Criticism of student violated Establishment Clause

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by obeygiant, May 11, 2009.

  1. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #1
    link

    This sets an interesting precedent.
     
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #2
    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.
     
  3. werther macrumors regular

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    #3
    Here is the teacher's response posted at open.salon:

    linky

    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.
     
  4. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #4
    What the hell happened to freedom of speech? Or is that only for the churchies (like everything else)?:mad:
     
  5. werther macrumors regular

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    #5
    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.
     
  6. obeygiant thread starter macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #6
    I guess if he was just on the sidewalk, there would be no problem. The student is kind of a captive audience.
     
  7. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #7
    How many prayers are given over the loud speakers in public schools?
     
  8. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #8
    Too bad there is no way that would happen.
     
  9. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #9
    What does that have to do with what I said?
     
  10. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #10
    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.
     
  11. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #11
    It sounds to me like most of what he said doesn't belong in the classroom.
     
  12. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #12
    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.
     
  13. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #13
    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.
     
  14. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #14
    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).
     
  15. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #15
    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.
     
  16. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #16
    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 :)
     
  17. paddy macrumors 6502a

    paddy

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    #17
    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.
     
  18. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #18
    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.
    :mad:
     
  19. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #19
    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.
     
  20. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #20
    :confused: In practice or theory?
     
  21. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #21
    Practice of course. I said for what it is. I think Christianity, as Jesus said it should be, is beautiful.
     
  22. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #22
    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
     
  23. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #23
    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.
     
  24. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #24
    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.
     
  25. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #25
    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?
     

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