Religious Freedom?

This started out as a response to an article about a school teacher whom the court found could not be sued over telling his students that “creationism” is superstitious nonsense. Remarkably the courts actually found, properly, in favor of his freedom, although the fact that Christianity is “sinful” in today’s commilib America, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised in this case…

The only “mandate” our government actually has on religion is “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” (First Amendment, U.S. Constitution) which has nothing to do with remaining neutral on religion, which would make the 1st Amendment unConstitutional since it gives clear direction on how to treat “religion”. The same “mandate” requires exactly the same protection for a teacher who calls “creationism” the holy truth, amen. “Religion” being the key word. The court didn’t judge the teacher “correct” it only declared him, in this case, to be untouchable. Personally, I think the schools have an obligation to teach what is out there and allow the students to make up their own minds about any “religious” truth. The idea of creationism exists, is believed by a HUGE number of people and whether Mr. Cotter thinks it’s nonsense or not makes no difference. He can legally not be required to teach it one way or the other which is what he did, perfectly within his rights.. Not a critique of your opinion here Shane, I agree it’s nice to see ANYTHING being taught in the classroom. I do think would be nice if he’d said his “opinion is that it’s superstitious nonsense, and here’s why”, but that would be outside the natural human aspect of proselytizing our beliefs. Kind of like someone standing up in church and saying “I believe” or “I think” instead of “I KNOW”.. he hee somehow it loses it’s power! I think Benjamin & Co were correct.. NO. I fuckin’ KNOW they were! and if you disagree shut the fuck up and go find someone who cares.. ‘er somethin’. Of course I’m one of those who realize (like you, whether you’ll admit it or not) that the Founders were deities. Whatever their actual religious beliefs were, they did believe we were “created” and “endowed by our creator” that there is a “nature’s God” and that they considered their “honor” to be “sacred”.. I don’t know. I like that stuff.

Breath:

Nevertheless, if there is a “creator” which the Founders, Christian or not, did indeed believe there was, as evidenced by their personal writings, in spite of what members of the Atheist boglvidion would like to (do) believe of them you’ll find nowhere any statement from a single one of them that there is no God.  The term “Nature’s God” (note the capitalization.. ) has deep roots indeed.. but in the time of the founding fathers it indeed referred to a supernatural deity, the only debate was who this deity is and how and why HE functions. Interestingly Jefferson wrote, “He who made us would have been a pitiful bungler, if He had made the rules of our moral conduct a matter of science.”  Also that he believed in God because of the argument from design:  “I hold (without appeal to revelation) that when we take a view of the Universe, in it’s [sic] parts general or particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to perceive and feel a conviction of design, consummate skill, and indefinite power in every atom of it’s [sic] composition.  it is impossible, I say, for the human mind not to believe that there is a fabricator of all things.” Also of magnificent note: “I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion…or in anything else.”

“Nature’s God” was clearly the God of deism in all important ways. That Jefferson included God in the “Declaration of Independence” is very significant because it helped lay the foundation for a civil religion in America. Paul Johnson addressed the civil religion begun by the founders in his article, “The Almost-Chosen People,” saying that the United States was unique because all religious beliefs were respected. People were more concerned with “moral conduct rather than dogma.” So Jefferson helped create a society in which different religions could coexist peacefully because of the emphasis on morality over specific belief.  (David J. Voelker)

And lastly an aside, it is interesting how closely Islam fits the Biblical teachings referring to the anti-Christ.. In fact, somewhat startling to skeptics such as myself yet hard to cast aside in view of the current unfolding of events. Also interesting and irritating that Islam is utilizing the very religious acceptance of our founders to forward their absolutely unacceptable foundation: convert or be destroyed.

Final breath:

The religion isn’t the anti-Christ, it is (according to those who buy into this) the anti-Christ’s church just as it’s antithesis Christianity is Christ’s church. Islam points to Judaism as being far closer to “the truth” than Christianity, although Jews must also be converted or destroyed as any non-Muslim must be. He heee, it is also interesting how much Judaism/Islam are like Christianity/Mormonism. No end to the fascinating aspects of religion and I, for one, see it as a science. Complex, evolved and evolving, interconnected with everything and ultimately unknowable.

2 responses to “Religious Freedom?

  1. There are several statements which must be corrected. You state that the constitution protects “a teacher who calls “creationism” the holy truth” which is actually not true. A public teacher funded by government tax dollars cannot promote this religion or the government who pays this teacher is helping to establish that religion.

    You also state that you believe “the schools have an obligation to teach what is out there and allow the students to make up their own minds” which something that I and the courts also disagree with. There are a lot of things out there which are inappropriate to teach. A chemistry teacher for instance cannot teach about the controversy over alchemy and chemistry. Physics teachers cannot teach the controversy over astrology and astronomy. If teaches teach about god creating the universe, then they damn well better teach the idea that The Flying Spaghetti monster was really the true creator! (http://www.venganza.org/about/open-letter/) Science is what scientists establish science to be, end of story, just as math is what mathematicians say it is. Science teachers must teach science or get out of the classroom. At home or in church these teachers can teach whatever they want while they are not being paid by public funds But they violate the establishment clause if they do so in an official capacity.

    In every case the courts have blocked the teaching of creationism in school because it violates the constitution. And you can’t just gaff this off as some commie-lib conspiracy. Conservative Republican judges all rule the same way. I recommend you look into the Dover Colorado case ruling by Judge Jones, a Conservative Bush appointee. A good Nova documentary can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNGeXjpL1Hg

    Kenneth Miller, a Christian scientist who testified in the trial and goes through the evidence in great detail can be seen here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK0CYZvaJLw

    These are a good place to start to understand anything on this topic. Sorry bud. It’s not a Christian country. Imagine what would happen if the Muslims starting teaching their bile in the classrooms.

    • The Constitution DOES protect that teacher, from government originated legal action stemming from anything he has to say about religion. The constitution guarantees, clearly and explicitly his freedom to exercise that religion. One of the few items in the Constitution I think could have well been expanded upon, yet as it is, it gives that teacher absolute freedom (Constitutionally) to exercise his religion. The mistake commonly made by many is thinking that the first amendment protects people from Religion, but what it actually does is protect religion from government. Thus, constitutionally the creationist teacher would have precisely the same protection BECAUSE it’s about religion. Of course the courts would never interpret such a case in this way since Christianity is seen by many, even many Christians, as what the 1st is protecting us from. This, of course, differs completely from the treatment Islam gets. Had the same teacher remarked that Islam is a wild superstition you can bet your ass, he’d see his day, and lose his case, in court and all who say Islam is a religious superstition would have to take sensitivity training. In the case we’re looking at, both religions have already long been established. The only way the Constitution would come into play is if the court ruled that the students had to BELIEVE in creationism and even then it would be difficult in an unbiased court since there are many who can incorporate evolution into a creationist or intelligent design theory. I’m surprised that you believe that the existence and explanation of creationism should not be taught in school. Do you feel the same way about mythology? astrology? metaphysics? If I don’t believe it, it shouldn’t be taught? Particularly creationism, as opposed to, say, Alchemy which can be proven ineffective, or at least ineffective so far.. this can’t be done with creationism. It simply cannot be proven to be an incorrect principle. True enough that teachings should be appropriate to the course being taught, but if teaching that creationism is superstitious nonsense is allowable, the obligation should (but doesn’t) lie in teaching why it is so. Constitutionally both sides of the coin are equally protected (if you bring religion into it). AND if a huge number of people for as far back as we are capable of studying, believed the Flying Spaghetti monster was really the true creator, perhaps that might be a valid topic for study. The “establishment” clause is, btw about establishing a religion, teaching what people do or don’t believe has nothing (in practicality) to do with establishing a religion. Teaching that you should assume the position of believing that God is the creator would be unconstitutional, precisely as teaching that creationism is religious nonsense would be unconstitutional. Teaching why you, society in general, or Dave Whitlock specifically believe that to be the case would be completely constitutional and entirely appropriate. The unconstitutional aspect of teaching creationism, is teaching that it is indeed the case. Teaching what creationism is and its being a belief held by a vast number of human beings is nothing more than teaching the truth and would not (hopefully) be contestable in court on a constitutional basis.

      I would a damn sight sooner have Christianity taught in schools (agreeing as I do with Ben Franklin on the topic of Christianity) than that of Islam which actually is being taught btw, more and more, which is where the commielib conspiracy comes into play, Islam being the black bishops on the New International Order chessboard.

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