Religious education is one of two things. If the goal is to make someone a good sectarian- a good Jew, a good Christian or good Muslim, then the education is probably propaganda and brainwashing. But, if the purpose of religious education is to make someone a good human being (in community as a Jew, Christian, Muslim or whatever) then that education is not so much about putting something in the student as drawing something out.

Plutarch said that a student’s mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be ignited. If you add a sense of ethical universality, then I think you have the beginnings of a pretty good philosophy of religious education. It’s an act of child abuse to limit what a child can think before they reach the age of discernment. It is an act of violence to teach a child to anything less than world citizenship.