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Thread: Religion in schools

  1. #1
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    I went to Catholic school my entire life. Obviously religion was taught side by side with math, reading, history, etc. However when in high school, our religious studies took us to other religions. We learned what other religions believed in addition to their respective customs, culture, etc. Basically religion taught as a subject, not pushing a particular religions beliefs as fact. We learned ancient religions, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians--current religions--Christianity (Catholic/Protestants similarities/differences), Hindu, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and on and on It was a very good learning experience for me.

    My question to those on this board today is -- would you accept religion taught as more in the terms of subjective material ie learning about what makes different religions tick past and present. Are libs offended by this as this may open a door for Christianity to get in and take over? Are fundamentalist Christians offended by the fact that their children will be learning about other religions which could threaten their childrens Christian foundation. It seems to me that since school is about educating, why exclude this mountain of information. This is my opinion-Let me know what you guys think.

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    While I don't necessarily have a problem with it, our kids need to learn to read and write and get their math scores up to par first. We need to decentralize education and allow tax credits if parents choose alternatives.

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    i agree with LGM - there will be time enough in college for kids to learn about stuff that has no practical value - :lol:

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    I took an Eastern Religion class in college, it was a very interesting course. Maybe if all people took it they could tell a Sikh from a Muslim.

    Religion classes are fine as long as they are not slanted. They should be factual not rhetoric.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Section109Row15[/i]@Jan 7 2005, 10:41 AM
    [b] Religion classes are fine as long as they are not slanted. [/b][/quote]
    I agree - no classes about Taoism or Buddism!!! ;)

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Lawyers[/i]@ Guns and Money,Jan 7 2005, 08:45 AM
    [b] While I don't necessarily have a problem with it, our kids need to learn to read and write and get their math scores up to par first. We need to decentralize education and allow tax credits if parents choose alternatives. [/b][/quote]
    LGM- Agree with you 100% but there's a problem- the "pro-choice" party would never allow what you suggest- better known as school vouchers- as they have the teachers unions in their pocket and to upset the process, better our education system and (God forbid) help children learn would cost them votes.

    To answer sect112 question yes- religion should be taught in public schools and liberals would be hypocritical to say otherwise. If we are going to have a "better understanding" of people and "be more culturally sensative" the fact is religion plays a big part in all society's and not to teach it is keeping people ignorant.

    Now why would we want to do that? (see the first paragraph! ;) )

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    In my freshman and sophmore years of (public) highschool we had to take a required class that focused on different cultures throughout the world. We spent alot of time learning about religions, including Christianity. I don't know if it's just because I had a great teacher, but the class was very subjective and did not actually slant in any direction that I could see. It sounds pretty much like what Sec 112 is talking about.

    I took alot out of this class because I was completley ignorant about nearly every aspect of different religions before and it would be another 4 years before I took another class even remotley like it in college. IT deffinetly layed some good ground work for me.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Oakliusmaximus[/i]@Jan 7 2005, 11:58 AM
    [b] In my freshman and sophmore years of (public) highschool we had to take a required class that focused on different cultures throughout the world. We spent alot of time learning about religions, including Christianity. I don't know if it's just because I had a great teacher, but the class was very subjective and did not actually slant in any direction that I could see. It sounds pretty much like what Sec 112 is talking about.

    I took alot out of this class because I was completley ignorant about nearly every aspect of different religions before and it would be another 4 years before I took another class even remotley like it in college. IT deffinetly layed some good ground work for me. [/b][/quote]
    Nothing in the world beats a good teacher who make/made classes enjoyable.

    I remember in college taking pysch 101 & 102. The teacher in 101 made taking that class about as much fun as having the hair on your ass plucked out indivdually...the prof for 102 was fantastic; funny, witty and made the class great.

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    To avoid violating the "Establishment" clause, we'd have to teach every religion with equal time. --just not possible.

    Prayers in school are slanted too... meditation is NOT prayer, and most prayers are to a "god" which alienates animists and perhaps buddhists/hindus.

    I STRONGLY support a "moment of silence" every morning in classrooms. This encourages religion and urges people to pursue their religion in public...WHATEVER that religion may be.

    Having NO religion at all in American schools is WRONG too. It misrepresents us as an Atheistic nation..which is the opposite of what we are.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by JerryK[/i]@Jan 7 2005, 12:30 PM
    [b] To avoid violating the "Establishment" clause, we'd have to teach every religion with equal time. -- just not possible. [/b][/quote]
    Just a few thoughts on the establishment clause

    For nearly 200 years this clause was veiwed as a protection for believers, one that would always assure their right to worship freely ... and to worship the GOD of their choice

    Having just seceded from british rule, the founders {and more importanly, the people} were all too familiar with a Government established church {The Church of England}, so this clause was put in place to assure protection for believers to worship freely ... but it was never viewed as a means towards silencing religion in the public arena

    Even a casual reading of our founding documents, federalist papers, and other musings from the frounders clearly shows they had no such intent ... in fact, they would be flabbergasted if they saw how thoroughly the establishment clause has been perverted over the years ... but I digress

    In 1947 the establishment clause was first interpreted to mean [b]"Separation of Church and State"[/b]

    Where did this phrase come from, and how on earth {after nearly 200 years of Government} did we finally discover this hidden meaning? [b]READ ON[/b]

    =========================================

    [i][SIZE=3]Separation of Church and State[/SIZE][/i]

    1. It has been so widely quoted by the intelligentsia that at last polling 67% of the American people believe that phrase is actually to be found in the constitution ... when in fact it is nowhere to be found in the contstitution

    2. What the first amendment actually says ... [color=red]Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof[/color]

    3. However Thomas Jefferson, who was not even present at the constitutional convention, did once respond to a Baptist church that had expressed some fears {based upon rumor} that the state would make dictates to the church. In that letter Jefferson assured the Baptist congregation there would be no such dictate to the church, siting a separation of church and state, as to quell their fears about THEM being harrassed by the Government, and not the other way around

    4. In the above statement Jefferson was wisely quelling the fears of a Baptist congregation by barrowing a phrase from a highly respected Baptist minister, one of their own, Roger Williams ... It was Williams who had warned prior to Jefferson's letter, [color=red]When they have opened a gap in the hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the Church and the wilderness of the world, God hath ever broke down the wall itself, removed the candlestick, and made his garden a wilderness, as at this day. And that there fore if He will eer please to restore His garden and paradise again, it must of necessity be walled in peculiarly unto Himself from the world[/color] ... The "wall" was understood as one-directional; its purpose was to protect the church from the state. The world was not to corrupt the church, yet the church was free to teach Biblical values

    5. For further evidence, and I have yet to hear anyone explain this away ... if Jefferson intended a strict wall of separation as it pertains to the first amendment, as it is so riggedly being enforced today, why then was the same Thomas Jefferson using public dollars to hand out BIBLES in schools? ... and this is the same Thomas Jefferson who supposedly wanted Government to have nothing whatsoever to do with the any interaction between the state and the church

    6. Okay, so besides Jefferson's letter to the Baptists ... assuring them they had nothing to fear in terms of state persecution ... where else can we find the term, separation of church and state?

    Interesting question ... I'm glad you asked

    The Supreme Court Justice who first sited Jefferson's letter {1947}, his use of the phrase, separation of church and state, and somehow connected that phrase to the first amendment :blink:, was an interesting chap by the name of Hugo Black

    I call him an interesting chap cause Hugo Black was at one time an actual member of the KKK ... no historian denies this ... it is common knowledge

    [b]But here's what IS NOT common knowledge, and here is where we next find the phrase "separation of church and state" .....[/b]

    [color=red]"We hereby swear to most zealously shield and preserve the separation of church and state"[/color]

    This was an actual oath of alligence one needed to recite upon joining ... anyone? ... anyone? ... anyone??

    Okay, time's up ... this was a part of the otah of alligence one needed to make upon joining the [SIZE=3]Ku Klux Klan[/SIZE]

    Interesting, huh?

    Here we have a Supreme Court Justice, whom after nearly 200 Years of every judge before him having missed the connection, suddenly discovered a connection between Jefferson's harmless letter to the Baptists and the first amendment

    What an amazing discovery!! :o

    And talk about coincidence ... these just happened to be the same words Hugo Black needed to recite in his otah of alligence upon joining the KKK ... cause it seems the KKK, whose hatred of blacks and Jews was matched only by their hatred of Catholics, feared the Catholic church was gaining too much influence in the USA with the migration of all of those filthy Catholics during the wave of imigration during Mr. Black's era

    So low and behold ... as if it were magic ... it took Hugo Black, the former member of the KKK, who once swore an alligence to [color=red]"zealously shield and preserve the separation of church and state"[/color] ... to suddenly discover the connection between Jefferson's letter to the Baptists and THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION ... which just happened to allude everyone who came before Hugo Black, including Jefferson himself!!

    Anyhow, more on Hugo Black .....

    [quote][b][b]Hugo Black:[/b] A former Democrat Senator from Alabama and liberal U.S. Supreme Court Justice appointed by FDR, Hugo Black had a lengthy history of hate group activism.

    Black was a member of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920's and gained his legal fame defending Klansmen under prosecution for racial murders.

    In one prominent case, Black provided legal representation to Klansman Edwin Stephenson for the hate-induced murder of a Catholic priest in Birmingham. A jury composed of several Klan members acquited Stephenson of the murder, reportedly after Black expressed Klan gestures to the jury during the trial.

    In 1926 Black sought and won election as a Democrat to the United States Senate after campaigning heavily to Klan membership. He is said to have told one Klan audience "I desire to impress upon you as representatives of the real Anglo-Saxon sentiment that must and will control the destinies of the stars and stripes, that I want your counsel."

    In the Senate Black became a stauch supporter of the liberal New Deal initiatives of FDR and a solid opponent of civil rights legislation, including a filibuster of an anti-lynching measure.

    Black led the push for several New Deal programs and was a key participant in FDR's court packing scandal. Roosevelt appointed Black, a loyal ally, to the U.S. Supreme Court. During the Senate confirmation of Black's nomination, the issue of his strong Klan affiliations caused a public controversy over his appointment.

    Following the confirmation Roosevelt claimed ignorance of Black's Klan past, though this claim was dubious at best. Black's first Senate election, which occurred with Klan support, had been covered nationally a decade earlier in 1926. Black's Klan affiliations were a well known part of his political background and recieved heavy coverage in the newspapers at the time of his appointment.

    On the court, Black became a liberal stalwart. He also continued his career of supporting racism by authoring the opinion in favor of FDR's Japanese internment program in the infamous Korematsu ruling.[/b][/quote]

  11. #11
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    it's funny that 1947 is when that happened - in 1952 Prez Eisenhower put the phrase "under God" in the pledge of allegence - just goes to show you it can work both ways.

  12. #12
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    Math (real math!), Economics, Biology, English, History, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, Astronomy, Logic/Philosophy, Geography...things like that.

    No Nancy-boy subjects like sociology, psychology, "women's studies" or "leadership" or anything. Our kids need to learn hard sciences, and how to express themselves correctly and cogently.

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    I agree with not advancing one religion over another in public schools. Which is fine. What I object to are schools like the one in California that refuse to teach things like the Declaration of Independence because it mentions religion in it. I think to teach the history of this country and ignore the simple fact that religion has played a large role in the initial founding of the country is absurd. That's like talking about Plymouth Colony and the Puritans without mentioning their beliefs and reasons for heading to the new world. People need to accept the fact that religion is rooted in the nation's history and things like the Pledge are of more historical and national significance than of religious significance.

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    I agree with all the above re: separation clause. Have felt that way for years. Because of that....I think the debate will persist forever because the constitution is "incomplete".

    Criminal Justice 101 (in fact that's exactly the class I was sitting in) will tell you that in defining a society, one must first define that society's moral basis for laws.

    If that is a fact for any society, then the Establishment Clause creates a distinct legal chasm between peoples' hearts and the law. We've all heard the "Judeo-Christian" description of our national concience, but IT TOO is not present in the constitution.

    Warning: Controversy Follows......

    I think that conservatives could do a lot by pushing for an amendment to the US Constitution that removes this ambiguity by further defining this moral base in the above terms, and constraining it's limits to the creation of laws.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Mavrik[/i]@Jan 7 2005, 12:26 PM
    [b]I agree with not advancing one religion over another in public schools. Which is fine. What I object to are schools like the one in California that refuse to teach things like the Declaration of Independence because it mentions religion in it. I think to teach the history of this country and ignore the simple fact that religion has played a large role in the initial founding of the country is absurd. That's like talking about Plymouth Colony and the Puritans without mentioning their beliefs and reasons for heading to the new world. People need to accept the fact that religion is rooted in the nation's history and things like the Pledge are of more historical and national significance than of religious significance.[/b][/quote]
    I agree. It's impossible to adequatley learn and understand not only US but also world history without at least touching on the basics of the religions that influenced much of the past. But I do beleive that subjects like the ones that Jets5Ever mentioned should be the highest priority for students. Those should be the greatest focus but I don't think that religion should be completley ignored when it obviously is such a big part of history and even our present culture.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by jets5ever[/i]@Jan 7 2005, 01:22 PM
    [b] Math (real math!), Economics, Biology, English, [b][color=blue]History[/color][/b], Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, Astronomy, Logic/Philosophy, Geography...things like that.

    No Nancy-boy subjects like sociology, psychology, "women's studies" or "leadership" or anything. Our kids need to learn hard sciences, and how to express themselves correctly and cogently. [/b][/quote]
    I agree with you ... we have become far to diverse a society since the early days of the founders to ever go back to religious education in government schools

    Frankly, I would fight any effort to coherse children with a religion that is not their own

    But how do we teach history with no mention of religion?

    How can you put history in its proper context if you fail to mention the pivitol roll religion has played in history?

    And not just anchient history ... modern history as well

    For example, can you accurately portray the civil rights movement without mentioning the religious core of the movement itself?

    This is the trouble you get into when you apply a STRICT separation of church and state ... one which seeks to expunge all mentions of religion from the public arena

    In regards to history, if you apply this strict standard it becomes impossible to teach history in context ... it becomes a boring endevour filled with dates and events ... but in many instances these events lose all context

  17. #17
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Mavrik[/i]@Jan 7 2005, 01:26 PM
    [b] I agree with not advancing one religion over another in public schools. Which is fine. What I object to are schools like the one in California that refuse to teach things like the Declaration of Independence because it mentions religion in it. I think to teach the history of this country and ignore the simple fact that religion has played a large role in the initial founding of the country is absurd. That's like talking about Plymouth Colony and the Puritans without mentioning their beliefs and reasons for heading to the new world. People need to accept the fact that religion is rooted in the nation's history and things like the Pledge are of more historical and national significance than of religious significance. [/b][/quote]
    Good Post, Mav ... I Just wrote the same thing without having seen your post ... you absolutey nailed it, and you nailed it first

  18. #18
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    [quote][b]People need to accept the fact that religion is rooted in the nation's history and things like the Pledge are of more historical and national significance than of religious significance. [/b][/quote]

    Well as Bitonti pointed out, something I was not aware of, the words "under god" were added to the pledge in 1952.

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    Umm no, a belief in god(religion) is just an accepted form of Schizophrenia, once this country realizes that, we can continue making real progress.....

  20. #20
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by JetsMetsIsles[/i]@Jan 7 2005, 03:21 PM
    [b] Umm no, a belief in god is just an accepted form of Schizophrenia, once this country realizes that, we can continue making real progress..... [/b][/quote]
    typical, closed minded, hateful, ignorant, liberal response.

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