…but there is a good argument against it: many religions are sickening.
Wow, that set you guys on fire. Just to clarify: I think Wilders is a flaming nutcase; I deplore his racist angle and his desire to exclude and oppress rather than educate.
However, here is the problem: when people ask me if we should keep religion away from kids, I say no: I think comparative religion classes are an excellent idea. Think about this, though. Would such a class show beheadings? How about voluntary crucifixions in the Phillipines? Jim Jones? Suicide bombings? I think we know the answer. Even here, where there is little sympathy for religion, people are horrified at the idea of showing the worst of religion — “oh, that’s not real Islam,” they say, but I have to reply that yes, that’s the reality of faith. Of course not everyone favors violence and it’s only a minority that commit the real atrocities, but the oppression is there.
Anyway, my point was that if we did teach comparative religion, it would be weak tea that favored faith by censoring out the worst of it, or it would be a class tainted with such appalling horror that all of us liberals would be yanking our children out of it.
(But no, Wilders’ film would not be appropriate as educational material either — it’s too dishonest. Some of the elements in it, including some of the most shocking bits, are genuine, though.)