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Archive through June 28, 2002

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru January 2003 » The Monkey Hole » Under god? » Archive through June 28, 2002 « Previous Next »

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Artemis
Posted on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 3:39 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Blackjack:

> I explained this already, but I'll give it
> another go. "God", capitalized, without an
> article, is every bit as much a name in
> English, for the Judeo-Christo-Islamic deity
> as "Allah" or "Elohim" & "El" are in Arabic or
> Hebrew.

First of all, you didn't EXPLAIN anything, okay? Because I didn't agree with you doesn't mean I didn't understand you, much less didn't understand some concept which you arrogantly think you get and I don't. "God" is no more a name than "man" is a name, no matter how much linguistic dissembling you do. "God" is the other than man, the more than man, the ultimate to which man can aspire, which is the whole point (for me anyway).

> so if the government calls for people to revere
> it,

The government calls for no such thing. According to the clowns on that joke of a court (which would not exist in its current makeup if Senator Daschle and his sorry cohort weren't holding up judicial appointments to punish President Bush for winning the election), it's the government's job to PREVENT people who revere the concept from mentioning their reverence on any soil tainted by public funds. Unfortunately, thanks to politicians of all stripes, that acreage grows daily. Someone pointed out here that a better solution would be to get the government out of education altogether, and I'm all for that.

Kallisti:

> I don't agree that that those in power mean to
> be inclusive when they use the term
> "god" ... HOWEVER. fuck them. it's up to the
> individual to live in this world and
> make of it what you can, without being
> bombarded by needless crusaders from
> either side of the fence.

Well said. Each individual saying "God" means what HE means. Very well said. Leave them say it or not say it, and otherwise leave them alone. The reason that clown is getting death threats is not because he refuses to believe in God, is because he's a meddler who should have left well enough alone.

Bunny:

> OK, I'll withdraw the jerk comment

Thank you. As for the rest, I said exactly what I meant, and I meant exactly what I said. Since we aren't going to agree, I think we should drop it and talk about something we can discuss without the heat lightning.

Anatomist:

> The funniest part of this whole hullabaloo is
> that it is a perfect example of how complete
> idiocy on the part of so-called leftists in the
> US keeps helping to push the whole country to
> the right, making the 'left' sillier and less
> relevant with each act.

Very well said. The best thing about this is it might be the straw that broke the camel's back with regard to politically correct stupidity. I hope it doesn't result in the election of Christian rightists as you went on to say, but less of the likes of Senator Daschle would be a step in the right direction.
Traineraz
Posted on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 1:22 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ah, and again I found the quote which was lost:


Quote:

"From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and every rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty," Eisenhower wrote at the time.


This is from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories//2002/06/27/national/main513592.shtml
Traineraz
Posted on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 12:56 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

Where I was schooled and later where I taught, health class was taught by football coaches. The health curriculum in my school taught me nothing. I could have taken all the quizzes and final exam on day one and passed.


Perhaps you're fortunate to have had parents who had the knowledge and the communication skills to teach you; however, as you yourself have stated, the majority of parents seem as though they could not care less about involvment in their children's education.

My parents both worked full time, and so never attended a PTA meeting. They never discussed sex with me, nor other health issues in any depth. Heck, I taught myself how to shave. Had I not had that "waste of time" health curriculum, I would have known as little about health (including, but not limited to, sexual health) as the average inner-city girl who thinks "you can't get pregnant the FIRST time!"

Back when I was in eighth grade -- 1985 -- we were being taught HIV prevention in sex ed, which was a one-week segment in a semester-long health curriculum. Surprisingly for the times, we were taught routes of infection and prevention, not Dubya's preferred "abstinence til marriage, the rest of you are sinners and get what you deserve" approach. This applied to other STD's (VD at the time) and pregnancy, as well.

We also had visits from professional substance abuse counselors (who did not take the "reefer madness/gateway drug" approach), and the course was taught by a nurse. Not the regular school nurse, but someone hired specifically to teach the health curriculum. NOT the football coach.

I now realize that this curriculum was advanced for the times, but do not question its value.

Quote:

I also think that you take a somewhat patronizing attitude towards kids, that they need some kind of overseer to make sure they slip sheaths on their dicks. Have fun with that.


No, I do not believe parents are competent in teaching their children about routes of infection and effective prevention skills. Most parents lack education in this area themselves; how can they teach it?

Prevention education no longer consists of "Use a condom every time." It consists of explaining risky behaviors and means by which risks may be reduced, then allowing the individual to make informed decisions. It also involves teaching safer-sex negotiating skills. This was my school's approach.

The result? I knew of not one girl in my high school (1,200 students) who got pregnant. I guess something got through to them.

In the next, more rural, and more "religious" town, in which such things were not discussed, teen pregnancies were not uncommon.

It's intriguing to me that, in so many high schools, cigarette smoking is STILL "cool." You see, after our eighth grade health curriculum, repeated/updated in eleventh grade, there were precious few who smoked cigarettes in high school. The "cool kids" might have an occasional cigar at a party, but they NEVER took up regular smoking. Only the white trash "remedial education" types smoked cigarettes or, worse, chewed tobacco.
Bob_Chong
Posted on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 12:06 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Traineraz:

Maybe we can tone down the hyperbole. OK, what you taught was valuable, but I would assert that it is definitely the exception. Where I was schooled and later where I taught, health class was taught by football coaches. The health curriculum in my school taught me nothing. I could have taken all the quizzes and final exam on day one and passed. Health class, in most schools, is a joke. An easy A. A required, textbook-based course, "taught" by people who have no expertise in subject matter or pedagogy.

I never said anything about art or music. (But I knew someone would bring it up.) As it stands now, art and music at the HS level are elective courses. They are excellent, as they are performance based, and they offer choice to those with inclination to learn more about those subjects. Team sports are typically extra-curricular and often generate enough income to sustain the programs (e.g., football ticket sales fund not only football but the lesser-attended sports, like volleyball).

But the addition of non-instruction to the school day is a real, measurable problem. Every time legislators, school boards, or interest groups say, "Such and such needs to be taught in schools!" they never consider that the school day is (supposed to be) pretty full already. It is sort of a "cake and eat it too" problem: folks want us to teach more stuff, yet whine when test scores (i.e., typically reading & math) decline. For every new subject/program that is added, something else must be reduced. But the yardstick (test scores) does not change to meet the new demands.

I'm not saying that schools should be English and math factories. But I am saying that those subjects should not be diminished by the addition of more subjects unless the states and populace are willing to rethink the criteria for success in schooling.

So you are wrong to say I "don't care about the lives of my students." I was hired with the notion that I would be teaching English, not do a bunch of other bullshit. I had to regularly forgo teaching English for other stuff, like scheduling, student handbooks, pep rallies, etc., because everyone took English and a lazy administrator would dump these things on my department (i.e., "since everyone takes English, let's have homecoming voting in the English classes!").

I also think that you take a somewhat patronizing attitude towards kids, that they need some kind of overseer to make sure they slip sheaths on their dicks. Have fun with that.

I admit that I tend to project my experience onto others with a "I didn't need that, so why do they?" attitude. It's wrong of me to do so. I have the abilities and gifts to discern right from wrong, danger from safety, etc., and assume that kids should be able to do the same. Maybe kids are all a bunch of morons and need to be led to every decision. Does this describe your position accurately? j/k

But to ramble further, it is this "in loco parentis" stuff that has gone out of control. If our society weren't so uptight about sex, maybe this stuff would be taught at home in the first place and not pawned off on teachers to do so.

Finally (whew), if we want kids to be productive citizens, as Hobgoblin states, then how do we measure that? What are the criteria? And once you've established the criteria, what are we doing to make sure that they are being met by these instructional programs? Teaching a subject with zero accountability and zero measurement of outcomes leads to waste. English and math achievement are easy to measure. Condom usage is a bit trickier. Especially when using a no. 2 pencil.

BC
Traineraz
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 11:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Incidentally, I've seen two polls on this issue thus far; each showed 11-12% of respondents saying that they supported the court decision. While this is obviously a minority, this means (excluding margins of error, of course) that roughly 25-30 MILLION Americans believe that "under god" does not belong in the allegiance oath of a supposed democracy.

I guess there are millions of leftist commie pinko wackos here, aren't there?
Jdm
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 11:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

anatomist, i don't know how many 'leftists' you actually converse with, but on my side i don't see anyone changing any views that they have held before or after this flag debacle.
you think all of this is 'silly'? probably because you are fine pledging to your god. what about the millions of others who would feel uncomfortable?
but, of course, i am not surprised by any of your views, you being in florida and all.
but that would be 'silly' of me to bring up an election that was ripped from the people by the bush bros. and cruella de ville.
Traineraz
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 11:11 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

It is the constant addition of non-instructional duties to the teachers' already ful plate. A good example is sex ed or even health in general. Health class taught me nothing. Sex ed is a waste of time. Kids should be learning this crap from their folks or the streets or pornography.


I find it interesting that a teacher/administrator would say such things.

As a former HIV prevention educator with the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, I can testify that there are PLENTY of young people who, even WITH health/sex ed in the schools, lack adequate information to protect themselves from pregnancy or LETHAL STDs. The things they learn "on the streets" are typically RIDICULOUS NONSENSE at best, and potential direction for death at worst. What sort of educator cares so little for the very LIVES of his students that he would believe that SURVIVAL SKILLS are a waste of time??

I suppose such things as art and music are also wastes of time. Why are schools wasting funds and time on team sports? Playing fields? Stadiums? Are these also not complete wastes of time? After all, what value is to be gained in life through learning to draw, or how to play football?

Perhaps all schools should focus only on reading and writing (the fundamental skills, not this silly "creative writing" or "literature appreciation") and arithmetic? Would this adequately describe your position?
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 10:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"Health class taught me nothing. Sex ed is a waste of time. Kids should be learning this crap from their folks or the streets or pornography."

But the point is that some kids do not learn this at home and for them to end up learning it from pornography will contribute to their misconceptions and problems. In some Church run primary schools in the past where sex ed was not taught, girls did not have any idea what was happening to them when menstruation started, they thought they was something seriously wrong with them.

We don't live in an ideal world. Many parents simply have no idea just how early children develop sexually these days and leave it until it is too late, or they avoid the topic altogether because they are embarrassed, or their own knowledge an this area is very lacking, or their views are tainted with bigotry and the children will get a warped view. Then we have thye single-parent fathers who will not even mention the subject with their daughters and their daughters are forced to find out for themselves.

Another factor is exactly what do we want schools to do for our nation's young citizens. Do we want schools simply to be places where we deliver academic knowledge on discrete subjects or do we want schools to be places that help equip children with skills to help them benefit and contribute to life in our society (educationally, socially and culturally)? I very much go along with the latter view.

If you want to avoid increased numbers of unwanted teenage pregnancies in our society then the worst thing you can do is pretend that children will all learn all they need to know from their parents. It simply does not happen in many cases. Children need sex education at a very early age and at least in schools, as a society, we can ensure that they recieve it.

Hobgoblin
Anatomist
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 10:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello ? "Many of them" is all of them. Didn't you see the unanamous resolutions, the pledge photo ops on the capitol steps... Cutting those two words out is now about as popular as communism. The 'loss' in the case is extremely temporary, and the gain in terms electing more cheerleaders for God is immense. If, by some screwy twist, the decision is upheld, it will probably be overturned by a constitutional ammendment at this rate.

Then again, what do I know? I'm still suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from having seen a nativity display on a patch of state-owned snow last Christmas...

K.
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 9:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I dunno, from over here it makes the right look absurd for suddenly jumping to the defense of two irrelevent words. In fact, it has done a very good job of showing the true agenda of many of them, to wit, to teach Christianity in our schools and to entangel Christianity into the fabric of our government.

I guess it's a matter of perspective. Is it more foolish to take up an irrelevent case, or to raise a furor when you LOSE an irrelevent case?
Bob_Chong
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 8:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Anatomist is absolutely correct. It is so effective in having the opposite of its intended effect, that I'm surprised there aren't righty puppet masters considering mobilizing lefty patsies to try more stuff like this.
Bunnylebowski
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 7:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Boo.
Anatomist
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 7:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The funniest part of this whole hullabaloo is that it is a perfect example of how complete idiocy on the part of so-called leftists in the US keeps helping to push the whole country to the right, making the 'left' sillier and less relevant with each act. By consistently picking silly little hills upon which to make stands, they guarantee that they'll get shot to pieces... whether it's affirmative action or gays in the military, there's no stopping a contemporary 'liberal' from blowing all his credibility right out of the gate, alienating large segments of the public, and creating a backlash that becomes a huge boon to his political enemies. This one hysterical dipshit from California just did more to help elect representatives of the Christian right than the last decade of organization, planning and string-pulling by the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition combined.

K.
Anatomist
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 7:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"It’s a relic of 19th century nationalism: get a kid south of the Mason-Dixon line to say “indivisible” every day, and he might begin to believe it. Get an immigrant kid to pledge to the U.S. flag – back when flags meant something to everyone – and she might lose all attachment to her land of origin."

Actually, I just heard a history of the pledge on the radio today, and this is exactly wrong. The original intent (1892) was for the pledge to be used multi-nationally. It started, "I pledge allegiance to MY flag, and to the republic, for which..." Apparently, all the 'good' countries back then were republics, so it was kind of a "insert your country here" kind of deal. Everyone would be pledging to their own flag in a spirit of universal freedom and justice and all that good stuff. Of course they changed it a few times since then...
Chevalier
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 3:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

It’s a relic of 19th century nationalism: get a kid south of the Mason-Dixon line to say “indivisible” every day, and he might begin to believe it. Get an immigrant kid to pledge to the U.S. flag – back when flags meant something to everyone – and she might lose all attachment to her land of origin.

I reckon the Pledge can still mean something to today’s adult immigrants.
Bob_Chong
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 2:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I think the real problem with the pledge is that it wastes instructional time. To calm everyone down, get them standing, reciting, sitting, and calm again would take a good 30 seconds or more. Over the course of a school year, that's 90 minutes of what could have been instructional time. There is a lot one can learn in 90 minutes. And they wonder why education is failing. It is the constant addition of non-instructional duties to the teachers' already ful plate. A good example is sex ed or even health in general. Health class taught me nothing. Sex ed is a waste of time. Kids should be learning this crap from their folks or the streets or pornography. There is tons of shit that should be done at home (citizenship, character, etc.), unless these things are promoted in an non-instructional, cultural way (e.g., a student code of conduct could delineate what constitutes good character: kids don't need an extra instructional program for this). More time reading, writing, and solving problems. Less time with horseshit subject areas.
Albertcamus
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 2:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I still do not see the importance of this issue.I said those dreaded words over and over as a youth and yet I turned out just fine,I think.Obviously this is a forum that is a bastion of liberal thought,which is the way it should be.The system of belief regarding religion troubles me greatly,but this issue does not for some reason.The father that brought about this matter could better serve not only his child but those "freethinkers" with a pursuit of other legal ambitions. rev.Jerry Falwell was on tv last night and after listening to his nonsense,I had the overwhelming feeling to kick his fat fucking ass off the the fucking planet for good.That guy is just evil.
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 2:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

Because they need to swear to their fidelity to the nation?



No, I think Chev meant that if anyone is going to be saying it at all, it should be the people mature enough to know what they are saying. I don't think he meant it ought to be mandatory, since his other alternative was to eliminate is altogether.
Bunnylebowski
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 2:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

OK, I'll withdraw the jerk comment, and I'll replace it with a statement: Your argument has plenty of personal value for you, but does not hold up to constitutional law.

--"The constitution says the nation will not establish a church and force him to join". --
Here is what it actually says: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

As I said before, FACT: the 1954 alteration of the pledge was intended to declare our country to be a "Godly" one, and to differentiate us from the Atheistic communists. Eisenhower specifically said so, as did the congress. They weren't hiding their intentions at all and were very clear about wanting to declare our opposition to communism through our national belief in God.

Now are you going to tell me this law changing the pledge is not "respecting an establishment of religion"? The people who wrote it sure wouldn't! Are you going to argue saying "under God" isn't religious?
Well, that may be your opinion, but that's not the opinion of the law.

Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 1:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"God" may well be a concept worthy of reverence by any nation but does that mean that it is a concept that ought to be revered. Does that mean that those who do not revere "God" are somewhat misguided in their lack of reverence.

In schools (and public life), I believe that "God" should restricted to optional, broadly balanced Religious Education lessons (or Churches). I believe that people should opt in to revering "God" and "God" should not be set up as the status quo to which people not wishing to partake have to make a point of opting out.

Hobgoblin
Pataphysician
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 1:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"Take the Pledge out of the public elementary schools...it should come out of the mouths of adults."

Why? Because they need to swear to their fidelity to the nation? I find it insulting. I'm already a citizen, I shouldn't have to keep pledging. Just trust me.
Barsnake
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 1:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The establishment clause leading off the Bill of Rights, the profound attachment to America's founding governmental instrument, was conceived when a Lockean enlightenment fertilized a alvinist Puritanical womb; was born in a stable filled with the incessant libertarian volleys of atifederalism; nursed by a Jeffersonian mother and weaned by a domineering Protestant step-father; matured increasingly by the legal guardian of secular relativism; grows senile in the hands of a nursing home run by the divided management team of Christian Right and Secular Left; and could likely soon be placed in the tomb of a Constitutional amendment if it doesn't first expire from an inarticulate meaning at the hands of its bedside nursemaid, the Supreme Court.
The Overview of Establishing the History of the Establishment Clause
By Larry Pahl - 2/5/96
Chevalier
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 1:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Children are asked to mouth the words of a pledge they’re not mature enough to make. Exactly what kind of patriotic allegiance can you expect from a little kid? Need he vote? Must she pay taxes? Serve as a soldier? Secure the blessings of liberty? No.

Take the Pledge out of the public elementary schools. It would be much more at home in community colleges and state universities -- it should come out of the mouths of adults. Otherwise, just eliminate it across the board.
Admin
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 1:21 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

true, it's all about perspective.

I was raised in Berkeley and thereabouts, which is NOT a good case study. heh. it really was all "free to be you and me" ... hence my current attitude.

but had it been more prevelent or thrust upon me, I'm sure I would feel different, and would have reacted differently at the time.
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 1:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

In kindergarted, I was rapped on the knuckles with a ruler by my teacher for not knowing the Lord's Prayer. This was at a South Carolina public school, a solid decade or more after school prayer was supposed to have been abolished. I had no idea what I was supposed to have done wrong, let alone that my rights were being violated. All I knew is what the teachertold me, which was that I was supposed to know this prayer and say it.

Obviusly, this is a worst-case scenario. My later experiences were more typical: other students made fun of me for not praying during the mandatory "moment of silence" in Virgina Beach public schools, and I was singled out for refusing to say the pledge.

These weren't deep violations of my civil liberties, but there is no good reason that I should have had to put up with such things. A less obstinate kid would probably have just given in and gone through the motions, just to avoid causing trouble. I think we need to have a compelling reason before we place kids in that kind of situation, and so far nobody has come up one.

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