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Apr 4

Religious Diversity Must Include Nonbelievers

Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 in General, Teaching

Students who don’t adhere to the traditional religious views of their community are met with hostility, both in the community and in their own home. Atheist teens list the many repercussions of "coming out" as a nonbeliever. Some have been kicked out of their parents’ homes. Most lose friends and find their traditional support groups viewing them with apprehension. And when these teens begin to speak up for their rights as citizens in a country where the freedom of religion is codified in the Constitution, they are met with open hostility.

via Religious Diversity Must Include Nonbelievers | Teaching Tolerance.

I think this is a great point. In my community being an atheist is akin to having two heads. I keep myself quiet so I can have friends. I feel like I will lose friends if they find out I don’t believe in a God. What can we do as a society to step back from the prevalence of black/white no shades of gray thinking that is so perpetuated by political rhetoric?

As a future educator, or as we are known, a pre-service teacher, how can I make my classroom a safe environment for students of all walks of life? Gay, straight, trans, Christian, Muslim, Pagan, Atheist, I want everyone to feel confident that they can talk to me. It forces me to explore my own prejudices against religion and respond by saying whatever judgement I make about a religion, I will need to be a humanist and focused on the human souls these students have and not what they believe in.