Timothy Bauscher timothy at
Fri Jun 14 09:00:11 PDT 2002

On Fri, Jun 14, 2002 at 11:08:55AM -0400, Don Smith wrote:
> I was talking about laws being passed forcing public schools to teach
> religious doctrine, not about prayer in schools.

I don't think schools should be forced to teach
religiuos doctrine. But, i do think that teachers
should have some choice with what they teach. If
they think that children deserve to see opposite
views, then i see no wrong in teaching creation
theory. It's just a theory like anything else.

This may make some students uncomfortable, but so
might evolution theory to fundamentalists. I'm not
saying creation theory is based on fact, but that
freedom of speech should allow it to be taught, not
forced it to be taught.

> That is a different
> subject on which I am divided. On the one hand, I grew up with moments
> of silence during which you were supposed to silently pray and see
> nothing wrong with that. On the other, I can see how a child who doesn't
> pray in that manner would be made very uncomfortable and would stand out
> as being "odd" which can be a terrible thing in school.

I don't think there should be moments of silence. But,
if someone wants to pray at lunch time, or at a
designated time their religion deems appropriate, they
should be allowed to pray. If it makes the other students
uncomfortable, they will just have to get over it. The
world is not a comfortable place.

> I do not know what is the right thing to do. How do you resolve the
> Freedom of Speech vs. Freedom of Religion? I lean towards Freedom of
> Speech since that freedom is absolutely essential in maintaining all the
> other freedoms.

Yes, as i said before, once freedom of speech goes, all
else is lost.

> Creation Theory is only viable if you ignore a great deal of facts. It
> is only accepted by the fundamentalists. It does not stand up to the
> rigors of the scientific method. BTW, what I mean by Creation Theory is
> that the Earth is ~6000 years old, everything was created in a literal 6
> days, and the fossil record was laid down by Noah's flood which also
> wiped out the dinosaurs.

And, the thoeries of evolution and relativity are all
well and good until you try to figure out how matter
existed in the first place. Then, regardless of whether
you are a scientist or a person of faith, you are stuck.

I say "matter just exists, because if it didn't, that
wouldn't be any fun." To me, religion and science can
go hand in hand - so long as you don't take the Bible
to be a literal history book.


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