A classmate speaks about his/her personal religious beliefs in a class discussion.

Un/e camarade de classe parle de ses croyances religieuses personnelles lors d'une discussion de classe.

be happy and tolerant and encourage them to continue
depending on what his/her religion is... may join the discussion
Depends on what the class discussion is about. If it relates to religion, then sure, whatever, it's just part of the convesation. If not, well, I can't imagine someone actually bringing religion into a nonreligious class discussion...
Good for him!
I listen and try to understand
I listen attentively
I listen to them and see if I can learn from them
I nod, smile and ignore him/her.
I try to understand and avoid confrontation.
I would be inclined to disregard most of what was said because I am not a religious person, but I would not say anything disrespectful to them.
I would be very interested in listening to what have to say and would offer my own opinions.
I would evaluate whether I agree with his beliefs, then share my own soon thereafter if it's at all relevant.
I would listen and try to learn from their beliefs.
I would listen. Not a big deal.
I would point out that including those beliefs alters the tone of the discussion and move the discussion away from any particular ideaolgy.
Listen to what he has to say.
This is fine, depending on the topic and extent. I would interrupt once passages began to be read.

ce que je ne supporte pas c'est l'intolérance, si elle respecte les autres pendant le débat pourquoi ne pas l'écouter ?
elle a le droit de penser ce qu'elle veut, et de l'exprimer.
j entre automatiquement dans le débat car ce genre de discussion me tient assez à coeur
j'entre dans le débat, et parle de mes croyances
J'écoute, essaie de comprendre et tente la discussion si c'est une personne tolérante, ouverte et apte à discuter sans s'énerver.
je l'ecoute, je dit ce que je pense, mais je respecte son choix
Je l'écoute attentivement mais avec un air septique.
je l'écoute et nous en parlons nous commparons
je l'écoute mais si cela me choque j'expose mon point de vue
je lui expose mon point de vue et j'ecoute le sien
Je ne m'en mêle pas. Je laisse parler.
je parle avec elle.
je participe à la conversation
Je suis assez tolérante mais il y a des limites...je n'interviens pas.
ça ne me dérange pas et on le doit au respect de ses croyances



It seems that, from the responses, that Americans are quite similar to the French in their reactions regarding
religious beliefs. Based on the responses for this category, the Americans seem to have a slight more...negative
view of religion (since there were a few people who would ignore said beliefs or intervene and bring the subject
back to a more secular topic). Now, I am aware that what I am going to say might be inflammatory. However, I
feel that this question needs to be asked. Okay. Here goes. In a previous discussion regarding religion and public
spaces, I distinctly recall several people at Paris II finding the idea of religion in a public place (such as a school)
distasteful. Yet, the responses to this category indicates that the French are perfectly fine and even happy about
someone bringing up a discussion on religion in the middle of class. Now, I'm confused because the information
seems contradictory. I'd imagine that, if the French do indeed find it important to keep religion away from schools
and public places (think scarves, religious symbols and all the whatnot), wouldn't at least some of the responses in
this category be a bit more discouraging of religious discussion in class? I apologize if I offend anyone, but I am
truly puzzled by this.

vision de moi :)

Je suis tout a fait d'accord sur le fait que la religion dans notre classe est completement tabou...on ne peut pas dire
son point de vue sur l'église sans se faire traiter d'intolérant...Bref je me demande si ce n'ai pas une réaction
protectrice vis à vis d'une conviction qui leur échappe...En resume surement que beaucoup de choses qui sont
dites ici sont vrai, ils le savent, mais ne veulent pas le reconnaitre....Il est vrai qu'il est preferable de se raccrocher
a de vieilles idéologies qui ont faites leur preuve au moyen age plutôt que de faire évoluer une religion...l'inconnu
fait peur et les gens ont besoin de se sentir rassuré. Quand on voit le point de vue du Pape sur le préservatif, on
peut voir qu'il s'agit effectivement de conviction datant du moyen-âge...

Vision de Cyril

Comme je l'avait déjà exprimée sur le forum pour le mot "religion", je crois que la plupart des débats qui tournent
autour de ce sujet ne sont jamais constructifs. Le but est finalement de se tapper dessus, ce qui confirme le fait
pour moi que la religion est avant tout un pretexte et une cause de divisions et par conséquent de guerres. C'est
pour cela que même si chacun a le droit de penser ce qu'il veut et se faire ce qu'il veut de sa vie (en se conformant
ou pas à des principes), la tolérance veut qu'on ne parle pas de ses opinions religieuses à l'université et plus
généralement à l'école. Sachant que cela ne signifie surtout pas que tout le monde doit penser la même chose.
Pour moi, donc, quand quelqu'un parle de ses croyances à l'école, je rejoint l'opinion de l'étudiant du MIT qui a
dit "Good for him". Toutefois, je doute sincèrement que de tels genre de débats ou dialogues soit constructif et
favorise une bonne entente générale. Quelle est votre opinion sur le sujet ?

parents and religion

From my experience, people are usually pretty considerate when talking about religion. I have many friends who
are religious, and they usually avoid any topic related to religion if they know that there are people around them
who are not. The only "lengthy" conversation I've had related to religion has been with my parents. In France, do
most children share the same religious beliefs as their parents? If not, how does that affect the parent-child
relationship, if at all?

Learning from others

I actually welcome religious discussion. The only way we will get past certain stereotypes and hangups about
religion is talking about the differences. I would agree that these debates, in the classroom setting, may not be
constructive, rather, people will get offended and they can cause more harm than good. I would say in general
religious discussion is still taboo. Are there opportunities in France for people from different religious groups to get
together and discuss their faiths?

Homogeneity and France (I have the sinking feeling I spelled that wrong...)

From the French responses, it seems that a large chunk of the people who consider themselves 'French' are either
of the Catholic Christian religion or non-religious. Thus, it seems likely that, should religion be discussed in class,
that religion will be of the Catholic faith or a Christian faith similar to that (I think someone said something to that
extent in one of the responses). Now, from some responses in other categories, I've gathered that there is quite a
bit of friction between the Muslim community in France and the Catholic/Christian (or non-religious) community in
France. I can't help but wonder what would be the result if someone chose to discuss religion in class and if the
religion that person chose to discuss were one of the many forms of Judaism or Islam. Would that change make a
difference? And how, again hypothetically, how would the French react if someone decided to discuss Buddhism
or one of the other Eastern religions? Would there be a difference? In case I'm making anyone uncomfortable or
offended, I apologize. But it's been nagging at me at the back of my mind...


I'm not sue that one ought to expect religious discussions to be "constructive" - I'm not sure in what way you
would expect them to be constructive. I would expect them to merely be educational - introduce you to new ways
to explain your own faith and to understand the motivations of other faiths. To that end, a few people on the US
side said they would look forward to the opportunity to learn something about the other person's faith. The closest
equivalent on the French side were the numerous people who said they'd be happy to enter in the debate or
discussion. I did get the impression, though, that the French side was much more interested in seeing who could
provide the best arguments. Is that a fair assesment? While it's probably a bit of a rebuke, I thought the person on
the US side who said that the discussion should be moved away from any particular ideaology is presenting a
rather naive representation of discussion - if one does not have an ideaology, there isn't much to discuss. It's
probably even instructive to understand the roots of ones ideaology. This can definately go overboard - one need
not know the history of everything about religion X to come to understand its values and a have an idea of what
they're based on. I'd also like to know the answer to Katherine's question - what would the reaction be if the
religion was non-christian? Personally, I'd welcome a disussion about another religion - I'd like to learn more
about how they work.

Faking It

There were two people on the US side who's response amounted to pretending to be listening. It made me
wonder how much this happens in the US - if you're not intersted or you're not paying attention, sometimes
people tend to just pretend they're paying attention, perhaps becaues the other person is going to tell you what
they're telling you whether you want to hear it or not. It's rather deceptive, though it's I think generally perceived
as more polite, depending on who is talking. Is this unheard of in France? If someone is telling you something and
you really don't care, do you just let them know up front or do you let them say their piece first while basically
ignoring them? Or perhaps actually listen, even though you'd rather not?

is this forum taboo?

Now I know that religion might be a touchy subject in France, but it sure would be nice if some more French
students would participate in the Forum. Anyway, I agree with Kezia in the fact that religious discussion is the best
way to get around misunderstandings and stereotypes between different religions. I don't think anyone should be
offended solely because someone else wants to discuss religion with them. In my opinion, a class discussion is an
ideal time to discuss religion, while keeping in mind the varying beliefs of the classmates. I had heard (through this
forum) that a law has been passed in France banning the display of religious symbols in public schools. I'm
curious, how do you French students feel about this law?

What type of devotion to religion?

Cyril, my feeling is that religious debates are in fact constructive, either in the classroom, in the workplace, among
friends, or anywhere else, so long as the person speaking is speaking for himself and not for anyone else. Too
often I've seen people often speak out of a mindless devotion, often "duckspeaking" (to quote Orwell's 1984),
almost never taking the time to think about why they believe what they believe and, consequently, getting quickly
angry and animated when those beliefs are called into question. I think, though, as soon as people begin to
personally evaluate the truths of their religion rather than letting parents, religious authorities, friends, and family do
it for them, calm, rational, and constructive religious discussion is better facilitated and even enlightening for those
taking part in the discussion. Do you think that most people in France who take part in these debates genuinely
feel devoted to the ideas, values, and truths represented by their respective religions or do so because of an
irrational compulsion to feel accepted by a given religious culture?

Answer to Peter - Nicholas - Paul - Katherine - Kezia and Howard

Tout d'abord, Nicholas, je tiens à te dire que ce forum n'est pas du tout tabou, mais que chacun de nous essaie de
concentrer sur un forum car vous êtes très actifs sur l'ensemble des forums, et nous ne pouvons pas tous participer
tous les forums... sorry. Tout d'abord, je tiens à préciser quelque chose. Mon commentaire sur la place des
autour de ses croyances doit bien être remis dans son contexte : je parlais de discussions "à l'école", et non entre
amis, en famille... Il est vrai également que j'ai peut être eu tort de dire que de tels débats ne sont jamais
Le fait est que discuter avec d'autres de religion peut être agréable, car comme l'a dit Kezia, il s'agit du meilleur
de renverser les préjugés et autres à prioris. Toutefois, j'ai insisté sur le fait qu'avec "certaines personnes", le débat
n'est absolument pas constructif. Ces mêmes personnes se croient attaquées quand on remet en question leurs
croyances ou
qu'on touche à "leur religion", et vont jusqu'à traiter les autres d'intolérants parcequ'ils ne sont pas d'accord avec
qu'elles pensent... Quand les gens sont étroits d'esprit, on ne peut pas discuter d'un sujet aussi important que la
Mais je tiens à vous dire qu'en France, il est possible de discuter librement et ouvertement de ses croyances
religieuses !

Answer to ... final part

Le fait est qu'en France, il existe plusieurs religions. Il est parfois beaucoup plus constructif de discuter avec
qui a des croyances religieuses complètement opposée, car le but est là d'apprendre de l'autre. Beaucoup ne sont
pas assez
ouverts pour remettre en question leurs croyances et essayer de s'approprier des croyances personnelles (qu'elles
soient les
mêmes que ses parents ou non) et non de reproduire un modèle sans se poser de questions.
Toutefois, en France, je le répète, de tels débats n'ont pas à avoir lieu à l'école, car l'école est laïque (sans lien
la politique ou la religion). En ce qui concerne ta question, Nicholas, je te renvoie au forum du mot religion, où tu
trouvera un commentaire de ma part sur la loi sur le voile en France à l'école.