The Spanish Bishops' Conference launches a new campaign to promote the subject of Religion, especially focused on young people between the ages of 12 and 17.
Text - José Ávila Martínez; Religion Teacher at Las Tablas-Valverde
On April 9, the Spanish Bishops' Conference (CEE) presented the campaign I sign up for ReligionThe program is aimed especially at young people from 12 to 17 years old, so that they can question themselves about choosing the subject of Religion for the 2018/19 academic year.
It is evident that in primary school it is the parents who decide, for the most part, whether or not their children will take the subject of Religion, while students in secondary and high school usually make this decision themselves.
The slogan used "If you question everything, why not go to religion?"is very attractive and appealing. It has no imposing overtones, on the contrary, it helps young people who do not or have never attended religion classes to reflect in a free and personal way.
In spite of the numerous channels of communication existing today, complete and truthful information is not always received, so that the receiver appears as a castaway in the face of so much information, often incomplete, without rigor and with opinions, more or less questionable and with little criterion. In fact, one of the objectives of education is to train people with criteria.
The campaign provides several sentences, which despite their brevity, contain great depth in their content, and serve to argue why a student chooses religion: to know the culture of others and to respect it. Religion transmits knowledge about history, art, customs of peoples and civilizations, culture, etc.
to have a space for dialogue and reflection. No one doubts that there is a lack of dialogue in our society, an enriching dialogue that allows us to understand others, and that is the fruit of personal reflection. to know in order to choose freely. Those who do not know, or only partially know, find it very difficult to make the right decisions.
Because an education with religion is complete. The subject of religion addresses many issues, which directly concern the person himself.
A clarification to keep in mind, although it seems that some people are determined to maintain the confusion, is the difference between religion classes and catechesis. The subject of religion is taught by persons with a university degree and knowledge (cultural, historical, artistic, etc.) is evaluated, while catechesis is the preparation for the reception of the sacraments (communion, confirmation, marriage, etc.). In both cases, attendance is free, but a minimum of faith is required to attend catechesis, since the person wants to receive a sacrament to strengthen his or her life of grace. Catholic religion classes may be attended by students of other religions and religious beliefs, or without any belief.
The day after the presentation of this campaign, the Constitutional Court reaffirmed the importance of the subject of religion. Among other things it says in its ruling on the LOMCE and Religion of April 10, 2018: "Religion underlies human or humanistic values that are the same as those that today we call constitutional. In this sense, the STC of February 13, 1981, invoked by the STC 77/1985, came to affirm, in synthesis, that the necessary neutrality of public schools does not prevent the organization of free follow-up teaching to make possible the right of parents to choose for their children the religious and moral formation that is in accordance with their convictions. And the freedom of choice established by the LOMCE between Religion and Social and Civic Values in all cycles of education is in line with this principle.".
As a religion teacher, I think this campaign is a great success and I congratulate the EEC for the effort it has put into reaching out to young people, so that they are really the main protagonists of the subject of religion. At the same time I encourage my colleagues in the teaching of religion, some 30,000, to continue with enthusiasm in this exciting educational mission, which requires the same professional level as in other subjects.