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Old 11-24-2004, 02:32 PM   #1
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Default When, oh when, will Ca. finally fall off into the ocean?

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California teacher has been barred by his school from giving students documents from American history that refer to God -- including the Declaration of Independence.

Steven Williams, a fifth-grade teacher at Stevens Creek School in the San Francisco Bay area suburb of Cupertino, sued for discrimination on Monday, claiming he had been singled out for censorship by principal Patricia Vidmar because he is a Christian.

"It's a fact of American history that our founders were religious men, and to hide this fact from young fifth-graders in the name of political correctness is outrageous and shameful," said Williams' attorney, Terry Thompson.

"Williams wants to teach his students the true history of our country," he said. "There is nothing in the Establishment Clause (of the U.S. Constitution) that prohibits a teacher from showing students the Declaration of Independence."

Vidmar could not be reached for comment on the lawsuit, which was filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in San Jose and claims violations of Williams rights to free speech under the First Amendment.

Phyllis Vogel, assistant superintendent for Cupertino Unified School District, said the lawsuit had been forwarded to a staff attorney. She declined to comment further.

Williams asserts in the lawsuit that since May he has been required to submit all of his lesson plans and supplemental handouts to Vidmar for approval, and that the principal will not permit him to use any that contain references to God or Christianity.

Among the materials she has rejected, according to Williams, are excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, George Washington's journal, John Adams' diary, Samuel Adams' "The Rights of the Colonists" and William Penn's "The Frame of Government of Pennsylvania."

"He hands out a lot of material and perhaps 5 to 10 percent refers to God and Christianity because that's what the founders wrote," said Thompson, a lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund, which advocates for religious freedom. "The principal seems to be systematically censoring material that refers to Christianity and it is pure discrimination."

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case of a California atheist who wanted the words "under God" struck from the Pledge of Allegiance as recited by school children. The appeals court in California had found that the phrase amounted to a violation of church and state separation.
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Old 11-24-2004, 03:30 PM   #2
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Is the room spinning or is it just Rheaton and his link?
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Old 11-25-2004, 12:53 AM   #3
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Until the courts say different, the school should keep this guy from preaching in the classroom. The give away in the article is the word excerpts. It sounds like this guy is trying to use his classroom as a pulpit.
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Old 11-25-2004, 04:29 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ShardmoonVer.1
Until the courts say different, the school should keep this guy from preaching in the classroom. The give away in the article is the word excerpts. It sounds like this guy is trying to use his classroom as a pulpit.
There is [should be] absolutely nothing wrong with a history teacher explaining how religion influenced our founding fathers. The information needs to be accurate and to the point and not an over-blown sensationalistic personal opinion. But what are these anti-religion nut jobs affraid of? That if children hear that our founders were religous they too may want to be religious? Who gives a flying fuck that a Buddist learns an accurate American history about religion? If I were a Buddist in America, that is something of fact, not fiction.. I mean "yeah, the founding fathers of this country were of the Christian faith" ... how is that offensive?

Its Ironic really. In school we delve into every nook and cranny of Shakespeare's mind. We study it and study it.. we have discussions and Q&A on what we think he was thinking. What possible influences caused him to write certain "art". His childhood, parental influences and any tragedies that formed his mind. But all be damned if you dare talk about religious influence upon our founding fathers!!
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Old 11-25-2004, 07:13 AM   #5
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You study Shakespeare in an English class, American history in a U.S. history class, and religion in a -- wait for it...


..comparative religion class! (or similar)
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Old 11-25-2004, 10:08 AM   #6
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The principles on what our country were founded on should be taught freely and honestly. If that means saying that Christianity was involved (which is true) then so be it. What do people expect teachers to teach our children; do they want them to lie and say that it was founded on agriculture, slavery, and animal barbarism, for example? What a crock of shit. I expect my children to learn the truth, and there is no offending in that. I think some anti-religious people have their panties in a bunch, and need to get over it. Our country was founded on what it was, and no one can change that; instead, we should be proud! Let the teachers teach already!!
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Old 11-25-2004, 10:41 AM   #7
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California is a sovreign state. It should be allowed to do what it wants to do.
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Old 11-25-2004, 10:54 AM   #8
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For the love of...

Most of them weren't Christians. They were deists. There is a world of difference.

Other than that, Shard appears to be... correct? Somehow I don't think we're getting his side of the story accurately.
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Old 11-26-2004, 07:25 AM   #9
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What democrats fail to realize is that this extremism them will cost them dearly in elections. I am a liberal person, and i wont tolerate hate mongering like this, which it has turned into. This is a great crusade of the ACLU. I'm not religious myself, but i find it sick that they seek to destroy the existance of religion. Just cause im liberal in most my ideals, doesnt mean i have to vote democrat. The party has gone way too far left and i find republicans are closer to me, sitting towards the middle.
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Old 11-26-2004, 11:37 AM   #10
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If you were liberal you wouldn't be voting repug, period.
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Old 11-27-2004, 01:01 AM   #11
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Bah. I should have recalled these lyrics to begin with.

Some say the end is near.
Some say we'll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will.
I sure could use a vacation from this

Bullshit three ring circus sideshow of
Freaks

Here in this hopeless fucking hole we call LA
The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.
Any fucking time. Any fucking day.
Learn to swim, I'll see you down in Arizona bay.

Fret for your figure and
Fret for your latte and
Fret for your hairpiece and
Fret for your lawsuit and
Fret for your prozac and
Fret for your pilot and
Fret for your contract and
Fret for your car.

It's a
Bullshit three ring circus sideshow of
Freaks

Here in this hopeless fucking hole we call LA
The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.
Any fucking time. Any fucking day.
Learn to swim, I'll see you down in Arizona bay.

Some say a comet will fall from the sky.
Followed by meteor showers and tidal waves.
Followed by faultlines that cannot sit still.
Followed by millions of dumbfounded dipshits.

Some say the end is near.
Some say we'll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will cuz
I sure could use a vacation from this

Silly shit, stupid shit...

One great big festering neon distraction,
I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied.

Learn to swim.

Mom's gonna fix it all soon.
Mom's comin' round to put it back the way it ought to be.

Learn to swim.

Fuck L Ron Hubbard and
Fuck all his clones.
Fuck all those gun-toting
Hip gangster wannabes.

Learn to swim.

Fuck retro anything.
Fuck your tattoos.
Fuck all you junkies and
Fuck your short memory.

Learn to swim.

Fuck smiley glad-hands
With hidden agendas.
Fuck these dysfunctional,
Insecure actresses.

Learn to swim.

Cuz I'm praying for rain
And I'm praying for tidal waves
I wanna see the ground give way.
I wanna watch it all go down.
Mom please flush it all away.
I wanna watch it go right in and down.
I wanna watch it go right in.
Watch you flush it all away.

Time to bring it down again.
Don't just call me pessimist.
Try and read between the lines.

I can't imagine why you wouldn't
Welcome any change, my friend.

I wanna see it all come down.
suck it down.
flush it down.
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Old 11-27-2004, 02:54 AM   #12
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It's OK as long as this Steven Williams doesn't go by the name of "Catcen" on a certain message board....
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Old 11-27-2004, 07:17 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Hormadrune
If you were liberal you wouldn't be voting repug, period.
Thats where your wrong, Ive gone over many times why although im liberal viewing on EVERY domestic issue except criminal punishment, Im not extremist. And i want a very agressive war on terror, and the UN gone.
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Old 11-27-2004, 08:30 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by korast
Thats where your wrong, Ive gone over many times why although im liberal viewing on EVERY domestic issue except criminal punishment, Im not extremist. And i want a very agressive war on terror, and the UN gone.
You may have some liberal viewpoints, but if you voted for GWB in either of the last 2 elections, you are not a liberal. Mutual exclusion.
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Old 11-27-2004, 11:19 AM   #15
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I dont consider myself liberal or conservative. I think i fall in the middle. Im just saying that democrats are just too extreme as of now.
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Old 11-27-2004, 02:36 PM   #16
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There are also times when you should look past the "lib vs. con" labels, and just vote for the better person, because they are better for the job. It's called doing the right thing just because it's the right thing to do.
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Old 11-27-2004, 03:35 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Offem
There are also times when you should look past the "lib vs. con" labels, and just vote for the better person, because they are better for the job. It's called doing the right thing just because it's the right thing to do.
I'm pro-choice, pro-stem cell research, anti-death penalty, pro-gay marriage, pro-limited gun control, pro-education, pro-limited social welfare, anti-outsourcing (when avoidable), and anti-neoimperialism, among other things. I don't see me voting for anyone who wouldn't get "LIBERAL" stamped on them the moment they file their petitions for candidacy. Labels are overrated- issues are everything.
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Old 11-27-2004, 07:46 PM   #18
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I'm sure we're not getting all the details here, but so far, I'm leaning towards supporting the teacher. Religion was indeed a very significant factor in our country's founding, whether the religion is right or wrong or God is real or not. Of course, it may turn out he was using these sources like many fanatics do, to prove some point he has to the kids rather than delve into what happened and why. If that's the case though, I don't think the problem would be the sources, but the teaching subject.
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Old 11-27-2004, 09:03 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Gauche
I'm sure we're not getting all the details here, but so far, I'm leaning towards supporting the teacher. Religion was indeed a very significant factor in our country's founding, whether the religion is right or wrong or God is real or not. Of course, it may turn out he was using these sources like many fanatics do, to prove some point he has to the kids rather than delve into what happened and why. If that's the case though, I don't think the problem would be the sources, but the teaching subject.
If you're going off what I've read of it so far, of course you'd (naively, I would chide) lean towards supporting the teacher. All info given thus far has been from his lawyers or those groups with a vested interest in getting Christianity inflicted on public schools. It would be like basing your views on animal rights off reading a couple PETA pamphlets.

The Alliance Defense Fund (one of the teacher's backers), for instance, includes such human offal as James Dobson (a notorious meddler in politics, professional bigot and advocate of beating your children) from Focus on the Family and Family Research Council and Allen Sears, who wrote "The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today". Lovers of freedom they are not.
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Old 11-28-2004, 12:40 AM   #20
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I dont support the teacher. I think its obvious from the original article that he has an agenda and the school district is trying to protect itself. Fuck him if he cant keep it in his pants and just do his job.
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Old 11-28-2004, 01:59 AM   #21
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Default Food for thought

Two things here then, that I would like to mention...

1.
Originally Posted by Horm
You may have some liberal viewpoints, but if you voted for GWB in either of the last 2 elections, you are not a liberal. Mutual exclusion.
Your statement is flawed. You can be party to one side or the other, with a few views in the opposite side. It's called being near the middle, as opposed to being extreme right or left. Also, voting for an individual who is not in your "party" does not automatically make you in theirs.

2.
Originally Posted by Horm
Labels are overrated- issues are everything.
Then why keep bringing up labels, and instead talk about the issues?
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Old 11-28-2004, 07:23 AM   #22
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Don't ya think you're overreacting a bit Shard? Just for the heck of it, I did a search for your Declaration Of Independance and there were just two mentionings of God in them. Firstly, Nature's God -- why refer to it as such? Shouldn't it be Christian God instead? And secondly, their Creator -- if I was a Muslim looking at that, I would understand from those 2 words that they mean Allah as creator. If I was a Hindu looking at that, I would understand from those 2 words that they mean Brahma as creator...It did not specifically say the Christian God as the Creator so why assume it as such?

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
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Old 11-28-2004, 10:53 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Offem
Two things here then, that I would like to mention...

1.
Your statement is flawed. You can be party to one side or the other, with a few views in the opposite side. It's called being near the middle, as opposed to being extreme right or left. Also, voting for an individual who is not in your "party" does not automatically make you in theirs.

2.
Then why keep bringing up labels, and instead talk about the issues?
No liberal voted for GWB. Moderates yes, liberals no. A liberal would no more vote for GWB than a conservative would vote for Nader. I think you're dividing people equally into libs and cons, whereas I think there are people who are neither. Those are the ones who split issues between Dem and Repug.

As for issues I talk about them all the time. What board are you reading? It just so happens that the issues that are important to me are generally branded liberal issues. Labels are overrated- that doesn't mean they're meaningless.
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Old 11-28-2004, 01:22 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Hormadrune
If you're going off what I've read of it so far, of course you'd (naively, I would chide) lean towards supporting the teacher. All info given thus far has been from his lawyers or those groups with a vested interest in getting Christianity inflicted on public schools. It would be like basing your views on animal rights off reading a couple PETA pamphlets.

The Alliance Defense Fund (one of the teacher's backers), for instance, includes such human offal as James Dobson (a notorious meddler in politics, professional bigot and advocate of beating your children) from Focus on the Family and Family Research Council and Allen Sears, who wrote "The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today". Lovers of freedom they are not.

Oh, it was clear that they present their side as wonderful and the other side as oppressive secularist government, so I only have a tentative opinion until more details come out. Still, I'm not opposed to discussing the power of religion and its positive and negative aspects in history and the world today. Meanwhile, if the guy was attempting to basically preach with selective use of important documents, he was stopped for now, so I'm content to wait for more information to emerge. I can't get too worked up about this yet as a specific case, but if you want to delve into a more general discussion about religion in education, I'm game for that.
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Old 11-28-2004, 01:52 PM   #25
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Actually, Horm, I was reading this board. Why would I post here if I was reading another one?

But I would like to challenge your statement

Originally Posted by Horm
No liberal voted for GWB.
How do you know that as a fact? You are just generalizing an assumption, it seems. I will agree there are moderates; I wasn't equally dividing people into the two parties, hence when I stated

Originally Posted by Offem
You can be party to one side or the other, with a few views in the opposite side. It's called being near the middle, as opposed to being extreme right or left.
My next question though, is how did this story get branded a Liberal one? There were no political means mentioned from what I read in the article.
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