Just Read and Weep

*sigh*

So I send out the FFRF lawsuit thing to my friends in the school district. Here are the responses I’ve been getting. I’m not going to bother giving any further responses to the latest two as easily as I could pwn them.

Kid:

this is disgusting
i fail to see whats wrong with an environment that teaches children basic morals and values

Me:

I fail to see why you need to violate the secular values this country was founded on to teach morals.

While I’m at it, Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Therefore your argument is invalid.

Kid:

im not christian so i dont follow your argument

besides, said sign is encouraging freedom of religion cuz it encourages religion in general which could range from budhism to atheism
the ffrf is just trying to restrict religion or in other words, violating the 1st secular value this country was founded

and

how is teaching kids values such as the ten commandments not morrally right
or do you have issue with not stealing or being respectful to parental figures

i guess their perfect world would be one in which their is one philisophical belief: nothing
and in this world their would be no guidlines to living a fullfilling and ethical life and any attempt to disrupt this eutopia would result in a lawsuit that helps no one

Me:

You’re all over the place.

First of all, the FFRF isn’t saying you can’t practice your religion. It’s saying you have a right to not practice religion if you don’t want to.

Speaking of the 1st secular value this country was founded on…

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

In other words, there shall be no state endorsement of religion.

The Ten Commandments do say a few agreeable things. Don’t steal, don’t kill, don’t be mean to your parents, etc. Let’s ignore for a moment that they recommend the death penalty for all of them (and even if you support capital punishment as I do in some cases, we can surely agree that you shouldn’t be killed for not helping your mum do the dishes cause you have homework), and look at the first four of them.

1. I am the Lord your God
2. You shall have no other gods before me
3. You shall not make for yourself an idol
4. You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God

Not much room for polytheists, eh?

Now, if the state were to endorse these four commandments there would be no freedom of religion. That’s why we also need freedom from religion.

I also reject your suggestion that Atheists have no philosophical beliefs about morality, and that we can have a fulfilling life. What have I ever done to you, hm? Are you really going to insinuate that I’m a murdering, raping, pillaging, disrespectful twat based on my lack of belief in a supreme deity alone? What makes you think that kind of sick prejudice is morally justifiable?

I volunteer every weekend in a museum, I give money to charities, I’m polite, and, God damn it, I enjoy life. I think that the universe is an awesome place and I have some wonderful friends, teachers, and family. I’m no less happy than the next person.

Kid:

first of all
you are focusing in to much on specifics zoom out a bit
the ffrf is sueing because a sign was posted by a school district saying that kids can find support in a religious community

if you have ever been to a sunday school type program they dont actually force religious beliefs upon the kids, but teach them essential values such as not to steal and to do right by your mom and dad, not the gory details, so that one day they will be able to make an educated decision on what beliefs to follow

advocating for that isnt a breach of church and state
so if they were forced to take that sign down it would be interfering with their free speach rights

im sure this wouldnt be a problem if their was an established religion called atheism
but since there isnt they can still stand and openly oppose all religion and sucessfully combat moral values

you are twisting my words
i am saying that by the forceful taking down of this sign is setting a precedent by which any good that could come to children by means of religious establishment can not be advocated by a school district, or basically any secular force in society henceforth placing personal beliefs over the common good

also i never said anything about classifying atheist as possesing no morals
i respect all religions, and more importantly the support and good that can come from religious institutions, which is why im advocating the side of what is most likely the lutheran church even though i desagree wholeheartedly with many of their views

i dont respect the general denouncement of religion, which is the problem i have with most atheists
i dont have a problem with people saying they dont believe in a higher power or any of the other beliefs held by atheist, but when they go on to criticize established religion and say that it holds no validity i have a problem

Me:

I have been to a Sunday school program. They told me a story about a guy who got eaten by a big fish and stayed in its stomach for three days, and was told that he was punished for not following the Judeo-Christian god. They then essentially told me I was a sinner and that I was going to Hell if I didn’t keep coming to their church.

Do I necessarily object just because it’s religious values being advocated? No.

I do, by the way, go to a Unitarian Universalist church. I do enjoy the sense of community, and being taught values like being nice to each other without having them invoke their particular brand of god.

Yes, they teach you values, but what makes you think you have to go to a CHURCH to learn those values? What you get support from is having a community and there are other ways to find a strong community without being told you should participate in religion every week. If I don’t want to participate in a religious thingy to learn my values, I shouldn’t be told to.

First of all, taking the sign down is not criticising established religion. It’s just saying that the government can’t endorse an establishment of religion. It has nothing to do with freedom of speech, but everything to do with the first amendment.

Second of all, why shouldn’t we be allowed to criticise establishments of religion? I have no problem with people practicing what they want. No problem with freedom of religion at all. The problem is sometimes those practices include actively screwing with government and taking away other people’s civil rights. There are people just two and a half hours south of Denver who would stone people for privately, in their own home, committing a consensual act of love with a person of the same sex. Would you hesitate to criticise a piece of legislation that advocated that?

The rest was just me pointing out again that I have no problem with community, but you don’t need a religious community to get a feeling of community.

Other kid:

Hey, why dont we go ahead and take more money away from our already poorly funded school systems with a lawsuit. Our state is only 48th in the nation in school funding. So yes, lets take money away, lay off teachers, increase classroom sizes, and neglect building maintenance and upgrading. Heaven forbid the ONE plaintif be offended.
Ive been in this school district for almost 11 years, and not once have those 40 assets had any impact upon my education or the way i live. I have known that they exist for a long time, but hardly any students take the time to read them. Our constitution was also loosely based on teachings from relligion. In god we trust is written on every piece of our monetary system. Why dont you sue the entire government. See how far that gets you.
I am christian, and i dont care if the quaran is referenced in one of those assets, or nothing is referenced at all. Good can be derived from almost any religious text or not from one at all. Borden your horizon

As far as I’m aware the lawsuit has nothing to do with money and I’m not sure where she got that from. I’ll look into whether or not money’s involved anyway, but I’m pretty sure it’s class-action cause that’d make the most sense.

Other other kid:

Sorry, quick question. What are the other 39 “Developmental Assets” implemented by this program?

Also, I fail to see the harm in recommending that a child adopt a religious lifestyle. Please, before you all bitch me out-
All that this program does is RECOMMEND that a child adopt a religious lifestyle, which means that the child gets a choice. By simply recommending that a child make that choice, there isn’t technically any ammendment “breakage” here. If the document flat out said “you must worship this particular god or you will burn in hell,” then there would be an issue. This document doesn’t seem to be laying down a certain set of rules and regulations for a child to follow, just suggestions. It isn’t actively forcing anything on children here. But then again, I can see how that poster could be considered propoganda. In which case, it becomes a matter of what’s legal and what’s right.

For all you students out there who went through the first year of US History with me and forgot the first amendment, here’s the text:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

And in case you missed that, I think I’ll make it clearer. The government can’t endorse religion. My school paid for a subscription to the Oxford English Dictionary, but endorse means to support.

If they still fail to see what the problem is… to Hell with it. Edumacation has failed us. This post has a word count of 1776.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jesse on December 24, 2008 at 7:45 am

    Nice work.

    I think you had kid #1 pwned with the “you’re all over the place” post. After that it, well, got all over the place.

    Also interesting how the last kid didn’t seem to notice how making a recommendation was a completely unneutral position. As if choice (not FORCING you) was acceptable enough.

    Keep up the good fight!

  2. Posted by ibyea on December 24, 2008 at 8:57 am

    Well, most people don’t exactly listen in class, don’t they? I mean really, this is all people can say: “But mommy, we will never use it!!!” Then, they put their heads down on their desk, and spend the next few days wondering why they have got Fs.

  3. I see people still make the “trying to ban religion” claim, even though that’s protected under the first amendment also.

  4. Posted by Icky on December 24, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    are stupid people a.. err.. well… people? if so, genocide now, plz

    (this is made in jest… theists don’t get to quote me as a hate mongering devil worshiper… kthx)

  5. As for the “How can teaching kids the 10 Commandments not be morally right?” question of the first kid, this question is in direct contradiction to his previous statement: “said sign is encouraging freedom of religion cuz (sic) it encourages religion in general which could range from budhism (sic) to atheism”.
    Furthermore, the 10 Commandments leave a lot out: no prohibition against rape or medical malpractice, just to name two. The 10 Commandments offer no guidelines for respecting the rights of women, children, homosexuals, or members of non-Abrahamic religions. The Constitution and the 10 Commandments could not be more different.

    “Other other kid” makes several statements that are false, such as that the Constitution was loosely based on religious teachings. In the future, a useful counterpoint is that many people tend to lump the Declaration of Independence in with the Constitution. Obviously, the Declaration is not a legal governing document, whereas the Constitution is. Guess which one mentions God.

  6. I love how the one kid says:

    1. he respects all religions

    and

    2. he has a problem when atheists accuse religion of being invalid.

    Respect all religions? Well, what if I were to create a religion that said murder is okay so long as it is in service of the religion? Would you respect that religion? Oh wait, I won’t have to do that as it already exists. Yes, most of the followers of Islam and Christianity and Judaism ignore that part now, but now we’re just cherry-picking. Clearly we’re not getting our morals via some Bible-mind-society direct pipeline. And this surely speaks to the validity of the religions that really when it comes right down to it, most religionists utterly ignore (if in fact they’ve even read) most of their religious texts. They ignore that parts that are morally offensive. They ignore the parts that are glaringly obviously wrong – e.g., 6 day Creation. And of those who accept even these parts, they often de-emphasize others themselves.

    Religion is myth. It’s not special. The theisms are utterly replete with moral and historical nonsense, unsubstantiated metaphysical truth claims, and there isn’t a single good idea in those texts that is beyond the secular mind to figure out and apply.

  7. Posted by greecewatch on January 1, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    There is a religion that is kept the way it was first practised. Christian Orthodox religion believes what Jesus said and uses Old Testament as a mean to understand the New Testament. Plus those that wrote the OT do not believe in it since in my opinion is the most anti semitic text ever written. So terms like Judeo Christians do not apply to all Christians. Mainly some “bright” Jew loving Americans do so. As for atheism I believe that mostly extreme sinners believe in it because they want to avoid the “critisism”.
    Have a Happy and blessed New year without New Order…

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