Confronting Religion in Education; & More...

Today I attended a symposium at a leading university addressed by a learned Professor of Theology on the topic “Why We Should Confront Religion in Education

I’ll spare you the details – but the one thing that resonated like a tuning fork in my head was a single thought:  “It’s 2013 – is this still an issue? I mean – here, in my country? In the very cradle of mankind, where pride in, an ownership of, human origins should be fervent(?)!!”

Surely we’re not still locked on the lunatic trajectory of old Apartheid religious fundamentalism?

And, sadly, it’s evidently more an issue now than ever before: As religion dies, it is putting up a last-gasp attempt to shore up its crumbling walls.  While the dirty tricks department works overtime in the wider world, the minds of kids are under siege in many schools as never before.

Though I’m mainly assigning blame for this desperate scramble to indoctrinate young-one’s minds on religion’s justifiable fear that resources like the internet will provide the next generation with a more balanced view of reality; causing religion the uncomfortable and unaccustomed task of having to compete for the first time in an open market of ideas:

Some blame falls at the door of greedy big-business: America’s bible belt evangelists, who make such a din in the US trying to dumb down their kids by holding up creationism as worthy of time in the science lab, would love to visit their madness on a school near you too.

Their ruse goes by the ironic name “Intelligent Design”; but, fortunately, in the US at least, that kettle of fish has been unceremoniously put in its place by the highest court in the land: It was called a legal-fraud and slapped with a $1,000,000 costs award.

Good!

Now, to counter the threat against our SA kids; all I’ll say is that we’re going to sort it out.

But that is an aside, and I’ll keep the powder dry for the time being.

What I wanted to observe in this essay, though, was the word running around in my head as I sat there listening to different views.

“Religion”… “Religion has ‘this’ view; and, religion has ‘that’ right; and, we must approach ‘xyz’ from this or that or some other religious viewpoint”.

We’re all so used to the claptrap; numbed into submission by it; that it almost sounds normal that such a discussion should be had in our approach to education.

Almost!

Thing is – religion is superstition dressed up in a suit, wearing a ridiculous hat (what is it with silly hats in religion?).

Now: If you want to take issue with anything in this article, then I invite you to explain why religion is not a superstition?  Please… I mean it: Explain to us where superstition ends and religion begins.

And, as a framework, I pulled up the dictionary definitions:

·      Religion: The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods

·      God: the supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe; the object of worship in monotheistic religions

·      Superstition: A widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief

Did you follow that? I underlined it to help you keep track of the thread: Religion is worship of (a) god, god is a supernatural being, and superstition is the belief in supernatural (causation).

As I say – please – if religion is not superstition in a suit and funny hat – tell me what it is.

So – back to the symposium:

I had this word running around in my head as I sat there listening to different views; but it was no longer the word, “religion” that they were saying.  No!  It was the equally valid and equivalent  “superstition” – and – Yikes!! With the sugar coating gone, the real flavour sure is a  dose of reality – take a listen:

“Superstition”… “Superstition has ‘this’ view in education; and, superstition has ‘that’ right; and, we must approach ‘xyz’ from this or that or some other superstitious viewpoints”.

Can you see the absurdity?  When you boil down and take the veneer off of what we’ve become so numb to – can you see what is being said about kid’s education?  That superstition must have its say in what they think and learn?

If you don’t find that truly peculiar, then perhaps you are.

So – my closing message – every time you hear anyone into the future talking about their religion, flip the word in your head and hear “My superstition tells me this”, or, “You must respect my superstition”.

“My superstition is the superstition of peace!”

“My superstition is superior to your superstition, because…”

And – finally, the finest one of them all:

Yes - I kid you not: “Atheism is a superstition!”  Of course it is, because the complete lack of and opposition to superstition is clearly…. A superstition!

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
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