The religious views of the majority v. the rights of others

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The religious views of the majority v. the rights of others

School Allegedly Told Buddhist Student His Faith Is 'Stupid' & He Should Convert Or Switch Schools | ThinkProgress

We believe that

A Louisiana teacher who taught her sixth grade class that evolution is ?impossible? and that the bible is ?100 percent true? ridiculed a Buddhist student during class and announced that those who don?t believe in god are ?stupid,? according to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana.
When the child?s parents reported the incidents, the Sabine Parish superintendent allegedly told them ?this is the Bible Belt,? and asked whether the child, referred to as ?C.C.? could either change his faith or transfer to a school where ?there are more Asians.?
According to the ACLU, the teacher, Rita Rourke, works at a school in Sabine Parish, La., that consistently touts Christian beliefs through portraits of Jesus Christ in the halls, a ?lighted, electronic marquee? outside the school that scrolls Bible verses, and regular staff member recitation of prayers with students during class. ?The day after meeting with the Lanes, the Superintendent sent a letter to Negreet Principal Gene Wright stating that she approved of Negreet?s official religious practices. Wright read the letter to the entire Negreet student body over the school?s public-address system,? according to the complaint.
C.C.?s parents did transfer him to another school to curb his daily physical nausea and anxiety, even though it is a 30-minute drive from their home. But the school is in the same district, and also promotes religious beliefs. The District posts a belief statement on its website that says, ?We believe that: God exists.? And C.C.?s new school begins student assemblies and events with prayer. The ACLU lawsuit alleges that the school and the district are improperly coercing religious practices by students and endorsing beliefs in violation of the First Amendment.
C.C.?s original teacher, Rourke, has also continued to promote religious beliefs, giving students extra credit points for including a bible verse or the phrase, ?Isn?t it amazing what the Lord has made,? at the bottom of exams. She told her class that Buddhism is ?stupid? and, ?no one can stay alive that long without eating.? And she told her students that ?if evolution was real, it would still be happening: Apes would be turning into humans today.?

How would you like to see this play out?

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For reference is this a public or private school?

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It's a public school system.

The obvious stuff aside, that public schools should not be choosing one religion over the other and all....I'm always appalled when someone's religious belief system allows them to tell a child that he/she is wrong for their belief system. That makes me want to vomit.

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Obviously a public school should not be able to deny a student or ridicule a student based on religion.

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Its mind boggling to me that stuff like this still happens. And people wonder why the bible belt has a hard time changing their image to those who are not from around there.

Although it would seem to me, based on the article that a lot of people don't care about changing that image. Which doesn't make it right of course...but still.

Oh the question was how should this be handled. I really have no idea. I feel bad for that child, what a hostile environment for a kid to grow up in.

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:jawdrop: That teacher needs to be fired, and the superintendent needs to be fired. They are clearly violating the separation of church and state schools and promoting hatred and discrimination. WTF is the problem with just keeping YOUR religion to YOURSELF and OUT of the schools?

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"Spacers" wrote:

:jawdrop: That teacher needs to be fired, and the superintendent needs to be fired. They are clearly violating the separation of church and state schools and promoting hatred and discrimination. WTF is the problem with just keeping YOUR religion to YOURSELF and OUT of the schools?

I agree with this, but the reason why i say i don't know how it should be handled is who hands down this order? If everyone around you is pretty much supportive of this school staff's stance aside from a very small powerless minority, how do you go about making this happen?

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"KimPossible" wrote:

I agree with this, but the reason why i say i don't know how it should be handled is who hands down this order? If everyone around you is pretty much supportive of this school staff's stance aside from a very small powerless minority, how do you go about making this happen?

Kim, I agree. I think that the law in this case is pretty clear, and it's clear that the school district is violating it and creating a very hostile learning environment for non-Christians in the process. But I also think it's a case of "noone who has the power to make these decisions gives a flip if they are breaking the law or disenfranchising non-Christians." It's sad and frustrating but I don't know a good way to handle it other than what is being done - a lawsuit. Even then, I don't know that the lawsuit can actually mandate that anyone specific loses their job, just that the school cease and desist in discriminatory practices. Sad

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I am not sure teachers should be fired if this kind of environment is accepted in this district. It is up to the superintendent and the school board to really establish the culture for what is acceptable in that district.

When my girls were in public school they attended a school where a large majority of the teachers were Christian. They did not make it obvious, but I subbed quite a bit and was invited to a prayer time with them. The school dist was pretty clear on what was acceptable. I never once felt like any of the teachers showed a preference towards one religion.

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"mom3girls" wrote:

I am not sure teachers should be fired if this kind of environment is accepted in this district. It is up to the superintendent and the school board to really establish the culture for what is acceptable in that district.

When my girls were in public school they attended a school where a large majority of the teachers were Christian. They did not make it obvious, but I subbed quite a bit and was invited to a prayer time with them. The school dist was pretty clear on what was acceptable. I never once felt like any of the teachers showed a preference towards one religion.

Any certificated teacher has to know that Christianizing a public school violates federal law so being fired over it should be no surprise. And the people in the district who have allowed this to continue should not be surprised to be fired over it, either. Especially when the response, when it was finally brought to their attention, was not "Oh, so sorry, let's fix this ASAP!" but, "Can't you put your kid into a school with more Asians?" That this would EVER be considered an acceptable policy position is beyond me, and the leadership in Louisiana should make certain that this stops here & now.

FTR, I have no problem with teachers, or anyone being Christian or practicing their religion in private. I have a HUGE problem with them making a public school into a Christian space. Schools need to be religion-neutral.

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"Spacers" wrote:

FTR, I have no problem with teachers, or anyone being Christian or practicing their religion in private. I have a HUGE problem with them making a public school into a Christian space. Schools need to be religion-neutral.

I am fine with this as long as it includes ALL religions including Athiesm.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I am fine with this as long as it includes ALL religions including Athiesm.

You would have a problem with students who don't practice a religion not practicing it at school? How does that work? :confused:

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"Spacers" wrote:

You would have a problem with students who don't practice a religion not practicing it at school? How does that work? :confused:

No, I would not have a problem with teachers not forcing or showing favouritism to any religion including Atheism. It is very common especially in universities, but also younger grades for teachers to mock anyone who believes in God or Creation. There are many who look down on a teacher favouring Christianity but think it is perfectly fine to favour Atheism. I remember clearly my 10 grade biology teacher mocking creation in class and teaching evolution as undisputed fact. I have heard many, many stories of Christians being mocked by their teachers and professors. It is a two way street. If Christianity is not allowed in class, neither should Atheism. That means that Evolution is taught just as it is. A theory. Students who do not believe in Evolution should not be given inferior grades (For correct work), and should not be mocked in class.

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Atheism isn't a belief, it's a lack of belief, so I don't see how you can say that expressing atheism should be unacceptable in a public school. And atheism as a non-belief system is completely separate from evolution, which is both a fact and a theory. Creationism is a religious belief, and not a scientifically-accepted theory to be taught in public schools. Students who don't believe in evolution should find a different way to complete their assignments that doesn't violate their beliefs, but writing about creationism should not be an acceptable alternative. It's like when I helped Tiven find a different way to write about a new year's resolution; she didn't write about what she did over winter break or what she ate for breakfast, because that didn't satisfy the parameters of the assignment, but she wrote about why she doesn't make new year's resolutions, and that did.

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"Spacers" wrote:

Atheism isn't a belief, it's a lack of belief, so I don't see how you can say that expressing atheism should be unacceptable in a public school. And atheism as a non-belief system is completely separate from evolution, which is both a fact and a theory. Creationism is a religious belief, and not a scientifically-accepted theory to be taught in public schools. Students who don't believe in evolution should find a different way to complete their assignments that doesn't violate their beliefs, but writing about creationism should not be an acceptable alternative. It's like when I helped Tiven find a different way to write about a new year's resolution; she didn't write about what she did over winter break or what she ate for breakfast, because that didn't satisfy the parameters of the assignment, but she wrote about why she doesn't make new year's resolutions, and that did.

Atheism is 100% as much of a religion or belief system as Christianity and neither one should be favoured in public schools. If teachers can not favour Christianity in class neither can they favour Atheism. To say anything different is hypocrital. Evolution taught as fact is also a belief system and is no more appropriate than teaching Christianity as fact. It is a huge double standard. You can not be ok with a school system showing preference to teaching there is no God or teaching that Creation is not possible, but at the same time be outraged at a school showing preference to Christianity. (Well you can, but I do not believe it is right) Also, the distinction I made is a teacher MOCKING the student or the belief. In my opinion that is not ok on either side of the debate, but it does happen and it happens a lot. On both sides. It is not ok to say it is ok for teachers or professors to mock Christians but it is not ok for them to mock anyone else.

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Atheism is not a religion.

Evolution is taught in schools because it is accepted as fact because it is a scientific fact. A scientific fact being something that is accepted as true. Scientific fact does not have a final determination as it can be proven otherwise. However, it has to be considered as fact at this time because it has been continually proven.

In all my years of education, 2 years of Catholic school, 10 of public school, state college system of higher education in a liberal state I have NEVER come across anyone that has mocked Christians. Ever. I've never met anyone who has either. I find it funny in the Bible Belt that this happens.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

Atheism is not a religion.

Evolution is taught in schools because it is accepted as fact because it is a scientific fact. A scientific fact being something that is accepted as true. Scientific fact does not have a final determination as it can be proven otherwise. However, it has to be considered as fact at this time because it has been continually proven.

In all my years of education, 2 years of Catholic school, 10 of public school, state college system of higher education in a liberal state I have NEVER come across anyone that has mocked Christians. Ever. I've never met anyone who has either. I find it funny in the Bible Belt that this happens.

Atheism is a religion. A religion is a belief system and that is what Atheism is. A belief that there is no God is still a belief.

I moved to the Bible Belt as an adult. I was born, raised, and went to public school in NY. I know several people who were mocked for their religious beliefs in school including myself. Especially in college. (I was not in college, I went to a Christian university) There is a difference between teaching the material and saying this is what all of the evidence leads us to believe, and teaching anyone who does not believe this way is a fool.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

Atheism is not a religion.

It is very much a double standard to say that a teacher can promote Atheism in class but can not promote Christianity.

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I never said they could promote atheism either. I just said it wasn't a religion.

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OMG, teaching Evolution is science class is not promoting Athiesm...its teaching SCIENCE...in science class.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

Evolution is taught in schools because it is accepted as fact because it is a scientific fact. A scientific fact being something that is accepted as true. Scientific fact does not have a final determination as it can be proven otherwise. However, it has to be considered as fact at this time because it has been continually proven.

Evolution has not been proven as fact. I see no problem with teaching about Evolution as long as it is taught as an excepted theory and not as fact.

"Jessica80" wrote:

I never said they could promote atheism either. I just said it wasn't a religion.

See Stacy's quote below.

"Spacers" wrote:

I don't see how you can say that expressing atheism should be unacceptable in a public school.

I am not talking about not teaching Evolution in schools. I am talking about the teachers that say that if you believe in a God that created the world in 7 literal 24 hour days that you are stupid or a fool. I am talking about the professors that say that if you will not say that you believe Evolution is fact that you fail my class and are no longer aloud to be a science major. I am talking about the teachers that in front of the entire class laugh at the possibility that there is a God that created the world in 7 literal days. (Which is a major religious belief for many people) I do not know what to say if you have not had these experiences other than to say that they are common. No, not very much here in TN, but in NY where I am from particularly on the University level.

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Oh and there should be no place for mocking any religion in school. But teaching evolution in a science class is not mocking religion

Oh and i'd hate to remind you but there are tons of christians that believe in evolution. Your christianity is not everyone's chritianity and evolution belongs to NO RELIGION it belongs to the realm of science.

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"KimPossible" wrote:

OMG, teaching Evolution is science class is not promoting Athiesm...its teaching SCIENCE...in science class.

I am talking about mocking any belief other than Evolution. Which is no different that mocking a Buddhist or telling the class that Evolution is 100% not possible as in the OP.

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"KimPossible" wrote:

Oh and there should be no place for mocking any religion in school. But teaching evolution in a science class is not mocking religion

Oh and i'd hate to remind you but there are tons of christians that believe in evolution. Your christianity is not everyone's chritianity and evolution belongs to NO RELIGION it belongs to the realm of science.

To the first part - If your way of teaching Evolution is to say that it is not possible that there was a God that created the earth, that is promoting Atheism.

To the second part, I did not say that no Christians believe in Evolution. I know that there are many that do. One-Third of Americans Believe the Bible Is Literally True

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I am talking about mocking any belief other than Evolution. Which is no different that mocking a Buddhist or telling the class that Evolution is 100% not possible as in the OP.

Like i said, there is no place for mocking any religion in public school. Not sure why you brought up that your science teacher taught evolution though if your only beef is making fun of religions because teaching evolution has nothing to do with any religion nor does it have to do with a belief in no religion. Its science.

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"KimPossible" wrote:

Like i said, there is no place for mocking any religion in public school. Not sure why you brought up that your science teacher taught evolution though if your only beef is making fun of religions because teaching evolution has nothing to do with any religion nor does it have to do with a belief in no religion. Its science.

As I said in my previous post, If your way of teaching Evolution is to say that it is not possible that there is a God that created the world in 7 days and mock anyone who believes so in class, that is how Evolution ties into it. Evolution is the most common time when if there is/is not a God that created the Earth is going to come up in class.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

To the first part - If your way of teaching Evolution is to say that it is not possible that there was a God that created the earth, that is promoting Atheism.

Agreed, there shoud be no mention of God at all in a science lesson or science class of any sort. In either direction, to say he does or doesn't exist.

To the second part, I did not say that no Christians believe in Evolution. I know that there are many that do. One-Third of Americans Believe the Bible Is Literally True

I concede that there is something wrong with a teacher saying "God doesn't exist because of evolution" But that was not clear in the way you originally worded it. The way you first said it made it sound like you had a problem with him teaching evolution...as if that alone promotes athiesm. If thats not what you meant, then thats good we don't disagree then.

I do disagree with this idea that its "common" for teachers to rip on christianity....especially if this is what you are using as your proof. I think its way more common to have children indoctrinated into christianity in public schools unlawfully than the other way around.

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To Clarify - It is not teaching Evolution because many teachers teach evolution in a respectful way all around the country. It is the teachers and schools that take that opportunity to mock all other beliefs.

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"KimPossible" wrote:

I do disagree with this idea that its "common" for teachers to rip on christianity....especially if this is what you are using as your proof. I think its way more common to have children indoctrinated into christianity in public schools unlawfully than the other way around.

We must have posted at the same time. See my previous post.

In the science field, especially on the University level I do think it is very common. Many who believe in a literal creation and God are laughed right out of class.

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Teachers Can Mock Creationism - Court - YouTube

I very much think that it is common for professors or even HS teachers to mock Creationism and a very basic part of many peoples religious belief.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Teachers Can Mock Creationism - Court - YouTube

I very much think that it is common for professors or even HS teachers to mock Creationism and a very basic part of many peoples religious belief.

I think i would like to know what you mean by mocking. I can't watch the video right now. And i don't think it really is common at all for a science teacher to bring up god in class to say he doesn't exist. I think we should be mindful of the way we use the word 'common'. I think its rather uncommon considering how many schools there are in the country.

Heck i've gone to Catholic school all my life and i can't remember God ever being mentioned in science class.

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I also have never heard of any teacher mocking religious beliefs, not in my experience or anyone else's I know. I'm sure it happens but I don't think it's common.

And atheism is a lack of religion, not a type of it.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Evolution has not been proven as fact. I see no problem with teaching about Evolution as long as it is taught as an excepted theory and not as fact.

See Stacy's quote below.

I am not talking about not teaching Evolution in schools. I am talking about the teachers that say that if you believe in a God that created the world in 7 literal 24 hour days that you are stupid or a fool. I am talking about the professors that say that if you will not say that you believe Evolution is fact that you fail my class and are no longer aloud to be a science major. I am talking about the teachers that in front of the entire class laugh at the possibility that there is a God that created the world in 7 literal days. (Which is a major religious belief for many people) I do not know what to say if you have not had these experiences other than to say that they are common. No, not very much here in TN, but in NY where I am from particularly on the University level.

I spoke of scientific fact. I gave you the definition. I can say no more on it.

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"KimPossible" wrote:

I think i would like to know what you mean by mocking. I can't watch the video right now. And i don't think it really is common at all for a science teacher to bring up god in class to say he doesn't exist. I think we should be mindful of the way we use the word 'common'. I think its rather uncommon considering how many schools there are in the country.

If you get a chance to watch the video later, it gives a perfect example of what I am talking about.

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Note to self: Do not ever live anywhere Bonita has ever lived, and definitely never send kids to school any of those places.

Another note to self: And don't ever live or send kids to school in Louisiana.

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That video is merely commentary and not very illuminating. I looked up the story. Interesting that the teacher in question disparaged Creationism and not Christianity, and is a practicing Christian himself.

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Creationism is a basic principle to many people's religion. Again I am not talking about a teacher simply saying they disagree. I am talking about teachers mocking it.

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Yeah i wish i could get more info on this actual case, its not easy to find. I'd love to know the actual context of the remark, especially seeing these comments from the teacher:

Teachers must challenge myths - jim corbett - Open Salon

Every teacher in California (this was a federal case after all) now works with the knowledge that any student, at any time, and in violation of California law, can sneak a tape recorder into a classroom, record the teacher and use an out-of-context five second comment as a bludgeon to threaten, to intimidate and, ultimately, to destroy the teacher's career and good name.

I would love to know the context for certain.

Also thought this was interesting, from another article:

Supreme Court won't hear appeal of student's anti-Christian lawsuit - The Orange County Register

At the time of the appellate ruling, the legal experts also said the case likely would never be accepted by the Supreme Court because the underlying constitutional issues did not appear to be a systemic problem among teachers nationwide.

seems to go against this idea that mocking christianity is a 'common' problem.

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There is so much going on in this thread! Ack, how to focus?

1. Atheism is not a religion. Atheism is a lack of religion. As the old chestnut goes, atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color.

2. It's hard for me to believe that tons of Christians are being mocked for their beliefs at school. Don't like 80% of people identify as Christian? Presumably then somewhere close to 80% of teachers and school admin are Christian as well. I realize that of that 80% not all of them believe in a literal 7 day creation, but it seems really weird that lots of Christians are mocking lots of other Christians over stuff that is in the bible. Or are you arguing that the 20% of people who aren't Christians are just super busy mocking Christians all of the time? It's just hard to see such a vast majority as a persecuted minority group, you know?

3. Regardless, no I do not believe that a teacher should mock a student (atheist, Christian, Buddhist, or otherwise) for their beliefs. I do think that teachers can and should ask their students to apply critical thinking to their beliefs. Critical thinking is a hugely important skill that people learn in school, and should be turned on to most areas of life, even including religious beliefs. If your religion can't withstand some critical thought, the problem is with your religious beliefs, not with critical thinking. Having said that, I believe that the same standard should be applied to all belief systems, not just Christianity or Buddhism, or atheism, or whatever. In other words, no matter what the kids have been taught to believe, they should be encouraged to view those old beliefs with a critical and logical eye, including atheism. Maybe upon closer thought and inspection, atheism doesn't make sense to them either. The importance is not in turning kids away from what they believe, but again, in teaching them to apply logic and critical thinking skills to all important areas of their life. The students should be taught to use critical thinking and then encouraged to come to their own conclusions.

4. Teaching evolution as an accepted scientific theory is not promoting atheism or mocking Christianity. Calling it "just a theory" on the other hand is either dishonest, or else belies a lack of understanding about what the word "theory" means in scientific terms.

What is a Scientific Theory? | Definition of Theory | LiveScience

The Theory of Evolution does not speak to the existance of god, and there is no need for a teacher to assert or deny the existance of god in a science class. God is, by definition, supernatural, and thus falls outside of the realm of the things that science can study. Science is the study of the natural world. Science should be taught in science class.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

There is so much going on in this thread! Ack, how to focus?

1. Atheism is not a religion. Atheism is a lack of religion. As the old chestnut goes, atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color.

2. It's hard for me to believe that tons of Christians are being mocked for their beliefs at school. Don't like 80% of people identify as Christian? Presumably then somewhere close to 80% of teachers and school admin are Christian as well. I realize that of that 80% not all of them believe in a literal 7 day creation, but it seems really weird that lots of Christians are mocking lots of other Christians over stuff that is in the bible. Or are you arguing that the 20% of people who aren't Christians are just super busy mocking Christians all of the time? It's just hard to see such a vast majority as a persecuted minority group, you know?

3. Regardless, no I do not believe that a teacher should mock a student (atheist, Christian, Buddhist, or otherwise) for their beliefs. I do think that teachers can and should ask their students to apply critical thinking to their beliefs. Critical thinking is a hugely important skill that people learn in school, and should be turned on to most areas of life, even including religious beliefs. If your religion can't withstand some critical thought, the problem is with your religious beliefs, not with critical thinking. Having said that, I believe that the same standard should be applied to all belief systems, not just Christianity or Buddhism, or atheism, or whatever. In other words, no matter what the kids have been taught to believe, they should be encouraged to view those old beliefs with a critical and logical eye, including atheism. Maybe upon closer thought and inspection, atheism doesn't make sense to them either. The importance is not in turning kids away from what they believe, but again, in teaching them to apply logic and critical thinking skills to all important areas of their life. The students should be taught to use critical thinking and then encouraged to come to their own conclusions.

4. Teaching evolution as an accepted scientific theory is not promoting atheism or mocking Christianity. Calling it "just a theory" on the other hand is either dishonest, or else belies a lack of understanding about what the word "theory" means in scientific terms.

What is a Scientific Theory? | Definition of Theory | LiveScience

The Theory of Evolution does not speak to the existance of god, and there is no need for a teacher to assert or deny the existance of god in a science class. God is, by definition, supernatural, and thus falls outside of the realm of the things that science can study. Science is the study of the natural world. Science should be taught in science class.

OT - Alisa, I wanted to say that I love how you debate.

I believe strongly that Atheism is a belief system and therefore a religion. Anything that applies to Separation of Church and State also applies to Atheism. For example, if a big bill board in the town center that said God loves you was not allowed, neither should a big bill that said there is no God. In that contexts, they are both equally a religion.

As I said earlier, I have no problem with Atheism being taught in schools. As I said before the problem lies in presentation and mocking all other beliefs. For example saying that it was hogwash or anyone who believed that way was ignorant or silly. The term Christian covers a large amount of very different beliefs. Just because something is not against one persons beliefs that calls themselves Christian does not mean that it is not against other peoples beliefs.

I do not have any statistics on how often teachers or professors mock students for believing in God and Creationism. All I have is what people I know have told me and experiences I have had. In my experience, a lot of people who are pro evolution have a very hard time not sneering at the idea of Creationism when someone asks them about it.

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Bonita, there's nothing to teach about atheism. It's not a belief system. It's a lack of one. As soon as you say you're an atheist and don't believe in God, you're finished teaching everything there is to teach.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Bonita, there's nothing to teach about atheism. It's not a belief system. It's a lack of one. As soon as you say you're an atheist and don't believe in God, you're finished teaching everything there is to teach.

If you teach others that there is no God you are teaching Athism.

If, in your teaching of Evolution you say "This is what happened .... There is no God. That is just a made up myth that people tell their child much as they way they do Santa Claus." That is promoting Atheism and does happen.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Bonita, there's nothing to teach about atheism. It's not a belief system. It's a lack of one.

It is the belief that there is no God.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

If you teach others that there is no God you are teaching Athism.

If, in your teaching of Evolution you say "This is what happened .... There is no God. That is just a made up myth that people tell their child much as they way they do Santa Claus." That is promoting Atheism and does happen.

Where does this happen?

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

Where does this happen?

Schools, colleges, everywhere. I have been told that myself. I have heard from many people of this happening to them. (Not necessarily the exact same words, but the same point)

To clarify, I do not have a problem with the teacher stating what they believe as long as they are respectful of other people's beliefs.

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That doesn't make sense. Is one sentence "teaching" atheism? You're pretty much done after "there is no God."

I went to liberal schools my whole life and never once heard any teacher ever say that religion was made up or a myth. Not even at NYU Smile

But not believing in something doesn't make it a belief system. Is not believing in fairies a belief system? Is not believing in superheroes a belief system? Can it be taught like a school subject?

By the way we studied evolution and never once did the subject of God even come up.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

That doesn't make sense. Is one sentence "teaching" atheism? You're pretty much done after "there is no God."

I went to liberal schools my whole life and never once heard any teacher ever say that religion was made up or a myth. Not even at NYU Smile

But not believing in something doesn't make it a belief system. Is not believing in fairies a belief system? Is not believing in superheroes a belief system? Can it be taught like a school subject?

By the way we studied evolution and never once did the subject of God even come up.

I do not know what to say to you other than I disagree. In my opinion believing that there is no God is just as much a believe as believing that there is. It is great to hear that the mocking is not happening in the places that you are. Perhaps I have just had (And others I know of) unfortunate bad experiences with the topic.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I do not know what to say to you other than I disagree. In my opinion believing that there is no God is just as much a believe as believing that there is. It is great to hear that the mocking is not happening in the places that you are. Perhaps I have just had (And others I know of) unfortunate bad experiences with the topic.

This really bothers me. Let me see if I can explain it...

Atheism = white; absence of color
God = color; all colors. Red, yellow, green, orange, purple, blue, pink, lavender, mauve, chartreuse, brown, tan, gray, silver, gold, peach, tangerine...the list goes on and on forever.

To say that believing in no god is as much as a belief as believing there is a god kind of cheapens it for me. We both deserve the same respect for our beliefs, but it's just not the same.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

In my experience, a lot of people who are pro evolution have a very hard time not sneering at the idea of Creationism when someone asks them about it.

While i wouldn't sneer at the idea of someone believing in creationism. I think its okay to sneer at creationism being passed as science.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I do not know what to say to you other than I disagree. In my opinion believing that there is no God is just as much a believe as believing that there is. It is great to hear that the mocking is not happening in the places that you are. Perhaps I have just had (And others I know of) unfortunate bad experiences with the topic.

I'm sorry you've had bad experiences but I really don't think this is the norm.

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I think what Bonita means is that Evolution and things like that take just as much faith as believing that God created the world. Those who believe in Evolution are just putting their faith into scientists instead. Faith is believing in something that is not seen or proven to exist, and Evolution falls into that category. There are huge holes in the theory that all life originated from a single cell, and those that believe that theory are putting their faith into scientists that cannot prove that happened. So it may not be a religion, but it is a belief in something other than God, not just an absence of belief.

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