How do you teach religion? I don't see it. Religion is a belief, it's something for you to strive for in your life in hopes of making you a better person. (I suppose.) If you have a paid teacher of the state 'teaching' it in a classroom, it would become a 'fact' and not a 'belief'. Evolution, while still is considered a 'theory' IS based on scientific 'fact' and couldn't or shouldn't offend anyone because facts and figures can be seen to acknowledge it. There are no facts and figures to prove religious beliefs. Having someone's religious beliefs 'taught' in a classroom IS offensive because there isn't a way to 'learn' it. It has to come from within you and not pounded in to your head by someone else. (Jehovah's Witnesses for an example... well, pretty much EVERY religion tries to do this to you, I suppose, but from past dealings, they're the worst.)
I'm not saying teach any religious teaching as fact, and I'm certainly not saying teach it in place of evolution, so I'm not sure where you're coming from with that. I was basically agreeing with vsp that having a class that examines various cultures' religious beliefs is not the world's worst idea. There's a difference between proselytizing about religion and teaching about religion.
Learning about other cultures shouldn't offend anyone because you need to understand other people before you learn to understand yourself really
And that would be the exact reason to examine various world religions - to understand the beliefs and the social implications.
seeing as there are not many people here who are actually 'native' to this continent.
Unless you're an immigrant (from somewhere other than Mexico or Canada) you're native to this continent.
Since I might be the only person here who's taken public school science classes in Kansas in the past 10 years, let me share this tale with you, my friends. Just before we started into evolution, my 10th grade biology teacher went off on this big rant about the religious nuts who didn't want people to teach the subject anymore. I mean, he went off. It was hardcore. He was probably two steps shy of setting a Bible on fire.
Not even a week later he got into a biking accident, broke his leg in about a million places, and couldn't return to school for the rest of the year.
Making a comment to the news media doesn't strike me as going out of one's way at all. In my estimation, Kofi Annan is a politician and a bureaucrat. It is the natural order of things that such people seek and consolidate power.