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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 05:51 AM
Original message
Student Backs Teacher In Fight To Keep Bible On Desk
Student Backs Teacher In Fight To Keep Bible On Desk

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio A former student of a teacher who refused a district's request to remove a Bible from his desk told 10TV News on Thursday that religious items in his classroom were nothing new.

John Freshwater, a science teacher at Mount Vernon Middle School, held a rally earlier this week after his superiors asked him to remove the Bible from his desk, 10TV's Tanisha Mallett reported.

Freshwater said he was willing to go to court over the issue.

"The removal of it from my desk would be nothing short of an infringement on my own deeply held personal religious beliefs granted by God and guaranteed under the free exercise clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution," Freshwater said.

http://www.10tv.com/live/content/local/stories/2008/04/...

Great, now people are afraid of books.
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Squatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 05:53 AM
Response to Original message
1. What if it was a copy of Hustler?
/Just getting this ridiculous argument out of the way early in this thread. ;)
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 06:00 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. It would be ok - considered sex ed
;)
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Snarkturian Clone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 06:11 AM
Response to Original message
3. Is the teacher reading it out loud to the kids?
Jesus fuck, what's the big deal if it's on his desk if he's not reading it to kids or evangelizing. I work at a school that would make Duer's flip being that it's a public charter school and half our teachers were hired out of the local church. There's bibles on their desks, prayers said at assemblies and professional developments, Christmas celebrations, etc. and our students are different religions besides Christian... about 25% are muslim and another 10% are Yahweh ben Yahweh.

Guess what? Nobody has exploded, or even complained, for that matter. I'm an atheist but that doesn't mean I should be offended at everything religious. People wish me happy Easter and Merry Christmas and I don't care. At least they're not saying "Fuck you!!! Religions is eeeevvills!!1" like many people on this board.

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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 06:52 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. Do they teach evolution at your school?
Or, like Mr. Freshwater, do they treat evolution as a "matter for debate" and tell all the "problems" with evolution? Just wondering.
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Snarkturian Clone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:27 AM
Response to Reply #10
20. Our school teaches it the right way. NT
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:36 AM
Response to Reply #20
25. That's a pretty ambiguous statement. Details?
For all I know, your school could either be teaching it as the foundation for modern biology, or your school might be running field trips to see this idiotic new Ben Stein movie. Care to flesh the story out a little?
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Snarkturian Clone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. By the right way, I mean teaches it as the foundation for modern biology.
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 07:39 AM by Snarkturian Clone
Our middle school science program is pretty good actually.
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. Sounds great!
Kudos to your teaching staff, then!
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #20
29. Which is . . . ?
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Snarkturian Clone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:46 AM
Response to Reply #29
32. see reply # 27 NT
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 06:13 AM
Response to Original message
4. It's not fear of books. It's endorsement of religion.
Why can't he keep it in a drawer? Having it out on top of the desk is an endorsement of a particular religion, and that is prohibited. Having to have it out on top of the desk tells you he's trying to send a message. The man is grandstanding.

There's no clause, verse, or belief that compels Christians to keep Bibles on public displays at their workplace. A workplace is simply that: a place of work. Not a place of worship. He's not being told he can't have a Bible. He's not even being told he can't have a Bible in his classroom. He's being told he can't endorse it by putting it on display. There's no infringement on his rights. There's an infringement on his proselytization - in other words, infringement on his endorsement while acting as a government employee (and, for that matter, as an authority figure).

And, like so many fundamentalists, the teacher with his grandstanding has apparently completely forgotten Matthew 6:5-6: "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 06:29 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. It's a history book
Some use it for religious purposes.

They have one laying about in congress, and they swear people in with one.

Sometimes, tradition is not a bad thing.

If seeing a book on a desk freaks someone out or makes them feel compelled to change their views, or feel they are not part of the group, then they have a lot bigger issues to deal with and should seek professional help.

If the teacher had 1984 sitting on his desk or something else akin to it would it be an issue? Why do only books which some use for religion get people all upset?

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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 06:42 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. A history book? Wow.
No, it's not. "Some use it for religious purposes"? I think the vast majority of people who use the Bible use it for religious purposes. The Bible is a religious text. It's not very useful as a history book.

"Why do only books which some use for religion get people all upset?"

Please see the First Amendment. And again, using "some" is a pretty hard sell; ask 100 people whether the Bible is a history book or a religious text and you'd probably get 90+ responding that it's a religious text.

1984 is political commentary. Not the same thing at all. The First Amendment does not prohibit the government from endorsing political commentary. :rofl:
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marshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #8
39. It's a work of literature
I took a graduate class on medieval and early modern literature a few years ago. I was shocked at how many of the twenty something students had no knowledge whatsoever of the Bible--and these are graduate students of pre-modern English literature. We were reading a passage from Chaucer's Legend of Good Women and I said that's like that passage in Judges where Jael takes a tent peg and hammered it into that man's head. I was met with blank stares from everyone other than the teacher.
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #39
41. But it's clearly secondary to the religious function of the book.
Again, ask 100 people what the Bible is used for, and you're going to get a percentage in the high 90s that says a religious text. Your anecdote goes a long way, in fact, towards demonstrating that the Bible is not primarily viewed as literature.
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marshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #41
49. True, but those students should have been aware of it
It's astounding to me that people would be students of early modern English literature and not have any notion that the Bible was a fundamental part of daily life and consequently a major reference for all literature.
I agree that teachers shouldn't be preaching their faith to public school students, but somewhere along the way the baby was thrown out with the bathwater.
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #49
122. I don't believe a word of that ragtag collection of tribal laws and fairy tales...
but I found my knowledge of its contents to be invaluable when I was a lit student.
Like you, I was appalled at the number of my fellow students (all of them) who were unfamiliar with it.
Consequently, they missed lots of biblical references which are to be found in American and British lit
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #6
36. That collection of herdsmen fairy tales is not a history book
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BigDaddy44 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #36
69. So what you're saying is...
We should be banning collections of herdsmen fairy tales?
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #69
107. No, but we should recognize them for what they are...
we don't base laws and public policy on the the Brother Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson, and we shouldn't do it for Abrahamic fairy tales either
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Fox Mulder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
130. History book?
I think not.

It's no different than Grimm's Fairy Tales. Oh wait...the Grimm's Fairy Tales are actually interesting.
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bunkerbuster1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
158. Congresscritters aren't sworn in on a bible
They're sworn in en masse, hold up their right hands, repeat after me...

The photos you see of people being "sworn in" with Bibles are just for photo ops. OR so I've read.
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Perry Logan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 06:24 AM
Response to Original message
5. It says "religious items in his classroom were nothing new." I wonder what that means.
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 06:24 AM by Perry Logan
Does he have religious icons or crosses scattered about? Perhaps a shrine to Mary? The students probably get a big laugh out of him.
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 06:32 AM
Response to Original message
7. He teaches evolution as a theory.
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 06:49 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. In other words, a fundamentalist teacher.
"Mr. Freshwater has the kids debate about evolution in school. He teaches evolution as a theory and also tells them the problems w/ evolution."

First, and I'm not surprised at this, RaptureReady folks apparently don't know the difference between "theory" as used in science and in everyday use. In everyday use, a theory can mean anything from an explanation to a wild-assed guess. In science, a theory has broad explanatory power and is used as a framework for research and predictions. Theories are very powerful and are taken as seriously as laws or facts. Saying "just a theory" in science is like saying "just a law" or "just a fact." Creationists intentionally conflate the two contexts to present evolution as guesswork. I'm guessing that Mr. Freshwater doesn't make this apparent to his kids, and I'm guessing that all these "problems" with evolution come straight out of the Ken Hamm playbook.

Students in this school will be better off if this guy gets fired.
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hughee99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #7
150. Isn't it called the "Theory of Evolution"?
Should he be teaching it as something else?
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tkmorris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 06:54 AM
Response to Original message
11. This is a de facto religious endorsement
Come on, they don't get much clearer than this. This has no place in a public school.

Oh, and "Great, now people are afraid of books". That is just plain silly. No one is afraid books, we simply have a right not to have any religion pushed upon us by our government. I'm pretty sure that is written down somewhere...
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 06:58 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. Well stated.
The argument of the teacher and of his supporters basically boils down to "I'm being persecuted if I can't endorse religion in clear violation of the Constitution." I think someone ought to ask him why he hates the Constitution. :evilgrin:
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 06:56 AM
Response to Original message
12. Why would the teacher not just put it IN a desk drawer?
There's no reason she couldn't have it there for her personal edification. If she insists on keeping it ON the desk, she has another agenda.
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:00 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Because, of course, he has an agenda.
And in fact, his supervisors told him it'd be just fine if he kept his Bible in a drawer. That is a very reasonable accomodation, unless your goal is endorsement.
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goddess40 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #14
153. or intimidation
can you imagine being a students who just happens to have different beliefs then this teacher. If he needs to be in your face with his holy book of choice he's not above using a students beliefs as a measuring stick.
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Squatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:10 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. Just because you work for the gov't does NOT mean you check your rights at the door.
I've got a crucifix in my cubicle. Does that mean I have an agenda?
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:15 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. You're not influencing classrooms full of children daily, are you?
What this teacher is doing is against the Constitution - separation of church and state.
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Squatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:22 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. If the teacher was preaching from the bible and not teaching the curriculum
I would agree that that is verboten. However, anybody who construes the mere presence of a book as a de facto establishment of religion by the government is a fucking idiot.

I'm sure you could walk into that school's library and find many copies of religious texts, either academic or theological. The mere presence of those books no more establish the government's position on religion than does the presence of any other book on any other subject.
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:31 AM
Response to Reply #17
23. But he also said he had other religious items in the classroom...
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 07:32 AM by Breeze54
If he's not reading the bible to the kids, that's fine

but he seems to have an agenda, from what I read.
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Squatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:36 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. Yeah...I made the mistake of not RTFA...
after reading it, I'm starting to agree with you. However, my points still stand...IF the book was just sitting there as part of his personal belongings and he wasn't eulogizing from it.

But, having posters and other religious swag posted around the classroom probably indicates the teacher's agenda, which would be wrong.
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #17
24. Anybody?
A fucking idiot? Really?

Having the Bible as a display item on his desk is a clear endorsement of religion. It clearly establishes his position on religion. He is acting as a representative of the government. Therefore, if the school allows his religious display, it is passively endorsing the establishment of a religion. That's pretty simple.

As for the library, I'd bet that you could find many copies of religious texts. You could probably find the Koran and other religious texts in addition to the Bible. In that case, the Bible is one religious text among many, thereby not constituting a specific endorsement. Again, pretty simple.

Now, I'm not going to return the favor and call you a fucking idiot, but I will say that I don't think you've thought this one through.
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Squatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #24
31. So?
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 07:47 AM by Squatch
"It clearly establishes his position on religion."

If he wears a cross around his neck as part of some jewelry, doesn't that also establish his position on religion?

There's a problem when HIS position on religion can be construed as the GOVERNMENT's position on religion. Merely having a bible on your desk, or wearing religious jewelry, etc, cannot be misconstrued by a reasonable person as the government's endorsement of religion.

HOWEVER...posting posters, etc, gets pretty close to and crosses that line as a reasonable person could construe such display's as the government's endorsement of religion.
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. What you're just not seeing...
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 07:58 AM by GaYellowDawg
A teacher does not just represent him or herself in front of the classroom. A teacher is the representative of the school system as well. If he endorses religion in the classroom, he's endorsing it as a school representative. If the school allows him to do so, it is passively establishing religion. As the school is a government institution, there you have the passive establishment of religion.

I don't see the difference between a Bible prominently displayed on the desk or a jewelry cross or religious posters. They're all expressions of religion and they have no place in a public school classroom by a school representative and authority figure. If you're a public school teacher, you have the obligation to check your religious and political viewpoints at the door. If you can't do that, then you need to either find a different profession or teach at a private school.

On edit: and you still haven't answered the question of what religious rights have been abridged by this. I don't know any Christian commandment, edict, clause, tenet, or guideline that says that you must display the Bible prominently at your workplace.
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Squatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. Oh yeah?
"They're all expressions of religion and they have no place ...(by) authority figure."

"As the school is a government institution, there you have the passive establishment of religion."

How about these government authorities expressing their religion in government institutions:

Speaker of the House (a person operating in a position of authority in a government institution)



Chaplain Watters (a person operating in a position of authority in a government institution)




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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #34
40. sigh...
1. I would do away with using religious symbology to swear in politicians. It's not as if it's ever kept them honest anyway, and it doesn't justify using the Bible as a display item in a classroom.

2. Chaplains are not a part of the chain of command in the armed services, so you can't really call them an authority. And as for everyone else:

Army:
Soldiers may wear religious apparel, articles, or jewelry with the uniform, to include the physical fitness uniform, if they are neat, conservative, and discreet. Neat conservative, and discreet is defined as meeting the uniform criteria of this regulation. In other words, when religious jewelry is worn, the uniform must meet the same standards of wear as if the religious jewelry were not worn. For example, a religious item worn on a chain may not be visible when worn with the utility, service, dress, or mess uniforms. When worn with the physical fitness uniform, the item should be no more visible than identification (ID) tags would be in the same uniform. The width of chains worn with religious items should be approximately the same size as the width of the ID tag chain.

In other words, if you're not a chaplain, you're tucking the religious jewelry away when you're doing your job. Other branches have similar regulations. Quite similar, in fact, to asking a teacher to put the Bible in the desk drawer, wouldn't you say?

And you still haven't answered my question as to how the teacher's religious rights have been violated by asking him to put the Bible in a desk drawer.
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marshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #34
148. Yes, Congress is actually named in the section of the Constitution in question
It doesn't mention school teachers or any other authority figures other than Congress. So if we are going to extrapolate from the wording of the Constitution that it applies to more than just Congress, shouldn't Congress be the first to abide by it?
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Dr. Strange Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #33
38. Just out of curiousity, does that apply to Jay Bennish?
He certainly didn't check his views at the door. Should he have?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #38
43. Yes, it does.
And yes, Bennish should have checked his views at the door. What he did was unprofessional.
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Dr. Strange Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #43
47. I thought it was unprofessional too.
Although I wonder how realistic it is to expect teachers to check all their political/religious views at the door?
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #47
58. Good point...
...but I would expect teachers to try, anyway. I would want any students of mine to be at least a little surprised if they found out my religious or political affiliation and say they couldn't tell it from how I taught.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #47
94. It's very realistic
I do it every day. Granted, I teach elementary school and we don't get involved in many political discussions, but it really isn't that hard to leave my opinions at the door.

Every time we have a presidential election, the kids ask me who I am voting for. My answer: "Who do you think I should vote for?"

Yesterday one of them asked why we say the pledge in school. I said because there is a state law that says we have to say it. The kid said "That's a stupid law." I asked him why he felt that way and we ended up having a great discussion in class about whether or not it is patriotic to say the pledge and salute the flag. And they had no idea what my personal opinions were, because I didn't mention them.

So no, it's not that hard to check your views at the door.
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timtom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #16
128. Here is what the Constitution has to say:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

That's about it. The rest is interpretation over the past forty some odd years.
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:24 AM
Response to Reply #15
19. What rights are being checked?
Does his religion specifically mandate that he have a Bible on top of, rather than inside, his desk? It's not like he's being asked to leave the Bible at home. The school is simply asking that he not use it as a public display item that clearly denotes his endorsement.

His insistence in keeping it on the desk would be like you placing your crucifix outside your cubicle and protesting if someone asked that it be taken down. I think you could make a case for an agenda there.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #12
118. Because that is the Gideons' job, obviously!
:dunce:
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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:24 AM
Response to Original message
18. Teacher displayed 10 commandments and other "motivational" posters
from the link-

"The complaint involved the Ten Commandments and I believe eight to 10 bibles that were stacked on a shelf," Short said.

Stone said the parent complained about motivational posters with Bible verses and an additional Bible that sits on Freshwater's desk.

this is not simply about the teacher having a bible on his desk. I think the bible should be definitely included in history and english classes... it's impossible to understand western history and lit without understanding what motivated ppl to do things they did... from the crusades to empire.

that's not the same thing as displaying the 10 commandments in your classroom. sounds like just more confrontational b.s. from a fundie.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #18
157. The Bible's okay, but the other stuff isn't.
Probably not a Naz grad or definitely wasn't listening in Bevin's classes on what's allowed and what's not. That guy should probably talk with Bevin.
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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:28 AM
Response to Original message
21. that news headline is so misleading. such b.s., really
the point of the issue is that the teacher had numerous items in his classroom meant to promote his religious beliefs. posters, for instance. considering how this thing is playing out, I would have a hard time believing this man did not use his position as a way to promote his beliefs... this is the issue for most people concerning religions in schools.

that the older student knew of it, but was now a convert, or whatever is soooo outside of the point.

however, it's a great headline to instigate outrage based upon false impressions.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #21
70. Right Winger Red Meat
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fed_up_mother Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:31 AM
Response to Original message
22. I believe he has a right to keep the bible
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 08:29 AM by fed_up_mother
in a drawer in his desk!

He has a right to wear a cross, etc., but keeping the book "on" his desk at all times is sending a religious message, imo. If it should just happen to be there on occasion. Fine. But he is making a religious statement by keeping it out at all times.

I'm a christian, by the way. He doesn't check his rights at the door, but being in a position of authority, he should take more care not to be so "in your face" with his bible.
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baldguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:42 AM
Response to Original message
30. If he needs to have it out on his desk as a reminder of his faith
his faith is pretty weak.

And its not only a reminder to him, it's a reminder to HIS STUDENTS - and an explicit, and illegal - endorsement of religion.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:21 AM
Response to Original message
35. we demand our kids learn critical thinking then insist on sanitizing their environment
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 08:21 AM by seabeyond
so they do ot have to

w(ho)tf cares if the man has a bible on his desk. these kids are middle school. to have controversy and contradiction and oppsition in their life is a wonderful thing especially if it brings up dialogue.

i had kids in a baptist christian school (we are the only liberals) for many years and their views often contradicted ours in this house. we spent many many many hours at the dinner table and everywhere else using experience to learn, grow, think. and outside of box. and my kids were young.... talking young like 4, 5, 6,..... today i have a 7th grader and 4th grader that can discuss, debate, argue any subject. they can also listen and learn and grow. they are not going to be kids that have never experienced this and be able to be influenced at the drop of the hat

we insist the kids have critical thing and then insist they are not capable.

this makes no sense.
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #35
42. It's a public school and it violates the Constitution.
This has nothing to do with 'critical thinking' at all.

It does however, have a lot to do with this PUBLIC school teachers agenda.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #42
46. so what. i am so tired of this stupid ass argument on both sides being too overly sensitive
and making battles where none need to be. having a bible on the desk of a school is not separation of church and state. are we not going to have a bible in a library or any of the many different books talking religion and philosophy?

if one is allowed another is allowed and pretty soon there will be diversity and we will actually have to talk. or we can "try" to hide it all and how stupid is that

must they take off their cross as they step over a schools threshold
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #46
59. Exactly! He's wrong!
"having a bible on the desk of a school is not separation of church and state."

He's violating the Constitution with his stack of bibles and other religious items in the classroom.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #59
64. it is not a seperation of church adn state issue. then you have to go after cross worn
or a st christopher. and i am really opposed togo down this road.

i just have maore faith (wink) in both adults and especially or children. if it was a muslim with koran i would not only support it, i would tell the person how much i value my child getting to have time with someone in muslim reliigon just for their esxperience in diversity. that doesnt mean i want them to convert son to muslim. though i would have no issue the two chatting about it, would love whole calss talking about it to not be so "afraid" of the muslim. actually i think son told me once they had muslim librarian and she has talked to kids about it and i heard NO bitchin about seperation and how dare.... and kid telling me ifty

i am all for discussion on atheism

there are lines

but the bible on the desk isnt one

therer are bibles in library
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #64
79. It is a Constitution issue. He's crossing that line. n/t
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #79
85. the wearing a cross is crossing the line. or little hat (sorry i dont know name) jews wear
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 10:28 AM by seabeyond
or my hubbys st christopher he wears is crossing the line. or any of the other things we chose as individuals... that come with us into group.

isnt this right breeze, these too must be stripped of crossing the threshold of the school doors?
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #85
95. No, that's not the same ...this guy has EIGHT bibles and religious posters and
other religious stuff in the classroom. He's clearly crossed the line
and I'm sure he's making students in his classroom uncomfortable.

He doesn't have that right. He's breaking the law.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #95
96. bible.... singlular on desk. 8 stacked on shelf and posters.
who the fuck cares,.... obviously you all. he said he would take the 8 bibles out and posters. so hence the argument about aving a bible on the desk and why we are talking about a single bible sitting on the desk and that is now where the fight is

read the article... wink
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #96
102. Who cares? The LAW and the parents that don't want that guy
teaching their kids about HIS religion and who don't want that guy
alienating non-religious students and students of other religions!
He has no right to do that in a PUBLIC school! It's against the LAW!
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #102
103. he ISNT teaching his religion. no where did i see he was teaching his religion
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #103
105. He was trying to influence the kids with posters and a stack of bibles.
That is against the law.
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #103
108. Well, here you go.
Maybe if you took a little time to do something a simple search, you could see the man's ulterior motives:

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the June 3, 2003 edition of the Mount Vernon News

MOUNT VERNON The Mount Vernon Board of Education turned down a proposal on the teaching of evolution at its board meeting Monday at the Mount Vernon Middle School library.

An objective origins science policy proposed by Mount Vernon Middle School science teacher John Freshwater had been turned down at a previous meeting, but the issue had found new life with a proposal by board member Dr. Margie Bennett. Bennetts proposal was that if both micro- and macro-evolutionary theory continue to be taught, then both the evidence accepted by a majority of scientists and controversy proposed by other scientists should be included in class discussion.

This allows the objective examination of science. It supports discussion of the critical evolution of science, Bennett said. All of us recognize the controversy. The National Association recognizes the controversy. We encourage students to question things. Science is ever-changing ideas. As evolution is challenged, whats wrong with questioning it?

Its important to me that children not only learn, but examine, question what they learn, said Martha Farmer, who supported Bennetts proposal. They should study science as its taught, but it should not be limited to that. Allowing a child to think and question gives them a better understanding of what theyve learned.


In other words, this guy, along with the board member, has already publicly pushed to teach a "controversy" where none exists. It's the old wedge strategy of creationists, and your boy John Freshwater is one of them. He IS trying to teach his religion, and has been trying for years.

Game, set, fucking MATCH.
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #108
110. You rock!
;)

:yourock:
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #110
114. he is talking about it with the board. it doesnt not say he did in class
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 11:45 AM by seabeyond
am i not reading it correctly. if this is the case and something he believes and wants to teach kids, yet doesnt and waits to put in front of board then uge pat for him for being professional and handling it like he should

if he is teaching in class, .... then his ass should be in trouble cause not allowed

unless board ok, .... then parents go after it
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:50 AM
Original message
He broke the rules of the school district.
He had religious things on display in the classroom and it is against the school districts rules.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
117. and he agreed to pull it all out. still now, we are on the discussion of did he teach intellligent
design against school rule.
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #117
119. I don't know if he did but he clearly had an agenda.
You do see that don't you?

What are you defending a guy that doesn't want to follow the rules and the law?

Do you condone teachers just willy nilly teaching your kids anything they want to teach?

They can't do that!
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #119
121. IF the man was not teaching it in class it does not matter what he believes
what his agenda is....

do you not see that

"Do you condone teachers just willy nilly teaching your kids anything they want to teach?" he is not teaching willy nilly that we know of. you accuse him of teaching willy nilly and we have no information suggesting he is, further, information that suggests he is not teaching it in class.


the man was called on something and they came to an agreement.

he is not breaking the rules teaching it in class

he is being professional taking it in front of board. that is good

not EVERYONE has to believe like i do. he is not breaking any rules.
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #121
123. He WAS influencing the kids by hanging posters and other items.
He broke the rules. He's wrong and he clearly has a history, from what Yellow Dog posted.

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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #108
112. is he teaching this in class or discussing it. not clear if proposal was turned down
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 11:43 AM by seabeyond
or ok'ed to show controversy in evolution.

now.... cause he went to the board does not mean he was teaching this in his class. i do not see anywhere that it says he was teaching controversy of evolution. only that he wanted to

am i wrong

was he teaching intelligent design in class?

regardless of what he wants to do, regardless of his beliefs, if he is NOT doing it in class, he does not get in trouble.

on edit: and teacher? to have a discussion, debate even argument and end with game set and match is so adolescent. takes away from the maturity of the discussion, dont you think
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #112
151. Re: your edit
You took away from the maturity of the discussion a long time ago by arguing in a stupid fashion. You maintained that some guy who went to the press over putting his Bible in a drawer didn't have an agenda, then said he wasn't necessarily anti-evolution, then said that he wasn't necessarily teaching anti-evolution. You know, sometimes you can make reasonable inferences. It is reasonable to infer that this guy is a fundamentalist publicity whore who's had an agenda for a long time, and you know it.

You argue like Ken Hamm, and because of that, you deserve a little "game set match" type abuse. Your idea of "critical thinking" is to cling to an argument beyond any reasonable point and think you're clever because of it. That's adolescent.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #151
152. i never said he didnt have agenda, didnt say wasnt anti evolution,
the man clearly has an agenda and i am assuming he is anti evolution. IF he is teaching anti evolution in class, then everyone on this board has a position to go after the man. you say it is reasonable to draw the conclusion. that is not how i fire someone from a job when i am told the man does not and i have no evidence that he does.

for you this is not a proper way to argue and you put it at immature. so tell me, how am i to disagree with you, .... or is it a matter i dont agree with you that makes me immature in your mind.

you make all these assumptions about this man. well, you put words in my mouth too that i never said and dont think. there is a problem there.
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kevinbgoode Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #96
163. So let him go teach in a "Christian" private school
Isn't that why they were created in the first place?
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #163
165. should all christians go teach at a private christian school. he is not teaching christianity
he is teaching science and following the curriculum as far as we know. if he was not, then there would be grounds to take action against the man.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #64
129. A book on display on a piece of furniture at the front of a classroom
IS different from a crucifix or other personal jewelry worn on one's person. IIRC that difference has been ruled on at some point (but don't ask me where or when).
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #129
131. where are you getting... display... piece of furntiure... front classroom... lite being shined
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 02:26 PM by seabeyond
on it too?

"The removal of it from my desk would be nothing short of an infringement "

i am hearing sittin on his desk

interesting the iirc ruling. thanks....

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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #131
135. Excuse me. I just assumed that the desk mentioned was a piece of
furniture and that it was at the front of the classroom. Silly me.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #135
138. oh.... you know what you did
you made it saound as if it was center of attention and the focus of the class. it is sittin on a desk. big difference than "displayed on a piece of furniture in front of class. put it on a damn pedestal
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #138
141. I don't know whether he had it standing upright or lying flat, but
I can pretty much guarantee you that students who came to his desk were given a clear view of it. Because that's the entire point of putting it on the desk. For show.

Wouldn't surprise me if he's just another RW hypocrite chasin' skirt or trying to diddle little boys or hanging out in airports looking for old guys with wide stances, either. The ones most determined to brag about what great bible-believers they are, are the same ones making fools out of themselves.
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kevinbgoode Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #46
162. The Bible should be in the adult section of the library
Right next to the gay children's books those same religious fanatics claim cannot be in a classroom or available to children.
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BigDaddy44 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #42
66. How does it violate the constitution?
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

What law has been established respecting an establishment of religion here? This guy isn't in congress. This is a book on a table. That constitutes congressional establishment of religion now? (oh, and by the way, read the second part of the clause...."or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.")
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #66
83. Public Schools: Teaching Democracy, Not Dogma
Separation: Good for Government, Good for Religion

http://www.adl.org/issue_religious_freedom/separation_c...

The right to freedom of religion is so central to American democracy that it was enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution along with other fundamental rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

-- The First Amendment


In order to guarantee an atmosphere of absolute religious liberty, this country's founders also mandated the strict separation of church and state. Largely because of this prohibition against government regulation or endorsement of religion, diverse faiths have flourished and thrived in America since the founding of the republic. Indeed, James Madison, the father of the United States Constitution, once observed that "the devotion of the people has been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state."

Americans are still among the most religious people in the world. Yet the government plays almost no role in promoting, endorsing or funding religious institutions or religious beliefs. Free from government control -- and without government assistance -- religious values, literature, traditions and holidays permeate the lives of our citizens and, in their diverse ways, form an integral part of our national culture. By maintaining the wall separating church and state, we can guarantee the continued vitality of religion in American life.

------

Public Schools: Teaching Democracy, Not Dogma

http://www.adl.org/issue_religious_freedom/separation_c...

Public schools play a central role in American life. They mold children into good citizens by teaching the core values of pluralistic democracy: freedom and tolerance. Our public schools must therefore be hospitable to students of all faiths and no faith. Public schools should teach an understanding of and respect for diversity, as well as a spirit of acceptance and inclusion. They should also help develop citizens who respect our nation's legacy of religious freedom and the separation of church and state.

Public school teachers rightly function as important authority figures in the lives of their students. But, under the Constitution, their authority may not extend to matters of religious belief. According to the Supreme Court, the First Amendment requires that public school students never be given the impression that their school officially sanctions religion in general or prefers a specific faith in particular. Further, students must never feel coerced by peer or public pressure into adhering to the dictates of any religion.

Contrary to the claims of opponents of church-state separation, public school students enjoy very broad rights to act in accordance with their religious values and to practice their religious beliefs while at school. From words of grace whispered quietly before a meal in a cafeteria to prayer groups gathering before school at the flagpole, every day all over the country, students engage in constitutionally protected religious expression on public school grounds.

Despite the Supreme Court's clear rules against school sponsorship of religious activity and endorsement of religion, the religious right and others opposed to the separation of church and state have repeatedly attempted to inject sectarianism into the schools. For example, they have consistently sought laws mandating a moment of silence and the teaching of the biblical account of creation as an alternative to science. Imposition of an organized moment of silence is almost always unconstitutional since both the purpose and effect of a moment of silence are plainly to advance religion. Further, the Supreme Court has held that it is unconstitutional to require science teachers to teach creationism or to forbid them from teaching evolution.

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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #83
87. book sittin on a mans desk is not teaching dogma. no one is validating teaching religion in school
we are all opposed to it. we are also opposed to saying bible cannot be seen, or koran or a book on atheism
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #87
92. He has more than one book and he has other religious things there!
READ the article!! He has an agenda! Period!
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dbmk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #87
167. The teacher is an "authority figure". There is a reason for that term.
You seem to complete disregard the notion that young peoples minds are severely impressionable.

He is supposed to teach kids in whatever subject. And the kids are supposed to believe what the teacher teaches them is right (no, that does not mean he cannot promote critical thinking). He is put there to influence their minds. And he is abusing that position of power.

By displaying the bible he is displaying one religious standpoint as being more right than others in his mind - and merging it into the teacher-pupil relationship - and consequently the students belief of what they should think is right or wrong. Yeah, so some kids have more critical thinking that others, and hooray for your smart kids. But not every kid comes from an environment where such thought patterns are cultivated.

What of the little muslim boy or girl that is confronted by the bible sitting on a desk of teacher they are supposed to listen to and trust - why should their faith be questioned by their mere presence in the classroom they are forced to attend - by a person they are supposed/required to listen to?

Until you pile a book from every religious or atheist direction on that table you better keep it clear of any of them.

Its all good that you have had good experiences with it. Anyone can get lucky.
But there is a good reason for why its still wrong, both morally and legally, in general. And anyone should be able to see why.

The argument that "its only a book" is simply outrageous. Thats how you begin down every slippery slope.
"Ook, its a book, 12 on a shelf and a poster" - still no biggie. But when your kid comes home and tells you you will burn in hell because you are living out of wedlock or even worse, a member of your own sex - you might find that you should have insisted that the book be removed in the beginning.

Extrapolating a tad much? Sure. But why start down that slope when we don't have to?
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #167
170. 12, 13 and 10 yr old reading your post really not agreeing, as if they dont have a working
brain. they are in pantry lookin for food yet going on and on about how it isnt a problem and not bad opening mind in all directions, learning new stuff, accepting each other and not teaching the religion if it is a public school because of those that arent christian, like muslim, dont want them to feel bad, but a book sittin there doesnt do anything

this is three boys just talking after reading your first couple paragraphs of your post. while they were still interested....(one isnt my child, spending the night. am i in trouble cause i let him read your anti bible post. he is after all a faithful christian. goes to church anyway. even he could figure it out)

they arent brain dead

do you have kids. we are talking middle school 11-13, 14 yr olds.
"Ook, its a book, 12 on a shelf and a poster" went from 8, another poster 10, now at 12. wow

what if a muslim kid sees a bible? what if.... he sees a bible. so what. what if a christian sees a koran.


if any teacher abuses his position because of any belief, .... any.... not just christian but any.... then he should be dealt with. it is that simple. any time i have had issue, i have gone into the school and resolve win all around

no, a book does not hurt a single thing. it is the big deal everyone is making out of this book. that is what is going ot leave the impression on the children. teach our children well, they dare not even gaze upon "that" book.
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dbmk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #170
172. I am glad you have brought your kids up to be critical and at the same time openminded
They and you should be equally proud of each other. I mean that wholeheartedly. The fact that you could make/had them read this and give their opinion speaks volumes.

But sadly that is not necessarily a fact for many kids.

By your argument, and I am knowingly being a little crass here, we can remove the concept of legal age of consent, and basically assume that kids will always have mental fortitude and strength of decisionmaking needed to make the decision when they want to have sex with another person. But there is a reason for such rules, that are bound not only in what grownups can physically force kids to do. But also mentally. And there is a reason that the legal age of consent in many places are higher in a situation where an adult is in a position of authority to the child/kid/young person.

There is a balance of power between a teacher and a student that is almost completely in the teachers favour. Every time a teacher uses his/her position to promote religious, or political for that matter, beliefs to the young and impressionable minds he/she has been entrusted with in the name of the state - it is abuse of that power.

Just be clear: I am not against teaching or talking about religions in schools. It should be presented on the same level as any other prevalent notion/idea in society, like taxes, legislation and so on. But it must be done from a standpoint of neutrality.

But most importantly:
It is not up to a teacher, or you, to decide what is harmless or negliable in that regard. (Would you draw the line at a nazi swastika?)
It seems to me that the Supreme Court has spoken quite clearly on how it sees the law - and rightly so - in this matter. And why not just stick to that and keep beard and snot apart as we say here.

Food for thought: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Third_Wave
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #172
176. but i dont think a bible sitting on a desk does what you are suggesting
and that is where we are disagreeing. i know many on here really believe a bible on a desk does something to people, but i think this is going to far in this battle. i sit in the religous belt panhandle of texas and i am a calif, spiritual, not religous, a democrat and i only know repulicans and i sent my kids to a christian private school for 6 years for the academics that werent superior over public.

i have seen it all. i battled with this baptist private school (the people, the kids) all thru the 2004 election and the movie "passion". i have been speaking out to these christians for a long time stating their hypocrisy and wrongs in the name of the lord.

and a bible sitting on his desk, with no preaching in class, no contradicting the cirriculum and when wanting change, taking the appropriate final steps.... i cannot take away his individual right to have a book on the desk.

i would stand up for a muslims right to have the koran. i would fight hard, just cause we are a majority christian who would go after the koran, i would insist the koran be allowed on the desk. i could do no less, just cause it is the bible.

and i give kids more credit. seeing how i am around this age, right here and now, i dont think i am just blowing smoke.

and if you are comparing a bible on a desk with third wave conditioning, come on.

i dont agree

but that is ok, we dont have to.

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dbmk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-19-08 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #176
177. We certainly don't. :)
But since we are having a little debate here without throwing insults, which is so prevalent in other parts of this website, I think I will continue the discussion a little further, just because its nice. If thats ok? :)

I would certainly not compare this thing with third wave conditioning - and I don't think I was doing so. My point in referring to that, was in relation to your apparent complete dismissal of the notion that kids are not always completely capable of critical thinking in the face of an authority figure. Or unable to be unduly influenced by that figure. Hell, many adults aren't that capable.

But more importantly; We might disagree on what a book sitting on a desk does. My point was, though, that it is a debate we should not be having. Or more precisely - we can of course have the debate, but until that turns into a change in the notion that church and state should be separate - then there should be no cutting corners and more or less subjective interpretations on what that entails.

Its like deciding for yourself when you are sober enough to drive. To protect the ones that might be affected by your judgement - should it prove faulty - rules are made.

You might find it acceptable - but others might not. You might even be wrong in your assesment of the impact it has or the message it sends. You might not.
But why go there at all, when all it takes to avoid it is for the teacher to separate his teachings and signals while doing so, from his private choice of worship - or political standpoint for that matter? And enforce the constitution for once.

By not letting the teacher keep his book on the table you are not violating his rights. You are protecting them.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #42
159. Not according to the Supreme Court.
Abington made it clear that teachers can teach the Bible in certain ways, and that means that they can have a Bible on their desks. There was another ruling, too, but I can't find it right now.
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RedCappedBandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
37. If there were an athiest bible,
i bet the same people fighting for this teacher's rights would be fighting to get that book taken out of schools.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #37
44. nope. i would be embracing it. further i would sya thank you to
the atheist for sharing their views and allowing my childen the opportunity to experience another with differing views in a respectful and learning environment.

i am not affraid of diversity adn certainly not afraid of it for my children. i welcome it. i insist and demand it.
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #44
45. What place does a religious text have in a science classroom?
None.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #45
48. what place does a chapstick or picture of his children or a potted plant or fiction
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 08:58 AM by seabeyond
novel have, none.
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #48
50. What the hell does that have to do with anything?
This guy was pushing his religious viewpoint, and talked about evolution as "just a theory" and informed his students as to the "problems" with evolution. The only objections to evolutionary theory are religious and do not belong in a scientific classroom. His students were misled and miseducated as a result of this guy's religion.

Chapstick, pictures of his children, potted plants, and fiction would have zip, nada, zero effect on the education of the kids. I mean, what the fuck does it take for you to see something like this?
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #50
52. the theory of evolution.... hm. lol. hey if the guy is going overboard in preaching
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 09:31 AM by seabeyond
of christianity to the children, let that be the argument. for the argument to be over a bible on the desk i stand with what i say. it is as much a personal thing sittin on the desk as a chapstick, picture or anything else.

i personally dont have issue with a teacher debating all points.... as long as it is open for all thought

for a teacher to say theory of evolution and talk about todays controversy again is not a problem unless he is saying evolution is bullshit, creationism is where it is at

but to suggest in a academic environment we dont "talk" about it is silly to me.

if it was a political class talking about todays current affairs i would expect a class discussion or lecture on it. it i a wedge issue that has a significant impact on where we are today. this is why i send kids to school. to learn
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #52
55. Here's the problem.
There are NO "all points." There is NO scientific alternative to evolution. NONE. Therefore, it is intellectually dishonest to discuss anything else as a scientific alternative. Not all ideas are scientific. Not all views have scientific validity. For instance, giving "intelligent design" - an idea that has no scientific backing or validity whatsoever, equal time in a science classroom is stupid. All it does is confuse kids and perpetuate misconceptions about content and methodology of science. Therefore, it is antithetical to the teaching ideals of any good teacher.

Do you send your kids to school to learn about bullshit? Learning how to think critically doesn't mean that you get exposure to all views and think they're equal. Learning how to think critically means that you know bullshit when you see it. Like intelligent design, and like the idea that putting a Bible in your desk drawer violates your religious rights.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #55
56. is the man saying that intelligent design is a valid theory too? at that time the teacher has
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 09:51 AM by seabeyond
taught a lie, goes over the line.

i did not read that is what the teacher taught

did the teacher even mention intellignet design? i dont know. or is it that he merely is saying evolution is a theory. this matters.

i do send kids out in the big bad world to challenge the bullshit. though i would be the first to address a teacher teaching non truths to children, my own kids do a pretty good job of it themselves. there was something taught in my sons 4th grade class. a given lie kids all over are taught and my son challenged it in class. a discussion then happened in that class. if that did not happen, those children would never have had an opportunity to hear a differing view

so no, i am not bothered or afraid....

what would bother me if the teacher did not allow a challenge

did the teacher talk about intelligent design? not so much in science though i can see a science teacher mentioning it how some believe it, but i would expect the discussion in social studies.
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #56
60. He apparently tried to cast doubt on evolution in class.
You know, the whole "just a theory" thing. I'd be just fine with a discussion of intelligent design in a theology or philosophy class. It does not, however, belong in a science class. I know I get too excitable about it, but if you were party to the sheer oily dishonesty of intelligent design advocates, you would too.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #60
62. but you are not saying intelligent design was in science. and apparen tly
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 09:59 AM by seabeyond
put doubt on theory of evolution.... it is a theory.... but that is not enough info for me to go after the teacher

fuck.... i watch it CLOSE in this area. i had to deprogram my oldest, intellectual genius of a son that man did not have ne rib LESS than female

on edit: still wouldnt go after bible on desk
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #62
68. The scientific meaning of "theory"
A theory, in science, is a broad-based explanation that ties together many observations, facts, and experiments. Theories are not conjectures or guesses. By the time the scientific community accords an explanation the status of "theory," it is taken just as seriously as any law or fact, and there isn't a whole lot of doubt about it; it is recognized as the best available scientific explanation. There is no such thing as "just a theory" in science. Saying evolution is "just a theory" is like saying that gravity is "just a theory."

The general public uses "theory" completely differently. It can be conjecture or a wild-assed guess. The problem is, too many people conflate the "everyday" idea of what "theory" is with the scientific usage. Creationists take full advantage of this to imply doubt or controversy where none exists. Apparently, you needed to be made aware of this, too.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #68
73. hey... i am well aware what theory means and perception. so.....
because i am aware of what is going on and am not throwing fits about it does not mean i agree with them, or would teach it or anything else.

you talk about them taking advatange in manipulation in order to create confusion and illusion. i have been very clear of my expectations and reason..... and nowhere can i be painted above. but because i do not back your argument you want to create the very same illusion you are bitchin about the whole theory to do.

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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #73
91. That was pretty incoherent.
Illusion? That implies some sort of dishonesty. You're the one with slippery views.

First you said that you would be open to all views being taught, and then you backpedaled when I asserted that intelligent design does not belong in a science classroom. Then your response to what I said about the teacher saying it was "just a theory" indicated that you didn't have a clear understanding about it. If you advocate the presence of any explanation differing from evolution in the science classroom, you do not have a clear understanding of the objectives of a science classroom: teaching about the process and content of science, neither of which accomodates intelligent design.

I am not creating any illusions. I have been very straightforward and consistent throughout this entire thread. I have very clearly laid out my reasoning as to why I think this man's actions were wrong. I am no constitutional scholar, but I am very confident and clear in my stance with respect to evolution/creationism and the science classroom. Any smoke and mirrors are in your own head.
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OnyxCollie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #48
51. Do any of those things have religious connotations attached,
that may or may not represent the religious views of the children in MANDATORY attendance, thereby forcing them to be subjected to the government establishment of a particular religious belief?

This teacher's bible and religious motivation posters are inexcusable. They have no place in the classroom.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #51
53. i dont teach my children to be so afraid. i also dont make the other children powerless
for a non christian to "see" a bible or not be able to view a motivational poster with fear of damage to child is the oversensitive extremism i am talking. it is both sides.

right.... by gosh dont dare talk theory of evolution to children
left..... dont dare let children "see" a bible

both positions are ludicrous to me
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OnyxCollie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #53
54. It is not about being afraid.
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 10:00 AM by blackops
What if it was the other way around? What if a Jehovah's Witness didn't want to salute the flag? Would you make them stand up and recite the pledge of allegiance if it violated their religious beliefs? Would you just tell them not be afraid? Would you tell them their position is ludicrous? Ever bother to read the Constitution?

On edit: Read Minersville School District v. Gobitis and the case that overruled it, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette.

http://www.oyez.org/cases/1901-1939/1939/1939_690 /

http://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1949/1942/1942_591/
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #54
61. another issue i have been having is teaching someone of differing beliefs that all should
accomodate them. i do not believe in that. though we embrace and love dversity in this house, in our diverse belief we understand not all people do. my kids on a regular bases are experiencing confrontational on their differing beliefs both religiously and politically.

my youngest in 2nd grade defended some religion or atheist i dont remember and the kids then told him he was going to hell cause he defended the religion or non religion.

all my kids life they have been on the very very stron minority.... i mean like the only one. and htey have never kept quiet, have always expressed, must learn and get facts crrect at such a young age AND be respectful

i dont have a problem with telling my kids not all believe like you, further very few do. it is their place to learn not to take it personally

and my kids would stand next to the jehovah witness without judgment and in support

i also figure adults can pretty well deal with issues that come up. we have n this area. have issue, talk to teach and principal and interact in adult manner, respectfully resolve, grow and move on

now i believe the hand on heart recite pledge has gone thru court

that is not the same as bible on desk
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OnyxCollie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #61
63. You just don't get it.
I've updated my previous post. Read the cases I have listed.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #63
65. i do GET it. i dont agree with you. i have a different opinion than you. n/t
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OnyxCollie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #65
67. My opinion is based on the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution.
What have you got?
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BigDaddy44 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #67
75. Mine is based on actually READING the constitution
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Some things are simple enough to be read without requiring someone else to interpret it for you.
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OnyxCollie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #75
80. Congress shall make no law
Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.

Can I slander or libel you? Maybe yell "Fire" in a crowded theater? According to your simple interpretation, I can.
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RedCappedBandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #44
115. I disagree
The article states that this teacher had various items promoting his religion throughout the classroom. This is not appropriate for ANY classroom in a public school building, let alone a science classroom.

Fearing diversity is not something I am guilty of. What this teacher is doing is quite the opposite of embracing such diversity.

If the class were based on discussion of various religious beliefs, then a bible would be entirely appropriate, along side of many other such texts. A science classroom is NOT the place.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #115
116. hte article also said he agreed to pull it all out of class but one bible on his desk. n/t
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #37
89. There are many Atheist bibles. They are called textbooks.

There are many secular history books covering the ancient Middle East. We also have philosophy and, of course, science books. Combine these and you pretty much cover all the same material as the Christian bible.


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RedCappedBandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #89
109. good point.
pretty much proves my point, when fundies try to remove science books from the curriculum.
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 09:52 AM
Response to Original message
57. He's not qualified to teach science
if he believes evolution is one of competing "theories".

Who cares about the Bible, it's what he's teaching his kids.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
71. The Teacher Was Proselytizing His Religious Belief
on public school grounds. This article and it's headline is very misleading and I'm not surprised as to how it's been spun.

"Afraid of books?" Nice try... BS!
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #71
74. Then he should be reprimanded for proselytizing but the book
should stay.
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #74
93. He has EIGHT bibles in the classroom and religious posters
and other religious objects in the room! He is breaking the law.
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #93
98. Operative word: HAD
Up until this point no one complained. AFter the complaint by a parent, the man took down the posters but left one bible on his desk. If this is what you find so objectionable and will become so undone as a result of it, I feel for ya. He sounds reasonable and complied. Based upon history, he hasn't proselytized at all with his students.

Breaking the law?? Yay, lets lock him up and throw away the key.

I find some libs to be as fundamentalist as those they criticize.
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #98
100. Unhinged? Give me a break...you are the one denying he broke the law.
Why did he remove them then, if he was innocent of an agenda?

Why do you think it's OK for a teacher to proselytize to their students in a public school?

It's not in a religious school, he works in a public school!

He has no right doing that in that setting.

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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #100
104. we come on discussing one book on the desk. you turn it to 8 books and posters
reading the article we see it was.... not anymore, the discussion is about one bible on the desk.

what we were initially discussing
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #100
120. It wasn't a problem until now
and he complied without a fight. I never said it was ok to proselytize in school (numerous times in fact) but I do not find religious literature offensive or intimidating. It wasn't an issue to anyone until now and he complied.


Gargle with some water, it keeps the foaming at the mouth to a minimum.

So how far do we take this? Should Jews or Muslims be restricted to wearing head coverings? Should religious medals and icons be restricted?

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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #120
124. I hope you are gargling to cut down on your foaming at the mouth...you seem to be experienced at it
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 12:06 PM by Breeze54
He's been breaking the law for 15 years according to the article and just because nobody complained before this means nothing other then the fact the principle of that school turned a blind eye to what this teacher was doing wrong and was also derelict in his duties upholding the districts rules.
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #124
126. No, just experienced in dealing with the way some people on these
boards get crazed at stuff like this. It is comical. I am not so much in disagreement with you over the content of the story, but moreso how whipped up and rabid you and others get over religious issues such as this. I think there should be a reprimand and follow through if necessary, I just get a kick out of how crazy people like you get.
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #126
127. I wasn't "whipped up and rabid " at all... you're not that experienced
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 12:33 PM by Breeze54
if your interpretation is that I was rabid about this religious nutjob.
You're way off and your condescending attitude is telling. If you detect
my aggravation at the stupidity of some of the responses defending this
guy, then you might be correct. Stupidity annoys me, as do you.




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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #93
99. he said he would take all that down and out, just 1 bible on desk. hence the
subject title.... bible on desk. that is the argument, discussion debate here.

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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #99
106. My mistake... it was actully TEN bibles!
"Jennifer Klintworth, who was a student in Freshwater's class about 15 years ago,
said the teacher always had religious items present in his classrooms."

"The complaint involved the Ten Commandments and I believe eight to 10 bibles
that were stacked on a shelf," Short said.

Stone said the parent complained about motivational posters with Bible verses
and an additional Bible that sits on Freshwater's desk.

10TV obtained a copy of Mount Vernon's policy and it states that the district does not
allow "devotional exercises or displays of a religious character,"
Mallett reported.

Short said he was made aware the policy was being violated after a parent complained.
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
72. I work in a school and I have a copy of the Tao te Ching
on my desk. I wouldn't want anyone telling me to remove it. I do not see a problem with it and it is in cases like this where liberals look like idiots when this becomes an issue.
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Squatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #72
76. As long as it's NOT the Christian Bible, you're good.
:thumbsup:
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #76
77. No Religion Should Be Pushed in a Public School
People who want religion can get it at their church. They have a choice. Those who do not follow that particular religion in a public school aren't given that same choice. Fair is fair. The sepeartion between church and state must be adhered to. I'm getting really sick of the disengenous spin by the right wing and religious conservatives.

For people to claim to be sooo godly, they sure are the most dishonest creeps I have ever witnessed. It's why I left my own religion....
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #77
82. it is this that has so sensitized a person cannot just have their current book sittin on a desk
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 10:24 AM by seabeyond
this is ridiculous. i read spiritual books, religion, philisophical all kinds. are you suggesting i would have to "hide" my current material i am reading for fear.....

is that really what we have become

no thank you

you all go for it. i will fight it. further i may have to just challenge it and carry a buddah book in one hand, a new age spiritual in another, atheism roped around neck and koran on head

and walk into a govt building.

not gonna get my book

feeling like the book burning of the harry potter books.... take them out of the school library. fuck that shit
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #82
86. I totally agree Sea
I think this is a non issue and libs look foolish if we pursue this type of nonsense. Bigger fish to fry.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #86
88. this is what turns ME off voting dem, just that damn wanting to teach creationism
that makes me vote dem,
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #88
90. I think that liberals need to rethink their approach to Christianity
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 10:43 AM by BoneDaddy
in that there is plenty to criticize (as there are in all religions) but this pit bull attack on Christianity to the point of ridiculousness actually justifies the Right Wing "war on Christianity" that they see occuring. This is a topic that needs to be deftly handled. Not because we don't want to offend but because we don't want to lose the support of people of faith who are also liberal and Democratic.
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #90
101. No offense, but I feel you're completely off the mark.
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 11:15 AM by GaYellowDawg
The attack isn't on Christianity. The attack is on prosetylization in public schools. You're failing to answer one simple question: what's wrong with putting the Bible in the desk drawer? No one was telling him he couldn't be Christian. No one was telling him he couldn't bring it to school with him. He was told that he couldn't make it a public display. If his motive was to simply have a Bible at school, one would think that he would just put it in the desk. If his motive was to display a Bible at school, he might... oh, I don't know... call a press conference and claim his religious rights were being abridged. What point to the display besides proselytization?

His motive was to promote his religion at a public school. It's been well established by the courts that this violates the Constitutional church/state wall. As someone in education, I consider this man an unprofessional fool. He was aware of the boundaries and strictures of his profession and decided to violate them, and then throw a public hissy fit. His religious beliefs make him inadequate as a science teacher. If I was in his district, I would loudly campaign for his removal, and use legal means if necessary in order to ensure that he did not teach my children some brand of creationism.

I am Christian. I'm Presbyterian. I'm also a science educator. I am absolutely, completely against any whiff of violation of church and state because it impacts science education first, and the situation is such that it demands "pit bull" action. There is no such thing as a liberal Democratic fundamentalist, anyway.
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #101
125. After reading the text, I got the impression that he
never proselytized or taught creationism. He was reprimanded and removed everything but the bible.
No such thing as a liberal democratic fundamentalist? I totally disagree. They may not be religious fundamentalist but there is plenty of fundamentalist thinking on these boards.

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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #77
84. Having a copy of a book on your desk does not necessarily
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 10:27 AM by BoneDaddy
translate into proselytization. If he is preaching then he needs to be reprimanded and must cease it immediately. That is the issue. The book is not the issue for me though. I have copies of many religious and philisophical books in my library at work and would not want someone telling me to remove them. There is a difference between owning a book and proselytizing.

Where would we stop with this nonsense? Stopping people from wearing yarmulkes, head coverings, religious medals, chains etc....Slippery slope here folks. Let's not let our legitimate concerns about fundamentalism turn us into fundamentalists of a different sort.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #76
78. bah ahah. isnt that the truth. i have every diverse collection of philosphy and religion
my childen have carried them to school to read cause it was the book they were reading. if anyone took that book away.... i would be down there so fast

if the teacher is not allowed the bible to sit on desk, what happens if my son pulle don out to read. someoen may "see" it. not lecture, but just "see"
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #76
81. Hehe
I cannot be that biased if I wanted to, even if it means to support a fundamentalist in this, whom I most likely disagree with the vast majority of his world view. If he is proselytizing in a public school, that is a different story. If he simply owns a copy of the book for his own personal reference and spiritual support, I can't see that as punishable.
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MessiahRp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #76
133. Yeah because Christians would be psyched if a Muslim teacher had a Koran on his desk...
Oh wait... they'd freak the fuck out.

Hypocrites.

Rp
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #133
134. i'd totally love it. and i would be on their side. pta meeting not long ago
they wanted to bring something in and i said fine with me as long as the others get equal right to come in too.

all or none.....

but if it was a muslim teacher with the koran sittin on the desk i would have no issue what so ever

we have a librarian in kids school from jordan and i know she has talked to son about her religion. he has discussed it with me. he loves that stuff, and information and diversity. oh, this is middle school
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MessiahRp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #134
137. Maybe you would
But the vast majority of people that will weigh in on this are the fundies and they most certainly will whine that this is some sort of War on Christianity. If you were to offer the Koran-Muslim question I posed, I would bet heavily on them reacting quite differently on this topic. In fact if a Muslim had a Koran on his desk parents would likely go after the school district until he was fired and national media would report it as if a terrorist was in our schools.

There's a great deal in hypocrisy when it comes to religious equality and it's been that way since early settlers came here. The irony of it was that when early American settlers came here supposedly for freedom of religion due to persecutions in their homelands, they often were the ones who committed genocide on Indians who would not convert and the ones that did convert did so for fear of their lives.

Rp
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #137
139. but that is the fun in it. you say yes to the bible and yes to koran and then
when they say wait..... you say huh uh.... let the bible, let the koran. and think of diversity and exploration.

a huge ass yeehaw.
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
97. In Chicago our public schools have Christmas trees, etc.

This is not an issue because Chicago society is highly tolerant of different religions. So nobody feels abused.

A perfect example of the flipside of Chicago was that Texan school forced to stop saying prayer before their ball games. Contrary to what most people assume, the folk who brought the lawsuit to stop it were Roman Catholics, not Atheists. And they brought this lawsuit because of all the abuse they suffered at the hands of the local protestants for being RC.

The phrase you defenders of the religion in gov't need to pay attention to here is, "hostile environment". It is just like sexual harrassement. It is typically a pattern of behavior that you must look at, not just this one incident.


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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
111. He should win his brownie points with Gawd on his own time.
And, stick to indoctrinating the kids in "traditional American values".

"And what is a good citizen? Simply one who never says, does or thinks anything that is unusual. Schools are maintained in order to bring this uniformity up to the highest possible point. A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber-stamps." - H.L. Mencken
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Norwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
113. Ridiculous
If he's not preaching from it or promoting it during class it shouldn't be an issue.
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MessiahRp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
132. I'm curious...
If a teacher had some different beliefs and believed in some strange Satanistic Cult or something... could he keep the main book of this religion on his desk? How about some symbols?

How would you feel if the teacher had a book of Scientology faith out there for everyone to see?

How many of the so-called freedom of religion activists would flip out if their child was being taught by a muslim who had a Koran on his desk?

It's my personal opinion that if you want your religion to be "out there" for everyone to see, work in a fucking religious private school. Otherwise follow the school curriculum (yes that means teaching Evolution as scientific fact not theory and teaching proper Sex Education even if you are a fundie nut who disagrees with it) you are hired to teach. If you don't like it there's the door.

Same goes to fundie Pharmacists who refuse to dispense birth control to patients.

If you don't like the rules and confines of your job, find a new one or a new career and deal with it.

Rp
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #132
136. he isnt talking about it, preaching it, it is just sittin on the desk. satanistic cult
that one is a little more difficult for me though my boys and i have discussed this too. we dont shy from any subject... but i would say regardless if it is a book just sittin on a desk, .... no i would not make an issue of it. scientology owuldnt bother me at all. and i would love for my kids to not only be taught by a muslim that has a book on their desk, i would want interaction which many are opposed, rightly, and dont allow.

the teacher was teaching what he was suppose from what we gather. he was not teaching intelligent design from what we see. never mentioned it. went ot board and said he wanted to, but did not bring it in the class. so he did what you are demanding of him.
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MessiahRp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #136
140. Posts above say he taught evolution as a "theory".
By posing it in that way you raise significant doubt in the validity of it, not to mention the counter argument to it, creationism or intelligent design, is pushed hard by the church....

So here you have a guy putting out doubts about the validity in this whole "evolution theory" while having on his desk and displaying his belief in the book of the counter argument.

It may not be directly teaching creationism or intelligent design but it sure appears to the inquisitive student that he has endorsed those other theories instead.

That undermines what he is actually supposed to teach.

Rp
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #140
142. theory of evolution. that is what it is. it is nothing short of that.
i have a post above that talks about how we complain our kids are not critical thinkers then we do all we can to sanitize their world and not allow them the opportnity to practice that critical thinking. if the teachers in my boys school did not allow them to express democratic beliefs and talk about obama and kerry, then the other students would have had NO opportunity to hear the other side. they didnt know obama wasnt muslim or thought he refused to place hand on heart. they thought kerry shot himself in foot. open conversation can be a good thing too.
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MessiahRp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #142
145. I don't want to get into an argument over the validity of evolution
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 03:16 PM by MessiahRp
Because personally I don't see where there can be any gains from it. I believe myself that we should only teach what can be factually proven and evidence does point to evolution as having a legitimate basis. However with faith you're asking people to believe bible stories that do not comply with common logic (Moses splitting the red sea, Noah compiling an Ark with two of each animal together for 40 days and 40 nights, etc).

I believe in teaching what can actually be proven and that's why legitimate science being forsaken for faith based subsitutes is dangerous in a way.

Just as history books that omit facts and teach blind obedient patriotism teaches our children not to question authority and to believe fairy tales about America, religious books teach blind obedient authority to God, Jesus or other religious figures. The books are recruitment materials far more than lessons about life.

I see it as this: if you want your child to learn about religion, take them to a church, etc on Sundays or enroll them in a private school. But under the public school banner we should stick to provable facts.

While evolution is indeed a "theory", it is much easier to prove than the fantasy of religion that occurs in the bible. And if what we're saying is facts should get tossed out the door for personal beliefs or fantasy we might as well show He-Man episodes to kids and say there's some science in it.

At least there's a moral to the story segment at the end.

Rp
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #145
147. we wouldnt argue over it. i am all for teaching factual information on evolution
Edited on Fri Apr-18-08 04:26 PM by seabeyond
i never suggested to teach storytelling, hence intelligent design. i am totally opposed unless it was a discussion in current events, and how the republicans use it as a wedge issue and how given fact that this earth is so very very old, i cannot be said that it is only shy of 7 thousand years old, yet educated, college educated people will argue it. that would be the only place i would expect intelligent design to be mentioned in school.

no where did i suggest... and how silly to state or imply cause i am not making bible a big deal, just a book.... nowhere did i say i want bible 101 taught to our kids as literal factual stories.

people are suggesting if a kid "sees" just sees a bible they are going to be influenced, taught, offended, contaminated? i think it is stupid. my opinion. i have not see such ridiculous behavior since someone offended cause a kid may "see" someone smoke. oh lordy... the kid is going to rush out and become a chainsmoker cause they SAW someone with a cig. i give kids more credit

people are angry cause he teaches evolution as theory. it is the theory of evolution.

people are angry cause a bible sets on his desk, implying he is teaching the children. he does NOT mention bible, religion, god, his beliefs or intelligent design in class, from what we see.

people on this thread are making the stories up about this article and man.... i am just keeping it factual

if you got the impression i am for brainwashing our children, mine included, you just are not putting a lot of effort in reading what i am posting.
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
143. Reading between the lines, it's obvious to me that he's...
Reading between the lines, it's obvious to me that he's fishing for a lawsuit, exposure, fifteen minutes of fame, and an out-of-court settlement.

I wish he would put his faith ahead of his greed and vanity...
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
144. "infringement on my own deeply held personal religious beliefs"
Really? I bet this clown would be first in line to through a bitch fit because a teacher who was Muslim had a Quran on his/her desk!

Stop wearing your religion on your sleeve.
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TheFriendlyAnarchist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
146. I actually agree with the student, unless the teacher doesn't allow any
books on the desks other than the textbook. In that case, then it's just class policy. I have a few teachers like that.
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haele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
149. By displaying the book and "other items", he's showing the kids what he expects from their work -
Especially if he's teaching "evolution hasn't been proven, it's just a theory, and we're going to discuss the problems with the theory" - how is an 11 year old kid looking to get a good grade in his class going to act?
They're not going to challenge his creationist or "intelligent design" teaching, or they risk getting ridiculed in front of their peers by their teacher and/or getting a bad grade. They're going to tell him what he wants to hear, and not actually learn the scientific methods they need to be learning at that age. What they are going to be learning is how to be passive.
So, when they go on to Biology in high school or college, they're going to have missed out a critical phase in their learning development. And that's a very, very bad thing.
This "teacher" is failing his students if he's pushing religion over science. The prostlyzation is only a symptom of approval of lazy thinking.

Haele
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blonndee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
154. This is NOT just about a "bible on a desk." Misleading headline.
I'm an agnostic/atheist, a teacher, and just given just the info in the headline and the snipped part of the article, I would agree with the teacher. Lots of teachers practically LIVE at school, and if this is part of his personal property, and not something that he makes a big display of, or brings into the classroom, I think he should have a right to keep it there for his own personal use.

BUT, I just read that there was some issue of the Ten Commandments and a "stack of eight to 10 bibles that were stacked on a shelf," according to the article. There were also complaints about motivational posters with Bible verses.

By the way, the article also states that the teacher agreed to remove all but his personal Bible, which seems reasonable to me, and the district too, according to the article.
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 05:24 PM
Response to Original message
155. Sorry but I have to agree with the guy
As long as he isn't reading it to anyone I don't see the big deal. I also think people should be allowed to wear crosses, headscarves or whatever other religious garb they feel they want to wear to school or public places as long as they aren't forcing their views on others. Believe me, I'm very against the schools pushing religion on our children, but there needs to be a line drawn somewhere that protects our freedoms as well. Aside from the fact that this is just wrong, we give the religious right the big gift of backlash among their supporters as long as we keep trying to push every tiny sign of religion out of view. The last thing we need to do is validate the religious extremists' claims of "Christian persecution".
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
156. Teachers have the right to have a Bible on their desks.
The Supreme Court said so, and I doubt this one would go against that ruling.

That name sounds awfully familiar. I wonder if I know that guy. I went to Mount Vernon Nazarene College and was an English/Secondary Ed. major. It's a small town, and it's not unheard of for them to hire Naz grads.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #156
164. I used to live in Mt. Vernon myself
Back in the early 90's. Almost went to the naz college as well. Then got a divorce and moved to CA :) ...then back to ohio, now back in ca.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #164
175. That's when I was there.
I'm glad you didn't go there. It would've been awesome to meet you in real life, but it's not a good school, really. I had some very good profs who helped me get through there without starting a revolution (they just would've kicked me out), but it was hard seeing good people get hurt by stupid policies. :hug:
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KSinTX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 06:03 PM
Response to Original message
160. If public schools can accomodate Muslim prayer, I see nothing wrong
with accomodating a Christian. So long as there's no discussion, preaching or classroom hallelujahs.
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kevinbgoode Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
161. What kind of bullsh*t is this?
A. It is not HIS desk -the desk belongs to the school district.

B. If he isn't teaching a religion class, he has no reason to have the bible on the desk - unless it is being used to recruit students to his religious beliefs - which then is violating the right of their parents to be in charge of their children's religious instruction.

C. He is likely one of those fundies who would throw an absolute tantrum if another teacher put a selection of books like King & King or And Tango Makes Three on a desk, even in an English class. The fundies try to have them banned from school libraries because the calims two male penguins cannot raise a baby.

D. If this is allowed, perhaps students can bring The Book of Satan to his class and put it on their desks - let's see how long he's for freedom of religion in the classroom then.

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lynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
166. He just needs to add a koran and a torah to the pile to solve the problem -
- as it eliminates the argument of him pushing any one religion.
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dbmk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #166
169. And signal that Buddhism is a second rate religion?
:)
Yeah it needs a smiley, but my point is still valid.

Why should he push religion at all? Why start bending and arguing whether is a lot or a just little bit?

And you wont ever make me recognize that something the teacher puts on his desk like that is not pushing it to the students. Its there to send a signal. Period.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #169
171. you wont ever make me recognize that something ... then why ask questions
if you wont EVAH....
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dbmk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #171
173. I am asking perhaps to understand how you can view it differently and not take exception.
But I guess we have covered that elsewhere.

But just because I am certain I will not agree on a point, does not mean I have no genuine interest in knowing how someone else arrived at it.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
168. I wonder if a court would allow him this religious item


This is a Kirpan. It is a mandatory item for all devout Sikhs.

The Kirpan (IPA: ) (Punjabi: ਕਿਰਪਾਨ kirpān) is a ceremonial sword or dagger that must be worn by all baptised Sikhs (Khalsa), after a mandatory religious commandment given by Guru Gobind Singh (the tenth Guru of Sikhism) in 1699 AD.

In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh told his Sikhs at the Baisakhi Amrit Sanchar to constantly and regularly wear a Kirpan at all times. Amrit Sanchar is a holy religious ceremony that formally baptizes a Sikh (Khalsa). Historically, the Kirpan was an article of defense which together with the other 4 Kakars formed the external visible symbols to outwardly display one's commitment to the Hukam of the tenth master. The five Kakars clearly and instantly identify a Khalsa Sikh. The Kirpan is worn on a cloth belt called a Gatra.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirpan
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #168
174. Well most schools allow books I think
Not so sure about knives.

:)
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