Since I was without a computer for a week at the end of the year I didn't get a chance to report on a few events.
Right before winter break Star Wars Son and a partner completed a graduation requirement! It's called the CBA (Classroom Based Assessment). They did it in their Senior History class and the subject they chose was Religious Intolerance. Their presentation was 25 minutes long and very detailed, especially regarding the history of religion.
The presentation was judged by a panel of 3; teacher, and 2 alumni. They were very nervous before, especially SWS's partner!
They had no reason to be nervous, they were well prepared and did a fantastic job. The requirement of the presentation was to cover three areas, the conflict, the share holders and a resolution. The share holders were what they considered the major players in religious intolerance, Christianity, Judaism, Islam and the non-religious.
They spoke of the similarities between the three religions; they all have a single God, a Messiah, and stories of miracles. The Atheists don't believe in a God of any kind, they are driven by proof or scientific evidence, something solid they can see or experience. The Agnostics are somewhere in the middle, they acknowledge there might be the existence of a God.
They covered how the wars throughout history have mostly been over religion. They made a great point about how even though the killing of millions of Jewish people happened during the holocaust the Jewish religion is still going strong today. War does not stop a religion, it just kills innocent people without killing the religion.
Their resolution was about how if each religion took some time to see how similar they are and how if people would just accept other religions, not agree or even understand them, just be tolerant of all different beliefs war might be avoided. They even suggested that maybe, since there are many similarities in the three main religions, maybe all those different paths lead to the same God. Maybe all the religions are right?
They wrapped up by talking about how studying and preparing for this presentation changed them. Halfway through the research they came to realize one was a Christian the other an Atheist. SWS's partner explained to him about how most people have to believe in something, how having faith gives them security and keeps them going. SWS explained how he's more secure in knowledge and proof than faith. They both left this experience more tolerant than when they started. I was so proud of both them.
A quick parenting note... This presentation took place on a Thursday evening at the school. There were about 30 kids presenting, 3 different presentations to a room. Besides SWS we watched a presentation on the US budget for war and one on the war in Afghanistan. We were the only parents there. SWS said there were a couple parents who were on panels, but there were no other parents to watch or support their kids. I find that very disturbing.
Here is a group picture taken in the school library:here.