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  1. #41  
    Quote Originally Posted by treobk214
    Since the Pledge of Allegiance and The Lord's Prayer are not allowed in most public schools anymore because the word "God" is mentioned....a kid in Arizona wrote the following NEW School prayer.
    Now I sit me down in school
    Where praying is against the rule
    For this great nation under God
    Finds mention of Him very odd. .....
    Whenever anyone, especially a Christian, complains about separation of church and state, and a ban on state sponsored prayer, I suggest the following thought experiment:

    Imagine yourself as a Christian living in Saudi Arabia, and your children forced to participate in Muslim prayers several times a day while at school. Or be ostracized and made fun of because they don't participate.

    Now imagine how a Muslim, or Hindu, Buddist, or athiest feels about being forced to participate (or be ostracized for not participating) in Judeo/Christian prayers in public school.

    You wouldn't like having the muslim religion forced on you, so why do you think it's okay to force the Christian religion on others? And don't tell me kids have the option to not participate. Kids like to blend in, and there's a lot of peer pressure to join in.
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
  2. #42  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb
    Whenever anyone, especially a Christian, complains about separation of church and state, and a ban on state sponsored prayer, I suggest the following thought experiment:

    Imagine yourself as a Christian living in Saudi Arabia, and your children forced to participate in Muslim prayers several times a day while at school. Or be ostracized and made fun of because they don't participate.

    Now imagine how a Muslim, or Hindu, Buddist, or athiest feels about being forced to participate (or be ostracized for not participating) in Judeo/Christian prayers in public school.

    You wouldn't like having the muslim religion forced on you, so why do you think it's okay to force the Christian religion on others? And don't tell me kids have the option to not participate. Kids like to blend in, and there's a lot of peer pressure to join in.
    I would make a distinction between being exposed to, versus being forced to. The option to not participate is real. Sure, peer pressure is real. And, yes, the desire to blend in is real. However, shielding a child from situations where they will have to stand out is not necessarily advantageous.
  3. #43  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    Intriguing angle in the conversation. Especially, given that most if not all who achieve "greatness" in life have to separate from the pack; have to be different; have to know how to be the outsider.
    Yes, I agree. However, not everyone can and/or will achieve greatness, nor does greatness have anything to do with a particular religion. Not all children can withstand feeling "different" and not all children who are different learn to accept it. That being said, why should any child or group of children be installed in such a potentially detrimental environment?
    .
  4. #44  
    Quote Originally Posted by skillllllz
    Yes, I agree. However, not everyone can and/or will achieve greatness, nor does greatness have anything to do with a particular religion. Not all children can withstand feeling "different" and not all children who are different learn to accept it. That being said, why should any child or group of children be installed in such a potentially detrimental environment?
    Detrimental? in what way?
  5. #45  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    I would make a distinction between being exposed to, versus being forced to. The option to not participate is real. Sure, peer pressure is real. And, yes, the desire to blend in is real. However, shielding a child from situations where they will have to stand out is not necessarily advantageous.
    You are right, but, the law doesn't say you can't wear a cross or a star of david or whatever, nor does it stop students from organizing prayers or events on their own. So the situations are there, and people are exposed, nor is it stopping students from talking about it with each other, which I am sure they do. The law is stopping formalized and informalized practice to the masses. That has nothing to do with shielding, it has to do with promoting.
  6. #46  
    Quote Originally Posted by cglaguna
    You are right, but, the law doesn't say you can't wear a cross or a star of david or whatever, nor does it stop students from organizing prayers or events on their own. So the situations are there, and people are exposed, nor is it stopping students from talking about it with each other, which I am sure they do. The law is stopping formalized and informalized practice to the masses. That has nothing to do with shielding, it has to do with promoting.
    Point taken. In fact, your post, coupled with the posts by meyerweb and skil...lz, is starting to resonate.

    As I further evaluate my position on the matter, what I'm wrestling with is that I don't see where there is a "neutral" position. So, some belief system or set of belief systems is going to be "promoted" no matter what. And, I would like mine to be given place in the mix.

    ....Unless school sticks to Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.
  7. #47  
    Very succint and correct.

    To avoid this --
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    So, some belief system or set of belief systems is going to be "promoted" no matter what.

    If everyone would want thier religion in the mix, as do you --
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    And, I would like mine to be given place in the mix.

    There wouldn't be any time for this ---
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    ....Unless school sticks to Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.
    IMHO
    << My command as we escape Palm HQ with a new Pre 3>>.

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  8. #48  
    As I further evaluate my position on the matter, what I'm wrestling with is that I don't see where there is a "neutral" position. So, some belief system or set of belief systems is going to be "promoted" no matter what. And, I would like mine to be given place in the mix
    Why people feel like not mentioning ANY belief system is tantamount to Atheism I'll never understand. Students in public schools are free to express their religious beliefs personally, what we're talking about is preventing the gov't institution from embracing and displaying a religious faction(s).

    I hardly find that unreasonable.
  9.    #49  
    freudov23, please understand that it is not my intent to attack you.

    youve made a poignant statement in the last post and I have only respect for what you have grown through.

    Im not going to flame anything you've said here, on the contrary, like I said I respect you for enduring harrowing moments as those - I know they were not comfortable experiences.

    id just like there to be freedom to appreciate the small joys of each holiday no matter what religion it is. and I am not saying there should be any force or pressure to do anything. just leave the doors open for everyone to express what they want. is there anything wrong with that?

    I don't see how letting little christmas songs play now and then is all that unreasonable.
  10. #50  
    Tell me honestly, from an academic standpoint, what business do christmas songs have being sung in school? Regardless of harmful/harmless-ness, the children are at no real advantage by doing so. It only creates issues like the very one at hand. If it's about spirit and joy, I think there are plenty joyful, non-religious, songs out there for the children to enjoy. If you want your child to experience christmas spirit, visit your local mall.
    .
  11. #51  
    Quote Originally Posted by freudov23
    Shopharim,

    I respect your willingness to look at this issue from a different perspective. Allow me to share my personal experience. While I’ve grown to celebrate my individuality as an adult, I was shy as a child.

    When I was seven, I moved from a large city to a small christian community. I was the only jew in my school. From first grade on, starting when I was forced to make a star of david ornament, while all my peers made christmas tree ornaments, I felt horribly different. Beginning in second grade, the music teacher forced me to stand in front of my class and other classes to talk about hanukkah. It felt like an interrogation year in and year out. I hated every moment of it.

    Could I handle this situation as an adult, yes, but as a seven year old it was quite traumatizing. Flame me all you want Treobk214, but until you walk a mile in my shoes, you have no way of knowing what is harmful or not. State sponsored religion has no place in school. It should stay in the church where it belongs.
    You state a classic example of the "Detrimental Scenario" I briefly described a few posts back. The confusion caused by this is excrutiating to endure as a child. I will not go into the details of my actual experiences here, but I went through this as a child. Looking at this issue from an insiders point of view I feel confident that religion has no place in public academic institutions.
    .
  12. #52  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    Why people feel like not mentioning ANY belief system is tantamount to Atheism I'll never understand.
    Certainly, some feel that way. However, that is not what I intended to communicate. But, rather, my concern is that there are certain philosophies/belief systems that are given free license in public schools. For example, "Safe Sex" is a popular philosophy that is freely promoted in public schools. While it has its benefits, it is an approach that is contrary to other valid approaches. Likewise, The theory of Evolution is a popular philosophy that is freely promoted in public schools. While it has merit as an approach

    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    Students in public schools are free to express their religious beliefs personally,
    Well, it's legal anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    what we're talking about is preventing the gov't institution from embracing and displaying a religious faction(s).

    I hardly find that unreasonable.
    Definitely reasonable.

    Setting aside my desire to see my beliefs allowed, I am still concerned about how we decide what is allowed/embraced and what is banned.
  13. #53  
    Quote Originally Posted by freudov23
    Shopharim,

    I respect your willingness to look at this issue from a different perspective. Allow me to share my personal experience. While I’ve grown to celebrate my individuality as an adult, I was shy as a child.

    When I was seven, I moved from a large city to a small christian community. I was the only jew in my school. From first grade on, starting when I was forced to make a star of david ornament, while all my peers made christmas tree ornaments, I felt horribly different. Beginning in second grade, the music teacher forced me to stand in front of my class and other classes to talk about hanukkah. It felt like an interrogation year in and year out. I hated every moment of it.

    Could I handle this situation as an adult, yes, but as a seven year old it was quite traumatizing. Flame me all you want Treobk214, but until you walk a mile in my shoes, you have no way of knowing what is harmful or not. State sponsored religion has no place in school. It should stay in the church where it belongs.
    freudov23,

    Thanx for sharing that background. I can definitely empathize with you on that experience. And, I suspect the teachers thought they were being "inclusive" and "tolerant" and respectful of your heritage.

    I wonder, though, if that were a failure of practice rather than a failure of policy.

    As I frequently say (though not very often on this board): "good intentions....bad decisions"
  14.    #54  
    you know skillz, one would like to think that playing something so simple as a christmas song wouldn't offend anyone, rather, it would lighten the mood or get you into the spirit of things- that's all.

    from an academic standpoint, all this would be is simple background music. that's it.

    well, if people are going to be offended by something so innocuous as a christmas song in school, that they can be traumatized by a simple holiday song, well, then, there is something more to be evaluated here than just what songs we are playing.

    pierced noses, tatoos, blue and green hair, gothic looks - all that is perfectly agreeable to the sensitive child. but an xmas song is traumatizing?

    what if the majority had piercings everywhere, had blue hair and tatoos all over, and a minority dressed more conservatively, would we have to ban all piercings, tatoos, and blue hair because this was intimidating the minority and "pressuring" them into feeling like they have to do the same?
  15. #55  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    "Safe Sex" is a popular philosophy that is freely promoted in public schools. While it has its benefits, it is an approach that is contrary to other valid approaches. Likewise, The theory of Evolution is a popular philosophy that is freely promoted in public schools.
    Safe sex is not a philosophy, it is a means of preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. There are other means (like not having sex for instance). I agree with you that adolescents should learn different ways of preventing infections, not only safer sex. I doubt though that there is any school that claims safer sex is the only way.

    Evolution is not a philosophy either. It is what we see with our eyes when we look at nature and study life. There are millions of observations and well documented facts that show how it works and why. I am sure, if you would take some time and study these things, look at them in an unbiased way, you would come to the same conclusion. Children in school should learn to rate the arguments and the evidence speaking in favour of evolution, and the arguments and evidence others claim to have. Sadly, this doesn't always happen. But I can take comfort in the fact that after centuries of resistance e.g. from churches, it is now widely accepted that earth is round and circles aournd the sun.

    Don't be misguided by the term "theory" used in the scientific terminology. You will hear scientists speaking about "the theory of gravity". That doesn't mean there is doubt about the existence of gravity.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  16. #56  
    Quote Originally Posted by treobk214
    you know skillz, one would like to think that playing something so simple as a christmas song wouldn't offend anyone, rather, it would lighten the mood or get you into the spirit of things- that's all.

    from an academic standpoint, all this would be is simple background music. that's it.

    well, if people are going to be offended by something so innocuous as a christmas song in school, that they can be traumatized by a simple holiday song, well, then, there is something more to be evaluated here than just what songs we are playing.

    pierced noses, tatoos, blue and green hair, gothic looks - all that is perfectly agreeable to the sensitive child. but an xmas song is traumatizing?

    what if the majority had piercings everywhere, had blue hair and tatoos all over, and a minority dressed more conservatively, would we have to ban all piercings, tatoos, and blue hair because this was intimidating the minority and "pressuring" them into feeling like they have to do the same?
    I completely understand how you would want the music to lift the mood for the holiday season and that's absolutely fantastic, if you celebrate that particular holiday. Here in reality not everyone practices their beliefs the same way. There are people amongst us who feel their children should not be subjected to any religious content and do take offence when it happens.

    Yes, it's good to be exposed to other religions and learn about their beliefs but school is not the ideal place for this. Throughout history, religion has repeatedly caused conflict and war. Two things which have no business in an academic environment...

    I really shouldn't have to point this out, but no one stated that any religious song, itself, is in any way traumatizing (please refrain from taking things out of context)

    It's clearly not an issue of minority/majority or peer pressure, as per your example. The issue here is about government sponsored belief systems infringing on peoples personal beliefs systems.

    Tattoos, piercing, flamboyant hair, general appearance, etc. are all expressions of self. Yes, some may correlate with religious beliefs, but it's still not the school or city implying how these people should/shouldn't express themselves, or celebrating one particular method.

    I'd also like to add (in spite of your tone on the matter), tattoos, piercings, etc. are all modern day symbols of the very freedom this country's forefathers fought and died for. You see mere tattoos and piercings; I see stars and stripes. If you find yourself seemingly unnerved by what you see then you contradict yourself as a true American.


    This is my last post on the matter. I tuly hope my voice hasn't fallen on deaf ears.
    .
  17. #57  
    Quote Originally Posted by skillllllz

    Yes, it's good to be exposed to other religions and learn about their beliefs but school is not the ideal place for this. Throughout history, religion has repeatedly caused conflict and war. Two things which have no business in an academic environment...
    I disagree, school is a great place to learn about religions, however it is the wrong place to preach/practice it.
    I feel it is a good idea to educate people (unbiased) about other religions in schools, and other cultures too. By knowing more about them you can take away fear and anger towards them and everybody wins..

    However imposing your believe system on your students is wrong IMHO. That is the job of churches/places of worship. Please lets keep these seperete things seperated. It is like going to say a jewish doctor and he makes you do a jewish prayer before he helps you..
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  18. #58  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    I don't see where there is a "neutral" position. So, some belief system or set of belief systems is going to be "promoted" no matter what. And, I would like mine to be given place in the mix.
    You're right in saying that some belief system will be promoted to the extent that teachers are individuals and they will have their own beliefs and opinions, just like us. However, you don't get to ask that your own belief system be promoted in any fashion. As a matter of fact, what we're asking is that the teachers do their best to put their belief system aside in an effort to allow the children to learn with as little of that influence as is possible in that particular environment. This is, by itself, a difficult request. Very overt expressions of personal belief will be easy to identify (like putting up a plaque with the 10 commandments on it or leading the children in prayer) but we are going to have to leave finer distinctions up to the teachers.

    The neutral position is, to some extent, a fabrication. Given the goal, though, that's about the best we can do. We have to trust that people will be upstanding and not take advantage of the trust we place in them.
    In favor of goofy names: MyTreo.net.
  19. #59  
    Quote Originally Posted by metsfan
    I don't have a problem with that. There are some things that most people consider "moral," and others which people disagree on. I don't think there has to be one right answer.

    1. Inherently humans of no more worth than a shark or an apple and there is no basis to elevate human morality above that of say a lion. A lion will kill other cubs is it wrong for one to kill anothers child?

    Yes, it's wrong. Again, I don't need God to tell me so. I just believe it. You're free to disagree (though not kill, because regardless of morality, it is detrimental to society, hence illegal. The law [in my opinion] is not based on morality, but rather progress of society, as are most laws.)

    This I'll need some time to think about, but to me it's more a question of free will by science as opposed to by God.

    Again, by calling God the "moral lawgiver," you assume the conclusion we are trying to prove or disprove. And as I said before, it's not a requirement for me for morality to be objective.

    I completely agree, no one needs God to tell them killing is wrong or to live a productive decent life. Thats not really what I'm trying to convey. Mainly can there be a right or wrong without God.

    I'm not trying to prove the existance God, but just show how certain ideas logically flow from an assumptive starting point. The whole debate is an inductive one since no one can prove or disprove the existence of God. So a starting point must be assumed.

    If I assume there is no God, one can not really make a good philosphical argument for the existence of morals. These problems always arise:

    1. How does any moral proclaimation rise above mere opinion and human convention. (I like ice cream you don't, I think lying is great, you don't).

    2. How does a man have any inherent worth or value?

    3. If soceity determines morality are certain things right or wrong outside soceity? In other words was slavery moral up until the 20th century. What about segration, holocaust? All done with the approval of soceity. With society the buck stops at man, and thus man is the ultimate arbiter of "right" and "wrong". If one violates the norms of society how is it any different than, say, a man wearing a dress?

    4. How is man more than chemical reactions whose actions are mere results of these processes.

    5. If morality were to somehow exist without God, how then would it matter whether someone lives a good life or bad? See point 2.


    I'm not really trying to convince you per se just have you examine your beliefs which also allows me to scruntinize my, for which I thank you.
  20. #60  
    Quote Originally Posted by carter437
    If I assume there is no God, one can not really make a good philosphical argument for the existence of morals. These problems always arise:

    1. How does any moral proclaimation rise above mere opinion and human convention. (I like ice cream you don't, I think lying is great, you don't).

    2. How does a man have any inherent worth or value?

    3. If soceity determines morality are certain things right or wrong outside soceity? In other words was slavery moral up until the 20th century. What about segration, holocaust? All done with the approval of soceity. With society the buck stops at man, and thus man is the ultimate arbiter of "right" and "wrong". If one violates the norms of society how is it any different than, say, a man wearing a dress?

    4. How is man more than chemical reactions whose actions are mere results of these processes.

    5. If morality were to somehow exist without God, how then would it matter whether someone lives a good life or bad? See point 2.


    I'm not really trying to convince you per se just have you examine your beliefs which also allows me to scruntinize my, for which I thank you.
    Moral values are not given by god, but depend on the society and at a the time you live in. Not too long ago, it was considred perfectly alright by the Christian society you live in to have slaves. Very few people considered it immoral. In the middle age, it was considered morally correct in Christian societies to burn a woman alive if it seemed likely that this woman was a which. If moral values are given by god, why is it that they change all the time, even among the followers of the same god?

    It IS society who defines moral values (and, based upon that, the laws that govern the members of that society, and the different forms of punishments for not following those laws, like cutting off hands, whipping, etc.). No need for a god or gods... BTW, did anybody ever note how god transmits his latest moral values to the different societies? And if he/she does, why is the message so different all the time?
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
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