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Teacher Sued For Bashing Christianity -- Will Others Be Censored?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by dust1n, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. dust1n

    dust1n Zindīq

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    A teacher in California was found to have violated a student’s First Amendment rights by disparaging religion in the classroom. The ruling could silence outspoken teachers.

    March 27, 2010

    Teacher Sued For Bashing Christianity -- Will Others Be Censored? | Civil Liberties | AlterNet

    Most weekdays, some 2,700 students crowd the sidewalks and hallways of Capistrano Valley High School, which is a quick drive from Orange County, California’s finest beaches. Capo, as the school is informally known, boasts a champion surf team as well as a prestigious academic reputation, among other distinctions.

    The world’s most powerful megachurch, Saddleback, is about eight miles south of Capo; nearby are the skyline-dominating Crystal Cathedral and the nation’s largest Christian broadcast network. Non-Christian faiths, too, have set up shop in the OC, home to growing numbers of Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Zoroastrian worshipers. In fact, for all the associations of Orange County with implants and Botox and for all the TV shows that depict a shamelessly decadent lifestyle, such as “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” this is foremost a highly religious place.

    All of which has come to play out in the classroom of history teacher James Corbett, the defendant in a federal lawsuit that, depending on its outcome in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, could threaten traditional notions of academic freedom...
     
  2. enchanted_one1975

    enchanted_one1975 Resident Lycanthrope

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    Nobody's religion should be bashed by a teacher or by any other public figure. I just hope that people learn from this and we can stop bashing all religions. I wonder how serious they would have taken it if it was a religion other than Christianity that were bashed.
     
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  3. Azakel

    Azakel Liebe ist für alle da

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    Unless the ACLU got involved I don't think anyone would take the bashing of a non-Christian religion seriously. This though is from my personally experience from a lot of people around me.
     
  4. Falvlun

    Falvlun Earthbending Lemur
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    Personally, I don't see how you can ban religion from schools, but then allow people to bash religion. It's too much of a double standard for my liking.
     
  5. Alceste

    Alceste Vagabond

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    Pretty ironic that the one statement found "unconstitutional" was his observation that creationism is superstitious nonsense. First they fought like hell to get it discussed in class, now they go crying to their lawyers when it gets discussed in class. I wish they would make up their minds. Are teachers supposed to talk about creationism or are they not?
     
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  6. Riverwolf

    Riverwolf Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
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    I agree. That's a double-standard.

    Teachers and anyone else who watch over children need to keep their own opinions on religions out of the classroom. (Heck, ideally, unless the student inquires, they shouldn't even bring their own religion or lack thereof up.)
     
  7. Riverwolf

    Riverwolf Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
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    Not. They teach their field to the best of their ability. A science teacher confronted with an outspoken creationist student shouldn't respond with ridicule.
     
  8. Alceste

    Alceste Vagabond

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    Very good article - what I want to know is why Republican parents seem so often to be using their children as political props.
     
  9. Alceste

    Alceste Vagabond

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    The curriculum requires that he discuss current events and teach European history. Do you feel this is possible without touching on the topic of religion? Also, I think you misunderstand the events in question. He wasn't confronted with an outspoken creationist. He was responding to a student question about the outcome of a previous court case involving a creationist science teacher.
     
  10. Riverwolf

    Riverwolf Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
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    Yes, without the teacher giving his or her own opinion.

    Again, this can be answered without giving a personal opinion.
     
  11. enchanted_one1975

    enchanted_one1975 Resident Lycanthrope

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    I didn't see anything in the article stating anyone's political affiliation.
     
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  12. fantome profane

    fantome profane Have you read the Mueller Report?
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    Am I reading this right? It seems to say that the one comment he made that was considered unconstitutional was about creationism.

    I wonder if his comment would be constitutional if he had not used the word religious. If for example he had just said that creationism was “superstitious nonsense”, or “moronic superstitious nonsense”. That creationism is nonsense is a simple statement of fact, and it is also a fact that there are many different kinds of nonsense. There is political ideological nonsense, new age nonsense etc. Creationism just happens to be religious nonsense. His statement was not actually bashing religion or even bashing creationism for being religious, it was bashing creationism for being nonsense. If creationism is protected by the constitution then the U.S. is in a lot of trouble.
     
  13. monta

    monta .

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    I think we have all probably had teachers like this guy, the ''cool'' teacher who likes to impress the kids by being a little risqué. His forcing kids to listen to anti religious rhetoric, is bad enough, but when the laws are set up in such a way that the kids have no right of reply, it is completely outrageous.
     
  14. SkinnyCheruscian

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    Not too sure whether this teacher "bashed religion".

    He seems to me rather a teacher who tries to encourage independent thinking. Obviously he has strong opinions. However this is no reason for an outcry "this has to stop". People not agreeing with him should rather be more self-asserted. If they think they are right, great - but why want to have somebody taking the opposite position beiung shut up? This guy seems to be one encouraging opposite opinions - you cannot have somebody authentically taking a position who is at teh same time wishy washy "I don't want to hurt anybody so I don't take a stance".

    I think the notion that you can say anything without taking any criticism just by claiming it to be linked to your creed is a very dangerous one. It tries to install interdictions of thought.

    At the same time, I personally find (and, quite bizarrely, I am an academic researching in the biological sciences) an entirely materialistic world-view not quite satisfying. This, however, does not mean I am ready to take any ********. What "creationists" try to do is to pretend there was any "evidence" (thus a materialistic concept) for the existence of a transcendental entity (e.g. God). This however is not the case - a materialist position or not, that's a choice. There is no "evidence" against a materialistic position - but also not for one.

    Too me, Western Science is a slave to capitalism and is "a theology of violence" (A. Nandy). Western Science is incapable to come to any conclusions that result in ACTION against those in power. Look at the environment. It is easy to ridicule "religious" beliefs that hold the opinion that there is some limit to how far we can go in destroying the planet for our silly egoistic desires. If you wnat to base everything on "evidence" to the last detail, the planet will be destroyed before we have the "evidence" that our current way of life actually leads to destruction of the very basis of life.

    That said, the religious (Christian) right is certainly not in a position to take the above criticism on their board. Apart from being very much entangled in capitalism ( see Weber), their formalist view (the scriptures have done the thinking for you, just obey) negates the human condition: Isn't the human capacity for criticism and doubt as well a gift of the creator?
     
  15. fantome profane

    fantome profane Have you read the Mueller Report?
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    That does not seem to be the case here.

     
  16. footprints

    footprints Well-Known Member

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    When will this garbage ever stop. In the US we have people suing a teacher for expressing their opinion, in Australia we have Teachers preparing to sue parents for expressing their opinion.

    Schools_can_sue_parents

    Is the world of freedom of speech dead? Are we moving to some kind of dictatorship and censorship just because we might hurt some bigot and hypocrites feelings?

    Heaven forbid, we should expect the bigot and hypocrite to fix their own problems, before attacking the perceived, problems of others.
     
    #16 footprints, Mar 27, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  17. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    It's a lot simpler for teachers to do what they are hired to do. That is to teach in the realm of specific criteria so that a person can be able to learn, function, and grow in society. I wouldn't personally mind a teacher organising and setting up a bible club or something else after school, but during the day stick to the subject they are trained to teach at hand.
     
  18. monta

    monta .

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    A former student who was supporting him gave this comment on ratemyteacher


     
  19. Alceste

    Alceste Vagabond

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    The child with the tape recorder's mother is a tea party organizer, was a campaigner for Mick Huckabee, and is a member of a religious lobby group. She told a newspaper she sent her kid to school with a tape recorder hidden in his backpack after hearing that he had an openly liberal teacher - ostensibly to catch him out. Later she changed her story to say she wasn't aware of the kid's tape recorder, and it was a study aid.

    You didn't read the whole thing, I assume.
     
  20. AxisMundi

    AxisMundi E Pluribus Unum!!!

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    Schools are not a private soap box for teachers.

    There is no room for such comments in the classroom.
     
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