When it comes to religion, we are mostly illiterate. Many of us grow up steeped in one faith tradition and are never exposed to the vast number of beliefs and faith practices that exist globally. When we are finally confronted with others that think differently, we may be suspicious or decide that they are wrong, stupid or even worse, evil.
Let’s be honest, we shouldn’t judge people at all — and we certainly shouldn’t come to a verdict when we have zero context and no general understanding of who they are. How can we love our neighbor if we don’t know our neighbor? It’s apparent that the time has come for some basic religious literacy.
Relax … religious literacy doesn’t mean delivering theology or ideology. The Playdate program isn’t here to tell you or your kids or students what to believe, or to indoctrinate anyone.
The goal of Spiritual Playdate is to help kids (and adults) have a deeper understanding of themselves and a broader and more realistic world view. In addition, we strive to present enough questions and facts that they learn to think critically. We could all use more critical thinking these days and when we learn to think about things in a more contextual way, we are less likely to be swayed by others. This is an essential skill that we can pass to the next generation — and there is no doubt that humanity will benefit greatly. We aren’t serving our children well by avoiding the topic of religion — it just leads to much of the misinformation and hatred we see in society all around us today.
In the interest of boosting Religious Literacy, we are proud to release “Holy Books and Sacred Texts” as the most recent topic in our “Know Your Neighbor” series. The three sessions in ‘Holy Books’ will identify some of the most revered writings of all time. It will also help to engage often-elusive critical thinking skills about these ancient and new, inspiring and controversial, and frequently-quoted texts. Above all, it invites everyone to discover what words feel sacred to them, and to respect what is sacred to others. In one of our timely activities, we create our own sacred texts to impact the receiver in a positive way. Where would our world be today if all of our posts and texts were more thoughtful, encouraging and loving?
May we all see the importance of growing and learning alongside our children and may we support them in developing the Social, Emotional and Spiritual Skills they will need to remain grounded and loving throughout this wild human experience called life. We urge you to use this series as part of your Peace Education program with your family or students.