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Declaration of Independence banned from CA school

Education California Banned God references

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#41 Chipper

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Posted 28 November 2004 - 09:47 PM

Quote

Both examples of liberals trying to impose their values on everyone else.

Yup, keep grouping those against God with those against discrimination in the eyes of the law in liberal categories.  Everyone has stated the idiocy of the DoI issue.  They must be conservatives. :rolleyes:

Sorry, LotS.
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#42 Mr.Calgary

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Posted 28 November 2004 - 11:09 PM

prolog, on Nov 28 2004, 03:45 PM, said:

^ So?  You act like this is some sort of new technique.  This is how courts have always worked - courts are not democratic, nor should they be.  The populace is not, nor will it ever, be an expert on legal matters, so it's a damned good thing that the courts are "anti-democratic".

Canadian courts are allowed to rule on legislation being counter to the tenets of the Charter (unconstitutional, so to speak), and that's precisely what the court in SK did.

Besides, even if you want to do things democratically, a majority of Canadians support gay marriage (Pollara poll for Rogers Media), so it'd go through.

Quote

I hope you'll be as supportative of this technique when it's something -you- don't agree with.

Yeah, I am.  That's part of accepting the rule of law - if the courts, after careful consideration and deliberation, issue a ruling I don't like, I accept it and move on.  I believe, for instance, that the gun registry is BS and does little good, but it's still law, so I accept that.  I support what Alberta did during its election with also nominating senators in the hopes that it might change our retarded senate structure - but right now, we've still got the same old system.  It sucks, but I'll accept that.  etc.

The courts are not required to be democratic.  Their only obligation is to interprete the law: both the law itself, as well as whether or not it is discriminatory or applicable.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



:Oo: My point actually, Parliament makes laws.  Yes, the courts are to interpret, NOT take over the job of Parliament.  We've had judges make public declarations that they're going beyond intrepretation.  

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:lol:  :wink:  Right, I'm sure a majority supports it.  I'd like a referendum on the topic.  Would you still support one if your poll said otherwise?

I recall that a pro-abortion group(s) held a press conference during the election campaign.

The representative said Yes, yes, Canadians overwhelmingly support unfettered access to abortion.  Followed by NO NO NO, Canadians absolutely cannot be allowed to vote on the issue.  :wacko:
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#43 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 28 November 2004 - 11:37 PM

Ogami said:

Sorry for the detour, Lord, I was asked about my on-topic post and responded as needed.


No problem. I was just curious.

I do have a slight bone to pick with your comment of: Both examples of liberals trying to impose their values on everyone else., though.

I think I'm beginning to see what has people in an uproar about overgeneralization....

While, IMO, most Liberals do tend to impose their values on others...not all do. And, for that matter, some Conservatives I know also tend to push their values on others...but not all do.

Chipper said: Sorry, LotS.

For what?
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#44 G1223

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 09:41 AM

prolog, on Nov 28 2004, 08:22 PM, said:

Quote

So gay marriage needs to be passed, over the objections of the majority of Americans?

Yes.  And once you (and others) realize that homosexuals and bisexuals are actually people, too, it'll make a lot of sense.  Eventually, this'll be filed into the same category as being able to marry any man or woman one wants (instead of one with the same skin colour), desegregation, etc.  Eventually it'll be well-understood that in a democracy, it is neither fair not just to deny rights to people simply because they have beliefs neither held nor understood by the majority when those beliefs affect nobody but themselves.  And until then, the open-minded will continue to fight for peoples' civil rights..

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


So you favor the courts deciding that the will of the majority is wrong.

So if a court decided that only the christian God will be given prayers at the start of the school day and that no child may refuse to do so,you would favor such action? I mean a majority do not want it ,but to give bothsides what they want means  rather than educating people and allowing this silly freedom to choose you want to make it where the court decides for everyone.


This is why those states that made thier bans part of  their state constitutions felt puushed do so. Heck the number crunching alone showed that even folks voting for John Kerry were voting in faovr of these bans.

Basically the open minded are not willing to take the time to change opinion. I guess that takes too long. It must be nice deciding what others have to accept rather than accept it will take time to change things.
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#45 Ogami

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 10:39 PM

Lord of the Sword wrote:

While, IMO, most Liberals do tend to impose their values on others...not all do. And, for that matter, some Conservatives I know also tend to push their values on others...but not all do.

At the risk of generalizing again, liberals have a pattern of enacting social change through the judicial fiat of activist judges, and not by the tested process of putting referendums before the voting public. Whom do liberals trust more, the public, or hand-picked activist judges? And what does that say about them?

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#46 DieByMyHand

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 11:09 PM

The story is a little bit more complicated than what we've been hearing.  Here's an article from the area's local newspaper.



Teacher sues over Declaration of Independence ban

By Jill Tucker - STAFF WRITER

A Cupertino public school teacher is suing his district and his principal, who banned him from using excerpts from the Declaration of Independence and other historical documents in his classroom because they contain references to God and Christianity.

**So they are not banning the Declaration in total.

Steven Williams, a fifth-grade teacher at Stevens Creek Elementary School in the Cupertino Union School District, filed the suit in U.S. District Court Monday, arguing a First Amendment right to teach the history of our country and its founding fathers, which includes religious, and specifically Christian, references.

The lawsuit alleges the school's principal Patricia Vidmar required Williams to submit his lesson plans and the supplemental handouts he planned to use in his classroom for review.

She then prevented Williams from giving students several handouts including:

- Excerpts from the Declaration of Independence with references to ``God,'' ``Creator,'' and ``Supreme Judge.''

- ``George Washington's Prayer Journal.''

- ``The Rights of the Colonists,'' by Samuel Adams, which includes passages excluding Roman Catholics from religious tolerance because of their ``doctrines subversive of the civil government under which they live.''

*****Forget about any arguments about the separation of church and state.  The issue here for me is religious persecution/intollerance.  Now if this teacher was trying to teach about anti-cathoic feelings in early america and then do something like "this is wrong....how do you feel about it" then it would be ok.  The same if this was used in high school.  In college, hopefully, people are smart enough not to buy into such prejudices, so studying this to do a paper on some related topic is ok.  But as a stand alone, this type of stuff might indoctrinate kids into buying into anti-catholic sentiments, and that is not what teachers should be doing.


- George W. Bush's presidential 2004 Day of Prayer proclamation, with a supplemental handout on the history of the National Day of Prayer.

****This sounds like a separation of church and  state issue to me.


- Several excerpts from John Adam's diary, including the July 26, 1796 passage, ``Cloudy ... The Christian religion is above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity, let the black guard Paine say what he will; it is resignation to God, it is goodness itself to man.''

***So one religion is better than all others?  Oh yeah, thats tolerant.  Again, as a subject of historical study this is ok, but somehow I don't think thats the goal the teacher had in mind.


Williams' attorney, Terry Thompson of the Alliance Defense Fund, said the principal's policy is a violation of the teacher's First Amendment rights and is blatant censorship of the writings of great men because they mention God or Christianity.

It is a matter of history that the founders were ``men of deep religious faith,'' Thompson said. ``To hide this fact from young fifth grade students is shameful and outrageous. We're not founded by the Boston agnostic club.''

The Alliance Defense Fund includes more than 700 attorneys across the country and focus on legal issues supporting religious freedom, anti-abortion efforts and marriage between a man and woman only.

District officials would not comment on the lawsuit, saying only they received it and referred it to their attorneys.

Speaking from his home Wednesday, a school holiday, Williams said the problems started last year after he responded to a student who asked why the Pledge of Allegiance includes the phrase, ``under God.''

Eventually a parent complained and the principal started requesting his lesson plans and handouts.

``I've never even tried to hint the kids need to believe this or this is the right religion to believe,'' said Williams, who has been teaching eight years. ``I'm just trying to teach history.''

The lawsuit does say Williams is an ``orthodox Christian.''

The state's fifth-grade social studies standards include learning about the religious, economic, social and cultural origins of the United States.

Williams said he thinks society has become hypersensitive to any reference of Christianity in the public arena, especially schools. He said he has taught students about Ramadan and Kwanzaa and applauded for those lessons.

``People are like, `Oh good, that's diversity,' '' he said. ``As soon as Christianity involved, it's separation of church and state.''

ADF attorney Thompson said he hopes the lawsuit will result in a court ruling saying Williams is ``[B]well within First Amendment rights to hand out supplemental materials that are accurate and accurately reflect founding principles of this country.''

*****Anti-catholicism may have been an aspect of colonial america, but does that make it right?  What if this person was passing out literature saying "the jews killed jesus!  damn them!" or "slavery was a good thing"??

Williams said he wants to bring attention to how sensitive society has become to religious references, even when it comes to American history.

He added he has only respect for Vidmar and the staff at Stevens Creek.

``I really feel blessed to be there,'' he added.


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#47 DieByMyHand

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 11:10 PM

http://www.sanmateoc...2556644,00.html

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#48 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 11:33 PM

Quote

``George Washington's Prayer Journal.''

- ``The Rights of the Colonists,'' by Samuel Adams, which includes passages excluding Roman Catholics from religious tolerance because of their ``doctrines subversive of the civil government under which they live.''

- George W. Bush's presidential 2004 Day of Prayer proclamation, with a supplemental handout on the history of the National Day of Prayer.

- Several excerpts from John Adam's diary, including the July 26, 1796 passage, ``Cloudy ... The Christian religion is above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity, let the black guard Paine say what he will; it is resignation to God, it is goodness itself to man.''

Williams' attorney, Terry Thompson of the Alliance Defense Fund, said the principal's policy is a violation of the teacher's First Amendment rights and is blatant censorship of the writings of great men because they mention God or Christianity.

It is a matter of history that the founders were ``men of deep religious faith,'' Thompson said. ``To hide this fact from young fifth grade students is shameful and outrageous. We're not founded by the Boston agnostic club.''

The Alliance Defense Fund includes more than 700 attorneys across the country and focus on legal issues supporting religious freedom, anti-abortion efforts and marriage between a man and woman only.

District officials would not comment on the lawsuit, saying only they received it and referred it to their attorneys.

Speaking from his home Wednesday, a school holiday, Williams said the problems started last year after he responded to a student who asked why the Pledge of Allegiance includes the phrase, ``under God.''

Eventually a parent complained and the principal started requesting his lesson plans and handouts.

``I've never even tried to hint the kids need to believe this or this is the right religion to believe,'' said Williams, who has been teaching eight years. ``I'm just trying to teach history.''

The lawsuit does say Williams is an ``orthodox Christian.''

The state's fifth-grade social studies standards include learning about the religious, economic, social and cultural origins of the United States.

Williams said he thinks society has become hypersensitive to any reference of Christianity in the public arena, especially schools. He said he has taught students about Ramadan and Kwanzaa and applauded for those lessons.

``People are like, `Oh good, that's diversity,' '' he said. ``As soon as Christianity involved, it's separation of church and state.''

ADF attorney Thompson said he hopes the lawsuit will result in a court ruling saying Williams is ``well within First Amendment rights to hand out supplemental materials that are accurate and accurately reflect founding principles of this country.''

Williams said he wants to bring attention to how sensitive society has become to religious references, even when it comes to American history.

He added he has only respect for Vidmar and the staff at Stevens Creek.

``I really feel blessed to be there,'' he added.

I'm not so sure about this teacher anymore. I mean, if a student asked why the words "Under God" were in the Pledge, that's a simple enough question to answer...without bringing all this other religious material into it.

He certainly should've been allowed to do the Declaration.

Also, his comment of "I feel blessed..." makes me wonder just how much he is pushing religion?
"Sometimes you get the point of the sword, sometimes the edge, sometimes the flat of the blade (even if you're the Lord of the Sword) and sometimes you're the guy wielding it. But any day without the Sword or its Lord is one that could've been better  " ~Orpheus.

The Left is inclusive, and tolerant, unless you happen to think and believe different than they do~ Lord of the Sword

Looks like the Liberal Elite of Exisle have finally managed to silence the last remaining Conservative voice on the board.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.” ~Thomas Jefferson

#49 Ogami

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Posted 01 December 2004 - 06:07 PM

Diebymyhand wrote regarding the follow-up article:

**So they are not banning the Declaration in total.

So the passages on the oppressive king and the "merciless indian savages" remain intact? Excellent, that's what matters.

-Ogami

#50 Ogami

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Posted 01 December 2004 - 06:12 PM

Lord of the Sword wrote:

Also, his comment of "I feel blessed..." makes me wonder just how much he is pushing religion?

Well, one would hope the teacher would give the kids the facts on our Founding Fathers, and their views on religion. Their main concern was that our new nation would found a Church of America, a state-sanctioned religious body. They were not dealing in theoretical puzzles, they had the very real example of the Church of England as their counterexample. And also the oppression of religious sects in France, Germany, and the rest.

Separation of church and state meant exactly that, no establishment of a Washington-sanctioned Federal religion. The current fad of insisting that no religion intersect with government whatsoever is a whimsy of the liberal elite. It has nothing to do with what our constitution says, or the Founding Fathers intended.

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#51 Rhea

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 10:50 PM

Regardless of the other issues raised by this lawsuit, it seems to me that FIFTH graders are a mite young to be having the more profound philosophical discussions this man purports to be involving them in. Seems like a better topic for a junior high or high school class.
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#52 JchaosRS

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 01:16 AM

Quote

It has nothing to do with what our constitution says, or the Founding Fathers intended.

I just had to say that our "founding fathers" intended a great many things, but that doesnt make them right.
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#53 Spectacles

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Posted 11 December 2004 - 02:55 PM

The folks at eRiposte have a running website devoted to this topic. It includes some of this teacher's assignments--and the context which he omitted.

http://www.eriposte....nscreek.htm#2_5

Excerpt (see site for links to sources):

Quote

2.2 Is/Was Principal Widmar against the mention of God in the classroom?

Clearly not. Even the Plaintiffs state the following in page 6 of the lawsuit (on their website):

"39. Other teachers are permitted to show films and distribute handouts containing references to God.
...
56. Mr. Williams has distributed his chosen handouts during previous school years without any problems. "

So, clearly, there is NO CASE here that the Principal was somehow anti-God and forced teachers to stop talking about God.

2.3 Is/Was Principal Widmar against the mention of anything to do with Jesus Christ or Christianity in the classroom?

The answer again is NO (not just because other teachers in the school are allowed to sharing materials with a Christian religious background with their students). Indeed, the plaintiffs' claim is patently false on this matter (see below).

Indeed, as Julia at American Street has pointed out, this becomes apparent from the plaintiffs claims as well (bold text is my emphasis):

"Mr. Williams also, presumably for Thanksgiving consumption, whips out the old chestnut about Christianity not being given equal status in a diverse society

Williams said he thinks society has become hypersensitive to any reference of Christianity in the public arena, especially schools. He said he has taught students about Ramadan and Kwanzaa and applauded for those lessons.

“People are like, “Oh good, that’s diversity,’ ‘’ he said. “As soon as Christianity involved, it’s separation of church and state.'’"

Well, not quite that either. From the complaint:

"In November 2003, Mr. Williams taught a lesson on the origins of Thanksgiving.

On December 2003 and January 2004, Mr. Williams taught lessons on the origins of religious holidays, including Christmas, Ramadan, Diwali, Hanukah and the Chinese New Year.

Principal Vidmar did not object to the lessons about Thanksgiving or the religious holidays.

In April 2004, Mr. Williams intended to teach a lesson about the religious holiday of Easter.

Principal Vidmar ordered Mr. Williams not to teach a lesson about Easter.

Principal Vidmar gave this order because Easter is a Christian religious holiday."


See, Christmas? Not a Christian religious holiday and he was allowed to teach it in a lesson talking about multicultural religious celebrations and their role in american life.

Not to mention the complaint also states the following in page 6 of the lawsuit:

"56. Mr. Williams has distributed his chosen handouts during previous school years without any problems."

So, Mr. Williams was not really "discriminated against" in the past - which means that Principal Widmar cannot simply be against God or Christianity can she? Obviously something else precipitated the change in her position, didn't it? Rather than Ms. Vidmar supposedly being against a "Christian" like plaintiff Williams or "discriminating" against him.

And take a look at this passage from his "Easter assignment":


Quote

John Adams wrote, "Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." He also wrote a paper called, "American Independence was Achieved Upon the Principles of Christianity." Write a one page report on why he felt so strongly that this nation should be founded on Christian principles and quote some primary sources.

Review some of the famous teachings of Jesus Christ such as: the Golden Rule, the Sermon on the Mount, and parable of the Good Samaritan. Write a response to this teaching and how it is applied today in our culture and examples of how it has shaped our nation. Present a short oral presentation or skit to the class which demonstrates what you learned.

Williams neglects to inform these kids that Adams and other founding fathers had a healthy disdain for the "superstition" of Christianity and many had serious doubts about the divinity of Jesus. They founded this nation on Judeo-Christian principles only as far as those that agree with the principles of Reason (capital R, as in the Enlightenment). Don't believe me? Here's a treaty signed by John Adams:

Quote

"As the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims] ... it is declared ... that no pretext arising from religious opinion shall ever product an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries....
     "The United States is not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or a Mohammedan nation."
          -- Treaty of Tripoli (1797), carried unanimously by the Senate and signed into law by John Adams (the original language is by Joel Barlow, U.S. Consul)

And more from Adams himself:

Quote

Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.
-- John Adams, "A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" (1787-88), from Adrienne Koch, ed., The American Enlightenment: The Shaping of the American Experiment and a Free Society (1965) p. 258, quoted from Ed and Michael Buckner, "Quotations that Support the Separation of State and Church"

We should begin by setting conscience free. When all men of all religions ... shall enjoy equal liberty, property, and an equal chance for honors and power ... we may expect that improvements will be made in the human character and the state of society.
-- John Adams, letter to Dr. Price, April 8, 1785, quoted from Albert Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom (1991)

As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?
-- John Adams, letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, December 27, 1816

The frightful engines of ecclesiastical councils, of diabolical malice, and Calvinistical good-nature never failed to terrify me exceedingly whenever I thought of preaching.
-- John Adams, letter to his brother-in-law, Richard Cranch, October 18, 1756, explaining why he rejected the ministry

I shall have liberty to think for myself without molesting others or being molested myself.
-- John Adams, letter to his brother-in-law, Richard Cranch, August 29, 1756, explaining how his independent opinions would create much difficulty in the ministry, in Edwin S. Gaustad, Faith of Our Fathers: Religion and the New Nation (1987) p. 88, quoted from Ed and Michael Buckner, "Quotations that Support the Separation of State and Church"

When philosophic reason is clear and certain by intuition or necessary induction, no subsequent revelation supported by prophecies or miracles can supersede it.
-- John Adams, from Rufus K. Noyes, Views of Religion, quoted from from James A. Haught, ed., 2000 Years of Disbelief

Indeed, Mr. Jefferson, what could be invented to debase the ancient Christianism which Greeks, Romans, Hebrews and Christian factions, above all the Catholics, have not fraudulently imposed upon the public? Miracles after miracles have rolled down in torrents.
-- John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, December 3, 1813, quoted from James A. Haught, ed., 2000 Years of Disbelief

Cabalistic Christianity, which is Catholic Christianity, and which has prevailed for 1,500 years, has received a mortal wound, of which the monster must finally die. Yet so strong is his constitution, that he may endure for centuries before he expires.
-- John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, July 16, 1814, from James A. Haught, ed., 2000 Years of Disbelief

I do not like the reappearance of the Jesuits.... Shall we not have regular swarms of them here, in as many disguises as only a king of the gipsies can assume, dressed as printers, publishers, writers and schoolmasters? If ever there was a body of men who merited damnation on earth and in Hell, it is this society of Loyola's. Nevertheless, we are compelled by our system of religious toleration to offer them an asylum.
-- John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, May 5, 1816

Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition and dogmatism cannot confine it.
-- John Adams, letter to his son, John Quincy Adams, November 13, 1816, from James A. Haught, ed., 2000 Years of Disbelief

Can a free government possibly exist with the Roman Catholic religion?
-- John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, May 19, 1821, from James A. Haught, ed., 2000 Years of Disbelief

I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved -- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!
-- John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, from George Seldes, The Great Quotations, also from James A. Haught, ed., 2000 Years of Disbelief

The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning.... And, even since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your legs and hands, and fly into your face and eyes.
-- John Adams, letter to John Taylor, 1814, quoted in Norman Cousins, In God We Trust: The Religious Beliefs and Ideas of the American Founding Fathers (1958), p. 108, quoted from James A. Haught, ed., 2000 Years of Disbelief

In that one lesson plan, Williams has certainly distorted the beliefs of John Adams. That in itself is a reason for any responsible principal to yank it. Williams may not have known better, but he should have.

Edited by Spectacles, 11 December 2004 - 03:02 PM.

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#54 waterpanther

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Posted 11 December 2004 - 03:29 PM

I think it's clearly apparent from this guy's Easter assignment that he wasn't teaching history.  He was proselytizing fifth-graders without their parents' permission.  If I were the parent of any of his students, I'd have him nailed to the wall quicker than he could say "Mel Gibson."

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#55 Spectacles

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Posted 11 December 2004 - 05:43 PM

Quote

He was proselytizing fifth-graders without their parents' permission. If I were the parent of any of his students, I'd have him nailed to the wall quicker than he could say "Mel Gibson."

Yep. And parents complained. Hence the requirement that he submit his lesson plans to the principal for approval before implementing them.

This is a tempest in a fundamentalist teapot. Of course, Sean Hannity and others are brewing a stink out of it and no doubt there are Christians in America who feel even more under seige (even though the evangelicals have their guys running the Executive and the Legislative branches and are making inroads in the Judicial.)
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

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#56 tennyson

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Posted 11 December 2004 - 05:53 PM

"(even though the evangelicals have their guys running the Executive and the Legislative branches and are making inroads in the Judicial.)"

I don't see how this statement has any basis in fact. Being Republican does not mean being Evangelical or even Christian and I think a look at the actual religous breakdown of both the House and Senate would show this statement to be in error.
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#57 Spectacles

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Posted 11 December 2004 - 06:09 PM

Quote

I don't see how this statement has any basis in fact. Being Republican does not mean being Evangelical or even Christian and I think a look at the actual religous breakdown of both the House and Senate would show this statement to be in error.

I was thinking of self-described evangelical Christians like Bush, Rove, Frist, DeLay, Santorum (in a Catholic sense), and others who serve in leadership positions. Did you hear that Bush is pressing forward with the Marriage Amendment to appease those who think gay marriage is a sin? I heard that Bush also said the other day that he thought the Ten Commandments belonged in courthouses. (I hope that was a misquote.)

I'm aware that there are some Republicans who do not profess to be evangelical or even Christian, but not too many of them hold elected office outside the Northeast and West Coast. I doubt any would be able to be elected even to a school board in the South or the Midwest.

It's also worth noting that not all evangelicals are interested in politics. I have a couple of close colleagues (college teachers) who belong to a sect that interprets "render under Caesar" as an admonishment to ignore political affairs.

But the evangelicals who are politically active seem to be taking an awful lot of credit for Bush's re-election, and Bush and others in the party seem to be showering them with gratitude.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#58 tennyson

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Posted 12 December 2004 - 01:00 AM

I don't think you understand the people who live in the areas you describe as well as you think you do.
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#59 Spectacles

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Posted 12 December 2004 - 08:16 AM

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I don't think you understand the people who live in the areas you describe as well as you think you do.

Just to clarify, I don't think that ALL people in the South and Midwest are evangelical Christians, either. (After all, I'm from the South and I know better. There are quite a few closet social liberals, but they usually vote Democrat.) But when you look at the attitudes expressed by politicians in the reddest parts of America, you find many appeals to the Religious Right. This is especially true of the Republicans and this is why they win. This is because a pro-choice, anti-Marriage Amendment candidate would most likely not be elected in those regions. It's not because there are no pro-choice, pro-gay rights people there, but because they either are outnumbered or outvoted by the others.

I also know that a lot of people vote Republican for other reasons. But the fact remains that the Republican party has cobbled together a base that includes a sizeable chunk of Christian evangelicals. Therefore, they're going to have to play to that "special interest" group.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#60 waterpanther

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Posted 12 December 2004 - 12:08 PM

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AFTER A SHORT respite from the fight over the Pledge of Allegiance, the Republican Party has once again thrown itself into the fray over issues of church and state. This time it's the Republican Party of Texas, President Bush's home state, which has approved a plank in its platform affirming that "the United States of America is a Christian nation."

The plank, which also pooh-poohs "the myth of the separation of church and state," has elicited protests from Jewish groups. So far, however, it has not been rejected by the national Republican Party. This is in contrast to a similar flap in 1992: A statement by then-Mississippi Governor Kirk Fordice at a Republican governors' convention that "the United States is a Christian nation" was met with rebukes from leading Republicans, and Fordice eventually had to apologize.

www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2004/07/12/gops_christian_nation?mode=PF

I think this gives a good snapshot of the influence of evangelicals in the Republican Party.  Not ever Republican is an evangelical, of course; I know one or two who are strictly fiscal conservatives and almost militantly irreligious.  The point is that radical clerics like Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons exercise enormous influence over the Party, and they will have to be paid off.  Right now it looks as though they are going to be rewarded by limiting the freedoms of female and gay Americans.  I find that unacceptable.

waterpanther

Edited by waterpanther, 12 December 2004 - 12:13 PM.

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