Poly = Many
Pan = Everything or all
We started off the lesson finishing up yesterday's lesson, and introducing the terms monotheism (the belief in one god), polytheism (the belief in many gods), and pantheism (the belief that everything is god).
Normally, when I teach religions, I start with the "three major monos." And I teach them chronologically, so we start with Judaism since it came first c. 1700 B.C. Then move to Christianity c. 33 A.D., and then move on to Islam c. 632 A.D.
However, this year, I decided to start with Christianity, since the majority of my students have some background with this. Even if they are not Christians themselves, many have been exposed to the ideas of Christianity by their peers or neighbors.
I gave them a little pretest to see if any of them knew anything about the religion. I asked if they could name any of the 10 Commandments, any of the Gospels, or if they knew the "Golden Rule."
Some classes asked a LOT of questions. ...I mean a lot. I fielded questions about some controversial subjects: adultery, homosexuality, creation and evolution. I was as honest as possible - probably being overly cautious not to misrepresent either side. If I felt like the topic was controversial, I tried to point them back to you (that is, the adult that is reading this with the student from my class...)
For instance, when a student 6th hour said, "I get where babies come from - you know, I came from my mom, and she came from her mom, and on and on and on... but where did it start?" I had to pause. And during my pause, when someone else shouted out, "I heard we came from monkeys!" I had to hold up my hands, and pause a little longer.
I tried to preface what I said with, "Many _____________ believe" because even inside Christianity, Judaism and Islam there is much diversity about beliefs. And the same is true with science: while the vast majority of the scientific community may agree on the evolutionary model, there is diversity in the hows and whys: for instance, the consequences of genetic drift.
For the record, in the class where the student shouted out, "I heard we came from monkeys," I told the class that that's not actually what evolution teaches, but rather we came from a common ancestor. Either way, we didn't really have time to get into it, so we didn't.
It's 3:30 and I still have to put in some grades, so I'm going to cut this post short.
If you want extra credit for reading and discussing this post, write out the definitions of monotheism, polytheism, and pantheism. Then, have the adult you read and discussed the blog with sign the paper. If you have any thoughts, questions or comments, you can put them on there as well - or leave them in the comments section of the blog. (Sorry, I censor swears... This includes rap lyrics...)
Also, your friends are forgetful. I had a lot of people turn this in because you guys reminded each other to do it. Thanks for helping one another out.