Separation Between Church and State in the classroom.
Separation between Church and State. Teaching Evolution or Creation
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The Treaty of Tripoli, passed by the U.S. Senate in 1797, read in part: "The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion." The treaty was written during the Washington administration, and sent to the Senate during the Adams administration. It was read aloud to the Senate, and each Senator received a printed copy. This was the 339th time that a recorded vote was required by the Senate, but only the third time a vote was unanimous (the next time was to honor George Washington). There is no record of any debate or dissension on the treaty. It was reprinted in full in three newspapers - two in Philadelphia, one in New York City. There is no record of public outcry or complaint in subsequent editions of the papers.
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.
Through the Fourteenth Amendment, this mandate applies to the states and government employees. The first clause of this amendment, commonly referred to as the "Establishment Clause," indeed does guarantee a separation of church and state.
It is the Fourteenth Amendment and the process of incorporation that makes parts of the Bill of Rights apply to the states. State governments are not permitted to engage in cruel and unusual punishment (not just the feds.), state governments are not allowed to abridge the free exercise of religion (not just the feds.), state governments must allow freedom of the press (not just the feds.), state governments cannot abridge the people's right to free assemble or petition their government or their right to freedom of speech (not just the feds.).
No school teacher has the right to make any student feel that their own religious belief is superior to a pupil's belief.THE LAW 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. Through the Fourteenth Amendment, this mandate applies to the states and government employees. The first clause of this amendment, commonly referred to as the "Establishment Clause," indeed does guarantee a separation of church and state. It is the Fourteenth Amendment and the process of incorporation that makes parts of the Bill of Rights apply to the states. State governments are not permitted to engage in cruel and unusual punishment (not just the feds.), state governments are not allowed to abridge the free exercise of religion (not just the feds.), state governments must allow freedom of the press (not just the feds.), state governments cannot abridge the people's right to free assemble or petition their government or their right to freedom of speech (not just the feds.). No school teacher has the right to make any student feel that their own religious belief is superior to a pupil's belief. A Teachers Guide to Religion in the Public Schools PDF Can a teacher wear religious garb to school provided the teacher does not proselytize to the students? Article “Intelligent design is simply the most recent version of creationism, which is admittedly a religious concept,” said Alan Leshner, chief executive of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and publisher of the journal Science. “There is no scientific basis to intelligent design.” Science is concerned with the natural world, while intelligent design supposes an agent independent of the natural world. You can teach such concepts, Leshner and Scott say; indeed, you should — just do it in philosophy and religion and literature classes. Don't do it in science classes, because, by definition, that's religion. It isn't science. One side can be wrong Accepting 'intelligent design' in science classrooms would have disastrous consequences, warn Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne. If ID really were a scientific theory, positive evidence for it, gathered through research, would fill peer-reviewed scientific journals. This doesn't happen. It isn't that editors refuse to publish ID research. There simply isn't any ID research to publish. Its advocates bypass normal scientific due process by appealing directly to the non-scientific public and - with great shrewdness - to the government officials they elect.
- A Teachers Guide to Religion in the Public Schools PDF
- Can a teacher wear religious garb to school provided the teacher does not proselytize to the students?
- "WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS TRUE EVEN THOUGH YOU CANNOT PROVE IT?"
Great minds can sometimes guess the truth before they have either the evidence or arguments for it (Diderot called it having the "esprit de divination"). What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?
Creationism's Trojan Horse:The Wedge of Intelligent Design
Forrest and Gross expose the scientific failure, the religious essence, and the political ambitions of "intelligent design" creationism. They examine the movement's "Wedge Strategy," which has advanced and is succeeding through public relations rather than through scientific research. Analyzing the content and character of "intelligent design theory," they highlight its threat to public education and to the separation of church and state.
Public prayer fanatics borrow page from enemy's script
SUMMARY: The Bush administration has been dealt a setback in its campaign to allow prayer in our public schools. The full 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has voted 15-9 to back the 2-1 vote by its earlier panel finding the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional because of the words ''under God.''
The pledge, written in 1892, had those words added to it in 1954, during the Eisenhower administration, and I remember a nun in our Catholic school telling us we had to say it because it was the law -- but it was wrong, because it violated the principle of separating church and state.
The court said nothing about pledging allegiance to the flag. It spoke only of the words ''under God''--which amounted, the court said, to an endorsement of religion.
John Ashcroft, violates his oath of office daily by getting down on his knees in his government office every morning and welcoming federal employees to join him in ''voluntary'' prayer on carpets paid for by the taxpayers.
"Morality is doing what is right, regardless what we are told. Religious dogma is doing what we are told, no matter what is right.
The Hidden Dangers of Fundamentalism
A connection exists between disease outbreaks and extreme religious practice.
Polio could pose as much of a threat as suicide bombers. Religious fundamentalism is bad for your health. There are, of course, the ill effects suffered by suicide bombers and their innocent victims. Consider also the sarin gas attacks by the Aum Shinrikyo (Supreme Truth) sect, which killed 12 people in the Tokyo subway in 1995, and sickened 1,000 more. (Yes, I know the media reported 5,000 casualties, but 80% of them were the "worried well" who sought hospital emergency departments because of contact with victims, or consequent anxiety attacks).
What concerns me, however, is infectious disease. Consider these case histories:
The last outbreak of polio in Canada and the United States, in 1978-1979, was the result of travel from the Netherlands, where an outbreak was ongoing, to Canada by members of the Reformed Netherlands Congregation, a religious group that refused vaccinations.
In the fall of 1984 followers of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who had purchased the small town of Antelope in Wasco County in north central Oregon, plotted to take over the county. They tested a plan to sicken many of the county's voters on Election Day by contaminating 10 salad bars with salmonella in the county's largest town, The Dalles. Although no one died, 751 people fell ill. The commune panicked and gave up the plan.
In Uganda in 1998, an outbreak of cholera killed 83, and the resurgence of the disease was blamed on members of a sect in Soono Parish who hid patients from medical patrols. The sect was called Red Cross (not to be confused with the international relief organization), a group that collects dead bodies in the belief that resurrection is imminent.
When cholera broke out in Zimbabwe in 2002, it spread quickly among members of the Johanne Marange Apostolic Faith sect who were resisting treatment.
Most disastrously, in March 2004 the Kano state government in northern Nigeria refused to take part in a United Nations-led campaign to vaccinate West African children against polio. Islamic clerics alleged that the vaccine had been filled with hormones as part of a US-led plot to sterilize African girls. As a result, polio has spread from there, by the end of September 2005, to 11 previously polio-free countries, mostly in Africa but including Indonesia, Nepal, and Yemen. More than 900 cases of paralysis have been recorded, and the outbreak has cost many thousands of dollar-equivalents in mass vaccination campaigns that they can ill afford. Mass campaigns are no longer needed once a country has eradicated polio but must be reinstated after an importation.
Also in 2004, the Iraqi Communist Party alleged that the Yazidi religious sect in northern Iraq was facing genocide as a result of poisoning. It stated: "Four hundred cases of poisoning have been recorded, most of which are in critical condition. ... The matter has gone as far as affecting the physician of the only hospital in the village, who died of poisoning." The World Health Organization has investigated and found that 50 cases of gastrointestinal illness (not 400) had been reported in Dohuk in northern Iraq. Thirteen of the cases were from a housing complex in Khanak inhabited by the Yazidi, who practice Zoroastrianism, the ancient religion of Persians and Kurds. The water supply was in poor condition, and it was contaminated with sewage, not poison. This is particularly ironic because, according to the tenets of Zoroastrianism, in order to conserve the purity of water, fire, and earth, the dead cannot be immersed, cremated, or buried; Herodotus noted that the Persians do not urinate or spit in rivers. So the Yazidis would have been expected to take particular care with their water supply.
In May 2005, a rubella outbreak in a cluster of unvaccinated religious communities in southwestern Ontario, Canada, also probably originated from the Netherlands in the same way as the polio cases a quarter-century earlier.
The moral of this story: If you are a religious fundamentalist and care about your health, don't believe every rumor you hear, don't refuse vaccination or treatment, and keep your water supply clean.