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December 19, 2005

A Kansas Taliban?

When I moved to Kansas two years ago, I thought I was getting away from big city crime and violence. Instead of getting away, I have moved to an area that is moving toward not allowing free speech, free thought and new ideas.

Those on the far right have in effect declared that if you do not think as they do, you must be wrong — and, worse, you must be silenced. The Kansas Board of Education waffling on teaching science with religious leaning, the Blue Valley School District continuing its battle over literature and readings in the English classes: What differentiates Kansas from Afghanistan?

What is next — should women cover their heads, faces and bodies? Parents who knowingly raise children to believe that what they think is the only way to think have done a disservice to the state and the country. We must stop the intolerance for differences. Let’s allow discourse on other points of thinking to flow freely.

Dorothy Thiel
Overland Park

Comments

CRD

You were a substitute teacher, right? What school district, may I ask?

Ray Seay

CRD;
I do not know. It was not done in the school system I was in last year. I will go on record as being against ID in any school with this standard.

CRD

We have no reason to believe it ain't so. So far as I can tell, you'd like to assume they aren't, but haven't based that assumption on anything actual.

Ray Seay

CRD
From your post:

The student:

describes the beliefs of the major religions and philosophical systems of the world and their influence on the development of societies (i. e., Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism).

* * *

If this was universally done I would be happy to join you in marching and voting against ID.

CRD

what-ever.

Ray Seay

CRD;
My research takes longer than yours. I will check out what you said.
ID theory is faulty at best. THE POLITICAL TACTIC OF USING ID IN PLACE OF REAL RELIGION IS A POLITICALLY MRATIONAL TACTIC.

If these standards are widespread I would be very happy

CRD

"If these standards are widespread and fairly taught(not like Mericki did) "

The comments Professor Mirecki made to a private email group about those idiots on the KBOE who started this whole ID debacle are irrelevant to the factual issue of whether religion is being taught in K-12 public schools as part of history/civics/social studies. Mirecki does not teach at the primary or secondary level, and has nothing to do with Kansas public school education of kids -- he's a university professor.

As I see it, you've presented no evidence whatsoever that "religion is censored" from Kansas public schools, and nothing to back up the claim that "ID is a RATIONAL response" to anything, so I'd appreciate it if you'd simply drop that line of argument for the time being. I'm tired of responding to it with the same response over and over again.

Ray Seay

CRD;
I will. And get actual textbooks to see what is being taught.
If these standards are widespread and fairly taught(not like Mericki did) I would be very happy. I saw no such in practicr where I was a sub. teacher last year.
If this is being taught why fight so strongly over a 2 minute speech, once a year(not even by a teacher?)

CRD

and your point is?

You still have made no case for your claim that religion (and particularly the Christian religion) is impermissibly squelched by schools. Just about every public high school or junior high in the area has one or more religious-based extracurricular clubs, with active membership meeting before and after school in school facilities.

Furthermore, as regards social studies... I did a bit of googling -- note, I'm going to include internet links to my sourcee -- and I found the website for Council Grove Unified School District social studies curriculum, last updated in 2003.

Among other recommendations, the social studies curriculum committee states:

"Religions in relation to the development of cultures should be addressed."

http://www.cgrove417.org/cghs/curric/ss/

Here's a link to the Social Studies Curriculum for Conway Springs High School in Conway Springs, KS:

http://www.usd356.org/high_school/Academics/social_studies_curriculum.htm

from that site:

"** Kansas State standards from Civics-Government, Economics, Geography and History are used to form the Conway Springs High School curriculum for American History, World History and Government.

* * *
(American History)

By the end of the Twelfth Grade
The student:

* * *

knows core civic values inherent in the founding documents that have been the focus for unity in American society (i. e., free speech, RELIGION, press, assembly, other basic civil rights).

* * *

(World History)

The student:

describes the beliefs of the major religions and philosophical systems of the world and their influence on the development of societies (i. e., Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism).

* * *

knows core civic values inherent in the founding documents that have been the focus for unity in American society (i.e., free speech, religion, press, assembly, other basic civil rights).

* * *

analyzes the impact of interaction with the Islamic world on the culture of medieval Europe (i. e., Crusades, trade, rediscovery of Greek and Roman learning).

* * *

explains the significance of the Reformation (i. e., the ideas of Luther and Calvin, the English Reformation, conflict related to the Reformation, the Catholic Reformation, religious warfare).

* * *

analyzes the impact of European expansion into the Americas, Africa, and Asia (i. e., the establishment of colonial empires, the Columbian Exchange, growth of slavery, advances in navigation, influence of Christianity, rise of mercantilism and capitalism).

* * *
(Civics-Government class)

knows core civic values inherent in the founding documents that have been the focus for unity in American society (i. e., free speech, religion, press, assembly, other basic civil rights).
_________________________

Holy Cow, Religion IS being taught in Kansas public schools!!!! That's only two websites out of I have no idea how many school districts in KS, but being as they seem to be reflecting general state standards of education, it appears that the reports of religion's demise are premature.

Next time, do a bit of research.

Ray Seay

CRD;
When I went to school we studied religion maybe a half day a year as part of social studies. THERE WAS NO ID.

CRD

"ID is in because true religion is out."

That's a false premise, Ray. Remember the 9th Commandment. Good Christians don't fib. ;-)

hajkar

The reaction is the reaction. No need to discount it.

Engineer

It seems we have gone along very nicely with the last sentence of Dorothy Thiel's letter. And some of us live in Kansas. On the next to last sentence we are not doing too well. However, if her purpose was to start a meaningful, reasoned discussion about the subject, it seems her extreme language was a poor choice. If she was just "venting" then perhaps we have given more attention to her letter than it merits.

Ray Seay

BF:
ID is not good religion. As CRD says it ain’t science.
You surprise me. You come close to an understanding of religion after all.
ID is in because true religion is out. A tactical move. Since most naturists are incapable of a higher level of understanding, the concept must be simplified for them to grasp it.

“pure faith in the act [of creation] as a "supernatural and miraculous occurrence"“ That sounds like something I would write.

brianford

I'm not even sure I consider Intelligent Design it to be good -religion-. I can't imagine that God would be thrilled to find out that his followers were trying to repackage his achievement as Science.

To me, dropping Creation to the level of Science sort of lessens the impact that pure faith in the act as a "supernatural and miraculous occurrence" lends it. I'm not sure why anyone who was religious would want to put it into the realm of something as "observably possible" as Science.

brianford

"I was wondering what it would take to get BF involved...appearently, I just needed to type something."

Also, I would add: Don't think too highly of yourself. Due to a stupid glitch in the login system I wasn't able to comment most of yesterday morning. My sudden decision to do so had little to do with your comment.

CRD

Brian Ford said:

"Intelligent Design -is- a stupid opposition to Science. I could use any number of other adjectives, but the fact of the matter is that the problem with ID is that it is not science. Therefore pitting it against Science is stupid. "

I would rephrase the conclusion: "Therefore, portraying ID as a valid scientific alternative to the theory of evolution is plain dumb."

It may be a valid religious belief, and I'm actually not at all convinced that the concept of an intelligent designer is incompatible with evolutionary theory, but it sho' ain't science.

brianford

"I was wondering what it would take to get BF involved...appearently, I just needed to type something."

Yes, something that I wanted to comment on. Pretty much the same reason you comment about everything _I_ say. You seem to have Irishguy's belief that your position is the only one that shouldn't be challenged.

"You comment about the books, its just stupid."

I'm not surprised that you think so, but I don't think I'm alone in making that comment.

"Well, isn't that what the KBE did with ID in terms of determining whether that was appropriate for a science class. Wait, you mean that a board that reviews educational matieral could be wrong? **GASP**"

No, it's not the same thing at all. For one thing, the board as of yet hasn't been brave enough to fully insert Intelligent Design into the curriculum. I believe that their goal is to change the definition of Science so that it will be easier to later insert ID into the standards. (This is not a stretch. The judge in Dover ruled that the only way that ID could be considered Science, would be to change the definition of Science.) Second, I believe the Kansas School board had a religious agenda to fulfill by changing the standards. I don't think they probably care one way or the other about ID, other than as a means of eventually sneaking religion back into our public schools. The people who suggest books for required reading are not, as far as I know, the school board. They're a group of educators who look at what has been taught historically, and what has educational value currently. They're not biased in favor of anything other than picking good literature. Sorry, but your comparison is baseless.

"Censorship is about preventing someone who has something to say from saying it and preventing someone who wants to hear it from hearing it. It has nothing to do with making it available but not required."

I hate to tell you, but there is a banned book week in this country that focuses on books that for one reason or another have been banned. The Catcher in the Rye, for example has been kept out of school libraries on any number of occasions. That counts as censorship, right?

"Well, I guess all we need to do is label something stupid and we don't need to worry about silencing the opposition."

Intelligent Design -is- a stupid opposition to Science. I could use any number of other adjectives, but the fact of the matter is that the problem with ID is that it is not science. Therefore pitting it against Science is stupid.

""Happy Holidays" is a stupid alternative to "Merry Christmas".
Pro-Choice is a stupid alternative to Pro-Life.
Life in prison is a stupid alternative to the death penalty.
Smoking bans are the stupid alternative to free enterprise.
Gun bans are the stupid alternative to the second amendment.
Free speech is the stupid alternative to censorship."

These are all "stupid" (or at least, bad) analogies. All of those things that you've listed are differing opinions on the same subject. Your examples are as if you gave two people an apple and one said it was really good and another said it was horrible. My example is like giving one person an apple and another person an orange and asking which one tasted "more" apple-y" and having the orange person attempt to argue that they had a better apple.

"Wow...Brian you have opened a whole new world to me. If you call something stupid, all of a sudden, it is as if it never existed and I can claim superiority over people who believe in it."

Oh, if only this were true. Sadly, Intelligent Design advocates who wish to pit it against evolution still exist and I refuse to apologize for calling something stupid that deserves the label.

"What, she would never expect that a majority of the population could have an influence. I actually think that this is quite the opposite of the Taliban in which a small percent of the population ruled nullifying what anyone else wanted. Hmm... a representative democracy and an totalitarian oligarchy...good comparison. I would assume that you would complain about comparing apples and oranges."

I'm not sure that the majority of the population always gets the influence. For example the school board in Kansas ignored the advice of an "advisory panel" that greatly outnumbered the members of the board who eventually voted in favor of changing the standards. Clearly, in Dover, PA the majority did not agree with -their- school board as they voted them out the minute they got the chance.

I'm not sure what you're arguing about here. My point was that the letter writer was attempting to say that the things she listed were bad things for America to be a part of. Are you somehow trying to say that we -should- encourage those things?

Ray Seay

Hajkar;
...

http://jewishmediaresources.com/article/906/
courtesy of Chris 40

Posted by: Ray Seay | Dec 21, 2005 1:21:24 PM


READ HAJKAR;
Reading is fundamentalist.Try for #1

hajkar

"LIBERALS CAN be wonderful people, and boon companions, but they often have a hard time dealing with people of opposing views - especially when they cannot dismiss them out of hand as idiots."

Please provide a source for this quote. You can repeat it but it lacks proper context. Thats 2 strikes, Ray. One more and you are out. Don't make me move you to fifth in the ninth batting position on my Religious Roster.

 
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