Real Freethinkers Don't Try to Close Down Debate

Feb 14, 2013 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Bad Astronomy Blog

Every movement has a discourse that is shaped by people who are passionate, committed, and forceful.

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“Voters elect Big Bird”

Since: Jan 07

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#21
Feb 15, 2013
 

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TerryL wrote:
<quoted text>How is trying to stop them from imposing there beliefs on everyone denying them a right to worship? Christians used to burn witches, is that something they should be allowed to do since it is something they have done before? I am in no way attempting to deny anyone their right to worship (or not) as the see fit. The christians constant attempts to get those that don't share their beliefs to have to live according to their beliefs is what I'm talking about.
If the 'manger scene' is on private property there is no issue. When it is placed on public/government property is when the issues arise. I personally couldn't care less either way, although I can see the argument about not having them on government grounds because it implies an endorsement of that religion by the government... which is unconstitutional... include all religions and I think the issues would go away.
There is no reason that children cannot pray on their own at school (before school in a prayer circle or quietly to themselves before a test or class or whatever) and no one trying to stop them from doing so (except for the christians raising a fuss about muslim kids praying as their religion dictates) those prayers being directed by or implemented by the public schools is not acceptable because it is unconstitutional.
What other unsupportable conclusions do you draw from my post?
Still can't see the close mindedness.... Manger scenes for decades were allowed in mparks,town squares and other public places. Never hurt a thing. But in the past two decades there has been a FURIOUS and unrelenting assault on Christianity. Christians aren't pulling guns on people and forcing them to Church. Who is making pagans read the Bible? Schools have been SUED by the ACLU for allowing allowing prayer circles by christian kids before school. Maybe the libs are blind to a little factoid. Taking religion out of society has led to a breakdown of civility and morals,leading to our escalated level of disregard for each other. Like it or not our moral compass was founded in religion. We are bearing witness to the result of our banning that compass. Look at our society. I realize religion won't fix all its ills,it may be to late to do so now,but we USED be be better natured towards each other before God was marginalized by liberalism.

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

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#22
Feb 15, 2013
 

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okimar wrote:
<quoted text>Still can't see the close mindedness.... Manger scenes for decades were allowed in mparks,town squares and other public places. Never hurt a thing. But in the past two decades there has been a FURIOUS and unrelenting assault on Christianity. Christians aren't pulling guns on people and forcing them to Church. Who is making pagans read the Bible? Schools have been SUED by the ACLU for allowing allowing prayer circles by christian kids before school. Maybe the libs are blind to a little factoid. Taking religion out of society has led to a breakdown of civility and morals,leading to our escalated level of disregard for each other. Like it or not our moral compass was founded in religion. We are bearing witness to the result of our banning that compass. Look at our society. I realize religion won't fix all its ills,it may be to late to do so now,but we USED be be better natured towards each other before God was marginalized by liberalism.
"We used to be better natured" you say. Okay, but when I was born "god" wasn't in our pledge nor any part of our national motto. So I say it was the breakdown of our government's secular foundations that has caused a lot of our ills.

Your god has never been "marginalized", but in today's world, all the other people's "gods" are demanding equal treatment, and you just can't stand it.

No one has ever, EVER, stop kids from praying in school.(I bet a lot still do, just before every test. But it's not as effective as studying.) But in today's world, you can't demand that the school force other people's children to give your religion any special consideration, and you can't stand that either.

“Leave That Thing Alone!”

Since: Nov 07

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#23
Feb 15, 2013
 
okimar wrote:
<quoted text>Still can't see the close mindedness.... Manger scenes for decades were allowed in mparks,town squares and other public places. Never hurt a thing. But in the past two decades there has been a FURIOUS and unrelenting assault on Christianity. Christians aren't pulling guns on people and forcing them to Church. Who is making pagans read the Bible? Schools have been SUED by the ACLU for allowing allowing prayer circles by christian kids before school. Maybe the libs are blind to a little factoid. Taking religion out of society has led to a breakdown of civility and morals,leading to our escalated level of disregard for each other. Like it or not our moral compass was founded in religion. We are bearing witness to the result of our banning that compass. Look at our society. I realize religion won't fix all its ills,it may be to late to do so now,but we USED be be better natured towards each other before God was marginalized by liberalism.
You'll have to give citations on the ACLU comment. Sorry that I won't take your word for it.

I told you my feeling on the manger scenes. I really couldn't care less. The fact that some people that don't ascribe to the christian religion take offense to Govenment buildings displaying one religions 'tradition' over all others is unconstitutional as it implies an endorsment by the govenment. Why is that so difficult for you to understand?

Matthew 6:1-34

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward....

That does seem to fly in the face of 'prayer circles'and crowing about all the good the church does as a charitable organization... but then very few christians follow what the bible says anyway, yet expect every one else to. Hypocritical much?

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#24
Feb 15, 2013
 
okimar wrote:
<quoted text>Still can't see the close mindedness.... Manger scenes for decades were allowed in mparks,town squares and other public places. Never hurt a thing. But in the past two decades there has been a FURIOUS and unrelenting assault on Christianity. Christians aren't pulling guns on people and forcing them to Church. Who is making pagans read the Bible? Schools have been SUED by the ACLU for allowing allowing prayer circles by christian kids before school. Maybe the libs are blind to a little factoid. Taking religion out of society has led to a breakdown of civility and morals,leading to our escalated level of disregard for each other. Like it or not our moral compass was founded in religion. We are bearing witness to the result of our banning that compass. Look at our society. I realize religion won't fix all its ills,it may be to late to do so now,but we USED be be better natured towards each other before God was marginalized by liberalism.
and so begins the veering off topic...

“Reason's Greetings!”

Since: Feb 11

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#25
Feb 15, 2013
 
Just Think wrote:
<quoted text>
and so begins the veering off topic...
Exactly! I don't see how the removal illegal mangers from the public square and the prevention of illegal school sponsored prayers are examples of real freethinkers trying to close down debate.

Since: Mar 11

Lexington, KY

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#26
Feb 15, 2013
 

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Getting back on track... Some believers I notice hate it when the atheist stands up or themselves. I have been told that we Atheists are supposed to be quiet and basically seen but not heard. When an atheist expresses their opinions or heaven forbid actually stand up for themselves against bigoted and angry believers all of the sudden we are bad guy, we are the instigator. Not the circle of bigots lashing out at us, oh no!

We have the facts on our side, they have superstition and bigotry. Let them worship in private as they wish but keep their bigotry out of the public square especially government.

“cdesign proponentsists”

Since: Jul 09

Pittsburgh, PA

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#27
Feb 16, 2013
 

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okimar wrote:
<quoted text>You're being close minded right now. Re-read your post. YOU don't want Christians imposing their beliefs on others yet you neglect to see your own hypocrosy in denying Christians THEIR rights to worship mas they have for millenia. Manger scenes banned in town squares. Prayer circles in schools BEFORE school hours between kids who believe,not forcing anyone to participate. There are other example but this is a nice start in the list of the close mindedness of liberals.
"Christians THEIR rights to worship mas they have for millenia."
So far, you only have a few hundred years of such worshiping as you mentioned, not millenia.

Can you show me 2 examples of children not being allowed to pray before school, that were upheld by law. I am not talking about some teacher, principal, or even a school district who tried to stop it and then found out that they could not.

As far as putting your symbols in public own places, just because christians have gotten away with it, doesn't mean that it was right and should continue.

Just because a person does not fall for what christianity or any other group sales, does not mean that they are closed minded; it just means that the sales pitch didn't work.

If you have some proof to a god existence, I would love to see it!

btw: I have also found that many liberals are just as closed minded as christians are. They want freedom of speech, just as long as it is their speech that is heard. christians want freedom of religion, just as long as it is their religion. This seems to be a part of being human, so I am sure I fail at it, too.

“cdesign proponentsists”

Since: Jul 09

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#28
Feb 16, 2013
 

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okimar wrote:
<quoted text>Still can't see the close mindedness.... Manger scenes for decades were allowed in mparks,town squares and other public places. Never hurt a thing. But in the past two decades there has been a FURIOUS and unrelenting assault on Christianity. Christians aren't pulling guns on people and forcing them to Church. Who is making pagans read the Bible? Schools have been SUED by the ACLU for allowing allowing prayer circles by christian kids before school. Maybe the libs are blind to a little factoid. Taking religion out of society has led to a breakdown of civility and morals,leading to our escalated level of disregard for each other. Like it or not our moral compass was founded in religion. We are bearing witness to the result of our banning that compass. Look at our society. I realize religion won't fix all its ills,it may be to late to do so now,but we USED be be better natured towards each other before God was marginalized by liberalism.
Have you ever read any history? Try the Roaring 20's! A state lead prayer was said every morning, in most public schools!

Who was praying during the inquisitions? That was certainly a great time in christian history!
EdSed

Wishaw, UK

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#29
Feb 16, 2013
 

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okimar wrote:
<quoted text>....... Manger scenes for decades were allowed in mparks,town squares and other public places. Never hurt a thing...
Supportive of superstition. It wouldn't be so bad if they were viewed as traditions like Santa, but people take them too seriously and treat them with reverence. They are also increasingly irrelevant to many people
okimar wrote:
<quoted text>
But in the past two decades there has been a FURIOUS and unrelenting assault on Christianity.
I think that is a misperception. Fewer and fewer people are willing to pay lip-service to such silly superstitions, that's all.
okimar wrote:
<quoted text>
Christians aren't pulling guns on people and forcing them to Church. Who is making pagans read the Bible?
Paganism is a religion too.

If people bring religion into politics, law, science, even fashion (e.g. bhurkas) then religion is politicised and must be open to criticism and scrutiny like any other subject.
okimar wrote:
<quoted text>
Schools have been SUED by the ACLU for allowing allowing prayer circles by christian kids before school. Maybe the libs are blind to a little factoid. Taking religion out of society has led to a breakdown of civility and morals,leading to our escalated level of disregard for each other. Like it or not our moral compass was founded in religion.....
That is total nonsense. Religious propaganda.

People are good and bad according to their nature and nurture. Religion has nothing to do with morality and atheists are neither better nor worse than religionists.

Many religionists are notoriously prejudiced against atheists, gays and even women. They also muddle religion in with morality and political ideology.

Religion = superstition. It is divisive and has had its day. Good riddance.

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

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#30
Feb 16, 2013
 

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okimar wrote:
<quoted text>Still can't see the close mindedness.... Manger scenes for decades were allowed in mparks,town squares and other public places. Never hurt a thing. But in the past two decades there has been a FURIOUS and unrelenting assault on Christianity. Christians aren't pulling guns on people and forcing them to Church. Who is making pagans read the Bible? Schools have been SUED by the ACLU for allowing allowing prayer circles by christian kids before school. Maybe the libs are blind to a little factoid. Taking religion out of society has led to a breakdown of civility and morals,leading to our escalated level of disregard for each other. Like it or not our moral compass was founded in religion. We are bearing witness to the result of our banning that compass. Look at our society. I realize religion won't fix all its ills,it may be to late to do so now,but we USED be be better natured towards each other before God was marginalized by liberalism.
The ACLU of Louisiana (2012) filed a lawsuit on behalf of a member of Raven Ministries, a Christian congregation that regularly preaches the Gospel in New Orleans’s French Quarter. The lawsuit challenged a city ordinance that restricts religious speech on Bourbon Street after dark. As a result of the lawsuit, a federal judge issued an order that blocks enforcement of the law.

The ACLU of Virginia (2012 and 2010) opposed bans on students’ right to wear rosary beads at two public middle schools. The schools dropped the bans after receiving letters from the ACLU.

The ACLU of Utah (2012) filed a lawsuit on behalf of members of the Main Street Church, a non-denominational Christian church in Brigham City, who were denied access to certain city streets for the purpose of handing out religious literature. An agreement was reached with the city allowing church members to distribute their literature.

The ACLU of New Mexico (2012) filed a lawsuit on behalf of two Christian street preachers who were arrested multiple times for exercising their First Amendment rights by preaching in public.

The ACLU of Texas (2011) filed a brief in support of students in the Plano school district who wanted to include Christian messages in their holiday gift bags.

The ACLU of Virginia (2011) defended the free religious expression of a group of Christian athletes in Floyd County High School who had copies of the Ten Commandments removed from their personal lockers. The ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties (2010) wrote a letter in support of a church in El Centro, California, that was prohibited from relocating to a building in the downtown district.

http://www.aclu.org/aclu-defense-religious-pr...

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#31
Feb 17, 2013
 

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Statement on The Bible in Public Schools: A First Amendment Guide

May 9, 2007

Some schools, boards of education, and state legislatures have considered introducing courses on the Bible in public schools. In order to provide guidance on how this might be done consistently with constitutional values and requirements, a joint statement entitled The Bible in Public Schools: A First Amendment Guide [1] was prepared in 1999. The document was endorsed by a range of religion-based groups, including:

National Association of Evangelicals
Christian Legal Society
Christian Educators Association International
Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs
Council on Islamic Education
National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA
American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Congress

Other endorsers, which do not promote a particular religious point of view, represent both educational and civil liberties perspectives, including:

People for the American Way Foundation
National Education Association
National School Boards Association
American Federation of Teachers
National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Although the ACLU does not endorse all of the recommendations included in the document (in part because some pertain to issues on which the organization takes no position, such as which courses ought to be included in a public school curriculum), the document provides a great deal of sound guidance that, if implemented openly and conscientiously, is constitutional and will help protect schools against liability.

Those seeking to introduce Bible courses in public schools should particularly take into account the following three key principles that emerge from The Bible in Public Schools:
First, while it is constitutional for public schools to teach children about religion, it is unconstitutional to use public schools to advance particular religious beliefs. Among the important statements made in the guidelines are:

"The school's approach to religion is academic, not devotional."

"The school may strive for student awareness of religions, but should not press for student acceptance of any religion."

"The school may sponsor study about religion, but may not sponsor the practice of religion."

"The school may educate about all religions, but may not promote or denigrate any religion." (all p. 8)

http://www.aclu.org/religion-belief/statement...

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

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#32
Feb 17, 2013
 

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(continued)

Unfortunately, some people promote "Bible education" as a disguised way of advancing their particular religious beliefs in public schools. One way for public schools to avoid being used to promote particular religious beliefs is to offer courses that teach about a broad range of the world's religions rather than courses that focus on a single religious text. While this approach is not constitutionally required, it certainly can help alleviate legitimate concerns about there being a hidden agenda to promote a particular religious tradition.

Second, the structure of the specific course curriculum, including the choice of textbooks, supporting materials, and teacher outlines, should be developed with a conscientious effort to avoid advancing particular religious beliefs.

"The Bible may be used as a primary text, although it probably should not be the only text for a course. Schools should avoid the use of instructional materials and lessons that are of a devotional nature, such as those used in Sunday school." (p. 7)

If public schools decide to teach about the Bible, the curriculum should be scrupulous in not showing favoritism for one version or religious interpretation of the Bible over another, whether Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, or other.

Third, if public schools decide to offer religion or Bible courses, teachers should possess the relevant academic training and should teach the course as a proper academic subject. The teacher's educational background should not be limited to that of a particular religious tradition, but should include serious academic study of the Bible.

"When selecting teachers to teach Bible electives, school districts should look for teachers who have some background in the academic study of religion. Unless they have already received academic preparation, teachers selected to teach a course about the Bible should receive substantive in-service training from qualified scholars before being permitted to teach such courses." (p. 9)

While teachers are completely free to have deeply felt religious beliefs, it is not appropriate for them to use the classroom to advocate their religious beliefs to public school children.

****

Some who promote religion and Bible courses in public schools wish to help students better understand the world in which they live and of the role that religion plays in peoples' lives. This can be done in accordance with sound constitutional values. Others promote such courses with the obvious intention of enlisting public schools to advance their particular religious beliefs. Ultimately, it should be remembered that the promotion of religious faith is the fundamental responsibility of parents, families, and religious communities — not legislatures, government offices, or public schools.

http://www.aclu.org/religion-belief/statement...

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#33
Feb 17, 2013
 

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The full first amendment guide may be found here:

http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/PDF/bible...

The purpose of both documents is to assist school administrators in setting up courses withing the bounds of current constitutional interpretation. The ACLU finds itself on one side of the issue as often as the other, i.e., intervening to protect religions practice and expression as often as it does to prevent governments, especially local ones, from promoting preferred religions or denigrating minority ones.

I am often amazed at how many people rail against the ACLU without knowing the first thing about the organization.

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