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He also took heavily from eugenic theory, which at the time was a mix of shoddy proto-psychology and biology. Does this mean that therapists and biologists are evil? No.

 

No, but that's just a secular reason.

 

Christianity is said to promote "love thy neighbor" etc. but you can find many things in the Bible against this. For example: Pauline Christianity, eternal damnation, homosexuality as a sin, women as the submissive sex, etc.

 

It differs from religions, which prompted Hitler (according to Speer's memoirs) to say:

 

"You see, its been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn't we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?"

 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church lays out the teachings of the Catholic Church. If you have a question about doctrine, that's where you go.

The teaching authority of the Church is the Magisterium, which consists of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, which are both equally important.

 

We're just going to have to agree to disagree as I view it as being in conflict with the NT.

 

What do you think about this?

 

I don't mind.

 

I think, as he's only allowing people of his religion to do it, that it needs to stop -- it has to be all or none. See You At The Pole doesn't allow other religions to join them, and exclude people who are from a different religion or no religion from joining them.

 

Is it illegal? Debatable, but it is inflammatory and hurtful to other students.

 

What about all the schools that discuss "Huckleberry Finn"?

 

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/2000/09.28/huckfinn.html

 

"Arac also attacked what he sees as a common response to criticism of the book, saying supporters of "Huckleberry Finn" often have a dismissive attitude toward those who take offense.

 

"It's as if no one who could read could read things negative in this book," Arac said. "White authorities are telling black parents and students, 'Shut up, you can't read.'""

 

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I dunno. I am pretty much divided over the issue.

 

Things I find okay-

the praying session itself

 

Things I do not find okay-

why does it have to be in front of a flagpole? That sorta makes people feel as if they're living in a "(insert name of religion) nation." I should know I attended a buddhist kindergarten when I was little..

 

Also I find the fact that a random stranger who is obviously not a part of the school staff can walk in and out of the school as they please a little worrisome. I mean if the school invited him than that is okay, but he is not invited. Could he just invite the kids to his church or something? I know he probably means well but still... I agree that it is more of a safety issue.

Edited by ylangylang

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I disagree. He is not preventing anyone else from practicing their religion. If the atheists don't like it, they are free to hold some other gathering of their own. What is hurtful is atheist demands that those praying be forced to stop - that clearly goes against freedom of religion.

 

But, he's holding a Christian-only group at a school that does not allow exclusive groups.

 

It hurts nobody in any way, shape, or form, except for those who think it's wrong for people to express their faith publicly in a non-harmful or judgemental way.

 

What about the kids it doesn't allow to join?

 

Nothing's stopping non-Christians from starting up their own prayer group. Heck, nothing's stopping them from starting it up right alongside this guy's group - it says nothing about them chasing away non-Christians, so "but it's only for the Christians!" is an invalid argument

 

Actually, it's not -- if you look into this group, and the school, as well as the "See You At The Pole" in general, it's only allowed if you're Christian. Further the school doesn't allow any groups that are"Christians only" or "group-here only." That includes not allowing Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts to meet at the school.

 

As long as everyone is equally allowed to gather freely, those objecting sound to me like sour grapes who want to shut up anyone who does not believe the same things they do.

 

My issue is that they don't. I am aware of the problem before it came up on here. The principal has had multiple complaints from children of other faiths being sent away.

 

The principal has made a reasonable request -- move the time, so it's not when students who are not allowed to be included, don't have to see it.

 

ETA: I am all for students praying. I would have no problem with his group, if it allowed everyone to participate. However, that is against the National Network of Youth Ministries rules. Even if it was an interfaith group that prayed silently, I would have no problem.

 

"Students may also participate in before or after school events with religious content, such as 'see you at the flag pole' gatherings, on the same terms as they may participate in other noncurriculum activities on school premises. School officials may neither discourage nor encourage participation in such an event."

 

You can't have an all-girls or all-boys-group, you can't have an all-Christian group.

Edited by ShinyTomato

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If it's against school rules which they need to comply with, fine, but -

 

Actually, it's not -- if you look into this group, and the school, as well as the "See You At The Pole" in general, it's only allowed if you're Christian. Further the school doesn't allow any groups that are"Christians only" or "group-here only." That includes not allowing Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts to meet at the school.

 

I'm googling everywhere and I see nothing about non-Christians being forbidden from attending this guy's prayer sessions. I see some stuff about harassment from SYATP participants but that's it. The little prayer sessions have nothing to do with SYATP. Links for proof of non-Christians being sent away or otherwise discriminated against by this particular pastor, please?

 

It looks like the issue here was a memo from the principal, where he said that the "first amendment only applies to Christians." It's the principal who's being a fool here, not the pastor. This made the prayers a sponsorship issue. Apparently it's been resolved, the pastor agreed to move the prayers to an adjacent location off school grounds. I have to say, though, the comments by Annie Laurie Gaylor really tick me off:

 

“It’s great to see reason prevail,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. “I’m so pleased with the response from the school district at this point, treating him as a public nuisance. This is proper.”

“There’s still just something wrong with this picture,” she said. “There’s some sense of exhibitionism, adults picking on very small children. They should pick on someone their own size.”

 

A public nuisance? Picking on small children? By inviting them to VOLUNTARILY come to pray QUIETLY? Until I see proof otherwise I maintain that he was doing nothing wrong or disturbing and that this woman is anti-religion and pretentious.

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A public nuisance? Picking on small children? By inviting them to VOLUNTARILY come to pray QUIETLY?

 

WWJD?

 

Matthew 6:5-7

 

When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.

 

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A public nuisance? Picking on small children? By inviting them to VOLUNTARILY come to pray QUIETLY? Until I see proof otherwise I maintain that he was doing nothing wrong or disturbing and that this woman is anti-religion and pretentious.

I am curious: if the situation were slightly different and it was a group of Wiccans inviting small children to join them in a sacred circle and pray to their Gods, would you feel the same way about it not being a nuisance? Or would you feel that they were imposing their beliefs on the children in question?

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I am curious: if the situation were slightly different and it was a group of Wiccans inviting small children to join them in a sacred circle and pray to their Gods, would you feel the same way about it not being a nuisance? Or would you feel that they were imposing their beliefs on the children in question?

Which raises the issue of -- is there parental consent, because if not for every child, assuming it is Christian-themed, it could be seen as custodial interference or corrupting of a minor, since other religions are required to have someone be over 18, or explicit parental consent.

 

As for the complaints -- I didn't google. The Internet can misrepresent a situation on both sides -- I called the district, all complaints are public record. Including those about the pastor's group.

 

Again, I have no issues with prayer groups, so long as they do not bully and obey school bylaws.

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I am curious: if the situation were slightly different and it was a group of Wiccans inviting small children to join them in a sacred circle and pray to their Gods, would you feel the same way about it not being a nuisance? Or would you feel that they were imposing their beliefs on the children in question?

 

I'd feel the same no matter what religion it is. rolleyes.gif

 

As for the complaints -- I didn't google. The Internet can misrepresent a situation on both sides -- I called the district, all complaints are public record. Including those about the pastor's group.

 

Oh. :S If he's actively chasing others away, then that needs to stop, since they don't own that pole and anybody can come and watch or check out what they're doing.

 

On the other hand, is it possible that the reason the pastor asked them to leave was so that he wouldn't be slammed by the parents of the non-Christian kids for trying to "push his religion down their throats," since some might have interpreted it that way, no matter what the child might have said? Not saying that's the case, but it could be possible.

Edited by AngelKitty

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why does it have to be in front of a flagpole?

 

Also I find the fact that a random stranger who is obviously not a part of the school staff can walk in and out of the school as they please a little worrisome. I mean if the school invited him than that is okay, but he is not invited. Could he just invite the kids to his church or something? I know he probably means well but still... I agree that it is more of a safety issue.

Flagpole is an easy-to-recognize landmark. Depending on where the walkways are, it might be a convenient place that does not block normal pedestrian traffic.

 

This guy was not a random stranger. He is well known within the community and the school staff certainly know about him. And his whole reason for meeting the kids there just before school was for their convenience - to avoid transportation issues of those who could not travel to the church easily let alone coordinate schedules.

 

It would make sense for the school to require a background check or signing in of a community sponsor of a group activity.

 

But, he's holding a Christian-only group at a school that does not allow exclusive groups.

You can't have an all-girls or all-boys-group, you can't have an all-Christian group.
I do not think an interest group should be stopped because others want to interject activities not directly related to the focus of the group. What if a science group was working on a rocket project and someone came in saying they should take up baking because it involves chemistry and that is a science too? Should the rocket science group be disbanded for refusing to do baking projects?

 

It's not like he's saying the others may not join, only that they need to stay on focus with the group. All-girl or all-boy represents something the person cannot change, all-Christian IS a choice.

 

I am curious: if the situation were slightly different and it was a group of Wiccans inviting small children to join them in a sacred circle and pray to their Gods, would you feel the same way about it not being a nuisance? Or would you feel that they were imposing their beliefs on the children in question?
I think it would be a perfect opportunity for parents to teach their children how they feel about said groups given the child's curiosity about it. Again, it's a school, maybe I'm off the wall but I expect children to safely learn about new things when there.

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This guy was not a random stranger. He is well known within the community and the school staff certainly know about him. And his whole reason for meeting the kids there just before school was for their convenience - to avoid transportation issues of those who could not travel to the church easily let alone coordinate schedules.

 

That doesn't mean he's safe. I'm not saying he isn't, I'm saying it's setting a dangerous precedent.

 

It would make sense for the school to require a background check or signing in of a community sponsor of a group activity.

 

Except the school can't sponsor it, by it's own bylaws.

 

I do not think an interest group should be stopped because others want to interject activities not directly related to the focus of the group. What if a science group was working on a rocket project and someone came in saying they should take up baking because it involves chemistry and that is a science too? Should the rocket science group be disbanded for refusing to do baking projects?

 

It's not like he's saying the others may not join, only that they need to stay on focus with the group. All-girl or all-boy represents something the person cannot change, all-Christian IS a choice.

 

The thing is, the school bylaws do not allow for exclusive groups in the elementary school. Whether being Christian is a choice or not, it's still for Christians only -- even kids who were "interested" were turned away if they weren't "saved." That's not an interest group. That's a group of "only people like me."

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Neopagan.

 

My form of it is similar to Wicca, but takes elements from religions all over the world.

 

In its simplest form, it is a religion based on the duality of the divine, divided into Male and Female energies, which are revered as the God and Goddess, as well as the Elements, which the God and Goddess are divided into, Water and Earth being female, and Fire and Air being male, also with the God and Goddess changing in respect to the Moon cycle and the Sun. Each month, the Goddess goes through a cycle of the Maiden, when the moon is waxing, the Mother, when the moon is full, and the Crone, when the moon is waning. At the New Moon, the Crone dies and returns to the Underworld until she is reborn again as the Maiden. The God goes through a similar cycle, being born at Yule in December, married at Midsummer, when he is at his peak, then dies as Samhain in October, until he is reborn again at Yule. My form is animistic, and thinks that all natural things have souls, wisdom and energy.

 

 

Let me tell a story. Last August, I was giving up offering to my ancestors. All across my altar, food and drink was spread out for them to enjoy. After about 5 minutes, I began to hear whispers. Just the odd whisper, nothing shocking. It continued, and grew. The whispers became full voices. Except, I couldn't hear what they were saying. It was all gibberish. There were a lot of voices, at least 5. They continued, nonstop. It was like my room was full of people having loud conversations in gibberish. I could feel each and every one of them, their energies and persona. It overwhelmed me. I couldn't deal with it. I could feel them all, I could hear them all. They all were talking amongst each other and trying to talk to me. I had to ask them to leave. I took all the food and drink off of my altar, and right away the voices began to taper off. They soon became whispers, and then silence. I couldn't feel the overwhelming presence anymore. I apologized, and thanked Them for coming, then fell asleep.

 

This is probably the most intense spiritual experience I have had. It was terrifying, and unexpected. I know that they were not trying to harm me, they just overwhelmed my senses.

 

Anyone else have a similar experience?

 

I have a few more stores about meditation, mostly.

 

And no, I wasn't using any substance, not even caffeine.

 

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Atheist married to two pagans, one of whom is a former Haredi Jew, the other who is a former Muslim, who both get accused of being Muslim on a regular basis for covering their hair.

 

They've been discussing wigs recently. and other types of covering their hair. The Islamic hate is alive and well in Texas.

 

Which brings me to a question. Has anyone seen the ads for TLC's "American-Made Muslim" show? What do you think of it? Do you think it'll be presented in a way that will make people think, or do you think it'll fall into the same kind of niche as "19 Kids & Counting", "Sister Wives" (BLECH), "Jon & Kate + 8" "Little People, Big World", and "Extreme Couponing".

 

 

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My "Religion" Isn't exactly a religion..its more of a belief. The way I see it, being as we are all still living beings who have no possible way to prove who/what is the true "God(dess)," then we shouldn't be going around running our mouths about it.

 

The way I see it, is I will live my life acting the best I can, helping others when I see they need help and so on and such, yet at the same time enjoying my own life. And when the time comes that I die, and I have to come face to face with what ever supreme being is out there, I just have to hope that I live my life well enough to have impressed them. If I didn't well then, so be it.

 

 

Do I pray? Sort of...I meditate, I "talk" to the gods and goddesses, depending on my mood the one I'm speaking to changes, some times its one of the ancient Greek's gods, some times its "God", some times its nature itself.

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Still agnostic Atheist with a soft spot for Buddhism and animist religions.

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Still an agnostic Jew, but my Jewish stamp is still new and shiny.

Did it come with a tomato? /shot

 

... I believe in Nyarlathotep tongue.gif (Okay, not really. I believe that there's some kind of God out there and that there's probably some sort of afterlife. I dunno. I just try and live as kind a life as I can because it seems like the decent thing to do.)

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The thing is, the school bylaws do not allow for exclusive groups in the elementary school. Whether being Christian is a choice or not, it's still for Christians only -- even kids who were "interested" were turned away if they weren't "saved." That's not an interest group. That's a group of "only people like me."

Again, I disagree. If a group of chinese students wanted to gather to speak with a chinese community leader before school and other students wandered up wanting to interject into the conversation with other languages, they too would be asked not to participate as the focus is on speaking chinese. They have to have some basic understanding of the material before participating. Telling the original group to shut up or go elsewhere feels like a violation of free speech (as well as violation of the right to freely practice religion in the case of the flagpole prayers since they really are not hurting anyone).

 

It may also be that the minister is only doing this with students from whose parents he has received permission to do it. In which case, the parents of those interested could speak with him about it.

 

As for telling him to move off school property - how closely do they actually monitor who shows up there and does what when kids are being dropped off? If a parent chose to do the same thing with their child and other children wanted to join in, would the school kick them off the property too? This group is not actually in the school building nor is it during class hours; does the school monitor grounds use around the clock?

 

I doubt either of us will agree with the other in this case.

Edited by Awdz Bodkins

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As for telling him to move off school property - how closely do they actually monitor who shows up there and does what when kids are being dropped off?  If a parent chose to do the same thing with their child and other children wanted to join in, would the school kick them off the property too?  This group is not actually in the school building nor is it during class hours; does the school monitor grounds use around the clock?

You're saying that logically, if a group is not actually in the school building during class hours, it's okay for someone to just come in and amass the said group? Even when there are people who's divided over the issue of whether one should allow him in or not?

 

That just doesn't seem very safe to me-yeah, he's known around the community, but assuming that not everyone knows who the guy is, wouldn't that be a security issue, as there must be someone who doesn't know who he is? And aren't there parents who may not want him around? Also in my opinion, it creates a dangerous precedent because kids are not going to questiontthe motivation behind a certain person just strolling inside the school.

 

I'm just a bit more sensitive about this issue as in my country, something similar to this resulted in a child rape case inside the school grounds.

 

And:

Again, I disagree. If a group of chinese students wanted to gather to speak with a chinese community leader before school and other students wandered up wanting to interject into the conversation with other languages, they too would be asked not to participate as the focus is on speaking chinese. They have to have some basic understanding of the material before participating.

 

This example is wrong on so many ways. First of all, a culture is different from a religion in that it doesn't require that people convert to said culture, it's something that you enjoy, whereas a religion has stronger aspects of a belief system. Simply put, a religion is a subset of culture that has stronger connotations to worship and beliefs, which shouldn't be forced on anyone. Second, you're assuming that the Chinese community leader would be speaking in Chinese, which in real life happens very infrequently as there are multi-generation Chinese people and so on, and thus it is usually spoken in English. Third, assuming that all of the above points are moot, if it was in my old Canadian elementary school, said leader would be called upon to make a special lecture on Chinese culture, or perhaps he could give free lessons at the community center, but just barging into the school would not be allowed. Why? Because cultural diversity is needed and you're basically alienating people with different heritages from learning more about the said culture. Fourth, do you need some basic understanding of the material to participate in a cultural ceremony? I don't know anything about Southeast African culture, but I assure you, I would quite enjoy a cultural ceremony involving Sountheast African traditions. That argument in itself is built upon the premise that people are divided into one culture or another, and that the barrier is so huge that there can't be crossovers, mergings, and whatnot, which isn't true in real life.

 

I think that the pastor should a. give a special prayer session somewhere outside of school, notify any parents who want their children to participate or b. give a special lecture on Christianity and be done with it.

Edited by ylangylang

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You're saying that logically, if a group is not actually in the school building during class hours, it's okay for someone to just come in and amass the said group? Even when there are people who's divided over the issue of whether one should allow him in or not?

 

That just doesn't seem very safe to me-yeah, he's known around the community, but assuming that not everyone knows who the guy is, wouldn't that be a security issue, as there must be someone who doesn't know who he is? And aren't there parents who may not want him around? Also in my opinion, it creates a dangerous precedent because kids are not going to questiontthe motivation behind a certain person just strolling inside the school.

 

I'm just a bit more sensitive about this issue as in my country, something similar to this resulted in a child rape case inside the school grounds.

I'm not saying it's okay during class hours. You're right that there is a security concern to keep in mind. However, in this case he's not strolling inside the school, he's meeting for a few minutes with the kids outside in full view of everyone and leaving without any of the children.

And:

 

 

This example is wrong on so many ways. First of all, a culture is different from a religion in that it doesn't require that people convert to said culture, it's something that you enjoy, whereas a religion has stronger aspects of a belief system. Simply put, a religion is a subset of culture that has stronger connotations to worship and beliefs, which shouldn't be forced on anyone. Second, you're assuming that the Chinese community leader would be speaking in Chinese, which in real life happens very infrequently as there are multi-generation Chinese people and so on, and thus it is usually spoken in English. Third, assuming that all of the above points are moot, if it was in my old Canadian elementary school, said leader would be called upon to make a special lecture on Chinese culture, or perhaps he could give free lessons at the community center, but just barging into the school would not be allowed. Why? Because cultural diversity is needed and you're basically alienating people with different heritages from learning more about the said culture. Fourth, do you need some basic understanding of the material to participate in a cultural ceremony? I don't know anything about Southeast African culture, but I assure you, I would quite enjoy a cultural ceremony involving Sountheast African traditions. That argument in itself is built upon the premise that people are divided into one culture or another, and that the barrier is so huge that there can't be crossovers, mergings, and whatnot, which isn't true in real life.

My apologies for not being more specific that in my example the group wanted to speak in chinese. It was not about religion = culture, it was about a special interest group having criteria to be part of the group. In the language case, they would have to be able to speak the language; in the prayer case, they would have to abide by the prayers being as the leader framed them.

 

And I definitely disagree that cultures do not incorporate a belief system or are less dangerous. There are cultures today that treat women as second-class citizens or less. There is plentiful violence in the media, generally accepted in US culture. I consider that far worse than teaching kids to pray about their concerns.

I think that the pastor should a. give a special prayer session somewhere outside of school, notify any parents who want their children to participate or b. give a special lecture on Christianity and be done with it.

A one-time session misses the entire point that faith is part of everyday life and as Christians we are to continually lift our concerns to God. Should we ban Catholics' right to make the sign of the cross in public? Should we establish a dress code so that orthodox Jews and Muslims do not stand out from others, raising questions?

 

In my opinion, the atheists here are objecting to a harmless display of faith, objecting to diversity of beliefs being allowed to be shown. Your argument about "Because cultural diversity is needed and you're basically alienating people with different heritages from learning more about the said culture" really applies here - I think we need to build more acceptance of a variety of faiths rather than use blatant attempts to bury them.

Edited by Awdz Bodkins

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That doesn't mean he's safe. I'm not saying he isn't, I'm saying it's setting a dangerous precedent.

 

This is why we get the zero tolerance policies. You can’t do this reasonably case-by-case? From articles around the web, it appears that he’s been doing this for about 12 years. Why nothing done before? For one, schools allow access to their track and P.E. area. The flag was no different.

 

(knows this isn’t CA, but other states similar in showing discretion)

 

"California Penal Code Section 627.4

(a) The principal or his or her designee may refuse to register an outsider if he or she has a reasonable basis for concluding that the outsider's presence or acts would disrupt the school, its students, its teachers, or its other employees; would result in damage to property; or would result in the distribution or use of unlawful or controlled substances.

 

(cool.gif The principal, his or her designee, or school security officer may revoke an outsider's registration if he or she has a reasonable basis for concluding that the outsider's presence on school grounds would interfere or is interfering with the peaceful conduct of the activities of the school, or would disrupt or is disrupting the school, its students, its teachers, or its other employees."

 

Another situation similar to the pastor’s is how “child development” classes at colleges sometimes have a mandatory observation assignment for students. You need to set up a time to do this to take notes on the children. I know, pedobear’s dream. user posted image

 

The “time” argument:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_orden_v_perry

 

Essentially the display was kept because it was there for 40 years and no one complained. Looking at this ruling where “history and tradition” was taken into account, you would think 12 years is sufficient.

 

Except the school can't sponsor it, by it's own bylaws.

 

He’s part of the community, not of school staff (though, school staff have more leeway under non-instructional hours). The reason why it became more of an issue was due to the “newsletter” the principal sent out. I haven't read it, but it seems like emphasis was put on the “First Amendment applies to Christians only”.

 

The Supreme Court has ruled that community-led Christian clubs can use the PA system of schools, and it doesn't mean endorsement from the school.

 

The thing is, the school bylaws do not allow for exclusive groups in the elementary school. Whether being Christian is a choice or not, it's still for Christians only -- even kids who were "interested" were turned away if they weren't "saved." That's not an interest group. That's a group of "only people like me."

 

You’ve said this pastor turned them away. How would you confirm the accusation is true even if you called? The FfRF made no mention of it. Annie’s statements don’t indicate that has happened. (In fact, you would think he’d want them there, if those kids are impressionable, and he’s “preying on them”.) The attorneys’ statements all revolve around “sponsorship”. Not one article mentions turning away the kids.

 

Lets look at some Supreme Court rulings:

 

http://religiousfreedom.lib.virginia.edu/c...oar_v_merg.html

 

Board of Education of the Westside Community Schools v. Mergens

 

Allowed to have club. Helped define what sponsorship is.

“Westside School district, located in Nebraska, denied permission to a group of students who wanted to form a Christian Club in their high school. The school district decided that the club could not have a faculty sponsor (which was required for all after-school clubs) because having one would have the effect of endorsing the religion. The students alleged the school’s decision violated the Equal Access Act requiring that groups seeking to express religious, political, philosophical, or other content messages not be denied the ability to form clubs.”

 

By an 8-1 decision the Supreme Court decided that the students had the right to begin their Christian Club.”

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinker_v._Des...School_District

 

Has to be more than just being repulsive to them.

“The court's 7 to 2 decision held that the First Amendment applied to public schools, and that administrators would have to demonstrate constitutionally valid reasons for any specific regulation of speech in the classroom. The court observed, "It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."[1] Justice Abe Fortas wrote the majority opinion, holding that the speech regulation at issue in Tinker was "based upon an urgent wish to avoid the controversy which might result from the expression, even by the silent symbol of armbands, of opposition to this Nation's part in the conflagration in Vietnam." The Court held that in order for school officials to justify censoring speech, they "must be able to show that [their] action was caused by something more than a mere desire to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness that always accompany an unpopular viewpoint," allowing schools to forbid conduct that would "materially and substantially interfere with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school."[2]”

 

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/99-2036.ZO.html

 

GOOD NEWS CLUB V. MILFORD CENTRAL SCHOOL (99-2036) 533 U.S. 98 (2001)

 

Supreme Court not buying into the "impressionable argument".

However, elementary schools don't have as much precedents to go by. The Equal Access Act applies to secondary schools, though, judgments referring to that law have somewhat determined what is necessary to avoid entanglement.

 

One of the guidelines was for it to be "student-initiated". Though, I think the parental consent part is rather silly for this Pole group.

 

We cannot operate, as Milford would have us do, under the assumption that any risk that small children would perceive endorsement should counsel in favor of excluding the Club’s religious activity. We decline to employ Establishment Clause jurisprudence using a modified heckler’s veto, in which a group’s religious activity can be proscribed on the basis of what the youngest members of the audience might misperceive. Cf. Capitol Square Review and Advisory Bd. v. Pinette, 515 U.S. 753, 779—780 (1995) (O’Connor, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment) (“ecause our concern is with the political community writ large, the endorsement inquiry is not about the perceptions of particular individuals or saving isolated nonadherents from … discomfort … .

 

Though, the Establishment Clause rulings are a mess. Scalia whines about the Lemon test being used when wanted, yet ignored other times. But there’s also the “history and tradition” test, so they don’t have to overturn precedents they still want to uphold. This includes: pledge of allegiance, “in god we trust” on currency, legislative prayers, and some 10 commandments displays.

 

Your argument about "Because cultural diversity is needed and you're basically alienating people with different heritages from learning more about the said culture" really applies here - I think we need to build more acceptance of a variety of faiths rather than use blatant attempts to bury them.

 

As I mentioned before, school districts can place different standards on what can and can't hurt people. Though, it can depend on what they're arguing, since some will just claim it's an endorsement issue.

 

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/2000/09.28/huckfinn.html

 

"Arac also attacked what he sees as a common response to criticism of the book, saying supporters of "Huckleberry Finn" often have a dismissive attitude toward those who take offense.

 

"It's as if no one who could read could read things negative in this book," Arac said. "White authorities are telling black parents and students, 'Shut up, you can't read.'"

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/cultureshock/teach.../aboutbook.html

 

"Now an accepted part of the American literary canon, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is required reading in over 70 percent of American high schools and is among the most taught works of American literature."

 

This isn't including other controversial books that could be on the reading list and also offend some sooner or later.

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I don't know about the situation or the rules of the school, but there was a prayer circle around the flagpole at my school once or twice. The first time was when one of our students died in a car accident. She was a happy and friendly girl and most of us knew her. Our school mourned for weeks and the day we found out she died we have several groups every break for students to gather together and grieve. My friends and I sat in the peace garden more than once that day. The prayer circle formed in the morning, before we got news that she had died, to pray that she may recover. I had no idea what was going on and one of my friends was in the circle. They gestured that I could join them and, confused, I did.

I am not really religious or spiritual but standing there in a group of people all wishing for our friend to recover was nice. When it finally broke up my other friends made fun of me because I had no idea what had just happened. But I don't regret joining the circle. The others made fun of the circle, too, but I don't really see why. The Christians praying were happy to let anyone in and would not preach at you. It was just a way to come together.

 

The second circle I think they just did to get together again. Maybe some people were having a hard time at home or maybe they just needed the session. I didn't join. I felt awkward walking past them, but that's my own problem and more had to do with just walking past a big, silent group felt a bit disrespectful. I didn't feel awkward with them there, though, or with what they were doing.

 

I can't say anything about the school in question, just sharing my own experiences. And yes, my school existed with a hippy peace garden and Christians who prayed around the flagpole every now and then and that was fine by us. o3o

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I don't know about the situation or the rules of the school, but there was a prayer circle around the flagpole at my school once or twice. The first time was when one of our students died in a car accident. She was a happy and friendly girl and most of us knew her. Our school mourned for weeks and the day we found out she died we have several groups every break for students to gather together and grieve. My friends and I sat in the peace garden more than once that day. The prayer circle formed in the morning, before we got news that she had died, to pray that she may recover. I had no idea what was going on and one of my friends was in the circle. They gestured that I could join them and, confused, I did.

I am not really religious or spiritual but standing there in a group of people all wishing for our friend to recover was nice. When it finally broke up my other friends made fun of me because I had no idea what had just happened. But I don't regret joining the circle. The others made fun of the circle, too, but I don't really see why. The Christians praying were happy to let anyone in and would not preach at you. It was just a way to come together.

 

The second circle I think they just did to get together again. Maybe some people were having a hard time at home or maybe they just needed the session. I didn't join. I felt awkward walking past them, but that's my own problem and more had to do with just walking past a big, silent group felt a bit disrespectful. I didn't feel awkward with them there, though, or with what they were doing.

 

I can't say anything about the school in question, just sharing my own experiences. And yes, my school existed with a hippy peace garden and Christians who prayed around the flagpole every now and then and that was fine by us. o3o

Why can't the world me more like that? Why do people expressing their beliefs in a group in a somewhat public setting have to get lambasted for it? :/

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