In the spring when I helped teach the Comparative Religions course, I offered the kids a chance to write down a question, anonymously, that the teachers would answer or try to answer. The first time I did this was for the lesson on Judaism. Their questions were about details of Judaism, statistics, and other topics that were not especially sensitive. But then I did it again for the lesson on Islam. And one of the questions was, “So Islam is a religion and a terrorist organization?”
As horrified as I was by the question, I was also grateful. To have a chance to answer that question, at that moment in time, was profoundly moving to me. To know that we would send a handful of 13-year-olds back out into the world slightly better informed, slightly less likely to believe anti-Muslim rhetoric, slightly more likely to be kind and accepting–that was a gift I will never forget. I had heard before that teaching RE could be part of one’s own spiritual practice, but not until that moment did I experience and understand that.
Please consider joining one of our teaching teams for next year! Stop by the RE Table during coffee hour or contact Rowan or Beth directly.