, Kingston, NH

Letters to the Editor

July 18, 2013

Religious Education

Religious Education

Today we hear so much about how the youth of today are lacking in communication skills.

With the advent of texting and e-mails who needs to know how to sit down and have a personal conversation?

Don’t get me wrong I’m not a stick in the mud when it comes to the new technology but how much personality can be transmitted through a hand-held electrical gadget?

What I think is mostly lost through our present mode of communication is respect.

It is easy to be abrupt and uncaring when looking into a screen rather than looking into the emotion filled eyes of another human being.

When I was a teenager (circa 1892) we had something called religious education.

Once a week the entire class would visit a Catholic chapel, the next week a Protestant church and the next week a Jewish synagogue, the idea was not to try and convert anyone from their chosen religion but to teach respect through knowledge, or at least respect for beliefs that were different from our own. (And I personally think that is a good thing!)

I am well aware of the necessity of the separation of church and state and we know that any form of religious education in the public school system today would be considered tantamount to heresy.

During these turbulent times maybe it is the right time for us to take a step back and reassess our values.

When I was volunteer teaching at one of the New Hampshire jails (too many young men unnecessarily incarcerated)I realized there was one common thread that ran through so many of the stories I heard Ð “no one Cared, so I had to do whatever I had to do to get my Respect.’

The other day I interviewed a former classmate who had taken religious education with me and I asked what he had taken away from that experience?

His answer was, “the knowledge and Respect of others capped off with the good luck of being born in America!’

When you don’t respect yourself it’s hard to get respect from others.

The next time I write I will answer the age old question, “How do we solve this problem?’

Robert Grier


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