The Impact That Religion Has on Education That Teachers Are Ignoring

The Impact That Religion Has on Education That Teachers Are Ignoring

Saint Albert the Great, teacher of St. Thomas Aquinas

Education and religion are often seen to be incompatible.

There is an underlying notion inside the liberal education establishment that religious belief is backwards and contrary to enlightenment. Schools have long been viewed as gateways to a glorious secular and technological future, free of religious superstition.

After all, the purpose of education is to make children “career and college ready,” not to impart character or moral sentiments. Some educators go to the point of insinuating that the less religious influence upon the student, the better.

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The educational establishment treats religion as if it is a deadly disease, not a blessing, for kids

Such convictions would be more convincing if they were based on facts. It would be good to see serious empirical studies that prove these prejudices against the influence of religion are justified. All too often, the assumptions are simply stated without proofs. The public is asked to accept them at face value.

In his recent book, “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis,” sociologist Robert Putnam actually cites many such studies and the evidence is overwhelming. His conclusion is that religion has not only a good impact, but even a great effect upon the success of a child’s education.

“Compared to their unchurched peers,” Putnam writes, “youth who are involved in a religious organization take tougher courses, get higher grades and test scores, and are less likely to drop out of high school.”

Moreover, churchgoing youth have better relationships with their parents. They are more involved in sports and extracurricular activities. They are less likely to abuse alcohol and drugs that inhibit learning. That is to say, the moral formation influenced by religion provides the framework for students to flourish.

Even more surprising is the finding that religion is not the domain of the unenlightened lower classes of society as is often insinuated. In fact, students from affluent families are now much more likely to be involved in religion than those in poorer families. Religion is a major part of the mix that allows many of them to attain later success in life.

If that were not enough, students enlightened by religion tend to seek higher education. Putnam cites studies that show that a child whose parents regularly attend church is 40 to 50 percent more likely to go on for a college education than a similar child of parents who do not attend church.

Based on such evidence that clearly shows a positive impact, schools should at least recognize that religious involvement in the home helps the educational development of children.

The sad fact is that while religion is good for education, education is not good for religion. The educational establishment treats religion as if it is a deadly disease, not a blessing, upon the child.

The least reference to Christianity is increasingly expunged from the schools more thoroughly than from a Soviet classroom. A secular quarantine is imposed upon the school by taking away references to Christmas and other Christian holidays deemed poisonous to the child. At the same time, immoral or anti-religious material or programs freely circulate and are promoted. It is despite, not because of, educational policy that churchgoing students do better.

While religion tends to help get students into college, college tends to get religion out of free subscriptionstudents. It is a sad fact that many students find an atmosphere on campus which corrupts their morals and erodes their faith. Openly hostile professors attack and ridicule Christian principles and beliefs. It has almost become a rite of passage that many American students lose their faith at the university.

The welfare of the student should be a major concern for educators. All positive influences upon the child should be encouraged, not banished – especially if the influence is proven effective. In this sense, how much better education would be if it were at least not hostile to God and religion, and how much better it would be if education policy were to be based on facts, rather than prejudices.

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  • Stanley franczek

    My question. Jehovah witness org. Is it a religion and is it Christian?

    • Fr. Vidko Podržaj

      It’s a sect!

    • Lukas Lumbantobing

      It’s a heresy

    • Mike

      Only Catholics who do not deny any infallible doctrine and/or dogma of the Church are actually Christians in the strict sense. Yet we still call heretics who believe in Jesus, Christians, in secular popular terms. But since Jehovah Witnesses deny the divinity of Christ, they are not even heretical christians, and should not be called Christians in secular popular terms.

      • DM Bungo

        Jehova Witnesses are notconsidered Christians!

    • Proud mother and friend

      Its a cult

      • DavidMacko

        I have seen no evidence that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are trying to enslave me. There is a hundred years of evidence that the U.S. fedgov is trying to do so.

    • mhardin

      It is a cult and it denies the tenets of Christianity…so…No and No.

  • Randal Agostini

    I would like to make a suggestion. That we should all start to believe and behave as though Salvation was our goal. How would that impact our thoughts and actions regarding the education of our children. It is true that when a child is exposed to it’s other self (our spiritual realm), it tends to grow more, to become a better person and a better citizen. God wants us to be the very best version of ourselves and he gave us of his gifts to make us 100% perfect in his eyes, for the role he wants us to play.
    Every Catholic Parent and Grandparent should be doing everything in our power to ensure that our children receive Catholic educations. We could start with the Blaine amendment and end up with our taxes going to provide education at schools of our choice.

    • Proud mother and friend

      In many Catholic schools nowadays our children are not getting a solid Catholic education….

      • Randal Agostini

        Unfortunately that is too often the case. More than likely these children have parents that are paying for their schooling. The parents should question the school and insist that their children receive the education that they are paying for. Do we not do that every time we go shopping?

    • mhardin

      The big problem Randal is the lack of Catholic formation received in our Catholic schools. Is it a better education with higher standards? Absolutely! Do our children learn anything about the purpose of our life or where we should be aiming to reach by the way we live our life?(as in Heaven) NO…No…No! Parents MUST teach their children the faith if we are to save their souls, and our country. A lot of smart ex-Catholics will not be the salvation of our nation.

      • Randal Agostini

        I appreciate your reply. We have nearly three generations of Catholics growing progressively secular. You are correct when you say that parents and grandparents have an essential role to play. I love it when my granddaughter asks me questions about her faith, but all this must be reinforced in our Catholic schools to create an environment of Faith. It is interesting how many times non-Catholic children attending good Catholic schools end up converting their parents, who then through RCIA make excellent faithful family role models

  • Jovette Carbon

    So, now religion is poisonous to education. Isn’t it that the greatest educators in the early centuries were monks & priests? They were the ones who promoted education so that they’ll be able to read & write & promote the Gospels. This is what St. Francis of Assisi went against. His followers succumbed to some secular practices. St. Francis died in an abandoned place with few of his brothers. He did not associate himself with the ones who embraced some secular practices.

  • DavidMacko

    Free, public i.e. compulsory government education is the tenth plank of the Communist Manifesto. The Jew, Karl Marx, the founder of “modern” communism, recognized that government education was necessary to establish totalitarian communism. Therefore, it should be obvious to anyone who can reason that we must abolish the government schools if we ever hope to become a free society or a Christian society again.