Are christians becoming a minority? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 45 Old 02-07-2004, 03:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well there was a peice on a talk radio show about this I don't really agree but I'm going to ask you all what you think. Are christians becoming a minority in this country. The people on the radio were saying taht they are always defending themselves, their morales, and their choices to their communities and tehy are vastly becoming a minority in this land? whay do you think?
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#2 of 45 Old 02-07-2004, 10:28 AM
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If a group is 'always defending' themselves, that doesn't make them a minority, they are simply defensive.

To answer the OP: No. And to suggest otherwise reeks of an agenda.
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#3 of 45 Old 02-07-2004, 11:49 AM
 
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Christians comprise 82% of the USA population.

http://www.adherents.com/rel_USA.html
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#4 of 45 Old 02-07-2004, 12:32 PM
 
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I was raised Roman Catholic and I changed my religion. I do recll lots of turmoil when I was growing up. I remember the Latin Mass. Then I recall guitar Masses and my Father refusing to go to Church.

So I went out and did my own spiritual search.

If Christians are becoming a minority, it is their own fault since thier leaders have lead them away from the appointed path. People need spiritual guidance and a feeling of connection with G-d or their higher self.

This is too bad since Christianity has impacted the world for better or worse for 2000+ years and absorbed the cultures it affected.

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#5 of 45 Old 02-07-2004, 03:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by jeca
...The people on the radio were saying taht they are always defending themselves, their morales, and their choices to their communities and tehy are vastly becoming a minority in this land? whay do you think?
I think Christians have had a strangle hold on American political policy for so long that to lose even a little of that influence is causing a panic in some Chrisitian communities.
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#6 of 45 Old 02-07-2004, 05:28 PM
 
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I think Christians have had a strangle hold on American political policy for so long that to lose even a little of that influence is causing a panic in some Chrisitian communities.
Bingo!

At 82% of the population they've got a LONG way to go before becoming a minority. But that numbers security doesn't bring in the $$$ the way a persecution complex does in some circles.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#7 of 45 Old 02-07-2004, 05:40 PM
 
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Originally posted by pugmadmama
I think Christians have had a strangle hold on American political policy for so long that to lose even a little of that influence is causing a panic in some Chrisitian communities.
Unfortunately too true.

I wish being Christian didn't automatically lump me into conservative, backwards-looking politics, but reality is my being Christian unfortunately advances some of these policies b/c the policy-makers assume my religious views (as the "majority") are the same as their politicals ones since apparently I'm on their side. Shows me I need to be more vocal with my views - I do admit this is not popular in most Christian circles and if I bring it up (even with my dh - who USED to be die-hard Democrat until he became a Christian - the irony does not escape me, but it does him...) I'm pretty much just stared at or attacked b/c my background is Canadian. I'm pretty fringe here b/c I drink organic milk - we're not even talking soymilk.

I would also say there's a big difference between being culturally Christian and being actively Christian. Unfortunately, most times being actively Christian does not mean advancing Christian ideals - more like advancing Republican ideals.

So, do I think Christians are becoming a minority? - I have no idea, but I DO know that lots of forward-thinking Christians have disassociated themselves from the church b/c they can't live with the assumptions people of all sides make and the stranglehold they feel - I think that's a shame b/c isn't change first made from within (in this case the church body itself)?

Sorry to be such a freakin' pessimist, it's just discouraging to reminded that my religion automatically means that many people think of certain political policies (and rightly so b/c it is unfortunately too true!)...but also a good reminder...

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#8 of 45 Old 02-07-2004, 11:47 PM
 
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Are the group they are talking about "becomming" a minority? No, they always have been. I consider myself Christian as well as my family, but we are not part of the "Christian Coalition" the "Moral Majority" the "Religous Right" etc... I think that hopefully there are less and less hateful bigoted people

 

 

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#9 of 45 Old 02-08-2004, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally posted by TiredX2
Are the group they are talking about "becomming" a minority? No, they always have been. Ihopefully there are less and less
Tehy were not spreaking of a particular group but of christianity in general. That Christians in general and tehir views are becoming a minority in this country. they were speaking of how the bible was not allowed in schools, how religious factions in egneral were often put down for pretending to be "holier(sp)than thou" type. How tehy could not prophisize to poeple without being critisized for it. Things of that nature. Basically christianity in general is becoming less og an accepted religion in thsi country.
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#10 of 45 Old 02-08-2004, 12:36 AM
 
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Sounds like whining about losing their hegemony to me. "We can't force everyone to act like they follow our religion whether they believe in it or not, therefor we're being persecuted!" Thank goodness we don't get that on this website!

The Bible's been out of schools since sometime in the early 60's, right?

Whenever someone at work is whining about no official prayers in school, DH points out that the hippies had prayed in school and yet look what they did.:LOL

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#11 of 45 Old 02-08-2004, 05:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by jeca
Are christians becoming a minority in this country?
not according to the latest surveys. C'ians currently comprise about 77% of the US population, split roughly 2 to 1 "protestant" v "roman catholic". by comparison, less than 2% are Jewish and less than 1% are muslim.
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#12 of 45 Old 02-08-2004, 05:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by jeca
Basically christianity in general is becoming less og an accepted religion in thsi country.
i don't understand that sentence. not accepted by whom, exactly?

C'ians obviously accept C'ianity, or they wouldn't be C'ians, right? did the radio person suggest that people who aren't C'ian should also "accept" C'ianity? what does that mean? i should convert from Judaism?

to me this smells more politics than anything else.
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#13 of 45 Old 02-08-2004, 05:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by dado
not according to the latest surveys. C'ians currently comprise about 77% of the US population, split roughly 2 to 1 "protestant" v "roman catholic". by comparison, less than 2% are Jewish and less than 1% are muslim.
You are right. I should have read further on the page I cited! One survey also showed most Xtian denoms have actually gained a lot of adherents in this contry in the last 10 yrs as well. Whether from immigration or conversion I can't tell.

So the idea that Xtianity is decreasing in the US is wrong. But I do think many people are questioning its dogmas and doctrines b/c we are not longer under the threat of the stake if we dare to question or practice differently than the one way our church demands.

Thank Maude for that at least!
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#14 of 45 Old 02-08-2004, 10:25 PM
 
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I don't think Christianity is a minority religion in the U.S. I recently read an article in my local paper (which was originally in a U.K. paper, I believe) that discussed the apparent secularization of Europe. Apparently the numbers of Europeans who profess to be members of various Christian denominations and the numbers of people attending church have dramatically dropped. The article went on to compare this drop in numbers with the U.S. - the article discussed the high rate of church attendance in the U.S. , the growth of certain Christian denominations etc. I can't recall the article specifically but this is the article's main sentiment. Of course, this is not necessarily true fact but one author's opinion but if you believe the author, then, Christians are not a "minority". If I find the article, I will post it!
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#15 of 45 Old 02-08-2004, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by dado
i don't understand that sentence. not accepted by whom, exactly?
I'm sorry but I can not explain it further to you as I am not the one who made the statement. I'm assuming by those who are not christians. Basically he was saying that when you are a christian you are always on your gaurd about your morales and beliefs and ideas about how this land should be and the way you view GOd. It was interesting. I didn't quite agree with it but interseting.
I agree that it is more of a power thing.
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#16 of 45 Old 02-09-2004, 05:58 AM
 
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I think if you read the "Barna Poll on actual religious beliefs" link on the website mentioned above you might get a better idea of why the radio folks *feel* that way. In other words, the church (as they think it should be) is being eroded from the inside. Meanwhile, many other religions are growing at phenominal rates (100 to 200%) while Christianity is growing at 5%. So while we are a very long way from Christianity being the minority, if other religions continue to grow at the current rates, Christianity will become a minority religion at some point. But this will take a while.
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#17 of 45 Old 02-11-2004, 12:15 AM
 
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Whether they are a minority or not should be moot. The fact that it isn't says more about how many are mixing faith with politics than any other "crisis" with the faith.

I've never understood why people feel that their personal religious beliefs should be entrenched into law in a country that supposedly embraces freedom of religion and separation of church and state (can you say "gay marriage"?).

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#18 of 45 Old 02-12-2004, 02:56 AM
 
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On the topic of laws prohibiting Christianity...
I don't know where most others are coming from on this...but I know that something that bothers me personally with the laws prohibiting christianity from schools is the fact that symbols of other belief systems ARE allowed...it is prejudiced against one set of beliefs...there are stories of young people being punished for even carrying a Bible in their own personal bag, or bowing their heads to say a silent prayer before eating their lunch, principals taking students bibles and throwing them in the trash, removing of some 90 tiles on the walls of Columbine HS for saying things like "4/20/99 Jesus wept" and "God is love"..and not just in HS! Kindergartners have been disciplined for praying!...yet these kinds of attacks (yes I see them as attacks) are not taking place over pagan, Jewish, Muslim or other symbols....at least not around here. Why is this so?

On another note...I remember recently hearing a comment that in Europe Christianity is becoming a minority partly due to many christian families having 0,1,or 2 children while families who hold other beliefs, specifically mentioned were Muslims, are having many more children...thus greatly enlarging the number of believers...has anyone else ever heard anything like this?

-tina
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#19 of 45 Old 02-12-2004, 03:20 AM
 
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Tina,
Do you have any specifics about these incidents? My husband is a teacher in TN and can testify that Christianity is pushed big time in public schools by many teachers and students. It has been 8 years since I was in high school in Oregon, so maybe some things have changed, but we were required to attend an assembly where a guy preached the gospel. The administration later said that they didn't know it was going to happen, but they still punished the kids who walked out or didn't show up. We were also required to attend an all Christian baccalaurete service unless we went to the principal to seek permission to not attend. We were told that we had better have a very good excuse not to attend. We were all given Christian Bibles after the service. The incidents that you describe may very well be the backlash that we Christians deserve after forcing our religion on others.
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#20 of 45 Old 02-12-2004, 04:16 AM
 
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I graduated in 93 and I and during the holiday season it was not allowed for any song that mentioned Christian beliefs to be played in ths school...while in Biology class I was disciplined by my teacher for not wanting to write a paper on evolution and when I did finally write it but wrote that I did not believe in it and why, I received comments from her on that as well as a lower grade. that is the type of things that have happened in this area. Also, in college in an art history class of all things we were not allowed to use BC or AD (this would cause us to lose points) we had to use BCE and ACE (before the common era and after the common era)
Here are links to articles that mention some of the stories I spoke of:
http://www.crosswalk.com/news/religi...y/1170208.html
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A memorial wall was established at Columbine High School, where the massacre of 12 students and one teacher occurred in 1999......Appeals upheld a school district policy that said the wall -- because it was on school grounds -- could not include religious symbols or messages. Some of the families of victims had mentioned God in their tiles, and one tile contained the simple message, "Jesus wept."
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That controversy began last January when a teacher ordered five-year-old kindergartner Kayla Broadus to stop saying grace over her meal at Dorothy Nolan Elementary School. In the eyes of the school officials, Kayla had violated the U.S. Constitution -- particularly because she had invited three of her classmates to join hands with her as she thanked God for their cupcakes and milk.
http://199.84.131.196/catacombes/Garbage.htm
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Officials at the Lynn Lucas Middle School in Willis, Texas, have been served with a lawsuit filed on behalf of three students who allege that one teacher forbade two teens from carrying their Bibles in school while another prohibited a student from using a book cover displaying the Ten Commandments.
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/ar...TICLE_ID=29942
http://www.crosswalk.com/news/1176047.html
Quote:
During this holiday season, America's largest public school system, New York City, is allowing the Menorah, a symbol of the Jewish faith; and the Star and Crescent, a symbol of Islam, to be displayed in its buildings. Nowhere in those buildings, however, will you find a Nativity scene, symbolic of the Christian faith.
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The incidents that you describe may very well be the backlash that we Christians deserve after forcing our religion on others.
Yes...Christianity in general does have a VERY negative history, and present...but so do most other belief systems from what I understand. These children did not deserve the treatment it received...nor does TRUE Christianity IMO...nor do members of other religions.

-tina
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#21 of 45 Old 02-12-2004, 09:38 AM
 
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t-elaine,

I do think we live in awkward times. Christianity no longer has a stranglehold on Europe and the US. (One can no longer be burned at the stake for heresy or witchcraft.) We are working to show tolerance, respect and to celebrate our diversity in new ways now.

I do agree it is wrong to not allow a nativity scene but to allow large public displays of other religions on public grounds. But then again, who far do you go? Lights in evergreen trees were started by pagans of Northern Germany long ago. Do we ban lighted trees at Solstice now? My town common has several lighted trees at Solstice, as well as a large lighted menorah (I happen to know the Jewish family who worked to get that put up a few years back). The common is surrounded by 2 Christian churches. In a way it is a sign of unity.

If you think other faiths are being preferred over Xtianity in Europe tho, rest assured, in France anti-semitism is common and the govt has voted to not allow Muslim headscarves in public schools.

A friend told me in Ohio it has just been voted in to teach creationism in public schools.

This is not an easy subject and it is going to take all our patience and lots of good manners to try and work it out.
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#22 of 45 Old 02-12-2004, 10:34 AM
 
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Originally posted by t-elaine
I graduated in 93 and I and during the holiday season it was not allowed for any song that mentioned Christian beliefs to be played in ths school...
were you forced to sing 'hava nagila' or dance the hora?

Quote:
]while in Bology class I was disciplined by my teacher for not wanting to write a paper on evolution...
writing an unscientific paper in a science class *should* earn you a lower grade. what does that have to do with c'ianity? if you really don't believe in science, don't take science classes!

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...we had to use BCE and ACE
what's wrong with that? doing it the old way forces your religion on others, this way nobody is forcing any religion on anybody. how is the BC/AD way better?
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#23 of 45 Old 02-12-2004, 11:47 AM
 
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Why do we feel we have to be "public" about being Christian? I know the biblical quotations people often use to defend this way of thinking, but Jesus in the gospels did not tell his followers to carry bibles and have public displays of their religiosity. His only commanment was to love G-d with all of your heart and to love your neighbour as yourself. I can love G-d without a bible in my backpack and without ever again seeing a Nativity scene or an image of a cross. Those things may at times be a reminder or an encourager in living my life as a Christian, but they are not vital and Jesus did not say they were necessary. In fact, when Jesus was asked what was necessary he responded by saying "Sell all that you have and give the money to the poor." Hmm...... so why are we Christians up in arms about no longer being allowed to display the "things" of our faith. In this biblical passage he seems to be saying that objects can be a hinderance to a life faithful to G-d's commandments and grace. Our lives, actions and words should be witness enough and Jesus is clear that they should be words of love and respect.

Do you know what I feel when I walk by a window in December and see a Menorah lit or see a woman wearing hijab (far too rare in my town, I am sorry to say) - I give thanks to G-d that there are others living a life of faith and I want to get to know them and I pray for them - not that they will become Christian but I thank G-d for His enduring love of humanity in spite of the hurt we cause one another.

If the world were to turn upside down tomorrow and Christians were actually a pesecuted minority (and I mean persecuted, not just unpopular or out of fashion) not much would change in my life. Churches, Christian images, living in a society with a common Christian understanding - I don't need all of those. They can be a help, but unfortunately those same things have caused untold suffering in the lives of non-Christians. Maybe Christianity would be better off and more authentic if it were a minority. Bigger and more powerful isn't always better. I forgot - that is blasphemy in American culture.
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#24 of 45 Old 02-12-2004, 03:27 PM
 
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were you forced to sing 'hava nagila' or dance the hora?
actually we were when I was in school in the 60's and 70's. I loved it then and still do. I taught the song and dance (what I could remember anyway) to my children when they were very young. My dds and I dance the hora in church to worship songs.

My husband is a music teacher in the public schools here in Ohio. Most of his students are not religious, but during the holidays he includes songs from various religions and cultures. This seems to be the direction that the schools are moving, and I think it is much healthier than banning one religion in favor of another, or prohibiting anything religious at all. We are a spiritual people and the need to express that in our society will not go away with prohibition, it will simply be surpressed underground.
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#25 of 45 Old 02-12-2004, 03:42 PM
 
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We are a spiritual people and the need to express that in our society will not go away with prohibition, it will simply be surpressed underground.
In my previous post I used the term "we" in the generic sence, to mean "mankind" or "humans." I was not in any way implying we to be any particular religious group or geographical area.

Just wanted to clairify.
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#26 of 45 Old 02-12-2004, 04:05 PM
 
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"Maybe Christianity would be better off and more authentic if it were a minority. Bigger and more powerful isn't always better."

Shantimama, I think you're right. I would have to agree with that statement, as someone who grew up in the Bible Belt but now lives in an extrmemly secular environment.

"If the world were to turn upside down tomorrow and Christians were actually a pesecuted minority..."
Often I find it helpful to keep a global perspective on things. In many areas in this world, especially Islamic and Communist countries, Christians are severely persecuted unto slavery, torture, imprisonment, and death. On one hand, Americans need to honor that by not getting snively when someone insults us or looks at us wrong; on the other hand, we need to be on our guard and strive to guarantee religious liberty for ALL. It is so critical that religious libery not be squashed because it makes some people uncomfortable. Open, unfettered discourse is crucial.
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#27 of 45 Old 02-12-2004, 04:09 PM
 
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This may be slightly OT, but since someone mentioned the BC/AD vs BCE/CE I would like to comment further. Personally I feel that while BCE/CE are an improvement it is still really tying the dates to Christ. After all, the years are not actually different.

If we really wanted to be religion neutral we use a completely different dating system. Of course that isn't likely.
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#28 of 45 Old 02-12-2004, 04:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by barbara
We are a spiritual people and the need to express that in our society will not go away with prohibition, it will simply be surpressed underground.
i agree with that. would you agree that mandating "something" can be a form of prohibition of "not something"? ie mandating some such expressions will force other expressions underground just as suredly as prohibiting them?
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#29 of 45 Old 02-12-2004, 07:33 PM
 
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First of all I would like to clarify...I in no way am saying that I think other religions should be banned...but that no one religion should be prejudiced against in that way...I would actually be just as bothered if it were symbols of Islam or Judaism that were banned and not those of Christianity.
BTW - to add to this is the fact that I am a Christian, yet I do not celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday nor would I ever use or wear a cross. These are not symbols that are important to me personally...but the banning of them is showing prejudice against that belief system. I DO believe in freedom of religion.

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in France anti-semitism is common and the govt has voted to not allow Muslim headscarves in public schools.
Do they ban Christian symbols too? This is very sad to me...I do not know what I would do, personally, if I were told that laws forbid me from doing something that I believed was a requirement by my spiritual beliefs (I am speaking of the head coverings) I hope they are trying to get that changed.



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were you forced to sing 'hava nagila' or dance the hora?
Forced...no, but I also never refused...We had a folk dance class in PE and it was my fave class that year! I still remember the hora and the Mexican Hat Dance...but none of the others we learned.
I mentioned these things to show that this attitude towards Christianity was around during that time, too.

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writing an unscientific paper in a science class *should* earn you a lower grade. what does that have to do with c'ianity? if you really don't believe in science, don't take science classes!
I never said anything about writing an unscientific paper...I took issue with the teacher presenting evolution as fact and having to write a paper that took that stance too. I gave her the paper she wanted, and very well written too, but since I had to make statements that I did not belive were true, I concluded with a statement regarding this...If you want to read more on this subject please go here:http://www.mothering.com/discussions...0&pagenumber=1

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what's wrong with that? doing it the old way forces your religion on others, this way nobody is forcing any religion on anybody. how is the BC/AD way better?
Again I just posted this to show the attitude...But I must say that I do not see using BC and AD as pushing my religion off on anyone else...as a side note, I have talked to many who do not even know what BC and AD stand for.



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I can love G-d without a bible in my backpack and without ever again seeing a Nativity scene or an image of a cross.
I completely agree with you, except the part about the Bible...for me personally, the Bible is VERY important and I read it every day. I like to fill my mind with the Word of G-d. We are told in scripture as Christians to meditate on it and to keep it in our hearts. What better way than to carry a copy with you where ever you go. I keep them in various parts of my house and often in my diaper bag for this purpose. when I am struggling with something, it is very helpful to me to have this to look at. I am very bothered by a student not being allowed to do this. Bringing their Bible to school, or anywhere else, is not pushing their beliefs on anyone. Nor is it necessarily a public display. I do not make a public display of reading my Bible. But it is what I prefer to read while waiting in my car or in an office.



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My husband is a music teacher in the public schools here in Ohio. Most of his students are not religious, but during the holidays he includes songs from various religions and cultures. This seems to be the direction that the schools are moving, and I think it is much healthier than banning one religion in favor of another, or prohibiting anything religious at all.
I completely agree that this is a MUCH better way of handling things.

-Tina
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#30 of 45 Old 02-12-2004, 08:01 PM
 
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Regarding BC and AD usage:
BC = Before Christ,
AD= Anno Domini = the year of our Lord.

How can using these Not be imposing that religion on everyone? Just because many people are ignorant of the meanings of the abbreviations does not change the meaning of the abbreviations.

BCE = Before Current Era, so the dates are the same but the abbreviation isn't based on one religion

CE (the usage I learned in college) = Current Era, again no reference to any one religion, even though for convenience's sake the numbers of the years are the same.

I like when schools include all rather than banishing all.
I also think that the schools forbidding a child from praying quietly over his/her own lunch are wildly misreading the laws, and in every case I've heard of that's what has been decided. As far as Bibles being taken, if any other book being read in class was taken too. But if a student is having free time to read what they wish, then they ought to be able to read their Bible.

"What will you do once you know?"
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