and so I was on BBC radio

As a result of my previous post about atheism, BBC radio contacted me and asked me to be part of the broadcast debate on “should children be brought up without religion?”
They asked me to make the first statement, which, of course, I was glad, but not prepared, to do. I didn’t know who the other debaters would be, and it turned out that most were clerics, scholars, writers, heads of organizations, both religious and atheist, from all over the world. They kept bringing on new debaters and siphoning off some of us earlier ones.
The program might be repeated and/or it might be on podcast. You can check it out here, where the best comment left, as far as I’m concerned, is #14.
You can listen to the broadcast or download it here.

3 thoughts on “and so I was on BBC radio

  1. Hi Elaine, I heard you on the BBC World Have Your Say program this morning, and I thought you made good sense. I, too, have raised a son to be a good person without indoctrinating him in some religion. I am so saddened when I hear some youngster parroting his/her parents’ religious answer to one of life’s important questions, knowing that they can’t possibly understand what they are saying but are learning not to think about what they are observing and experiencing in life. Blind faith still results in the blind leading the blind. Thanks for being willing to talk sense to the world about religion and atheism.

  2. Elaine, I like to check in from time to time to see how you are doing. Interesting posts – I was raised, and still am a practicing Catholic (who has become more and more so over the past two and a half years [I was never “fallen,” as they say – I just didn’t go to Mass routinely for a while]) but I agree with you about comment #14. Both of my parents were Baptized as Catholics, although neither was extremely religious as children, but they grew in their faith after the death of my brother as a child. I get a lot out of the two religious communities of which I am a member, Sacred Heart in Castleton and St. Augustine’s in West Shokan. I often think about these issues, not just because I am a religious person, but because of my role in education. We discuss the controversies surrounding the First Amendment and religion in public schools in my foundations class, and I have been teaching a class on Toleration for the past few semesters. One project students complete is an exercise in tolerance (they put themselves in an uncomfortable situation and make a presentation to class about it). Because of toleration’s roots in Locke’s philosophy, many students choose a religion that is unfamiliar to them to explore (typically Muslim, Jewish, Jehovah’s Witness, Born Again Christian, Catholic, and even Scientology). Other students choose nonreligious settings, such as meetings of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered clubs, meetings of various 12 step programs, political clubs that the student disagrees with, etc. What I have learned is that lack of knowledge is the biggest source of intolerance, for both students who choose religion as their focus and for those who choose some other social or cultural topic, and in the case of religion, this is true whether the person practices a religion, is agnostic, or an atheist.

  3. Hi Gina —
    Information – Knowledge – Understanding – Wisdom. I totally agree with you. In a better educational system, kids would be guided to practice critical thinking and empathy beginning on the first day of school. The result of the project you’ve assigned to your students is very telling. Hopefully, your students will take that lesson out into their lives in the wider world, but what about the rest of the population?? Intolerance is rampant, as is a lack of empathy for those whose belief systems are different from the mainstream.

    Organized religion serves an important purpose in those who believe. But that kind of belief does not work for everyone. And that should be OK.

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