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Thread: Bill O'Reily Says Christianity is NOT a Religion

  1. -21
    Statler Waldorf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob19 View Post
    I should be more clear with what I mean by "expression". When I say this I'm not talking about students wearing certain clothing or anything like that. What I mean is, we shouldn't be pushing any religious agenda on children in publicly funded schools.
    Thanks for the clarification Rob,
    I agree with you on this in principle, but this is why I think schools shouldn’t be publically funded because I think it is impossible to teach students anything without it somehow endorsing or criticizing a particular religious idea. My first job out of college was teaching at a Christian high school, and it was so much easier to teach when I didn’t have to worry about purposely or even accidentally endorsing or criticizing any particular religion. I am a huge proponent of school choice, I think if you wanted your kids to receive an education that was completely devoid of all religious influence you should be able to choose that school for your kids, but we need to get the government out of the education business because it causes all sorts of problems. Your thoughts?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post
    Thanks for the clarification Rob,
    I agree with you on this in principle, but this is why I think schools shouldn’t be publically funded because I think it is impossible to teach students anything without it somehow endorsing or criticizing a particular religious idea. My first job out of college was teaching at a Christian high school, and it was so much easier to teach when I didn’t have to worry about purposely or even accidentally endorsing or criticizing any particular religion. I am a huge proponent of school choice, I think if you wanted your kids to receive an education that was completely devoid of all religious influence you should be able to choose that school for your kids, but we need to get the government out of the education business because it causes all sorts of problems. Your thoughts?
    I personally would have been able to go to school even if my parents had to pay, but I know a lot of kids in my HS that probably wouldnt have a HS education if it wasnt publicly funded.




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    Quote Originally Posted by tylerdolphin View Post
    I personally would have been able to go to school even if my parents had to pay, but I know a lot of kids in my HS that probably wouldnt have a HS education if it wasnt publicly funded.
    Hey Tyler- yes, this is a difficult problem to resolve, but I think it is easier to solve than “how do we teach students without endorsing or criticizing any of their possible religious beliefs?” or “How do we fund our education system when we are 16 trillion dollars in debt?” I think there is also a moral issue with the government taking my tax dollars to fund educational institutions that teach children things that I am morally opposed to. It’s just simpler if the government was not involved in our education system.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post
    Hey Tyler- yes, this is a difficult problem to resolve, but I think it is easier to solve than “how do we teach students without endorsing or criticizing any of their possible religious beliefs?” or “How do we fund our education system when we are 16 trillion dollars in debt?” I think there is also a moral issue with the government taking my tax dollars to fund educational institutions that teach children things that I am morally opposed to. It’s just simpler if the government was not involved in our education system.
    But then what happens is youve created a system where the poor are doomed to be poor for generations until they pop out a kid that's funny, fast, or good at running drugs. How can a kid from a poor family ever hope to better his lot in life when he cant even get basic education? Kids would turn to crime because honestly their hand would be forced into it. Thats much much worse morally than that same kid hearing about evolution or learning about a religion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tylerdolphin View Post
    But then what happens is youve created a system where the poor are doomed to be poor for generations until they pop out a kid that's funny, fast, or good at running drugs. How can a kid from a poor family ever hope to better his lot in life when he cant even get basic education? Kids would turn to crime because honestly their hand would be forced into it. Thats much much worse morally than that same kid hearing about evolution or learning about a religion.


    You don’t believe that system exists now? Our public education system is always out performed by the private education institutions even though private educators are paid less than public teachers are. So we have a system that is doing less with more money. If education were privatized people would have more money in their own pockets to choose the schools they want, school tuitions would drop because there’d be more competition, education quality would increase because of added accountability and I am sure many non-profit schools would be created to accommodate the students who cannot afford the other schools. I’ll give you an example, the school I worked at was completely private, and tuition for students was about 5,000 dollars a year, however the school offered full ride scholarships to lower income kids who wanted to attend the school, they were only obligated to be a part of the school, participate in school activities and give a great effort at their education. I found that they were most often the hardest working students in the school.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tylerdolphin View Post
    Well any religion can be seen as a sort of philosophy so the argument of whether its a religion or a philosophy is kind of silly. It can be both and is both.

    As far as the Christmas thing, Im about as non-religious as you can get, but I dont personally see the issue with publicly acknowledging Christmas and even the whole nativity thing. To me, that story and the holiday in general transcend religious beliefs and have become cultural. I think if you are offended by a nativity scene or any other Christmas decorations youre trying too hard to be offended. Its just as much a part of our culture as it is a part of a religion. The time spent complaining about Christmas decorations would be better spent on church/state issues that are actually issues.
    Both sides are sort of pretending the nativity scene debate is not about the role of religion in public life when everyone knows it is. A nativity scene on public property stands for something. It being stopped from being put on public property also stands for something. And that something is all that's really being debated, no matter what anybody says.

    Same with the 10 Commandments in front of courthouses, which is even more egregious, imo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post

    You don’t believe that system exists now? Our public education system is always out performed by the private education institutions even though private educators are paid less than public teachers are. So we have a system that is doing less with more money. If education were privatized people would have more money in their own pockets to choose the schools they want, school tuitions would drop because there’d be more competition, education quality would increase because of added accountability and I am sure many non-profit schools would be created to accommodate the students who cannot afford the other schools. I’ll give you an example, the school I worked at was completely private, and tuition for students was about 5,000 dollars a year, however the school offered full ride scholarships to lower income kids who wanted to attend the school, they were only obligated to be a part of the school, participate in school activities and give a great effort at their education. I found that they were most often the hardest working students in the school.
    Of course some kids end up not taking it seriously, but the fact is they have a shot and a lot of them take advantage of it. Ill give you a personal real life example.

    A girl in my class in HS is now in college. She will soon graduate and become a teacher. Her parents are Haitian immigrants who came over to the Bahamas forever ago and they have papers and stuff. Still, her parents dont speak great English and they were not educated because of life circumstances in Haiti. Her dad works in yards and stuff. Probably makes $300ish a week. How in the world would they get their kids into school if they have to foot the bill for tuition? Its probably enough of a struggle for them to afford uniforms and books. If they were forced to pay for tuition, that girl would have probably never been educated at all and would have probably never really integrated into our culture. Instead, both of their kids that I know are probably going to live a much easier life than their parents did.

    They were given a chance. The minute you take away that chance is the minute you seal off the lower class into permanent poverty by using ignorance as a weapon. Knowledge is what empowers people. You take that away and what do poor people have as a means to improve?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post
    The Constitution prohibits the passing of laws respecting the establishment of a religion, favoring Christianity is not the same as establishing it as a national religion. Jefferson and Madison had no problem with church services being held in government buildings on Sundays; in fact they even attended services in the Congressional Hall. It’s obvious that their intentions behind the establishment clause had nothing to do with Government favoring Christianity; Christianity is the most culturally influential religion in American history and therefore it should receive more attention for these historical reasons alone much like Judaism should in Israel and Islam in the U.A.E..
    I don't agree with this at all. The Constitution doesn't included a reference to "God" on purpose. Many tried to put it there and all failed. The Declaration of Independence says "creator" instead of "God" or "Yahweh" also by choice. Jefferson was pressured to include it and refused. Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Franklin were all -- at most -- deists. Believing in other words they had been created but not by the God of the Bible. In all of Washington's writings the word Jesus does not appear at all, and he deleted every instance it was put into a speech by a speech writer.

    They sold the "establishment" clause by convincing the various faiths that it would protect them from each other. That by, in Jefferson's words, erecting a wall of separation their own rights would protected from thuggery by this creed or that. Keeping your faith to yourself or in your church community does not prevent it's free exercise. That's always been the standard. And that standard prevents inevitable turf wars that will surface anytime it is "favored", not just within Christianity but between Christianity and other faiths.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post
    You don’t believe that system exists now? Our public education system is always out performed by the private education institutions even though private educators are paid less than public teachers are. So we have a system that is doing less with more money. If education were privatized people would have more money in their own pockets to choose the schools they want, school tuitions would drop because there’d be more competition, education quality would increase because of added accountability and I am sure many non-profit schools would be created to accommodate the students who cannot afford the other schools. I’ll give you an example, the school I worked at was completely private, and tuition for students was about 5,000 dollars a year, however the school offered full ride scholarships to lower income kids who wanted to attend the school, they were only obligated to be a part of the school, participate in school activities and give a great effort at their education. I found that they were most often the hardest working students in the school.
    To someone who makes 30k, I'd assume 5k of their taxes doesn't all go to education. The money those lower income people would get back in taxes is most probably less than what it would cost for yearly private tuition. You also have to remember that there's a decent amount of people who are unemployed with little to no money whatsoever; many of those people have children & those children should be afforded an education. I appreciate that your school offers to help lower income families, but what about those kids who aren't the brightest, most well behaved, most driven? Are they to be kicked out & be school-less? We can not just give education to the best & brightest, there should be some level of government involvement in education, whether that be on the state, federal, or some combination of both, though that's another discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf
    I think there is also a moral issue with the government taking my tax dollars to fund educational institutions that teach children things that I am morally opposed to. It’s just simpler if the government was not involved in our education system.
    You’re never going to agree with every single thing your tax dollars are spent on, that’s an inane notion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf
    I agree with you on this in principle, but this is why I think schools shouldn’t be publically funded because I think it is impossible to teach students anything without it somehow endorsing or criticizing a particular religious idea.
    Yes, everyone has their biases. Would I like to see children educated about all the important world religions in a non-biased fashion? Absolutely. Is it possible, (especially with the lower quality of professional you attract when you only pay 35k as opposed to some other high paying professions)? I don’t know that on a consistent basis it would be. I have a hard time thinking you’d be okay with an admitted athiest teaching your child about Chrisianity, or inversely an open Christian teaching someone else’s kid about Evolution, etc, etc. Sadly, perhaps it’s necesarry that this sort of thing be left out of Public School curiculum. I know that I didn’t learn anything about any of the world religions when I attended High-School; I’m trying to remember if there was something akin to an elective “world-religions” class, but I don’t recall one if it existed.
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    Yes, I see your point Tyler, and it is a tough problem. However, I think we could find ways around it and still not have our government spending so much money on education. I actually had a student who was very similar to the one given in your example, her father passed away leaving only her and her mother. Her mother was an immigrant and cleaned houses for a living, yet we were able to get her an education using scholarships and she’s now in college and I feel she got a better education than she would have at a public school. It’s a tough problem but I think if privatizing schools is never allowed to be put on the table we may be eliminating the best option a priori. Thoughts?

    I don't agree with this at all. The Constitution doesn't included a reference to "God" on purpose. Many tried to put it there and all failed. The Declaration of Independence says "creator" instead of "God" or "Yahweh" also by choice. Jefferson was pressured to include it and refused. Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Franklin were all -- at most -- deists. Believing in other words they had been created but not by the God of the Bible. In all of Washington's writings the word Jesus does not appear at all, and he deleted every instance it was put into a speech by a speech writer.


    So why would supposed Deists who didn’t want the government to reference any god or gods not only permit but actually attend protestant church services in the congressional hall on Sundays and worship the very god you claim they didn’t believe in? That just doesn’t add up.

    They sold the "establishment" clause by convincing the various faiths that it would protect them from each other. That by, in Jefferson's words, erecting a wall of separation their own rights would protected from thuggery by this creed or that. Keeping your faith to yourself or in your church community does not prevent it's free exercise. That's always been the standard. And that standard prevents inevitable turf wars that will surface anytime it is "favored", not just within Christianity but between Christianity and other faiths.


    Endorsing a particular faith or belief system is not the same as establishing it.
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