JOANNE O'RIORDAN: Focus should be on all faiths, not one

THESE days it’s all about panic in schools with mocks occurring, projects being hauled up and the cramming being turned up to overload. The question being asked around is this: is religion necessary in schools these days?

As Catholic Schools Week 2014 is being launched, and teachers are encouraging students to talk about their faith, it’s weird that the week is particularly focussing in on ‘Catholics’.

Should all students not be encouraged to celebrate their faith, be it Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and so on?

I believe that a student’s faith should be kept to themselves. If a Catholic wants to preach about God should a Muslim be able to preach about their beliefs? It’s important we find the right balance.

Take Katie Taylor, for example. In every interview she does, a question about her faith comes up. Are we nosey people? Or are we trying to bring religion back in for the kids?

To me, and to many other young people these days, religion isn’t that important. A poll last year of young people found that 41% thought that religion was the cause of more harm than good in the world.

I think when the word ‘religion’ comes up we immediately think of stories about fanatical religious types and suicide bombers blowing themselves up for their cause.

That’s not what religion should be about.

Neither is it right to associate every priest with paedophilia.

I’m also not 100pc fully convinced that just by going to Mass you are a good person.

You can have every psychopath going to Mass looking angelic, when outside the Church what they get up to is a different story.

Just because one doesn’t go to Mass, doesn’t mean you can’t still have your own conversation with God.

Sometimes I can’t help thinking that the people out there who over-hype their religion are doing more harm than good.

The one thing that gets me angry is how some really religious people are still homophobic.

Jesus taught us, his people, to love one another ‘as I have loved you’. How does being homophobic tally with this teaching?

Does being homophobic go against Jesus’ teachings of loving one another? Of course it does.

Sometimes it all reminds me of that wonderful line from Mahatma Gandhi: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

More on this topic

Bishops welcome report on changes to primary-school teaching of religionBishops welcome report on changes to primary-school teaching of religion

Report recommends divesting of religious patronage from around 50 primary schools


Lifestyle

The Regal Cinema in Youghal, Co Cork, first opened its doors in 1936. Director John Huston used it as a base to review footage while filming Moby Dick in the town.We Show Films: ‘I once found a full rotisserie chicken in the cinema’

The biennial festival in Cork produced another unique feast of fine music and good vibes.Sounds from a Safe Harbour brings fine music and good vibes to Cork

Here are five things to check out in the week ahead.5 things for the week ahead

You have crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a ship to Ireland. You are tired and hungry and desperate to deliver your expensive cargo to port.Islands of Ireland: Horse, trading, and Drishane

More From The Irish Examiner