"Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one's own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others."
- John F. Kennedy
This lesson really gets high school students to start understanding how religion is incorporated into education, immigration and politics, and how dominant religions can affect the livelihood of other religious groups existing within America. The lesson plan only zones in on Islam, the religion of Muslim immigrants, and would really provide more of a comprehensive view of religion if it incorporated others such as Judaism and Buddhism. On the other hand, with careful preparation, the teacher could perhaps tweak the lesson to achieve the goal of giving a wider view of religion. Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, a subdivision of PBS Thirteen, provides other lesson plans as well that focus on teaching students the importance of ethics, and the role that they play within our society. Choosing this lesson challenges the typical study of religion in courses, which usually studies the progression of Christianity through history, and does not give too much thought to the effects of having this dominant religion imposed upon people of other religions (i.e. taking off for Christmas in the school calendar, but not observing Diwali; observing Jewish holidays, but not observing Ramadan; etc). To really branch from or even supplement the lessons provided in schools, teachers should really take advantage of this lesson plan.
This lesson plan helps high school discover religion, and it affiliation with the history of the US Constitution. Teaching diversity of religion can be interdisciplinary, drawing elements from social studies and literature. This lesson plan does a great job of breaking down the necessary background information and presenting questions that provoke students to question previous knowledge about the constitution, and how it applies to the rights of the people. This lesson is provided by the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, and shows the importance of defining the division between "teaching religion" and "teaching about religion". Teaching religion leaves room for religion to be imposed on students, which is wrong, but teaching about religion gives them a spectrum of beliefs for which they can discover what ideals and values they identify with best.