A friend of mine came to me with a problem. Eir high-school-ish-age child was told by a teacher that “anything outside of the Abrahamic faiths is NOT a religion.” The child “did call the teacher on it, but got shut down in class.”
I found some great resources that dance around the problem, like this piece on advocating for Pagan children in school and an essay educating teachers about Paganism (which is far from perfect, but as my friend’s family is the sort of Pagan described, was perfectly appropriate). I recommended assuming that ignorance does not equal hatred, but that creating a written trail while approaching the teacher and administrators would be a good idea in case outside advocacy is necessary.
I also turned to my amazing wife, who lives in both of those worlds, and she was flabbergasted, asking, “Has the teacher given a definition of religion beyond this narrow statement?” She turned up some ideas on what religion is and pointed out that academics include non-Abrahamic faiths among world religions, as well as saying, “I’d go straight to the ACLU. They eat stuff like this for breakfast.”
So now I invoke the power of crowdsourcing: what advice would you give my friend, and why?