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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by obeygiant, May 11, 2009.
This sets an interesting precedent.
On the one hand, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. On the other hand, I don't get the impression that the teacher's comments were any more out of line than if he had said something in support of religion.
I wish people would just collectively get a thicker skin and find something more important to worry about. And yes, I mean people on both sides of the issue.
Here is the teacher's response posted at open.salon:
Though his entry is well written and well put, he glosses over what he actually said.
I think, by law, he did step over the line.
What the hell happened to freedom of speech? Or is that only for the churchies (like everything else)?
I think the problem lies with the fact that, as a teacher, he acts on behalf of the state. And in this position under section 2 of the establishment clause he went overboard when he directly attacked creationism.
He could of handled it more tactfully; What are the difference between superstitious nonsense and creationism?
edit: I would hope to expect the same outcome had it been a fundamentalist blasting atheism.
I guess if he was just on the sidewalk, there would be no problem. The student is kind of a captive audience.
How many prayers are given over the loud speakers in public schools?
Too bad there is no way that would happen.
What does that have to do with what I said?
You're suggesting that fundies have more rights to free speech than Atheists. Well they're not allowed to go into a school and start telling the students that atheism is stupid, nor are atheists allowed to do the same to religions.
It sounds to me like most of what he said doesn't belong in the classroom.
Teacher sounds like a complete jerk, but let's not misinterpret the ruling:
So the ruling is not based in the idea that atheists can't excessively criticize religion, it's based on the ruling that religion cannot be excessively criticized so that government is not entangled in religion. This is all about religion, not about atheism.
I don't know what to think here.
It seems, legally, that the teacher went over the line with regards to the Establishment Clause.
Still, it seems murky. Is attacking Creationism comparable with the advocacy or promotion of a specific alternative?
Put another way, if the teacher was to actively promote Athiesm - that would certainly be a violation of the EC. By only attacking Creationism - you only really have potential implications and inferences of a preference. Which seems, potentially to be a slippery slope.
I still feel it was in poor form for this teacher to go off on these diatribes - but after reading his response, I can at least see a logic behind it.
I still don't understand why this couldn't have been first been handled with a private conversation or two before going straight to court.
Oh wow, the return of the zombified Lemon test.
Not sure where you're standing there, but prayers broadcast through the school loudspeakers is not kosher under case law either (see Doe v. Santa Fe Unified Sch. Dist. for one).
I was saying that an atheist teacher has no more right to belittle a student's beliefs, than a religious teacher can to a religious student.
I'm against just about everything Christianity is, but I am also against any misinformation NT1440 was trying to spread.
Ah, it's just that you sounded like you think prayers being broadcast throughout the school isn't a problem. My misunderstanding, sorry. Guess you can add a "jus' sayin'" to the above
I agree with you on the religion front, in a public school religion should have no place, and neither should atheism. They should be out of the sphere altogether.
However if the proponents of the crap that is creationism wish for it to be taught as a science then by all means teachers should be allowed rip it to shreds.
Big +1 here.
The role of a teacher isn't to indoctrinate, it's to produce critical thinkers.
Some of the things this man is reported to have said are so far beyond the pale from an educational standpoint that it simply boggles the mind regarding why he's in the classroom to begin with. He's the kind of teacher that gives good teachers constant heartburn.
I agree. I really don't know what else to say. Sounds like the teacher did cross the line. He doesn't just sound like a bad teacher, he also sounds like an a**hole.
In practice or theory?
Practice of course. I said for what it is. I think Christianity, as Jesus said it should be, is beautiful.
I think part of the reason it went to court is everything out there is bash Christian this and that (basically minority side attacking the majority) this just makes it a two way street. It makes the minority side play by the same rules they are making the Majority play by and in my book.
The teacher clearly crossed a line.
It is one thing for a teacher to state once or when ask " I am a christian and believe in God." or "I am an athies and do not believea in any religious"
It is an entire another matter to attack ones beliefs and that is where he crossed the line
Rubbish. It's perfectly acceptable to attack any beliefs. Claiming that one's beliefs are above criticism reeks of cowardice. You've the right to believe whatever you want. You've no right not to be questioned or told that your beliefs are irrational.
You are picking and choosing that. You are taking it out of context.
The teachers while teaching and in that role are not nor should be allowed to try to convene some one that their belief is wrong. They are supposed to remain neutral which effectually mains they can not challenge ones beliefs.
Not really. I don't see why criticism of religion should be given such special regard. If the kid held some brainwashed view about geography or math there wouldn't be such a backlash. Religionists of all kinds are incredibly cowardly when it comes to being questioned about their "faith".
Only when it comes to religious beliefs. They're on their own special pedestal aren't they?