Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 63
  1. #41  
    Quote Originally Posted by treobk214
    "I don't understand why accepting others beliefs can only be recognized by removing my own."

    ABSOLUTELY PERFECT.
    No one asked this teacher (or you) to remove his beliefs. He was asked to stop trying to impose them on others. That's a significant difference.

    He is allowed to go to any church he wants (or not go). He's allowed to pray to himself anywhere, even in school. He can go home and join hands in prayer with his family, and hold prayer meetings with other like minded people. He can even write and publish tomes regarding his beliefs. No one is asking him to "remove" his beliefs.

    What he can't do, under the constituion, and which even todays conservative justices agree with, is use his government paid position of authority to try to explain, teach or poselitize his beliefs .

    Is that too subtle a distinction for you to understand? It's not too subtle for the supreme court, and it wasn't too subtle for Thomas Jefferson and his peers.
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
  2. #42  
    Quote Originally Posted by treobk214
    BINGO!!! and dammit, if some people cant get this through their impossibly thick skulls, then they should just get OUT of the country, and see how their philosophy holds up in a place like saudi arabia.

    if you dont agree with something, fine, dont agree with it or dont practice it. do whatever you want - why? ITS AMERICA.

    but stop trying to disallow others their very right to uphold what THEY AS AMERICANS hold to be important as well!

    Ah yes. Freedom of speech, as long as it YOUR speech.

    F'en 'ey, I'm glad you didn't write the constituion. We'd be just like Saudi Arabia, where people who disagree with the official religion are jailed or deported. Now that's freedom, right?

    In case you havn't noticed, freedom of speech means the right to disagree with you, and express that disagreement, without having to leave the country. Frankly, I think you'd be more comfortable in China, or Saudi Arabia, than in America. The official "religion" is different, but other than that you would see eye-to-eye.

    It amazes me that you really can't see that what you suggest is the very antithesis of freedom of speech.
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
  3. #43  
    Meyerweb,

    You act as though prayer in school was just introduced in this decade. You speak as if its just now being suggested that Christ might have something to do with Christmas. This is nothing new.
  4. #44  
    Quote Originally Posted by sxtg
    It was founded by christians! Nobody expects you to be christian or even cares if you are. Absolutely they wanted freedom of religion, but that doesn't mean persecution of thier own.
    Persecution of Christians? In America? Give me an f'en break! If there's any persecution going on in this country it BY the Christian right, who try to force their beliefs on everybody. From abortion, to prayer in schools, to marriage, to assited suicide, to the right NOT be forced into Christian prayer, the Christian right wants to force everyone in the country lives by their "moral" code.

    There are literally hundreds of Christain churches in the county next to mine. All of them in residential neighborhoods. But when muslims wanted to build a mosque, the county refused to give the zoning, saying it wasn't an appropriate use in a residential neighborhood. (But the church 3 blocks away is appropriate?) When they lost that argument in court, they found another excuse, and refused to grant sewer hookups. But no, that's not discrimination by Christians, is it?

    It's not enough for the Catholic church and Christian right to be opposed to abortion, the Catholic church threatens to ex-communicate any Catholic politician who doesn't also oppose abortion, and both insist that even non-Christians have to abide by their moral code. Ditto for the Christian right. They insist on imposing their belief structure on Jews, muslims, and even Christians who believe differently. I wouldn't dream of forcing a Christian to have an abortion; why should they insist of forcing their beliefs on me? (And note, Christians haven't ALWAYS been opposed to abortion. It used to be considered right and proper to abort the result of a union of a black man and white woman, or of the mentally retarded (followed by the hanging of the black man, and the sterilization of the retarded).

    This country, over the last 20 years or so, has become more and more dominated by Christian practices that at any time in the last century. Christian fundamentalists have more access to government leaders than any other organized group. Polilticians of all stripes make very visible displays of Christian conformity to curry favor with the electorate. Christian groups threaten boycotts of TV networks, and even the liberal CBS backs down. Yet you seriously believe Christians are discriminated against? Get real. There is no single constituancy in this country with as much power as the Christian right.

    Persecuted, my a**
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
  5. #45  
    Quote Originally Posted by sxtg
    Meyerweb,

    You act as though prayer in school was just introduced in this decade. You speak as if its just now being suggested that Christ might have something to do with Christmas. This is nothing new.
    Just because it's old doesn't mean it's right. Slavery used to be "nothing new." Does that mean we should continue to tolerate it? Segregated schools used to be "nothing new." Does that make them acceptable? Bans on interracial marriage, Jim Crow laws (look it up if you don't know what they were), the arrest of people simply for being gay, police violation of civil rights (of white people too, not just minorities) all used to be "nothing new." Fortunately, we learned from our mistakes.

    There's nothing wrong with suggesting Christ has something to do with Christmas. There's a time and place for everything, however. There IS something wrong with using Christmas as an excuse to make children in school engage in Christian acitivities. If the Christian teacher is allowed to proseletize about Christ during Christmas, should the Jewish teacher be able to proseletize during Hannukah? Or the Muslim teacher during Ramadan? I doubt there is a public school in America that doesn't have Christmas decorations and Christmas related activities during this holiday season. And probably not very many that give equal time to other religious holidays. Unless, and until, all religions get equal time in the school, then I think it's better for the government to focus on the secular side of Christmas, and let families and churches handle the religious aspects as they see fit.

    Getting back to the story that started this thread, I don't think anyone would have had a problem with the teacher using the Declaration of Independence, or Presidential proclamations, as teaching aides. But it seems pretty likely that he focused on the religious aspects of the Declaration, and deliberately chose a proclamation dealing with Christianity. That's where he crossed the line.
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
  6.    #46  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb
    ...

    There are literally hundreds of Christain churches in the county next to mine. All of them in residential neighborhoods. But when muslims wanted to build a mosque, the county refused to give the zoning, saying it wasn't an appropriate use in a residential neighborhood. (But the church 3 blocks away is appropriate?) When they lost that argument in court, they found another excuse, and refused to grant sewer hookups. But no, that's not discrimination by Christians, is it?
    Actually no, it's not. It is discriminatory. The discrimination, though, is by the zoning board/commission (the members of which may very well consider themselves Christians).

    This clarification is not intended to take away from the thrust of meyerweb's post. The reality is, if your belief system is solid, it should be able to stand next to another and not be diminished.

    Or, to make it more personal, I realize that the biggest factor to whether my children will adopt or reject my belief system is not their exposure to other belief systems, but how I live out my own.
  7. #47  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb
    I think it's better for the government to focus on the secular side of Christmas, and let families and churches handle the religious aspects as they see fit.

    Can you explain what the "secular" side of Christmas is? I am not aware of any other aspect of Christmas other than Jesus Christ.

    Your enlightenment would be much appreciated.
  8. #48  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb
    Just because it's old doesn't mean it's right.

    True! Just as change doesn't automatically equal right.
  9. #49  
    Quote Originally Posted by sxtg
    Can you explain what the "secular" side of Christmas is? I am not aware of any other aspect of Christmas other than Jesus Christ.

    Your enlightenment would be much appreciated.

    Umm, you've never seen Christmas trees (borrowed from the Druid's Winter solstice celebration)? Or Santa Claus? Or the shopping frenzy that hits the day after Thanksgiving (I don't think Jesus had any particular relationship to commercial activity, other than throwing the money lenders out of the temple. And that wasn't on the day of his birth.).

    How about "holiday cards" that make no mention of Christmas ("Best Wishes for a happy holiday and a prosperous new year"). I don't recall turkey and mashed potatoes being on the menu in the manger in Jerusalem. And I can think of dozens of Christmas songs that make no mention of Christ, or Christianity. At least not in the first verse, which is all most people know. (Jingle Bells, I'll be Home for Christmas, Silver Bells, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolf the Red, etc.)

    Approve of it or not, a great many people in this country, and elswhere, celebrate the festiveness of the season, the gift giving, the decorations, and other holiday traditions with no particular attention to Christ's birth. I know people who are Jewish who participate in office "holiday" parties, exchange gifts, and generally celebrate christmas (with a lower case 'C') but not the birth of Christ. OTOH, I don't know any people who consider themselves Christian (even weakly) who celebrate Hannukah. The later, in spite of the gift giving, remains a religious holiday of significance only to Jews. Christmas, like it or not, has become far more (or maybe far less) than that. (I even know a pretty devout Jew who loves listening to, and singing along with, classical Christmas hyms. He thnks they're some of the most beautiful songs ever created. He resolves the internal dispute by simply mumbling over the mentions of the word Christ. Seems odd to me, but it apparently works for him.

    Hard as it may be to acknowledge, Christmas has become just another secular holiday to a great many people. For a different, and interesting, perspective on this from a serious Christain, you might want to listen to this audio segment from NPR:

    http://www.npr.org/rundowns/segment.php?wfId=4199821

    When thinking about, or discussing, religious matters, I find it very helpful to put myself in the other person's shoes. If I wouldn't feel comfortable with the situation reversed (e.g., a Christian in a predominantly Muslim society), then I have to question whether things are correct. As a somewhat simple example: Would I feel uncomfortable, or second class, if I lived in a place where the governemt put up menoras in public spaces all over the area to celebrate Hannukah, but refused to allow the display on public land of a cross or Christmas tree to celebrate Christmas? Yes, I probably would. But until fairly recently, most governments did exactly the same thing (in reverse), displaying nativity scenes, crosses, Christmas trees and similar Christmas icons, while actively refusing to permit non-Christian holiday displays. I don't think that's right.

    A few years ago, my son's elementary school music teacher had them singing "Dradle, Dradle, Dradle" during the Christmas season, but not any Christmas songs. I complained, and told them I had no real objection to singing the dradle song, but if they were going to do that they should sing at least one Christmas song, too. Now they do. (BTW, in case you don't know, the dradle song isn't really a religious song. It goes along with a gambling game.)

    My personal vision of religion believes faith is between a man and his God, not between a man and his government, between government and God, or between a school and a child. I don't want my president to be a Christian (or Jew, or Buddhist) first. I want him to be president first, protecting the rights of all Americans. Even as a Christian, I don't think I want another adult, not selected by me, teaching my kids about Christianity. If you're a protestant (small P), do you want your child indoctrinated by a Catholic? If you're a Southern Baptist, do you want a liberal Unitarian espousing his views on Christianity to your child in the classroom?

    Let me make sure you, and others, understand this: I am a Christian. My family goes to church regularly. But I don't believe mine is the only valid belief system, that it is my duty to convert other people to my belief system, or that I have the right to treat people with other beliefs as inferior, and not subject to the same right to their beliefs that I have to mine. Furthermore, I note that there are many different Christian denominations, who don't agree on many things. Am I right, or are you? It's not my place to tell other Christians that they should abandon their religion and conform to mine any more than I want to be told to abandon my chosen faith. If we, as Christians, can't agree on everything, who are we to tell others they are worng, and have to live under our (MY) belief structure.
    Last edited by meyerweb; 12/09/2004 at 10:23 AM.
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
  10. #50  
    Quote Originally Posted by sxtg
    True! Just as change doesn't automatically equal right.
    I never said it did. But the prior poster seemd to be justifying discrimination because "it's nothing new." THAT is wrong.
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
  11. #51  
    Go to Jeruselam and tell them that its not Honnukah you mind its just all the religous hogwash that comes with it.

    Christmas and the birth of Christ is a part of the American Culture. That shouldn't have to be deleted in order for other people to feel comfortable in America!
  12. #52  
    So far everyone is civil, but be careful you don't get yourself banned.
  13. #53  
    Quote Originally Posted by KRamsauer
    So far everyone is civil, but be careful you don't get yourself banned.

    Thanks for the headsup.
    I was just thinking how impressive it is that this thread about such a personal issue has lasted this long without people getting abusive.

    Its good to know people can express their beliefs in a civil manor.
  14. #54  
    I know this sounds funny coming from me considering some of the rather nasty positions I have taken, but I think it would show great maturity of self and point view if you were to just use the last line of your post. Say "christians who wish to push their views on others". You dont call Jews names or Muslims or anyone else, why Christians? Not to mention your stereotypical namecalling doesnt speak of all Christians, but you dont make any distinction. I know you are a liberal from many of your posts in other threads, and as I understand it part of being liberal is tolerance. My liberal friends say that everyone should have the same chance, treatment, respect, etc. Your derision of Christians does say tolerance to me.
    What-evs. I would deride an atheist that tried to push their views on children.

    So lets re-focus on the point of this thread. A history teacher blatently pushes his religious beliefs on children and when called on it starts whining about the public schools banning the teaching of the declaration of independence and thus whips all the conservative christians into an uproar. Even moderates would likely **** an eyebrow at the story originally cited in this thread.

    Fact is, what the weasle is doing is wrong, and he should lose his teaching job.
  15. #55  
    Ok Da,
    I will admit that for a teacher to go the extreme is unacceptable. However, barring the Declaration of Indepence from a history lesson is way over the top.

    It is not possible to teach an unbiased history lesson. History in itself is biased. Especially when dealing with a conflict- Remember only the winners write the history.

    Look at Slavery how quickly that is skimmed thru in history class. The only part we studied was the abolishment of slavery, not the origin or (on the flipside) the cooperation of the African gov. Look at the Pilgrims and the "struggle" to tame the "Wild Indians" All of these stories are told by one side.

    I believe in keeping a watchful eye on public entities. My concern is that, like anything, if it can be used, it can be missused. Today its not politically correct Express your belief, tommorow it wont be correct to admit you have them, and soon it wont be correct if you don't deny them.

    Instead of removing anything that remotely resembles an opinion, why not teach the children to question authority and to seek multiple resources? All in the interest of forming thier own..... opinions!
  16. #56  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb

    When thinking about, or discussing, religious matters, I find it very helpful to put myself in the other person's shoes. If I wouldn't feel comfortable with the situation reversed (e.g., a Christian in a predominantly Muslim society), then I have to question whether things are correct. As a somewhat simple example: Would I feel uncomfortable, or second class, if I lived in a place where the governemt put up menoras in public spaces all over the area to celebrate Hannukah, but refused to allow the display on public land of a cross or Christmas tree to celebrate Christmas? Yes, I probably would. But until fairly recently, most governments did exactly the same thing (in reverse), displaying nativity scenes, crosses, Christmas trees and similar Christmas icons, while actively refusing to permit non-Christian holiday displays. I don't think that's right.
    All are extremely valid points.

    However Christians don't say you have to celebrate christmas even 20 years ago we were able to opt out of the school play or anything that didn't fit our beliefs.

    The only reason Jewish or Budah or any other religions are not as dominately displayed is simply because they are not as dominat in our society.

    The Gov. does NOT actively prohibit the display of non-christian symbols! However ALL christian symbols are currently under attack. While protecting other organization's right to display thier believes, christians are interested in also protecting thiers. That is the difference!
  17. #57  
    Quote Originally Posted by sxtg
    Ok Da,
    I will admit that for a teacher to go the extreme is unacceptable. However, barring the Declaration of Indepence from a history lesson is way over the top.
    True, but I'm not convinced, based on that one rather biased newspaper story, that this is really what happened. It seems that the teacher was using the Declaration to enter into a discussion about Christianity. Whether the locality over-reacted, or whether the newspaper story did (or both) is unclear at this point.
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
  18. #58  
    I believe in keeping a watchful eye on public entities. My concern is that, like anything, if it can be used, it can be missused. Today its not politically correct Express your belief, tommorow it wont be correct to admit you have them, and soon it wont be correct if you don't deny them.

    Instead of removing anything that remotely resembles an opinion, why not teach the children to question authority and to seek multiple resources? All in the interest of forming thier own..... opinions!
    I don't care who expresses what to me. Somebody wants to stand on the street or around the water cooler and talk up their jeebus, fine, I'll talk up my belief too. Your knee jerk reaction to the posting of this story is exactly what the zealots want, "They banned the Declaration from school because it has the word 'god' in it?!?!?! That's too far!!!" READ THE ARTICLE. The school board is just reigning in the one nut job.
  19. #59  
    Quote Originally Posted by sxtg
    All are extremely valid points.

    However Christians don't say you have to celebrate christmas even 20 years ago we were able to opt out of the school play or anything that didn't fit our beliefs.
    But that's the key point that you don't, or won't understand. Opting out is a very difficult thing for a child to do. When all his or her friends are participating, it's natural to want to do so, too. If you opt out then not only do you miss out on the fun, but you brand yourself as different. And few kids want to be seen as different.

    My kids had holiday parties all through elementary school. Their rooms were decorated with Christmas trees AND menoras. Everyone seemed to have a pretty good time without Christ being mentioned. My kids learn about Jesus at home and in church. They don't need to learn it at school


    Quote Originally Posted by sxtg
    The only reason Jewish or Budah or any other religions are not as dominately displayed is simply because they are not as dominat in our society.
    True, but the constitution was explicitly written to protect minorities. Majorities rarely need protecting. Just because I might be in a minority doesn't make my feelings any less important, or my rights any less. Turn it around: As a Christian citizen of say, Egypt, would you perhaps feel like a second class citizen because you had to "opt out" of the things your fellow students, or co-workers, were doing? Because everywhere you went the government displayed an supported Islam, and ignored or suppressed Christianity? I suspect you would.

    Quote Originally Posted by sxtg
    The Gov. does NOT actively prohibit the display of non-christian symbols! However ALL christian symbols are currently under attack. While protecting other organization's right to display thier believes, christians are interested in also protecting thiers. That is the difference!
    1/4 correct. The government does not NOW prohibit the display of non-Christian symbols. But that's only because of a Supreme Court decision overturning the practice. As recently as 10 years ago many local governments put up Christmas displays and actively refused requests to include menoras. Many local governments would still do so if not for lawsuits by the ACLU and other concerned people.

    As for attacking all Christian displays: hogwash. Every local government in America is free to mount a Christmas display, including a cross or a chrech. But if they do so, they also have to allow the display of "competing" holiday traditions. What they can't do is create situations where school children, or employees, feel they're being proseletized or coorced into the mindsetof a specific religion, like Christian prayers at high school football games attended by non-Christians, crosses (or stars of David) on the walls of pubilc schools, and teachers who actively promote their religion.

    Government and religion (any religion) should stay separate. Public schools and religion should stay separate. If you want to display a cross, or a star of David, or a crescent moon on your house, or car, you are legally guaranteed that right. If your daughter wears a cross on a necklace, that's fine. No one is "attacking" those displays of religion. If you want to display a cross in your office or cubicle, you are absolutely entitled. If you want to turn your workplace into a spectacle of religion intended to convert those around you, or make them feel uncomfortable for not sharing your belief, I think you've gone too far.

    I suspect you think it would be okay to have a painting of Jesus and a cross displayed in your childs classroom, and a bible on the teacher's desk. Is that correct? If your child's teacher happens to be Jewish, would it be okay with you to have a Star of David hanging on the wall, a Torah on the desk, and a book claiming proof that Jesus was not the son of God in the bookcase?

    If your honest answer is yes, I at least respect your consistency. If the answer is no, then I think you're being hypocritical.
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
  20. #60  
    Quote Originally Posted by sxtg
    Ok Da,


    Look at Slavery how quickly that is skimmed thru in history class. The only part we studied was the abolishment of slavery, not the origin or (on the flipside) the cooperation of the African gov. Look at the Pilgrims and the "struggle" to tame the "Wild Indians" All of these stories are told by one side. !
    There was no African government at that time. There were many independent tribes. None of whom understood what really happened to the Africans that left on the boats. Most African tribes of the time took "slaves" as conquests of battle. But those slaves became members of the tribe that took them, to strengthen the tribe. That's the image Africans had in mind when the slave traders came.

    Quote Originally Posted by sxtg
    I believe in keeping a watchful eye on public entities. My concern is that, like anything, if it can be used, it can be missused. Today its not politically correct Express your belief, tommorow it wont be correct to admit you have them, and soon it wont be correct if you don't deny them. !
    To this I say again, hogwash. There's no group in this country more powerful right now than the Christian lobby. The politicians fall all over themselves to prove that they are Christians, too. Even Jewish politicians make a big show about how important faith is in their lives. Every president since Reagan, at least, has invoked God at every public opportunity. The Christian faith is in less danger of being suppressed than is the IRS. I see the problem as the reverse: Christians trying to supress ideas that they disagree with. Look at the battle over evolution: Conservative Christians don't really want to see "creation science" (an oxymoron if ever there was one) taught side by side with evolution. They want the teaching of evolution banned from the schools. Right wing Christians don't want a law that let's hospitals choose whether to offer abortions: they want all abortions banned, regardless of the beliefs of others. They don't want to be allowed to opt out of birth control discussions in health classes: they want to deny everyone the right to learn about birth control. That's not asking for fairiness, that's imposing their beliefs on everyone.

    On the flip side, I don't know any supporter of abortion rights who argues that church owned and operated hospitals should be forced to offer abortions, or that unmarried pregnant women should be forced to have an abortion if they want to give birth. Or that woman should be forced to go to planned parenthood clinics and get birth control devices.

    Quote Originally Posted by sxtg
    Instead of removing anything that remotely resembles an opinion, why not teach the children to question authority and to seek multiple resources? All in the interest of forming thier own..... opinions!
    Ah, now that's approaching an idea I could accept. I'd take it a bit farther, though. Provide multiple points of view in the school system, and let children evaluate them. But, in truth, schools aren't interested in teaching students to question authority or exercise independent thought. It's far easier on teachers and administrators to teach students to obey authority. Students are taught from kindergarten to obey teachers, to accept their authority without question. So when a teacher starts talking about their religion, there's a strong inclination for students to listen and accept.

    Schools in Texas (I choose that because of several Supreme Court decisions involving Texas schools) aren't likely to allow an open debate about whether there should be Christian prayers before football games. And even if they did, it's unlikely the few Jews or Hindi in the school population would be heard. As I said in another post: the majority rarely needs protection from the minority. The minority almost always needs protection from the majority.
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions