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  • #4
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    Certainly not the urban version of "schools". Warehousing kids for several hours per day in order to justify the salaries, benefits and pensions of Teachers Union members is hardly the same as affording children a valid Public School Education.
  • #17
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    @JustTheFacts How much is a babysitter paid per kid? Always had a hard time finding one willing to work for two or three bucks an hour.
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  • #15
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    Sounds like a great course led by an inspired and inspiring teacher as evidenced by the fact that he's pissing off both the left and the right. Church-state separation purists object to him teaching religion while fundy Christians are horrified that he's teaching all religions.
  • #83
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    I agree Roy. It has been my experience that when both sides of any argument are pissed off you are probably doing something right. ; > )
  • #8
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    Just poked around on the guy's blog; I think I like the guy. He's talking about an analytical approach to religion, not polemical. Too bad we can't get polemics out of all the other public school subjects.
  • #64
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    This used to be called "comparative religion." Understanding literature requires a working knowledge of different faiths, but not belief.
  • #27
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    It was plainly stated in the article that this class is an elective class, not a requirement. He isn't teaching religion, he is teaching about religion. I personally hate religious dogma, but I find religion itself to be fascinating.

    And again, the title of the article is misleading. It insinuates that he is instilling religious ideals onto the children, when in fact, he is not. He isn't teaching the children how to be better (insert favorite religious archetype here), he is teaching them about the histories of different religions and comparing them to one another. I think it's a brilliant idea. It might actually open the eyes of those that blindly follow one faith simply because that's what they have grown up believing all of their lives. Comparing similarities and differences. Inviting each student to think for themselves, and maybe to realize that no one can say which religion, if any, is the right one.

    If I were to ever meet this man, I would shake his hand.
  • #22
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    To those Christian fundamentalists who object to this teacher's curriculum, I pose a question: How weak is your faith if it cannot stand up under the scrutiny of a little critical thinking?
  • #19
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    Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.--Thomas Jefferson
  • #13
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    At first I thought he was another evangelical trying to dumb down students, but once I got into the article I realized that he teaches a much-needed skeptical approach to religious dogma.
  • #12
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    Politix, your choice of photo is misleading. The class under discussion is a high school class, not an elementary one. I have no problem with this class being an elective.
  • #2
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    When he tells people he teaches a religion class in High School,
    'Liberals look at me like I just barbecued a kitten.'
    Very telling comment.
    Indeed.
  • #82
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    Teach Religion in your home, don't depend on anyone else. It is your responsibility to educate your children. I am a Christian, I don't preach to others, I have too much to do within myself to spend time trying to preach to others. Only my children and grandchildren get teaching of any kind regarding religion from me.
  • #80
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    The whole Public School System need reformed and revamped! We need good teachers who care and I am proud to see God is being introducing back! It will take a long time in hope to revamp things.
  • #125
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    @foodbaby Enough to see how they are a total complete failure in many schools and I am sick of my tax dollars funding failing schools.
  • #126
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    @ConserveUSA so a vague response. I'm betting (and I do not gamble) that you have spent little or no time in a classroom since you graduated. I believe you have no idea the work involved in teaching and the difficulties teachers face.
    And "god" introduced back?!?!. Which one? Which sect?
  • #128
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    @foodbaby I use to been for Public Schools but now when Liberal Socialism, I am all for Private Schools and Home Schooling. I told a principal who I worked where she can ?????(u got it). Today, I work in a much better job.
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  • #86
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    Thanks! I love it when somebody posts a word I have to actually look up. Sadly it doesn't happen nearly often enough. lol
  • #33
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    I think its ok to examine religion in the light of "social behavior"---Giving all kinds of beliefs an equal dose of examination and skepticism...But to try to teach some kind of "doctrine" for just one particular belief is not appropriate, in public schools.
  • #28
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    Now imagine if this was a teacher being skeptical about a Muslim or Hindu religion... Could you imagine? I think that discussions about religion in school are helpful, however, not when you're trying to make the students second-guess their faith.
  • #69
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    @Isabellealicia "Because this teacher facilitates discussions that look critically at any and all religions, not merely advocating one over others. And rather than leading prayer groups, what he's doing is essentially academically dissecting each faith system."

    It's just that Christians claim that the US is a Christian nation, want their own style of faith taught in schools as the truth, and are more vocal in opposing a class like his in America. If he tried to teach a class like that in Pakistan then he would probably have his head cut off by Muslim fundamentalists their.
  • #74
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    @Dan_Tien - Notice how the only specific religion they mentioned was Christianity? And technically America is a Christian nation ("...and to the republic in which we stand, one nation, under God"). Not that nobody should or can't practice their own religion, but the fact that Americans now see Christians as easy targets is pathetic.
  • #76
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    @Isabellealicia The Pledge of Allegiance did not include the phrase "under God" until after World War Two. Notice that no government documents say anything like "one nation, under Christ". God is not a name, it is a term. Jesus spoke Aramaic and would have said that the name of God was Elah. The 1st Amendment states clearly that " Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." which means that there is no state sponsored religion, only the recognition that people in the United States have the right to believe as they choose and establish religions as they see fit, but they do not have the right to condemn others or promote their own by way of the state.
  • #25
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    Skepticism is one of the core components of rationality. That doesn't mean rejecting anything that contradicts one's assumptions--even those should be subject to scrutiny. It means subjecting ideas to reasonable scrutiny using evidence and logic to evaluate them. Using those tools, a course in comparative religion can be eye-opening.
  • #24
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    Sounds like an interesting class, especially for people looking to get into religious studies in college. I love looking at the actual history of different religions instead of the dogma and reasoning behind changes to the actual history, typically to fulfill some 'prophecy' that never really happened. I definitely support classes like this as electives.
  • #11
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    No and HELL NO. Our kids are among the world's least educated at graduation from high school. We lag behind the entire industrialized world. I don't care if he's teach for or against or "let's take a look just for the fun o it", IT DOES NOT BELONG IN SCHOOLS. How about we take that hour a day and teach our kids HOW TO FRIGGING READ? Or perhaps we might get them to write an entire legible sentence? Or so say, what happens when you don't have a job and some credit card company sends you a credit card for 500.00 and you go apeshit with your buddies buying sneakers and jerseys and how that one little spree ruins your credit forever more because you don't how to get out from under it?

    This just more of our cradle to graduation education BS. We teach them how to not get pregant and they get pregnant anyhow. We teach them not to bully and they bully anyhow. We teach them to respect gays as fellow human beings and they disrespect gays worse than any other age group other than old right wing religious freaks. Now we're sending out kids who know all there is to know about various religions but can't fill out an application.

    NO and HELL NO!!!
  • #30
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    Not a big fan (even though it's elective); before long, bias creeps in and the lawsuits fly. As far as my tax dollars are concerned, keep it out.
  • #50
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    @twinertia And that's where it belongs. In college. If I had the power there would NO electives other than those devoted to turning out kids who know how to get a job. Now maybe that elective is in being a teller at a bank. or being a bondo man in a auto body repair. But not religion. Not anything that is considered a social issue. That shit belongs behind teaching these kids how to do something more than go to jail or on welfare.
  • #79
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    Strangely this is one time I find myself disagreeing with you. I think the major problem we have in this country is not what is being taught in our schools but rather what is NOT being taught at home. I can offer this for an example. Our son is six years old and when he started the first grade this year he was having a few problems with math and punctuation. The little girl that lives next door was having the same problems albeit a little more severe but not by much. My wife and I began to work with our son and he is now excelling in his class. The little girl next door it looks like will have to repeat the first grade and it breaks my heart. She is a very sweet and intelligent little girl. We tried to help her all we could but it just wasn't possible for us to give her the attention we gave to our son. This is not an uncommon problem that we have in this day and age. Too many parents do not take the time or energy to actually teach their children. They rather teach at them. Do this or do that. Nothing ever seems to have consequences. How many times have you heard a parent threatening a child for bad behaviour and then doing nothing about it? One thing I learned from my parents was there are consequences for your actions even though sometimes it was a lesson a bit too harsh, but then again I grew up in the early 1950's when it was still okay for your neighbor to tan your hide if you did something they did not agree with.

    As for electives in high school I am all for them having some choices after years of not having any. That is part of growing up and responsibility. If you never have to make any choices then how do you begin making them? Anyway, that is just my perception of this subject and you of course are perfectly entitled to yours as well. ; > )
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  • #143
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    What I like about this teacher is he is critiquing religions and covers all religions. Yes, he is definitely a threat to the Christian right. This group (CR) only want their religion to be free in America; free to be forced on everyone else.
  • #142
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    The only thing that doesn't belong in schools is the federal government. Schools should be administered by the communities they are in, not by Uncle Sam. That way the local officials are directly accountable to the community they serve and the schools reflect the values and beliefs of the community.
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