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BrianY
02-28-2012, 10:49 AM
So, my youngest son is in 4th grade. He came home form school yesterday very upset because a bunch of his Christian friends found out he's an Atheist - or at least is Agnostic at this point - and the ganged up on him asking all sorts of rediculous questions, making fun of him, etc. simply because he said he didn't believe in God. This happend twice over the course of the school day. He was very apprehensive about going to school this morning because he's afraid he's going to get pounced on again. Will's not the kind of kid to go around bragging or boasting about his lack of faith. One of the kids asked him what religion he was and he answered honestly, so he didn't bring this on himself.

This has been very much on his mind recently because he's in Cub Scouts and one of the requirements to get your Arrow of Light is that you complete a religion/sprituality requiremnt. We've been working out how to do that and we've had a lot of discussions about religious beliefs, Atheism, Agnosticism and Zen Buddhism and he's got a pretty good grasp of the ideas, beliefs, issues, controversies etc. - as good as any intelligent 4th grader can. My point is that he has actually thought about this stuff and that he's NOT calling himself an Atheist just to be 'cool' or "different".

I have no problem with people having religious faith. However, intolerance of different beliefs is for many people an inherent part of faith and it's something that is passed on to children, conscioulsy or subconsciously. It's too bad that these kids are so indoctrinated by their parents and churches that they are right and anyone who believes differently is wrong that they feel it's OK to gang up on someone who doesn't share their beliefs.

It was interesting to me that the one kid who stuck up for him comes from a Muslim family. I wonder if he has more sympathy because he comes from a religious background that is also the subject of persecution in this country. Or maybe his parents just raised him better....

Anyway, I thought that this might generate some interesting discussion. ...... or not......

TomF
02-28-2012, 11:01 AM
I feel for your son, and am glad that one kid at least stood up for him. I've said before that for many, their religious beliefs become "tribal" markers of identity and group allegiance - it sounds like that's exactly how the questions even arose with your son. They asked what religion he subscribed to (i.e. what "tribe"), and his answer provoked dominance behaviour. I'm sorry that he has to deal with this; he's got my thoughts (and prayers).

I'm not surprised that the Muslim lad stood with him. As another "outsider," he'll have had more incentive to examine his own thoughts and beliefs closely than folks on the "inside." It might be interesting for your son to ask him, privately, why he did - where his internal resource came from to be willing to paint a target on himself. It might be just that the boy was "raised well," and it might be that he was consciously expressing some of the tenets of his own understanding of Islam.

skuthorp
02-28-2012, 11:02 AM
Happened to me both in school and in scouts but that was 60 years ago. I find it very disturbing in a civilized western democracy in 2012. But look at your politics at present. What is the school doing? Kids especially can be very cruel to an 'other', Even at 9 or so I didn't care what other kids thought and made a point of the difference. Talking to him the way you are is good, but he may have to get used to the simplistic jibes of his peers. As long as no other parent gets involved. Give the boy my regards if you think it appropriate.

Ian McColgin
02-28-2012, 11:05 AM
Any fourth grader who takes anything seriously enough to think for him- or herself will get ganged up on. It's a badge of honor. Like the marshall facing down the whole town.

How to deal with in in scouting may be harder. Scouting has some god-talk that Buddhists and other non-theistic belief systems manage to get around since they sanction compromises that the early Church Martyrs would not make. If one is honestly agnostic one might understand the words about god to be about something in human experience but not necessarily about something out there, metaphysically separate from being human. The serious atheist can express god-talk for the comfort of others, as some social workers or psychologists may do with clients whose whole frame of reference is locked in there, but that's not really a Cub Scout thing.

Others may express god talk rather as Bishop Pike did in his heresy defense. Pike had publicly denied the virgin birth. He also said the Apostles' Creed. In the end it was ruled that so long as he said the Creed and God didn't smite him, exactly how he meant it was not heresy.

G'luck

Paul Girouard
02-28-2012, 11:09 AM
It would be my opinion your son thinks he's agnostic because his parents are. Are you afraid he might change his "opinion" if he's allowed to hear a different opinion?

As far as bulling goes , it happens, he needs to learn how to deal with it at some point. At least some "level" of bullying , could be his classmates are over the top , could be it's what is normal. You need to be the judge of that , maybe a quick visit with his teachers to see what they think of the "level" of bullying, or maybe they , the teacher / scout leaders are in your opinion "over the top" ?

S.V. Airlie
02-28-2012, 11:09 AM
Kids can be cruel. Some kids do not need a reason for being the way they are.Any reason will do. I've had bullies attack me because I took a senior class as a sophomore. I stepped on their turf by doing so. Non seniors were not allowed to do that. No sophomore should have the highest grade average in the class eitherl What you say here, is duplicated over and over. They usually fade away by many of those so called bullies who need an audience to feel like men just not the topic. I'm not sure whether the kid came to his defense did so as he was treated in the same manner by the same idiots. Just accept that he did.

RichKrough
02-28-2012, 11:13 AM
Kids look for anything to tease one another about be it if religion ,haircut, clothes, whatever. My son was raised Jewish, he had to put with sheot from the Jesus spawn too. My suggestion is to invite the kids over for a Saturday night sleepover with a fun activity scheduled at about 10 or 11 am on Sunday. If they are from a Christian household they will be bumming because they can't go. It worked for us!

If the teasing gets to bullying, Karate,boxing lessons or $10 to a bigger bully will fix that problem

Flying Orca
02-28-2012, 11:14 AM
Reminds me of moving to a new town and getting beaten up 'cause I couldn't say what church my family attended (that would be "none"). Kids can be pretty tribal about such things, but it sure was a shock. (For those of you who have a good grasp of Canadian hippie hangouts and religious tensions, the move in question was from the Toronto Islands to small-town New Brunswick, which probably explains a lot right there...)

TomF
02-28-2012, 11:22 AM
...the move in question was from the Toronto Islands to small-town New Brunswick, which probably explains a lot right there...Bloody New Brunswickers. Stupid and fiesty, every damned one of 'em.

BrianY
02-28-2012, 11:23 AM
It would be my opinion your son thinks he's agnostic because his parents are. Are you afraid he might change his "opinion" if he's allowed to hear a different opinion?


Actually, no I'm not "afraid". I've taken him to a Congragational Church service so he could see what it's like (I grew up in a Congregational Church so it's what I know best so it's the easiest variety of Christianity for me to explain to him). When we've talked about religion, I have been very candid about my personal beliefs, but I have also told him as much as I can about what other people believe and I've have told him repeatedly that it is up to him to choose. he knows that if he wants to go to church - any church - I'll be happy to take him and if he has questions that I can't answer, I'll find someone who can.

That being said, I'm sure that I have some influence over his thoughts in the matter - as is natural in a parent-child relationship. In any case, if he grows up to be a believer, I fine with it as long as he's happy. It's his choice.

What I interested in is what Tom F aptly described as "tribal" behavior by kids that are otherwise his friends and playmates. What I am "afraid" of is that he might be pressured into professing some sort of faith because of peer pressure and not because of any genuine feeling.

genglandoh
02-28-2012, 11:23 AM
I would recommend your wife call the kids moms and explain the issue in a friendly way.
Most parents do not know that their kids do or say at school and would be willing to address the issue with their kids.

It has always worked for us whenever their was a problem with kids on any subject.

Paul Girouard
02-28-2012, 11:24 AM
Bloody New Brunswickers. Stupid and fiesty, every damned one of 'em.



Bullying on WBF is frowned upon, straighten up and fly straight ya Nob, or there will be repercussions, we'll make you read the entire Schooner thread , or som-thin like that.

TomF
02-28-2012, 11:29 AM
Bullying on WBF is frowned upon, straighten up and fly straight ya Nob, or there will be repercussions, we'll make you read the entire Schooner thread , or som-thin like that.Good God, not that!

Where's TylerDurden when you need him? I've got that scene from Fight Club in my head, where Ed Norton savagely beats himself up in his boss' office. :D

Paul Girouard
02-28-2012, 11:37 AM
How would that work if you turned it around? Naturally, kids are inclined to adapt to the religious attitudes of thier parents. How many Christian parents are afraid that exposure to secularism might weaken the presumed 'faith' of thier children?




Yes , that was my point it works both ways. But being "reasonable" , from a conservative view point, is NEVER considered "reasonable" on WBF, yet another stereotypically ( both ways from Norm and I ) view. Twisted , isn't it? LOL

tigerregis
02-28-2012, 11:46 AM
TomF, when you say herring-chokers are "fiesty". Do you have Yvon Durrel in mind?

TomF
02-28-2012, 11:48 AM
TomF, when you say herring-chokers are "fiesty". Do you have Yvon Durrel in mind?He does come to mind - though "fiesty" is a bit of an understatement for him.

I worked with one of his distant cousins for a couple of years - paradoxically a very gentle man, though heavily built and with massive big fists.

leikec
02-28-2012, 11:51 AM
I think it would be more like an army of cello players--all of them a bow-stroke away from snapping... :D

Jeff C

TomF
02-28-2012, 12:07 PM
... What I am "afraid" of is that he might be pressured into professing some sort of faith because of peer pressure and not because of any genuine feeling.Well, then at least he'd be like most everyone else sitting in the pews. :D

Concievably if things get bad enough, he might arrive at such a saw-off someday, though let's fervently hope not.

But if he does, let him go in under no illusions about why ... and think of himself as an impartial observer. Paradoxically, that would put him in the frame of mind to actually explore whether the ideas in the church in question have any merit of their own to him, or not. That kind of detachment and reflection is something which his "friends" won't have access to for some years yet.

BrianY
02-28-2012, 12:50 PM
Tom F - If ever we should meet, I would be very happy to buy you a beer. :-)

Flying Orca
02-28-2012, 02:03 PM
Bloody New Brunswickers. Stupid and fiesty, every damned one of 'em.

:D I wondered... do you know the Toronto Islands at all? Hippie heaven in those days, I was six years old and knew which neighbours smoked dope! ...and it wasn't just the parents of those of my classmates who had names like Sky and Leaf... :D

TomF
02-28-2012, 02:36 PM
Sounds like I should travel more. ;)

I know the Toronto Islands only by reputation - my brother works in Toronto. But there's something hippie-friendly about island culture ... at least 'till the real estate on the islands themselves get too expensive for hippies to afford. When I lived in Victoria and Vancouver, I had friends on Saltspring, Denman, Gabriola and Bowen Islands ... epic. :D

Flying Orca
02-28-2012, 05:23 PM
One of my good friends - the guy who wrote the series from which I derive my "Bonehunter" tag - lived on Saltspring and named his son Bowen.

He's moving back to Canada, which pleases me.

John Smith
02-28-2012, 07:15 PM
It would be my opinion your son thinks he's agnostic because his parents are. Are you afraid he might change his "opinion" if he's allowed to hear a different opinion?

As far as bulling goes , it happens, he needs to learn how to deal with it at some point. At least some "level" of bullying , could be his classmates are over the top , could be it's what is normal. You need to be the judge of that , maybe a quick visit with his teachers to see what they think of the "level" of bullying, or maybe they , the teacher / scout leaders are in your opinion "over the top" ?

What's your point. I was in elementary school when "under God" was put in the Pledge. I haven't said it since. When the class said the 23rd psalm or the Lord's Prayer, I did not. It was not an easy thing to do, or, rather, not do, and I was the target of much ridicule.

It taught me all the "love thy neighbor" stuff is pure BS. All a religious belief does is give someone something to feel superior to others with. It's all, IMO, a stupid non provable belief in an invisible man in the sky who is the least trustworthy being ever imagined.

John Smith
02-28-2012, 07:19 PM
How would that work if you turned it around? Naturally, kids are inclined to adapt to the religious attitudes of thier parents. How many Christian parents are afraid that exposure to secularism might weaken the presumed 'faith' of thier children?

It is actually dumb to even propose this, as a hypothetical, since the antagonism against atheism and agnosticism isn't even remotely subtle... it's blatant. Just listen to Rick Santorum spouting his dominionist beliefs.

My opinion is we might consider teaching kids at a rather young age about some of the various religions people follow and that many don't follow any.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
02-28-2012, 07:19 PM
I say this somewhat sadly, but with conviction. I don't speak to the immediate authority in the school, nor do I speak to parents. I go directly to the board office after I have thoroughly researched board policy, and legal obligation. I present what has happened to the board managment, and request a written reply, cc my lawyer, within 72 hours. I find it gets immediate attention, and that they don't &%$# around.

Chris Coose
02-28-2012, 07:28 PM
Excellent teaching opportunity.
I'd have alerted the school administration to the potential for further harrassment.
Good chance to work the Cub Scouts too. Seems to me local chapters will accomodate when it gets kept local.

Keith Wilson
02-28-2012, 07:32 PM
Where's TylerDurden when you need him? This is a contradiction in terms, like a round square.

Durnik
02-28-2012, 08:23 PM
simply because he said he didn't believe in God.
My first thought was it's a shame our culture is so caught up in the fallacy of the excluded middle.. There are options _other_ than 'believing' or 'not believing'.. altho the gang mentality pretty much devolves to a 'for us or agin us' way of looking at things..


one of the requirements to get your Arrow of Light is that you complete a religion/spirituality requirement.
Are the scouts so restrictive that only the monotheistic religions are considered? Perhaps a treatise on Native American respect for all could suffice for them, if for he? Tho, regarding the leaders, it may be difficult for a monotheisticly entrapped mind to understand his offering, I'll wager (some of) the other boys will be impressed.



Where's TylerDurden when you need him?


This is a contradiction in terms, like a round square.

Then "where he belongs" is an applicable statement.. in several ways? ;-)

enjoy
bobby

LeeG
02-28-2012, 08:29 PM
BrianY, the main reason I didn't join Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts is because of the religious aspect. Growing up in an areligious household I didn't know any other kids who didn't espouse some religious identity. Just be there to listen and talk with him.

LeeG
02-28-2012, 08:30 PM
Any fourth grader who takes anything seriously enough to think for him- or herself will get ganged up on. It's a badge of honor. Like the marshall facing down the whole town.


G'luck

excellent perspective

BrianY
02-28-2012, 10:55 PM
Update:

Will went to school today and saw his friends and he told them how upset they had made him and he also told them that they owed him an apology...which they did. He did this on his own with no prompting from me or his mom.

He said he'd think about accepting their apology... ;-)

So, all is right with the world again. ( and dad is very proud of his little boy ! )

Keith Wilson
02-28-2012, 11:04 PM
Excellent! He handled it very well. You should be proud of him. I am too, for that matter, and you can tell him so.

skuthorp
02-28-2012, 11:36 PM
|;)Brilliant, now, does he want to be president? We will need rational, straight thinking and honest citizens like him in the future.

TomF
02-29-2012, 06:44 AM
What Keith said - brilliant.

LeeG
02-29-2012, 07:17 AM
Smitty, tell us more about your kids

John Smith
02-29-2012, 07:31 AM
My first thought was it's a shame our culture is so caught up in the fallacy of the excluded middle.. There are options _other_ than 'believing' or 'not believing'.. altho the gang mentality pretty much devolves to a 'for us or agin us' way of looking at things..


Are the scouts so restrictive that only the monotheistic religions are considered? Perhaps a treatise on Native American respect for all could suffice for them, if for he? Tho, regarding the leaders, it may be difficult for a monotheisticly entrapped mind to understand his offering, I'll wager (some of) the other boys will be impressed.




Then "where he belongs" is an applicable statement.. in several ways? ;-)

enjoy
bobby

Religious beliefs just give us another reason to fight with one another. How much less conflict would be if we had no religion.

John Smith
02-29-2012, 07:32 AM
Excellent! He handled it very well. You should be proud of him. I am too, for that matter, and you can tell him so.
Me too.

John Smith
02-29-2012, 07:33 AM
You really consider 10 year olds acting like 10 year olds to be "persecution"? You and your kid need to grow a pair. Suppose it was a group of kids who's parents had trained them to be Athiests and a single Christian kid. Do you think they would have behaved any differently? They would have picked on the one kid who was different. Just like 4th graders everywhere.

It would be just as bad reversed. Do you have to be a certain ash to persecute someone?

John Smith
02-29-2012, 07:36 AM
I tried to teach my kids, and now my grandkids, to simply be nice. Even if it is someone you don't like, be nice. You don't have to invite him to your party, but he may be in many of your classes through school. Be nice. One day you may be good friends.

Ian McColgin
02-29-2012, 08:00 AM
Polite is good. As Winston Churchill put it, if you're going to kill someone, it does no harm to be polite about it.

bob winter
02-29-2012, 08:09 AM
When I was in grade 4, I had no opinion on religion, one way or another. I don't think any of my friends did either because the subject never came up.

Flying Orca
02-29-2012, 08:21 AM
I definitely had opinions on religion by grade four, if only because other kids kept asking about what I believed, which led to conversations featuring a lot of long pauses and incredulous looks on my part. I may not have had a name for it, but I had a strong sense that what they were describing to me came off as ridiculous.

LeeG
02-29-2012, 08:26 AM
I definitely had opinions on religion by grade four, if only because other kids kept asking about what I believed, which led to conversations featuring a lot of long pauses and incredulous looks on my part. I may not have had a name for it, but I had a strong sense that what they were describing to me came off as ridiculous.

same here, why fish sticks on Friday at the school cafeteria?

Flying Orca
02-29-2012, 06:10 PM
10 year olds in a group will pick on whoever is different. And I doubt they put any more significance on religious differences than if they were picking on the one kid who liked a different baseball team. 10 year olds don't behave like adults.

I dunno; from what you're saying, it sounds like they behave just like (some, maybe most) adults.

Durnik
02-29-2012, 09:18 PM
Religious beliefs just give us another reason to fight with one another. How much less conflict would be if we had no religion.

Oh, Oh! You're channeling someone.. Hang on.. It's on the tip 'o me tongue.. John something.. What was that name.. Ah! "Lennon"!

Imagine there's no countries
..
And no religion too

Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can
Nothing to kill or die for A brotherhood of man

Ya.. ;-)

enjoy
bobby

Bob Cleek
02-29-2012, 10:22 PM
Religious beliefs just give us another reason to fight with one another. How much less conflict would be if we had no religion.

Interesting question. How much less conflict would there be if we didn't have a Constitution that began "All men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights...?" How much less conflict would there be if all those people who ascribe to Judeo-Christian moral precepts were no longer bound by such rules as the Ten Commandments? It could go either way, don't you think.

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
02-29-2012, 10:45 PM
So, my youngest son is in 4th grade. He came home form school yesterday very upset because a bunch of his Christian friends found out he's an Atheist - or at least is Agnostic at this point - and the ganged up on him asking all sorts of rediculous questions, making fun of him, etc. simply because he said he didn't believe in God.

It's bullying, plain and simple. I tolerated it all through grade school, and suffered serious emotional problems because of it. It's a miracle I didn't harm a lot of people because I had the means, but just enough sense to know I would go to prison. Talk to the school, do it now. Schools have gotten a lot more sensitive to this stuff. BUT, make sure the school is interested in policy and education that effects the entire school system, not just these bullies. Otherwise, another day it will be other bullies. Ask the school flat out, is this what your school is about? No? What are you doing to prevent it? Not react after the fact, but preventing the children from having these attitudes in the first place. Don't get anywhere? Talk to the school board. No satisfaction there? Run for the school board.

For me, bullying started in the 5th grade, after we moved to a new community. Bullying will only get worse as the kids get older, unless the school has very strong proactive measures in place to prevent it. Take action now.

Anyone that thinks that bullying should be a normal part of growing up and will help develop a person is an idiot. The exact opposite is true. The abused either shut down or overreact, violently.

CWSmith
03-01-2012, 12:00 AM
BrianY,

I have a friend who grew up in 'bama. He is an atheist, twice as smart as the other kids, and got beat up on a regular basis for it.

First, let's not reflect on religion over this - it's dumb ass kids who probably have dumb ass parents. It's nothing more than that.

Second, I am sad to say it has plagued him all his adult life. He has never really outgrown it. Please, stay on top of this so your child understands that bullies are just that and nothing more. They are weak, pittiful creatures who are themselves tormented by weak, pittiful older creatures. Don't underestimate this - like all bullying, it leaves scars that even the adult never comes to term with fully.

Nicholas Scheuer
03-01-2012, 12:31 AM
Too bad about the Scouts. Scouting was the most important part of my life growing up. I stuck with it a good many years as a leader after that. The religious requirement was no problem for me due to my Catholic parents and out Church which sponsored the Scout Pack, Troop, and Explorer Post. Nonetheless, I would have no problem now with the BSA moving past "requirements" to participate in religion. However, considering the recent growth in influence of the "religious Right" I don't see such a move by the BSA as being realistic. There would be a huge outcry of protest in the media, with the flames mostly fanned by hypocrites.

Think about it, the way the BSA promotes religious practice, while specifying no paricular religion, that makes all religions more or less "equal" in the eyes of the BSA. Now go tell the public that, in so many words, "all religions are the same". That's where the hypocrites come in, Muslims being equal to Christians, nobody blaming Jews anymore for killing Jesus, etc. They wouldn't be able to get their minds around all of that.

We see plenty of examples in another current WBF thread concerning "separation of church and state". One side claims that the USA recognises no particular religion as being the "official" or "state" religion. But are all religions considered equal? well, only if Christians get to be more equal than the others.

AussieBarney
03-01-2012, 02:53 AM
Tom F - If ever we should meet, I would be very happy to buy you a beer. :-)

And I would be honoured to buy the second round.

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
03-01-2012, 03:04 AM
BrianY,

I have a friend who grew up in 'bama. He is an atheist, twice as smart as the other kids, and got beat up on a regular basis for it.

First, let's not reflect on religion over this - it's dumb ass kids who probably have dumb ass parents. It's nothing more than that.

Second, I am sad to say it has plagued him all his adult life. He has never really outgrown it. Please, stay on top of this so your child understands that bullies are just that and nothing more. They are weak, pittiful creatures who are themselves tormented by weak, pittiful older creatures. Don't underestimate this - like all bullying, it leaves scars that even the adult never comes to term with fully.

Damn straight. Exactly the point I was trying to make. And all the explaining to your kid is not going to make up for the hurt. While the attackers may be weak pitiful creatures, your son should not have to suffer the guilt of being attacked AND having sympathy for his attackers. It should just stop, apologies required, and never occur again anywhere in the school system. The costs of bullying have gotten high visibility as of late, so you should have plenty of leverage with which to speak to the school about it, Brian.

John Smith
03-01-2012, 07:20 AM
Interesting question. How much less conflict would there be if we didn't have a Constitution that began "All men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights...?" How much less conflict would there be if all those people who ascribe to Judeo-Christian moral precepts were no longer bound by such rules as the Ten Commandments? It could go either way, don't you think.

Do you know anyone who is bound by the ten commandments? Especially the one about baring false witness?

John Smith
03-01-2012, 07:22 AM
BrianY,

I have a friend who grew up in 'bama. He is an atheist, twice as smart as the other kids, and got beat up on a regular basis for it.

First, let's not reflect on religion over this - it's dumb ass kids who probably have dumb ass parents. It's nothing more than that.

Second, I am sad to say it has plagued him all his adult life. He has never really outgrown it. Please, stay on top of this so your child understands that bullies are just that and nothing more. They are weak, pittiful creatures who are themselves tormented by weak, pittiful older creatures. Don't underestimate this - like all bullying, it leaves scars that even the adult never comes to term with fully.

this doesn't change as people grow up. Religion gives people of all ages justification for acts that cannot be otherwise justified.

John Smith
03-01-2012, 07:23 AM
Interesting question. How much less conflict would there be if we didn't have a Constitution that began "All men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights...?" How much less conflict would there be if all those people who ascribe to Judeo-Christian moral precepts were no longer bound by such rules as the Ten Commandments? It could go either way, don't you think.

Incidentally, you are not quoting the constitution. The constitution begins with: In order to form a more perfect union........ You, I believe, are quoting the declaration of independence.

John Smith
03-01-2012, 07:27 AM
Damn straight. Exactly the point I was trying to make. And all the explaining to your kid is not going to make up for the hurt. While the attackers may be weak pitiful creatures, your son should not have to suffer the guilt of being attacked AND having sympathy for his attackers. It should just stop, apologies required, and never occur again anywhere in the school system. The costs of bullying have gotten high visibility as of late, so you should have plenty of leverage with which to speak to the school about it, Brian.

What we need is answers. How does the school stop bullying? I cite the teacher who took the grapes from the kid throwing them and got suspended for his actions. The Teacher got suspended, so as no one is unclear about that.

To what extent are we prepared to stand behind teachers in their effort to stop bullying?

Keith Wilson
03-01-2012, 08:07 AM
How much less conflict would there be if we didn't have a Constitution that began "All men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights...?" We don't. That's from the Declaration of Independence, which is an excellent bit of writing, but not part of US law. And you know perfectly well that the author's ideas about God and religion would have gotten him burned at the stake not too long before.


How much less conflict would there be if all those people who ascribe to Judeo-Christian moral precepts were no longer bound by such rules as the Ten Commandments?Bound? What's this "bound"? Last I checked, those who profess belief in the ten commandments behave no better than average.

George.
03-01-2012, 08:52 AM
The Ten Commandments... what's the first one again? And where does it leave anyone who doesn't believe in that version of God?

TomF
03-01-2012, 09:28 AM
One answer of course, is that knowing a law isn't necessary for one to be bound by it. Gravity, for instance, or thermodynamics.

Someone who grew up in a cave raised by wolves would still be bound by your or my country's laws about murder to.

Tar Devil
03-01-2012, 12:51 PM
It taught me all the "love thy neighbor" stuff is pure BS. All a religious belief does is give someone something to feel superior to others with.

That is grossly stereotyping, John, though sometimes I can't blame anyone who does. Some of the fundamentalist come across with some pretty hateful attitudes about beliefs unaligned with theirs.

I am Christian, but I am NOT religious. I believe in humbleness and kindness toward others... regardless of faith or lack of. If one cannot see those characteristics in me, I have failed in my convictions. Least of all do I want my faith to seem unappealing to others.

Brian, I am sorry about what happened to your son. Those kids ARE a product of their parents' intolerant attitudes. Sadly, it won't go away.

George.
03-01-2012, 01:26 PM
Interesting that it took almost 200 years after those words(equality by their creator) were written by hypocrite slave owners to reach actual full practice. Shortly after 1964 are there abouts I would say.

Not yet, I say. Still only applies to those your government arbitrarily decides it applies to.

Canoeyawl
03-01-2012, 01:57 PM
A certain ash? Sorry, I don't know what you mean by that. 10 year olds in a group will pick on whoever is different. 10 year olds don't behave like adults.


Your correct of course, they don't.
Some of them just bring a gun to school and settle up right then. It's the american way.
Those would be the ones that "grew a pair" - I'll bet their parents are proud.

Osborne Russell
03-01-2012, 03:04 PM
Interesting that it took almost 200 years after those words(equality by their creator) were written by hypocrite slave owners to reach actual full practice.

What was hypocritical about it?

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
03-02-2012, 01:32 AM
What we need is answers. How does the school stop bullying? I cite the teacher who took the grapes from the kid throwing them and got suspended for his actions. The Teacher got suspended, so as no one is unclear about that.

To what extent are we prepared to stand behind teachers in their effort to stop bullying?

A bully's behavior begins with the parents. First, I would have an all-hands assembly in the school gymnasium, all kids and parents, attendance mandatory. I would announce that if your kids bully kids physically, or tease kids about anything, basically anything but saying something kind and helpful, I'm going to boot their ass out. Not suspend, expel. Then your kids can grow up to get a job on the assembly line, and you know how well that is going. You want to fight it, get a lawyer. We're here to make your kids smarter so they can get a job. Your child harms another child, physically or mentally, they're gone. So you'd better go home and talk to your kids about it, make sure they understand, because they won't get a second chance. And I do mean talk, not bullying your own kid. If your kid is a bully because they are being bullied by you, you have two problems. You have your own anger issues to deal with, and now you have to figure out what to do with your kid when they're home all day after being expelled.

If you tell me a school district cannot make this stick, I would disagree, based on what I have seen at schools where they really place a high priority on polite social interaction and the teaching of ethics from a young age.

Second, and this is for the above and for better education, I would assign a counselor whose sole job is to visit the parents of every student in the first semester, in their homes. See what environment they are growing up in.

Third, during the aforementioned all-hands assembly, I would give the parents the following assignment. Ask your kids "What do you want to do with your life when you are grown up?" Don't think this is an appropriate question for a ten year old? Because they don't know? Doesn't matter. Pick something. It changes in a month, fine, then go with that. But at any given time, they should have a career goal they are working toward, so they know what the education is for, and just as importantly, know what they will not get to do if they don't study and if they get thrown out of school. I would make sure that early in the semester they had a visit to a professional that does what they want to do when they grow up.

Fourth, I would not ring bells for the kids to get to class, I would teach them to simply show up when the class is supposed to start. Schools that ring bells teach kids to work in factories. Schools that don't ring bells teach kids to be professionals. There are no bells in lawyers and doctors offices. Or university classrooms. There's a book or someone's thesis about this, can't recall it at the moment, comparing prep schools to public schools.