You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 03, 2016, 01:58:53 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Ala. House Education Committee passes bill requiring teachers to pray in school  (Read 1681 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
So at a time when our education system is considering doing away with physical education and art so that there is more time allotted for other course work, I donít think there is 15 minutes to spare.

When I was in school, gym was every day, K-12.  The little Oni only has gym every other day.  We had the same schedules Monday through Friday.  They have an alternating schedule (the subjects covered on the standardized tests are daily - everything else is every other day.)  I could rant for hours about how hamstrung our teachers are already, as far as teaching our kids basic skills (simple math, spelling, rudimentary civics, etc.)  Fifteen minutes taken out of the day to recite a prayer - and probably without any analysis of it - that's fifteen minutes that is taken away from a teacher's real job.

Even if students are allowed to 'opt out' without consequence (official or otherwise), that's time that the teachers aren't able to teach.

Offline Moondazed

  • Hmm... plot or pleasure? Perhaps a bit of both...
  • Lady
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2006
  • Location: Virginia, US
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm a switch, name your pleasure...
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Under US law, religious education (akin to Sunday school) is forbidden in public schools, except from a neutral, academic perspective.  So in other words, a Bible study class is permitted, "without violating constitutional limits, if the class would have to include critical rather than devotional readings and allow open inquiry into the history and content of biblical passages." (Source)

Frighteningly, here in Virginia they've found a loophole and have Bible study time run by local churches as part of school hours, with the participants needing a permission slip.  The church rents property on school grounds (the loophole) and the kids who go get to sing and earn candy for learning Bible verses, while the kids who don't go get to sit in study hall and not speak to each other.  I thought I was in the Twilight Zone when I heard about this!  I offered to go in and play educational games with the kids who didn't go, but nope, I'm not a licensed teacher so I can't do that, but some religious zealot can hand out candy for indoctrinating children.  I suspect my outrage is obvious. 

Yes, there are kids who were exposed to such things and weren't swayed, but I'm not willing to be apathetic toward the planting of the seeds of fear-based belief in my child's mind.

There is NO way that my child should be exposed to any prayer by a staff member in a public school.  My solution was to homeschool my son through middle school.  Personally, I wouldn't have any problem with a comparative religion class being a requirement before graduation from high school, but we all know that will never happen! :)

Offline chaoslord29

Those are both excellent points. Whatever meditative benefits prayer might have as a function of religion, it's not an educational tool, and any attempt to use it as such in a publicly funded setting is a clear violation of The Establishment Clause or Equal Representation depending on which way you want to look at it.

Frankly, the privileged treatment of religious organizations is what really gets my goat in this country. I attended Episcopal parishes well into young adult hood, which provided community, friendship, progressive moral grounding (that is to say, not indoctrination along dogmatic lines) and had a lot of fun doing it. The church provided resources for not just people like me, but supported the community food banks, ran a soup kitchen, hosted AA and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and provided training to lay-persons to become caregivers throughout the community. For all that, they enjoy tax exempt status and don't really tread on anyone's toes.

Then I look at the local evangelical mega church which directs it's funding towards trying to influence school board policy, buy local elections and picket planned parenthood clinics. I've tried attending a few of their services, where they have surround sound, big screen displays and a praise-music band of over the hill rock-a-billies, and their youth group center has it's own set of flat screens and x-boxes and for-proft snack bar. For all that, they enjoy exactly the same tax exempt status, and they're not even the worst offenders by a long shot.

Why don't the same rules that apply to most not-for-profit organizations apply to churches as a whole? When the director of a planned giving organization starts lining his own pockets and letting his inner circle enjoy gross company perks, he can be held accountable. When priests do the same thing, it's almost impossible to nail them on the same kind of fraud, simply because they're "Men of God" (whether or not they actually have any kind of theological background).

Offline Sabby

There should be some kind of review process for that sort of thing. I mean, I'm an Anti-Theist, and even I recognize that Religious groups can and do perform good services around the world. If a group or organization within a major Religion is actually doing something charitable, then demonstrate that and earn your bloody tax exemption. The Mega Church, on the other hand, should pay up like any other business Hell, this needs to be a blanket process, not just for cutting the useless chaff out of Religious groups undeserved privileged status, but for charitable organizations of any kind.

Offline chaoslord29

There should be some kind of review process for that sort of thing. I mean, I'm an Anti-Theist, and even I recognize that Religious groups can and do perform good services around the world. If a group or organization within a major Religion is actually doing something charitable, then demonstrate that and earn your bloody tax exemption. The Mega Church, on the other hand, should pay up like any other business Hell, this needs to be a blanket process, not just for cutting the useless chaff out of Religious groups undeserved privileged status, but for charitable organizations of any kind.

Most charitable organizations have to stay on their toes to avoid exactly that. I've got family in planned giving and while it's not like the IRS is exactly breathing down their throat, because very few people get into it with the same kind of business for business's sake that you find in the for-profit sector. People don't just look the other way at fraud or try to rationalize exploitation because the culture's not their for it. Not to say that their aren't abuses, just that they're a lot easier to fish out because most folks know what it looks like when a not-for-profit isn't on the level (as opposed to a business where no one can tell the difference).

Churches are the exception (and to a certain degree Universities with big sports programs), because they can just take people's money as part of their religion's established collections practices, and then keep it, because that's what they do. If there's an overarching organizational structure, like the Catholic Diocesan organization, then money is usually held as funds for the church as a whole and there's oversight to prevent abuses. If it's just the local mega church or some born again travelling preacher, there's nothing technically illegal about him keeping all that money in his wallet/bank account/mattress.

Online Callie Del Noire

Well the 'Crossover day' in Georgia came today..and without their version going up for a vote. So it won't be coming up for consideration this year.

Offline kylie

  • Bratty Princess of Twisty, Creeping Secrets. Frilly | Fussy | Framed | Dreamy | Glam | Risky | Sporty | Rapt | Tease | Ironic | Shadowed | Struggling | Whispery | Bespelled
  • Liege
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: Somewhere in the future.
  • Darkly sweet femme for rich & insidious scenarios.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Well the 'Crossover day' in Georgia came today..and without their version going up for a vote. So it won't be coming up for consideration this year.

       If I say 'hallelujah,' don't take it the wrong way!

Offline Jazra

ďIf Congress can open with a prayer, and the state of Alabama Legislature can,Ē Steven Hurst explained in a burst of pure sophistry and undeniably deceptive logic, ďI donít see why schools canít."

Probably no surprise, but I don't see any real chance that this law will pass the smell test if and when it works its way up the appellate chain to the Supreme Court. But what it may do is force a reexamination of the flawed logic that permits Christian invocations before Congress and state legislatures. In other words, Mr. Hurst may ultimately force the Supreme Court to address the mossy, decades old body of precedent that lets Bishops stand up in front of Congress and utter their invariably Christian prayers but somehow you never (or very, very rarely) see Islamic, Budhist, Hindu, or Wiccan representatives uttering their own prayers.

In other words, Mr. Hurst's bit of too clever by half sophistry will ideally (and should) backfire in his face.