Seperation between Church and State

Angie - posted on 07/28/2009 ( 70 moms have responded )

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Ok, today there has been a lot woman blogging about religion, bible, science...But I really would like to know if the government has the right to exclude religion from schools/public? Seperation between church and state... I know in the U.S. it was banned in schools to say "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, was this right? Does it really hurt for you children to learn about all of the possibilities??? I also know back in the day they even said a prayer before their classes started.


Please don't start lashing out on one another, be respectful of everyones ideas and thoughts...If you strongly feel you are right then be the better person and don't put others down...I really want to see everyones opinions

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~Jennifer - posted on 07/29/2009

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ok...I have a real problem with people quoting out of context, so......





what WAS said, word for word was:





And one of the points I want to make is, is that if you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.





Full text of answer :





Well, we're going to be traveling to Saudi Arabia; I'll be having discussions with King Abdullah. And then we'll travel to Cairo, in which I am delivering on a promise I made during the campaign to provide a framework, a speech of how I think we can remake relations between the United States and countries in the Muslim world.





Now, I think it's very important to understand that one speech is not going to solve all the problems in the Middle East. And so I think expectations should be somewhat modest.





What I want to do is to create a better dialogue so that the Muslim world understands more effectively how the United States but also how the West thinks about many of these difficult issues like terrorism, like democracy, to discuss the framework for what's happened in Iraq and Afghanistan and our outreach to Iran, and also how we view the prospects for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.





Now, the flip side is I think that the United States and the West generally, we have to educate ourselves more effectively on Islam. And one of the points I want to make is, is that if you actually took the number of Muslims Americans, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. And so there's got to be a better dialogue and a better understanding between the two peoples.





http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_offi...





IF you look at numbers......we'd BE.....








Please, if you're going to quote someone, quote them accurately.

Jenny - posted on 07/28/2009

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Religion has no business in school beyond groups the students themselves organize. If you would like to organize a prayer group in the library at lunch time I can support that. If you want to teach creationism in science class I will fight that. If anyone makes my kids pledge anything to a god I will fight that. I wouldn't go so far as to remove the bible from the library but I'd definately not allow god in my child's classroom. They are there to learn academics, not scripture in a public school.



I would like to see a religious studies class at the junior/high school level to give students the opportunity to compare and contrast all the major religions from a cultural point of view. I'm fascinated by religions and read everything I can about them. Some beautiful art, music and literature came from religions. I was practicing Wiccan for a few years in high school and beleive it helped me to appreciate energy, nature and the symbiotic relationship of the world around me. It's not all bad, just not to be forced on impressionable young minds who have yet to form their own opinions on the subject.

[deleted account]

I don't personally feel that saying, 'under God' constitutes teaching religion in school. As a nation, the United States is a Christian Nation so to say Under God in the pledge doesn't seem like a far stretch.

Children should be exposed to many different religions of course - - but that is the responsibility of the family, not the school.

I think politicians cater to the few instead of the masses. How mean, how many people really care that the word God is on the dollar bill? Does that truly offend? Do Christmas trees in the town hall really offend? I don't get offended when I see a Menorah. I thought the great thing about this country was tolerance and acceptance. After all, we all (with exception to Native American decedents) came from another land with vast differences in religion, culture etc. . . I get very frustrated that a few intolerant people make the rest of the nation walk on eggshells. Should I say Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday? Will I get sued if I say the wrong thing? It wouldn't surprise me!! But back to the question. There should be separation of church and state; people just take it to extremes that seem unwarranted.

~Jennifer - posted on 07/28/2009

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They didn't ban the pledge. You don't have to say it if you don't want to. What they did do was remove "under God"....which was added to the original pledge in the 50's by Dwight Eisenhower.



The original pledge, written by FrancisBellamy, was first published on September 8, 1892, in The Youth's Companion. Its wording was as follows:



I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands: one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

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[deleted account]

I went to a public school in New Zealand from '91-'97 and every friday was "bible in schools". Where we had (don't mean to offened with my comment) the Bible shoved down our throats.

They stopped Bible in schools in 1997.

I think religion should be kept out of the cirriculm (sp?), mostly because it's Christianity that is taught in schools which is unfair to other religions.



I remember having to have to attended a "special assembly" at high school where a guest speaker tried to tell us that in our suburb, there was a black spot (I cant remember what he called it but this part was a negative spot) and told us to follow the way of God etc etc.

Now don't get me wrong, I respect those who are religious, I am not, although I do believe in life after death, I do not repect those who force their religion on to others.



And as for discriminating people from joing scouts because of their homosexuality, that just plain wrong!

[deleted account]

I agree with it for the most part becaue it enables the church to focus on their faith and not government policy, but some advocates of seperation take it waaay too far by starting petty law suites to remove songs/pledges/statues.

Angie - posted on 07/29/2009

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I scimmed through the last comments briefly, Just going off of Jo's comment...

There are "bad" people all over this world! Whether you have a religion believe in God or not...I just feel that when a "Priest" does rape a young boy, its get blown way more out of porportions than a normal Joe (Yes I feel it is wrong, not wrong he's being picked on, but wrong he molested a young boy). There are always going to be someone who does bad things, sinning, cheating, etc. Also there is no excuse for any kind of sin that a person is doing. I also feel that when you say your a "Christian" "Catholic" "Mormon" "Muslim" etc, people watch every move you make and when you slip, make a mistake...people jump all over you and harp on you.

As for the Boy scout and Girl Scouts...I have no clue what goes on in those groups, so I really don't have an opinion.



I think when you want to get so technical and right down to it, it is really hard to seperate Church and State...There are so many organizations, and groups, individuals believing their own thing...where they should have a biased decision (meaning politician, mostly) considering their religous back grounds. Say abortions...I know "most" Christians don't believe in it...but a politician who has a religous back ground that apposes abortion...hopefully he would have the balls to say what he thinks and can vote for against it. Or for another example Miss USA I believe or something she got back lashed for saying she disagreed with Gays/ marriage...who wasn't a politician, and very well could have been a ditz... :). No matter what I believe people will have a say about something, and they hide behind saying they are the minority (yes I think it is the case sometimes, but I think they can use that as an excuse so they can be catered to.)

?? - posted on 07/29/2009

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Well ok, a correctional officer or police officer and you spend time in a prison or with criminals in a cell, good chance they're fucking the prisoners up the ass. A preist, good chance he's fondling little boys. And being homosexual means there's a good chance you're a pedofile. Only sometimes right? Not always? Just when it fits what someone is trying to say?



I'm not quoting anyone here - but I would bet there have been just as many children molested by people of the church than there have been children molested by heterosexuals and just as many children molested by homosexuals and just as many homosexuals molested by heterosexuals.



Just thought that if we're going to implying pedofilia or molestation - we might as well call everyone a pedo and a molester.

Traci - posted on 07/29/2009

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:) I didn't in any way say gays are pedophiles. I don't believe them to be. I was insulting the lawyers in that particular statement. Calm down. ;)

JL - posted on 07/29/2009

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WTF!?!?!?! What the hell does being a gay member or leader of Boy Scouts have to do with Pedophilia...You know what I cannot even comment because all the words that are going through my head right now are not appropriate because I am reacting with anger, frustration, and disgust so I will leave it at this...use some level of thoughoutfullness before you start calling a whole group of people pedophiles with no finding and yes that is how your post came across even though you said that you were not calling all gays pedophiles but even calling some gay people pedophiles in a generalized statement is offensive and absurd! Adding the smiley face doesn't somehow make it sound any nicer either.

Jocelyn - posted on 07/29/2009

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opps, i seemed to have open up another discussion lol.
it was a previous discussion about the boy scouts (in the USA) that actually led me to contact the head office (here in Canada) and "interrogate" them lol. there are troops here that are specifically for homosexuals. i think that the scouts up here (and the girl scouts, girl guides etc) have done a damn good job of accepting everyone :) they seem to balance their history (Christian based) quite well with the new cultures. i think that they are setting a very good example by proving that "yes, you can have many different religions and beliefs grouped together, and NOT offend anyone" :) if only it was that easy for everyone else to accept.

Traci - posted on 07/29/2009

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Going back to my original point.....Okay, you can tell that to the lawyers. :)

ME - posted on 07/29/2009

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I'm pretty sure that I've pointed out somewhere that the definition of Paraphilia (one form of which is Pedophilia) NEVER includes homosexuality. Homosexuality is NOT a disorder; a person who molests children has PARAPHILIA...ugh...my head is starting to hurt...

Jenny - posted on 07/29/2009

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STOP comparing homosexuals and pedophiles. It could not be any more ignorant.

Traci - posted on 07/29/2009

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Well, you can bet that the same lawyers who challenge the Boy Scouts for not allowing gay den masters are the same bunch of creepy bastards that would sue the same organization if their child happened to be molested during a camping trip. So I guess the organization is damned if they do and damned if they don't.

JL - posted on 07/29/2009

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From what I have read.. yes the Boy Scouts has specific guidelines against athesist, agnostics and homosexuals joining or leading. If it is a strictly private organization then they have the right even though I don't agree with it but if they are using any government funding which is looks like they may then that is BULLSHIT and they should be challenged legallly!

JL - posted on 07/29/2009

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Girl Scouts leaves it up to the troop...Traci daughter's troop apparently involves religion while my daughter's troop which I co lead does not involve religion at all. God can mean whatever you want it to mean and for some of my girls who are not religious at all they refer to it as representing nature.

[deleted account]

Yeah, sorry about the confusion on that one. I was talking more about stories like this in the Boy Scouts:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/10/3...

The Daisy troop I was a part of as a child wasn't religious, though the meetings were through the parochial school I attended. But back when my husband was a cub scout, he was told he had to leave the program when others in the organization found out his family was not religious.

Traci - posted on 07/29/2009

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My daughter is a Daisy, too. We have our meetings and some events at a church and our pledge goes a lil' something like this...



On my honor, I will try, to serve God and my country, to help people at all times and to live by the Girl Scout law.



We also went to church on a Sunday, once. I like the way my daughter's troop is, not preachy, but nobody freaks if someone mentions the word God. I like it :) But, yeah, being a Christian isn't a prerequisite of being a Daisy.

JL - posted on 07/29/2009

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ok Well apparently I typed and posted my whole Girl Scouts thing right when you girls were ironing that one out...I am not familiar with the Boy Scouts as much so I can say much on that one.

JL - posted on 07/29/2009

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I am the co leader of my daughters Daisy Troop which is the Girl Scouts level for Kindergarten and first graders and we do not recruit or deny any girl based on religion. Girl Scouts has never actually been a completely religious orientated organization and since the 1990s the organization has stepped futher away from its association with religion. The Girl Scouts solely markets itself as an organization aimed at girls to provide them a nuturing environment where they can build character and learn skills of success to help them in the real world. Girl Scouts main objective is about service, social consciousness, and environmentalism. We are specifically told as leaders that when our girls say the pledge that the part that says God pertains to whatever god someone may worship. I am posting parts of my leadership handbook:



On October 23, 1993, the Girl Scouts of the USA voted 1,560-375[47] to permit individuals to substitute another word or phrase for "God" in their promise.



"THAT, since the Girl Scout organization makes no attempt to interpret or define the word 'God' but encourages members to establish for themselves the nature of their spiritual beliefs, it is the policy of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. that individuals when making the Girl Scout Promise may substitute wording appropriate to their own spiritual beliefs for the word 'God'."



The Girls Scouts official policy does not ban or require prayer that is up to the troop whether they want to use prayer or not. I am posting what is stated in my leadership handbook;



"The Girl Scout organization does not endorse or promote any particular philosophy or religious belief. Our movement is secular and is founded on American democratic principles, one of which is freedom of religion. Although Girl Scouts has policies supporting religious diversity, there is no policy by Girl Scouts of the USA that prohibits or requires the saying or singing of a grace, blessing, or invocation before meals by Girl Scout members in a troop/group setting, in a resident or day camp, or at meetings, conferences, and other large events. The decision to say a grace, blessing, or invocation is made locally at the troop or group level, and should be sensitive to the spiritual beliefs of all participants."



For instance my troop does not use prayer or any religious instruction...some other troops do but you can choose what troop setting is best for your child. The more religious devoted have actually broke off and created a separate organization the American Heritage Girls. The AHG is exclusively a Christian religious oreintated organization. The Girl Scouts does not object to atheists joining and have not ever asked anyone what their religious beliefs may or may not be when they join.

[deleted account]

Oops, sorry - I should have specified Boy Scouts. The Girl Scouts are not religious. It's the Boy Scouts that do not permit atheists or gays to join. I know there have been a few high-profile cases of children being kicked out of the boy scouts over the last few years. Going back the the Church/State discussion, the boy scouts get lots of government support, so there are a lot of people out there who don't think they should have the right to discriminate.

[deleted account]

I don't know about the scouts in America being a strictly religious organization. My friend's daughter is in Girl Scouts and has never ever cracked a bible open or stepped foot in a church. And her parents (my friends) don't believe in God at all. My other friend's son is a Boy Scout and she goes to church once or twice every few months but her son doesn't go unless he wants to, which he never wants to lol

[deleted account]

That's interesting about the scouts in Canada - here in the US it is a strictly religious organization, and they do not allow atheists to join at all. I didn't realize their programs were different from country to country.

Jocelyn - posted on 07/29/2009

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i am in Canada, and during our national anthem we mention "God" a few times. I have never had a problem with this, and I am not Christian in any form. To me, when I say "god" in something like a pledge or vow, i take it to mean ANY God. The God I choose, if i so choose to believe in a god. That is what i will teach my children. i was actually just talking with a scout leader, and i asked about the "serving god" (or whatever it is they say, i can't remember) because i didn't want to get my son involved in a strictly Christian program. and the answer they gave me was "we are a spiritual organization, when we mention god, it means whatever god you believe in." i thought that was a pretty good answer. i think ppl now are trying too hard to be politically correct. i don't care if my son goes to a christmas party at school, just as i wouldn't care if he goes to a kwanza party at school. i do think that public schools should offer a religion class, but teach all the possibilities. i heard a story about one child saying a pray before lunch, and she was suspended. that is just bull in my opinion. that girl saying a prayer (by herself!) poses no harm whatsoever to the other children. just like singing a christmas carol poses no harm, seeing a menorah causes no harm, colouring easter eggs poses no harm. i think that ppl are just too touchy. not everything has to be on such a personal level.

[deleted account]

Angie, no it's not inappropriate at all! I just didn't know what it meant, except that it made me laugh....thought maybe it was a typo or something lol

Angie - posted on 07/29/2009

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Wait a minute...Sharon, I have gone (not entirely) through a lot of bullying, name calling, things written on my lockers...and also things being ruined...

So I do know what you have gone through in a way. Yes, I was minority during that situation...but did not feel the need to act like one...I eventually gotten through and therefore I have become a stronger person and haven't taken any crap from anyone for a long time.

(This may sound like I'm attacking you, but I am certainly not!!) I do feel your pain and I wish it never happened to you!!

Angie - posted on 07/29/2009

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Joy,

Its just a phrase I have come up with when my feelings don't get hurt! :) Am I being inapprprate?? Are you trying to turn me in?!?! :) hahaha

Sharon I am sorry for you troubles, No one deserves to be treated like that. I am not trying to come up with excuses for their behavours. Unfortunately there are those kinds of people everywhere you go...thats just life!! Whether it is dealing with religion, zits on the face, or a little roley poley. Even when people have the same beliefs, they always find a way to criticize eachother and fight between them. I also am not saying that they should have a full depth course on religions, and I don't believe it is the teachers job to teach, it is the parents responsiblity.

Ok, so I'm totally lost my train of thought and forgot what my point was...(I had to leave to change a poopy diaper) AHH...anyways sorry mom's. I'll wait to post later and see if I can't find it...Wish me luck! :) hehehe

Traci - posted on 07/29/2009

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If we assume there are six million Muslims in the US, that makes it only the 34th biggest Muslim country in the world - behind Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Nigeria, China, Ethiopia, Algeria, Morocco, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Tanzania, Syria, Malaysia, Niger, Senegal, Ghana, Tunisia, Somalia, Guinea, Kenya, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Burkina Faso and Tajikistan.





Okay...so I guess you're right, we'd be in the top 35 of nations with Muslims...I'm sure that is what Mr. President was referring to. :)



and BTW...the more accurate estimates of Muslims in the US is more around the 2 million range, so actually, it's more like top 50. :)

~Jennifer - posted on 07/29/2009

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*ding*

(or one OF the largest - I haven't looked up the demographics as of yet.....)

=)

Amie - posted on 07/29/2009

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Jennifer ~ I never heard the speech but that to me means out of all the countries in this world, America has the largest population of Muslims. Does not mean that Muslim is the primary religion.

Sara - posted on 07/29/2009

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I've seen someone else use that, and I'm curious as to the meaning of "butt hurt" too...

[deleted account]

Flag as inappropriate Are you sure? Yes | No Posted by Angie Caster (11:49 am)

Honestly if the majority of the class and parents and the school agree with that...then I would definitely take my child out of the school for that day (unless my child new the whole understanding of why that man should never be given achnowledgement)...I think associating with different religions and beliefs help you figure what you want to belief and not...I also wouldn't be one of those parents that would be butt hurt just because they wouldn't cater to me...Also if I didn't agree with it, I think I would be finding a new school.



Just wondering, purely out of curiosity.....butt hurt? I'm trying really hard not to giggle here because I know it's a serious conversation but "butt hurt"? Define please?

Amie - posted on 07/29/2009

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I just wanted to comment on Joy's post. It is absolutely true that if you want your child to practice religion in school there are private schools for that. I don't want to hear not everyone can afford them either. My in laws sent my husband to a private school, at a cost of $3,000 per year just to get in the door. They were a struggling family, with only one income and back then $3,000 was a lot of money. They still found a way. They cut out a lot of frivolous things that they wanted but did not need just so they could ensure his education the way they wanted it.

Prayers in our schools (Canada) were cut out a long time ago. I have no problem with this. I don't see why anyone else should either. Yes it's freedom of religion but if you are going to recognize all of them as a free choice, you should not recognize just ONE in the public school system. That is completely offensive to others. Religion is not a democracy, it is not who has the most people behind it. It is a personal and private matter for each house hold. You do not get to say, teach our religion because we have the most people so we win. It does not work like that.

JL - posted on 07/29/2009

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Once again I am going to refer to this in a historical perspective since I am a professional historian of American history. The separation of church and state doctrine was not something that the SCOTUS came up with on their own. There is precidence set in numerous letters, writings, speeches, notes and so on written by our founding fathers and many leaders of this nation who stated specifically that this nation was built and operated on the idea of maintaining a total separation from church and state.



"No religious reading, instruction or exercise, shall be prescribed or practiced [in the elementary schools] inconsistent with the tenets of any religious sect or denomination." --Thomas Jefferson: Elementary School Act, 1817. ME 17:425



"Our civil rights have no dependence upon our religious opinions more than our opinions in physics or geometry." --Thomas Jefferson: Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779. ME 2:301, Papers 2:545



I operate in the same mindsight of our founding fathers in which there was an agreeance that religious people have the right to participate in the government but that a separation between the government and church should be maintained in order to stand against the dangers of a theocracy. This protects not only the government from religious control but religions from government control. Once government and religion become intertwined the fact is that historically churches have suffered from this relationship because they become the pawn of the government. They become subverted by the government in ordert to stand as the silencers of dissent.



In order to protect our Republic as which it stands and to protect our individual rights to worship as we please we must keep intact a total separation between government and state which means the state cannot sponsor prayer in our school system. We have a divison of public schools and private schools. If one feels the need to support religion in education then put your child in a private school.



I find it absurd that someone would willingly advocate that it is ok to divide children based on what religion they practive at home...as if our children do not have enough pressures and divisions to deal with..lets add something else to help identify who is different and let the harrassing and bulllying begin. I find it absurd that it is ok to uphold an outsider mentality by arguing in favor of overturning our Republic to uphold the majoritiy rule so we can usurp the rights of the minority. And if people really think that the one child who is made to leave a room because they cannot participate in religiously based ceremony with the rest of the class does not feel bad about it then you are lacking a certain level of compassion.



Organized religions have only subverted the true meaning of sprituality and corrupted it and used it to judge others. Religion is a personal experience between you and what god you adhere to it is not for the public to reside over or prescribe too or ordain.

Traci - posted on 07/29/2009

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I think that we forget in the US, it's freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion. There's a big difference. I hate that some schools have "winter events" instead of Christmas parties or that people freak if there's a nativity scene in front of a municipal building. That's why I love where we live. The kids say the pledge every morning, with under God, in it....and then they have a moment of silence to reflect, to pray, whatever. Nobody's saying they have to pray, they can think about what they are going to eat for lunch if they want, but they do have it. I love it :)



Merry Chistmahanakwanzakah, by the way :) LOL



Oh, and according to our president, we're not a Christian nation, but we are one of the "largest Muslim countries in the world." ???

[deleted account]

Posted by Angie Caster (yesterday, 7:28 pm)

I think the U.S. tries too much to protect the minority that they forget who makes up the majority!!!!



Guess what? YOU are not a minority, therefore you would not understand what it is like to be made to feel different, inferior, picked on, suffered through name calling, and even had swastikas drawn on your car, locker, paper notes, etc. YOU have not even the remotest idea how hateful some people can be because I doubt you have surrounded yourself with others of a different faith. Let me tell you something straight up- school would have been a hell lot easier without Christmas or Easter because everyone points the finger at THE ONE WHO IS DIFFERENT. The token Chanukkah song at the winter concert is patronizing as well as coloring in a menorah. You want to teach religion in public schools-I'm all for it. Teach ALL religions! World religion was by far one of my most favorite courses in college. It should have been taught at the high school level. Or if you prefer a religious based education, enroll in a private school or homeschool. As a public school teacher, I have no business teaching your kids religion. Let teachers teach subject area curriculum and keep religion out of the schools. You preach about standing up for the majority but disrespect and frown upon the minority.

Angie - posted on 07/29/2009

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Honestly if the majority of the class and parents and the school agree with that...then I would definitely take my child out of the school for that day (unless my child new the whole understanding of why that man should never be given achnowledgement)...I think associating with different religions and beliefs help you figure what you want to belief and not...I also wouldn't be one of those parents that would be butt hurt just because they wouldn't cater to me...Also if I didn't agree with it, I think I would be finding a new school.

[deleted account]

No, it doesn't make you wrong at all. You can and should raise your child with your religious values. But look at it this way - what if your child's class decided to have a Halloween party during school, and part of the theme was to dress up like devils? Probably the majority of parents don't have the same view on this as you do about Halloween. Would you insist that your child leave the room for the afternoon for the party? Do you think that would be right for the class to hold a party from which your child would need to be excluded? I don't think public schools should be a religion-free zone, but I think respect for minority views is important, too.

Angie - posted on 07/29/2009

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Ok, So I remember in Elementary school there was a girl who was Jewish...We were celebrating christmas, exchanging gifts and having a party. She couldn't participate because of her religion...so does that mean the MAJORITY of kids should suffer because of that one girl?? I was pretty good friends with her and she had to leave the room...But the party still went on and she had no hard feeling (atleast I don't think she did). I see nothing wrong with what happened, yes I felt bad because she couldn't participate...but that was her own deal. Christmas is a symbol of Jesus being born, the christmas tree has nothing to do with...its just a decorations that others have come up with (who don't believe in Christ) to satsify their own beliefs and to make it ok. We do have a christmas tree when its the holiday and we also have do Easter Baskets, but we also remember why we are celebrating those holidays...Also during Halloween, my children aren't allowed to dress up like the Devil or anything that is dealing with evil. It is a fun time of the year, but I don't want to teach my children it is ok to even "act" like him!! So that does that make me wrong???

Amie - posted on 07/29/2009

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Yes it should be separated. If you make exceptions for one religion you'll have to do it for another. Those kids would be standing up there all morning reciting prayers to accommodate every religion that each child has. Kinda pointless to go to school then.
There is nothing wrong with teaching your own children your own religion if that so suits you. No one has the right to shove it down my kids throat though because they think it should be taught in public schools.
Also, something I've noticed, why is it only Christians who are so uptight about this? I don't see any Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc pushing for their religions to be taught.
On the topic of Christmas too. Gotta agree with Jenny. It is rooted in a pagan ritual. Most historians even agree that Jesus wasn't even born in December.

[deleted account]

Last I knew, Christmas was all about the birth of Jesus. If you can't bring up Jesus at Christmas what are you celebrating Christmas for? So let corporate america celebrate Christmas, oh wait. happy holiday's. . give you some great "holiday" deals.. but let's not talk about Jesus. . . even though he is the one single reason for Christmas.. but let's not mention him in public. . how taboo. . .

[deleted account]

Well, I don't think religion needs to stay just in the church and in the home, but that doesn't mean that we should have teachers teaching about Jesus, or anything like that. I think you can have both an expression of individual beliefs, and also a respect and balance in knowing that not everyone shares those beliefs. I do think there's a lot of confusion about how to strike that balance. I think of cases like these that the ACLU filed, where schools were clearly limiting the rights of students, and needed to be set straight:
http://www.aclu.org/studentsrights/relig...

Of course, in my own experience, I've seen the reverse problem a lot more - a teacher who once a week held Bible study instead of class, the teacher I mentioned before who did not allow anyone to opt out of the Pledge, etc. I think all sides can work a little harder to respect each other's views while celebrating our own, but the state should take a more neutral stance.

Charlie - posted on 07/28/2009

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i am from Australia a very multi cultural country as is America .
I think every one deserves the right to worship their own god in their own religion and no one should be forced to worship or " pledge allegiance " to another god in a public school .
Entering your child into a private religious school is another matter .but it is wrong to force your faith on to someone else if it is not of their belief, it shows a total lack of respect .

Jenny - posted on 07/28/2009

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I approach it by teaching my children that the holidays mean different things to different people. I have had my daughter in a Christian daycare before and she understands they celebrate the holidays differently from our family. It's not that Jesus is not appropriate for Christmas but that he is not appropriate in public places. If you wish to celebrate the birht of Jesus at Chirstmas, I wish you a fantastic celebration. As far as religion goes beyond the church door it is welcome in the home.

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I worry that by 'hiding' the nativity scene or the tree or whatever symbols one chooses, a menorah, a crescent moon.. . it doesn't matter does on some level 'hurt' our children. I guess I don't know how to explain to my child that Jesus isn't appropriate for Christmas. I'm of course speaking from my own point of reference. . but wouldn't any denomination wonder this same thing. I don't want to raise my child to feel like God has to be hidden or only be spoke about behind closed doors. I think any religion should be respected and embraced but those same religions should respect all other religions. I think all of our children, regardless of religion are most certainly missing out if they can't see their religion, in practice, sort of speak. Doesn't religion go beyond the church or mosque door. But, maybe I am off topic. I'm not speaking specifically of government entities and that was the original question.

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I guess I'm just not sure how it really impacts the majority. Let's say that your local public school decides not to have a nativity scene and Christian hymns at Christmas. How is that harmful to your children? They have religious instruction at home and at church (I assume), so it isn't like they are missing out on it. But having a nativity scene and singing hymns in class could violate the beliefs of other children - like Jehovah's Witnesses, for example.

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I completely agree with Angie. Everyone is so worried about offending one individual that they forget about how the decision impacts the masses, the majority. But maybe it's our own fault because we're not standing up and making any noise about it are we.

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The problem isn't religion in schools, it's with the state or schools sponsoring or giving support to one religion over others. Individuals can and should worship however they choose, but they can't use a the resources of the state, for example as a public school teacher, to promote their religion. I think this article on the subject is great, actually, and from a Christian perspetive:
http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTI...

Jenny - posted on 07/28/2009

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I'm as athiest as they come and I wouldn't have a problem with a bible study/prayer group so long as it is of the students own accord.



The real reason for the holidays has more to do with equinoxes and seasonal change than anything. It boils to down to worship of the sun and it's cycles which is why the holidays are timed when they are. They were altered over the years to bring pagans into the fold. You will find Pagan symbols in Christian churches to this day.

Angie - posted on 07/28/2009

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I think the U.S. tries too much to protect the minority that they forget who makes up the majority!!!!

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