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Sad Saga Of A Small Town


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#21 hblask

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:22 PM

View Postvbnautilus, on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 9:15 PM, said:

Please spend more time in the religion forum? :club:
No. I really don't like religious arguments, because they seem unnecessarily divisive most of the time.

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See I was always bothered that I was expected to say those words in the PoA and it made me very uncomfortable to do so. I guess I don't see the graduation ceremony as something a student passively witnesses. The ceremony is rite that you participate in and having it invoked with a bible passage makes me feel like I am participating in a religious function when I should be participating in an academic function.... (not to mention the irony of celebrating the education system by adulating the most pervasive enemy of education).
If the ceremony is 90 minutes long, and someone says a 30-second prayer, it's not a religious ceremony. If it's 45 minutes long and there are three religious speakers each talking for 10 minutes about religion, then it's gone too far. So where's the line? It depends how much you care about the town hating you, I guess.

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I guess I just think this is something worth fighting for. The implications of his actions go well beyond his own personal comfort once a year; this is going to create a different environment for every kid that subsequently participates in graduation at that school... and possibly similar towns elsewhere.
If his goal was to be a martyr for a cause, then he got what he asked for and everyone wins. If his goal was to avoid a little discomfort for 30 seconds in a graduation ceremony, he made a serious error in judgement.Different strokes, I guess. I can find a lot better situations than this to become a martyr.
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#22 vbnautilus

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:25 PM

View Posthblask, on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 8:22 PM, said:

If the ceremony is 90 minutes long, and someone says a 30-second prayer, it's not a religious ceremony. If it's 45 minutes long and there are three religious speakers each talking for 10 minutes about religion, then it's gone too far. So where's the line? It depends how much you care about the town hating you, I guess.
The line is drawn at one single religious word. Again, there is just no gray area issue here. It's unethical for a public school to make any religious statements in the process of educating my children.

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If his goal was to be a martyr for a cause, then he got what he asked for and everyone wins. If his goal was to avoid a little discomfort for 30 seconds in a graduation ceremony, he made a serious error in judgement.Different strokes, I guess. I can find a lot better situations than this to become a martyr.
I think he was definitely trying to stand up for a cause he believed in. I also think its an important cause mostly for the reasons SA hinted at.

#23 hblask

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:25 PM

View PostSuitedAces21, on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 9:13 PM, said:

You've hit upon the biggest problem: We live in a world where it is socially unacceptable to question someone's religious (irrational and moronic) beliefs. So much so that people like you, who are smart and educated and athiest, would rather just close their eyes and ignore it than speak out against this lunacy. And if we cannot oppose religion, we will continue to remain blind to, and ineffective against, the harm that religion causes.
If you are worried about the next Crusades, or the next Holy War, those are easy targets on their own. There is no need to take away a few comforting words for the 90% (or whatever percent) of people who were there and just want a shortcut means of feeling like part of something bigger than themselves. Those parents aren't the ones who will be starting or participating in the next Holy War.
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#24 hblask

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:33 PM

View Postvbnautilus, on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 9:25 PM, said:

The line is drawn at one single religious word. Again, there is just no gray area issue here. It's unethical for a public school to make any religious statements in the process of educating my children.
See, this is where it gets tricky. The government makes everyone pay for school. This leaves many people in the position of being forced to attend secular public schools rather than religious schools, due to financial limitations. The practical result of that is that the government is actually preventing people from practicing religion the way they'd prefer -- by indoctrinating their kids. Separation of church and state has to work both ways or it means nothing. The govt should neither promote nor prevent religious activity.So what's the answer? There are two ways to go with this. One, get the government out of education completely, because otherwise you get govt officials deciding who gets to be religious when.The other choice is to a "tolerant separation" philosophy, where you are free to express your beliefs in a reasonable, non-aggressive, non-forced way. This way leads to endless arguments about how much is too much and when is it appropriate.As ugly as both of these are, telling people "if you are too poor after we taxed you for schools to afford to send your kids to private school then you can't practice religion the way you want" just seems to be... well, really un-American.
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#25 vbnautilus

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:37 PM

View Posthblask, on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 8:25 PM, said:

If you are worried about the next Crusades, or the next Holy War, those are easy targets on their own. There is no need to take away a few comforting words for the 90% (or whatever percent) of people who were there and just want a shortcut means of feeling like part of something bigger than themselves. Those parents aren't the ones who will be starting or participating in the next Holy War.
They are providing fertile soil for the seeds of the next holy war. You're suggesting that we cultivate a society in which truth doesn't matter as long as it makes people temporarily happy. The consequences of that are so far-reaching its hard to even grasp. Basically we have a culture that does not know how to use reason. Why would they? Given the value placed on believing superstitions despite overwhelming evidence, how could we ever create a reasonable society?I also don't believe the canard that religion makes people happy. At least, there are plenty of less harmful alternatives available which could lead us all to a place of greater collective well-being. Do you really think that we are optimizing our well-being by cultivating religion, or are you just resigned to the idea that it will never change?

#26 Spademan

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:41 PM

I'm on my phone. When I get to a keyboard I'm going to hammer the shit out of you hblask.Hammer the dog shit out of you.
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#27 brvheart

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:42 PM

View Postvbnautilus, on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 9:35 PM, said:

I'm pretty sure you're not an atheist (at least I'm inferring that from your post, please correct me if I'm wrong), and if that's the case you really have very little idea what it feels like to experience something like this. If you are an atheist, your views certainly don't represent how most of us feel. Your comparison between what happens at a public institution and a friend's dinner party is ludicrous. Part of what is so infuriating about hearing a public institution endorse particular religious beliefs comes from the fact that an important principle of government is being violated. Its one thing to be ostracized by peers at a dinner party, but to have your own government which is supposed to represent you do that is absolutely distressing. What? There is no gray area. It's a public school. They can't have prayer at a school function. The supreme court has ruled on it over and over again, even if it is student-led. Its a closed case.
Don't they open congress with prayer? What about the President? Doesn't he attend like 100's of event per year where they pray? I'm not sure this is a very big deal. As a Christian (a real one) I've dealt with TONS of crap over my lifetime. People berating me AT school, in front of teachers, etc. Everyone in a minority of anything has to put up with stuff like that. Why are we always changing the rules and adjusting things for the smallest/loudest group? Utilitarianism is a better plan.BTW, as stated earlier, the legal case is closed in my mind. The school is in the wrong here.

View PostiZuma, on 20 August 2012 - 11:32 AM, said:

napa I was jesus christing suited, you guys just slipped in before me.

View PostEssay21, on 25 February 2013 - 08:32 PM, said:

.

#28 vbnautilus

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:45 PM

View Postbrvheart, on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 8:42 PM, said:

Don't the open congress with prayer? What about the President? Doesn't he attend like 100's of event per year where they pray? I'm not sure this is a very big deal. As a Christian (a real one) I've dealt with TONS of crap over my lifetime. People berating me AT school, in front of teachers. Everyone in a minority of anything has to put up with stuff like that. Why are we always changing the rules and adjusting things for the smallest/loudest group? Utilitarianism is a better plan.
The president as a citizen can pray whenever he wants, that is not an issue. Congress opening with a prayer is an issue. We are not changing the rules and adjusting anything for any small/loud group -- this is a principle written into the constitution and upheld by the supreme court over the course of 400 years.

#29 brvheart

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:46 PM

View Postvbnautilus, on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 10:45 PM, said:

The president as a citizen can pray whenever he wants, that is not an issue. Congress opening with a prayer is an issue. We are not changing the rules and adjusting anything for any small/loud group -- this is a principle written into the constitution and upheld by the supreme court over the course of 400 years.
WOW. The constitution is old.

View PostiZuma, on 20 August 2012 - 11:32 AM, said:

napa I was jesus christing suited, you guys just slipped in before me.

View PostEssay21, on 25 February 2013 - 08:32 PM, said:

.

#30 vbnautilus

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 08:05 PM

View Posthblask, on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 8:33 PM, said:

See, this is where it gets tricky. The government makes everyone pay for school. This leaves many people in the position of being forced to attend secular public schools rather than religious schools, due to financial limitations. The practical result of that is that the government is actually preventing people from practicing religion the way they'd prefer -- by indoctrinating their kids. Separation of church and state has to work both ways or it means nothing. The govt should neither promote nor prevent religious activity.So what's the answer? There are two ways to go with this. One, get the government out of education completely, because otherwise you get govt officials deciding who gets to be religious when.The other choice is to a "tolerant separation" philosophy, where you are free to express your beliefs in a reasonable, non-aggressive, non-forced way. This way leads to endless arguments about how much is too much and when is it appropriate.As ugly as both of these are, telling people "if you are too poor after we taxed you for schools to afford to send your kids to private school then you can't practice religion the way you want" just seems to be... well, really un-American.
Maybe the real solution to this problem is to only tax people who use the schools. Then if people want to use that same money for private religious education or home-schooling they can do that. The public school needs to take the following position: "as a public institution we remain neutral with respect to religion". Students are free to express their religious beliefs. The school is not free to endorse those religious beliefs by incorporating them into school functions.

#31 vbnautilus

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 08:08 PM

View Postbrvheart, on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 8:46 PM, said:

WOW. The constitution is old.
About as old as the earth, right?

#32 brvheart

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 08:50 PM

View Postvbnautilus, on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 11:05 PM, said:

Maybe the real solution to this problem is to only tax people who use the schools. Then if people want to use that same money for private religious education or home-schooling they can do that. The public school needs to take the following position: "as a public institution we remain neutral with respect to religion". Students are free to express their religious beliefs. The school is not free to endorse those religious beliefs by incorporating them into school functions.
I would be fine with this, but what if the valedictorian wanted to express their views by praying during or in lieu of their speech? That wouldn't be endorsed by the school.

View PostiZuma, on 20 August 2012 - 11:32 AM, said:

napa I was jesus christing suited, you guys just slipped in before me.

View PostEssay21, on 25 February 2013 - 08:32 PM, said:

.

#33 vbnautilus

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:00 PM

View Postbrvheart, on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 9:50 PM, said:

I would be fine with this, but what if the valedictorian wanted to express their views by praying during or in lieu of their speech? That wouldn't be endorsed by the school.
I think the ruling in the Santa Fe SD v Doe case gives a good indication of what the criteria are for these situations. The SC said in that case, about pre-football game prayers led by a student:that these pre-game prayers delivered "on school property, at school-sponsored events, over the school's public address system, by a speaker representing the student body, under the supervision of school faculty, and pursuant to a school policy that explicitly and implicitly encourages public prayer" are not private, but public speech. "Regardless of the listener's support for, or objection to, the message, an objective Santa Fe High School student will unquestionably perceive the inevitable pregame prayer as stamped with her school's seal of approval."So the circumstances matter. If the student really just spontaneously added a prayer to his own speech without endorsement from the school, that is probably ok.

#34 brvheart

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:27 PM

Camping was off by 5 months.

View PostiZuma, on 20 August 2012 - 11:32 AM, said:

napa I was jesus christing suited, you guys just slipped in before me.

View PostEssay21, on 25 February 2013 - 08:32 PM, said:

.

#35 BaseJester

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:39 PM

View Posthblask, on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 10:59 PM, said:

Yeah, I knew I was pushing it with that comparison. Still, my school said the Pledge of Allegiance, and I wasn't traumatized by the last two words. People around me pray all the time, and I think good for them, whatever they need to get through the day.
I think the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in its entirety is creepy and un-American. I stopped doing it in junior high.
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#36 brvheart

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 10:23 PM

I definitely find it creepy.

View PostiZuma, on 20 August 2012 - 11:32 AM, said:

napa I was jesus christing suited, you guys just slipped in before me.

View PostEssay21, on 25 February 2013 - 08:32 PM, said:

.

#37 hblask

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 04:07 AM

View Postvbnautilus, on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 9:37 PM, said:

They are providing fertile soil for the seeds of the next holy war.
If you go to church, you are promoting jihad? You have to know how silly that is. When pressed, most religious people know the difference between faith and knowledge. They just choose to shut it off for the social and emotional benefits. Blaming those people for jihad is like blaming heavy metal for school shootings -- the cause and effect are backward.

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You're suggesting that we cultivate a society in which truth doesn't matter as long as it makes people temporarily happy. The consequences of that are so far-reaching its hard to even grasp. Basically we have a culture that does not know how to use reason. Why would they? Given the value placed on believing superstitions despite overwhelming evidence, how could we ever create a reasonable society?
I still suggest teaching reason and logic in school, and explaining why it is important. That doesn't mean people should not be allowed to carve out a niche in their life for the irrational. We all do it in some way or another, it's just that religion pushed people's buttons.

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I also don't believe the canard that religion makes people happy. At least, there are plenty of less harmful alternatives available which could lead us all to a place of greater collective well-being. Do you really think that we are optimizing our well-being by cultivating religion, or are you just resigned to the idea that it will never change?
I think that many people are better off with religion, if only for the social aspect of it. In fact, I would say that is the typical case.We need to be careful to not judge the 99% by the 1%.

View PostSpademan, on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 9:41 PM, said:

I'm on my phone. When I get to a keyboard I'm going to hammer the shit out of you hblask.Hammer the dog shit out of you.
Yeah, see, that doesn't phase me. I know all the arguments, and I just don't think Joe Suburbanite praying at school is a big deal. Should the school obey the law? Of course. Would I personally incur the wrath of a entire town to ensure they do? No. That's my only point, really. Other than that most of my interest here is theoretical.

View Postvbnautilus, on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 10:05 PM, said:

Maybe the real solution to this problem is to only tax people who use the schools. Then if people want to use that same money for private religious education or home-schooling they can do that. The public school needs to take the following position: "as a public institution we remain neutral with respect to religion". Students are free to express their religious beliefs. The school is not free to endorse those religious beliefs by incorporating them into school functions.
Vouchers solves this, too, to a large degree, because then the percentage of people paying for public vs religious schools basically matches the number who would in the absence of public schools, but with the benefits of public ed. Some people are bothered that even a penny of their money goes to religious schools, but that's no different than making religious people pay for schools that forbid religion. Vouchers or backpack funding seems to balance the line, IMO.
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#38 BaseJester

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 04:25 AM

View Posthblask, on Tuesday, May 24th, 2011, 8:07 AM, said:

Some people are bothered that even a penny of their money goes to religious schools, but that's no different than making religious people pay for schools that forbid religion.
It's a lot different.Imagine applying this argument to any other government function. Imagine interstates with bible verses on the official road signs every half mile.Some people are bothered that even a penny of their money goes to religious interstates, but that's no different than making religious people pay for interstates that forbid religion.It's only because you suppose including religion in education is a normal thing to do that it doesn't alarm you when the state sponsors religion in this manner.
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#39 Skeleton Jelly

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 07:41 AM

View Posthblask, on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 8:22 PM, said:

If his goal was to be a martyr for a cause, then he got what he asked for and everyone wins. If his goal was to avoid a little discomfort for 30 seconds in a graduation ceremony, he made a serious error in judgement.Different strokes, I guess. I can find a lot better situations than this to become a martyr.
I agree with...this...

View PostSpademan, on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 8:41 PM, said:

I'm on my phone. When I get to a keyboard I'm going to hammer the shit out of you hblask.Hammer the dog shit out of you.
*backs away from the keyboard*

View Postbrvheart, on Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 10:27 PM, said:

Bones linked to a story that didn't really go into any detail about a woman who "took a box cutter" to her children's throats and then sliced her own throat, so they wouldn't have to go through the 5/21 apocalypse. Which doesn't make any sense even if she totally believed everything he was saying, but whatever. Anyway, can't this guy be arrested for something? Like yelling "fire" in a crowded auditorium?I think it's interesting that people say they feel stress at hearing someone pray. I'm not sure I understand where that comes from.

#40 Roll the Bones

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 08:11 AM

Okay, what started it was a classroom conversation over Jessica Ahlquist. She is a sophmore that has been going this legal fight which you might have seen in the past and is now writing a blog.http://jessicaahlqui...-quick-history/She basically made this face as the Christians preached at her.Posted ImageDamon was inspired by her and some teachers treated him rather unfairly for taking her side and then some kids at school did as well but nothing he couldn't handle. He wrote the letter to the principal in private, expecting her to keep it that way. They could have simply removed the prayer from the program and not said a word-simply followed the law and avoided any confrontation as well. They had a duty and obvious expectation to prevent bullying (also required by law) but they didn't. The teacher (Quinn) publicly denounced him which set the rest in motion. The comments that he should have kept his mouth shut is beyond ridiculous. I suppose people said the same thing about Rosa Parks.
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