if they believed prince Phillip was a god :P!
I have gone to Ethics class in my high school (I'm not from USA), it tells the story of all major religions and I believe this is the right way to do it.
Also you can't teach atheism, you can teach science which we do.
The only reason religious education was thought in my country is because it is age related, you have to get them while they are small or they'll become rebellious.
p.s. in some countries religion is more of a tradition and you can't be against tradition