Religious Literacy

Boritzer, Ethan. What Is God? (Ontario: Firefly Books, 1990). Broadens the definition of God and underlines our interconnected to all things.

Bennett, Helen. Humanism, What's That? A Book for Curious Kids (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2005). For older elementary children who want to understand the basics of Humanism.

Gunney, Lynn Tuttle. Meet Jesus: The Life and Lessons of a Beloved Teacher (Boston: Skinner Publishing, 2007). This book will give the elementary child a basic, naturalistic view of Jesus and the parables.

Gellman, Marc. Does God Have a Big Toe? (New York: HarperCollins, 1989). Tells the Bible stories in a humorous fashion. A sure-fire hit with the kids.

Hastings, Selina. The Children's Illustrated Bible (New York: DK Publishing, 1994). Tells the stories of the Old and New Testaments with excellent illustrations.

Birdseye, Debbie Holsclaw, and Tom Birdseye. What I Believe: Kids Talk About Faith (New York: Holiday House, 1996). This book presents six different kids from six different religious backgrounds to tell the story of what they believe.

Osborne, Mary Pope. One World Many Religions: The Way We Worship (New York: Random House, 1996). Excellent world map and time line. A fair look at all religions.

Prothero, Stephen. Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know— and Doesn't (New York: HarperCollins, 2007). Chapter 6 gives clear definitions for religious terms. Best for parents to get a clear understanding of concepts to put into kid language.

McGowan, Dale, et al. Parenting Beyond Belief (New York: AMACOM, 2007). The Glossary in PBB is an excellent source of definitions for religious terms.

OABITAR (Objectivity, Accuracy, and Balance in Teaching About Religion)

OABITAR provides excellent information and guidelines for teaching about religion in the public schools. There are lesson plans available and guidelines for teaching about religion versus religious teaching. It also defines the important distinction between teaching about religious holidays, which is permissible, and celebrating religious holidays, which is not. A helpful site for parents and lay people as well as teachers.

Unitarian Universalism

Unitarian Universalism (UU) is a creedless, socially progressive denomination consisting primarily of self-identified humanists. UU fellowships have youth programs that can fill the need for a group experience for teens. They have a year-long sexuality program called Our Whole Lives, a Coming of Age Program, and youth groups that focus on social justice work. It is lonely to be out there in the midst of the religious majority, and teens like to travel in groups.

The Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Committee has a program called Just Works that provides opportunities for young people 16 and older to go on social justice trips all over the United States to help those in need. For more details, email [email protected].

Separation of Church and State

Freedom from Religion Foundation. Accessed July 10,2008, from

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Accessed May 4, 2008, from

ACLU Students' Rights resource. Accessed May 4, 2008, from studentsrights/index.html

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