Graded religion class provides appropriate emphasis on an important subject

Daniel Robinson , Copy Editor

Religion class. To some, it’s just another 55-minute block on a schedule, but for others it’s an environment for them to connect with their spiritual side. Some students find it very hard, others find it to be a breeze. Nevertheless, religion is a class, and a class comes with a grade determined by: homework, participation, classwork, and test scores.

Religion is not something that should be graded based on whether or not you showed up and understood what the teacher said.
JC is a Catholic school. If you were to Google “The John Carroll School,” and read the description from Wikipedia on the right hand side, you’d see that it says, “The John Carroll School, established in 1964, is a private, independent, college-preparatory, co-educational Catholic school for grades 9–12.” If we’re a Catholic school, shouldn’t we take pride in teaching religion?

That means that we shouldn’t make religion classes pass/fail just so the students have an easier time. That’s what we do for gym classes. So, if that was the case, then we might as well change our school description to:“John Carroll is a private, independent, college-preparatory, co-educational school that has gym classes.”
Honestly, I think religion class should be easy for most students, or at least it should be a review. I think it’s safe to say that most kids here went to a Catholic or some other sort of religious school, whether that was St. Margaret’s, St. James, Trinity Lutheran, Mountain Christian School, or another private religiously affiliated school. Some that attended public schools went through CCD and Confirmation, so learning about original sin and the sacraments should be nothing new.

Even for people who have never had any type of previous religious education, religion classes at JC seem to be repetitive. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but I can’t tell you how many quizzes, tests, and exams I’ve taken where I’ve had to match the definitions of “magisterium” and “dogma.” Junior year has been the first year, so far, where I’ve learned new material. I’ll be honest, before this year, I didn’t know all the sacraments.

When it comes down to it, religion isn’t difficult. If it became a pass/fail class, students would view it as a joke. They wouldn’t try at all because they’d be aware that if they show up for 55 minutes that they’ll get a “P” on their report card. Religion is too important to stick a “pass/fail” tag on it. Some people don’t realize how important religion actually is. Just think about the recent attacks on Paris. Religion promotes morals, and if no one has morals no one will understand why these things happen.

As a Catholic school we need to take pride in our religion. Religion is a requirement for all four years for a reason: it’s important. Students need to be somewhat spiritually trained, and whether or not they care, or take that knowledge with them, religion is still important to have learned. Religion classes are not on the same level as gym classes and therefore they should not be pass/fail classes.