Dear God, please leave me alone... prayer in school?

Kuiper

Better than Marr
I am intolerant of religions that preach bigotry, as American Fundamentalist Christians do. They are trying to amend the Constitution, for goodness sakes. They are trying to take away our right to birth control, and they are anti-science. The religious right believes that they are foot-soldiers in a culture war that they have been fighting ever since Darwin had a brilliant idea. Furthermore, they are apocalyptic in their worldview, and they are very much pro-war. A more destructive group of people is hard to imagine. I know some lovely Christians, who are truly Christ-like, and they condemn these activities as much as I do. But they do not police their own people, they are passive, they follow their religion's authoritarian model, and therein lies the danger. Someone has to object to the creeping fundamentalism that is guiding public policy in this country.

This paragraph is full of many assumptions, falsehoods, and generalizations that you should really reconsider. You make a few very biased guesses about something, then pile on more guesses about other things, and it just doesn't come out very well as a whole. Like this "anti-science" remark. First of all, it is your opinion that the hypothesis of macroevolution is automatically correct and anything against it is not true "science", that all "American Fundamentalist Christians" oppose the hypothesis, that all who oppose it don't do so on the grounds of believing other theories but on being simply "anti-science", and that those who hold those personal views consider that apart of some campaign to get the public to agree. This layering of assumptions and biases isn't very convincing.
 

SNS22

Not Dead Yet
Religion, bah.

How can something that is founded on faith rather than fact, be relevant to education?

Is there anything that requires more "FAITH" than the assumption that Life Originated from a primeveal cestpool of lifeless soup?

Seriously, I question the intelligence and the self-esteem of ignorant athesists and devout evolutionists...

Where is the proof? Were you there? Is It on You Tube? No...It all takes Faith in SOMETHING...

I prefer to believe I am more than just an ape who happenned to get the right genes?

Look in the Mirror people and decide for yourselves what you want to belive...I for one refuse to buy the crap that tells me I am NOTHING
 

SNS22

Not Dead Yet
And so you believe in a man in the sky who just wanted to have alot of people believe in him and adore him?

I choose to believe that over spawning from ape shit
 
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Dave

Guest
And so you believe in a man in the sky who just wanted to have alot of people believe in him and adore him?

Thanks for proving my point that Atheists are the most devout fundamentalists of all. It's either the Man In The Sky or Nothing for you.

In a metaphysical sense the idea precedes the thing. Anything that is "created" has a creator, and nothing "just is". Everything comes from something.

If the "Big Bang" theory of the creation of the Universe is true, something caused it. "Nothing Is. Nothing Becomes. Nothing Is Not." Start with a blank empty universe, no material, no energy, no physical space, Nothing. Now, suddenly, there is "something". There is mass and energy, measurable activity. Where did it come from? The Christian God? That's fine, if you believe it, but if you don't, that still doesn't deny the logic that all this "stuff", the material world around you, exists. Did it always exist? Maybe. Science says not, that it was formed and transformed. By what? Where did the energy come from? Whatever that is, it allows us to have consciousness. Is consciousness a random effect? I don't think so. I think that the fact that we can concieve of a universal consciousness id proof that it exists.

When people deny the existence of "God" they aren't denying "God". They are denying their own ability to concieve of something greater than themselves, that has existed, for all purposes, since "the beginning of time", and will exist until "the end of time". First they define "God" and then they deny what they have defined, but they don't really concieve of something that can not really be defined or comprehended by the limited human consciousness. In my opinion.

It's nothing to do with coming from apes versus the man in the sky theory. It's about something greater than ourselves, that is inconcievable, and humbling.

There are two seperate points here. One is that "moment of silence" does not mean "prayer in the schools". The other is that any definition of God that can be put into words is too limited to describe the ultimate reality.
 

Assassin

New Member
Thanks for proving my point that Atheists are the most devout fundamentalists of all.

Perhaps I have mislead you and I should admit my previous post was quite juvenille. However, I am a religious atheist. As in, I don't believe in any of the gods proposed by any religious group.

There may be something out there, something we can't possibly comprehend....
 

SNS22

Not Dead Yet

Kuiper

Better than Marr
What created God?

I bet it's the same thing that created the nothingness that created the nothingness that created the nothingness...that created the nothingness that created the Big Bang, either way, we're here, and so is everything else, and it all got here somehow.
 

Worm

Taste the diffidence
Come on Wormy, old boy. When you start speaking in bumperstickers I worry. Is the Earth going to plunge into the Sun on this fine afternoon?

Can't this silent time be different things to different people?

Buzzetta, you said it very well. That quiet time is exactly what I was trying to describe, and I think the classroom should be respected. As much as possible it should be immune from the "noise" of the outside world.

I don't know what sorts of backgrounds your students come from, but many students today find a better model for structure in school than they do at home. That silent time is like the airlock between the outside world and the classroom.


I want to quit posting on this thread, but before I do I have to say that those of you that equate "moment of silence" with "Christianity" seem to be extremely intolerant and unimaginative to me. It's like when someone claims to be an Atheist and then all of their argument is about the Christian Bible. Have a little imagination. The Creative Force of the Universe (tm) ("God") doesn't have to be, and probably isn't, whatever concept it is that you are resistant to, and a moment of silence is not "Prayer in the Schools".

Sorry to disappoint you with my lack of imagination, Dave, but I don't think I'm reaching to call it a school prayer issue. Have you read the statement by the governor of Illinois?

"Blagojevich issued a relatively short, but insightful, veto message late Tuesday afternoon.

"Prayer plays an important part in the lives of many people. It certainly does in mine. I believe in prayer. I believe in the power of prayer. I also believe that our founding fathers wisely recognized the personal nature of faith and prayer, and that is why the separation of church and state is a centerpiece of our constitution, our democracy and our freedoms," wrote Blagojevich.

"The law in Illinois today already allows teachers and students the opportunity to take a moment for silent thought or prayer, if they choose to. I believe this is the right balance between the principles echoed in our constitution, and our deeply held desire to practice our faith. As a parent, I am working with my wife to raise our children to respect prayer and to pray because they want to pray - not because they are required to. For this reason, I hereby veto and return Senate Bill 1463."​

I welcome many different religious beliefs, but I also think none of them belong in public schools. And I certainly don't have such low expectations of schools to think that the lack of a moment of silence would seriously hurt the classroom experience. Good teachers can create the "airlock" environment that you describe.
 
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Worm

Taste the diffidence
Oh, and by the way, here's the bill's text. Is this really leaping to an unimaginative conclusion to equate the moment of silence with a moment of prayer? Clearly "prayer" is central to this issue.

"SB1463 Enrolled LRB095 09404 NHT 29600 b

1 AN ACT concerning education.

2 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3 represented in the General Assembly:

4 Section 5. The Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act is
5 amended by changing Section 1 as follows:

6 (105 ILCS 20/1) (from Ch. 122, par. 771)
7 Sec. 1. In each public school classroom the teacher in
8 charge shall [changed from: may] observe a brief period of silence with the
9 participation of all the pupils therein assembled at the
10 opening of every school day. This period shall not be conducted
11 as a religious exercise but shall be an opportunity for silent
12 prayer or for silent reflection on the anticipated activities
13 of the day.
14 (Source: P.A. 76-21.)

15 Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
16 becoming law."​

Do you see the controversy? "Shall" was to be substituted for "may". (I don't like the original bill at all, to be honest, but the people of Illinois wanted it, I guess, so more power to them.)

And let's say that the bill allows the students an undefined moment to "meditate" rather than "pray". You've got some students praying and some thinking about the day's activities ("Gee, how can I pick a better angle to look at Mrs. Jones's cleavage today?"). This is the perfect "airlock" world option-- just a moment of silence, nothing more.

But such a moment invites the kind of conflict I mentioned in my first post in this thread, an (admittedly extreme) case of which was the school shooting in Cleveland. There's just no reason to do it, and without a doubt it should never, ever be mandated.
 
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A

Alcoholic Afternoons

Guest
Sorry to disappoint you with my lack of imagination, Dave, but I don't think I'm reaching to call it a school prayer issue.

But you didn't call it a school prayer issue, you just said, in response to my post: "Tolerance for the tolerant, intolerance for the intolerant," thereby equating Christianity with intolerance, and endorsing treating such with intolerance. I thought you did a great job with that quote alone in proving my point, so thanks.
 
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Dave

Guest
I realize they see it as a step towards prayer in the schools, I just don't believe in letting other people define the terms. I think it's more subversive to give them what they want and define it on one's own terms, than to fight them when defining it on their terms.

edit:Worm, I'd never call you unimaginative, by the way, and want to clear that up.

I'm sort of honored that you either think my "airlock" analogy is great or really stupid, but I'll choose to think you're liking it.
 
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Worm

Taste the diffidence
But you didn't call it a school prayer issue, you just said, in response to my post: "Tolerance for the tolerant, intolerance for the intolerant," thereby equating Christianity with intolerance, and endorsing treating such with intolerance. I thought you did a great job with that quote alone in proving my point, so thanks.

No, I did not equate Christianity with intolerance. In fact what I said was common sense and in different terms could be stated thus: "In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you" (Matthew 7:12).

You chose to interpret my bumper-sticker submission negatively. There are different kinds of Christians just as there are different kinds of atheists. I tolerate Christians who are tolerant of me. But I think the second half of the statement is equally important: I will not tolerate anyone who does not tolerate me. I'm open-minded until someone wants to change "may" to "shall".

Religious fundamentalists of all sects are making power plays all over the world-- except, okay, the damn Buddhists-- and the classic liberal mistake is to keep an open mind about them, which is what I was responding to in your post. Yes, liberals like to associate themselves with the ultimate buzzword, tolerance, but only the stupid ones go for blanket tolerance.

Once again, in debates like this, we're seeing different posters' arguments getting lumped in with others. Maybe it would help to start with what I do believe. True adherents of Christianity/Judaism/Islam: good. Secular humanism: better. Separation of church and state: necessary.
 

Worm

Taste the diffidence
I realize they see it as a step towards prayer in the schools, I just don't believe in letting other people define the terms. I think it's more subversive to give them what they want and define it on one's own terms, than to fight them when defining it on their terms.

Okay, that's fair. But they are trying to define the terms. This is no different than those who support teaching evolution as "opinion" on the same level as Intelligent Design. It's just spin. Fundamentalists have figured out that liberalism can be defeated by turning its own radical skepticism against itself. Genesis becomes a "competing theory". Prayer becomes "a moment of undefined silence". President Ahmadinejad holds a "scholarly conference" to deny the Holocaust. And so on. It's nothing more than lawyer speak. Giving them what they want is setting yourself up for a rude awakening.

See, when thinking about this issue, an important question is this: if we disallow the moment of silence or Intelligent Design or some of the other Trojan Horse religious encroachments on secular institutions, are the liberals impairing the ability for Christians to worship as they see fit? No, I don't think that's the case at all.

I see Kuiper couldn't resist posting in this thread, and as he's always fun to talk with, I'd like to know if his faith was ever shaken by listening to some sexually frustrated middle-aged bald guy in blue polyester pants talking about Darwin. My guess is no. Right, Kuiper? Ever stormed out of class in a huff because you weren't given two minutes to get in a few more silent "thank yous" to Jesus? I doubt it. God is bigger than Mr. Krapowski and his twenty year old textbook. God is also bigger than Darwin and Nietzsche and Hitchens/Dawkins/Harris and even-- yes!-- Marilyn Manson.

Secularism works in the U.S. more often than not. It has certainly not harmed Christians. I look around and see a pretty solidly Judeo-Christian nation, not a bunch of pansy liberal commies ruining it for the good folks. Christians have never had it so good. They like to talk as if they're back in the Roman arenas playing hide-and-go-seek with a couple of abused lions, but the truth is they're the ones in the stands. It's their stadium. It's got luxury boxes and jumbo tron screens and over the urinals they've got 103-inch plasma displays broadcasting TBN. There's simply no need to go further and legislate religion into schools.

edit:Worm, I'd never call you unimaginative, by the way, and want to clear that up.

I'm sort of honored that you either think my "airlock" analogy is great or really stupid, but I'll choose to think you're liking it.

No offense taken, Dave. I dig the airlock analogy, although whenever I see the words "Dave" and "airlock" together a certain voice instantly comes to mind. "Open the pod bay doors, Hal!" "I'm sorry, Dave, I can't do that".

Still, in a spirit similar to my question to Kuiper, above, I would ask the teacher(s) in this thread: is not having a moment of silence at the beginning of the day disastrous to the teaching atmosphere? Are there no other tricks in your bag besides that one? Are you helpless? Is there no other way to "airlock" your room and get the students in the right frame of mind to learn? Of course there are other ways. Lots of them. Teaching consists of knowing what those methods are and using them. (So I hear.) Just as God is bigger than tenth grade science, I would certainly hope that teachers are crafty enough to get by without a state-mandated "moment of silence".

It's like how "under God" was added to the pledge as a way to fight Communism. Were people so weak-minded that they'd actually slip over to the dark side if those words weren't in the damn pledge? I can just imagine the nightly news.

"The Arkansas National Guard had to kill 328 sixth-graders today in an apparent Communist uprising. Apparently Ben Franklin Elementary School, located in rural Arkansas, hundreds of miles from the nearest big city, did not receive the revised Pledge of Allegiance and for a solid year had not been saying 'under God'. Pastor Bill Wilkins of Little Rock said this morning that he was stunned and saddened by the childrens' fall into godless Marxism. 'This could all have been avoided so easily', he said, fighting tears. 'The dang Xerox machine just didn't arrive in time.'"
 
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I choose to believe that over spawning from ape shit

Damn, if I thought that evolution teaches that species evolve from another species's feces (heh), I'd think that it was a stupid theory, too. ;)

Worm said:
Okay, that's fair. But they are trying to define the terms. This is no different than those who support teaching evolution as "opinion" on the same level as Intelligent Design. It's just spin. Fundamentalists have figured out that liberalism can be defeated by turning its own radical skepticism against itself. Genesis becomes a "competing theory". Prayer becomes "a moment of undefined silence". President Ahmadinejad holds a "scholarly conference" to deny the Holocaust. And so on. It's nothing more than lawyer speak. Giving them what they want is setting yourself up for a rude awakening...

Worm, that's one of the greatest posts I've ever read on any subject, in any forum. You should set up a ministry or something.
 

SNS22

Not Dead Yet
Damn, if I thought that evolution teaches that species evolve from another species's feces (heh), I'd think that it was a stupid theory, too. ;)

The idea that I evolved from ANY part of A monkey/Chimp/Ape...is repugnant to the very fiber of my being...and the primeveil cestpool that "everything" supposedly evolved from (Again..can't be Proved) is in essence...nothing but Shit
 

Worm

Taste the diffidence
Worm, that's one of the greatest posts I've ever read on any subject, in any forum. You should set up a ministry or something.

Thanks a bunch, but you know what? I wrote all this on a Saturday night at home on my computer. Let's face it, in the end: I LOSE!
 

Mmmmmm

Dangling Member
You are getting close to a conclusion, but you are still defining your argument in Christian terms:

Thanks for proving my point that Atheists are the most devout fundamentalists of all. It's either the Man In The Sky or Nothing for you.

If by this, you mean atheists (no need to capitalize) require demonstrable evidence or a defensible theory before they will accept a something as believable, then you are right on. That doesn't make us fundamentalists. We will by our own principles change our beliefs as new and better theories develop.


Anything that is "created" has a creator, and nothing "just is".

Why? If by "creator" you mean a force (gravity, fusion, magnetism etc.), your language is misleading. I see no reason why fundamental forces such as these could not have always existed, and indeed why they could not have been responsible for the creation of the present universe. If one can believe in an omnipotent god who has always existed, why not a natural cosmic force responsible for creating universes.



If the "Big Bang" theory of the creation of the Universe is true, something caused it. "Nothing Is. Nothing Becomes. Nothing Is Not." Start with a blank empty universe, no material, no energy, no physical space, Nothing. Now, suddenly, there is "something". There is mass and energy, measurable activity. Where did it come from? The Christian God? That's fine, if you believe it, but if you don't, that still doesn't deny the logic that all this "stuff", the material world around you, exists. Did it always exist? Maybe. Science says not, that it was formed and transformed. By what? Where did the energy come from? Whatever that is, it allows us to have consciousness. Is consciousness a random effect? I don't think so. I think that the fact that we can concieve of a universal consciousness id proof that it exists.

Why do we need to invent supernatural beings to explain difficult cosmic concepts? The fact that matter exists is in no way evidence of a deity. There may be many questions we have yet to answer about the nature and origin of the cosmos, but let's not name our ignorance 'god'. While a mud puddle and I may be made of the same constituent elements, the development of consciousness took billions of years (on this planet). Neurological evolution is reasonably well understood and the selective forces favoring greater awareness of environment are quite within the realm of logic. It is not at all random just as it is perfectly natural.

When people deny the existence of "God" they aren't denying "God". They are denying their own ability to concieve of something greater than themselves, that has existed, for all purposes, since "the beginning of time", and will exist until "the end of time". First they define "God" and then they deny what they have defined,

I don't know any atheists who don't acknowledge the infinite complexity and greatness of the universe. They just don't call it "god". If you wish to call the sum of proven, theoretical and unknown cosmic forces "god" (in the same way Einstein did) then you may well be an atheist. Atheists don't define "god", they are by definition without one. They deny the existence of other people's definition of god.

but they don't really concieve of something that can not really be defined or comprehended by the limited human consciousness. In my opinion.

Why must the forces that create the universe be outside of the ability of humans to comprehend? You are borrowing the logic of religion and applying it to science. We do not have all of the answers and we may never have all of them, but this doesn't mean - as you posit - that they are too complex for human intellect.

It's nothing to do with coming from apes versus the man in the sky theory. It's about something greater than ourselves, that is inconcievable, and humbling.

Let's think outside of the terms of the media debate. The phrase "descending from apes" (never mind that evolutionists don't even argue this) exists to rile the pride of humans. Why apes and not amphibians, fish, bacteria or star-dust? All are equally true. A jealous, vindictive magician in the sky is far less awe-inspiring than natural forces such as nuclear fusion or evolution.

There are two seperate points here. One is that "moment of silence" does not mean "prayer in the schools". The other is that any definition of God that can be put into words is too limited to describe the ultimate reality.

God can and has been put into words. Way too many of them and they are rife with contradictions, untruths, deliberate lies, ambiguities and misleading advice. In this case it is the adherents of these flawed words who are driving the "moment of silence" because secular schools threaten belief in those words.

Instead of a moment of silence, why not add an extra moment of astrophysics so that we can gape in awe of the facts (as best we understand them) rather than pray to our ignorance.
 

Mmmmmm

Dangling Member
The idea that I evolved from ANY part of A monkey/Chimp/Ape...is repugnant to the very fiber of my being...and the primeveil cestpool that "everything" supposedly evolved from (Again..can't be Proved) is in essence...nothing but Shit

If I had to guess, I'd say you are right. I don't believe you have evolved yet either.
 
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