Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Kekoa
On 02/23/2010 18:30:18
Mods, feel free to move to religion if necessary. I figured that this shouldn't get too deep into church doctrine, but will focus on interpretation of law and personal rights. If it moves into too much religion talk, I get that it needs to be moved :) I'm doing a paper on prayer in public school, and wanted some insight. Should it be sponsored? Should it be banned? Should kids be allowed to miss class for prayer? Should schools be able to host clubs like "Fellowship of Christian Athletes"? Do we have a basic freedom FROM religion? Is allowing prayer in school violating freedom from religion? Is not allowing/sanctioning prayer violating freedom of religion? I'd love to hear everyone's opinion, and I figure this could be a fun debate. Remember, this is for public schools.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By LlamaLlamaDuck
On 02/23/2010 18:32:16
I think that a 2 minute period of silence, reflection, meditaiton, or prayer would be fine... but having a set prayer that you say would not be ok. At the beginning of the day it's nice to have a couple of minutes to focus. I think it's all about how you word it though.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Cien
On 02/23/2010 18:46:45
To me, prayer in public school is a HUGE, flaming no-no. If you want your kid to pray in school, then you take them to a private school. Public schools are just that--public, and the public in our country has the freedom to practice any beliefs they want, including agnosticism and atheism. In order to successfully respect ALL those beliefs, you can't pray in school. It's "respecting all beliefs"...except agnostics and atheists, which means it's not actually respecting all beliefs. So basically: No, prayer does not belong anywhere in public schools.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Chaconne
On 02/23/2010 19:03:54
I'm with CienPorCento on that...and as of 1962 so is the US Supreme Court. The court did relent somewhat in allowing bible clubs as an after hours activity...something I would not allow were I on the court. A public school is not the proper venue for religious activity. For one they are far too diverse (even moreso in recent years) to please every religious faction. Each religion provides ample opportunity outside of school hours for instruction in their own doctrines or they actually provide their own school systems. Parents have that option. Even in the 1950's when I went to public schools and we did have some quasi-religious events in a system wherein all but a handful were at lest nominally Christian. At the end of each week we broadcast over the Public address system a musical setting of the Aaronic Benediction ("The Lord bless you and keep you....") which did cut across the Christian/Jewish fault lines...we typically had no more that 4-5 Jewish kids in the school at any one time out of 1500. But then we got some Far Eastern exchange students, totally out of that tradition. We otherwise had nothing which would be construed as worship aside from perhaps an invocation by a local clergyman at a graduation ceremony. I would find that objectionable today. I do subscribe to a Protestant denomination and I supported the religious education of my kids and now my grandkids...and the proper place for that is at our church. Jon
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By LlamaLlamaDuck
On 02/23/2010 19:05:45
I personally feel religion belongs in 2 places... home and church... plain and simple. I do think my idea would work though, 2 minutes of silence to do what you please in your own head... if that is prayer so be it.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Heart
On 02/23/2010 19:22:10
No school-led prayers. No designated prayer times. Designated "moments of silence" are okay as long as students are allowed to do whatever they want in that silence (including finish their homework). My middle school had one minute of silence before the start of homeroom briefly, but it quickly resulted in a minute of the atheists finishing all their homework and was soon scrapped. I do not thing clubs like the "Fellowship of Christian Athletes" should be allowed and it BOGGLES MY MIND that they are. Individuals can pray in school - students can pray over their food or in between classes (not during classes) or whatever. GROUP LED prayers are what is not allowed, because when a government employee is leading a prayer it means the government is sanctioning/favoring that religion. I'm too lazy to cite the Constitutional/court doctrine basis for those; let me know if you want it. Constitutionally we have freedom OF religion not freedom FROM religion. (Unfortunately, sigh, I wish the Framers had more foresight.) France, for example, has constitutional freedom FROM religion (this is why they can forbid headscarves in public schools). We Americans cannot restrict religious expression, but the government (and by extension, schools) cannot favor one over the other (or having one over having none).
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Kekoa
On 02/23/2010 21:09:48
Ok, so here's my issue. Maybe one of you can help me. We're doing this essay as an example of Toulmin Argumentation. This means that my thesis statement, which I want to essentially say "Religion has no place in public schools," needs to have a qualifier in it. For those of you who aren't currently suffering through English 102 and learning this crap, a qualifier is used to make you sound more trust worthy, and includes words like "but, except, usually, sometimes,etc." I have no idea how to do this...any thoughts on how to combine the two? For the rough draft, which is due tomorrow for review, I'm just kind of BSing it :?
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Cien
On 02/23/2010 21:22:58
If you HAVE to have a qualifier, I'd go with the moment of silence idea: something like "Religion has no place in public schools except when that place is manifested by a moment of silence that can be observed or not observed in any way the students wish." If you really don't believe in that, though, and you can get away with saying you DON'T think religion in public schools should be allowed, no exceptions, I'd do that.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Heart
On 02/23/2010 21:50:51
Religion has no place in public schools except when used in an educational tool? For example, try teaching the Puritans and origin of the American colonies, or the Thirty Years War, sans religion. You need to talk about religion to explain a lot of things in history. You can even study other religions to gain a cultural perspective, and so on. Understanding religion is important, practicing it (within the bounds of a public school) isn't.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Kekoa
On 02/23/2010 23:18:01
Why should a public school sanction a religious group though? In the issue of fairness, they would then have to support any religious student group. Wouldn't it make more sense to make sure that there was no religion outside of the academic(history class, social studies, etc. where it is necessary to at least mention the roles of religion), leaving all religion to be practiced privately and off school grounds?
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By panic
On 02/24/2010 00:40:15
When a school allows a group like Christian Athletes, the school does usually pay a stipend to the club's sponsor. It's not much (prolly like $500/year), but it's a consideration. Anyway, athletics has NOTHING to do with Christianity, so I find the entire concept absolutely stoopid and also a tad isolationist. What if a jew wanted to join the club? Or an atheist? I have no problem with religious studies in public schools. It's impossible to study history, politics, arts, etc without discussing religion. But I think proselytization should be off limits, and that would exclude the Christian Athletes Club.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By RileyA
On 02/24/2010 04:04:06
I am from Australia and religion is a part of public schools. All schools offer christian education but kids are not required to take it. Parents can write a note to exempt their child. No one complains, it works well.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By glitterfairy
On 02/24/2010 04:10:20
My (public, supposedly non-demoninational) primary school not only had a Christian school prayer spoken aloud every week, but we also had a set Religion period (also Christian - Anglican?) every Wednesday morning. I remember the Catholic students, the minority at the time, always being herded off to a separate room. My (also public) high school had set Religion time. For the first three years it was 'straight' Christian which didn't go down so well for some of the Jewish girls, who weren't allowed to get out of it. The fourth year we finally got a teacher who believed that 'Studies in Religion' should really be about religion in general rather than trying to follow any specific religious doctorine, which was much more interesting and bearable. The final two years of high school, 'Studies in Religion' actually became an optional academic subject which I elected not to study (not that it was offered at my school anyway!). There were also some religious clubs at high school who met up in lunchtimes etc, but since they didn't bother me in any way I wasn't bothered by them. In retrospect, I wish everything had been like my last two years of high school. In a public school, I feel religion is an OPTIONAL, INDIVIDUAL choice and shouldn't be enforced on anyone, particularly not impressionable young people.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Incarnadine
On 02/27/2010 10:21:16
[b]NOTE: “You” is used in the broad, general sense.[/b] Wow, some of you are a bunch of freakin’ fascists. I actually left this thread and decided it would be best not to participate- but I had to come back because I can’t control myself. Lucky you. No, people shouldn’t be forced to pray or participate in religious/spiritual activities. No, religious/spiritual activities shouldn’t be a part of curriculum- UNLESS there is an academic/culturally significant relevance (as Panic pointed out). For example, History or Humanities would certainly discuss religious influences; and would be remiss if it didn't. NO public schools shouldn’t FUND any religious/spiritual program or club. But beyond that…people can and should do whatever they want. If you don’t like it… go home and cry yourself to sleep about it [you big, ignorant close-minded, fascist cry baby]. If students want to start a club- which THEY FUND in its entirety- who freakin’ cares? If other students feel; “leeeeft ooooout” they can start their own club which represents their beliefs. Because- give me a freakin’ break- an atheist is going to go home and cry to his mommy because he feels left out of the Christian Club??? That’s such a ridiculous argument; it's actually laughable. I’m not big on public prayer or joining religious groups [i]myself,[/i] but more power to anyone who’s into that sort of thing. Let’s forget Christians for a second (since we all know it’s [i]perfectly acceptable[/i] to bash Christians ad nauseum). You do realize, for example, Muslims pray 5 times a day as one of the basic tenants of their belief system? So what? They should have to leave school midday to find a place off campus to hide for prayer so you’re not offended? Or if someone Hindu wanted to do a quick silent prayer before eating in the cafeteria they can’t- because YOU said so? Or if a Buddhist wanted to meditate on campus under a nice shade tree- they can’t because it’s a “public school” and you might walk by and see? [i]So what!?!?[/i] You’re seriously going to pout your lip and stomp your feet about it? Or pee your pants in outrage to having been “forced” to witness such atrocities??? Maybe you'll throw yourself on the ground, pounding your fists and kicking your legs? *snort* Ignorance and intolerance, I say. Preventing others from practicing their religion is DISCRIMINATION. It’s not affecting you (Oh, I know “It offeeeeends you” and “Makes you uncommmmmfortable.” Pfffft.) If a religious person is not causing harm or the threat of harm to others in their public practices- then get over it and quite being a tool about it. [i]“Waaaaah… people are doing religious things within my vicinity and I can see/hear them!!! And even when they’re not doing it in front of me- it bothers me that I’m in the building with them when they’re doing it!!! Wahhhhh Wahhhhh… I’m so offeeeeenddded!!! I’m so uncommmmmmfortable!!!”[/i] Uh, wow- really? Get over yourself. Congratulations, you sound like a totally neurotic, egocentric douche bag. P.S. Yes, yes. I know... this post offffended you. *rolls eyes*
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By panic
On 02/27/2010 12:29:08
OK but in my school district, it is impossible for students to fund their own clubs. Clubs must have a sponsor, and sponsors must be paid by the school district. Don't know if this works differently in other school systems. And that doesn't count electricity, cleaning, insurance, and other services that are paid by the school for each club.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Incarnadine
On 02/27/2010 13:14:01
Ok, so as for funding, I think that would be a matter for simply changing a policy to be more inclusive (allowing for religious groups) while maintaining the policy that a school doesn’t directly fund said club. It’s been a long time since I was in high school but way back then the clubs at our school had students pay dues and/or they funded their clubs via fundraisers (car washes, etc). I guess it all depends on where you live though. As for the other things… electricity, cleaning, insurance, etc… The school pays those things regardless; and it’s hardly the same thing as a school saying “Hey- Christians are awesome- here’s $500 to start your special little club!” I think the electricity the school pays for an hour to light a room while any club meets is trivial at best and by no means FUNDS the club. Essentially a club or extracurricular group is meant to enrich a student’s personal growth and social interaction; be it the Chess Club, Softball, Ecology Club or Bible Thumpers United. A school can certainly support personal growth and social interaction via clubs, sports, etc… without directly funding or endorsing the group itself. Supporting the existence and function of a club is not the same as literally sponsoring its existence or sharing the club’s mission/goal. Personally, I don’t give a crap about chess, softball or even a Christian based club- but I’m not going to throw up my arms because my tax dollars are going to the school keeping the lights on for the Softball team a few hours each week. For someone to get their panties bunched over the school keeping the lights on for an extra hour each week for a religious group to meet (while being completely ok with the school doing the same for the Chess Club) is merely proof of one’s own pettiness- which is directly fueled by prejudice, intolerance and ignorance. For what it’s worth, I’d also be open to a school directly providing funds for religious groups- if they allow all groups to exist; with equal funding. So, if the school provided $500 for ANY club to start (including all types of religions and beliefs) that’s totally cool with me too… yes even if Atheists wanted a club of their own. And since someone will say “What about if students wanted to start a club for SATANISTS- would you be cool with that, too?!?!” Yeah I would; actually.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By kandykane
On 02/27/2010 13:17:44
My local school has an FCA but I had to look in my daughter's yearbook to make sure it is still active. That's how little it affects me. They used to have an occasional before school prayer time at the flagpole, but beyond that, I don't see them do much. When I was in school, the FCA led the prayer at football games, but of course there is no longer prayer at games, just the moment of silence that is anything but silent. :? kk~
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Incarnadine
On 02/27/2010 13:18:41
That's weird... it double posted, but with Kandy Kane in between. ha ha.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Heart
On 02/27/2010 13:22:09
How is a government-run school having a religious club that meets on government-owned grounds and supervised by a government employee not a case of the government sponsoring a religion? It's not a matter of getting offended; it's the fact that the Constitution, as typically interpreted (or, to rock the legal jargon, [i]correctly[/i] interpreted), does not allow it.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Incarnadine
On 02/27/2010 13:44:37
Right- because your intent and motivation is merely to protect [what you perceive to be] [i]the integrity of the framer’s intentions in the writing of the constitution.[/i] Come on Heart- you’re never one to B.S. to make your point- don’t start now! :P I think you’re hiding behind “interpretation” as a means to push your prejudicial agenda. I do not think the framers intended to be nit picky and petty; nor did they intend to outright attack religion or one’s right to practice their religion of choice- I think they intended to protect Americans from HAVING to be a certain GOVERNMENT MANDATED religion; or being forced to practice/worship a certain religion or suffer from persecution or punitive damage. It’s a matter of “live and let live.” But you are essentially saying the opposite- “You can’t infringe on my right to not believe in any religion- But I’m going to go out of my way to be petty about your beliefs regardless of whether it actually affects me or not because I just don’t like it.” You know damn good and well that’s not what the framers meant. You’re twisting the intention and using semantics to suit your agenda. Again, I think that if a person split hairs and invents/exaggerates technicalities simply to prevent a group from doing their thing- it’s proof of one’s prejudice not their ability to interpret the intentions of the constitution. Edit: I want to see you state here that you honestly believe when the founders of our country talked about separation of church and state they meant that some teenagers couldn’t start clubs at school for [insert religion here]. I don't think they were as hypersensiteive, politically correct and petty as some Americans have become.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Heart
On 02/27/2010 15:51:15
How am I being prejudiced? I said in my first comment, Americans have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. I believe that we should have freedom from religion. So first of all, I disagree with the American doctrine and would preferably like it changed; if not, I obviously prefer the strictest interpretation possible - because I think that that interpretation is the most fair. No religious symbols in school whatsoever, no "under God" in the pledge of allegiance; a purely secular state. There's nothing prejudiced about that. It's not saying "religion is bad!", it's saying "the place for religion is at home." No crosses, stars, crescents, flaming chalices, pentagrams, pentacles or spaghetti monsters. I also never said I believe in original intent doctrine. I don't, at all. I'm more of a textualist, if anything; I believe in the letter of the law as well as prior judicial interpretations. (But if you would like to argue original intent, I would also argue that the Framers would have favored a stricter separation of church and state than what we have now. They feared religion being involved with government.) Religious clubs are fine if they take place in a church basement, not on school grounds. There are ample opportunities to participate in religious organizations. Restricting schools from having religious groups is not restricting students from participating in that activity. Having a religious event take place at a school - which is run by the government - is a form of the government mandating said religion. By allowing that religious event to take place at a public school, the school (and therefore the government) automatically favors that religion above all others that are not represented.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Incarnadine
On 02/27/2010 18:11:43
[q][b]From Dictionary.com:[/b] [b][u]prej•u•dice [prej-uh-dis] (noun, verb,-diced, -dic•ing.) [/u][/b] 1. an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason. 2. any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable. [b]3. unreasonable [u]feelings, opinions, or attitudes, esp. of a hostile nature,[/u] regarding a racial, [u]religious,[/u] or national group. [/b] 4. such attitudes considered collectively: The war against prejudice is never-ending. 5. damage or injury; detriment: a law that operated to the prejudice of the majority. [b][u]dis•crim•i•na•tion [dih-skrim-uh-ney-shuh n] (noun) [/u][/b] 1. an act or instance of discriminating. [b]2. treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and [u]religious intolerance[/u] and discrimination. [/b] 3. the power of making fine distinctions; discriminating judgment: She chose the colors with great discrimination. 4. Archaic. something that serves to differentiate. [b][u]in•tol•er•ant [in-tol-er-uh nt] (adjective)[/u][/b] [b]1. [u]not tolerating or respecting beliefs, opinions, usages, manners, etc.,[/u] different from one's own, as in political or [u]religious matters;[/u] bigoted. [/b] 2. unable or unwilling to tolerate or endure (usually fol. by of): intolerant of very hot weather. –noun 3. an intolerant person; bigot. [/q] [b]* * * Must speak carefully as to not Godwin myself * * *[/b] I understood what you were saying. But your clarification only solidified what I was saying… you chose the most “literal” translation because doing so allows for maximum discrimination against a certain group of people. I take this leap because you stated you don’t even agree with the “American sentiment” of “freedom of religion” and you’d go a step further and not even allow people to identify their religious affiliation publically (via head scarves, stars of David, etc.). Why not just outlaw religion all together if you’re going to state that people must hide their religious beliefs from the public sphere? I mean- for the sake of total fairness, of course. The whole “freedom FROM religion” idea comes from a place of prejudice, discrimination and hatred. It implies that people must figuratively and literally “hide” their religion from public view. What other purpose would this serve other than to appease prejudice and to discriminate? That brings me back to the point of my original post…
Ignorance and intolerance, I say. Preventing others from practicing their religion is DISCRIMINATION. It’s not affecting you (Oh, I know “It offeeeeends you” and “Makes you uncommmmmfortable.” Pfffft.) If a religious person is not causing harm or the threat of harm to others in their public practices- then get over it and quite being a tool about it. “Waaaaah… people are doing religious things within my vicinity and I can see/hear them!!! And even when they’re not doing it in front of me- it bothers me that I’m in the building with them when they’re doing it!!! Wahhhhh Wahhhhh… I’m so offeeeeenddded!!! I’m so uncommmmmmfortable!!!”
So much for honoring and valuing diversity and embracing tolerance for others, huh? The only push for this would be because it comes from a place of intolerance. This isn’t directed only at you Heart- but those of you calling for “freedom from religion” are no better than homophobes, racists and misogynists. They, of course, hold the same sorts of attitudes…just about other groups of supposedly “egregious” people. One last thing:
Having a religious event take place at a school - which is run by the government - is a form of the government mandating said religion.
No, no it’s not. Not at all. If the government said “We will only allow Religion X because that’s the only religion we recognize as valid” or “All citizens must participate in Religion X. Those that refuse are subject to punitive measures.” THAT’S mandating. A government that allows its citizens to "live and let live" (and that includes one's right to practice their religion in the way they see fit; so long as it isn't causing harm or the threat of harm) is a FREE SOCIETY.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Heart
On 02/27/2010 19:59:51
So is the country of France full of prejudicial, discriminatory, intolerant bigots? Because basically, I just follow their concept of [i]laïcité[/i]. I believe in a secular republic. I do not think that this is unreasonable. I do not make a distinction in favor of or against religious people. I have no problem with religion and in fact have a tendency to practice it myself. If believing that religion has no place in public spaces; that is to say, state and federal buildings and public schools, then by all means, feel free to call me that. The fact that I am perfectly fine with religious expression in all other areas on the planet and in all other aspects of society obviously has nothing to do with anything.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Incarnadine
On 02/27/2010 22:16:41
So is the country of France full of prejudicial, discriminatory, intolerant bigots?
Yes and no. But yeah, pretty much. Yes, France as a country has embraced bigoted laws. (Not that we in the U.S. aren't guilty of this as well; but nevertheless, just answering your question.) No, not [i]all[/i] of France is prejudice, but the people there who supported the ban of religious expression and practice sure as hell are. By definition. (I expressed this view years ago on this very board when we debated their ban of religious attire in public.) Just like how Californians who supported the ban of gay marriage (via Prop 8) are homophobes. (And just to be clear for the record, I voted NO on Prop 8.) You can't be like, "Oh, sorry gay people, I totally voted against your civil rights and stuff... but I love gay folks- swear! No hard feelings, mmmk?!" Prejudice is prejudice is prejudice.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By panic
On 02/28/2010 09:37:31
Why not just outlaw religion all together if you’re going to state that people must hide their religious beliefs from the public sphere?
That is not at ALL what ANYONE is saying. I've worked in the public school system for like 20 years teaching extracurricular activities, and I can tell you the services (especially insurance) provided by the school to student clubs are VERY expensive. They are nothing close to incidental. And hell yeah, I object to my tax dollars being used to promote Christianity. Even one dollar is one dollar too many. I don't think that makes me petty, but if it does *shrug*. That said, I have absolutely no problem with students expressing religious views at school. If the kids want to wear a crucifix or a head scarf or erect a nativity, that's fine. Free speech. But I'll be stuffed before I pay for it with my own tax dollars. Not gonna happen. And for the record, I actually fought against the school administration in order to let a dance team I was teaching conduct a prayer before each performance. But there is a HUGE difference between students freely expressing their religious views and a teacher promoting one specific religion.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Incarnadine
On 02/28/2010 10:06:15
Why not just outlaw religion all together if you’re going to state that people must hide their religious beliefs from the public sphere?
That is not at ALL what ANYONE is saying. I've worked in the public school system for like 20 years teaching extracurricular activities, and I can tell you the services (especially insurance) provided by the school to student clubs are VERY expensive. They are nothing close to incidental. And hell yeah, I object to my tax dollars being used to promote Christianity. Even one dollar is one dollar too many. I don't think that makes me petty, but if it does *shrug*. That said, I have absolutely no problem with students expressing religious views at school. If the kids want to wear a crucifix or a head scarf or erect a nativity, that's fine. Free speech. But I'll be stuffed before I pay for it with my own tax dollars. Not gonna happen. And for the record, I actually fought against the school administration in order to let a dance team I was teaching conduct a prayer before each performance. But there is a HUGE difference between students freely expressing their religious views and a teacher promoting one specific religion.
I was being tongue and cheek with the “outlaw all religion” thing… ;) Honestly Panic, I don’t think our views are all that different. You and I clearly see the club thing differently, but otherwise I think we hold roughly the same views. And really, my main issue wasn’t about clubs at all- I just used that example and went with it because that’s what others were talking about. The main topic here is “prayer in schools” and THAT’S the bone I’m ready to pick with “Freedom FROM Religon-ers” all day long. I think I’ve made it clear how I feel so I won’t repeat myself. P.S. As for "promoting Christianity"....I just want to be clear in stating once again I'm NOT suggesting schools fund clubs for religions! However, I'd be ok with schools funding clubs for any group in general- if that includes any and all religions (assuming it's equally includive) or belief systems eh- whatever. But really- I don't care either way and don't have strong opinons on that point regardless.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By panic
On 02/28/2010 15:59:49
Right. And they can't pay for it either.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Anon1234567890
On 02/28/2010 17:01:27
I don't get this thread on so many levels. Firstly America is supposed to be a secular country and Britain is supposed to be a Christian country, yet we universally allow so much stuff that would be unthinkable over there. But mainly I don't get it because of this:
Public schools are just that--public, and the public in our country has the freedom to practice any beliefs they want, including agnosticism and atheism. In order to successfully respect ALL those beliefs, you can't pray in school. It's "respecting all beliefs"...except agnostics and atheists, which means it's not actually respecting all beliefs.
What sense does that make? Seriously? You're accepting of every belief, but in order to prove that you're accepting of every belief, you have to ban outward showing of all beliefs? WHAT?! You're accepting of the fact that everyone does/should have the freedom to practice their beliefs...but not practice their beliefs in school? If I didn't know better I would honestly think you'd typed that statement solely to be provocative. Don't get me wrong. I'm an optimistic agnostic from an officially Christian country. A Christian country with an Islamic extremist population who want Sharia law to apply to ALL of us without exception. I object to headscarves of all description. But I only object to extremism in religion, not religion itself. If a belief in fairies, deities, flying cows or any type of God gets you through the day, fine. If your belief system requires you to pray at certain times of day then to hell with everyone else (pun fully intended). You CANNOT tell someone else when they can or cannot pray. Seriously, you go home offended because someone knelt to east a few times a day? It is THAT important to you? You see someone respect their belief system and you actually feel the need to protest against it? What the hell is the matter with you? In my world, if you're not still pissed off at something 20 minutes later then you shouldn't ever have been pissed off about it in the first place. Try that, next time you see someone doing something that they believe is vital to their lives/immortal souls. Wow.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Kekoa
On 02/28/2010 18:29:53
Wow, this has gotten really intense! I have no problem with an individual praying quietly or silently to themselves. After all, how could you stop it? I actually don't even have a problem with Muslim students sneaking off at lunch time to a quiet, unused classroom to pray. What I meant by not agreeing with students praying was that I do not think a student should have the right to leave class to pray. During lunch, during passing, as long as they're not bothering other students, no big. And by "bothering" I don't mean "boohoo I'm offended," I mean pressuring the other students. When it comes to clubs, even school sponsored, I would be okay with them being sponsored by school if it could be guaranteed that all religions/thought groups were guaranteed to be treated equally, but we don't live in a perfect world. I just don't think that there is a need for religious clubs in schools. Why can't churches host FCA or bible study groups? It would just be much easier to make it a non-issue by leaving religious groups in churches, since there is no guarantee that non-Christian groups would get equal treatment. If students in my school had tried to start a "Free Thought" club for atheists and agnostics, it NEVER would have been approved. Just starting a Gay-Straight Alliance was a huge ordeal, and even that wasn't approved in the end.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By panic
On 02/28/2010 18:52:21
I object to headscarves of all description.
I have been friends with a LOT of Jews, German Baptists (similar to Amish) and Catholics (just off the top of my head) who also wear religious head coverings. Do you object to these as well? Or only to the Islamic hijab?
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Anon1234567890
On 03/01/2010 02:34:56
Now that you've called me on it, I realise I didn't actually mean that. My bad. I object to full facecoverings, not actually "headscarves of any description" as I originally stated. Although to be honest, I'm unsure that I've ever come across someone from another religion that wears a headscarf. It's not the religious symbol that bothers me, as I have been known to wear crosses. It's the fact that the person wearing certain types of headscarf is cut off from the rest of us. It hinders communication.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Heart
On 03/01/2010 09:20:48
You don't like burqas and niqabs, Louise. A headscarf or hijab is just the head covering. (To make it more confusing it's also the general term.) Burqas are the full-body covering, and a niqab is the covering that only shows the eyes.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Anon1234567890
On 03/01/2010 09:25:39
You got that off the BBC website, no? I have seen that before, I just couldn't remember the names of any of them bar the burqa, and couldn't be bothered to go and check. :P Hijab, well. I'm not sure I agree with the principle of it (especially on kids) but I can at least see the woman's face, we can interract non-verbally, I know it is in fact a woman, if I had cause to check her identity then it would be possible. So it's way better than the other two which are just fabric prisons as far as I'm concerned. /hijack
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By panic
On 03/01/2010 10:43:00
If a school accepts ANY group meetings it must accept ALL.
Lol, that's absolutely preposterous! Does your school also have to accept NAMBLA meetings? Aryan Nations meetings? This is exactly the sort of non-thinking, reactionary nonsense that makes my eyes roll around wildly. Please give me a break. That second graphic Heart posted is kinda misleading. Hijab basically means "modest dress", so a burqua, an abaya, and a turban are all hijab. In my neighborhood, married Jewish women always wear head coverings. It could be a hat, scarf, or a wig. And all the Jewish men and boys in this community keep their heads covered at all times. There is also a German Baptist community down here, and most of the women wear a cap. Not sure if it has any religious significance or not, but it's practically ubiquitous. I'm not bothered by any of these, but I agree that covering the face is a separate issue.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By SaNDiMas59
On 03/01/2010 12:00:30
slight hijack, but man am I glad that I don't live in a society in which I would need to wear a burka. Wow.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Incarnadine
On 03/01/2010 12:54:11
Can I just point out that it’s HILARIOUS (ridiculous) they made the woman in the hijab look all shifty-eyed and suspicious? LMAO- seriously?! What the hell?! Am I the only one who noticed this?
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Anon1234567890
On 03/01/2010 12:56:36
^ I actually thought she looked sultry. And that's why they have to wear them, no? In simpleton-speak it's because women are whorelike temptresses who aim only to corrupt innocent men. But, you know, if men can't see their hair then they won't be led astray. It's, um, imaginative, I'll give them that.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By panic
On 03/01/2010 14:06:37
women are whorelike temptresses
That's my favorite kind of woman!
^ I actually thought she looked sultry.
When I first read this, I thought it said "I actually thought she looked SLUTTY." And I was like, "OMG, Weezy is hitting the crack pipe again."
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Incarnadine
On 03/01/2010 14:20:27
I read it as “slutty” too. heh. And about MS Paint... got to put that college education to use somehow! ;)
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By panic
On 03/01/2010 14:28:31
^Well, I guess it's obvious which of us have dirty minds, eh? Not that it wasn't perfectly obvious before. But still.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Celebrian
On 03/02/2010 07:08:26
The hijab in Islam is worn to signify your submission to God. The spin that people want to put on that (women being evil temptresses) is an add-on by men who are threatened by femininity, not an original. A woman deciding to wear one is a personal decision. Especially if you come from a country where it's not the law, no one can force you to put it on. Women wearing them are actually encouraged to speak their minds and excel at what they do best so the world can see them for them and their talents and skills, not for outer beauty. The practice of covering ones head came about way before the origins of Islam. Back in the day, all women of most beliefs covered their head to show their modesty and/or adherence to the word of their deity; sometimes it was just cultural and had nothing to do with a deity. This is an old practice that has still stuck around for some cultures. For most it has not. /sorry for the hijack.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By panic
On 03/02/2010 10:01:49
Yeah well "back in the day" women were considered property of their husbands. And in a lot of Islamic countries, they still are.
Women wearing them are actually encouraged to speak their minds and excel at what they do best so the world can see them for them and their talents and skills, not for outer beauty.
Unfortunately, this is simply not true in most of the Islamic world. And that's not even a matter of debate. Just look at the statistics about the percentage of educated women.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Kekoa
On 03/02/2010 12:49:06
^True that. Sadly, there is a big gap between what a religion is supposed to be, and how the people actually practice it. Many modern day Christians are great examples.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By LlamaLlamaDuck
On 03/02/2010 12:55:46
If the hijjab is supposed to be something worn as a part of being modest... why do I see so many women wearing them, and jeans that they are almost painted into?
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By panic
On 03/02/2010 13:07:53
^Uh, completely insensitive and judgmental. I've heard a lot of people make the same argument against women who wear a crucifix.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By LlamaLlamaDuck
On 03/02/2010 19:41:31
True... but a cruxifix isn't a symbol of modesty...
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Celebrian
On 03/03/2010 20:48:11
Yeah well "back in the day" women were considered property of their husbands. And in a lot of Islamic countries, they still are.
Women wearing them are actually encouraged to speak their minds and excel at what they do best so the world can see them for them and their talents and skills, not for outer beauty.
Unfortunately, this is simply not true in most of the Islamic world. And that's not even a matter of debate. Just look at the statistics about the percentage of educated women.
I understand what you mean and no, things are not 'all good' in every country (Islamic or not) as far as treatment of women. But the Islamic block does have their own feminist movement and are looking to take care of their own struggle. On a side note, I also looked at some statistics for females being educated in Islamic countries that would be considered very hard-line by us. As of 2006 In Iran, women made up half the college students and in some professions they made up about 70% of those graduating from their universities: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5359672.stm. As a result, socially, things are being shaken up. In Saudi Arabia women make up more than half the university students attending college. http://www.mep.gov.sa/ Things are far from perfect since they are still barred from practicing certain professions, but with the trend in education being on the upswing for females it is only a matter of time before that is also turned on its ear. I picked those two because they are modern in their technologies but also very strict and fundamentalist in their views and also polar opposites in their : one is sunni, one is shi'a. (I'm very interested in the statistics of other Islamic countries and will continue to look them up. It's been very interesting.) I digressed: My original point was, for Muslim females who live [i]outside[/i] the Islamic world, the hijab is optional. And if a female in a country where it is not law wears it, it's because she wants to wear it. She's not doing it for a male http://www.islamfortoday.com/hijabcanada4.htm or because she's forced to http://www.examiner.com/x-33708-Albany-Islam-Examiner~y2010m1d19-Young-women-who-chose-to-wear-the-hijab. She's doing it for reasons that make no sense to the Western world as a whole. But just because it makes no sense to the Western world, does that mean her reasoning is invalid? Does that mean we can assume she's doing it because she sees herself as inherently evil and in need of being 'tamed' or has she thought it out and given it deep consideration and weighed her own conscience? I would prefer to get the answer from Islamic women themselves who currently wear the hijab and practice Islam without the filter of western thinking attached.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Anon1234567890
On 03/04/2010 03:10:40
My original point was, for Muslim females who live outside the Islamic world, the hijab is optional. And if a female in a country where it is not law wears it, it's because she wants to wear it.
That's very simplistic. It might 'technically' be optional, but if your husband or father is going to punish you if you don't, then of COURSE you are going to 'choose' to wear it. I'm not saying this happens in every Muslim family, but it happens often enough to be part of the debate here.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Celebrian
On 03/04/2010 10:08:54
^Often enough, that's true. I've known ladies from both sides of that spectrum (for an example of that from my own family you can PM me), but there are too many women out there who speak from their own mouths about it. Also, I've tried it. Once you try it yourself you might have a different slant on it. Anyway, I've hijacked too much. :O Sorry, OP, I won't do it anymore!
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By panic
On 03/04/2010 13:11:53
But Weezy, my parents made me do LOTS of things I didn't appreciate when I was a kid. That's what parents do. Lots of Christian parents force their children to go to church under duress. Jewish parents make their kids dress modestly. So do Amish, Baptist, Mormon, etc, etc, etc. I understand and agree with your point about covering women's faces, but forcing your kid to dress modestly or cover their head is hardly something to get worked up about. And it's certainly not limited to the Islamic community.
re: Time-sensitive: Prayer in public school?
By Anon1234567890
On 03/04/2010 15:19:17
^ Agreed, but notice I didn't limit it to fathers/parents. I included husbands in that, too. Also I realised too late that I didn't come across the way I wanted to there - when I said it was part of the debate "here", I meant Britain, not DDN. Oopsies.

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