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Guest Paul

"Don't buy it."

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Guest qetzal
I'm shocked that someone who writes as well as you do, and seems as level-headed, could draw those conclusions. Everything Mr. P said on those recordings was pointed in one direction: proselytizing radical Christian fundamentalism. Even if you could defend any one of these points in a vacuum, which I contend you can't, there is simply no denying what this teacher was trying to do: preach to these students and promote his view as the only correct one.

Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear.

I absolutely do think Mr. P was proselytizing in class. I agree he was claiming that his religion is True, and others are False. And I agree it was unconstitutional, that he was very wrong to do it, and even more wrong to lie. Perhaps most of all, he is wrong to be so unrepentant about it.

My disagreement is specifically in regards to the "don't buy it" statement. Based on the passage you quoted, I don't see this as Mr. P telling Student Y to disregard his mother's or his pastor's religious teachings. Mr. P appeared to be making a claim about some matters of fact.

Were there two rival popes at one time? That's a matter of fact. Is there evidence that their rivalry led to significant revisions in the Bible? That's also a matter of fact. If Student Y's mother and pastor say that the facts of these matters run a certain way, I don't see why it's automatically wrong for Mr. P to say they are factually wrong. (Assuming, of course, that they are factually wrong.)

It would be a very different matter if Student Y said, for instance, "My mother and pastor told me that you don't have to be baptized to go to heaven." If Mr. P responded to that sort of statment by saying "Don't buy it" then I agree it would be outrageous. He has no right to preach religion to his students, whether he's preaching religion they agree with or not.

Mr. P has said and done plenty of things I find unacceptable. I'm just saying that the "don't buy it" statement isn't one of them.

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Guest Patriot
God Save Us From Christians names a number of prominent Christianists: Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart, Tom Delay, Pat Robertson, Jim Bakker, Jerry Falwell, (I omit Jesse Jackson because I know nothing about his theology).  And by the way, s/he missed the most important one of all, James Dobson, and one other prominent one who immediately comes to mind, Rick Scarborough.

Let's get this straight -- these are not MY leaders, nor do they lead Christians with whom I commune.

These people are Christians, no doubt, but their political activities, like those of the rest of the religious right, are more properly termed Christian Reconstructionism or Dominionism.  Some call them Christianists, in an apparently futile effort to separate their politics and Dominionist theology -- rejected by mainline Christians -- from their more conventional Christian theology.

I urge you to google these terms.  They are important in the current U.S. body politic.

Among their more egregious faults, they erroneously claim that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, they reject evolution and science in favor of their interpretation of Scripture, and they claim they're being persecuted when the Constitution is enforced. 

Foger, thank you for pointing out this important distinction.

Leigh Williams

Austin, Texas

"Christians with whom I commune" ??? LOL You realy need to lay off the Kool-aid.

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Guest Paul
Its mainly because we dont spend our entire lives sitting in front of a keyboard or looking for an ambulance to chase, not that you could catch one in your present condition.  We quickly scan and comment. That is what a blog board is for.  We dont swallow a theasausus thinking we are so much better than everyone else because we are not.

You scan and comment, but you don't think, and you obviously have no scruples about launching inane and juvenile insults. You're commenting from your biases, not from a rational assessment of the situation. Your nastiness does explain, however, why you hide behind anonymity.

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Guest Paul
Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear.

I absolutely do think Mr. P was proselytizing in class. I agree he was claiming that his religion is True, and others are False. And I agree it was unconstitutional, that he was very wrong to do it, and even more wrong to lie. Perhaps most of all, he is wrong to be so unrepentant about it.

My disagreement is specifically in regards to the "don't buy it" statement. Based on the passage you quoted, I don't see this as Mr. P telling Student Y to disregard his mother's or his pastor's religious teachings. Mr. P appeared to be making a claim about some matters of fact.

Were there two rival popes at one time? That's a matter of fact. Is there evidence that their rivalry led to significant revisions in the Bible? That's also a matter of fact. If Student Y's mother and pastor say that the facts of these matters run a certain way, I don't see why it's automatically wrong for Mr. P to say they are factually wrong. (Assuming, of course, that they are factually wrong.)

It would be a very different matter if Student Y said, for instance, "My mother and pastor told me that you don't have to be baptized to go to heaven." If Mr. P responded to that sort of statment by saying "Don't buy it" then I agree it would be outrageous. He has no right to preach religion to his students, whether he's preaching religion they agree with or not.

Mr. P has said and done plenty of things I find unacceptable. I'm just saying that the "don't buy it" statement isn't one of them.

I appreciate your explanation, your tone and your sincerity, but I do disagree. This was a US history class. Whether a feud between two popes resulted in material changes to the Bible is not relevant to the curriculum, certainly not at the level of a high school survey course covering more than 125 years of US history. The comment "don't buy it" was presumptuous, and an interference with the religious upbringing of this student. The content of the remark might have been OK if the subject had been a part of the curriculum, but it wasn't. And even then, "don't buy it" isn't an appropriate way to phrase it. The appropriate way to phrase it is "most scholars believe X, and that is based on Y. You might want to read A, B and C." Instead, Paszkiewicz shoved his conclusion down the student's throat, but as we know from his other conclusions, his religious opinions aren't necessarily founded on anything but thin air.

This was part of a continuing pattern of proselytizing. This teacher feels so strongly about his fundamentalism that he cannot contain himself --- he still can't according to what I'm hearing. That's not OK in a public school classroom.

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Its mainly because we dont spend our entire lives sitting in front of a keyboard or looking for an ambulance to chase, not that you could catch one in your present condition.

How shamefully childish.

We quickly scan and comment.

And who cares if you get facts wrong, right? Just as long as you can use whatever shambles of "information" you discover to verbally attack people who don't agree with you, right? Pathetic.

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"Christians with whom I commune" ???  LOL    You realy need to lay off the Kool-aid.

You just can't stand to have people thinking you have the slightest bit of intelligence, can you?

So, what is it this time? Do you think "commune" is not a word, perhaps ("realy" certainly isn't)?

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Guest Paul
Apparently Patrat doesn't take communion.  Somehow, I'm not surprised . . .

We drink grape juice, not Koolaid, at communion, you moron.

Leigh

Now, Leigh, I know it's frustrating, but . . .

You've probably had second thoughts already.

Not that you're wrong.

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Guest qetzal
I appreciate your explanation, your tone and your sincerity, but I do disagree. This was a US history class. Whether a feud between two popes resulted in material changes to the Bible is not relevant to the curriculum, certainly not at the level of a high school survey course covering more than 125 years of US history.

I agree it was off topic.

The comment "don't buy it" was presumptuous, and an interference with the religious upbringing of this student.

Poorly phrased and arrogant, sure. An interference with religious upbringing? No. If you really believe this, then any factual statement by a teacher that contradicts a religious belief of a student is an interference with their religious upbringing.

By that standard, every time a science teacher tells a class about fossils that are millions of years old, the teacher is guilty of interfering with the religious upbringing of anyone in the class whose parents/pastors believe in literal 7-day creationism.

The content of the remark might have been OK if the subject had been a part of the curriculum, but it wasn't. And even then, "don't buy it" isn't an appropriate way to phrase it. The appropriate way to phrase it is "most scholars believe X, and that is based on Y. You might want to read A, B and C."

I agree with you here.

Instead, Paszkiewicz shoved his conclusion down the student's throat, but as we know from his other conclusions, his religious opinions aren't necessarily founded on anything but thin air.

Except that he wasn't expressing a religious opinion in this specific instance.

This was part of a continuing pattern of proselytizing. This teacher feels so strongly about his fundamentalism that he cannot contain himself --- he still can't according to what I'm hearing. That's not OK in a public school classroom.

I agree Mr. P is guilty of a continuing pattern of proselytizing. I don't agree that this is an example of it. It was poorly phrased and off topic, but that's not the same thing.

If Mr. P had not said all the other things that he said, this particular comment would have been mildly regrettable (again, for relevance and tone) but nothing more.

Mr. P has said some truly objectionable things in class. Of that there is no doubt. That doesn't mean we should put the worst possible spin on every thing he says. That's what it sounds like you're doing in this one instance, and with all due respect, I think it weakens your overall arguments.

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Guest Patriot
Apparently Patrat doesn't take communion.  Somehow, I'm not surprised . . .

We drink grape juice, not Koolaid, at communion, you moron.

Leigh

Now. is that before you burn a Republican on a cross or after ??

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Guest Guest
I appreciate your explanation, your tone and your sincerity, but I do disagree. This was a US history class. Whether a feud between two popes resulted in material changes to the Bible is not relevant to the curriculum, certainly not at the level of a high school survey course covering more than 125 years of US history. The comment "don't buy it" was presumptuous, and an interference with the religious upbringing of this student. The content of the remark might have been OK if the subject had been a part of the curriculum, but it wasn't. And even then, "don't buy it" isn't an appropriate way to phrase it. The appropriate way to phrase it is "most scholars believe X, and that is based on Y. You might want to read A, B and C." Instead, Paszkiewicz shoved his conclusion down the student's throat, but as we know from his other conclusions, his religious opinions aren't necessarily founded on anything but thin air.

This was part of a continuing pattern of proselytizing. This teacher feels so strongly about his fundamentalism that he cannot contain himself --- he still can't according to what I'm hearing. That's not OK in a public school classroom.

Paul's disingenuous hate for this teacher shows more and more in each on of his posts. His barbarous comments about shoving things down other peoples throat was completely uncalled for. As far as proselytizing, LaClair tosses those words around anytime that that he doesn’t like the truthful answers. In order to understand what happens during one time period, you sometimes need to return back in time. That is what history is. But I wouldn't expect an attorney to know that.

If you hold your ear to the monitor you can almost hear Paul crying, can't you ?

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Guest Supporter
Its mainly because we dont spend our entire lives sitting in front of a keyboard or looking for an ambulance to chase, not that you could catch one in your present condition.  We quickly scan and comment. That is what a blog board is for.  We dont swallow a theasausus thinking we are so much better than everyone else because we are not.

To quote Calvin and Hobbes, "You're ignorant, but at least you act on your ignorance."

You're right, of course. Why research something before jumping into the mix? After all, where might we not be if we actually took the time to assess a situation before we jumped in? Say, Iraq, for instance?

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Now, Leigh, I know it's frustrating, but . . .

You've probably had second thoughts already.

Not that you're wrong.

Yes, I do regret my intemperate language. I had hoped that KOTW might censor that one, since my internal censor failed. Hasty language in the heat of anger is (one of my) great faults and is always a mistake -- not to mention unChristian!

Leigh

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Now. is that before you burn a Republican on a cross or after ??

Our congregation includes Democrats, Republicans, and many independents. How many of each, I can't say, because oddly enough (to you, perhaps), we spend more time talking about Christ, His kingdom, and our responsibilities as His disciples than we do talking about partisan politics.

Leigh

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Guest Guest
In the interests of apologies and erasures/corrections, I must apologize to Richard Bolles for incorrectly citing his work, in my earlier post today in response to "Guest," as the SEVEN Boxes of Life, when it was, in fact, the THREE Boxes of Life.    :blush:

"Boxes? What's the matter with boxes?  I LOVE boxes!"  -- Pandora

Maybe you need some box.

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Guest Guest
Apparently Patrat doesn't take communion.  Somehow, I'm not surprised . . .

We drink grape juice, not Koolaid, at communion, you moron.

Leigh

Grape juice, how childish.

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I had hoped that KOTW might censor that one, since my internal censor failed.

Heh.

Considering the kind of tripe that does get through, I wouldn't put too much faith (no pun intended) in that here. *chuckles*

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Guest Paul
I agree it was off topic.

Poorly phrased and arrogant, sure. An interference with religious upbringing? No. If you really believe this, then any factual statement by a teacher that contradicts a religious belief of a student is an interference with their religious upbringing.

By that standard, every time a science teacher tells a class about fossils that are millions of years old, the teacher is guilty of interfering with the religious upbringing of anyone in the class whose parents/pastors believe in literal 7-day creationism.

I agree with you here.

Except that he wasn't expressing a religious opinion in this specific instance.

I agree Mr. P is guilty of a continuing pattern of proselytizing. I don't agree that this is an example of it. It was poorly phrased and off topic, but that's not the same thing.

If Mr. P had not said all the other things that he said, this particular comment would have been mildly regrettable (again, for relevance and tone) but nothing more.

Mr. P has said some truly objectionable things in class. Of that there is no doubt. That doesn't mean we should put the worst possible spin on every thing he says. That's what it sounds like you're doing in this one instance, and with all due respect, I think it weakens your overall arguments.

I respectfully disagree. Telling a student to ignore his mother and his pastor regarding biblical accuracy cuts to the heart of some people's religious beliefs. The dismissive comment "don't buy it" is far over the edge, in my view. Maybe most students wouldn't take that to heart, but some might and in either case it is said in a way that conveys a direspect for that student's upbringing. That this was the intent is supported by other comments this same teacher made in those same few days.

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Guest qetzal
I respectfully disagree. Telling a student to ignore his mother and his pastor regarding biblical accuracy cuts to the heart of some people's religious beliefs.

In this specific instance, I don't see how Mr. P's statement was about biblical accuracy. It was about historical accuracy, was it not?

According to your initial post on this thread, this is the statement made by Student Y, that Mr. P said not to "buy":

“I mean the changes that were made when there was the whole controversy of the two popes, when one was calling the other one the antichrist, and some of them started making revisions to the Bible . . .”

That's not a statement about whether the Bible is accurate. It's a claim about historical events. Mr. P is not disputing a student's claim that the Bible is accurate. He's disupting a student's claim that there was some controversy over two popes, and that one of them made revisions to the Bible.

Let me also say that I didn't read the whole transcript of this passage. I only read what you quoted. It wouldn't surprise me if there were other statements by Mr. P that were inappropriate. But what you quoted does not support your claim in this specific instance.

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Guest Paul
In this specific instance, I don't see how Mr. P's statement was about biblical accuracy. It was about historical accuracy, was it not?

According to your initial post on this thread, this is the statement made by Student Y, that Mr. P said not to "buy":

That's not a statement about whether the Bible is accurate. It's a claim about historical events. Mr. P is not disputing a student's claim that the Bible is accurate. He's disupting a student's claim that there was some controversy over two popes, and that one of them made revisions to the Bible.

Let me also say that I didn't read the whole transcript of this passage. I only read what you quoted. It wouldn't surprise me if there were other statements by Mr. P that were inappropriate. But what you quoted does not support your claim in this specific instance.

You're right to distinguish between historical and biblical accuracy. In that, your point is well-taken.

However, Mr. P did it to promote a very specific religious position and he did it in a way that dismissed other religious beliefs. The distinction you make does not change that in this context. It matters little that the beliefs he dismissed are the beliefs of other Christians. He was stating, as dogmatic fact ("don't buy it"), that the only Christians who have their history correct are those who believe the Bible as we have it presently is inerrant, a position that is necessary to the existence of absolute fundamentalism. There's less history in this view than wishful thinking. It parades as history, but it's really religion. So while I appreciate your distinction, I disagree with your conclusion.

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You're right to distinguish between historical and biblical accuracy. In that, your point is well-taken.

However, Mr. P did it to promote a very specific religious position and he did it in a way that dismissed other religious beliefs.

Which tape?

This reads to me as though Paszkiewicz was talking about the reliability of the Bible text as an ancient document, while a student brought up European alterations of the Latin text as part of the power struggle within the Roman church. Two different subjects, in other words, and it seems implausible that anyone's religious beliefs were disrespected by this exchange (which I think was probably a miscommunication in the first place).

I'd like to know the context in order to test my impression against the facts, but I can't seem to locate this exchange on the available recordings.

The distinction you make does not change that in this context. It matters little that the beliefs he dismissed are the beliefs of other Christians. He was stating, as dogmatic fact ("don't buy it"), that the only Christians who have their history correct are those who believe the Bible as we have it presently is inerrant, a position that is necessary to the existence of absolute fundamentalism.

I doubt it. Paszkiewicz was almost certainly making his point about the reliability of the text itself in terms of the types of changes common in ancient documents--the type of thing that was emphasized very heavily in Josh McDowell's "Evidence That Demands a Verdict" book. It is related to inerrancy, to be sure (the argument for the inerrancy of a much-revised text would be very difficult to make). On the other hand, a perfectly preserved text need not be inerrant.

This is very likely yet another example of shoddy reasoning by LaClair.

There's less history in this view than wishful thinking. It parades as history, but it's really religion. So while I appreciate your distinction, I disagree with your conclusion.

His conclusion is correct, since it is historically true that we have extremely good copies (especially comparatively speaking) of the Bible. The variations among the texts are few and minor--and it's not an issue of doctrine, as LaClair erroneously supposes.

Inerrancy as a doctrine is a separate issue from textual preservation.

LaClair, in fact, has probably slandered Paszkiewicz in this case.

Will we see an apology, or will Paszkiewicz have to sue?

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Guest Paul
Which tape?

This reads to me as though Paszkiewicz was talking about the reliability of the Bible text as an ancient document, while a student brought up European alterations of the Latin text as part of the power struggle within the Roman church.  Two different subjects, in other words, and it seems implausible that anyone's religious beliefs were disrespected by this exchange (which I think was probably a miscommunication in the first place).

I'd like to know the context in order to test my impression against the facts, but I can't seem to locate this exchange on the available recordings.

I doubt it.  Paszkiewicz was almost certainly making his point about the reliability of the text itself in terms of the types of changes common in ancient documents--the type of thing that was emphasized very heavily in Josh McDowell's "Evidence That Demands a Verdict" book.  It is related to inerrancy, to be sure (the argument for the inerrancy of a much-revised text would be very difficult to make).  On the other hand, a perfectly preserved text need not be inerrant.

This is very likely yet another example of shoddy reasoning by LaClair.

His conclusion is correct, since it is historically true that we have extremely good copies (especially comparatively speaking) of the Bible.  The variations among the texts are few and minor--and it's not an issue of doctrine, as LaClair erroneously supposes.

Inerrancy as a doctrine is a separate issue from textual preservation.

LaClair, in fact, has probably slandered Paszkiewicz in this case.

Will we see an apology, or will Paszkiewicz have to sue?

Anyone who quotes Josh McDowell favorably for anything has pretty much said it all. McDowell's book is nonsense. See the many reviews on it on amazon.com, including my own.

Mr. Paszkiewicz is capable of speaking for himself if he so chooses.

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Anyone who quotes Josh McDowell favorably for anything has pretty much said it all.

Who quoted McDowell?

McDowell's book is nonsense.

McDowell's book is flawed, certainly, but the information on the reliability of the manuscripts is reasonably solid; certainly solid enough to serve as a well-known cultural marker to illustrate what I was talking about (Paul's knowledge of the book proves my point).

See the many reviews on it on amazon.com, including my own.

LaClair's review doesn't appear to touch on the issue of manuscript evidence. The fact that he reviewed McDowell's book would seem to leave him without any good excuse for mistaking manuscript evidences for an argument in favor of inerrancy, however.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-review...ostRecentReview

Mr. Paszkiewicz is capable of speaking for himself if he so chooses.

And until he does you'll feel free to slander him in public?

Or would even that stop you?

This post demonstrates a very disappointing attitude on LaClair's part. His awareness of McDowell's arguments should have tipped him off that (Greek and Hebrew) manuscript evidences were Paszkiewicz's topic and that much later changes to Latin texts has no relation to the (scribal) reliability of the Hebrew and Greek texts.

And it should go without saying (though I've pointed it out, earlier) that reliable transmission of a text has no direct bearing on the doctrine of inerrancy.

Though it seems almost certain that LaClair has made a significant error, he shows no inclination to either defend or revisit his position. Instead, he chooses an irrelevant attack on McDowell as a source and shifts the burden of proof onto David Paszkiewicz (does he even waste his time reading what LaClair writes?) for disproving his dubious notion.

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