Some people choose to send their children to Catholic schools because they think there is a better atmosphere for learning there. If all of these students opted out of the religion class, might this then not degrade the better learning atmosphere? Perhaps any religion shoved down your throat is good for you - because it makes you think. Why do we teach children table manners (by - not literally - shoving it down their throats). If we didn't, are we doing them a favour? Even then, there is nothing stopping them from over-eating when first invited to their friend's house for dinner, but will they choose to do so?

I think that any religion is just one explanation of a way for a person to move forward in this world. We all need one. BTW, for the sake of argument, I do not believe in a God, personal or otherwise.

Here is an interesting passage from a novel (kudos to those who might know its name)
"Indeed, what constitutes life? Day after day, we put up the brave struggle to play our role in this phantom comedy. We are good primates, so we spend most of our time maintaining and defending our territory, so that it will protect and gratify us; climbing – or trying not to slide down – the tribe's hierarchical ladder, and fornicating in every manner imaginable–even mere phantasms–as much for the pleasure of it as for the promised offspring. Thus we use up a considerable amount of our energy in intimidation and seduction, and these two strategies alone ensure the quest for territory, hierarchy and sex that gives life to our conatus ( an innate inclination of a thing to continue to exist and enhance itself - my definition)). But none of this touches our consciousness. We talk about love, about good and evil, philosophy and civilization, and we cling to these respectable icons the way a tick clings to its nice big warm dog."

From this passage then, perhaps the purpose of religion is to help us forget where we came from and/or what we truly are!

Now for some local colour:
Do OSCVI and West Hill have a more primal atmosphere? Probably. Does going to a school with the name of St Mary's in itself inhibit primal behaviour? Probably. Do we want to temper primal behaviour? Probably.
Is religion like a zoo from which we should all be released? Probably not!

Bill Moses
Owen Sound