View Poll Results: Should public school teachers be able to call creationism "superstitious nonsense"?

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  • Yes; they have freedom of speech and academic freedom

    33 56.90%
  • No; this amounts to the state picking sides on a religious matter

    14 24.14%
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    11 18.97%
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Thread: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

  1. #121
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Just1Voice View Post
    It's not a matter of the "governments position." It is a matter of the teachers responsibility to their students.
    The teacher is an agent of the government when acting in an official capacity.

    Attacking a single viewpoint of a religion is not an attack on the religion.
    Yes it is. That distinction is entirely subjective. If the government declared that the idea of a virgin birth, the trinity, Jesus being the son of God, miracles, the crucifixion, and the resurrection were all "superstitious nonsense" but didn't explicitly call Christianity "superstitious nonsense" would that be OK?

    There are lots of Christians that believe in evolution and the laws of physics.
    So what? Just because SOME people believe one thing doesn't give a government official the right to criticize others who don't.

    But teachers should not tolerate falsehoods to be taught in the schools.
    No one is suggesting they should. That has absolutely nothing to do with the subject of this thread.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 08-21-11 at 09:25 PM.
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  2. #122
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    The teacher is an agent of the government when acting in an official capacity.

    According to whom? A teacher has a responsibility to teach. If the government has hired them to teach, then that government must accept that the teacher is going to do their job.

  3. #123
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    Actually, EVERYTHING has a history -- including both religion and science, and as such are part of any complete history curriculum...
    He shouldn't be discussing them, but he can certainly discuss their origins and the historical context from which they came about.

  4. #124
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    He shouldn't be discussing them, but he can certainly discuss their origins and the historical context from which they came about.
    Shouldn't be discussing what? It is common to discuss the major tenents of the major religions of the world, and even some religions of historical note. This was actually in the mandated curriculum when I taught in Fulton County, Georgia...
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  5. #125
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    Shouldn't be discussing what?
    The logic behind the concepts (in depth, such as pointing out fallacious reasoning as this teacher did). A simple description of what is believed and by whom would more than suffice for a history class.

  6. #126
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I thought this was an interesting ruling because it isn't specifically about evolution versus creationism. (On that issue, schools should obviously teach evolution and not creationism, because one is a matter of scientific fact and the other is a matter of religion.) But in this case, you have a teacher who specifically called creationism "superstitious nonsense." Some people had a problem with this and sued the school, on the grounds that the state should not establish a religion. The judge ruled that the teacher should be able to voice that opinion in the classroom if he wanted to.

    I'm actually on the plaintiff's side on this. While I think there is plenty of good reason to be hostile toward creationism, that's no reason for the teacher to make a statement like this. For those who disagree, ask yourself if you would be OK with a teacher saying the same thing about some other doctrine of religious faith: "Judaism is superstitious nonsense," or "the virgin birth is superstitious nonsense," or "not believing in God is superstitious nonsense." I think that whether one agrees with those statements or not, it's a bad precedent to allow government employees to express their personal religious views to a captive audience.

    What do you think?
    It's not a teacher's job to tell people that what they believe is "superstitious nonsense". However, I'm not sure that there is any legal basis from stopping this teacher (although I would fire his ass). They could make a legal argument against the teacher using a liberal interpretation of the free exercise clause of the 1st amendment, but it likely wouldn't hold water against the obvious interpretation of free speech.

    That said, had the teacher proclaimed that "creationism is fact", the ruling would have been reversed which is hypocritical in my opinion.

  7. #127
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    I'm just going to ask, because I do it everytime this comes up.

    1) Some people believe very passionately that the Moon Landing was faked (as we've seen in this very forum). Should that be taught as an alternative view of history?

    2) Some people believe that the Earth is in fact, flat. Should that be taught as an alternative view of geography? (Actually, the basis for their belief can be found in the very same place as the Creationist belief. At least they say it's Biblical...)


    Quote Originally Posted by Jetboogieman View Post
    This issue has been plowed more times than Paris Hilton.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oborosen View Post
    Too bad we have to observe human rights.

  8. #128
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by rocket88 View Post
    1) Some people believe very passionately that the Moon Landing was faked (as we've seen in this very forum). Should that be taught as an alternative view of history?
    That's an interesting question. My first thought was "No, it shouldn't be" but then thinking about it, even though I personally don't buy the conspiracy theory, it might warrant some mention that it exists during a historical discussion about the space race.

    2) Some people believe that the Earth is in fact, flat. Should that be taught as an alternative view of geography? (Actually, the basis for their belief can be found in the very same place as the Creationist belief. At least they say it's Biblical...)
    That one shouldn't even be mentioned by the people who believe it, unless they are using some sort of physics-based argument related to the curvature of space-time, in which case it could make for an interesting discussion.

    But if they are simply saying "Nope, it's flat, damnit!" they should just be ignored. Actually, **** it, I'm feeling cranky tonight. If they believe that they should just be shot and their corpses should be fed to pigs.

  9. #129
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    But if they are simply saying "Nope, it's flat, damnit!" they should just be ignored. Actually, **** it, I'm feeling cranky tonight. If they believe that they should just be shot and their corpses should be fed to pigs.
    We could just toss the corpses over the side of the Earth. According to them, it's possible.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jetboogieman View Post
    This issue has been plowed more times than Paris Hilton.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oborosen View Post
    Too bad we have to observe human rights.

  10. #130
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by rocket88 View Post
    We could just toss the corpses over the side of the Earth. According to them, it's possible.
    Well played, sir. Well played.

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