The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

75° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Wildcat columnists take on the issues – big and small – that shape our world.

    The 11th Commandment: Religion in schools?

    In a Newsweek feature last week, Boston University professor Steve Prothero proposed that teaching religion in public schools would give Americans much-needed religious perspective. Prothero’s not the first academic to propose religion in the classrooms; last semester, Harvard University flirted with the idea of requiring religion classes for its undergraduates. Would teaching religion in school cure American ignorance of the subject? Or would it invite insurmountable quarrels among the faithful?

    Teaching world religions in public schools is a great idea, but it will never work in the United States. As any Kansan school board member can tell you, fundamentalists often fight like cornered weasels merely because their children are exposed to facts. Imagine what would happen if public schools started comparing Christian superstitions with various other superstitions from around the world. Evolution and sex education would seem as controversial as craft time and kickball. As a practical matter we may be stuck with our current forms of religious education: bumper stickers and TV Land reruns of “”Highway to Heaven.””

    – Shane Ham is a first-year law student

    Teaching about religion in schools doesn’t have to be subjective. There are objective facts about religions’ tenets, and nations like Britain teach these facts in their religious education classes, in the same way they’d teach any other fact. They know that this kind of religious education isn’t about faith; it’s really a matter of being informed about the world in which we live. The different religions followed by different people are just as important a factor in our world’s politics as are different cultures or different histories. Therefore, knowing what the different religions teach is crucial, a basic prerequisite for not being ignorant.

    – Lillie Kilburn is a psychology sophomore.

    A false idol?

    Perennial Fox favorite “”American Idol”” will be nearing its apex tonight when the “”Top 11″” will learn who’s going to be staying and who’s going to be heading home. Despite the show’s robust rankings, critics are saying that the “”formulaic”” show should come to an end. Is “”American Idol”” worth keeping?

    Let’s clarify: Watching “”American Idol”” will not help cure cancer or stop genocide. But it is pure, fun entertainment. And after a full day of midterms and lectures, sometimes that is just what I am looking for. “”American Idol”” is pure genius because it is the only show since Ed Sullivan that has been able to appeal to such a wide audience. No other show would I be able to enjoy with my sports-loving dad, my teenage brother and my grandma. Maybe that is why it has been the No. 1 show in America four years running.

    – Jessica Wertz is a senior majoring in psychology and family studies and human development.

    Try as I might, I still can’t determine the value of a show that parades mediocre singers before cruel or visibly intoxicated judges in the name of finding America’s next sugary-sweet (but probably rehab-bound) pop star. Nothing in this nauseatingly repetitive spectacle resembles anything close to useful entertainment or genuine talent; really, the show has only produced two marketable talents – angry chick rocker Kelly Clarkson and the annoyingly flamboyant Clay Aiken. Meanwhile, the unnecessarily drawn-out episodes bump real television shows (like the Emmy Award-winning “”House””) from their time slots to make room for ridiculous “”theme nights”” (the latest assault on the senses: British Pop Invasion night). It’s time to stop worshipping at the altar of this false idol.

    – Damion LeeNatali is a senior majoring in political science and history.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search