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As much as there is a separation of church and state in America, there is also an inherent religiousness that pervades our society. It is largely Christian, as that is the religion of the majority, although we have a melting pot of religions in our country that coexist better than religions have in the past. We have some rough history in terms of our specific relationships with certain groups, which is why religious education is vitally important to our co-existence. Even if you are agnostic or atheist, understanding each other’s value systems and morality are important to finding rules that we can all live by. If we can’t show each other the respect of learning about each other than it becomes impossible for cultures to integrate and co-exist peacefully. Private religion tutors can be a great way for young students to learn about each other, their places in the world, and learn to respect other cultures. You can even find bits and pieces from each that make you a well-rounded human being.
My exposure to other religions came almost entirely through my own religious education. There were a lot of kids in Sunday School, but I went to Hebrew School on Sundays and Tuesdays (and for a couple of years also Thursdays and Saturdays, instead of Sundays). After my Bar Mitzvah, I continued to Confirmation classes, which included comparative religion. We took field trips to other synagogues, including an Orthodox synagogue and Reform to see the different sects within Judaism. We also broadened outside our own religion, visiting a Christian church and an Islamic mosque. In a lot of ways, the three worked in similar ways, as we all had the same roots.
When Christmas comes around, we are all a part of it, Christian or not. There are plenty of religious events that have become tied to our daily life. For example, many federal holidays coincide with Christian holidays. But for the ones that do not, it is important that we know enough about each other to show respect. Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah are the two most important Jewish holidays and many people do not even know what they are. I had a classmate accuse me of cheating once because I was not in class for a group assignment due to my holiday and had to do the work outside of class. It was a simple mistake for her, but deeply embarrassing for me, as I was forced to justify my absence for her personal feelings.
Another example where comparative religious education is important is in dispelling the fears of Islam. After 9/11, ignorance, fear, and misinformation led to a skewed view of the religion that does not have a large foothold in the United States but represents the main religion for a large part of the rest of the world. The way that religion is viewed has led to xenophobia worldwide. Although there were claims that it was not a religious ban, Donald Trump’s attempts to restrict immigration from Muslim countries were a direct result of the fearmongering of previous administrations and a poor understanding of Islam.
There are people looking to fight the fight. One way that we learn about other cultures in modern society is media, which might be utilized when you search for religion tutors near me. The same way that Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song taught people about the Jewish contributors around them, shows like Ramy on Hulu are showing that Islam comes in many forms. With other pieces of media that seem to foment difference, like 24, we need good tutors to help us interpret our differences and find coexistence. That, or you could learn about religion through traditional means, like literature.
Religion is a touchy subject. Unlike math, religion goes deeper than just lessons that you can use, instilling morals in you that shape how you view the world. There are customs to respect and practices that, while seemingly ancient and obsolete, represent things that you might not have the vocabulary to put into words. That means that any private religion tutoring needs to be as careful as it is caring. You are giving people the foundation not to be good in careers, but to be good in life.
That means that the standards for what parents are looking for are going to vary. You want to be sure that whoever you are bringing in is not coloring their sessions with whatever negative bias they bring with them. For example, someone who hated going to religious school might be someone you want to think twice about hiring. That is not to say you should throw them out before looking into their history, though. I was never one that liked Hebrew School because I did not have a lot of friends in class and I was not interested in the subject. However, I did love my Bar Mitzvah prep and studying comparative religion because I had teachers that appealed to my love of pop culture. I went from calling in sick to Hebrew School every week to bragging about my lessons in secular school because I was getting to watch South Park clips and my friends were not even allowed to watch the show. I still remember lessons in terms of TV episodes because that was the best way to reach me.
The other thing that is difficult about religious studies is that the world is becoming much more secular. Religious holidays like Easter are reduced to the products associated, like marshmallow Peeps. If not for the lessons I learned in religious studies, I might have still thought that Easter was about rabbits and nothing else.
There is nothing that says that you need to study religion. There are many that find the old stories and fantastical legends to be too crazy to be true and choose to live lives without faith. We do not judge anyone, no matter what their choice is. We just understand that, for those who do practice religion, it is deeply ingrained in everything that they do. By understanding more about our differences, we can learn more about what makes us the same. Searching for religion tutoring near me is a great way to learn about your fellow man.
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