published Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

National group demands end to prayers at Soddy-Daisy High

by Kelli Gauthier

A Wisconsin-based “freethinking” group is demanding that local school leaders quit allowing prayer at public events.

At the request of students from Soddy-Daisy High School, the Freedom from Religion Foundation wrote a letter to Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Jim Scales last week, calling the Christian prayers heard over the loudspeaker at football games and graduation ceremonies an “unconstitutional government endorsement of religion.”

The organization’s staff attorney, Rebecca Markert in Madison, Wis., demanded in the letter that the school system begin an investigation into the allegations and take steps to “remedy this serious and flagrant violation of the First Amendment.”

“It’s clearly illegal what they’re doing,” Markert said. “We’ll give [school officials] a couple of weeks to do an investigation and formulate a response.”

Scales received the letter Monday and was not yet ready to comment because his legal counsel was out of town, said Danielle Clark, spokeswoman for the school system.

A phone and e-mail message sent to Soddy-Daisy Principal John Maynard were not returned Tuesday.

Hamilton County Board of Education member Rhonda Thurman, who represents Soddy-Daisy, said the prayers were part of the school’s tradition, and that anyone who didn’t want to hear could “put their fingers in their ears.

“Everybody is offended by something,” she said. “I’m offended by a lot of those little girls running around with their thong panties showing, but I can’t make that go away.”


Annie Laurie Gaylor, director and co-president of the foundation, called Thurman’s remarks “irresponsible.” She cited several U.S. Supreme Court cases in which prayer before football games and graduation ceremonies were found to be unconstitutional.

The school system, she said, “has no leg to stand on” and the practice should be stopped immediately.

“Students are a captive audience, they’re required to go to school. When there is a violation like a prayer at a school, they’re really vulnerable; it’s a violation of their civil rights,” she said.

“This is the harm of religion in government, that the people who are religious believe they are the true citizens and the other people have no rights,” she said. “It’s very dangerous to go down this path of government and religion; someone will always be on the outs.”

Gaylor mentioned another area case from 2006 in which students from Bryan College, a Christian school in Dayton, Tenn., were coming to give “hour-long Bible instruction” to students in Rhea County’s public school system. The foundation eventually took that case to federal court and won, Gaylor said.

Many First Amendment violations crop up during sporting events, she said.

“It’s a lack of understanding where their personal rights stop and other people’s civil liberties begin,” she said. “It’s perfectly ridiculous to have prayer at football games. Is their deity going to help them win the game? Whoever prays the hardest wins the game? I don’t think so.”

But parent Jim Rogers, whose son Jason is manager of the football team at East Hamilton School, said he believes public Christian prayer falls under his free speech rights.

“Our country was founded on the principle of religious suffrage and the freedom to express that religion. They incorporated God into our money, the oath of office, our legal system, the Pledge of Allegiance. You cannot find one aspect of our secular government that doesn’t make reference to our creator,” he said.

“People who find Christianity contrary to their beliefs shouldn’t be offended that [Christians] have the freedom to express their religious beliefs.”


In Hamilton County, religion in public schools is far from uncommon. From prayer before sporting events and privately funded Bible-history classes to student-led group prayers and Bible verse classroom posters, Christianity is widely accepted.

But the times may be changing, says David Eichenthal, president of the local Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies. As more people move into the area, he said, there is likely to be a greater population of people who push against the status quo, including the tradition of pre-game prayer.

“As Chattanooga and [Hamilton County] continue to grow, the more we view things to open us up to that diversity, the stronger our region will be,” he said. “To the extent that we make people uncomfortable or feel out of place who come to the community, that could have an impact,” he said.

Michael Dzik, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga, said that while he disagrees with public Christian prayer in schools, he also recognizes that he lives in a predominantly Christian community and many times people are unaware that their actions may be considered offensive.

Last year at her elementary school, Dzik’s daughter, Rachel, turned down a free Gideon Bible donated to the school by the evangelical Christian organization. She was put in an uncomfortable situation, he said, because all of her friends were taking the book and wondered why Rachel wasn’t.

“I was not thrilled that that happened ... it’s a touchy situation,” he said. “It’s very challenging to keep church and state separate.”

“I think that the [school] administration needs to be very sensitive to these types of things. This is not a Jewish issue, this is not a Christian issue. It’s a people issue, and having a basic respect for other people and their beliefs.”

about Kelli Gauthier...

Kelli Gauthier covers K-12 education in Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She started at the paper as an intern in 2006, crisscrossing the region writing feature stories from Pikeville, Tenn., to Lafayette, Ga. She also covered crime and courts before taking over the education beat in 2007. A native of Frederick, Md., Kelli came south to attend Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. Before newspapers, ...

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ann said...

and just what gives this person the right to stick her nose into what this school does,the people are the goverment and they pay for this school so what they decide within the law is none of this persons buiness,does this person not know that churches were used for schools many years ago ,where was all these people then,i think the school should have the right to pray if they want to and as the lady said if you dont like it stop your ears up or leave,there may come a day when you will beg one of those schools to pray for you and your family,if you want to gripe find something that really needs worked on like drunk drivers,and illegals

October 20, 2010 at 12:49 a.m.
darkestoceans said...

I think church and state should be kept separate. No baby steps and there won't be any big steps. What I don't want is a situation where religious people demand that everyone else practice their chosen religion. It does not allow minority religious groups to practice their religion and that is not religious freedom.

Many of those who do not support prayer in public schools do not hate religion and are not truly trying to silence Christians. They just do not want to live in a country where the freedom to practice any religion one might choose is just something to read about in a history book.

October 20, 2010 at 4:59 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Ann, it seems that this group made contact at the request of students at the school. That probably means that their efforts to correct the situation in house were unsuccessful.

October 20, 2010 at 7 a.m.
denicewright60 said...

For the student who wrote the letter you have the right to disagree but you are one person. My understanding is WE THE PEOPLE IS THE WAY THE CONSTITUTION STARTS OUT. Not I! You have the right to change school or do home schooling. Don't go to the football games or graduation that's your choose. I agree with Mrs. Thurman you can't make everyone happy. For Mrs Barker in Wisc. You don't pay our salary for our teachers and school board in Hamilton county. You don't pay taxes to keep our schools running from year to year. We here in Tenn. do.

October 20, 2010 at 7:16 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

And your local schools are going to find out just how expensive a lawsuit/court case is, especially when precedent shows that the school will lose on constitutional grounds.

Don't pray in our schools, and we won't think in your churches.

October 20, 2010 at 7:28 a.m.
rosebud said...

Here we go again, just like the LFO cheerleaders and their signs last year. We have huge problems in our schools that people continue to ignore. But comment on Bible verses and football game prayers, and people freak out. Ho hum, just another day in our small town.

October 20, 2010 at 7:45 a.m.
cbella said...

While those thousand hands are clapsed in prayer there are two hands working. I don't think anyone is forcing anyone t pray.

October 20, 2010 at 8:02 a.m.
DanKirk said...

Its all about liberty. That is all it has been about for several hundred years now. People came to these shores in search of liberty. Ever since then people have fought for and defended that liberty. The FFRF is a small but very determined and well-funded American atheist organization. Its success in undermining the influence of Religion in America has been nothing short of astounding. Every year it spends large amounts on legal fees to weaken the influence of Christianity in America. Very little is being done to inform the public of the power and successes of this organization. Furthermore, little has been done to offer rebuttals to the pernicious arguments it propagates. Just like we have done for the past several hundred years we have to fight for our liberty. Those who want to remove our liberty to further their agenda are evil. All it takes for evil to prosper is for good people to do nothing.

October 20, 2010 at 8:04 a.m.
jmaczx4st said...

The problem with this is they want to take something away without giving anything in return. If a group doesn't want prayer to be spoken fine. But have a time set aside so that those who want to can "pray" or what ever their religion deems appropriate. A 2 minute "moment of silence" is in no way unconstitutional.

October 20, 2010 at 8:04 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I live in a rural county with two high schools, three middle schools, a dozen primary schools, and hundreds of churches. Want religion? Go to the church of your choice. Baptists don't want Anglicans imposing their flavor of Christianity on their children, Seventh Day Adventists don't want Methodists imposing their version, and Jews, Muslims and non-believing families should not have to tolerate others imposing religion on their children. There is absolutely NO need for a public school to practice a religion. This is a free country, where everyone can follow their own beliefs, as protected by the constitution. Rights for everyone, not just the majority.

Take your children to church. They'll love it.

October 20, 2010 at 8:14 a.m.
wcwindom56 said...

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.

People need to learn the constitution and stop mis-quoting it. Tell me where this says people cannot pray in schools or at football games.

This amendment was placed in the Bill of Rights solely to stop the same thing from happening in the US that had happened in England; namely a State-Run Church

It is time the Liberal MINORITY stopped twisting the Constitution for their own agenda.

October 20, 2010 at 8:22 a.m.
jmaczx4st said...

In this age where the world is so diverse you can not draw so thick a line. We teach our children to be tolerant yet tell them things can not be a certain way. As a people we find it easy to bring up the "law" when it suits our purpose. Only next time shoo it away when it hinders us.

October 20, 2010 at 8:34 a.m.
kgauthier said...

Just to clarify, lkeithlu, the lawyers for the Freedom from Religion Foundation did tell me the students at Soddy-Daisy mentioned their concerns to administration, but nothing was done. I was unable to reach any school leaders to confirm whether or not that was true.

October 20, 2010 at 9:01 a.m.
Nell said...

It' time we Americans stand up and fight for our freedom! And I mean Everyone! To this Lady who does not live in this state. I will pray in school, in church, in my home or anywhere I please! You have no right to take away our rights. I also would very much like to know however, " Who made you our judge and jury"? KEEP PRAYING ANYONE WHO WANTS TO. "I KNOW THAT I WIII AND KNOW IS GOING TO STOP ME!!!!!!

October 20, 2010 at 9:05 a.m.
Leaf said...

Reading Dankirk's message sends a chill up my spine. People who don't believe in religion are evil? And you have to fight them? That sounds pretty radical to me.

October 20, 2010 at 9:38 a.m.
Topher said...

Nice article, Kelli.

To denicewright60: The Hamilton County Department of Education gets millions in federal grants each year, so yes, the attorney for Wisconsin is, in some small way, paying to run our schools.

It's really not that difficult, people. I recently went to a football game at the University of Notre Dame. Somehow people didn't riot at the absence of a pregame prayer. Instead, there were prayer services offered before and after the game for those interested. I'm quite sure someone could find a church or two or ten in Soddy Daisy that would be willing to hold such services--heck, I'm pretty sure they could provide buses to take people to and from the game as well.

The only thing that bothers me about a pregame prayer is that it delays the start of the game.

October 20, 2010 at 9:45 a.m.
bluedagger said...

Government run schools are not constitutional anyway.

How is the prayer over the loud speaker any different than a mosque playing their loud call to prayer over their loud speaker?

October 20, 2010 at 9:46 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

wcwindom56 is EXACTLY right!

October 20, 2010 at 9:52 a.m.
mkelley said...

Why don't you worry about getting your kids' test scores up instead of this petty stuff

October 20, 2010 at 9:54 a.m.
tman said...

TRUE believers, just remember there is coming a day when there will be two judgments. This is going to happen whether the "intellectuals" believe it or not. Also, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. In the meantime, pray for the folks who are not believers. I know it is easy to get caught up in emotions over being told what we can and cannot do. But one thing they cannot do is stop us from praying to our God, the Creator of this world. Remember Daniel? We know how that one came out. Keep the faith.

October 20, 2010 at 9:57 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Good, gosh, Nell. No one is saying you can't pray. Schools can't hold public prayers led by school representatives. There is a HUGE difference.

Let me give you an example: one of the majority religions in my area is Church of Christ. Many teachers in the primary school my children attended are members of this church. This church teaches that only their members go to Heaven. That means that the teachers can tell the children in their classes (without the establishment clause) that any of them not members of the church of Christ are going to hell. (A hell of a thing to say to a 6 year old) Also, they can tell the children that their classmate, killed in an auto accident, is in hell because their family was (take your pick) Jewish, Episcopal, Muslim, Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, etc. Now, I respect their right to believe this, but they have no right to impose this on other people's children.

If the shoe was on the other foot, or if people stopped to think about this, without this constitutional separation, teachers and administrators can impose their own religious traditions on all students in their schools. Never mind the differences between Christian sects; Christians have been mistreating Jewish and Muslim students in schools for decades. (Children in these minority religions learned early and often to be tough). If you go to the same church as the majority, then it doesn't seem to be a problem. But if you belong to a different tradition, teachers (without any theological training) can pass judgment on a variety of religious issues, colored by their own church's teaching.

Bluedagger, I don't support mosques playing their loud call to prayer. I don't like church bells, either, and I abhor the message signs outside of churches that say things like "go to church or burn" in so many words. Treat them all the same.

October 20, 2010 at 10:04 a.m.
kmcgehee said...

Good for the students for standing up for their Constitutional rights.

I can't imagine this was a popular thing to do at Soddy Daisy High School, but it was the right thing to do.

These students are restoring hope for the future of this country, because they are choosing the hard road instead of the easy road.

October 20, 2010 at 10:08 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

Yep, let's just force our religion down those commie-atheists' throats and if they don't like it I'm sure you can find more ways to force it on them. That is what makes me so proud to be an American. While we are at it, lets go ahead and baptize as many of those poor kids as we can, maybe at a morning assembly, it may be our only chance to save them from their parents.

October 20, 2010 at 10:14 a.m.
Bill_Colrus said...

A lack of prayers over the Soddy-Daisy loudspeaker will not quell the crowd's desire or ability to pray. It will motivate more prayer.

October 20, 2010 at 10:14 a.m.
edwords said...

The school knows it will lose in court.

Doesn't the rule of law apply to Tennessee?

You can pray in public: home


                        3.before school starts

                        4.after school

                        5. on the playground


October 20, 2010 at 10:45 a.m.
db said...

This is a touchy subject that many are bypassing to simply spew their personal opinions. The real question is whether a public prayer endorses one religion over another.

This is similar to prayers made before sessions of Congress at the state or national level. First, it is a time-honored tradition. It is not simply about presenting one religion over others. Second, giving a prayer and infringing on the religious rights of others are two different issues. Hypothetically, a person of another religion could pray at the same game and I would not consider my rights as a Christian taken away or infringed upon.

The goal should be to ALLOW people to express their religious convictions, not stop or limit their religious freedoms. If the majority of those at a high school seek to take a moment to pray, then let them. Those who disagree are not forced to agree, participate, or even attend.

-Dillon Burroughs

October 20, 2010 at 10:46 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

db-that's fine as long as it is not lead by school officials, including students representing the school. Parents can lead prayers, students not in uniform can lead prayers, individuals can bring signs with bible verses to football games. Everyone has the right to pray anytime they want to. No problem. Prayers should not be read over the loudspeaker at games, in school or at events where attendance is mandatory, as this implies that the particular prayer is the "official" religious stance of the school.

People can certainly complain about this and disagree with people like me. But if they persist, there will be a lawsuit and the school will lose. Lawsuits are expensive (Look at the Dover PA system; bills in the millions of dollars) Elect your Tea Party and establish a theocracy (Christian "sharia" laws, if you will) if you want to change the country and throw out the constitution. I for one will leave and live somewhere else. It's the freedoms guaranteed by the constitution, and the protection from the tyranny of the majority that make me proud to be American. The country is unique in this way.

October 20, 2010 at 10:56 a.m.
DEB said...

Separation of church and state does not mean that the church cannot be invovled in state affairs. It means that the state cannot be invovled in church affairs. It means that there is no state or nationally mandated religion in the USA. It means that all men are free to worship according to their personal convictions. Atheism is a religion because its based on a "faith" that there is no God. Evolution is a religion that IS taught and mandated in our schools, yet not many people get up in arms over this unconstitutional action!
The danger here is that Islamists would gladly strike separation of church and state from our law. Why? Because they want Sharia law. They want the right to murder their own children for not conforming to Islamic law, choosing to convert to another religion, or choosing not to have a religion at all! They want the right to murder you for being an Atheist, Catholic, Christian or Mormon. They support a state and national religion, and they want that religion to be Islam. The church and state separation law has nothing to do with whether or not someone prays at a ball game. Any organization who tries to take such a basic right away from a school will eventually support a state mandated religion.

October 20, 2010 at 11:04 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

DEB, evolution is not a religion. Learn a little science.

October 20, 2010 at 11:06 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Oh, and atheism is a religion the way not collecting stamps is a hobby.

October 20, 2010 at 11:07 a.m.
whatsnottaken said...

Instead of a prayer, begin the game with a 1-minute "meditation" period that may include prayer if you so wish. End of controversry.

October 20, 2010 at 11:17 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Play ball!! It's a football game.

October 20, 2010 at 11:30 a.m.
jmaczx4st said...

This is just a start. You stop prayer at school then the snowball begins to roll. Next it is public restaurants then public parks then a person will not even be able to pray at their own picnic because it is in view of the "public." So this discussion really isn't about what constitutional amendment is being broken. It's about the person who is offended because someone displayed their belief and they did not like it.

October 20, 2010 at 11:31 a.m.
esaletnik said...

DEB said "Evolution is a religion that IS taught and mandated in our schools, yet not many people get up in arms over this unconstitutional action!"

WOW just WOW!! Yes a cult of biological scientists are brain washing us with the evolutionary religious beliefs.

The difference between scientists and religious:

A scientist will examine evidence and reach a conclusion based on the evidence

A religion reach a conclusion and fabricate evidence to support that conclusion.

October 20, 2010 at 11:37 a.m.
Leaf said...

Well, I'm off to the Church of Atheistic Evolutionists now so that I can sit around and not pray.

October 20, 2010 at noon
lkeithlu said...

jmac, the constitution protects what private individuals do on their own time. It even protects evangelists who climb on a soapbox and preach in public. As long as we adhere to the constitution, your picnics are fine. Thankfully, the constitution protects church signs, Muslim call to prayer, and church bells from people like me who would rather not have to see or hear them. But schools holding official prayers is unconstitutional.

October 20, 2010 at 12:02 p.m.
tngal88 said...

Tolerence–noun 1. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry. When prayer is being read at the Soddy-Daisy football games, it is a student. Not a teacher, principle, pastor,preacher,priest or any certain denomination. No one is forced to listen, drug off kicking and screaming by the christian police. In fact of all my years attending football games, which is 35 years and counting, I don't think I have ever seen anyone,"born again", or smacked upon the head to be healed. I find it amazing how Soddy-Daisy High School has done an amazing job the past few years on teaching their students tolerance. Looks like they missed one. Weather it be religion,race or sexual preference. These groups that want to scream this nonsense is teaching hate. Plain and simple. Grow up people, get a life. Just pretend they are annoucing they have fresh burgers ready on that PA & enjoy the game.

October 20, 2010 at 12:13 p.m.

Perhaps some education is necessary here. It's not difficult to understand, and the tenets of the U.S. Constitution are non-negotiable without a Supreme Court decision. Simply read the following, then perhaps you will understand why prayer has no place in a public school. This is not about what YOU want as an individual, or what THE MAJORITY of students/parents/administrators want at any particular public school.


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.

October 20, 2010 at 12:18 p.m.

Ok, being that I am Wiccan I know how it feels when you are in any place that is public and the discomfort that I feel when I see someone praying. But I do understand this is their right. Do I think that this person is trying to force their beliefs on me? No! Now do I agree with prayer at an event that is sponsored by a school? No! Schools are government ran entities they are ran by elected officials. And in turn the teachers and the leadership of the schools are employed by this board. So yes this is a function supported by a government entity, and so yes the first amendment does cover this. Lets say instead of a prayer the school chose to hold a public Wiccan Ritual or spell prior to the game, would you as another religion support this choice? I very much doubt it. You would pop out with the common: "ARGG they are supporting Satan..." By the way I will go ahead and say it: Wiccan's do not believe in Satan, that is a christian concept. So lets just think of it this way yes you can say don't attend the event if you don't want to deal with the prayer, but then the students would then be harassed by other students for not being there. Then this would be unfair to those students. I have to agree that yes you should be able to pray, but if you want to do it, do it prior to leaving for the game, and not on school property.

October 20, 2010 at 12:20 p.m.
jmaczx4st said...

I see your point. I guess what I am trying to is that after more than 200 years we still cannot get this right. Religion is one of the most debated, disputed, and fought over subjects. Whole cultures have been destroyed over "who's right or wrong."
With everything else that is wrong in our society I find it petty that we keep coming back to this. The whole thing seems nothing more than contest with no winner.

October 20, 2010 at 12:22 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

jmac, you certainly have a point. but without groups who are willing to intervene, ignoring our constitution when it is convenient or popular is a slippery slope. We have to keep coming back to it because that separation continues to be ignored. Notice that the students who raised this issue remain anonymous. It takes a lot of courage to stand up to the majority and insist that your rights be protected.

October 20, 2010 at 12:28 p.m.
greenj76 said...

Im glad this old world is about over.

October 20, 2010 at 12:29 p.m.
DanKirk said...

Well Leaf apparently you didn't read my comment or the chills up your spine are clouding your understanding. I didn't say "People who don't believe in religion are evil? And you have to fight them? That sounds pretty radical to me." If it sounds radical to you that's because it came out of your own mind. What I said was anyone who wanted to take away my liberty for their own purposes was evil. And yes I said I would fight for my liberty. That goes for any and all liberty and anyones and everyones liberty. Here is my quote in case you care to read it with an unprejudiced mind. "Those who want to remove our liberty to further their agenda are evil. All it takes for evil to prosper is for good people to do nothing." The Freedom From Religion person has the right to not practice religion. But they cannot tell me I do not have the right to practice religion. If they came to a football game they would not have to join in the prayer. And just hearing a prayer does not constitute practicing a religion. If that were the case then all those Muslim prayers I have heard several times a day from co-workers would have made me a Muslim by now. So, let the Muslim pray. Let the Hindu pray. Let the Buddhist pray. Let the Darwinist pray. Let the atheist pray. Just stop trying to veil your agenda as protecting someones liberty by taking away someone elses liberty. We know what this is. Its Freedom From Religions attempt to impose their agenda of no religion (i.e. Christianity - FFRF never comes against Islam or Buddhists or Hindus, etc) on everyone. It won't work. We are on to you FFRF.

October 20, 2010 at 12:36 p.m.
bandmom said...

One day all these folks are going to get the separation from God that they so desire, for eternity. It is called Hell. May God have mercy on this country.

October 20, 2010 at 12:37 p.m.
freedom2choose said...

This country is all about freedom of choice. You don't want to pray? Don't pray. You don't want a Gideon bible? Don't take one. You are a freethinking group in Wisconsin? Keep your freethinking in Wisconsin. Don't inflict your wishes upon those that don't have your wishes. Whether you want to pray or not is beside the point. The point is that if I choose to want to pray at a ballgame then I should not have anyone else telling me how to act. If I am a coach and my team is in agreement that they would like to pray before the game, then why should our young people be put in the crosshairs of political agendas from people that don't respect other's freedoms or wishes to do what they want. The only people that smile from this garbage being started are the lawyers while we continue to have to pay increased tax dollars to fund those lawyers. Freedom of religion and freedom of speech are important parts of this country that people continue trampling for their gain rather than the majority. The minority in this country with different agendas should take notice that yes, you have the right to do as you want but don't force the majority to do the same. One word that is never used anymore, Respect.

October 20, 2010 at 12:38 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

"The minority in this country with different agendas should take notice that yes, you have the right to do as you want but don't force the majority to do the same. One word that is never used anymore, Respect."

The majority in this country with different agendas should take notice that yes, you have the right to do as you want but don't force the minority to do the same. One word that is never used anymore, Respect.

Shoe on other foot.

October 20, 2010 at 12:52 p.m.
cooleyd3 said...

Everyone has forgotten what this country was founded on and what made it so prosperous, God. And now that this country and others are turning their back on God he has turned his back on us, until our leaders and country as a whole reunite with God it will only get worse.

The people that get so worked up over prayer is the people that cannot sleep at night, because they are afraid they will wake up in Hell!!! One day and it want be long, everyone will stand before God and give an account of his or her life and you will not be able to blame someone else for you ignorance of the Lord. I don't want him to say depart from me you workers of iniquity, I never knew you, but enter thou good and faithful servant you have been faithful over a few things I will make you ruler over many.

October 20, 2010 at 1:05 p.m.
Walden said...

Amen bandmom.

October 20, 2010 at 1:35 p.m.
BOCAT420 said...

Okay I tried to stay out of it, but here goes....It strikes me as funny that people use our Constitution as a tool to argue the prohibiting of prayer, speech or anything religious. It clearly says the government shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Now you tell me, by saying you can't do this or that, is that not prohibiting?

I'm a Religion major and due to these types of limits I was unable to take college preparatory classes in my field of study while at Soddy-Daisy High School. I ask those against religion being taught in school, was it fair that the math major had classes to help him in college and I had none?

Freedom (which I fought for in the Gulf) should be equal, so if I have to hear a prayer over a loud speaker (at a school or a mosque) as not to limit someone else's freedom so be it. You can stand next to me and preach hatred for 8 hours and if I choose to listen it is on me. I am free to leave or just not pay attention. If I held you down and forced you to read the words of the Bible or maybe the atheist manifesto that would be different.

I am, as an American, I endure the freedoms of others so because of that you should extend the same to me.

As a Christian, I love Jesus Christ and through Him all those who are lost can be found, He died on a Cross for you too. Look into it, it might just change your world. To my Christian brothers and sisters just endure. By persecution we became strong. Also let's pray for those who are against us or who don't see things our way, it's what we were told to do.

October 20, 2010 at 1:41 p.m.

Dear Bocat420, the "free exercise of religion" clause in the constitution gives all the right to exercise his or her religion, be it Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Wicca, etc. The "establishment" clause of the First Amendment says that the government shall not support one religion over any other. That's why the First Amendment "gist", if you will, outlines the separation of church and state. Yes, have your church of any religion. No, the government (in this case, school) cannot give one religion preference over any other. Would you invite a Muslim to lead the pre-game prayer?

October 20, 2010 at 2:30 p.m.
nurseforjustice said...

Well this is a mute point now. Jim Scales has ordered it to stop.

Very disappointing. I, like BOCAT see nothing in the constitution that speaks against public prayer at any function, including state functions. Praying in public does not endorse any type of religion for anyone but the one praying.

Some people need to get a life and worry about real issues.

October 20, 2010 at 2:33 p.m.
nurseforjustice said...


The invitation for prayer should be open to all who would want to be a part. A Muslim should not be descriminated against. I wouldn't agree with whom they are praying to but I would give my life for their freedom to do so.

October 20, 2010 at 2:37 p.m.
Eric said...

I think the problem here is the prayers are based on Christian tradition. The idea of students leading a meditation or prayer is appealing. A Christian student can lead a Christian prayer one week, a Jewish student can lead a Jewish prayer another week, a Muslim student can lead a prayer another week, etc. Why do the prayers have to be uniquely Christian? This is a public high school. By using only Christian prayers, I don't see how that could not be government endorsement of religion (which the Constitution expressely prohibits).

And before we get too deep into saying our country was founded on Christianity, don't forget that Thomas Jefferson penned the term "separation of church and state." He was a deist who re-wrote the New Testament to exclude any miracles.

October 20, 2010 at 2:50 p.m.
HiDef said...


  • The Constitution also guarantees freedom of speech however it is still limited in places such as high schools where I doubt you're free to yell obscenities in the halls. Same with religion and the 1st amendment. It has it's limitations.

  • You weren't offered any religion classes in high school. Boo hoo. Nobody offered air traffic control classes either but I somehow made it just fine in my career and have no animosity towards the engineers, writers and biologists among us.

  • It's commendable that you served but exactly what and who's freedoms were you fighting for over there? I served in Iraq in 2004 and I don't seem to remember when the Iraqi's were threatening any of my freedoms here in the U.S. It just goes to show how the repubs have scared a huge majority in the U.S. into thinking that war was justified... Freedom? Yeah, right.

  • How long would it take at the beginning of the school day or football game to read through every prayer of every denomination? Oh and if a graduate doesn't want to listen to a Christian prayer at his graduation, your solution is to "just leave"?

Bandmom - Is damning non-believers to hell how you attract all new members at your church? Sounds wonderful but I'll pass :-)

Cooleyd3 - I actually sleep wonderfully at night because I'm not up all day worry about what happens when I die or if I'm making a "god" mad. It'll be just like when I wasn't born yet and didn't know the difference.

Lastly, I find it funny that so many religious folks here are so busy with their outside lives that they only seem to find time to pray when they're at schools and football games...seriously, what are you guys doing on Sundays???

October 20, 2010 at 3:09 p.m.
Lefty said...

Quick Lesson: The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment states that any practice sponsored within state run schools has to meet certain criteria, to include having secular purpose and neither advancing nor inhibiting religion.

Additionally, the Supreme Court upheld a ruling in 2000 which disallowed prayers conducted over the public address system prior to high school games at state school facilities.

So to all those who feel that those who are offended by pray can leave the games, I say, "If you are offended by the Constitution, feel free to leave our country."

October 20, 2010 at 3:12 p.m.
Shock said...

I've got a question for those of you who are so vehemently opposing the group trying to stop the school sanctioned prayer. The photo that goes along with the story shows the Red Bank football coach praying with his players.

What if that coach was Muslim and was leading school football players (your children) in a Muslim prayer before the game. Would you still be screaming for his right to pray in public? Or would you be hoping some group who stands up for those subjected to tax payer sponsored prayer would come in and put a stop to it?

October 20, 2010 at 3:25 p.m.
Humphrey said...

The people who hold their religious beliefs most strongly are the people who should be fighting tooth and nail FOR separation of church and state. That protects all of us. Some argue that public-school sanctioned prayer is OK, because they are comfortable in their assumption that this prayer will fit with their beliefs. But as has been pointed out on here, let that prayer be a wiccan ceremony, or a Jewish statement that Jesus isn't the messiah, or a catholic "Hail Mary" (OMG! Praying to Mary!) or a muslim prayer, or a seventh day adventist saying that Saturday is sabbath and it is a sin to eat meat, or mormans teaching children that Jesus came to America, etc. and they would feel differently. Public schools are there to serve ALL children. They exist because we as a society have agreed that it is better to live in a country with an educated population than to live in a country without. They are not there for the majority to impose their religious beliefs on others because they pay taxes or because they have more hands to hold up in a vote.

This country was founded for many reasons. The oldest town in this country is St. Augustine, and the Spanish came there for money. The English came to Jamestown for money. The pigrims came to plymouth rock for RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. They wanted to get away from the state-run church of England and the Dutch were too liberal. So here they came. And they were followed by quakers, shakers, etc. Protestant faiths started here, along with mormans etc., due to the freedom or religion. And religious freedom also attracted Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc. And some people decided not to believe any of it. This country was NOT founded on one person's interpretation of what the right flavor of Christianity is, is was founded on RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. Heck, many of the religious views that people would claim this country was founded on didn't even exist when this country was founded (Hey, Baptists et al.).

LIBERTY does not mean one group using public resources to impose their religious views on everyone. LIBERTY means being FREE from one group being able to impose their religious views on you. Your freedom ends when it starts imposing on everybody else's. You do not have "LIBERTY" to impose a government-supported religion, and when you start using public funds to pay for a PA system and to hold an event like a football game, that is what you are doing. Again, the people who feel strongest about their religious beliefs are EXACTLY the people who ought to be fighting the hardest for there not to be prayer in school or school events.

Another example, many of the same people who argue for school-based prayer, will argue against sex education. "That's not the school teachers' business, that's up to the parents." But somehow, those teachers who aren't capable of teaching sex education are perfectly fine teaching children how to pray.

October 20, 2010 at 3:32 p.m.
anniebelle said...

To all the bible thumpers on here who apparently are not aware of Jesus' teachings which they are so quick to get on their holier-than-thou platform to spew their vitriol about us nonbelievers -- here's what your holy book says:

Matthew 6:5 - 7

  1. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites [are]: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Jesus says you must definitely not pray as the hypocrites pray.

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Here Jesus says when thou prayest, you must pray this way: (1) enter into thy closet. (2) shut the door. (3) pray to thy Father which is in secret. (4) use not vain repetitions.

October 20, 2010 at 3:45 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

How sad. Another little school has its individuality and traditions challenged by some national organization that is hell bent on turning all public schools into a bland non-theological monolith.

Shouldn't a school system reflect the people that attend it rather than some national vision?

The Constitution does not prohibit prayer in schools. This is an issue for Soddy Daisy High school to work out with the input of the parents. The legal thugs from Wisconsin should take their crusade back to Cheese Country.

If the government would put a voucher system in place so parents could afford to enroll their children in a private school that suited their moral needs I would have less of a problem with the idea of the public schools being free of religion.

October 20, 2010 at 3:46 p.m.
pgiles2 said...

Hmm, my husband and I were thinking about moving to Tennessee but I now see it's in as bad a condition as all of the rest of the state's now are. I can see from these posts that most of you won't agree or even care but we are losing God's protection as we take him out of our lives. Who would have thought 9-11 would have been possible 20 years ago not to mention other incidents that have taken place? But we are taking prayer out of our Government & State buildings, school and public gatherings so why should he protect us any longer. We will one day become a third world nation and then people like you will wonder what happened when you are "reaping what you sow." I know you don't want it but I will pray for you and your children.

October 20, 2010 at 3:51 p.m.
Humphrey said...

no public money for teaching private religions. No thanks.

"suited their moral needs" good grief.

October 20, 2010 at 3:51 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: pgiles2 | On: October 20, 2010 at 3:51 p.m.

This forum does not represent the majority of the citizens of Tennessee. It is polar opposite. A little posse of left wing extremists dominate here. The rest of us wade in to try to offer some balance but in general are too busy being productive to spend nearly as much time on this stuff as the lefties.

October 20, 2010 at 3:58 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: Humphrey | On: October 20, 2010 at 3:51 p.m. "no public money for teaching private religions. No thanks."

OK Humphrey, then give them back the money that was confiscated from them so they can afford to get their kids what they feel is an appropriate education.

Is this about freedom or control?

October 20, 2010 at 4 p.m.
Humphrey said...

no. Again, we have public education because we have decided that we would rather live in a country where people have an education than to live in a country where they don't. We all have a social responsibility to contribute to that system, but we do not have any obligation whatsoever to give our tax dollars to families who have decided that public education does not meet their "moral needs." No thank you. No public money for private education. You have freedom to choose whatever education system you want to, but not the freedom to use tax dollars for it. Public or private, your choice. You know, you really should be arguing and fighting tooth and nail to keep public money out of private education. Because if we put public money it it, then we have the right to tell you to stop whatever that religious stuff is that meets your moral needs.

October 20, 2010 at 4:07 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...


How can you advocate confiscating money from people to provide public education, defining rules that make the public education undesirable to them, and then refusing to give them their money back when they want to go somewhere else?

What is wrong with letting them have their own money back so they can go pursue the best education possible for their children?

October 20, 2010 at 4:14 p.m.

why don't they just observe a moment of silence to make everyone happy?

October 20, 2010 at 4:17 p.m.
HiDef said...

I agree bigridgepatriot. I want my tax dollars back from the police because I have never dialed 911 or needed their assistance. With the saved tax dollars I could buy a gun, afford a concealed permit and provide my own security.

October 20, 2010 at 4:26 p.m.
bwelch3544 said...

Unconstitutional? This Nation, The Constitution, The United States of America was based on Christianity. "One Nation Under God" "In God We Trust" Remember these. You wonder why our country is having so many problems, so many bad things happening, not to mention so many ridiculas groups and foundations trying to bust the very blocks our Wonderful Nation was founded on out..The fact that GOD is no longer allowed in the schools and judicial systems and is slowly being removed by these so called Groups/Foundatins from virtualy everything is our problem. Until God is back in our nations policies and Leaders we are in for a rough road. By the way the the uneducated comments made by this group about praying to the diety to win the game,I believe they called it perfectly ridiculas(Which is what i think this foundation is trying to do is) We are not praying for victory but the saftey of the players on both teams and to thank the Lord we get to enjoy the game.I know im only one person but I Strongly believe that if we remove prayer from games at Soddy Daisy High School, a tradition that i have been a part of my Entire life, you will be takin a part of the game that i truly love away as well. Im proud to be from Soddy Daisy and i hope our community will stand up and fight for our right to pray.

October 20, 2010 at 4:30 p.m.
HiDef said...

Quick bwelch3544, without googling it, when did the words "in god we trust" appear on money and "one nation under god" become part of the pledge? I'll give you a hint. It wasn't in 1776.

October 20, 2010 at 4:41 p.m.
Livn4life said...

I hereby call for TOTAL SEPARATION of church and state. Let everyone who is in the church be free from paying the state anything whatsoever. The government wants to push and push the church to be quiet or else lose tax exempt status. Well private citizens who go to church PAY public taxes. How about it? If all Christians and church folk in all faiths, truly separated from the state as the government pretends to do ON CERTAIN issues, there would be no government and the state would collapse. All the loud mouth know it alls anti-faith people, YOU pull together and separate and YOU pay all the taxes. Then we backwoods, intolerant, knownothings and all the other labels you label us with while stating we can never judge or label someone else, we will go away and see how things go for you. If the church ever takes separation to the extreme the government tries to push on believers, this will be a sad and pathetic country. So watch all your calls for separation of church and state folks on either side.

October 20, 2010 at 4:41 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Curious, BigRidge: What flavor of Christian are you? Do you consider Mormons and Catholics Christian? If your business transfered you to Utah, would you approve of your children being required to participate in Mormon services? Or if you were transfered to Brownsville, TX, would your children have catechism and go to mass? Say Hail Marys and Our Fathers and be required to attend confession? Would you have women preach to your kids the way Episcopalians allow? Or have your girls told that they can't wear trousers (dress like a man)? How about that Saturday is the true Sabbath and Sunday bears the mark of the Beast? Just trying to get a read on what you consider appropriate for a school to impose on their captive audience, and how that squares with your family's traditions.

Of course, since you probably have Sikhs, Muslims and Jews, we need to include those traditions, so be prepared for your children to be told that they are completely wrong to be Christians, Jesus was not the messiah and Mohammed is the true prophet.

October 20, 2010 at 4:45 p.m.
Eric said...


How do the phrases "One Nation Under God" and "In God We Trust" imply that our nation was based on Christianity? Jews, Muslims, and Mormons also believe in God. The founding fathers came to this country to escape The Church of England, which is a recognized Christian denomination. Thomas Jefferson was a deist who cut and pasted the New Testament to remove references to miracles. Ben Franklin questioned the Divinity of Jesus. How are you supporting that this nation was founded on Christianity?

October 20, 2010 at 4:49 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: HiDef | On: October 20, 2010 at 4:26 p.m.

You don't have a gun and a concealed carry permit? Maybe that should be against the law! Then we would not need so many police to show up and do so many post mortems on crime, like you said.

Unless, of course, you have a history violence or something like that. In which case, you should probably let someone else watch out for you.

October 20, 2010 at 4:50 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Get a grip, Livn. Not allowing the school to lead students in sanctioned prayer does nothing to infringe on the rights of churches. Where do you get such nonsense? To ask churches to refrain from imposing their beliefs on others does not prevent them from worshiping just as they please, in their tax exempt houses of worship from which they can exclude anyone they see fit.

Of course, if a church doctrine includes converting as many people as they can, well, yes, then the government does interfere. Is that what you believe? That it is your responsibility to "save" as many of us heathens as you can? Maybe perhaps I am understanding why some people insist that schools do this.

October 20, 2010 at 4:52 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: lkeithlu | On: October 20, 2010 at 4:45 p.m.

If I had no religious affiliation I would feel the same way.

October 20, 2010 at 4:59 p.m.
Abe said...

Christian fundamentalists who oppose the separation of church and state:

I fully support your right to insist on public prayer before all football games, if you'll agree that the prayer will be Shema Yisrael.

Now, are you going to insist on it?

October 20, 2010 at 5:16 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

You haven't answered my question, Bigridge. Why on earth would you want the schools making religious decisions for your family?

October 20, 2010 at 5:17 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

I just do not see any problem with a school that is located in a predominately (insert local characteristic here) area honoring the traditions of that area.

Anyone that would be threatened by a little prayer is way to thin skinned. We cannot be so obsessed with creating a world where no-one is ever offended. Otherwise we would have to ban this forum!

October 20, 2010 at 5:26 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

I am at this forum by choice. My children were not at public school by choice. I did not want the teachers, members of church of christ, imposing their particular views (that only their members go to heaven) on my young children. The thickness of my skin is not at issue. If I were Jewish I would definitely not want religious instruction by Church of Christ (or Baptist, the other predominant sect) for my children. How can you not see this?

October 20, 2010 at 5:35 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Or perhaps you are suggesting that anyone NOT adhering to the local "religious tradition" should simply not live here? Or accept that they must relinquish the right to provide religious instruction for their children to the school rather than to their church of choice?

October 20, 2010 at 5:37 p.m.
MountainJoe said...

It's really pretty simple. You have all the freedom of religion you want, on your own time and your own dime.

However, you don't have the right to use property/equipment bought by a governmental entity using taxpayer funds to promote one religion over others. Government collects taxes from citizens of all religions (and no religion) and government represents all citizens, regardless of religion. Government does not have the authority to discriminate and favor one set of citizens over another. It must be religion-neutral.

Want to have prayer in all schools? You're going to have to abolish all government-funded public schools, then. As long as tax dollars are going to be funding schools, it is inappropriate to have prayers of one specific religion in those schools.

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical." - Thomas Jefferson

October 20, 2010 at 5:42 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: lkeithlu | On: October 20, 2010 at 5:35 p.m.

A prayer at school is not religious instruction.

BUT, you are making a pretty good arguement for school choice and vouchers. It is a cop out to say your children are not at public school by choice. You do not have to send your children to public school. I myself think you may be guilty of child neglect for letting them go to a public school.

October 20, 2010 at 5:44 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

That's not an answer, BigRidge. Are you saying that those of us with religious traditions different than the majority should just accept that this freedom is not for us? And, yes, organized prayer is a form of religious instruction.

I have as much right to send my kids to public schools as the next person, and I and my spouse have the right to be the only persons allowed to make religious decisions for our children. Even if those decisions do not square with the majority. THAT is what being American is about. Freedom. Hmmmm.... isn't this what the Tea Party keeps going on about?

October 20, 2010 at 5:50 p.m.
kcannon108 said...

What does a prayer have to do with "religion"? God exists whether these idiots believe it or not. Praying before a game is an American tradition. It brings the team and the school together. If people are offended, they can get over it. Maybe I am offended by the fact that they are offended, but no one cares about my opinion because I'm not an ignorant liberal whining about every little reference to "religion" in a publicly funded setting. This is not a matter of "separation of church and state". God exists apart from religion. There is only one God, and praying to him before a game is something that should be promoted, not outlawed. If we are no longer allowed to pray to God for the safety and sportsmanship of athletes before a football game, what else is going to be removed from our American way of life? Remove "Under God" from the pledge?...oh wait, liberals are already trying to do that. God bless our souls!

October 20, 2010 at 5:54 p.m.
bwelch3544 said...

Im just saying that prayer at soddy daisy high school as well as many other places has been okay and accepted for decades and has never been a issue. And the actions of a minute few are going to change something that has been around a long time.I agree there are many denominations of christianity as well as other religons. which one is correct. Who knows. And some may believe none are correct. feel free. Am i Perfect. Not at all. But just because we pray does not mean you have to listen or participate. No one says before the prayer if you dont participate you will be prosecuted.If you dont participate so be it. I will say the majority of people at the game do. I believe in prayer and God. Im not saying you have to. You can tell me and my family there is no God. Fine with me. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Hi Def I learned in school many years ago that our constitution was founded on the religon of those who wrote the constitution. I think all were denominations of christianity

October 20, 2010 at 5:55 p.m.
BOCAT420 said...

Hidef...I'm sorry I must have offended you as you have attempted to offend me. I'm sure if you wanted to have a air traffic controller class at a local high school and could find funding for it no one would say it was unlawful. Please look at these things from both sides.

Why must the majority continue to pander to the minority? This is not an issue regarding religion but one regarding freedom and if they take away all of the freedom to pray where will they go next? Your house and your belief or lack thereof. Your guns will be gone, your right to vote, your right to voice or an opinion. Patrick Henry said "Give me liberty or give me death!" I second that!

Perhaps many could benefit from reading about this subject at:

October 20, 2010 at 6:04 p.m.
kcannon108 said...

Wildman, thanks for the mudslinging at a personal level instead of thoughtful insight into the actual issue. such a typical liberal...ignore the issue and point fingers. McWherter must learn it from you.

October 20, 2010 at 6:09 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: lkeithlu | On: October 20, 2010 at 5:50 p.m.

There are all kinds of things that go on at a school that you may or may not agree with. Are we to ban every topic unless there is 100% agreement from the student body, or the parents of the student body?

Let me come out of the closet lkeithlu, I am not religious at all, agnostic at the most. My kids went to Soddy high and I actually enjoyed the prayers that were done at events. I was not offended at all. My children were able to listen to those prayers and make personal choices about the content just like they were able to make choices about the various political theories they were exposed to.

If you and/or your kids have intellects that are too weak to stand up to such a minor assault as a prayer in school you have much more to worry about than that prayer.

October 20, 2010 at 6:09 p.m.
bwelch3544 said...

I pray for you wildman that one day You will accept/find God in your life. My question is that if you dont believe in God in the back of your mind,then why are you wasting your time on bashing those of us who do.

October 20, 2010 at 6:16 p.m.
bwelch3544 said...

I understand that everyone has the right to believe in whatever they choose. Thats a priviledge we have living in this country. And no one should judge or discriminate agianst the other. Im just glad i live somewhere where we can have a opinion. Everyone have a good night

October 20, 2010 at 6:26 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Nope-you don't get it. Well, as long as we have the constitution, it won't matter if you don't get it. It's pretty scary that so many people equate patriotism with Christianity. I guess it's an unspoken sign that all of the rest of us are only welcome if we don't insist on our constitutional rights be defended. Stay quiet, stay invisible, and don't rock the boat, something generations of American Jews have done and obviously must continue to do, along with any of us that don't follow fundamentalist Christianity. Our founding fathers would not be impressed.

Before you say that it doesn't harm children to be taught that their own religious tradition is wrong, it is. The differences between the different Protestant groups is great enough. Preachers tell their congregations that their way is the only way, and those children then use that as a reason to exclude or criticize children from other faiths. You as an individual may not do that, but no one is stopping the teachers and administrators from doing so. Even if there is only one child from a different faith, that child's rights are just as important.

Finally, (and yes, I will shut up) no one says you can't pray at a football game or in school. The school cannot sponsor it or lead it. Pray as much as you like. Go to the church of your choice. Attend Bible study every night. Play religious music in your back yard. Those things are protected by the constitution.

October 20, 2010 at 6:29 p.m.
HiDef said...

Bocat420- I wasn't trying offend you at all, just being honest. If I was trying to be offensive I'd tell you exactly what I thought of organized religion and Joyce Meyers' $40 million Gulfstream IV! However, I digress.

You are correct though. Had I wanted an ATC class and found my own funding, maybe I could have made it happen. Which is exactly what local area schools have done. Churches pay the salaries of the teachers and they teach students religious history, etc. It's not publicly funded and it's an elective, not forced instruction. That I have no problem with, however that is not the situation at hand.

Also, please explain how your freedom to pray is being taken away. This story is about schools leading prayers so don't confuse the two.

kcannon108- Tonight you take the cake with this gem "Wildman, thanks for the mudslinging at a personal level instead of thoughtful insight into the actual issue. such a typical liberal"

You do realize just a few posts up you called non-believers "idiots" and used the term "ignorant liberals", don't you?

October 20, 2010 at 7:13 p.m.
una61 said...

Athletic facilities are as much a part of a school as its classrooms. If it's inappropriate to recite prayers over the classroom loudspeakers then it should be just as inappropriate to recite prayers over the athletic facility loudspeakers. Athletic facilities are sometimes used in classroom situations, i.e., P.E. Personally, I don't have much of a problem with the pregame prayers. I just ignore them.

October 20, 2010 at 7:16 p.m.
monkeysuncle said...

The US Supreme Court has already ruled prayers at HS football games unconstitutional -- TEN years ago.

It held that these pre-game prayers delivered "on school property, at school-sponsored events, over the school's public address system, by a speaker representing the student body, under the supervision of school faculty, and pursuant to a school policy that explicitly and implicitly encourages public prayer" are not private, but public speech. "Regardless of the listener's support for, or objection to, the message, an objective Santa Fe High School student will unquestionably perceive the inevitable pregame prayer as stamped with her school's seal of approval."

October 20, 2010 at 7:27 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Well, we all know this is going to come down on the side of you libs here. All I can say is too bad. Too bad you are afraid of religion. Too bad that you have a problem with a community, including its schools, having a religious identity.

When I was younger I could enjoy all of the little differences you would notice as you traveled around this country. When I moved here, I thought the fact that Soddy High still had prayer at events was a warm, endearing feature of the community. I also enjoyed some of the messages I have heard in the prayers (that, I think, were always delivered by students).

I also thought that it must have been a great honor for a student to deliver one of those prayers. I imagine that the opportunity helped cement some moral lessons in a young mind.

I wondered how long it would last before some narrow-minded national group like the Freedom from Religion Foundation would come along and erase this part of the fabric of Soddy Daisy and Hixson forever.

Now we have the answer.

October 20, 2010 at 8:17 p.m.
Humphrey said...

BigRidgePatriot asked me- "How can you advocate confiscating money from people to provide public education, defining rules that make the public education undesirable to them, and then refusing to give them their money back when they want to go somewhere else?"

You have benefited tremendously in your life by the fact that we have public education in this country. Whether your parents chose to send you to a private school or not, you live in a society where the majority of people can read and write, where we have benefited from technological, agricultural and medical advancement, and where you will may well one day spend your final days being cared for by others. The price you pay to live in a wonderful nation like ours is that we have public education. It is part of being in our soceity. It is a social contract, your civic obligation.

There are public highways that I will never drive on, fire fighters put out fires I will never see, there are books in the library I will never read, police arrest people and I pay for their imprisonment for possession of substances that I think should be legalized, and we spend trillions on wars I never wanted us to fight. And yet I am a citizen of this country and I love it. If you don't like living in America and being a part of our society, then what is keeping you here?

"What is wrong with letting them have their own money back so they can go pursue the best education possible for their children?"

This is very simple. Tax money should not go to pay for religious education. Please use that brain that the good Lord gave you and think about it. The government can not establish a religion. And if you think about it you will realize that you don't want the government to establish or mandate a religion. If we took public funds to pay for religious education, then the government would be funding - e.g., establishing and promoting - a religion. It is not complicated. We are free from anyone - including you - telling us what religion to follow, and you can not use our tax dollars to promote your religious beliefs. Simple.

It is fine if you have strong beliefs, that's great. You have freedom to teach them to your children. Just don't expect the rest of us to fund religious teachings.

October 20, 2010 at 8:32 p.m.
Oz said...

The only problem is using the school public address system.

The Lord's Prayer could be said in unison without any problem.

October 20, 2010 at 8:36 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...


I did not say public education should be abolished. I would just like to see options. Public education would improve if it had to compete against options, or in some cases it would disappear. That would be fine with me.

Having an objection to a taxpayer having their money back on the basis that it is "tax money" presumes that it was not their money in the first place and also seems to assume that the government has a "right" to an individual's property like individuals have rights. Does that make you a Statist? Is the collective more important than the individual to you?

October 20, 2010 at 8:49 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: lkeithlu | On: October 20, 2010 at 6:29 p.m.

Where are you coming from lkeithlu? Have you ever heard one of the prayers at Soddy High? Do you have any idea what you are talking about? What religious background, or lack thereof, is so offended by the messages that used to be shared in Soddy Daisy?

Or, more likely, are you just another progressive robot, ranting on about things that your intellectual leadership tells you to rant on about?

October 20, 2010 at 9:04 p.m.
Humphrey said...

BRP - the individual and the collective are both important. Individuals have freedoms as long as they don't intrude on the freedoms of others. The problem with tax money funding religious education is that the government would be funding religious instruction.

October 20, 2010 at 9:06 p.m.
mlwilson72 said...

Everyone has choices. You choose to have a career, get married, have children, your religion, what church to attend, what school to send your children to, what restaurant to go to and whether or not to attend a high school football game. Children are going to practice what they are taught at home. If children are taught certain values and morals at home, then they know what to expect out in the world. If they are taught that there are all kinds of people and different ways of doing things then they will make the right choice for themselves no matter what anyone else thinks. I am offended at all sorts of things, but I don't go around trying to stop it from happening. I just choose to remove myself from the situation, even though I may have right to be there. I can just about guarantee that the parents of the children that wrote the letters are not very involved. If parents instill their family values in their kids then it should not matter what other people are doing, as long as they are representing their family the way they were taught. I have a student at SDHS and one that graduated last year and this is the first time this has come up. Are we not allowed to express ourselves freely? Is this not a violation of our rights? Our country was founded on these freedoms. That is what makes our country great. So, basically, I won't bother you if you don't bother me. But, isn't kind of funny how one person can cause such an uproar. We have always had a prayer before any event. No one has said anything until now. So, I am in agreement with Rhonda Thurman, plug your ears!!

October 20, 2010 at 9:19 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

I guess we can agree to disagree and I can continue to fund the horrible public education of your children while simultaneously funding the excellent education of my own. Please note, I am not rich, but I care more about my children than yours and will do what I have to do.

And your children will probably inherit your morality and will vote to pocket the fruits of my children's labor.

Way to go, dude...

October 20, 2010 at 9:24 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

No, BigRidge. I gave real examples and real circumstances. It doesn't matter what the Soddy prayers are. They are Christian prayers, so they are unconstitutional. It doesn't matter that they do not hurt or offend you personally. You've got a lot of moxie assuming I don't know what I'm talking about. Just because you don't understand our constitution and the importance of keeping religion out of schools doesn't make me a "progessive robot". How insulting. When I take a stand on something I make sure I learn as much as I can about it. I hope you try to as well.

You failed to address the questions I posed, and you fail miserably at understanding this situation from any perspective except your own. You are obviously from a nominally Christian background, and can't possibly imagine that Christian prayers to a captive school audience could be a violation of someone's freedom of religion. Perhaps you don't know anyone of a different religion; I have no idea. But it is the attitude of you and those like you that have allowed this to persist, creating an environment subtly hostile to Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and those Christians that take their own practice seriously enough that they don't want others dictating another version to their kids.

I know first hand how the words of children, parroting their pastors and parents, can alienate and isolate children of minority faiths. Fundamentalism is particularly good at declaring exclusive rights to salvation. To give these ideas official sanction through school prayer is more an unconstitutional; it's immoral.

Finally, it does not hurt the majority to require them to pray on their own without official school leadership. They have that right. If they need leadership in religious observance, they can go to church.

I've said more than enough. I can end this sequence knowing that, whether SD (or you, Bigridge) likes it or not, the law and the courts are on the side of separation, and if they don't want to spend a lot of money on a lawsuit, they will comply. Until the constitution is replaced by biblical law (and I become a citizen of another country in response) I know it will be followed.

October 20, 2010 at 9:33 p.m.
miss_bossy said...

Why are non-christians so hell bent on being RiGHT? Im noticing most of the comments here, if they are for the religious side, theres lots of "no"s on "was this comment useful". I'm a Christian, but I do see it both ways in a sense. I just don't get why people have to be so closed minded. Its like they're saying "No.. no no no religion. Its 'right'". As BigRidgePatriot said, "a little posse of left winged extremists dominate here". This does not reflect that majority of Tennessee, & definitely not Chattanooga. My sister attends Soddy Daisy High School, & according to her & people's facebook's, Soddy Daisy alumni, graduates, & current students are embarrassed & ashamed. So just to maybe shine a little hope on the matter, I will say that the "majority" of Tennessee is not posting here. Period.

& as someone said previously, by taking God out of the courts, schools, everything.. Why would he want to protect us anymore? We dont protect his name, so he may just turn his back on this pitiful, pathetic earth as he did before with the flood. I mean this more than a comment, May God please..please, have mercy on this country.

This will only spawn MORE prayer. So thank you left wings :] And as someone else stated, you should DEFINITELY be more concerned with your child's test scores or the drugs they're selling or buying, than worrying about someone praying in their vicinity. Seems like if anything it might be helpful. But I guess you can't help those who don't seek help.

Oh & if your a football coach & your team wants to pray, I sawy PRAY! Thats YOUR business and if you all decide thats the route you want to go before games, and I agree with you firmly, GO FOR iT! You're the coach, and those are your kids. I think the students should refuse to play without the prayer & comfort THEY need to step onto the field. If its THEIR game, & THEIR bones & skin & body, let them pray.

October 20, 2010 at 9:43 p.m.
Humphrey said...

BRP - if that was for me, I am so very happy with where my children go to school, there is no where on earth I would rather them go, regardless of resources. I say that with no hesitation at all. That's great that you think your children have a good school also. I'm also very proud of my children and their moral development, thanks.

October 20, 2010 at 9:46 p.m.
edwords said...

The Superintendant just told the principals to stop the public address system prayers.

A public school is not a Christian Academy.Big difference!

October 20, 2010 at 10:09 p.m.
CP7768 said...

The Supreme Court already outlawed this practice 10 years ago in Santa Fe Independent School District v. Jane Doe. It might have been tradition in the area but as of 2000, but it was an illegal tradition. It's time for Soddy to catch up with the 21st century. These kids are standing up for what is legal and trying to strike down that which is illegal.

October 20, 2010 at 10:15 p.m.
Abe said...

The part that confuses me about the insistence on school-sponsored prayer is this:

Whatever happened to being polite.

Those of you who insist on school-sponsored prayer know that you're offending the Jew, the Muslim, the nonbeliever, even Christians of another stripe. You never insist on offering their prayers; you insist on offering your prayers.

But it's not polite to offend people, to be told that you're offending them, and then to keep on doing it.

Forget the law, which seems to be against you. What about common courtesy?

October 20, 2010 at 10:34 p.m.
CP7768 said...

Oz, That document from the ACLJ (which is an biased organization in itself), shows that prayer is not allowed at football games. The ACLJ can argue whatever they want but they cannot argue with the outcome of the Supreme Court.

October 20, 2010 at 10:55 p.m.
chattreb said...

Civil disobedience sounds good to me. Pray it if you got em. To all you liberal whiners this isn't about attacking the Constitution, it's about defending our faith against attack. You stop attacking our faith and we won't have to defend ourselves. I can assure you that we will defend the faith.

October 20, 2010 at 11:34 p.m.
bleslie06 said...

What is the difference between the words "of" and "from?" According to Webster's dictionary "of" means " in respect to " and "from" means "—used as a function word to indicate physical separation or an act or condition of removal, abstention, exclusion, release, subtraction, or differentiation " Elementary students know the difference, why don't those in our government and these organizations who want to take our rights from us by misinterpreting the constitution, just as many do with the Bible. Freedom of religion does not mean Freedom from religion. Freedom of religion simply means people have the freedom to participate and practice religion, where as Freedom from religion means no one is allowed to participate or practice religion. The first amendment states "Freedom OF religion"

October 20, 2010 at 11:41 p.m.
CP7768 said...

Chatt Reb, What attack? This has been clearly unconstitutional for a decade. Is unlawfulness good for society?

October 21, 2010 at 12:02 a.m.
miss_bossy said...

HA! You think these kids were "standing up for their rights" & trying to strike out what is "illegal" is a total crock of crap! Not to mention I can BET those children break the law on a daily basis. Simple things as speeding.. or buying or selling drugs, which I know for a fact, is HIGH at Soddy daisy& Hixson high school. Again, these kids were my friends in high school too, but my point is they werent trying to make things "legal". Those kids didnt give a crap about "legal", They wanted things their way. The thing is, I went to school with Muslims, Christians, people who were agnostic, athiest, & Wiccan. & they were MY FRIENDS! We all RESPECTED each others decisions. When we prayed, we didnt say "Dear Lord baby Jesus Christ, Son of God" you just pray! To God. Your God. If those kids had respect for each other & were raised in a sense of tolerance living in this hell hole of an earth, they would look past that or pray to THEIR god during that time. Its high school.. come on now.

October 21, 2010 at 1:30 a.m.
ITguy said...

People go to football games to watch football. The problem is that Christian evangelicals see this as a good opportunity to evangelize. They just can't help themselves. Someone in the crowd might be saved if we just pray.

It doesn't matter how you interpret the first amendment. What matters is how the supreme court interprets the first amendment. This is a settled issue. Get over it. It will not be overturned.

October 21, 2010 at 6:47 a.m.
HiDef said...

miss_bossy - Please do not speak for the students at Soddy that stood up for their rights. Unless you are one of them that complained you have no business being here trying to tell us their motives.

"You're the coach, and those are your kids" No, those are MY kids. If I want to discuss religion with them, I and only I, will do it. I send my kids to school to learn about math, sciences and grammar, not religion.

October 21, 2010 at 7:39 a.m.
edwords said...

The "outsiders" from Wisconsin only "butt in" when a local

member complains.

If you don't like it, fight it in court, and LOSE!

October 21, 2010 at 8:09 a.m.
edwords said...

MiWilson72 --you say that we "choose" our religion.

          The FACT is that most people die in the

          faith their parents forced on them in

October 21, 2010 at 8:32 a.m.
CP7768 said...

Miss Bossy, Unless you can prove that the kids who complained break the law on a regular basis, what you said is slanderous. How do you know that "these kids don't give a crap about what is legal?" The issues of drugs and speeding is something for the school district to deal with, not students. These students are acting as a check on the school district. What kind of lesson are we teaching students if we say that just because you are in the minority, you should lay down and take it even though they know what is happening is illegal? Isn't the value of an education is an ability to question things?

October 21, 2010 at 10:02 a.m.

As far as we know the students complained because of a lesson that they had in history class... Maybe this was a topic of discussion in history, and the students questioned what they learned. We don't know what caused the students to complain, but I do know that legally they had every right to do so. We don't know what faith these students where of. As far as we know they could be christian, and they realized they where breaking the law, and chose to voice their concern. Deal with it... It has been deemed unconstitutional,and now we all have to follow the law. And if you break it feel free to be sued or even thrown in jail because that is what will be next. Just pray at your home or somewhere off of school property prior to the game.

October 21, 2010 at 10:35 a.m.
hrtofluv said...

lkeithlu said - "You are obviously from a nominally Christian background, and can't possibly imagine that Christian prayers to a captive school audience could be a violation of someone's freedom of religion." You made me laugh! Have you actually ever been to a public HS football game (and I dont mean the private HS where you teach)? There is NOT a captive audience by any means. People continue to talk, walk, and do whatever they want during the prayer for safety of the players (which is all it amounts to). It is not a prayer with an invitation for those to seek the Lord and be saved. And the only ones that respond as a group are the football players – the students who have asked for a prayer for their safety. And even those who don't believe that play football do RESPECT their teammates by bowing their heads because they are part of a team and that is what teammates do.
Yes - I have friends of all faiths and some of no faith. And I will say that some religions do take a "beating" sometimes for their differences, but that is why their faith must be strong to carry them through the trials and tribulations of any religion. But if one chooses to move to the "Bible Belt" than you should be respectful of the people that have been here for decades. Chattanooga is part of the Southern Bible Belt and has been for a LONG time. You should have known that before you decided to move here. If you have always lived here, than it's your own fault for not moving elsewhere that is a little more religiously diverse. And you either don't have kids or if you do - why haven't you sent them to your private HS (because if you work there - it must be one that is constitutionally legal) and you wouldn't have to worry about your kids hearing the other options of religion that exists. Yes, the Christian faith is huge, but you should worry about whether your personal faith is strong enough to hold onto your kids - that is the ONLY thing that should matter. Everyone - if your children do NOT go to SDHS or you do not live in the school district - you shouldn't even be commenting. This does not affect you! It was students that said the prayers - not a school official.

October 21, 2010 at 11 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

hrtofluv, it is the US constitution. TN is part of the USA, religiously diverse or not. I am a TN resident and expect the law to be followed in my state. If you were born here you have no more or less say in how the state conducts its business. Although they are not in great numbers, Chattanooga has people representing many faiths. It doesn't matter if only one student was from a faith that was not the majority faith. I am respectful of the folks that live here, but I also expect the schools and other government representatives to follow the law. I also expect the majority faith to respect the faith of the minority (though, given what I am seeing here and elsewhere in the state, I am beginning to believe that in fact most fundamentalist Christians think that they have every right, in fact are morally obligated to, impose their flavor of religion on everyone. After all, we heathens "chose" to move here, so we are fair game.) My children's faith is secure, thank you very much. And my personal faith has nothing to do with my "hanging on to my kids", whatever that means.

Anyhow, as I said before, it doesn't matter of you think. The law is what it is. If the school system doesn't want to pay for an expensive court trial that they would surely lose, they will comply with the law.

October 21, 2010 at 11:14 a.m.
CP7768 said...

Hrtofluv, It does not matter that people are moving around, walking, talking, etc. The Supreme Court has already said that attendants at a football game are considered a captive audience. It does not matter where we have chosen to live. Just because people have done things for decades does not make it right. For a decade, this practice at Soddy has been expressly unconstitutional. They got caught in their illegality and now they are taking the proper corrective actions. Would you rather that the school district use your tax dollars to fight a lawsuit that they know they are going to loose? What lesson are we teaching Hamilton County students if we tell these kids to keep quiet because it's tradition even though they know the action is illegal?

October 21, 2010 at 11:14 a.m.
Lefty said...

"But if one chooses to move to the "Bible Belt" than you should be respectful of the people that have been here for decades. Chattanooga is part of the Southern Bible Belt and has been for a LONG time. You should have known that before you decided to move here. If you have always lived here, than it's your own fault for not moving elsewhere that is a little more religiously diverse."

You know what else used to be a part of the Bible Belt?
Slavery, and that wasn't right either.

Simply because something has been done in the past, that doesn't make it the correct way to do things in the future. Contrary to the views of those who don't stick their head out of the trailer park, it's a big world out there and you are a part of it, like it or not.

"We've always done it this way," is no longer a valid excuse. You have been wrong and change has come. As The General says, "you might as well lay back and enjoy it."

October 21, 2010 at 12:34 p.m.
Leaf said...

Statistically speaking, people who identify themselves as having "no religion" are the fastest growing group in the America, and the world, compared to various faiths. I think this explains the defensiveness some of the faithful exhibit when it comes to matters of religious tolerance and science.

Here's a couple of many studies.

October 21, 2010 at 12:37 p.m.
hrtofluv said...

Oh I see now - this is only a minority comment section - sorry I upset the minority by offering my "free speech" opinion. I have friends from every faith & no faith and I respect them unlike those of you who don't respect others faith and come on here simply to bash those that do. At least reading through the comments, I now see that the majority do not comment here because they have already learned that it is fruitless. Noone can even attempt to be read or heard over the rest of you who have nothing better to do than overtake the comment sections here. Why dont you all go get a job and make yourselves useful?
And Lefty - maybe you should do the same thing - "stick your head out of the trailer park and see the big world". I have to say that I find your comment hilarious - what some will do/say to make their minority opinions heard. I have never ever driven through a trailer park, but even if I did live there - my rights/thoughts/opinions are just as important as yours which gives me the right to comment anywhere I choose. And now to think you are going to make it a race issue - so far off point (slavery). I wasn't alive then and neither was my great-grandparents - was yours? You cannot blame the child for the sins of their great great relatives. But once again - you are trying to get off the main point.
We are a religious nation - and I find no other religions trying to make themselves heard through legal means other than atheists. So, everyone build those mosques, show your Mother Mary statues, stay home on your Sabbath Saturdays and ring those bells! I think each school should vote on whether to have the prayer or not - isn't this a democratic nation where democracy wins? Let's have that vote now and let's see who will win. Or let the football team decide since it's their game (not the student body who simply watch or just socialize while totaling ignoring the game). Noone has said that attendance was mandatory - it's your choice to attend and prayers will be said. I also like the idea of the Lord's prayer being said by those who chose prior to each game. Or the idea of buying their own personal PA system for the students to say their typical safety prayer prior to the games.

October 21, 2010 at 1:21 p.m.
CP7768 said...

Hrtofluv, So by flying in the face of the Supreme Court, you support your tax dollars going towards expensive litigation that the school district will inevitably loose? You fail to address the glaring illegalities of these actions. If you choose to ignore the law, it does not go away.

October 21, 2010 at 1:25 p.m.
CP7768 said...

Spelling error on my last post, "lose" instead of "loose."

October 21, 2010 at 1:26 p.m.
realityrox said...

lol hrtofluv said "I wasn't alive then and neither was my great-grandparents - was yours? You cannot blame the child for the sins of their great great relatives."

Isn't that what your imaginary friend... er.. god does? Judge you for the imagined sins of your "great great relatives"?

October 21, 2010 at 1:30 p.m.
hrtofluv said...

Realityrox - no my God FORGIVES everyone of their sins if they come to Him in remorse to repent. Each person is accountable for their own salvation. God does not punish us, but we will be held accountable for our own sins (not our great great relatives). My God is not imaginary and someday your reality will really rox when He comes back and you are left behind.

And mine and your tax dollars wouldn't have to be spent on litigation if the atheists would just leave well enough alone. Every religion starts private schools for their congregation's children to attend. Go start your own schools and teach atheism there and quick crying and whining around us - there are alot of states where you can live your atheist lives without question - go to California - they'll love you there. My tax dollars (which is alot more now) goes to pay for every child's public education and their free lunches too.
And nowhere in any student handbook does it say the football games are mandatory. Don't go and make the world a better place!

October 21, 2010 at 2:35 p.m.
CP7768 said...

Hrtofluv, So is it a good lesson to teach the students of Hamilton County to just "quick crying and whining" if they know something illegal is going on? Isn't the point of an education to develop an ability to question? Do you truly believe that the pragmatic solution to this question is for athiests to create their own private school. For that matter, how do you know that the students who brought the complaint are athiests? I'm guessing by your failure to counter the Supreme Court shows that you recognize that Soddy's actions are illegal. It's good to know that you support an illegal action taking place in the school district.

October 21, 2010 at 3 p.m.
realityrox said...

hehe - I guess hrtofh8 was already taken :)

Are you getting all horned up on the thought someone else will be smited by your god of "love"?

Keep up the good work.. your reaction turns people away from your version of a god... if your god turns out real.. looks like you'll be joining us "heathens".


October 21, 2010 at 3:04 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

so, hrto-you reveal your true thoughts. According to you, everyone in TN who is not a fundamentalist or evangelical Christian is an atheist. California has no Christian citizens. Because you pay taxes you can insist that everyone follow your religion or get out. The constitution doesn't apply to TN. I suppose this is what they teach in school these days.

October 21, 2010 at 8:15 p.m.
bullfrog said...

i guess when a player makes a play and looks up or points up is offensive too. this is crazy. make him stop mommy i'm offended. big deal go home.this is what is wrong with our school systems today they have threw God out of everything.

October 22, 2010 at 9:30 a.m.

Actual Christians - by which I mean people who actually follow the teachings of Jesus Christ - should be opposing the school prayers, as well:

"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." (Matthew 6:5-6)

Public prayer is explicitly against the teachings of Jesus. Anyone who supports public prayer is literally following an anti-Christ teaching.

I find it hilarious that the atheists are advocating for a more Christian position here than the people calling themselves Christians.

October 22, 2010 at 9:39 a.m.
eeeeeek said...

no bullfrog... it makes him look stupid.

October 22, 2010 at 9:40 a.m.
deltenney said...

Tolerance: -- it works both ways; a public prayer or silent prayer never hurt anyone; perhaps a few of us could benefit from the exposure -- especially all of those who would prohibit the free exercise of religion. If there are those who find it that offensive, just find another form of entertainment for yourselves.

October 22, 2010 at 10:40 a.m.
Humphrey said...

yes, Tolerance works "both" ways - I'd say it works more ways than just two. You, deltenney, and everyone else, has freedom of speech in this country. You can go and say a prayer in public all you would like. You can do it at the library, the zoo, a school football game. So can every other citizen. Go ahead, go to a football game and spend the entire time there just praying all you want. You have every right, and if anyone said you couldn't I'd argue with them with every bit of my being.

The government though does not have that same freedom of speech that you have as a citizen of this country. The government can not establish a religion. When the school allows a prayer at a school-sanctioned event on school property that is what they are doing.

No one is saying that anyone should not have their freedom of speech or religion. Everyone should be able to pray to whatever they want however they want. The government though can't tell us how to do that. When the school has a prayer that is exactly what they are doing - telling you how to pray. Is that really what you want? The government telling you when, where, and how to pray?

Its not a matter of "finding another form of entertainment." The school is an arm of the government. It is operated with tax dollars. The school property is government property, owned by all of us. It is not to be used to promote one religious view, even if every single person in attendance at that event agrees with that particular view and it would offend no one. Religious freedom means that the government does not sponsor religion.

You can only protect your own freedoms by protecting the freedoms of everyone.

October 22, 2010 at 11:51 a.m.
ledotter said...

Three questions:

  1. WHY do Christians want to encourage public prayer, especially during governmental meetings, in public schools, etc. when their own scriptures state, as a direct quote from Jesus, in Matthew 6:5:? “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words." Are they embracing "hypocrisy" or declaring themselves as "heathen"??

  2. Why do Christians not follow Christ’s “second greatest commandment in Mark 12:31? “The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' " and again in Luke6: 31 “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” AND Matthew 7:12 “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

Do they want (and welcome) non-believers, Wiccans, Muslims, or Pastifarians to denigrate and disparage Christian beliefs, life style choices and ethics as Christians do to others??

  1. Why do Christians believe that being “in the majority” gives them the right to integrate their religion into our government and deny equal rights to those in the minority when T Jefferson wrote: "The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society." --Thomas Jefferson 1816.

Are they trying to bring down our republic??

I would really like to know the answers and, since Christians’ so often claim to have them all, maybe I’ll get one or two?

October 22, 2010 at 4:31 p.m.
bullfrog said...

you took the verse completly out of context. if you dont know what i mean maybe you should read the whole book.look in daniel where he prayed aloud with the windows open even though the king said not to.we all know what God did for daniel in the lions den.if i need to explain i can later but right now im going to a high school football game and yes there will be a prayer for the safety of the players

October 22, 2010 at 5:51 p.m.
CP7768 said...

Bullfrog, Not over the loud speakers there won't.

October 22, 2010 at 7:18 p.m.
Humphrey said...

"yes there will be a prayer for the safety of the players"

Wonderful, enjoy your first amendment rights to freedom of speech and religion.

October 22, 2010 at 7:31 p.m.
sdhs_christian said...

HiDef, Well today is your lucky day. I don't know who you think you are.? But I am a student at Soddy. I've been attending a baptist church since I was pretty much able too. & I have NO PROBLEM with anyones religion. That's how I've been raised. I don't judge a book by it's cover. But prayer is a major thing in Soddy Daisy. and if you don't want the issue pushed on YOUR kids, mind your own business. I will tell you right now, we WILL NOT GO DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT!!! If you can't already tell that by now by sticking your nose where it doesn't belong, then you have your own problems. Like I said, I am a student there and I don't appreciate people on here acting like they know what we are going through. Now, if you are one of the parents who have a child that goes to our school, and you have the same point of view as I do about the situation, by all means, please keep fighting to keep prayer in our schools. but for everyone else who are just on here saying stuff because they THINK they know what they are talking about.? please mind your own business. We don't need your negative comments. It's not helping us at all. The prayer we do before the game is not helping us "win the game" or anything of that matter. It is to ask God to look over each and every player and coach on that field and keep them safe. THAT'S what OUR prayer is about, because that's what OUR God can do with just a few words spoken to him and ending it in "Amen."

October 23, 2010 at 1:12 a.m.
eeeeeek said...

sdhs_christian - if your god is so powerful... tell it to prove it.

Cut off a body part, shred it then pray for it to regrow.

Surely your god has regrown billions of limbs throughout recorded history.. one measly part, say a thumb, could easily be requested by your prayer group.

wait... don't do it.. gods don't exist.. the regrown limbs were on creatures that have evolved that capability already.

Man hasn't evolved the capability yet.

October 23, 2010 at 7:12 a.m.
HiDef said...


"I don't know who you think you are.?"

I'm the guy that's going to give you a quick lesson in grammar. A sentence can have either a period or a question mark but not both. Twice you started a sentence with, "but". You also have a tendency to not capitalize the first word of a sentence. My guess is that if you spent more time learning the basic subjects at school instead of worrying about praying, this wouldn't be an issue.

"I've been attending a baptist church since I was pretty much able too."

That's the wrong use of the word "too". Anyway, think about your statement. Most people belong to a specific religion because it's what their parents decided for them. Why don't parents let their kids decide what religion they want to follow when they're old enough to understand it instead of deciding it for them? Especially if it's such a huge part your lives? It would be like letting your parents determine your career or your spouse.


Go for it. You're going to lose as every other school has so far. It's been decided and re-confirmed. You do understand that don't you? It's what you would call futile.

"If you can't already tell that by now by sticking your nose where it doesn't belong, then you have your own problems."

This sentence makes absolutely no sense.

Unfortunately for you, this is an opinion board and you are not the one to decide who gets to express an opinion or not. I asked miss_bossy not to speak for others or put words in other people's mouths. She is entitled to share an opinion however it is dangerous to claim to know the motives of the individuals that made the original complaint.

Lastly, I love the part where you don't have a problem with other people's religion yet you finish your post with "OUR god" and "OUR prayer". We get it already. If it's YOUR god, it's all good, right? Unfortunately that seems to be the theme here in the south and some folks could certainly benefit from stepping out of their bubbles every now and then...

October 23, 2010 at 8:56 a.m.
sdhs_christian said...

First off, I didn't ask for a Grammar lesson did I? The period before the question mark was a mistake. Forgive me! Lastly, yes I will worry about prayer in my school because I have to attend there. I'm not going to attend a school where a bunch of atheist try to run it because one person has a problem with a prayer that is said to keep our players and coaches safe. I'm sure if it was your child down there on the field, you wouldn't be running your mouth. The prayer we say on that field, like I've already said, is to keep our players safe. Oh, and by the way, when I said "OUR" God, I was referring to the God WE ALL believe in. Never once did I say MY God did I? ..... Didn't think so. Looks like someone needs a lesson in reading correctly.

"Anyway, think about your statement. Most people belong to a specific religion because it's what their parents decided for them. Why don't parents let their kids decide what religion they want to follow when they're old enough to understand it instead of deciding it for them?"

-Because we have people like you who have an opinion about which religion is right or wrong. No one on this Earth has a right to say whether a religion is right or wrong. If you believe in a God of some sort, Okay.

"Go for it. You're going to lose as every other school has so far."

That's kind of funny. I have a friend in Maryville, TN. The same thing almost happened at his school when he was a Freshman 5 years ago. Can you guess what happened without Google Oh Great Wise One.? The issue was overturned and they are STILL allowed prayer.

October 23, 2010 at 9:19 a.m.
eeeeeek said...

Ooooh Snap HiDef.. they brought out the "I have a friend" proof... instead of anything other than a vague mention of google.

You know the argument won't be worth the trouble. They'll pull one thing after another out of their... um.. the air.

If Maryville is having tax payer funded prayer, I'm so going to upgrade my membership to the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Definitely going to inquire with RET and ASC in Knoxville to see what they might be doing in relation to such information.

October 23, 2010 at 10:06 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

It happens all over my area, as anyone who raises an issue with it is threatened with bodily harm and property damage by nice Christians. Most just suck it up or move away.

Makes me wonder why foreign companies want to bring their businesses here-must be the tax exemptions.

October 23, 2010 at 10:20 a.m.
CP7768 said...

SDHS_Christian, It's great that you believe strongly about this issue but since you do, why don't you and those who support the prayer foot the hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of dollars in legal fees for the lawsuit that will inevitably follow instead of sapping the limited resources of the district? Do not use the rest of us as unwilling accomplices in your own quest to protect your illegal practices.

October 23, 2010 at 10:22 a.m.
sdhs_christian said...

CP7768, last time I checked, freedom of religion and speech WAS free.

October 23, 2010 at 10:36 a.m.
CP7768 said...

SDHS_Christian, You did not answer my question. Are you and supporters of the prayer willing to pay the large legal fees for the lawsuit that will inevitably be filed if the prayer continues instead of using the limited resources of the school district?

October 23, 2010 at 10:41 a.m.
sdhs_christian said...

There won't be any lawsuit. End of story. Because we will win. This is too big of an issue for us to lose.

October 23, 2010 at 10:50 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

That's what the people of Dover PA, thought, especially since the judge was a Bush appointee. Boy were they surprised.

October 23, 2010 at 10:54 a.m.
CP7768 said...

SDHS_Christian, Why do you believe there will not be a lawsuit? Organizations like the ACLU and FFRF file suits on behalf of citizens over issues like this all the time. The FFRF might as well have said that they will file suit if the school district didn't take action or if the prayer continued. So there is my evidence. Where is yours to support your non-action argument?

October 23, 2010 at 10:59 a.m.
CP7768 said...

SDHS_Christian, Also, if you think you will win, go and read the Supreme Court's decision in Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe and get back to me.

October 23, 2010 at 11:01 a.m.
realityrox said...

Why do gods need to be in schools? Aren't they already supposed to be all knowing?

October 23, 2010 at 12:08 p.m.
StarWitch said...

I'm glad that the Freedom From Religion Foundation is standing up for the rights of non-Christians. In fact, I joined their foundation so I could feel like I was helping the cause in some small way.

What Christians fail to realize is that the reason America has been so successful is that we haven't allowed religion to rule. Take a look at Afghanistan to see what happens when you allow centuries-old religions to dictate human behavior. It's outrageous. And the Bible is JUST as outrageous. If you are shocked that the Taliban Muslims would stone a woman to death for being raped, I think you'd be more shocked to realize that the scripture Muslims use to defend this atrocity is in the HOLY BIBLE (Deuteronomy 22:23-24). Christians rarely read the entire Bible. Most honestly have NO IDEA what terrible ideals they are pushing on other people. Read your Bible please. Then you'll understand why so many people are against it. It's just as bad as the Koran. Thankfully, Christians don't actually obey the Bible like they think they are doing. They are actually obeying the U.S. law, which is far more evolved than your Bible. By the Bible's law, the very fact that some of you mow your lawn on Sunday is enough to have to STONED TO DEATH. If you think that's wrong, then why do you continue to follow this ancient religion? It has nothing to do with us today. You've been brainwashed to believe a huge lie and you don't realize it. It's only when you step outside of Christianity and view your religion objectively that you are able to see that it is a cult built upon lies and more lies (call them myths if you prefer, but please don't insist that they are true stories. That's just laughable to the non-brainwashed person.)

October 23, 2010 at 1:52 p.m.
HiDef said...


"I'm not going to attend a school where a bunch of atheist try to run it because one person has a problem with a prayer that is said to keep our players and coaches safe"

Thank you! You just proved my point that as long as it's Christianity, it's all good but the minute some evil Atheist tries to promote their agenda you pipe up and say, "Not on my watch"! You don't care what the law says. You think because the majority is on your side only your rights should matter. Sad, truly sad...

"Because we have people like you who have an opinion about which religion is right or wrong. No one on this Earth has a right to say whether a religion is right or wrong.

No, my opinion is that all religions are wrong and as a U.S. citizen, I have every right to say it. By the way, I'd love to continue this part of the discussion with you, history of religions etc, but this is not the place.

"That's kind of funny. I have a friend in Maryville, TN. The same thing almost happened at his school when he was a Freshman 5 years ago. Can you guess what happened without Google Oh Great Wise One.? The issue was overturned and they are STILL allowed prayer."

Google and Yahoo have no idea what you're talking about. Perhaps you could provide a link to this?

October 23, 2010 at 3:14 p.m.
HiDef said...

Ok, I found what I believe to be the article you're referencing sdhs_christian. Of course it is not a similar situation as it was a lawsuit regarding "see you at the pole" events. SYATP is student organized and the equivalent of kids praying while they're at lunch. It's not, or at least shouldn't be, voiced over a PA system. Anyway, I'm not even going to get into the SYATP lawsuit since it is completely different. Try again...

Here's the link by the way:

Sorry eeeeek, my curiosity got the best of me :-)

October 23, 2010 at 3:31 p.m.
eeeeeek said...

:-) ewwww... HiDef posted from a site almost as bad as the AFA.


October 23, 2010 at 4:56 p.m.
HiDef said...

I know, I know eeeeeek but it was the ONLY link I could find in reference to what sdhs was talking about. Maybe next time I'll just pray for the link and it will magically appear on my computer...

October 23, 2010 at 5:07 p.m.
eeeeeek said...

lol... Maryville is outside of Knoxville... the article was for Lebanon, TN outside of Nashville.

Hey sdhs... can your other invisible "friend" help with a link?

October 23, 2010 at 5:24 p.m.
ebenji87 said...

SDHS, I don't know why you "prayer supporters" just can't understand that no one is taking away ANY of your rights. You still have the right to pray whenever and wherever you want to. If you want to walk around at school and pray the whole time you're there, GO FOR IT! That's your right as an American. But what is NOT your right is to get on the PA system on school property and broadcast it for everyone to hear!!

We are not all believers in your god, and guess what... some of us even find religion offensive and feel it is the root of a huge part of pain and suffering in the world, (because it is). So the last thing I want to hear about is some rednecks asking god to bless their little football game when there are starving children, dying of AIDS in Africa. But they had the unfortunate luck of being born in a godless country so they are forgotten in the mind of most "Christians". Wake up and smell the coffee. If your god exists, he is one sadistic mother.

October 23, 2010 at 5:55 p.m.
HiDef said...

I give up then eeeeeek. I've only lived here for about three years, hence my geographical ignorance. In my haste to find the bomb that sdhs was looking to drop, I failed to thoroughly evaluate the article and it's date. Little did I know this is a statewide issue either...

Still waiting on god,


October 23, 2010 at 6:14 p.m.

Some of you still don't understand, do you? The problem is not the prayer itself, it is the endorsement of the religion and the publicity. You have the right to walk through a school and shout "Hail, Mary," but a teacher, or student representative, cannot go on the loud speaker and announce it. There are other religions in this small town. Many of the people in this city would have an issue if a rabbi, Jewish clergy, a High Priestess, Wiccan clergy, or a member of the Islamic clergy got on the loud speaker and lead a devotion. If you are going to shout, shout about something that you can win.
Also, if you let the Baptist pray, then you have to let the Catholics, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Methodists, and the Episcopalians, etc. Our country was based on the ideal that everyone has the right, the freedom to practice whatever religion they want, even if it was controversial or "bad." It is about time someone brought this issue forward, if only to help those of us who are left out of the "prayers."

Always, Hoping For Freedom

October 23, 2010 at 7:07 p.m.
Ladyhawke123 said...

Well ebenji87, where do you think you came from anyway. The Bible states God took a rib from Adam and made Eve. Oh but that is right atheist think you evolved from monkey’s. So, I can understand why you think our God is a “statistic mother” as you quoted about him. Let me tell you something, you’re the statistic mother for going off at a teenager. She has every right to believe in God! Sounds like you need to get the Bible down and read where it is you come from. If more people would sit and read the Bible instead of listening to scientist, then you would know your God is real and know what he can do! That’s ok keep thinking your evolved from monkey’s cause that is exactly what your acting like a monkey’s butt! If these kids want to believe what is the harm in letting them believe. The problem with a lot of people is that you think that when it is a prayer issue the Christians come out to argue, but isn't it the atheist who always start the arguments by wanting it out of the schools. If the atheist want to start a non christian school then let them and whom ever wants to attend go there. Don't start an argument at a place that has had prayer in the tradition for years.

October 23, 2010 at 11:02 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Your last post, Ladyhawke, has left me....speechless. Hope you are not in a position of importance or influence. In fact, I hope you are not an adult. If you are, I'm worried.

October 24, 2010 at 12:08 a.m.
Ladyhawke123 said...

Why is that lkeithlu, cause I post the truth. Like I said read your Bible oh, I am sorry go purchase one first. I think you might just find it worth reading. That is if the words inside you understand. If not it is ok because they do make one for people in lamons terms.

October 24, 2010 at 12:13 a.m.
sdbandmom said...

You tell them Ladyhawke123. Some people will never get it.

October 24, 2010 at 12:31 a.m.
HiDef said...

"If more people would sit and read the Bible instead of listening to scientist,"

No way could I let this one go. First, I must ask though, ladyhawke are you an adult? If not, do not read any further as this post may not be suitable for audiences under 18...

Thats a pretty bold statement up there. Care to share any "myths" you believe these so called scientists are peddling?

"Like I said read your Bible oh, I am sorry go purchase one first. I think you might just find it worth reading. That is if the words inside you understand. If not it is ok because they do make one for people in lamons terms."

I can see where your daughter gets her wit and grammatical expertise now. The red squiggly line under lamons should give you a hint that it's a misspelled word. I believe the word you were looking for is "layman's".

By the way, check out this story on religious knowledge and tell me which group did the best:

October 24, 2010 at 1:17 a.m.
sdbandmom said...

HiDef yes she is an adult and there you go again. Talking about a child. Well I guess you have no problem with people talking about your kids either then do you?

October 24, 2010 at 1:54 a.m.

Ok, now I know something towards this line has been said, but Lady and SD if you tell your kids to defend their beliefs like you have said then I would guess you would also prepare them for the backlash. If you allow them to become involved in such a heated topic then yes your kids are going to have to deal with that backlash. No matter what is said to your kids on this site that shouldn't change their beliefs. And plus if your going to attack or disagree with religion you should know not everyone will agree with you. To be honest I am glad to see that kids will stick up for what they believe, but this isn't about belief it is about what is legal. And according to the law it is not legal for schools to allow prayer at school sponsored events.

October 24, 2010 at 3:23 a.m.
CP7768 said...

Ladyhawke123, This complaint is based on real concerns that Soddy students had over the prayers said at football games. Why should atheists have to start a new school when it is Soddy High's actions that are illegal? Why is it that traditional somehow legitimizes an action that has been illegal for a decade?

October 24, 2010 at 3:55 a.m.
ebenji87 said...

Okay, I'm going to have fun with this one. You are TOO easy, Ladyhawke123. I'm assuming, (and hoping), you are still in school and studying your spelling and grammar. Secondly, I'm hoping that at some point you actually pick up a science book and read it. Contrary to what you no doubt believe, there is NO science whatsoever in the bible and it is completely ignorant to pretend there is.

Yes, we DID share a common ancestor with monkeys, somewhere around 200 million years ago, but humans and monkeys branched off into the two different types of mammals that we are today. This is not a myth, it is provable FACT, backed by mountains of mutually supporting EVIDENCE from all over the world. If you believe that 93 percent of scientists from all backgrounds, in all countries are trying to "pull one over on you", or stage some big creationism cover-up, you have some serious mental problems.

And yes, I called YOUR god a SADISTIC, (not statistic... two completely different words), mother. Because if he does exist as you say, he created such a world where violence, rape, murder, hunger, poverty, torture, greed, corruption, genocide, ethnic cleansing, child abuse, and cruelty are RAMPANT. And I know exactly what your argument will be. "Satan does that stuff!". Well, that sounds good to you guys but us free-thinkers start asking those things called questions. Questions like, why did god willingly create Lucifer when knowing completely that he would rebel and have to be cast into hell and would become the source of all sin, suffering and pain in the world? Why not just... NOT create him to begin with? Why not just create a perfect world with only one religion of which people worship only him? Why make it a confusing rat race, buffet of religions that seemingly has very similar odds to winning the lottery?

And I was raised from birth until I was 18 in Independent Baptist churches, so I am very familiar with the bible and it's blood-soaked pages telling stories of a god who murders his own creations just because things aren't going his way. Sounds like he likes to take out his F-ups on us! Not very god-like in my book. Sorry, Ladyhawke.

October 24, 2010 at 5:19 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I know far more about the bible than you know about science, Ladyhawke. Are you a student or graduate of SD? If so, their science departments have work to do. Your one post that I responded to contained so much garbage I didn't know where to respond. It would be like discussing quantum physics with a 6th grader.

October 24, 2010 at 7:50 a.m.
ebenji87 said...

Also, excuse my mistake in my previous post. Our common ancestor with apes lived around 20 million years ago, not 200 million. My bad!

October 24, 2010 at 8:44 a.m.
eeeeeek said...

lkeithlu wrote at 7:50 am

"Ladyhawke. Are you a student or graduate of SD? If so, their science departments have work to do."

My niece learned quite a bit in her science classes at SD. She used to be saddened that some of her friends would only memorize what was needed to pass the test and not absorb the information.

If the department has changed in the last few years, then they do have work to do. If not.. then it's the parents that have the work to do.

October 24, 2010 at 9:40 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

That's encouraging, eeeeek. As a science educator I feel in part responsible for the anti-intellectual, anti-science trend in the US. We must work harder against those forces that would imply that Christians must choose between their faith and reality. Many prominent scientists, including paleontologists, geneticists and evolutionary biologists are also persons of faith. They have gotten beyond a story told thousands of years ago when humans knew so little. This story, of course, is similar to hundreds of creation stories found in all the different cultures and civilizations, some of which hint to actual events, such as a devastating regional flood occurring before written language developed and passed down through oral tradition in all the cultures that lived in the Black Sea area. In my opinion, the complexity and age of life on earth is a more compelling argument for a supreme creator than a fairytale appropriate for children.

October 24, 2010 at 10:22 a.m.
sdbandmom said...

ebenji87 God created the world and the people in it but he does not force anyone to believe in him. Now to your statement about the apes and our ancestors, your ancestors may have evolved from apes but sorry mine didn't. God created everyone in my family and we know that. All this evolution garbage is bull. No we did not evolve from monkeys. My kids will never be allowed to learn that in school. They are to walk out of any class room that the teacher tries to impose that on them.

October 24, 2010 at 1:28 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

sorry, sd, but evidence is overwhelmingly on the side of an ancient earth and evolution. That doesn't make your God any less real, but to treat the Bible as a science book is simply wrong.

October 24, 2010 at 1:46 p.m.
sdbandmom said...

Sorry but that is not true. The bible talks about creating the heavens and the earth and about him creating man. Now you are more than welcome to believe that you evolved from an ape if you want to but do not force that on us. Everyone is entitled to think what they want and that is your choice. But I for one do not want to be told to read a science book and study a lie. I know I did not evolve from apes and I do not like the fact that you are trying to force your belief on me by telling me to read a science book. I read many science books when I was in school and I never one time ever agreed with the evolution theory. That is all it is, a theory. why do you think it is called the theory of evolution? No where does it state it has been proven so think again.

October 24, 2010 at 2:35 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Your understanding of what science is an what evolution says is pretty poor. AND it is not a "belief". It's reality, backed by evidence. Lots and lots of evidence. Your denying that doesn't change a thing, it only makes you look silly.

October 24, 2010 at 2:49 p.m.
sdbandmom said...

it makes me look silly that I do not believe in evolution? What about you, you believe that you came from an ape. Now who looks silly? I will ask you the same thing I ask someone else when they tried to say that same thing. Do you look like an ape? I know I don't and I know who created me. Also if there is so much evidence then why is it called "the theory of evolution"? Don't tell me it isn't, if you don;t think it is then maybe you need to be the one to pick up a science book and read it. Have you ever heard of the scopes trial? If not maybe you need to read about it. That man went on trial for saying the exact same thing you are trying to say. We were not evolved from any monkey of any form. Sorry

October 24, 2010 at 3 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

You have just reinforced my point, sd. We ARE apes. I know the Scopes trial. It was a circus, a media show. Do you actually know what a scientific theory is? I'm guessing you haven't a clue.

If you want to keep your head in the sand, that's your choice. Just realize that children from fundamentalist families figure out that they are being lied to and reject their church wholesale. That is a needless tragedy, brought on by peoples' unwillingness to let go of a Stone Age explanation of the world. Very few Christians still consider the Bible a literal explanation of the history of the physical world. It is too full of inaccuracies and contradictions.

You can continue to shield your kids from the realities of the world and the huge amount of reality that flies in the face of a literal interpretation of Genesis. Just don't let them go to college and take any science; geology or biology especially. They will realize that they've been lied to.

October 24, 2010 at 3:14 p.m.
sdbandmom said...

My kids have not been lied to. They know that they were created by god and that they do not evolve from apes. I don't care if you think that, that is your choice but do not tell me that my kids are being lied to just because they are being taught different. I teach my kids the true meaning of life, love and honesty. They are taught the word of god and that is what they need to be taught. My children know what this world is all about and I have told them about the evolution garbage. I told them what man says about us evolving from apes and as a child I refused to allow them to be subjected to that but now that they are old enough to choose their own beliefs they still do not believe in it or agree with it. They have been raised in church and they go by what the bible says. Now if or when you have kids, you can teach them whatever you like but do not try to tell me that I am raising my kids wrong just because I won't teach them your evolution junk.

October 24, 2010 at 3:30 p.m.
sdbandmom said...

I teach my kids the way I see fit and I do not need anyone telling me that I am lying to them just because they do not believe in evolution. Anybody that wants to believe that theory is more than welcome to but I personally do not agree with it and I will not tell my kids that is where they came from. My kids were taught a little about evolution in school but that they were never told that they evolved from apes. They were taught what it was and they were told about the darwin theory but they were never and will never be taught they came from apes. Have a nivce life teaching your kids that but I hope and pray that they continue to believe that for your own sake so that they do not get mad when they find out you taught them something that is not true.

October 24, 2010 at 3:40 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Your thinking it's junk doesn't change the fact that it is real, it happened and it's the only scientific explanation for the diversity of life that fits the evidence. All the evidence.

October 24, 2010 at 3:40 p.m.
sdbandmom said...

Okay whatever. You believe what you want and I will believe what I want. It is that simple. I will not force my religion on you but do not try to make me believe the evolution theory. It will never happen. God created me.

October 24, 2010 at 3:48 p.m.
sdbandmom said...

These posts are pointless. I am done arguing now. I see no point in this anymore. People will never see eye to eye and all the bashing each other on a public forum is not helping anything. I will not get back on here and post anything else. I am done with the childish, petty bickering back and forth. have a nice life and good luck to everyone that is trying to prove their points.

October 24, 2010 at 4 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

"God created me"

Well, he did a lousy job. Humans are full of poor design examples that are well explained by evolution.

October 24, 2010 at 5:21 p.m.
sdbandmom said...

are you calling yourself a poor example? Afterall you are human arent you? Oh excuse me maybe you aren't. You evolved from ape afterall so you can't be human.

October 24, 2010 at 5:43 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Did you even read the link, sd? You are showing intellectual dishonesty if you dismiss it without even checking it out.

October 24, 2010 at 6:18 p.m.
Ladyhawke123 said...

You know it is stupid to argue with some people who don't understand what the Bible, and what God is about if you did then you would know that if you do not believe or trust in what he does then its plan and simple your going to hell so I hope you all like your journey!

October 24, 2010 at 6:36 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Here's more:,785286,785746

My spouse's profession is in this area, and can list 30-40 examples of poor design in human anatomy and neurology that are explained beautifully by evolution.

October 24, 2010 at 6:38 p.m.
Ladyhawke123 said...

oops sorry let me correct myself "plain" forgot a letter.

October 24, 2010 at 6:40 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

What makes you think I don't know the bible, LadyHawke? Tell you what-you explain the evidence on these websites using your bible, I'll use evolution.

Oh, by the way-can't go to hell if you don't believe there is a hell. (Traffic jams come close, though)

October 24, 2010 at 6:43 p.m.
Ladyhawke123 said...

What? Do you think that your soul floats around when you die? Yes, the body goes to the earth, but do you not believe you have a soul. If not lkeithlu then I feel so sorry for you. I promise I will say a prayer tonight for you, and the rest of these atheist that you open your eyes before it's to late.

October 24, 2010 at 6:50 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Are you saying you won't put your bible up to explain the evidence? Are you admitting defeat? Pity, I was up for a good debate. Guess you don't really have confidence in your bible to explain the evidence. Not surprised; the bible was written well before human anatomy, plate tectonics, genetics, biogeography, paleontology or embryology was understood.

October 24, 2010 at 6:55 p.m.
Ladyhawke123 said...

I will never admit defeat when it comes to my God! I was checking out those websites. I have all the confidence in my Bible it states everything from where we come from to the way the world is going to end. Your right it was written before human anatomy, I will give you that. You know that is why it is right. All this other stuff is a guessing game for these scientist. The Bible states about the dinosaurs, large beastly animals, and much more. Like I said read the bible things are explained in it. Your problem is your just to afraid to pick it up and read it.

October 24, 2010 at 7:06 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

While we are waiting for your answers, sd and Ladyhawke, let me say: no, I don't believe I have a soul and I don't believe in an afterlife. I will be after I die just as I was before I was born-not conscious of anything. Why do I think this? Because there is no physical evidence of souls, heaven, ghosts, haunting, demons or hell.

Figured I owed you an explanation.

So, am I immoral? No, I'm not. I'm actually a good person. Flawed, but empathetic and determined to do right by others.

Okay. Waiting for your biblical explanation for the above evidence.

October 24, 2010 at 7:10 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Oh, posts crossing in cyberspace. No guessing, LadyHawke-actual observable evidence that evolution explains. Just pick one: the human eye? The human male reproductive system? Our vertebrae designed for suspension, even though being bipedal puts compression forces on it?

October 24, 2010 at 7:13 p.m.
Ladyhawke123 said...

Unlike you the Bible states it all just like you believe in your books on evolution. I believe all of that God spoke of. The point is not what we believe in the point is, do we believe prayer needs to stay in school. Everyone including me have went off the true subject. I in my OWN opinion I believe it needs to stay since it doesn't hurt no one. It is not like we are burning it in anyone's body. We simply believe that what is not broken should never be fixed.

October 24, 2010 at 7:23 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

In other words, you don't have a case. Where does the bible discuss those pieces of evidence? Your wanting now to get back on topic is telling.

My point in this little exercise is that the bible does not address the physical world in any detail. If you adhere to a literal reading you must ignore countless facts about the real world around you. You are afraid that if there is one thing about the bible that is not literally true, the whole house of cards collapses. That the earth is old, that we evolved from common ancestors with other primates, none of this diminishes the power of scripture to change lives. It doesn't. I believe that 100%, even though I don't believe in God.

October 24, 2010 at 7:28 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

I'm going to sign off since you are unwilling to discuss specifics. One parting shot, however:

You believe that your God gave you your magnificent brain: USE IT. Ignorance about the world is not a virtue. The earth is complex, ancient, amazing, full of creatures living and extinct that have evolved from earlier forms, including us. The evidence is there; it has been collected, documented, measured, observed, and cataloged by countless scientists and naturalists. It is not explained by a fairy tale of 6000 years, a talking snake, and a garden (for which there is zero evidence; there is physical evidence of civilizations older than 6000 years for heaven's sake). It does not diminish the value and importance of religion; in fact, it strengthens it.

October 24, 2010 at 7:40 p.m.
Oz said...

lkeithlu... You don't believe in God because you don't know him. You can't find anything if you are not looking for it. The Bible says, Seek and Ye Shall find. If you seek him out. You will find him. Believers have experienced Jesus Christ. You want us to deny something we have experienced? How can we? We have first hand knowledge. If you experience something. Do you go around denying it ever happened?

Do you really believe you infinite knowledge? You know everything and have experienced everything humanly possible? Is it not possible that God exists outside knowledge that you have not experienced?

October 24, 2010 at 8:38 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Oz, where in my post did I a) say that one cannot believe in God (I don't but I never said others shouldn't-it's a personal thing) b) tell anyone to deny what they have experienced c) say I had infinite knowledge d) say I have experienced everything

If you are going to respond, respond directly to what I posted, not what you imagined. Go back and read it again.

Damn-I said I was signing off....

October 24, 2010 at 8:47 p.m.
Oz said...

You posted links trying to prove your point expecting everyone else to read them and deny their beliefs based on your facts. Is that not your intention?

October 24, 2010 at 9:04 p.m.
Oz said...

lkeithlu...We are making progress. You don't believe in God and you don't have infinite knowledge. So you are admitting God might exist.

October 24, 2010 at 9:18 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Nope. I have no issue with believing in God. I only have issues with people denying reality in order to treat the Bible literally. My links were to factual evidence; features in the anatomy and physiology of humans and other mammals that are best explained by evolution. They are not beliefs. They exist, and the bible cannot explain them.

There is a BIG difference between competing beliefs, and a worldview that denies actual facts exist.

October 24, 2010 at 9:19 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Posts crossed in cyber space. Yes, God may exist. I just don't personally believe. That is my right. My belief or non-belief in God has nothing to do with what I am trying to get across.

October 24, 2010 at 9:21 p.m.
Oz said...

You don't believe in a spirit world at all?

October 24, 2010 at 9:30 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Nope, but that isn't the issue here.

October 24, 2010 at 9:31 p.m.
Oz said...

I know it's not the issue. I have been with three relatives at the time of death over the last 30 years. One was non-eventful but the other two.... I can tell you for sure a spirit world exists.

October 24, 2010 at 9:38 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

That's great. However, my issue is with biblical literalism, not belief in spirits. We are a decade into the 21st century with a population that is deplorably ignorant about science because some preachers are telling them that anything not in the bible is a myth. I have a REAL issue with that.

October 24, 2010 at 9:40 p.m.
Oz said...

You have your beliefs. We have ours.

October 24, 2010 at 9:46 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

My beliefs, again Oz, are not the point. Do you deny all the factual, physical evidence around you just because it's not in the bible? If so, then you are part of the problem. I am not talking about beliefs, I am talking about fantasy and denial. I am not asking people to choose between God and science, I am asking you to consider that you can accept the real world and still believe in God. If you just dismiss what I say as a "belief" then we are simply talking past one another and this interchange is over.

October 24, 2010 at 9:51 p.m.
Oz said...

lkeithlu...I'm about as interested in your physical science as you are my childlike faith.

Have a nice evening.

October 24, 2010 at 9:58 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Yep, part of the problem, and poor reading comprehension and no desire to learn anything as well. Good night.

October 24, 2010 at 10 p.m.
Oz said...

Yes, reading comprehension is a problem for someone with ADHD and dyslexia. Thanks for the name calling. I am a problem.

October 24, 2010 at 10:19 p.m.
ebenji87 said...

Geez, this message board is still red hot! I love the debates going on, it shows how incredibly ignorant some people are. Especially when confronted with numerous references to different facts that disprove their "childlike" beliefs. A very telling admittance, Oz, because that's exactly what your beliefs are. It's the same principal as a child who believes in Santa or the Easter Bunny and refuses to accept the fact that they aren't real when his or her parents explain such.

And as far as what you said about not knowing god because we don't seek him, that is the most retarded statement I have ever read. If you actually did some RESEARCH, (whoops, bad word!), you would know that most agnostic and atheist people were raised in one religion or another and turned from it when they were old enough to reason for themselves. Or when they were lucky enough to have their eyes opened to the real truth that ALL religions are dead wrong and are doing much more harm than good. I was raised from birth in Independent Baptist churches, which was torture because that's pretty much the bottom of the intellectual barrel when it comes to different denominations.

I also have to address sdbandmom because her comments were just beyond naive and hilarious. When discussing evolution, it was like she was having a completely different conversation and failed to address the first point given to her. To begin with, why is it SO offensive to you to think you might be a descendant of an ape? Apes are actually very smart creatures and show every single complex emotion that humans do. And yes, we are physically VERY similar to them. Perhaps you should pay closer attention to how alike the layout of our faces are and also the similarities between a human and ape skeletal system. That, of course, is the practical way of observing evolution. And if you teach your kids to get up and walk out when someone is trying to teach them something with actual facts backing it up, you are a horrible parent when it comes to their education. Put them in a private Christian school if you want them to be fed BS all day. As I have stated time and time again, evolution is no longer a theory! And even if it were, what the crap do you think Creationism is?? A theory, and a flimsy one at that. A theory that is not in any form original and only explains itself vaguely in one chapter of one book of your bible. WEAK!

October 25, 2010 at 9:26 a.m.
ebenji87 said...

As far as dinosaurs, this is the most telling evidence that the bible creation MYTH is false. It states that man, land and sea creatures were all created on the same day. If that were true, we would find human fossils at the same geological depths as dinosaur fossils. That just is NOT the case, there are no recorded cases of such. If you can find an example, please post a LINK and I will admit I am wrong. Fossils of Homo sapiens are only found at much, much shallower depths, proving that there were millions of years between the two species.

Us non-theists just keep shooting down your arguments but you guys just keep coming back with the same ones or worse!

October 25, 2010 at 9:29 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I will not dwell here anymore, but I must disagree in part with you eben.

Acceptance of modern science, including evolution, is not incompatible with belief in God. (and this is coming from an atheist) Belief in the supernatural is a personal matter because there is no evidence to support it or with which one can convince another of it. But accepting the Bible as symbolic, not literal, allows people to accept a modern explanation of the physical world (which IS backed by empirical evidence) It does not suggest that there is no God, just that science cannot address God's existence at all.

October 25, 2010 at 10:41 a.m.
ebenji87 said...

I completely agree. It IS possible there is some form of creator. But in my opinion, it is not only unrealistic and fairytale-like but also that this "god" would be a complete mystery to mankind. In other words, he, she or it would be nothing of what religion teaches us to believe. If there is a god, organized religion is only leading humanity away from it.

October 25, 2010 at 12:21 p.m.
sdbandmom said...

The only thing I will say to these posts are what right do you have ebenji87 to tell me I ma a horrible parent when it comes to my childrens education? I have two very smart kids that are honor roll students and they are taking advfanced placement classes in their school. So I am a horrible parent huh? I happen to be very concerned anout my childrens education So DO NOT DARE TELL ME I AM A HORRIBLE PARENT. My kids and their education are the most important thigns to me in this world but I will not allow them to be taught something that I and them as well feel so strongly against. Sorry. Keep you opinion to yourself about my kids. If you can't say something nice about the way someone raises their kids then don't say anything. Not one time have I said someone was a horrible parent for the way they believe so do not tell me I ma a horrible parent.

October 25, 2010 at 4:42 p.m.
sdbandmom said...

excuse me I misspelled am, I put it backwards, so sorry my mistake. Also I am so strongly against believe I am a descendant of an ape because the bible tells me where I came from. Sorry but I do not agree with the ape part of evolution But i will not allow anyone to tell me I am a horrible parent because my kids do not believe in it either.

October 25, 2010 at 4:45 p.m.
sdbandmom said...

excuse me once again, some people like to give grammar lessons so I better correct my spelling. I misspelled advanced by accidently adding a letter that I didn't mean to and I put the letters in teh wrong spot on the word thing. I do not need a grammar lesson so I will correct myself. So sorry I can't make mistakes

October 25, 2010 at 4:49 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

So what part of evolution do you accept?

October 25, 2010 at 4:57 p.m.
HiDef said...

sdbandmom, are you egging me on to re-join this conversation with your grammar comments? I haven't responded in the last 24 hours and you've made two similar comments regarding your own mistakes. Maybe you just couldn't get enough of me the first time around. Either way, if you didn't like what I had to say about religion in schools you sure don't want to hear my opinion regarding people that deny scientific evidence supporting evolution. For starters, the authors of the Bible thought the world was flat. In the last 60 years, scientists have figured out how to send shuttles to the moon, turn sunlight into power and how to launch 250,000lb pieces of metal 40,000ft into the air with 300 people on board to travel across the world. Please won't you put down your Bible and join us in the 21st century bandmom?

October 25, 2010 at 5:27 p.m.
ebenji87 said...

That's the way they deny the evidence... ignore it completely and continually redirect the conversation back to their own WEAK argument. I laid out perfect examples that even soccer mom and her kids could understand, and she didn't address any of the points I made.

And soccer mom, it doesn't take much to be an honor roll student these days so don't blow your own horn too much. I would say all you would have to do is show up and be able to spell your name to get to that status. And I can call you a horrible parent because I grew up in a similar environment of a strict, free-thought restricting Christian household and it was terrible. I still have a terrible relationship with my parents because they can't accept that I decided to use my brain and turned away from their religion. This is not a rare thing and is a perfect example of the damage that religion does to families. I'm sure you're going to shoot back and claim that you and your children have a great relationship. That might be so, but let's see what happens when one of them comes out as being gay or decides to become a non-believer. Let's see how great your relationship is then.

October 25, 2010 at 8:47 p.m.
ebenji87 said...

And Bandmom, I just want to reiterate my previous point that Creationism is a only theory as well. Since you were obviously trying to ignore that. So stop going around acting like evolution is just a theory so it's inferior and not to be trusted. They are not even comparable in the slightest bit but yet you want your religious myth taught in school along side evolution. Unacceptable! Like we all have been asking you from the start, give us some proof of what you believe and then you can have your ideas taught in school. And here's the catch, don't quote Genesis 1 or any other verse in the bible. You have to use relevant information sources please.

October 25, 2010 at 9:01 p.m.
sdbandmom said...

First of all I don't know where you get soccermom when you are refering to me. Also I have already stated that no you do not have the right to call me a horrible parent. It requires more than being able to write your name to be an honor roll student. Especially when the student takes advanced classes. Obviously you never took them so you wouldn't know. Another thing Yes me and my kids have a great relationship and they also know that no matter if they come out as being gay or a non-believer I will still love them and accept their decision. That is what a parent is supposed to do. Do I have to agree with the fact that is how they are, No. But because that would be their decision I would accept it because I love my kids and I respect their choices. Any parent would. I will not give you any explanation about anything that is not a quote from the bible so do not ask me to do that. If you don't want to hear it fine, I respect that but that will be the only way I will refer to any more questions that you ask unless it is personally attacking my parenting skills or personally attacking my children. Which you have kind of done that by making the comment that by showing up and being able to write your name you will be an honor roll student. So basically you are saying my kids are not smart kids right? That since they kow how to write their name they are on honor roll. Is that what you are implying?

October 25, 2010 at 10:11 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Okay, I'll give it a go. First: There are 7428 mammal genera, 4602 bird genera and 3724 genera of reptiles that should be on the ark (amphibians and insects are not mentioned) Genera are considered "kinds" in a biblical sense. How big was the ark, how much food was carried, and how was the labor of feeding these animals shared among the (how many-20? 30?) humans in Noah's family?

Second, how did koalas get from Mt Ararat to Australia, and why did none of them go to South America? Likewise, why didn't sloths go to Australia? They all went to South America. How did they cross the ocean? Why are placental wolves on other continents but only marsupial wolves in Australia?

There are several dozen genetic diseases and many infectious diseases. Did Noah's family carry them all? If not, where did they come from?

October 25, 2010 at 10:47 p.m.
TheGreenGoblin said...

I'll give it a go too. Sorry I'm late to the party. Got on here via FSTDT and I gotta say, I LOVE these comment sections XD.

SDMom: Where did the water from the flood come from? The planet only has a finite amount of water on it, and even if the glaciers melted, there wouldn't be enough to flood the whole world. And furthermore, where exactly did the water recede from???

How big was the ark? Because wood has structural stability threshold that is FAR lower than that of metal. IE: A wooden ark the size of say, an aircraft carrier, would collapse in on its own weight, regardless if it were on land or on water.

Also, I heard someone one hear mention that the Bible mentions dinosaurs. Could you pretty please state where? I LOVE that argument. ^_^

October 25, 2010 at 11:13 p.m.
sdbandmom said...

Okay greengoblin, I have got to ask. why don't you tell me where you think teh water came from? Becasue I know you are going to explain your belief as well as everyone else has to so please do so.

October 25, 2010 at 11:40 p.m.
Oz said...

ebenji87...The only thing you have shot is your mouth. I'm not the brightest bulb in the chandlier but I can assure that I would not waste one minute of my time following any God without proof. When I quit giving God the three wishes test and every other test known to man and accepted him with childlike faith is when he revealed himself to me. Why should God grant me three wishes or give me a Ferrari to believe he exists? He is God. Did he appear on a bar stool or a piece of toast? No but once you feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in your heart you can never deny him again.

As a believer, I accept the Bible to be the word of God. So don't say the Bible is not a relevant source. It might not be a relevant source to you but it is to me. Proof to me and every other believer is Genesis 1.

And yes, you don't know God because you have not looked for him. If you seek him out...You will find him. It sounds like you had a bad experience with religion. Religion is man made. God is not. Being a Christian is having a relationship with Jesus Christ. It has nothing to do with XYZ denomonination. Religion is the greatest tool Satan ever had.

If I'm wrong. I have not lost anything but time reading the Bible and sitting church. I've met a lot of good people and experienced a lot of good fellowship. If you are wrong, what have you lost?

October 25, 2010 at 11:48 p.m.
sdbandmom said...

I agree oz. That is the only source I need also. I am just so tired of hearing the trash being said on here, especially when someone starts calling people horrible parents. That is not fair to anyone to be called that when you don't know that person. Just becasue someone does not believe the same way you do does not mean that you are a horrible parent for the way you raise your children. I know what I need to teach my children and that is all that matters to me. Everyone else can teach their children as tehy wish.

October 25, 2010 at 11:55 p.m.
TheGreenGoblin said...

sdbandmom: Well, since you've asked, I'll answer. But you have to answer the question as well, ok? My answer is that since there is no evidence of a worldwide flood (the primary deterrent being that there isn't enough water on earth to flood earth), then I'd conclude that the story of Noah and his floating zoo is fictitious. So now that you've heard my reasoning, how do YOU explain the inconsistencies??

Oz: What if you're wrong and Islam is right? Don't you go to hell? What if you're wrong and really God was just using the Bible to see who'd be gullible enough to by into that crap? What if the stories of the Bible are God's ultimate test and he really just wants to see who's smart enough to figure out that it's all a bunch of bull? =P

Sorry, but you've just utilized a VERY famous logical fallacy known as Pascal's Wager. It basically sets it up, so there's a false dichotomy (that is to say, only 2 options), when in reality there are an infinite number of possibilities. Look it up on Wikipedia. It's inherently flawed and you should feel bad for using it. XP

October 26, 2010 at 12:25 a.m.
sdbandmom said...

Okay Green Goblin. Fair enough. I will answer your question but before I do I will say that I am not saying your belief is wrong. I feel as though it is wrong for me and my family and I ask that you refrain from personally attacking me and telling me things like I am a horrible mother and all that garbage. Just because I do not believe the same way you do does not mean that I am saying that what you believe is wrong. I am simply saying that I do not agree with it personally for me or my family. Now on to your question. My answer is that God caused the flood. It tells me that in the bible. I believe the bible and that is what I live by. No one can change my beliefs and I can not change their beliefs. See you use wikipedia and things like that and I use the bible. everybody has their own source.

October 26, 2010 at 12:44 a.m.
wallyworld said...

Unfortunately, sdbandmom, is a perfect example of what passes for education in this region known as the bible belt and she's just plain scary with her thought patterns. Here's a clue for you sd, Jesus died to take away your sins, not your brain.

October 26, 2010 at 5:43 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I thought my questions were fair. Why no answers? Oz, since you managed to dodge my questions last time, why don't you try?

October 26, 2010 at 6:40 a.m.
sdbandmom said...

I know what Jesus died for wallyworld. I don't need you to tell me. Jesus died for our sins so that we could go to heaven if we choose to live for god. everyone has a choice. I have a brain thank you very much. A person has the right to believe the way they want to believe. No one can be forced to live a certain way just because someone else thinks it is right. I choose to live by the bible and that is something that I will continue to do. If you choose not to then that is your choice but do not tell me that I have no brain just because that is the way I choose to live.

October 26, 2010 at 6:56 a.m.
TheGreenGoblin said...

Why do you put so much weight in what's said in the Bible?

October 26, 2010 at 7:09 a.m.
sdbandmom said...

Because that is what I choose to believe in. The bible is the word of god and I follow it. That is the problem with people. They think they can dictate what other people should believe. I think that everyone has the right to believe what they choose to believe and they should not be told they are wrong for that. If you choose not to believe in the bible that is your choice. You have the choice to believe however you want. that is your right as a citizen. But I choose to believe the bible because I believe in god and I know that is his word.

October 26, 2010 at 7:30 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

No one is talking about belief here. I am asking for explanation of physical phenomenon. (in other words, what scientists do) It is not incompatible with belief in God.

You say that everything in the bible happened literally how it is written. I'm asking: Explain these existing facts (called evidence) using the Bible's version of what happened. That there are sloths in South America and koalas in Australia is fact. Science has an explanation. What is the Bible's explanation?

Remember, details matter. Individual bible verses are used to explain or justify moral ideas or behavior. If you follow a literal bible, then it needs to explain this evidence too.

October 26, 2010 at 7:39 a.m.
sdbandmom said...

I was refering to the question that greengoblin asked me when I was talking about belief lkeithlu. I will not explain anything to you. I choose not to address your questions.

October 26, 2010 at 7:43 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Okay, how about a reason why? I have been all along respectful of other's belief in God. I have never said on this thread or another than people should not believe. Your unwillingness to address these questions shows a lack of resolve and confidence in your idea that the bible is literally true. The Bible not being word for word an accurate explanation of the physical world does not diminish the value of scripture.

Oz, feel free to jump in-you did not answer my questions two nights ago; maybe you have some insight to offer? BTW, dodging the questions or moving the goalposts shows real intellectual dishonesty.

October 26, 2010 at 7:50 a.m.
sdbandmom said...

I refuse to answer your questions simply because I do not have to explain what the bible says. No you have never said someone should not believe but telling someone that god did a lousy job creating them is very disrespectful so therefore I choose not to address you or anyone else for that matter that finds it okay to personally attack someone.

October 26, 2010 at 8:02 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

God DID do a lousy job of designing us. Notice the use of the word "us". You took my words as an attack against you personally? I'm sorry if you misunderstood what I said; it was never meant as a personal attack. There are dozens of "design" features in the human body that are defective, inefficient, or downright dangerous. If God really designed us and poofed us into existence, He could have done better. I would instead attribute God for the spark of intelligence, compassion and abstract thought, not for bad backs, bad teeth and poorly designed reproductive systems. However, evolution explains these very,very well.

And, actually, if you insist on using the Bible for everything, you do have to explain. Folks use the bible to control others. If they can justify using the bible as a literal, inerrant source of information, then it has to apply to everything else.

October 26, 2010 at 8:14 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I am going to sign off to give you time to formulate some answers. If you are so confident that millions of scientists and countless hours of doing science is really all false and imaginary, and the bible can do it all, I'm sure you will be able to answer. However, if you refuse, it speaks volumes for the lack of confidence in your misplaced belief in a literal bible. (Note I did not say your belief in God: that remains intact whether you believe in a literal bible or accept science).

October 26, 2010 at 8:20 a.m.
realityrox said...

"I refuse to answer your questions simply because I do not have to explain what the bible says"


"I can't answer your questions because I don't know what the bible says all the way through, just the parts that I'm allowed to read and pass on to the children so they won't know how evil the god we worship really is"

October 26, 2010 at 8:24 a.m.
Oz said...

lkeithlu... I don't see in my post where I addressed you. I will check back tonight.

October 26, 2010 at 8:28 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

realityrox, you are not being helpful here. I don't want anyone to give up their belief in God; I just want them to see that science should not be ignored or rejected. The only way that can happen is to let go of a literal Bible.

Oz-that's my point. You didn't address my questions at all. You dodged them continuously and then ended with the statement "I'm about as interested in your physical science as you are my childlike faith.". A cop-out if there ever was one.

October 26, 2010 at 9:10 a.m.
TheGreenGoblin said...

"Because that is what I choose to believe in." I'm aware it's what you believe in. That wasn't the question. The question is WHY do you believe it?

"The bible is the word of god and I follow it." See, this is getting closer to what I want. Ok. You claim that the Bible is the word of God and that's why you believe it, correct? How do you know it's the word of God?? I mean, is there anything that separates you claiming that the Bible is the word of God from Islams that say that the Qua'ran is the word of Allah? Or Jews from saying that Christ isn't the Messiah? Or that the Pantheon is justifiable proof that Zeus and Hera are the King and Queen of the gods?? What I'm basically asking is what gives you the ability to distinguish your own faith from all of theirs?

October 26, 2010 at 10:10 a.m.
ebenji87 said...

Christians and other religious people are constantly talking about the bible and how it's the inspired word of god. But if it is so perfect and god has protected it all of these centuries, please explain the Dead Sea Scrolls. I'm sure your preacher has not brought this up because it tends to discredit the bible incredibly. So allow me to give you a brief lesson on the subject.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were a collection of over 900 documents discovered in caves in the 1940's and 50's around the Dead Sea. They are copies of some books in the bible, revisions, and even extra books not in the bible we know today. If the bible is god's perfect, inspired word, WHY did he allow a large part of it to be left out and and why did he feel it needed revisions?

Besides, almost every society that has existed has had their own "holy book". For you to say that yours is the only one that's true is arrogant. Especially when your book is incomplete.

October 26, 2010 at 10:22 a.m.
wallyworld said...

sdbadmom, did I say one word about your faith? No, so you fail comprehension at its most basic level.

October 26, 2010 at 11:34 a.m.
sdbandmom said...

I am done trying to arguing my point on what I believe. You people clearly seem to think that no one can be right but you. This is my last post and that is a promise. Good luck and have a nice life.

October 26, 2010 at 11:54 a.m.
ebenji87 said...

Thanks, soccer mom. I don't know why you've hung around this long, you just keep repeating yourself. Maybe you'll be replaced by someone with a half-decent argument besides "I believe what I believe but I don't know why!".

Speaking for myself, I don't think I am the only one that is right. I respect other opinions, but only ones that at least TRY to present some form of evidence.

October 26, 2010 at 12:13 p.m.
TheGreenGoblin said...

Oh, come on, sdbandmom. I just asked you a very important question and I did so very politely. Why won't you answer? =(

October 26, 2010 at 12:26 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Bailing is the usual MO when fundamentalists are faced with questions they cannot answer. I'm not surprised; I've seen it many times.

Note I said "fundamentalists". Christians in general don't reject science for a literal interpretation.

Doesn't model "standing up for what one believes", now does it.

October 26, 2010 at 12:34 p.m.
ledotter said...

OK guys that was fun but a bit "snotty". We need to remember Psych 101 and try a little "Gentle Persuasion" with the literal minded. For heaven's sake never, ever, even infer that a parent using the buybull as a child rearing guide is an unfit parent! It's all they've got - you can't pull the "prayer" rug out from under them and expect them to hear any of your other arguments. I'm afraid that we are bound to lose in the long run - check these stats out!,0

October 26, 2010 at 8:30 p.m.
ledotter said...

To conclude -(I keep hitting enter at the end of every line because I have not evolved out of typewriter mode yet.) We are going to lose because the religious literalists are simply going to outbreed us! Scary thought when the three main religious traditions are ALL represented by their most fundamentalist branches-it almost sounds like the endtimes, at least for science and rational thought! Cheers!

October 26, 2010 at 8:40 p.m.
Oz said...

lkeithlu...Even you admit that it is possible God may exist. Even though you choose not to believe in him. If God does exist? He had to create the heavens and the earth. If you accept evolution as fact and God exist. Who created God? If he was the first primate and appointed himself God. How did he create other primates? He had to be a superior? Which primate came up with a moral law? God would have to be the Moral Authority. Man would have been OK with murder? What about stealing? Adultery? Men and women would have had no problem with adultery without a moral authority. How would we know it was wrong? I love my wife but without a moral law from God. I would have never married her. What would be the point? If I had married her, I'm sure I would not be faithful without God's moral law. How would I know adultery is wrong? We would all be thieves and liars without God. Society would be nothing but total chaos without God.

Can I back up anything without faith? No. So you can go do your little victory dance. I have no problem with it. If I am wrong I can live with the consequences. I'm not a Bible scholar maybe someone wiser will pick this thread up from here.

Neither of us will ever change the mind of the other. I can't explain the law of gravity either. I just accept it. I guess I'm lucky. I'm not obsessed with details unless I am the one doing the creating and then I'm OCD.

October 26, 2010 at 9:59 p.m.
TheGreenGoblin said...

Oz, I think you have it backwards. "Who created God" is OUR argument when you all claim that everything has to have a beginning. =P

Also, if he acknowledges that a creator exists, he still wouldn't have to conclude that it's definitively Jehovah. For all you know, it could be a completely unheard of entity.

October 26, 2010 at 10:37 p.m.
Oz said...

I never understood how Hitler got away with exterminating the Jews. But then again, I take a look at some of the people posting on this board and see that it was probably pretty easy!

October 26, 2010 at 10:41 p.m.
TheGreenGoblin said...

Fun Fact: Hitler was Catholic and he rallied the troops with his slogan Gott Mitt Uns (Translation: God with us)

Just some food for thought ;)

October 26, 2010 at 10:46 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Another attempt to change the subject, Oz. Once again you did not address the questions I asked, but instead switched to morality and blathered on about how your faith works. How about answering the bloody questions, since your pal sdbandmom bailed? My questions have NOTHING to do with belief. I want explanations from your Bible of those facts I described, since you deny evolution. Of course, you can be a coward and bail, or you can be dishonest and move the goal posts again.

I respect your belief in God, but it really pisses you off that I don't believe, so you seem to be determined to force it on me. I am a moral person. No God. I think that bothers you immensely, though I can't imagine why you would care.

October 26, 2010 at 11:47 p.m.
proudmomof2 said...

First of all let me start by saying, I have read the posts on here and there are alot of good points. I am going to base my comment solely on how I feel personally. I can not say that anyone is wrong for their beliefs. It is not my place to judge or call anyone out on their beliefs. I believe 100% on the bible. No I can not provide facts that everything in there in true. I can only go on what I have read and the fact that I choose to believe it. I know what genesis tells me about god creating man, the heavens and the earth. Yes I know that some people say that is only speculation. Well that could possibly be true. I am not saying that it is or that it isn't. I am only saying that as a christian I choose to personally believe in what it says. I will not question anyone on their beliefs and I would appreciate the same respect. I am going solely on my opinion. I have also noticed that this forum has drifted off the subject at hand. The subject at hand was the prayer before games. I personally like the prayer before games because I enjoyed hearing it. I also understand the reasons for the school being told they have to stop it. I do not agree with any one trying to force their religion on anybody else. You can still pray at the game if that is what you choose to do, you just need to have respect for the people that do not want to hear it. Like I stated I personally liked going to football games and hearing the prayer and I hate the fact that the school was forced to stop. I also commend the students for standing up for what they believe in. I know that the school system really had no choice in the matter and they did what they thought was best for the students and even if you don't agree with it you have to respect the decision. If you have children and you feel strongly on them praying at school, as I do, Teach them that it is okay to pray and that they should continue but teach them to have respect for other people that do not believe the way they do. No child should have to go to any school system in any state and feel as though someone is forcing their religion down their throat. I personally believe that everyone should have the right to believe whatever they choose to believe without someone else imposing their religion. It is your right as an american to disagree with other peoples religion but it is not your right to argue with them about their religion or to tell them they are wrong. I apologize if I offended anyone. That was not my intentions at al

October 27, 2010 at 12:32 a.m.
TheGreenGoblin said...

Well, who'd have thought I'd run into a Christian in this thread that I can actually respect? (well, for the most part anyways)

proudmomof2 should be you all's gold standard. If you all thought like that, wouldn't be a problem =P

October 27, 2010 at 1:10 a.m.
ebenji87 said...

Proudmom, you believe 100% in 50% of the bible. You believe the warm, feel-good parts that teach about Jesus and going to heaven. But you choose to ignore the other parts where god slaughters his own children, orders his followers to completely wipe out whole cities (including women, children and cattle), and issues laws that are not only crude, but downright insane. If you believe the bible 100%, stone your children the next time they dishonor you. I know that's terrible, but I'm just quoting your "good book".

Exodus 21:17 - "He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.".

Deuteronomy 21:18-21 - "If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.".

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn't it? There's plenty more where that came from.

October 27, 2010 at 7:30 a.m.
ebenji87 said...

And Oz, it takes a mentally weak person to truly believe without religion, there would be no morality. I believe we as animals, (which we are, mammals), have an innate sense of right and wrong and compassion for one another. You can witness this in a large number of other species that show random acts of kindness towards each other without any kind of personal gain. It's just instinct that has been built into us over millions of years of evolution.

One of my main goals as an atheist is to be an example that you don't have to be a religious person to be a person with positive morals. That is such a terrible misconception that the religious want people to believe. It is just simply NOT true. And for you to say that without your faith, you would probably not be faithful to your wife is abhorrent! That is a personal issue you have which has nothing to do with faith. If you need "god" to help you keep your pants on, you have major issues. Even with my lack of faith in a higher power, I still find the thought of cheating to be despicable.

October 27, 2010 at 7:46 a.m.
ebenji87 said...

One more thing, Oz. Society IS in total chaos, even with "god"! Turn on the news or pick up a newspaper. This world is seriously F-ed up and if it's the work of some intelligent creator, he missed the mark to say the least! Doesn't take much to please you guys as long as things look good from your church pew. Pathetic!!!

October 27, 2010 at 7:52 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Oz, you sound as if you think that I am young and inexperienced, and just need to be shown the WAY. I am in my 50's, have read and studied Greene, Tillich, Lewis and other writers, work with clergy, been to church all my life.

We are a nation that has grown increasingly proud of being ignorant of our physical world. We elect people like Huckabee and O'Donnell (who thinks scientists have developed mice with human brains for pity's sake) who are equally proud of their ignorance. Beneath this ignorance is a common theme: adherence to a literal bible, not belief in God. The subjective really scares these people, so they go with the black and white of a printed book.

I have degrees in two areas of science, and am well read for a layperson in another. I know the evidence to support an old earth and evolution is vast. I also know there is no evidence for the Garden of Eden or a global flood, and all the evidence refutes them. To me anyone who runs for office that doesn't know at least this much about the world has no business being in a position of influence. I know this was not the original topic of this thread, but when it drifted there I followed.

October 27, 2010 at 8:05 a.m.
proudmomof2 said...

ebenji87 yes I agree with what you stated. The bible does have some harsh things in it that god allowed or did or however it is looked at by most.Although I stated that I believed the bible does not mean that I understand why it was done. Nor does it mean that I only believe the good parts. I do not have the answers you are looking for and I am sorry. I can only speak of what I believe and of how I feel. I believe that I am supposed to do the what it states in the bible to do in order to get to heaven. Yes I do believe in Heaven and Hell. i believe I have to strive everyday to do my best to serve God and honor god no matter what. I will admit I fail miserably everyday. I am human. I will not claim to be perfect. Also I will never claim that will become perfect because that will never happen. Now let me ask a question of you. I am not saying that this is what you are doing but why does every post that you put on here in response to someone else's post sound as though you are putting down every religion except atheism? Now once again I am not saying that is what you are doing, but it seems like no matter how hard someone tries to give you an explanation of someone you blow that explanation off as being trash. I understand that you have no beliefs in god at all but why must you question everything someone else believes in? I am not trying to arguing and I will not argue. I am just interested in knowing why you disagree with every form of christianity and you have to sound so mean in all your posts?

October 27, 2010 at 8:29 a.m.
ledotter said...

@proudmomof2 I am in awe of your tolerance of other people's religious or non-religious beliefs - so seldom do Bible Literalists express that point of view that it leaves me in shock! I wonder though how you deal with the issue of evolution being taught in the schools? Are you willing to have your children taught science instead of creationism? If not, how do you plan on dealing with the issue?

And how do you explain to your children the parts of the Bible that ebenji87 pointed out? There is, in both Old and New Testaments, a lot of bloodshed and murder done at God's/Jesus's direction "But those my enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring here, and slay them before me." (Luke19:17) This passage in particular is being used to justify killing abortion providers in America and children deemed "witches" in Africa. How do you explain these contradictions to children - especially young teens who are questioning?

Another proud Mom of 2 who's only "religion" is "Do nothing to others that you would not want done to you."

October 27, 2010 at 8:39 a.m.
proudmomof2 said...

ledotter, to answer your question I have to admit that as a mother I have had this issue with evolution brought up many times. I do have teenagers and they have been told about evolution in the sense that they were told what it was and they were explained the darwin issue. I have never taught my kids that they evolved from ape. If I am wrong for doing that then that will be on me to deal with. I have always taught them that they were created by god.They know that it is disrespectful to leave a classroom that is teaching evolution. They have been told just becasue they do not believe in it does not mean that someone else doesn't. they know they are supposed to address the situation with respect and if it means letting the teacher teach it but ignore it if it offends them. But however they have also been taught to do what they have to do to let the teacher know that they disagree with evolution but do it in private and not cause a scene about it. But if they believe in evolution that is their choice. I will never make my children believe the same way I believe if that is not what they want to do. I have also always taught my kids that murder, lies, dishonesty, and disrespect is untolerable no matter what. I have told them that just because they have read about it in the bible or been told about it does not mean that it is okay. My kids have been taught that they are supposed to strive everyday just as I have to do what the bible tells them they are to do to get to heaven. My children also have been taught that they are not to judge anyone for anything that they do. I have taught them that it is their place to love everyone no matter what and to forgive the people that have offended them. They know that it is okay to disagree with someone but that it is not okay to express their disagreement for the sake of argument. They know that everyone has the right to believe the way they choose and just because my kids feel as though it is wrong for them does not mean that it is wrong for someone else. I will admit that I am not a perfect parent by no means and I will never be a perfect parent but I do what I see fit for my children. I have also taught them that no matter what the circumstances are they to tell any parent that they are a bad parent. That is not their call to make. If they disagree with something they are to walk away and not return to the issue until they have a better understanding and can look at things from every angle so that they can have a conversation without fighting about the issue.

October 27, 2010 at 9:02 a.m.
ledotter said...

oops typo make that our not are

October 27, 2010 at 9:48 a.m.
realityrox said...

Stop lying. Atheism is not a religion.. it's a conclusion.

Sure there a some extreme atheists out there. It would be highly doubtful that any would kill for their books of science, or cry sacriledge on an update.

Pluto is no longer a planet? Okay, noted.. pardon if I forget on occasion.

Next thing you'll be saying is that it's a hobby to not collect stamps.

October 27, 2010 at 9:57 a.m.
TheGreenGoblin said...

while realityrox is rather crass, he's actually accurate. Atheism isn't a religion, it's lack of a religion. It's a religion in the same way that being bald is a hairstyle.

The problem most Atheists have usually revolves around hostility shown towards them utilizing critical thinking skills towards a religion, rather than simply following it with faith. We feel as if we're being told that our opinions don't matter and that because we don't see fit to believe in a God, that we're seen as second class citizens. Atheists are seen as like the only minority that it's ok to attack in general public, despite the fact that statistically, we typically know more about not only science overall but of the Bible and religion as well. Then there's also the fact that to this day, people are still being killed in the names of these deities even in 1st world countries.

It can become EASILY infuriating.

October 27, 2010 at 10:50 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...


You can look to the former USSR and China to see what happens when a government is free to exercise doctrine outside the confines of a religious based morality. The social engineers find collective based reasons to justify all kinds of heinous things.

October 27, 2010 at 10:59 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

There is not a connection between communism and lack of religion, other than it is one thing that some communist leaders professed to adhere to. That's the same as blaming Nazi Germany's actions on catholicism, even though Hitler claimed that "God is with Us" while conquering Europe.

Our constitution protects us from those ill extremes of communism just as it protects us from theocracy.

October 27, 2010 at 11:11 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...


That is not what I am trying to say. People like to blame religion for evil but I think in general the moral framework that almost any religion provides is generally a positive influence on society.

The USSR and communist China tried to erase religion and you can argue that they ended up with some of the greatests crimes against humanity we have ever seen.

It is people obsessed with power, who sometimes try to use religion as a rallying cry, that are the real source of trouble.

October 27, 2010 at 11:21 a.m.
ebenji87 said...

It's simple, Proudmom. I disagree with every form of Christianity, as well as every other religion. I am not picking on anyone in general, trust me. I have an even lower tolerance when it comes to the REAL crazies like Scientologists and Mormons because they are relatively new religions and people should be smart enough to see how ridiculous and full of BS they are. Especially when we know so much about the founders, (L. Ron Hubbard and Joseph Smith). But somehow they still have massive followings. This is what irritates me. That I live in a world where my fellow man doesn't even have the capability of thinking critically and stopping these organizations that are doing nothing but brainwashing people and stealing their money.

Like Ledotter said, I feel more and more like the radical fundamentalists in America are trying to suppress the freethinking movement. If we don't fight back, who knows what will happen. All we want is for ALL religions and religious teachings to be kept out of public schools and all forms of government! Keep it in your churches and private schools, the way it was intended. Notice I said all religion... I'm not ganging up on the Christians.

And one thing you should definitely take note of is that atheism is NOT, NOT, NOT a religion! Let me give you the exact definition of "religion".

"Religion is the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or a set of beliefs concerning the origin and purpose of the universe".

Atheists do not believe OR worship any type or form of a god or gods, nor do we claim to know the purpose of the universe. You might call atheism a belief system, but it is for sure not a religion.

I am not trying to be hateful when I address religious people on the subject, I'm only trying to force them into reality by giving them practical examples and facts to open their eyes and see that maybe there's more to the picture than what they have always been taught. But it's like they are impervious to all forms of reason or fact. It's very scary to me when knowledge and the advancement of human kind is considered an enemy and threat by so many.

October 27, 2010 at 11:23 a.m.
ledotter said...

@TheGreenGoblin I think realityrox posted to the wrong thread! Even if his comments are accurate they aren't continuing the conversation. It IS easy to be "infuriated" by the treatment we, as non-theists, are subjected to, but I think we could co-opt the Christians by using their own bible "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (Proverbs 15:1)

We a-theists have no need to be so sarcastic and mean ! That's what I meant when I called this conversation "fun but a bit snotty". I think we could all learn a bit about "civility" from proudmomof2! We cannot expect that people will respect our views if we call them (and their views) stupid, ignorant, uneducated etc , etc. Just because they have different viewpoints or may not be as science literate does not mean they are fair game for vicious verbal attacks! Remember there is ONE ethos found in ALL religions and ethical systems: "Do nothing to others that you would not want done to you." (That's Confucian version. I really like the African Yorba version: "Before you stick a bird with a sharp stick, try it on yourself!" )

October 27, 2010 at 11:25 a.m.
proudmomof2 said...

ledotter i totally understand what you are saying about having disrespectful teenagers and I do not at all agree with any teenager being disrespectful. No matter how you feel about religion or your belief system as ebenji87 called it (which I never looked at it that way before till now) noone should disrespect you for that. You deserve to be treated with respect just as much as any one does. I never got a clear picture growing up as to why a-theists felt the way they do towards religion but I guess I can see why now. This is a sad world in all honesty becasue people feel as though they can not be themselves no matter what religion or belief system they have and that is not how it is supposed to be. Alot of christians think that they are right and that they have the right to tell someone else that their belief is wrong. Well anyone that has half a brain should know that they are not in any position to judge anybody. Everyone fails to be perfect and that is the way of life. Everyone needs to learn to accept other peoples religion or beliefs and move on with their life. Even if they don't agree with them, that is fine, you don't have to agree but you have to learn to accept. Accepting other peoples belief and having respect for them does not mean you are changing your belief. It's that simple. Yes there is other people that share my views. I was taught to be the way I am by my parents. My dad has been church of god christian for as long as I can remember and he will let me know that he does not agree with other beliefs but he knows he has to accept them because that is what he is supposed to do. I have had good role models growing up and that is why I am able to teach my children the way I have been.

October 27, 2010 at noon
ledotter said...

@ebenji87 "'I'm only trying to force them into reality by giving them practical examples and facts to open their eyes and see that maybe there's more to the picture than what they have always been taught."

Dear Heart, We can never, ever, now way, no how, succeed at "forcing" anyone into, out of, or around what WE perceive as "reality". Everyone's (except maybe some great mathematicians,physicists and philosophers like Spinoza) "reality" is a complex web of genetics, culture, physical environment, emotions, education , etc., etc. We can try to PERSUADE people to change their view of reality - that's what education is all about! But you don't educate people by calling them "weak minded", "dumb" etc. If your sixth grade teacher started out her day by saying "OK all of you stupid idiots you'd better listen up because I'm going to try to teach you lazy, weak minded people some truths today." Would you even listen? We non-theists do have a certain responsibility to EDUCATE and PERSUADE, not attack the fundamentalists, no matter how obtuse, nasty and irrational they present. Education means starting with what the student already knows/believes. With most literalists/fundamentalists that point would be their emotions/beliefs NOT facts! One of their most pervasive beliefs is that humans "Can't be good without GOD." The only way I know to counter/change that belief is to self identify as an a-theist and show by the EXAMPLE of my actions that it IS possible to be a moral, caring, loving person without a belief in god. We could begin this process by stopping the "put downs" and snide sarcasm in our posts!

October 27, 2010 at 12:05 p.m.
proudmomof2 said...

ebenji87 you said "I am not trying to be hateful when I address religious people on the subject, I'm only trying to force them into reality by giving them practical examples and facts to open their eyes and see that maybe there's more to the picture than what they have always been taught. But it's like they are impervious to all forms of reason or fact. It's very scary to me when knowledge and the advancement of human kind is considered an enemy and threat by so many." I understand what you are saying but may I say something without you feeling as though I am ridiculing you? I promise this is not my intention. I think maybe you should stop trying so hard to force people into reality and let them choose to live in the world they want to. I understand that it is hard on certain people in this world becasue they are ridiculed every day for their beliefs. I also know that atheists seem to get ridiculed more than anyone. That is not fair to you and I want to apologize on behalf of the human race that seem to think they are better than you. if someone does not want to open their eyes and realize what this world is like then they are the ones that are going to pay whatever consequences that happen. Yes I will admit that is there is probably more out there than what people were taught and alot of people use christianity as a safety net. Well I think every body should get a clear picture of everything in this world from every aspect and make up their mind on what they want to believe from the facts they have seen for themselves. People address different beliefs with the wrong attitude. Don't take offense to this but I am going to use one example her. Christians seem to fail at simply saying I disagree with how you believe but that is okay becasue you are entitled to your belief as well as I am. Most christians would rather die trying to prove to someone that no matter what their belief can not be right. People get a grip. Learn to love and live with peoples choices and live the way you want. Stop the hatered and anger because you can't seem to make someone believe the same way you do. This is to the religion forcing "christians" only, Do you not believe that God created everyone? If you do then why is it so hard to accept that everyone does not have the same view as you? I am a christian but I realize that I can not make people believe like I do but I know that from my beliefs I am supposed to love everyone no matter what and based on my beliefs I know that god created everyone so stop trying to hard to push religion on others.

October 27, 2010 at 12:22 p.m.
ledotter said...

@BigRidgePatriot "It is people obsessed with power, who sometimes try to use religion as a rallying cry, that are the real source of trouble." AMEN! The only thing I'd change is the word "sometimes" it is a sad fact of history that political power mongers have ALWAYS manipulated and used religion for their own ends. Either by co-opting it or setting it up as "the enemy".

As for your other comment "The social engineers find collective based reasons to justify all kinds of heinous things." DOUBLE AMEN! Science has also been used by the power mongers in the same way! Think eugenics, sterilization of the mentally ill etc. etc.!!

October 27, 2010 at 12:40 p.m.
ebenji87 said...

Oh god, please just shut up Ledotter. It's obvious that fundamentalists and anyone else who is an opponent of evolution and freethinking is not going to be persuaded, no matter how much evidence is staring them in the face. So I can call them ignorant or any other name I like. You know why? Because they ARE. I am going on scientific fact and evidence, they are going on a few verses out of their completely outdated holy book. When you blatantly choose to ignore and dismiss fact and evidence when all you have is faith, that IS ignorance! So Ledotter, if you want to play sides and validate their "argument" by acting like it's equal to one with actual evidence backing it up, that's your prerogative.

October 27, 2010 at 12:55 p.m.
ledotter said...

ebenji87 - I did not claim to validate their argument, just trying to get some of my fellow atheists to act like humans instead of apes! You sir are a rude, crude, bombastic boor who does more harm to the cause of freethought than any half-way rational Christian could! I'll "shut-up" when and if you GROW UP!

October 27, 2010 at 2:34 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Well, I come back and find lots of new posts, but Oz has flown the coop. No courage of strength of conviction there; also no willingness to admit that perhaps I am right about the evidence and the problems with a literal interpretation of the Bible. Proudmom, I am impressed with your attitude. Bigridge, your original post seem to implicate atheists for the problems in communist countries; I can see now that it is not what you meant. I still disagree that religion is a requirement for morality, but I can also see that the US constitution has its roots in Judeo-Christian traditions. The founding fathers recognized that even within protestantism there is lots of disagreement, so keeping religion out of government was essential for true democracy.

I don't think I've acted like an ape, but hey, I am one, so perhaps I have!

October 27, 2010 at 3:30 p.m.
ledotter said...

Retraction and apology - bad day. I said: "I did not claim to validate their argument, just trying to get some of my fellow atheists to act like humans instead of apes! You sir are a rude, crude, bombastic boor who does more harm to the cause of free thought than any half-way rational Christian could! I'll "shut-up" when and if you GROW UP!"

This was not productive communication - I should have said:

I did not claim to validate their argument, just trying to ask my fellow atheists to act more humanly and thoughtfully. You sir, by naming calling and using sarcasm, do more harm to the cause of free thought than any half-way rational Christian could! I'll refrain from communicating when you are able to provide me with a rational, logical reason for doing so.

October 27, 2010 at 3:35 p.m.
TheGreenGoblin said...

Jesus tapdancing Christ, why are we now arguing amongst ourselves? Y'know what this is? The fundies have all left and you guys are still itching for a fight so you're turning on one another. Let it go, man. You just make yourself (and therefore, unfortunately, ALL atheists) look bad. The fundies have gone and (surprisingly) at least 1 Christian here is pretty cool. So yeah. We won. Mission Accomplished. Now let's move on, shall we?

October 27, 2010 at 4:06 p.m.
ledotter said...

@GreenGoblin You are SOOOOO right. Bye!

October 27, 2010 at 4:11 p.m.
Oz said...

lkeithlu... I no longer post during the day because of my current work assignment and I rarely get online before I leave in the morning. I value sleep more than the internet.

You have been married for 28 years and work as counselor in a school. We are probably the same age and no, I never thought you were young and uneducated.

I have no problem with your beliefs. You say you respect my beliefs and other Christians on the boards but because we do not or cannot answer the questions to your liking. You want to demean us and treat us like idiots. I'm sorry, I don't match up to your intellectual superiority. I'm not dodging your questions. As I said last night, go ahead and do your little victory dance. I cannot answer your questions the way you want them answered. Faith means nothing to you and I understand that but it does mean something to me. The definition of faith is: a belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. Maybe a Bible Scholar can back it up with evidence. I can't.

I believe we all have special gifts and talents. You are well read and have two degrees. I hate reading with a passion and have half of a degree. My niche is found in right brained people and it works for me.

I don't know what else I can add.


October 27, 2010 at 9:21 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

My questions did not have to do with "belief" or "faith", Oz. Belief is based on things that cannot be proven or falsified. The existence of God falls under this definition. The literal reading of the story of Genesis does not. It can be falsified and has been. In all ways. The evidence refutes it. That does not make it a bad story, but it is not an accurate description of how things came to be.

It's not a matter of you not answering my questions "to my liking" You haven't answered them at all. I never asked you to give up your faith, only your stubborn adherence to a literal Bible and refusal to learn anything about the world around you.

As far as being well read-if you want to learn about something the information is out there. If you have no interest in learning about a particular subject that's fine too. However, it becomes a problem when you pass judgment on a subject (without any basis) just because it doesn't square with your beliefs. In the case of an ancient earth and evolution, it requires you to dismiss the work of countless scientists (including people I know, which I find rather insulting). Even this is your right. But many like you then take it one step further and demand that reality be excluded from science classrooms (or worse, replaced with garbage like Intelligent Design or young earth Creationism) diminishing science education and putting our nation at risk.

So, that is why I persisted. You made claims (evolution is untrue) and said the Genesis story was how the world came about. I called you on it, asking you to use Genesis to explain some factual evidence, you refused. I think it would be wise not to make claims about this topic in the future, because you can't back them up.

Notice again-I am saying NOTHING about your belief in God. That I respect. I really do. And I did not demean you or treat you like an idiot. I asked you to back up what you said. That is what adults do. Your response was childish and silly, given that you made the original claim. (victory dance?) I am sure you are a good person and have abilities that you have developed and use well. I am flawed, selfish and pigheaded. But science education is my life's work and this trend away from sound science for religious reasons really bothers me. I know it drives other posters here nuts and I'm sorry for that.

October 27, 2010 at 9:46 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

PS My degrees don't make me special. I am woefully ignorant in most areas, especially economics, British literature, eastern civilization, business, philosophy, politics, the list goes on and on. (not to mention TV-I stopped watching in the late 70s). I try not to make anything other than personal observations in these areas; I certainly don't make judgments because I have no foundation to work from.

October 27, 2010 at 9:57 p.m.