Education Freedom and Religious Freedom In Conflict?

1 10 2009

Power of story worthy to lead education:

“It’s really wrong to assume that there is an inconsistency between seeing complexity and taking a strong position. . .In a society committed to free speech . . . we are called on to maintain our courage to confront bad words with better words. That is the hallmark of a university and of our democratic society.”

Suppose religious freedom and education freedom — indeed real education of any kind — are not only not the same thing, but can be shown to be in conflict.

New Dossier of Evidence Against Faith Schools:

A point that needs to be made more often is that religious schools suppress freedom of religion.

“Three in five (60%) of the general population and two in three (66%) of those in ethnic minority groups think religion is more divisive than race today.”

Fat kids, skinny kids, their heads are full of rocks?

What do kids get taught by public universities these days, particularly political science, history, journalism (and religion?) majors, about how human power of story plays out in real life?

Thinking Parents are quick to see family decision-making freedom at the center of both education and religion, to draw Venn diagrams with giant overlap or intersection between the two freedom sets.

But are we as clear-thinking as our own good minds should require, when it comes to accurately representing and defending society’s sets, those freedom circles we all move in and cannot move between except when that’s how we’re drawn?

Jessica Rabbit: “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way!”

We live in a 21st century, multicultural society, and yet we allow a significant proportion of our school system to be run by followers of supernatural faiths.

If this had no impact on our society then it would be fine, albeit unsettling on principle. But the evidence shown here suggests that things may not be okay; that the prevalence of faith schools divides communities, fails poorer children, widens ethnic and class divisions, and allows forms of bullying to go unchallenged.

Do you really want kids to think, or just believe?

Beyond the Palin psychology for actual thinking citizens

What John McCain could save his soul by learning. . .

. . .is that this evangelical meme about a Christian god ordaining and constituting our government isn’t harmless, and it doesn’t put “Country” first. It doesn’t even put Americans as people first, much less our government.

Ignorance is all in the family and a real sin:

I’ve been shocked . . . at the ignorant and racist religious bile being spewed at Barack Obama by supposedly patriotic, conservative, golden-rule Christians, even from homeschool advocates who with stubborn pride clutch their own differences from mainstream society as the ties that bind us in one identity.

Christians very much like Obama just can’t bear to believe it, because that could make him one of the family!

So ultimate difference must be found and if not, it must be fabricated. Never mind reality because real Christians don’t need to be able to prove their stories to themselves or each other — collective belief really can create its own reality.

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8 responses

6 10 2009
JJ

It makes sense that “religious freedom” increasingly opposes intellectual and academic freedom. Too many holy worldviews with huge intellectual holes hold themselves out as the only possible right path, above all worldly criticism for those who fall into its holes and are lost to all reason. That’s not defensible on an intellectually honest level, only as a subconscious defense of belief at all costs.

It’s an apocalyptic embedded language that confounds academic freedom and IS MEANT TO, at every turn. Snakes are a powerful anti-intellectual weapon, for example, invoked with words like “slithers” and “venomous” to generate insurmountable disgust and fear in the faithful, and keep them far away from any possible contamination by intellectually challenging ideas.

And speaking in code to condemn critics as the Devil by comparing them to demonized natural creatures (thereby confounding scientific understanding of both human and serpent reality) isn’t enough for those who fear the life of the open mind; they also create and intone special-purpose holy words to cast out as mortal sin, any scholarly or satiric critique of religion’s real-world influence, words like heresy and blasphemy (as you can see in the following movie review, how about the word “dis-grace-ful” quite literally — deserved divine punishment, loss of godly grace?)

Catholic movie review: ‘The Invention of Lying’ deceptively promotes atheism. . . unexpectedly slithers its way into the neighborhood cineplex. . . this venomous supposed comedy is set in a world where lying is unknown and every word spoken is accepted as truth and where — not accidentally, the screenplay implies — God does not exist.

More play of subconscious, embedded dog-whistle code — how many emotion-packed biblical sin words do you see in this one context-stretching Catholic movie-critic sentence?

After playing on the absolute trust of everyone around him to inflate his bank account and in an abortive attempt to compel an attractive stranger to have sex with him on the grounds that, should she refuse, the world will come to an end, Mark graduates to white lies, encouraging his suicidal neighbor Frank (Jonah Hill), for instance, to remain alive by promising that he has a bright future ahead.

The review claims that not only Catholics but all believers and even all “people of good will” should avoid this movie. Well, actually it uses yet another loaded holy-valance words: we should ALL “shun” it. Take it on faith that some of us have “secret knowledge” and will protect you if you follow us blindly — be afraid of any exposure to this view.

“Not only Catholics but believers of every stripe and, indeed, people of good will generally will be well-advised to shun this calculated cinematic insult.”

Let’s count the hidden reasons why. Even if you’re not Catholic yourself, I bet you got suicidal and sex, lies, perhaps the rape implication (compelling sex in the face of refusal) and reference to “the end of the world” followed by the promise of heavenly future life. That’s a sermon in one sentence, coded but clear once we become intellectually able to notice.

But even if you saw several of those, did you get them all?

Did you see the Holy Grail of High-Pitched Hysteria, the word “abortive” signaling the silent sin alarm?

7 10 2009
JJ

Cock of the snook to Meg for this one:

Bryan Killian says that he follows the Pastafarian religion, and that as a crucial part of his faith, he must wear ‘full pirate regalia’ as prescribed in the holy texts of Pastafarianism.

The school, however, say that his pirate garb was disruptive.

7 10 2009
Lynn

“Mom! What does that say!”

Daughter isn’t sure if the name of your blog indicates inappropriate reading material for her mom!!

🙂

7 10 2009
JJ

LOL – let her read our very educational explanation page. Dave Barry is included. 🙂

8 10 2009
Georgia Boy Says He’s Not Cross-Dresser, Just Creative — So Far Still Alive « Cocking A Snook!

[…] religious issue for once, at least: Bryan Killian says that he follows the Pastafarian religion, and that as a crucial part […]

8 10 2009
Nance Confer

It may be inappropriate for Moms but is perfectly fine for all DDs. 🙂

Nance

21 08 2010
JJ

Of course the sword cuts both ways — sometimes religion itself becomes its victim or maybe I should say one religion is scapegoated by another:

If thinking badly of the President makes someone more likely to think he’s a Muslim, then the next logical conclusion is that people think there’s something bad about being a Muslim. Unfortunately, as another poll out today seems to indicate, that seems to be exactly what some Americans think …

I like Dick Cavett’s comments but I should note without pride or prejudice, I didn’t realize HE was American! I guess I vaguely assumed he was British or maybe Canadian but if he can be believed here, his boyhood was spent in Nebraska. (Real America or not? You decide!)

All this talk about the mosque reminds me of two things I heard growing up in Nebraska.

. . .I’m genuinely ashamed of us. How sad this whole mosque business is. It doesn’t take much, it seems, to lift the lid and let our home-grown racism and bigotry overflow. We have collectively taken a pratfall on a moral whoopee cushion.

Surely, few of the opponents of the Islamic cultural center would feel comfortable at the “International Burn a Koran Day” planned by a southern church-supported group . .

. . .I remain amazed and really, sincerely, want to understand this. What can it be that is faulty in so many people’s thought processes, their ethics, their education, their experience of life, their understanding of their country, their what-have-you that blinds them to the fact that you can’t simultaneously maintain that you have nothing against members of any religion but are willing to penalize members of this one? Can you help me with this?

Set aside for the moment that we are handing such a lethal propaganda grenade to our detractors around the world.

You can’t eat this particular cake and have it, too.

10 09 2010
JJ

Quran Burning Story: How the Media Embarrass Themselves:

The story of how one lone idiot, pimping an 18th-century brand of community terrorism, held the media hostage and forced some of this nation’s most powerful people to their knees to fitfully beg an end to his wackdoodlery is an extraordinary one. It’s a modern media retelling of Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying”, in which a gang of Islamaphobes, cast in the role of Addie Bundren, bamboozle the media into carrying their coffin full of malevolence on a journey of pure debasement. Let’s begin at the beginning.

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