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%
  • Other

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

  1. #301
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    Again, asking for a definition is not asking for evidence to back up an argument.
    So, you're saying that your argument is not dependent on the definition?
    I may be wrong.

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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon W. Moon View Post
    So, you're saying that your argument is not dependent on the definition?
    No, that's not what I'm saying.
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    Again, asking for a definition is not asking for evidence to back up an argument.
    In this case, actually it is. You made a claim that is dependent on a definition.
    We became a great nation not because we are a nation of cynics. We became a great nation because we are a nation of believers - Lindsey Graham

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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    In this case, actually it is. You made a claim that is dependent on a definition.
    No it wasn't
    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    If teachers cannot call creationism "superstituous nonsense" then they cannot be allowed to call natural phenomena we understand "superstituous nonsense" which includes explaining how lighting is not caused by Zeus.
    "If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him." - Sun Tzu

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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    \

    Ok, so lets say if a park ranger makes a controversial statement. Should the courts get involved, or should his superiors fire him for it if they see fit to do so? Freedom of speech means you are free to express yourself how you want to (other than something like yelling fire in theater) without fear of reprisal by the government. It does not mean that your employer, public or private, cannot fire you for it.
    Park Rangers are not in the same position as school teachers. Government funded schools have a captive audience and are under a different set of limitations than other government employees. This is the reason why school officials leading school prayers was ruled unconstitutional:

    Lee v. Weisman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    As we have observed before, there are heightened concerns with protecting freedom of conscience from subtle coercive pressure in the elementary and secondary public schools. Our decisions in [Engel] and [Abington] recognize, among other things, that prayer exercises in public schools carry a particular risk of indirect coercion. The concern may not be limited to the context of schools, but it is most pronounced there. What to most believers may seem nothing more than a reasonable request that the nonbeliever respect their religious practices, in a school context may appear to the nonbeliever or dissenter to be an attempt to employ the machinery of the State to enforce a religious orthodoxy.
    But I fully agree with your final points. An employee is constitutionally allowed to say just about whatever they want, but that doesn't mean it won't get their ass fired.

    Personally i think this guy had the right idea but went about it the wrong way. Navigating religion in a public classroom has long been treacherous for teachers, no matter their religion or lack thereof.

    I agree with what another commentator has said on the matter:

    First of all, he told the truth: creationism is religious, it is a product of superstition, and it is nonsense — it doesn't fit any of the evidence we have about the history of the world or life on it. We have to have the right to tell students not only that something is wrong, but that it is stupidly wrong.

    Secondly, we are being told over and over again that Christianity is not equivalent to creationism. This teacher has specifically said that creationism is nonsense, and this judge has equated a dismissal of a weird anti-scientific belief with making a rude remark about Christianity. So…where are all the Christians rising in outrage at the slander of their faith?
    High school teacher guilty of telling the truth…oh, and Chad Farnan is an idiot : Pharyngula
    Last edited by scourge99; 08-23-11 at 04:39 AM.
    If you believe in the Supernatural then you can become a millionaire!

    Questioning or criticizing another's core beliefs is inadvertently perceived as offensive and rude.

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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?
    I'm with the teacher on this one. Expressing your opinion on a specific religious belief does not establish a religion nor persecute it.

    Giving the church profound municipal authority and appointing the national leader as it's head establishes a national religion, not a teacher stating their opinion.

    Putting millions of people in ovens persecutes a religion, a teacher stating their opinion does not.

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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    If teachers cannot call creationism "superstituous nonsense" then they cannot be allowed to call natural phenomena we understand "superstituous nonsense" which includes explaining how lighting is not caused by Zeus.
    Are we to tell teachers that they can't talk down to tossing salt over a shoulder?

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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    The First Amendment also states that the government shall establish no religion, so it isn't quite that simple. Government employees are entitled to freedom of speech like everyone else, but they aren't necessarily entitled to it when they're acting in an official capacity. It's why a teacher can't lead his class in prayer, for example. Or why a federal judge can't have a plaque of the Ten Commandments in his courtroom. They have freedom of speech on their own time, but they cannot act in a way that suggests that the state favors one religion over another. Which is why I'm siding with the plaintiffs on this case.
    That might work until you realize Creationism is not a religion.

    I'm Christian and I say Creationism is superstitious rubbish.

    It would be helpful to know the context the statement was made in, given this was an advanced placement history class.
    Last edited by Jerry; 08-23-11 at 05:10 AM.

  10. #310
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    Re: Judges rule for teacher who called creationism "superstitious nonsense"

    Quote Originally Posted by OscarB63 View Post
    wrong, as usual. you are confusing "scientifically accepted" with "scientifically proven". they are not the same.
    Theories are tested, but are not necessarily or wrong.
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