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A question for Matthew's classmates


Guest Tom

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"This a secular country" ??  Another atheist fantasy.    80% of the U.S. is Christian. Our money is printed and engraved with "In God We Trust". The Supreme Court displays the Ten Commandments. In court you put your hand on a bible and swear to tell the truth "so help you God". Millions of Nativity Scenes are displayed throughout the country at Christmas. "White Christmas" is the best selling song of all time. The President of the U.S. is a Christian who attends church regularly. The U.S. Congress recesses over Christmas. The Speaker of the House is Christian and attends church regularly.  But don't feel bad, you have Paul and Matthew on your side.

As usual, 2dim's view of things is so simplistic as to be utterly wrong.

It's true that about 80% of Americans self-identify as Christian. BUT, of all Americans

40% are Christian evangelicals

22% are Catholics

16% are mainline Christians

There is a wide variety of doctrine and political belief here. It's safe to say that the kind of Protestant fundamentalism being taught in Mr. P's classroom is NOT a majority view . . . the Catholics and the mainline Protestants are VERY unlikely to be on board with the theology, much less the proselytizing in the public schools.

I assure you, I'm a Christian and most certainly do NOT align with 2dim and his ilk.

A more nuanced view of the wide variety of opinions held by Christians, both theological and political, can be found at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, pewforum.org.

Leigh

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"This a secular country" ??  Another atheist fantasy.    80% of the U.S. is Christian. Our money is printed and engraved with "In God We Trust". The Supreme Court displays the Ten Commandments. In court you put your hand on a bible and swear to tell the truth "so help you God". Millions of Nativity Scenes are displayed throughout the country at Christmas. "White Christmas" is the best selling song of all time. The President of the U.S. is a Christian who attends church regularly. The U.S. Congress recesses over Christmas. The Speaker of the House is Christian and attends church regularly.  But don't feel bad, you have Paul and Matthew on your side.

The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

I'll take Mr. Adams' word over 2smart's any day.

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The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

I'll take Mr. Adams' word over 2smart's any day.

Patently so.

Our government was not founded on a religion. This was clearly stated in the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli. The whole point was to create a government free from religion, so that we can practice our beliefs without detriment or preferment.

The treaty was written by an American diplomat, reviewed by the Secretary of State and the President. It was then sent to the senate for approval, whereupon it was read aloud and approved unanimously. The Treaty was then printed in the Philadelphia newspapers.

The treaty did not cause any controversy because our founders, the Senate and the people all believed that we were not founded as Christian nation.

Article 11 was not hidden in tons of legalese. The article was noticed by all since the treaty was very short.

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;

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Prove it.

A relatively recent developement.

Though 60% of Americans can't name half of them.

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2007...ion-cover_N.htm

You can choose not to.

So? It is a free country. They can do whatever they want. btw-the lyrics of White Christmas:

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

Just like the ones I used to know

Where the treetops glisten,

and children listen

To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

With every Christmas card I write

May your days be merry and bright

And may all your Christmases be white

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

With every Christmas card I write

May your days be merry and bright

And may all your Christmases be white 

Yeah-that's a religious message. ;)

Can you really be that stupid ? "CHRISTMAS"; The birth of Christ.

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It matters because this was a public school teacher misusing his position of authority to proselytize his religious beliefs in an extremely inappropriate and disrespectful way. (He was completely disrespectful of our religion, even going so far as to say that if Matthew was sincere he would abandon the religion in which Debra and I raised him and convert to the teacher's religion.) This is a violation of the Constitution, and it is in keeping with a widespread movement by a group of evangelical Christian radicals called dominionists who want to force their religious beliefs into the public schools, take over the culture, rip up the Constitution and make Christianity the country's formal religion. It would have been unthinkable a generation ago to elect an American president because he was of a particular religious faith. Yet that is exactly what happened in 2000 and 2004. Bush and the neocons got into bed with the evangelical right and elected themselves a president, quite a few members of Congress, and they now have control or near control over the Supreme Court. What Paszkiewicz was doing was just one example of a strategy that will destroy 218 years of Constitutional freedom if it succeeds. Whether Paszkiewicz formally counts himself a dominionist or not, he specifically told the class that he believes the dominant religion should be promoted in the public schools, and he wrote in our local paper that church-state separation is a myth.

The historical context is that humanity has spent more time under the thumb of one religion or another than it has spent free. Our founding fathers wrote a Constitution that has kept us free for more than 200 years. Under this Constitution, each person is free to worship as he or she sees fit without interference from the government. That great principle is what Paszkiewicz was disparaging and violating in that classroom. Our Constitition is under attack from the radical fundamentalist/evangelical right, and David Paszkiewicz made it abundantly clear that he is a part of the attack.

I hope these brief answers to your questions were helpful.

I can hear a famous chorus in the background,"They're coming to take me away ha ha. They're coming to take me away hee hee!" So sad....

By the way Paulie, those Dominionists, are they hiding in area 57 or Roswell New Mexico? No, really, I'm curious.... ;)

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Guest Patriot
It's a secular country with a Christian majority in its population.

http://nobeliefs.com/Tripoli.htm

http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/summer97/secular.html

Not when the country was founded--that was something injected into currency much later, by lobbyists. It'll be rid of eventually, I assure you.

Not if you don't want to--it's not a requirement.

People can display symbols of any religion they want on their property.

Which is a song about snow, not Jeebus. ;)

And about 3/4 of the population are eagerly counting the days until he's gone; he has the lowest approval rates of any president in this country's history, surpassing even Nixon!

Shhhh !! Bush's rating is higher than the defeatocratic congress's rating. Don't tell anyone.

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The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

I'll take Mr. Adams' word over 2smart's any day.

Adams didn't say that.

Funny how the secularists seem to have no problem misattributing quotations to framers in order to try to bolster their position.

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"This a secular country" ??  Another atheist fantasy.    80% of the U.S. is Christian. Our money is printed and engraved with "In God We Trust". The Supreme Court displays the Ten Commandments. In court you put your hand on a bible and swear to tell the truth "so help you God". Millions of Nativity Scenes are displayed throughout the country at Christmas. "White Christmas" is the best selling song of all time. The President of the U.S. is a Christian who attends church regularly. The U.S. Congress recesses over Christmas. The Speaker of the House is Christian and attends church regularly.  But don't feel bad, you have Paul and Matthew on your side.

You could also use the same sort of facts to prove that this is a white country. Most of the people in the US are white. Our money is printed and engraved with pictures of white people, the Supreme Court is currently made up of all white people. Millions of Nativity Scenes depict Jesus, Mary, & co. as white europeans. "White Christmas" goes without saying. It was written and sung by white people. All of the presidents have been white, the Speaker of the House is white and associates often with white people. Also, white people wrote our constitution, the majority of our elected officials have been white, and I could go on. All of these facts do not make this country a white country to the elimination of all others. Our laws now are racially-neutral, even though our behavior and our application of the laws is not. Our laws are also religiously-neutral although their application is not.

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Guest Keith-Marshall,Mo.
You could also use the same sort of facts to prove that this is a white country.  Most of the people in the US are white.  Our money is printed and engraved with pictures of white people, the Supreme Court is currently made up of all white people.  Millions of Nativity Scenes depict Jesus, Mary, & co. as white europeans.  "White Christmas" goes without saying.  It was written and sung by white people.  All of the presidents have been white, the Speaker of the House is white and associates often with white people.  Also, white people wrote our constitution, the majority of our elected officials have been white, and I could go on.  All of these facts do not make this country a white country to the elimination of all others.  Our laws now are racially-neutral, even though our behavior and our application of the laws is not.  Our laws are also religiously-neutral although their application is not.

Excellent point!

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Adams didn't say that.

Yes, he did.

It's in the preface to "A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America.". The full text of which is available here:

http://www.constitution.org/jadams/ja1_pre.htm

Funny how the secularists seem to have no problem misattributing quotations to framers in order to try to bolster their position.

Yeah. Funny, that.

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You could also use the same sort of facts to prove that this is a white country.  Most of the people in the US are white.  Our money is printed and engraved with pictures of white people, the Supreme Court is currently made up of all white people.  Millions of Nativity Scenes depict Jesus, Mary, & co. as white europeans.  "White Christmas" goes without saying.  It was written and sung by white people.  All of the presidents have been white, the Speaker of the House is white and associates often with white people.  Also, white people wrote our constitution, the majority of our elected officials have been white, and I could go on.  All of these facts do not make this country a white country to the elimination of all others.  Our laws now are racially-neutral, even though our behavior and our application of the laws is not.  Our laws are also religiously-neutral although their application is not.

Perfect analogy--I am jealous for not having thought of it first. :P:D

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Can you really be that stupid ?  "CHRISTMAS"; The birth of Christ.

As if the Christian "Christmas" isn't just a mishmash of older, pagan festivals (to put it lightly).

"Many of the symbols and motifs associated with the modern holiday of Christmas are derived from traditional pagan northern European Yule celebrations. The burning of the Yule log, the decorating of Christmas trees, the eating of ham, the hanging of boughs, holly, mistletoe, etc. are all historically practices associated with Yule. When the Christianization of the Germanic peoples began, missionaries found it convenient to provide a Christian reinterpretation of popular pagan holidays such as Yule and allow the celebrations themselves to go on largely unchanged, versus trying to confront and suppress them." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule#Contemporary_Yule_Traditions

Also, way more people display Christmas trees than nativity scenes, and the vast majority of those with nativity scenes display them in addition to having a tree, not instead. What does that tell you?

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Can you really be that stupid ?  "CHRISTMAS"; The birth of Christ.

So? It is the most important holiday in America because of capitalism, not religion. Otherwise Easter would be the more important-it used to be. My point is that the song has NO religious message. Perhaps if Silent Night or Away in a Manger were the best selling song he'd have a point.

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And of course, your only response is to distort my use of a single word, trying to make it mean what you want it to mean, not what I mean by it. Eliminating a distinction does not mean eliminating a person. It means looking past personal beliefs to our common humanity, which is what I believe is most important. It means trying to bring people together on common ground instead of forcing a parochial religious view on everyone.

What we did was not just to make a point. It wasn't to promote our religion. The school board was not held ransom. The accolades for Matthew came from far and wide. People with legal matters have a right to retain counsel. As we have observed over and over and over and over and over again, these things were done to defend the law and the Constitution, the integrity and quality of education in Kearny, and simple principles of common decency. And most of the world, overwhelmingly, agrees with us and applauds Matthew. Has it ever, even once, occurred to you that you might be missing something very important?

I invite you again, if you want to understand my religion, you are free to ask me about it. Instead, you judge what you do not understand.

First of all the word “eliminate” was your word, not mine. It wasn't distorted since I left the original post in for people to read for themselves. You continue to attack all religions for the sake of whatever your quest is? You claim it was to defend the quality of education in Kearny. That is a crock because you have done nothing to improve it.

What you did was just to make a point. What you did was to promote your religion. What you did was hold school board ransom. It's just that you keep your blinders on and to believe and hear what you wish to believe and hear.

You can get down off your pulpit now because most of the world does not believe you. Again that’s just what you choose to believe because most of the world doesn't even know about this story. Why should I even try to judge your religion when you repeatedly attack all others? You say that I do not understand. Maybe it’s that I understand too well and that bothers you.

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First of all the word “eliminate” was your word, not mine. It wasn't distorted since I left the original post in for people to read for themselves. You continue to attack all religions for the sake of whatever your quest is? You claim it was to defend the quality of education in Kearny. That is a crock because you have done nothing to improve it.

What you did was just to make a point. What you did was to promote your religion. What you did was hold school board ransom. It's just that you keep your blinders on and to believe and hear what you wish to believe and hear.

You can get down off your pulpit now because most of the world does not believe you. Again that’s just what you choose to believe because most of the world doesn't even know about this story.  Why should I even try to judge your religion when you repeatedly attack all others? You say that I do not understand. Maybe it’s that I understand too well and that bothers you.

Funny, a lot of what you are upset about sounds a lot like the Christianity that I grew up with. It S**ks when the shoe is on the other foot doesn't it?

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Guest 2smart4u
You could also use the same sort of facts to prove that this is a white country.  Most of the people in the US are white.  Our money is printed and engraved with pictures of white people, the Supreme Court is currently made up of all white people.  Millions of Nativity Scenes depict Jesus, Mary, & co. as white europeans.  "White Christmas" goes without saying.  It was written and sung by white people.  All of the presidents have been white, the Speaker of the House is white and associates often with white people.  Also, white people wrote our constitution, the majority of our elected officials have been white, and I could go on.  All of these facts do not make this country a white country to the elimination of all others.  Our laws now are racially-neutral, even though our behavior and our application of the laws is not.  Our laws are also religiously-neutral although their application is not.

"The Supreme Court is currently made up of all white people" ?? I wonder if

Clarence Thomas knows that ??

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I can hear a famous chorus in the background,"They're coming to take me away ha ha. They're coming to take me away hee hee!"  So sad....

By the way Paulie, those Dominionists, are they hiding in area 57 or Roswell New Mexico? No, really, I'm curious.... :P

Try Googling "dominionist", "restorationist", "take back america", Rod Parsley, D. James Kennedy, or Gary North. These searches will lead you to dozens of other sites encouraging their followers to change our government into a fundamentalist christian theocrazy.

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As if the Christian "Christmas" isn't just a mishmash of older, pagan festivals (to put it lightly).

"Many of the symbols and motifs associated with the modern holiday of Christmas are derived from traditional pagan northern European Yule celebrations. The burning of the Yule log, the decorating of Christmas trees, the eating of ham, the hanging of boughs, holly, mistletoe, etc. are all historically practices associated with Yule. When the Christianization of the Germanic peoples began, missionaries found it convenient to provide a Christian reinterpretation of popular pagan holidays such as Yule and allow the celebrations themselves to go on largely unchanged, versus trying to confront and suppress them." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule#Contemporary_Yule_Traditions

Also, way more people display Christmas trees than nativity scenes, and the vast majority of those with nativity scenes display them in addition to having a tree, not instead. What does that tell you?

It tells me you didn't get many toys at Christmas, too bad.

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College interviews will take place for Matthew and his classmates. I have a question for those classmates, especially those who were in Mr. Paszkiewicz's history class with him.

Let's assume an interviewer knows or finds out that you were in that class.

Assume further that the interviewer asks you why you didn't speak up for Matthew, who was telling the truth.

It's a legitimate question, which goes to your character.

What are you going to say?

I have read all the replies in response to "Tom's" question to the CHILDREN in Matt's class. Yes, they are going to college, hopefully. But they are CHILDREN. Can I ask "Tom" how old he is? Do you have any children in their teens? Do you understand or forget what it was like to be in high school, 17-18 years old? I was not in that classroom that day, nor do I even try to put myself in those kids position. But can you please give them a damn break!! Please stop dragging them into a position you have no idea how it felt to be in. You were not there at that time. Have YOU questioned those CHILDREN? My god, man, to drag those kids into this AGAIN is reprehensible. They are not grown people with experiences to make that kind of choice, whether it be right or wrong. Have you ever been in a position where you didn't do the right thing, then 5 or 10 years down the road felt you could have done something? If not, you are not honest with yourself. It's called experiencing life, not everyone is Matt, in fact, at that age, the majority of people are still trying to figure out what the hell is going on in life. Maybe Matt's problems are just not on the top of their agenda. Please give these kids the room to figure life out for themselves and please do me a favor and stop dragging their character into this. You do not know these CHILDREN. And kids, please stop responding to him, you do not have to answer to anything this man has to say.

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First of all the word “eliminate” was your word, not mine.

The word was his. But the meaning you ascribed to it was your own invention. To say that you were "reaching" would be an understatement. Your interpretation was downright bizarre.

It wasn't distorted since I left the original post in for people to read for themselves.

That's good, Guest. Show the world your true colors. Just keep on backing up your lies with more lies. That's quite a technique you've got there. How very "Christian" of you.

Go ahead, Guest. Lie about me too. Misrepresent my words to your heart's content. Just like you did to Strife. Just like you did to Paul. Just keep on showing what you're made of.

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Guest ConnieK
I can hear a famous chorus in the background,"They're coming to take me away ha ha. They're coming to take me away hee hee!"  So sad....

By the way Paulie, those Dominionists, are they hiding in area 57 or Roswell New Mexico? No, really, I'm curious.... :P

Dominionism isn't a joke, you jackass. It's a movement supported by tens of millions of Americans who don't understand the Constitution and think one religion can control a country of many religions and still remain free. To answer your question, the dominiononists have a foothold in every state in the country. If you understood what taking over the country and turning it into a theocracy meant, you wouldn't make idiotic remarks like that.

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Guest ConnieK
First of all the word “eliminate” was your word, not mine. It wasn't distorted since I left the original post in for people to read for themselves. You continue to attack all religions for the sake of whatever your quest is? You claim it was to defend the quality of education in Kearny. That is a crock because you have done nothing to improve it.

What you did was just to make a point. What you did was to promote your religion. What you did was hold school board ransom. It's just that you keep your blinders on and to believe and hear what you wish to believe and hear.

You can get down off your pulpit now because most of the world does not believe you. Again that’s just what you choose to believe because most of the world doesn't even know about this story.  Why should I even try to judge your religion when you repeatedly attack all others? You say that I do not understand. Maybe it’s that I understand too well and that bothers you.

Could someone point me to the post(s) where Paul has attacked:

- Buddhism

- Hinduism

- Confucianism

- Taoism

- Zoroastrianism

- Wiccan

- Judaism

- Islam

- Humanism

- Christianity in general

Do I hear protests of "But . . . but . . . that's not what I meant!" bubbling up in Guest's tiny little brain? Could it be that in Guest's opinion, radical fundamentalist Christianity is "all religions?"

Paul isn't the attacker or the "eliminater" of other people's religions. Right wing fundie nutcakes like this "Guest" are. They can't think straight, and when someone points out that eliminating distinctions is religious, not anti-religious, they don't get it. That's because their religion doesn't teach them that, and whatever their religion doesn't teach isn't true - according to them. And isn't that exactly Paul's point.

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