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Will Promotion of (Anti)Religion Continue to be Permitted in U.S. High Schools?

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In my neighborhood in Southern California, a high school student has filed suit against a history professor who openly and consistently disparages Christianity in the classroom. Note that this teacher is “faculty adviser to the Free Thinking Atheist and Agnostic Kinship student club.”

Question #1: Why is no discussion of scientific challenges to Darwinism permitted in high schools, when open hostility to Christianity is? Where is the ACLU when you really need them?

Question #2: Why are atheists and materialists the only ones who qualify as “skeptics” and “free thinkers”? I used to be an atheist and materialist, but when confronted with the evidence, I became skeptical of atheism and materialism.

I became a free thinker.

36 Replies to “Will Promotion of (Anti)Religion Continue to be Permitted in U.S. High Schools?

  1. 1
    Frost122585 says:

    That is exactly what it is Gildodgen, “anti-religion.” Students have a right to know that the physics and math that the are learning about in school came from guys like Isaac Newton who spent most of their time pondering, studying and writing about THEOLOGY. There isn’t even a theology course in most public high schools. I find that ridiculous. They could make such a class optional but the worst case senario would proabably happen, that is that most students would choose to take such a class because it is INTERESTING and that would look embaressing to all the religion haters who like to pretent that thier atheistic view is the one accepted by most in the mainstream.

    A belief in God and the study and development of religions is not respecting any particular religion. Of course the fear is that students after learning and thinking about religion might actually choose to join one.

    Religion is ( in general by itself) a subject like math, physics, history etc. There is no church or religion called “God” or “creator.” They are simply nouns or subjects that have warranted the full attention of some of the best minds in the world for the last 2000+ years. There is nothing that “Darwin” did that warranted any of changing of this trend. Yet, ever since the popularization of the Origins of Species people wrongly threw God out the window. And look what we got for it… corrupt politicians everywhere you look, murder and crime reaching all time highs, the disintegration of the family, unhappiness everywhere manifesting in the increase use of antidepressants, illegal drugs and alcohol abuse- the list goes on.

    Science too has fallen short of its 19th century promise. The possible cures for degenerative diseases that once looked so promising have not developed at the rate originally anticipated. Maybe if kids were taught that “its reasonable to think ( or eve God forbid even “believe”) that life and their life might have purpose, they might take science just a little more seriously and enthusiastically. The idea that physical laws are “out there” and possibly “designed” by a super intellect, makes the search for such universal coherence seem far more reasonable likely and promising then to think that such laws might not exist and that moreover there is no good reason to even suspect that that do.

    In my view both science and people are looking for a coherent unifying answer to their problems. Unfortunately a world without purpose makes such a search futile. Even worse, a world that limits people’s freedom to investigate the possibility of purpose is in fact choosing a certainly level of futility. To ignore man’s 2000+ year experience with religion is to demand a certain degree of ignorance. If this sort of ignorance is due to a fear of bias or political power and corruption the decision is probably misguided. I remind you that it has been said that “ignorance is the greatest bias of all.”

  2. 2
    DaveScot says:

    leo

    Maybe it’s just I have a warped sense of equity but doesn’t it seem a bit odd to you that the 1st amendment bars a teacher from criticizing Charles Darwin but by the same token allows him to criticize Jesus Christ?

    In times past Americans would have exercised their 2nd amendment rights to correct attempted violations of their 1st amendment rights. Too bad that’s not such a well respected option today.

  3. 3
    tribune7 says:

    Criticizing the Christian religion is not the same thing as criticizing Christ.

    Leo, do you realize that the way things stand now is you can’t criticize Darwin? You can’t even say that evolution is a theory and not a fact as per our federal courts.

  4. 4
    Joseph says:

    The students should tell that teacher to shut up when the teacher talks bad about religion.

    And if that doesn’t work there is always the parking lot after school… 😉

  5. 5
    BenK says:

    The fundamental problem is your American approach to ‘separation of church and state’. While institutional separation is possible, ideological separation is not.

    The idea of ‘religion-free’ education is either based on a preference for materialism; in which case I can see no reason any non-materialist would assent to it; or it is based on the idea that there is some ideologically neutral perspective from which kids can be taught the objective truth. There isn’t and they can’t. This is why all the establishment-clause lawyering on the part of organizations like the ACLU is abject misguided nonsense from start to finish and a form of stealth totalitarianism. The ACLU is to American civil liberties what “people’s republics” are to people’s republics.

  6. 6
    DaveScot says:

    leo

    Criticizing the Christian religion is not the same thing as criticizing Christ.

    Neither is criticizing Darwin the same as criticizing Darwinian theory. I was using a bit of literary freedom there, Leo. Replace the men themselves with the things they taught and it’s literally true.

    But you’re right about framing of issues. The bottom line in this and many other issues boils down to framing one group as a bully and another as a victim. It plays to our sense of justice. It’s politically correct to pick on the bully and politically incorrect to pick on the victim. The history of the United States is largely one of white anglo saxon protestant (WASP) men running the show. It’s thus really easy to frame them as bullies and frame anyone not them as victims. I’m as willing as any other WASP to acknowledge that my ancestors are guilty as charged. I’m shamed by the fact that it took 150 years for my forefathers to codify the equal treatment under the law of blacks and women. I’m probably more willing than most of my peers to use the force of law to treat everyone equally regardless of race, creed, or gender. What I’m less willing to do than most of my peers is to be punished for the sins of our fathers by willingly offering ourselves up as everyone else’s politically correct whipping boy.

  7. 7
    tribune7 says:

    Ben –The fundamental problem is your American approach to ’separation of church and state’.

    You telling us?? Most of us have known this since 1962. 🙂

    You are right of course, and the tragedy is that the way the concept of “separation of church and state” is now applied by our courts is rather new, was not intended by our Founders, and is in no way supported by our Constitution.

  8. 8
    tribune7 says:

    I’m as willing as any other WASP to acknowledge that my ancestors are guilty as charged.

    I’m not a WASP and I thank God this country was founded by them, and for their deeds afterwards.

    It was WASPs that fought and died to free the slaves. It was WASPs that established the idea that law should be applied equally to all. It was WASPs that gave women the right to vote.

    Again, there were things done by WASPs that were vile, but WASPs have more of which to be proud than ashamed.

  9. 9
    Jon Jackson says:

    SANTA ANA – A lawsuit filed by a Mission Viejo high school student and his parents against a history teacher they say repeatedly made disparaging and religiously intolerant remarks about Christians during class will move forward to trial, a federal judge ruled Monday.

    We all know just how devastatingly accurate the press can be.

    I, for one, would like to see the actual complaint filed by the student. If, as stated above, he filed on the basis of comments that he found offensive then the case would seem to be about offense. Hate speech if you will. But if he filed a complaint alleging that the teacher made the remarks in an attempt to convince the students that God does not exist and that they too should become ‘free thinkers’ then it would seem to violate the establishment clause.
    Just thinking. You know, like you do.

  10. 10
    EndoplasmicMessenger says:

    BenK:

    The fundamental problem is your American approach to ’separation of church and state’. While institutional separation is possible, ideological separation is not.

    The phrase “separation of church and state” appears nowhere in our constitution. There are some, however, who prefer to promote the idea that it does.

  11. 11
    Berceuse says:

    Re: Frost

    “And look what we got for it… corrupt politicians everywhere you look, murder and crime reaching all time highs, the disintegration of the family, unhappiness everywhere manifesting in the increase use of antidepressants…”

    I don’t disagree with you, but this reminds me of a certain individual. I debated with this guy for quite a while about evolution on another forum several months ago. Apparently, he used to believe in God, and was “suicidally depressed,” but was later cured when he embraced atheism and naturalistic evolution. From my exchange with him, he is now as militant about atheism, and dogmatic about Darwinism, as Richard Dawkins; he wants to have that man’s babies. He spends his time arguing his case through forums and YouTube videos, probably to confirm his “superior intellect,” more than anything.

    Point is, people are always going to have different responses to a worldview. Although they may tout that they’re champions of reason and intellect (not to mention “science”), some atheists would just prefer that there be no God, no matter how harsh the consequences.

  12. 12
    Frost122585 says:

    Religion has no place in a public class room UNLESS the entire class is devoted to the discussion of religion, (which such a class should exist). The reason is that students take classes to learn things of value and side rants about some teachers warped world view is not education its indoctrination. The reason why is because if it is done in say a history class or science class, there is not enough time to get into a deep enough discussion of the theological or historical interpretation of the subject matter to have a fair educational dialogue with the class. Part of this is simply the evolution of teacher’s themselves. They think that they are sacred cows or Gods. They use their unions and their power to politically protect themselves from any kind of questioning or criticism. Tenor itself is a completely anti-free market, anti-free thinking mechanism. I am all for protecting teacher’s rights but they have grossly abused their power.

    If the class is about the history of religion it is fine to present a basic overview of material that is by and by accepted as fact. Teacher’s opinions are not warranted in this kind of a setting especially if they have the ability to hurt someone’s feelings.

    There are plenty of opinions that have reasonable arguments to them that could be discussed in school but do to their vulgar undertones they are not allowed. I think we all know what I am talking about.

    The point is that Christianity due to its forgiving nature has become the worlds whipping boy. I remind you all what happened when people published those stupid little cartoons of Mohammad with a bomb on his head or w/e. The world rallied around the religious rights of Muslims. The point is that Christianity is always getting the shaft.

    Shame on the professor/s that are doing this kind of thing. Its a disgrace to both human freedom and the spirit of a good educational environment which should be free of political and religious persecution.

  13. 13
    DLH says:

    Jon Jackson at 11
    “I, for one, would like to see the actual complaint filed by the student.”

    See news article
    Student sues Capo teacher, alleging anti-Christianity statements.

    For the filed complaint see:
    Chad Farnan et al. vs. Capistrano Unified School District; Dr. James Corbett et al.
    In US District Court for the Central district of California – Southern Division. Filed Dec. 12, 2007.

    INTRODUCTION
    This is a case to vindicate Plaintiff CHAD FARNAN’s rights pursuant to the United States Constitution. Plaintiff’s rights are violated each day he attends Defendant DR. JAMES CORBETT’s history class. Defendants’ conduct is a violation of the constitutional guarantee found in the Establishment Clause through their exhibition of hostility toward religion and the endorsement of irreligion in a public high school classroom.”

  14. 14
    bFast says:

    When “separation of church and state” is discussed, I suggest that we have it all wrong. What is needed is “separation of society and state”. In all cases when I see the constitution mention “state”, it is really talking about government. However, we have somehow taken the term “state” to mean “the people”.
    If we have separation of society and state then all we need to do is kick the state out of our schools — let the state assure that children can get a free education, and set some standards about what they must learn. Let society, let parents, decide who does the educating, and what worldview their childrens’ educators will have. Then this issue will be moot. I heartily support the voucher model of educational funding.

  15. 15
    Ahmed Aouin says:

    I am reding that America is Cristian country.

    Why is this teacher not in prisun?

  16. 16
    Frost122585 says:

    Berceuse says,

    “Point is, people are always going to have different responses to a worldview. Although they may tout that they’re champions of reason and intellect (not to mention “science”), some atheists would just prefer that there be no God, no matter how harsh the consequences.”

    We agree, but my point was that society has taken a decline or detour since people stupidly decided to make theology illegal. I personally don’t care about the feelings of those individuals that want to destroy religion no matter what the costs. The problem with America is that the minorities vices have grown way to loud and their opinions far too powerful, and history shows it.

    Now, I certainly don’t think that school should teach the existence of God as a fact because it is not one. Theology is simply like philosophy but it is an attempt to reconcile the physical world with the divine, its creation and objective morality and eternal mysteries. People have an absolute right to be atheists and their rights to be such should not be infringed upon at all. The misconception is that you need “a ban” on theology and intelligent design to protect such freedom. No, in this case you are in fact actually limiting human freedom when you purposely erase significant information from education in a misguided attempt to save the world from the values that helped to get it to where it is today. I think that Darwinists should perhaps take a more serious look at the reproductive benefits of a religious society. They can start their study with the fastest growing population on the planet which is the “super religious” middle east- after all, the left is “for the people” aren’t they?

    Its no wonder that western populations have been stifled in their growth and are being over run by non-native immigrants from various cultures and lands (usually border countries). Mexicans have not given up their beliefs in religion, nor have Muslims. What we teach our youth by and large in school today is that its more important to be rich and successful then to have a functioning family- and this is the mark of a dieing population.

    In the 1930’s a black American family was 70% likely to have both a mother and a father in the house hold. Now they are 70% likely not to. I think drawing correlations here between the rise of the welfare state and elimination of free publicly demonstrated religion is well warranted.

    While the most “successful civilizations” (technologically and economically) on the planet are in decline there are many perverted people reveling in their death. Some of these people include the George Soros types that are more interested in their international hedge funds than protecting the altruistic character of any given individual nation. Armed with a warped ideology these “types” are using their money and power, the schools and obscene political correctness to call the current situation anything other than what it actually is (chaotic). The west will be a different place as it becomes more and more Spanish and Islamic and less and less European- and for that matter more and more international and less isolationist. Where this change will lead to one can only speculate, but this is the fact of the matter, like it or not.

    The reasons for all of this is that people are easily manipulated and education (and TV) are the ultimate tools of mass brainwashing. Read any of the communist theorists of the late 19th and early 20th century and you’ll quickly see that the one thing that stands out is their strategic belief that in-between man’s power over other men is spiritual belief. Marx and his followers saw religion (not even any particular church) in general to be an opiate of the masses. What they really meant was that people will “choose” to be spiritual as long as spirituality is an option. Of course, if spirituality has gotten us through 3000+ years of struggling, maybe we should leave well enough alone.

    In regards to one last political note: It is interesting that the left that wants religion so regulated and hidden from the public’s eyes, yet they are the ones preaching against greed and the evils of the wealthy (even though they often are a member of this class). Religion however (such as Christianity) preaches against such excessive lifestyles. Perhaps by limiting religion the left has stymied the very progress that they hoped to facilitate. Then again I never believed that the left was actually concerned with improving the lifestyle of the poor anyways.

    In a world that functions people should be able to use their abilities as freely as possible and given according reward for their contributions. But in such a free world there also needs to be a moral guiding force- a social cohesion. Whether that comes from religion, humanistic ethics or just natural evolution is not as important as allowing people to partake in those facets free from the hindrance of the thought police (who have well overstepped their jurisdiction).

    Once again, I am not saying that religion should be taught in school “as fact” but schools should not be in the business of weeding it out and hiding it at every turn. I for one would have taken physics a lot more seriously in high school and college if I had read Newton’s theological manuscripts at an earlier age. For many theology, true or not, brings an entire new dimension to education. History teachers have a responsibility to teach history as it actually was not as they would like it to be. There is no question about people like Newton’s absolute dedication to theology because there are THOUSANDS of handwritten pages to prove it.

    Reality is often uncomfortable but needs to be understood for what it is otherwise we are doomed to repeat it.

  17. 17
    pubdef says:

    tribune7 said:

    Leo, do you realize that the way things stand now is you can’t criticize Darwin? You can’t even say that evolution is a theory and not a fact as per our federal courts.

    That case said that a school board say that with a sticker in textbooks. I don’t know the case well, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the judge made a finding that the sticker was motivated by religion or had a primarily religious purpose or effect.

    It seems like hyperbole to say that the case means that “you can’t criticize Darwin.” Again, I’m not fully conversant with the law on this, but are there any cases in which a court has acted against an individual teacher because of something he or she said about evolution in the classroom?

  18. 18
    Frost122585 says:

    Ahmed said,

    “I am reading that America is Christian country.

    Why is this teacher not in prisun?”

    This is obviously not a prisonable offense. I hope you were being facetious. I will however say that students all across the country should have an academic bill of rights and that should include a mechanism that lays out the rules and the punishments for religious and political persecution. The academic bill of rights should also have within it a system of steps that students can take to make sure their voices are heard. Teachers love to make and enforce rules. They should have to obey some as well.

    Conservative political activist and human rights supporter David Horowitz has been trying to instill such rights for many years.

    http://www.studentsforacademic...../abor.html

  19. 19
    Apollos says:

    Ahmed wrote:

    I am reding that America is Cristian country.

    Why is this teacher not in prisun?

    Ahmed, America is a secular nation, built on Christian principles. We don’t imprison for ideas or speech, but for actions which transgress our written law as drafted by elected representatives. Even then we prize mercy and forgiveness as a way to temper the law.

    We prize individual freedom and liberty, and the pursuit of individual happiness according to one’s own conscience, so long as that pursuit doesn’t cause harm to other persons, or to our society at large.

    Of course there are unfortunate exceptions, deleterious to our nation’s greatness.

  20. 20
    Ahmed Aouin says:

    Türkey is also secular country. But AKP goverment is making creationismus to be teached in schools, and universty. This is very bad, sometimes make praying in school also. Türkey is Muslim nation but secular state should no make peple pray, peple can pray without state. No?
    In uSA judge can say No to government. So is no pray in school?

  21. 21
    tribune7 says:

    Ahmed,

    In the U.S., judges are part of government but they are one of three separate branches so the branches are supposed to fight these things out themselves.

    But you are right that basing science on religious doctrine is bad.

    And the U.S. is a nation founded on Christian values, one of which is that state and church should be separate.

  22. 22
    Frost122585 says:

    Ahmed, if you are not a troll, you will find that prayer in American schools is not mandatory anywhere in our public facilities and nor should it be. What intelligent design says is that various aspects of the universe are best explained as the result of intelligent design. We don’t force anyone to believe in anything- we just think that the science should be interpreted as it is supported by the evidence.

    If they are forcing people in Turkey to pray in public (and some how secular) school then that is wrong. What we are concerned about is the opposite extreme. That is the government limiting peoples freedom of thought and expression. ID advocates generally as a rule feel that an anti-religious sentiment is trying to prevent the discoveries of modern science from being allowed proper interpretation in schools because they are seen as supportive to religion(s). Like wise Darwinism which has often been viewed as disproving religion has recently fallen victim to various challenges from modern science. Unfortunately many places in the country the contrary evidence is being concealed by the same ant-religious forces trying to eliminate any public relationship whatsoever with religions.

  23. 23
    jpark320 says:

    Atheists are hypocrites. They desperately want their views on life, marriage, and ethics to permeate not only the public schools, but our laws as well and throw a big fit when theists do the same thing!

    Every notice how all the knew laws and regulations never offend any atheist and seem to fit so perfectly into their philosophical believes (no prayer, ten commandments, marriage, their creation story/evolution, when life begins, etc.)

  24. 24
    mike1962 says:

    Corbett: “When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can’t see the truth.”

    If Corbett was trying to offend his Christian students, he probably succeeded.

  25. 25
    bFast says:

    Frost22585, “If they are forcing people in Turkey to pray in public (and some how secular) school then that is wrong.”

    I hope that you recognize this as your opinion, not some universal definition of right and wrong.

  26. 26
    DonaldM says:

    Frost22585 wrote:

    Religion has no place in a public class room UNLESS the entire class is devoted to the discussion of religion, (which such a class should exist). The reason is that students take classes to learn things of value and side rants about some teachers warped world view is not education its indoctrination.

    So, why then does the worldview of naturalism get a pass when it is taught in a science classroom?

  27. 27
    bFast says:

    Ahmed Alouin:

    Türkey is also secular country. But AKP goverment is making creationismus to be teached in schools, and universty.

    Frost122585:

    Ahmed, if you are not a troll,…

    Frost, it doesn’t seem that you have any clue about the world beyond the great and wonderful U.S. of A. Ahmed clearly struggles with English. Ahmed clearly has a much richer understanding of Turkish culture than you do. What does Occam’s razor suggest to you, that he’s a troll, or that he’s Turkish?

    The American way is not universally the right way. Just because America separates religion and school, that does not make separation a divine truth.

  28. 28
    Frost122585 says:

    Befast said,

    “Ahmed clearly struggles with English.”

    He probably does Bfast and that is why I said “if.” I thought that there was inconsistency between his first and second comments. The first one was over the top about imprisonment- and the second was then as if he was trying to compare ID to forced prayer in Turkey.

    I didn’t mean to offend him or anyone else, and that is why I said “if.” His English was quite bad and I cant image how he could read the complex subject matter on this blog if he cant spell anything. He could have a translation device but then wouldn’t he be able translate his language in to at least some substantive form of English.

    Once again, I did not try or mean to offend anyone- i was more commenting on the strange nature of his substance.

    And obviously I am critiquing the American way. i think that we could be a little more honest about our religious history instead of trying to erase it all like something out of 1984.

    I don’t think religion should be taught in public school in the form of prayer or truth/fact science – but I do think comparative religion and theology would be good for kids who want to learn something “outside of what is being taught in the good ol’ U.S. of A.” (and so does darwinist michael ruse btw)

    I’m sorry if I offended you Bfast with my post but this is a blog 9which would be boring without difference of opinion) and if you had an ideological relevant opinion to post I would be fine with it even if it was contrary to my own. If I disagreed with you and wanted to comment I wouldn’t assert that you were ignorant in your opinion unless I backed it up with substance.

    Sorry if I offened you Ahmed.

  29. 29
    Frost122585 says:

    Donald says,

    So, why then does the worldview of naturalism get a pass when it is taught in a science classroom?

    There are tons of reasons. One is that the teacher’s unions see it to their benefits not having to compete with God- they can do and teach what the want.

    It is basically in the same boat as global warming. It is a unifying idea that no religion should exist. Ever heard the song Imagine by Lennon? Point is that people feel bad about religion because it is complex (so is ID) and you have to know how to teach it, to teach it- which would force public education to do what it fears most- educate.

    There are plenty of other political reasons but ultimately it is the truth that is being compromised not imaginary sectarian religious bigotry.

  30. 30
    MatthewTan says:

    Religious Harmony Law

    Many countries have enacted laws to protect religions.

    Singapore, a *secular* nation, has enacted the Religious Harmony Law. Anyone who incites hatred against any religion or religious group is punishable by the law.

    Americans should push for this.

  31. 31
    congregate says:

    I disagree with MatthewTan. I don’t believe Americans should push for a religious harmony law. Inciting hatred is a bad thing, but giving the government the power to punish speech opens a nasty can of worms.

    And why should religions and religious groups have more protection from hatred incitement than other institutions and groups? The best answer to offensive or inaccurate speech is more speech, not silencing.

  32. 32
    JPCollado says:

    GilDodgen:
    “Question #1: Why is no discussion of scientific challenges to Darwinism permitted in high schools, when open hostility to Christianity is? Where is the ACLU when you really need them?”

    The answer lies with John Dewey, one of the founders of the ACLU and the prime architect of the modern school system, who regarded science as

    the highest manifestation of human intellect. Dewey himself attributed his “intellectual awakening” to T. H. Huxley’s college textbook on physiology, which shaped his vision of man as entirely the product of natural evolutionary processes…He rejected the dualism of spirit versus matter, insisting that the mind was a product of evolution, not some infusion from a superior being.

    Source: answers.com

    Dewey was also a co-author of the Humanist Manifesto, calling for

    a synthesizing of all religions and “a socialized and cooperative economic order.” Co-signer C.F. Potter said in 1930:

    Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American public school is a school of humanism. What can the theistic Sunday schools, meeting for an hour once a week, teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?

    Source: A Chronological History of the New World Order @ constitution.org.

    According to the article, in 1947 Dewey organizes the American Education Fellowship, formerly the Progressive Education Association, which calls for the,

    “… establishment of a genuine world order, an order in which national sovereignty is subordinate to world authority… “

    Answers.com continues:

    The “progressive education” movement of the 1920s was an effort to implement Dewey’s pedagogical ideas. Because his educational theory emphasized the classroom as a place for students to encounter the “present,” his interpreters tended to play down traditional curricular concerns with the “irrelevant” past or occupational future. His influence on American schools was so pervasive that many critics (then and later) assailed his ideas as the cause of all that they found wrong with American education.

    And so the problem continues until this very day.

  33. 33
    Frost122585 says:

    The answer also lies with Solzhenitsyn-

    “Even the most rational approach to ethics is defenseless if there isn’t the will to do what is right.”

  34. 34
    jjcassidy says:

    On the other hand, I really hate to see traditionalists and conservatives getting caught up in the whining victim parade. We need to man up and realize that a number of things are against us.

    What I call the “know-etic” culture is very much in force. They like the idea of experts stringing endless chains of inference together to tell them what’s what. I think it is increasingly popular to defer to the lengthy chains of inference of expert judges in our courts rather than throw a question over to the rabble of anybody’s opinion. It does not seem a way to conserve knowledge in the least.

    I think the decision in Dover shows a lot of what mechanisms they will only gather more precedent to use. Evolution gained rights: not to be “singled out” as if there were no discernible differences between subjects. And because such a plan had a high correlation to religious opposition, the contagion spread and created a dubious quality of deciding on such a plan.

    It’s only going to get harder to face up “the expert” as expert-ism takes over each individual field.

  35. 35
    SteveB says:

    I understand the reflex to file suit against an abusive teacher who gets off on bullying 16 year olds (how sad is that…). One also has to wonder if the administration of the school ever gets out into the light of day to get a clue about what’s going on on their watch. If it was a teacher at my kid’s high school, I’m not sure how I’d respond.

    Having said that, I’m a little disappointed that the kid and his parents went this route. Yes, a PhD with all the trappings of the school infrastructure going up against a high school kid is a David and Goliath sort of scenario, and yet… my reading of the bible indicates that God seems to do some of his best work in David and Goliath scenarios. I wonder if this, for example, might apply:

    12Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
    13Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,
    14or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
    15For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.
    16Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.
    17Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
    18Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.
    19For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.
    20For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.
    21For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,
    22WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH;
    23and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;
    24and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
    25For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
    -I Peter 2

    Note that the bad guys are characterized by slander and ignorance; they are foolish and unreasonable. Furthermore, the good guys are suffering unjustly, harshly treated, and being reviled. Seems like a fairly accurate description of what’s going on in Mr. Corbett’s classroom.

    Question: What kind of response does the text call for when a xian is in such a situation? Furthermore, what is the eventual goal of the prescribed behavior?

  36. 36
    JPCollado says:

    I agree with congregate about the potential grave dangers of religious harmony laws if they were to be enacted and enforced.

    I can’t imagine what kind of punishment would be inflicted on those who would preach against or “persecute” a belief system, that years from now, may be protected by the World Court, like for instance Gaia or other such aberrant religions and new comers.

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