Jim North wrote:To promote ignorance, they'd have to try and dissuade people from trying to learn about religions outside of school or somehow accomplish the nigh impossible task of keeping their students from learning religion even exists. To promote atheism, they'd have to be teaching people that creator deities aren't real. Simply not teaching religion does not actively promote either of these things.
Alright, that seems fair.
Jim North wrote:And more further, it would be a violation of the separation of church and state for public schools to teach about any religion or religions.
Why? The only part of your constitution
chapter V 116 wrote:The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.
How does learning about relgions qualify this? It doesn't have the equivalent american first amendment provision of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," so technically there isn't even separation of church and state in Austrailia. So for one, it can't be breached. (Feel free to prove me wrong on this one
For another point I would argue it wouldn't breach the separation of church and state, if there was one. Teaching would not be promoting religion, but teaching people what are the practices and beliefs of those who practice it. After all, how can you say all religions or belief systems are right? An if you did, wouldn't that be the same as saying they're all wrong?
Jim North wrote:There are colleges and universities that do so, however - the college I briefly attended had Philosophy and Religion classes both - which is quite appropriate since people old enough to attend college would definitely be old enough to make their own decisions regarding what religion they would want to be a part of.
I think teenagers in highschool are capable of making informed decisions about religion. If I'm right in thinking that not all americans go to college, then a fair few won't have this opportunity. Yeah, you can read about it on the internet or wikipedia, but to have someone who understands them draw parallels or comparisons between religions, or on hand explanation of principles would be greatly beneficial.
Also I'd like to point out I'm not arguing that everyone should be taught about all relligions. I'm agruing against it being banned.