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Bible essay stirs trouble for teacher (atheist crosses church and state boundary)
Herald Net (Snohomish County, WA) ^ | Thursday, February 22, 2007 | Melissa Slager

Posted on 02/22/2007 4:10:51 PM PST by amchugh

The nature of God will no longer be part of an atheist teacher's American literature class at Lake Stevens High School.

(Excerpt) Read more at heraldnet.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aclumia; atheism; atheismandstate; churchandstate; indoctrination; littleredschoolhouse; religion; schools; whereisyourgodnow
We'll see if the ACLU get involved.
1 posted on 02/22/2007 4:10:53 PM PST by amchugh
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To: Berosus; Cincinatus' Wife; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; FairOpinion; Fedora; ..
Ping!

2 posted on 02/22/2007 4:29:23 PM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, February 19, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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This girl is in for a surprise if she goes to college.
She needs to learn to stand up for her beliefs and not try to censor because that won't work anywhere else in life.


3 posted on 02/22/2007 4:34:26 PM PST by Libertarianchick
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To: amchugh

as discussed on a thread a couple weeks ago, the new international Baccleureate program in many high schools contains a "Theory of Knowledge" class. This is really a religion/philosophy class (talking about the existence of truth, the source of truth, ethics, etc.). The teachers are teaching these religion classes 1 hour/day, 5 days/week for 40 weeks, with homework assignments, but they don't want the parents to know that it is really a religion class or many parents would object. Many of our schools and teachers are now in an all-out war against Christianity. Parents better wise-up.


4 posted on 02/22/2007 4:34:50 PM PST by DeweyCA
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To: Prov3456

Read later.


5 posted on 02/22/2007 4:35:54 PM PST by Prov3456
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To: amchugh; DaveLoneRanger

Hey! I live in Lake Stevens, WA! (I homeschool my kids though...)


6 posted on 02/22/2007 4:37:17 PM PST by Sopater (Creatio Ex Nihilo)
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To: amchugh

I don't necessarily think that these assignments were out of line. When working towards my minor (Rel. Studies) there were plenty of opportunities to do good work in studying the Bible as literature, as law, as a collection of archetypal characters, etc. These students would have had the opportunity to deepen their understanding and knowledge of the Bible while looking at it from a whole new, and non-threatening, perspective.

The teacher should not, however, have prefaced any of this with his own beliefs as they are not germane.


7 posted on 02/22/2007 4:37:24 PM PST by Triggerhippie (Always use a silencer in a crowd. Loud noises offend people.)
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To: amchugh
After they completed that assignment, he gave them another handout, titled "The Problem With Evil."

That handout, which was not part of the textbook's materials, asked questions such as how evil could exist if God is good and all-powerful.

"Where is your god now???"

8 posted on 02/22/2007 4:47:03 PM PST by weegee (No third term. Hillary Clinton's 2008 election run presents a Constitutional Crisis.)
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To: amchugh
he gave them another handout, titled "The Problem With Evil."

That handout, which was not part of the textbook's materials, asked questions such as how evil could exist if God is good and all-powerful.

Junior Lanae Olsen, 17, said it all went too far.

With reading the handout it is difficult to understand what the teen found offensive.

The answer is rather simple; the base nature of man is evil, God bestowed on man the gift of free will, the choice to follow his nature or follow God’s commandments.

If God had wanted a perfect world he could have created one, however such a world would not have had humans with free will, it would have had programmed creatures incapable of choosing between the love of God and the unbridled love of pleasure and self gratification.

If the teen did not know this her parents should have this is basic primary school Sunday School stuff.

9 posted on 02/22/2007 4:48:33 PM PST by Pontiac (Patriotism is the natural consequence of having a free mind in a free society.)
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To: DeweyCA
Do you have some evidence that educators are particularly interested in campaigning against Christianity, or that there is a smaller proportion of Christian educators in our K-12 institutions than the 90% of the population that believes in God in America?

I'll grant that in universities and colleges that might be the case (see How Religious are America’s College and University Professors?). However, I posted this story partly because it is the first counterexample of an atheist proselytizing that I've seen to the wealth of stories about teachers instructing children in Christian beliefs in public institutions.

Slightly OT, you might be interested in this book.

10 posted on 02/22/2007 5:07:38 PM PST by amchugh
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To: amchugh
Yes, I do have evidence of a public high school being used to indoctrinate students against Christianity. In fact, just last year, I an English literature teacher taking 15 minutes every two weeks to tell all of his English classes his views on religion and philosophy (being anti-Christian). This was completely off-topic, in no way related to the prescribed material that the state mandates. He is also the teacher of that school's "Theory of Knowledge" class.

A year ealier, I complained to the Dean of the English department at the local community college about an English teacher who was taking 30 minutes of each 90-minute class to complain about Bush, the Iraq War, and Christianity. Again totally off topic; had nothing to do with what he was supposed to be teaching. Any parent who doesn't recognize the strong possibility that their kids are the target of deliberate indoctrination by public-education teachers is naive.

11 posted on 02/22/2007 5:40:56 PM PST by DeweyCA
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To: DeweyCA
Any parent who doesn't recognize the strong possibility that their kids are the target of deliberate indoctrination by public-education teachers is naive. True, although that indoctrination goes many different ways. I thought from the language of your initial post that you were implying a broad trend rather that many isolated instances.
12 posted on 02/22/2007 5:44:39 PM PST by amchugh
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To: amchugh

Looks like this teacher was pushing his religion on these students. Where's Barry Lynn when you need him?


13 posted on 02/22/2007 5:51:11 PM PST by Hoodat ( ETERNITY - Smoking, or Non-smoking?)
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To: amchugh

This will be interesting to follow.


14 posted on 02/22/2007 5:52:56 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Libertarianchick

She needs to learn to stand up for her beliefs and not try to censor because that won't work anywhere else in life.
_______________________________________________________

Unless you're a college professor. Or a member of the DNC. Or a minority member of a government office in a major city. Or a member of the MSM.


15 posted on 02/22/2007 5:55:22 PM PST by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Libertarianchick

How could a student have the ability to censor? Is she on the school board or the mayor of the town?


16 posted on 02/22/2007 5:59:21 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: amchugh; DaveLoneRanger; editor-surveyor
McDonald used the textbook's worksheet. On it, students were to give examples of how the Iroquois tale reflects four functions of myth - to instill awe, explain the world, support customs and guide people.

I wonder how evolutionism stands up to this test?

1. instill awe - check. Who isn't awed to hear that they share a common anscestor with bacteria.

2. explain the world - check. The sole purpose of evolutionism is to explain the world as we know it with purely naturalistic processes.

3. support customs - check. Evolutionism supports many customs by trying to show that many human behaviors are normal because they are seen in lower animals.

4. guide people - check. Evolution, in its attempts to explain the miracle of life in purely natural, materialisic ways has guided people away from believing in an all power God who created this world and all that lives on it.

I guess evolutionism qualifies as a myth...
17 posted on 02/22/2007 6:14:20 PM PST by Sopater (Creatio Ex Nihilo)
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To: nickcarraway

She complained to her parents/principal instead of researching apologetics and engaging in debate/discussion in the class.
There are teachers who try to indoctrinate children, but making people question their beliefs in a philosophy class is not that.
This particular girl's actions strike me as very spineless. This isn't even college where her grade is on the line. She has nothing to lose from going up against this teacher with the best arguments she can muster (and learning and strengthening her beliefs in the process), but instead she goes running to be "protected" from the world.


18 posted on 02/22/2007 6:18:53 PM PST by Libertarianchick
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To: Sopater

Hey, no derailing! :)


19 posted on 02/22/2007 6:20:22 PM PST by amchugh
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To: Libertarianchick
This particular girl's actions strike me as very spineless

This is a 17-year-old girl. She is in a student/teacher authority type relationship. If she's anything like most Christians today, especially those in public school, she has not been trained to adequately defend her faith. You may call her spineless, but I call her brave and wise. She is still a child.
20 posted on 02/22/2007 6:26:32 PM PST by Sopater (Creatio Ex Nihilo)
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To: Sopater

I'm 22. I know what it's like to be a 17-year-old girl in school. Teachers who encourage debate and questioning are not "mean" like a lot of whiny people (especially girls) think. A lot of girls can't tell the difference between debating an idea and denigrating a person. The best response would be to debate the teacher and if the teacher was rude or denigrating, then to bring it to officials' attention. The teacher's authority can be trumped by the principal if he is misusing it, but it sounds like he was just encouraging debate. This girl has little to lose while she's still in high school.
I'm sure the girl was not taught how to defend her faith,which is the fault of her parents and chuch, but good internet resources and books are availible to teach yourself.


21 posted on 02/22/2007 6:35:01 PM PST by Libertarianchick
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To: amchugh
Typical of atheists...I looked at one of the papers the teacher circulated and it wasn't even logical...and yet he was appealing to logic. Why doesn't he just admit that he's trying to proselytize his humanistic atheism and be honest about it? Nah...honesty and logic are not part of most atheist's make up apparently.
22 posted on 02/22/2007 6:35:38 PM PST by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
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To: amchugh
The Herald Reports:

[The teacher's] handout, which was not part of the textbook's materials, asked questions such as how evil could exist if God is good and all-powerful

The teacher's question presupposes he is more intelligent than God.
23 posted on 02/22/2007 6:49:29 PM PST by Gene Eric
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To: DeweyCA
as discussed on a thread a couple weeks ago, the new international Baccalaureate program in many high schools contains a "Theory of Knowledge" class. This is really a religion/philosophy class (talking about the existence of truth, the source of truth, ethics, etc.). The teachers are teaching these religion classes 1 hour/day, 5 days/week for 40 weeks, with homework assignments, but they don't want the parents to know that it is really a religion class or many parents would object. Many of our schools and teachers are now in an all-out war against Christianity. Parents better wise-up.

My daughter is an IB graduate. I think you will find that parents are quite aware of what goes on in TOK and approve enthusiastically. Otherwise they wouldn't want their kids in the program.

This is actually the place where issues such as ID can be discussed. You call it a religion class, but it is a philosophy class.

24 posted on 02/22/2007 7:06:00 PM PST by js1138 (The absolute seriousness of someone who is terminally deluded.)
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To: highlander_UW

You are right that his actions are proseletyzing, but [sarcasm]by all means let us extrapolate that most atheists are dishonest and illogical from one anecdote.[/sarcasm]


25 posted on 02/22/2007 7:07:27 PM PST by amchugh
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To: amchugh

Evil exists because man is able to perceive evil in this fallen world.

Without man there is no evil.

Natural events in the world are neither good or evil.

The crocodile does not bemoan the death of the gnu.

Neither does the Whale remark on the deaths of land animals due to tsunami.


26 posted on 02/22/2007 7:21:22 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (No stinking peanut butter.)
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To: amchugh
That handout, which was not part of the textbook's materials, asked questions such as how evil could exist if God is good and all-powerful.

Well, that's a real thumbsucker. If it stumped any of the students, I'd fault their churches and parents, not the teacher. It's not as if it's a new question.

27 posted on 02/22/2007 7:46:26 PM PST by sphinx
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To: js1138
You may notice that I called the ToK class a religion/philosophy class. This philosophy class talks about topics that are inherently religious, because the topics are part of almost every religious worldview. The ToK class that one of my kids attends is not neutral, even when it seems, on the surface, to be that way. Since he supposedly does not make judgements about the opinions of the students, he is subtly endorsing the idea that all of the ideas are of equal value. Yes, as a public institution, he has to teach it that way, but that is not what a Christian parent (or any other religious parent) would teach to his kids. Relativism is not biblical.

This is the best case scenario. As I said earlier, last year, this teacher was much worse. He was actively promoting his anti-Christian views even though they were not at all related to the teaching material. Hopefully, your ToK teacher is better than this one.

28 posted on 02/22/2007 7:48:22 PM PST by DeweyCA
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To: amchugh
You are right that his actions are proseletyzing, but [sarcasm]by all means let us extrapolate that most atheists are dishonest and illogical from one anecdote.[/sarcasm]

You are correct...I overstated the case. What I should have written was most atheists I've personally encountered were illogical and/or dishonest...although in truth, much of what I was considering dishonest might more accurately be described as ignorant. I do apologize for making an overly large blanket.

29 posted on 02/22/2007 8:14:45 PM PST by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
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To: highlander_UW

Well that's okay then; I apologize for the negativity of my response. You just landed close to one of my pet peeves, which is assuming all groups are like their worst members.


30 posted on 02/23/2007 3:25:20 AM PST by amchugh
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To: Libertarianchick
I'm 22. I know what it's like to be a 17-year-old girl in school.

I don't doubt that you do. My point was that "spineless" is a pretty strong word. The teacher said that this was the first complaint that he's had in seven years of giving this assignment in this way.
McDonald said he's given the assignment this way since he first started teaching at the high school nearly seven years ago.

This is the first complaint, he said.
She also said that she has since switched to a different class taught by another teacher.

Assuming that this is a semester class, and taught once a semester with approximately 25 students in each class that would mean that in 7 years 350 students went through that class and she is the first one to complain. I sincerely doubt she's the first Christian student in the roughly 350 to go through that class. What colorful term would you use to describe the other Christians who took the class and never said a word to anyone?
31 posted on 02/23/2007 7:06:38 AM PST by Sopater (Creatio Ex Nihilo)
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To: Gene Eric
The teacher's question presupposes he is more intelligent than God.

Absolutely. This is the common "If I were God I'd have done things like so, therefore there either is no God or if there is He's not as wise as me" argument.
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. -1 Corinthians 2:14

32 posted on 02/23/2007 7:15:16 AM PST by Sopater (Creatio Ex Nihilo)
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To: Sopater

He said it was the first "complaint", probably as in complaint to the principal or another authority to remove the assignment, not that she was the first student to discuss or debate it or even get mad.
Some other students may have kept silent because they were afraid, but I'm sure others debated it in those several years. I'm quite sure he's referring to the fact that no one went crying to the principal before, not that it was not controversial in the class.


33 posted on 02/23/2007 9:34:24 AM PST by Libertarianchick
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To: Libertarianchick
I'm quite sure he's referring to the fact that no one went crying to the principal before, not that it was not controversial in the class.

Maybe, but he doesn't mention any debate in years past, only "no complaints". I think I'll still commend the girl. Granted, it may have not been the best response, but I will still say it took more courage than not saying anything to anyone.
34 posted on 02/23/2007 10:02:26 AM PST by Sopater (Creatio Ex Nihilo)
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To: Sopater

The four functions are necessary but not sufficient. Reread the paragraph.


35 posted on 02/23/2007 3:02:03 PM PST by aNYCguy
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To: aNYCguy
The four functions are necessary but not sufficient. Reread the paragraph.

Agreed. I was just trying to play on his own terms.
36 posted on 02/26/2007 7:38:42 AM PST by Sopater (Creatio Ex Nihilo)
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