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It is a great day for democracy because democracy doesn't mean that the majority gets its way on everything. In a democracy, the minority's rights are respected and honored.

Riddle me this:

Who decides who gets rights if not the majority?

In a democracy, not everything is decided by majority vote.

In a true democracy, that's exactly how everything is decided.

That's why it's a good thing that we live in a constitutional republic instead of in a democracy.

It's true that "democracy" is applied as a bit of a misnomer almost anywhere people vote on stuff, though.

There are some things that people in a democracy get to decide individually and for themselves, no matter what the majority thinks. One of the most important of these is religious preference.

That's not always true in a democracy, and it's not always true in a constitutional republic, either.

The whole point of the First Amendment, and most of the Bill of Rights, is that some things are not subject to majority rule. One of the most important of those individual rights is freedom of religion. What part of this don't you get?

Probably the part where the United States isn't a democracy along with the part where the Constitution was written to delineate the responsibilities of the federal government while powers not specifically provided to the federal government were reserved for the states.

Freedom of religion doesn't mean that the majority, or culturally dominant religious group, gets to push its views on everyone else.

Freedom of religion is not a democratic ideal, per se. In a democracy, the fundamental concept is majority rule.

It means exactly what it, says, which is that all people are free to worship as they see fit, free from interference by the state.

You don't really believe that, so why are you claiming it? Try participating as an honorary Rastafarian near the grounds of your local police station. See what happens.

That doesn't mean that a public employee gets to use his time on the taxpayers' payroll to spout his personal opinions, especially his relgious views. He is paid to do a job, not misuse the classroom as his personal pulpit or soapbox.

May I forward this portion of your message to hundreds of radical leftist professors who do exactly that?

In a public school, which is an arm of the state, that means that a state actor such as a teacher may not proselytize his religious views.

It means that according to some judges. What if they were wrong, and the judges who disagreed were right?

If he wishes to do that, he must go elsewhere to do it. He may still teach, but if he wishes to preach he must do it somewhere else. He can go to his church, he can go into the street, he can go door-to-door, he can go into the newspaper or on radio or television if the owner will allow him there --- he can go pretty much wherever he wants, but he can't do it in his classroom, especially when he's dismissing science with his ignorance, telling kids that dinosaurs were on Noah's ark and telling kids they belong in hell if they don't agree with him. That isn't teaching, it's indoctrination in intellectual slop. Shame on you for defending it.

Shame on your for misrepresenting Paszkiewicz again, and shame on you for not bothering to acknowledge the federalist angle in your telling of the tale.

Shame on you, IMO, for selling out the Constitution in favor of your ideology.

What you are advocating, deny it as you will, is not a democracy, but a theocracy.

lol

Only if the United States was a theocracy for its first hundred years or so.

Was it, IYO?

Do you really think that in your version of the United States a Muslim would be allowed to express his religious views as freely as a Christian?

Yes, so long as his speech did not run afoul of the law.

If an atheist had stood in David Paszkiewicz's classroom and dogmatically announced that the Christian God is a myth, and then defending that proselytizing, is there the slightest doubt in your mind that he would have been fired within a week?

No, I wouldn't have slight doubt. I would have massive doubt.

He would not be fired if there was no school policy touching the issue. It's not usually allowed to pass a law and then enforce it retroactively. I would expect a teacher union to aggressively protect the teacher's job, and the teacher would probably win if there were a legal dispute.

Not one of you has been willing to address that question honestly or for more than the briefest moment.

Baloney. You're such a liar.

What implications does this have for equal treatment under the law, and "liberty and justice for all?"

You've already admitted that it doesn't exist regardless, haven't you? If you doubt, go try the Rastafarian experiment I recommended to you.

Have you considered the question, or do you not care? Do you have any idea what being in a religious minority is like, or how hard it is for anyone, let alone a child or teenager, to withstand the pressure of the cultural majority?

Does being an Episcopalian among a bunch of Baptists count? Or how about when I defined myself as a deist? Was I a minority then? When a majority of my friends were atheists, was I under pressure from a cultural majority?

Do you really believe that Christians are not free just because they may not push their religion on anyone and everyone, anywhere and anytime they choose?

No, not if "free" is taken to mean something other than able to push their religion on anyone and everyone, anywhere and anytime they choose.

Certainly they are less free if inhibited from any of those activities, however.

Do you have no concept of limits?

I'm getting an image of flecks of spittle flying from your lips at this point. Is it my imagination or were you experiencing an adrenaline rush while typing this one?

I probably have a better concept of limits than you do.

How about that? :D

Do you really think that religious minorities will remain free if the government does not protect their rights?

What, their right not to have Christians push their religion on them any time they like? Where is that right delineated (there's a limit to rights, right?).

Where is the historical example for that?

Historical example of what? I know of no culture ever that permitted Christians to push their religion any time and any way they liked. It might be fun for me to program your television so that it showed nothing but Earnest Angley, but as a practical matter governments don't go in for that sort of thing, not even when there is a state religion as in the modern United Kingdom.

Do you really think that laws can ever be absolute, or is it possible that legal principles must be taken in the practical context of the world?

Aren't you glad I don't dodge your questions like you do mine? ;)

Yes, laws can be absolute in terms of enforcement, and yes moral laws are absolute. As I described earlier (making me wonder if you paid attention), I see morality along the lines of W. D. Ross, where all moral precepts are absolute and hierarchical. Imperfect humanity will not apply the moral law accurately for a number of reasons, not least of which is the epistemic difficulty of discerning the (absolute) moral laws and correctly arranging them in hierarchy.

And when you get around to thinking about that context and these other issues that inform the law, if you ever do, what does your principle --- if you actually have one --- really mean for the rights and privileges of everyone in your country, not just those whose views are culturally dominant?

This is too funny.

I described my system to the point of mentioning Ross ages ago. You're only stopped from having a decent understanding of my view of morality by your own lack of curiosity and initiative. Meanwhile, you trumpeted your "objective" system of morality based on "universally held" values--and your attempt to justify your views was, in a word, pathetic (not objective, not universally held).

The only real problem with Ross was his overreliance on intuition for the epistemic foundation he proposed.

As for your question, it means the same thing as your system, but with different default national worldview. The worldview I advocate is the one shared by the Framers of the Constitution. The one you advocate has been substituted as the default by unelected judges, without the consent of the people.

Wouldn't it be incredible if the Framers intended to undermine their own worldview by the Constitution they signed?

Have you ever once thought about any of this, or were you too busy reconstructing the world to fit it into your biases?

Anyone who's paying attention can tell that I've put more thought into it than you have. Or if you put more time into it you weren't thinking very well.

The doublethink is yours. It is in proclaiming religious freedom that offers true freedom only to the majority and to those in power.

You can't offer any better than that. You try that Rastafarian thing. See if you remain in power. ;)

That is the same absurd and unsustainable concept of "freedom" that led to legalized slavery, the "right" to own slaves, legally recognized and protected in the United Stated of America until after the Civil War. Why is this hard for you to understand?

Because it's a lie. That's why.

I've already pointed out to you that slavery was ended prior to your watershed moment (the 14th Amendment). I don't recall you addressing that point. I expect a repeat of your performance.

If the system I advocate could not end slavery, then how did it end slavery?

Why don't you see that this does not work?

I don't have your gift for fallacious thinking.

Or is it that you just don't want to see and understand it?

It's that I've already covered this issue with arguments that you have failed to address--and I expect more of the same from you.

I've asked this question several times, and not one of you radical theocrats has answered it. The law in the United States is that each person is free to worship as he or she sees fit without interference from the state. It is a beautiful principle, hard-won and precious. Why isn't it the best rule, and why aren't you satisfied with it?

Try worshiping as a Rastafarian in the most secular town you can find and get back to me.

Your question is based on a false premise.

For months, you've been mindlessly but selectively nit-picking individual sentences and phrases, often out of context, as though you can make a coherent argument in tiny pieces.

I never intentionally take another's comments out of context, and if you're going to accuse me of it I'd appreciate it if you'd provide an example.

So go ahead, have a party: answer all these questions if you think you can. No doubt you'll come up with some meaningless words to convince yourself this is all possible. I count seventeen questions, and probably double or triple that numbers of statements. Have yourself a party. Comment on them all.

Done. And now I can expect you to claim again that nobody will answer your questions within a few weeks.

Meanwhile you dodge my questions as though you're vying for a position in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Bryan, there are people defending this teacher who don't have the intellectual muscle to know better, but you do. You have enough of a brain that you have no excuse, and so I say shame on you.

I say shame on you for not being able to back up your accusations in debate.

And double shame on you for your continual reliance on fallacies of distraction.

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Guest Guest

.... telling kids that dinosaurs were on Noah's ark and telling kids they belong in hell if they don't agree with him. That isn't teaching, it's indoctrination in intellectual slop. Shame on you for defending it.

Paulie, Paulie, Paulie. Shame on you! I listened to those tapes and Mr. P was asked explicitly by a student (I'm assuming it was your son), "Were there dinosaurs on the Ark?" Was he really interested in Mr. P's answer or was it a scripted question by lawyer daddy in order to attempt to embarass a fundamentalist.

Also, stop lying about the hell quote. Mr. P did not tell students that if they didn't agree with him they would go to hell. His exact (EXACT) words were,

“He (God) did everything in His power to make sure that you could go to Heaven, so much so, that He put your sin on his own body, suffered your pains for you, and He’s saying, ‘Please accept me, believe me!’ If you reject that, you belong in Hell … its up to you to reason it out, the outcome is your prerogative. But the way I see it, God himself sent his Son to die for David Paszkiewicz on that cross … and if I reject that, then it really is to Hell with me.” (Classroom recording September 14, 2007 )

By the way, this quote was in response to a direct question to Mr. P by a student (I'm assuming Matt La Clair) concerning how a loving God could possibly send a person to hell. By the way, Mr. P's response is in complete agreement with the Scriptures (See John 3:16-18 and Romans 5:8) Are the Scriptures what you meant by "intellectual slop" in your last post? Shame on you Paulie..... You just denegrated the faith of millions.

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Guest Paul
What we've learned over the past 7 months is that Paul La Clair is an egomaniac who just cannot tolerate an opposing viewpoint.  Those that disagree with him become targets of his invective, sarcasm and condescension.  He accused Bryan of being mindless.  Is it really necessary to respond to "mindless" people in posts consisting of hundreds of words?  In the real world, you dismiss the claims of "mindless" people and they go away.  The fact that Paul constantly feels the need to prove Bryan wrong demonstrates to me that Bryan has actually rocked Paul's world.  I have even read Paul's posts criticizing Mr. P's views concerning scientific theories like the Big Bang and Evolution.  He stated that a well known astrophysicist came out against Mr. P's views in a New York Times letter to the editor.  All this shows me is that like Paul La Clair, this scientist felt threatened by a little old History teacher in Kearny NJ.  He took time out of his busy astrophysicist schedule because he felt compelled to prove his position.  I listened to the classroom recordings and I believe the logic of Mr. P's statement concerning the Big Bang was threatening to the astrophysicist.

When asked about the Big Bang theory Mr. P stated that the Big Bang says that in the begining there was nothing, then "nothing" exploded and created something.  Mr. P's position was that this is a logical contradiction, if "nothing" existed, then "nothing" exploded.  I know that some would say that its not that there was "nothing" according to the theory, but all of the matter in the entire universe was condensed into a single, dense, pinpoint in the universe, but this would be a greater miracle than any found in Genesis!  Why would Paul and an astrophysicist be threatened by this if it were mere nonsense?  The fact is, its not, and this makes them uncomfortable, because if there is a God, they will be accountable to Him. 

PS:  Another thought concerning Bryan, Paul is jealous because he is the Lawyer, yet Bryan makes a better case!  :D

Nice try, Bryan. Your ignorance of science is obvious. The Big Bang theory holds that extremely dense matter exploded, not that nothing exploded. Do you really think yourself competent to take on all the world's astrophysicists? You are not.

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Guest Paul

.... telling kids that dinosaurs were on Noah's ark and telling kids they belong in hell if they don't agree with him. That isn't teaching, it's indoctrination in intellectual slop. Shame on you for defending it.

Paulie, Paulie, Paulie. Shame on you! I listened to those tapes and Mr. P was asked explicitly by a student (I'm assuming it was your son), "Were there dinosaurs on the Ark?" Was he really interested in Mr. P's answer or was it a scripted question by lawyer daddy in order to attempt to embarass a fundamentalist.

Also, stop lying about the hell quote. Mr. P did not tell students that if they didn't agree with him they would go to hell. His exact (EXACT) words were,

“He (God) did everything in His power to make sure that you could go to Heaven, so much so, that He put your sin on his own body, suffered your pains for you, and He’s saying, ‘Please accept me, believe me!’ If you reject that, you belong in Hell … its up to you to reason it out, the outcome is your prerogative. But the way I see it, God himself sent his Son to die for David Paszkiewicz on that cross … and if I reject that, then it really is to Hell with me.” (Classroom recording September 14, 2007 )

By the way, this quote was in response to a direct question to Mr. P by a student (I'm assuming Matt La Clair) concerning how a loving God could possibly send a person to hell. By the way, Mr. P's response is in complete agreement with the Scriptures (See John 3:16-18 and Romans 5:8) Are the Scriptures what you meant by "intellectual slop" in your last post? Shame on you Paulie..... You just denegrated the faith of millions.

The student who asked the dinosaur question was a female. So obviously you didn't listen to the recording yourself, and are carrying the party line, or you've forgotten. In either case, the teacher has to know better than to give that answer.

We could have a long discussion about the damage done by a "faith" that includes eternal torment in its concept of justice, but to what end? You've already made up your mind what you believe and you don't listen. You think I'm the same way, but I'm not. Give me a sensible reason to believe in that and I'll consider it, but you can't because it's nonsense, and damaging nonsense at that. We can't even imagine how much better our culture and our world might be if not for that horrid theology, because we're so buried under the layers of mind-muck it created that we can't see above it. Read the new books coming out by Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, among others. People are starting to wake up to the fact that this theology has done a lot of damage. You don't like my saying so, that's too bad. That's what I believe, and just like you get to believe slop I get to believe the truth. Deal with it.

Why am I bothering? Matthew accomplished what he set out to do, with a little help. Game, set match. You guys keep playing your silly games. No one will convince you of the truth. You don't care about the truth. All you care about is defending what you decided to believe before you were old enough to know better. Well now you're old enough to know better, so grow up.

The reason I care, I suppose, is that you guys are as much a part of our system as I am, but it won't work your way. Shame on you.

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What we've learned over the past 7 months is that Paul La Clair is an egomaniac who just cannot tolerate an opposing viewpoint.

I suppose you have more tolerance for dishonesty than he and his supporters do. I notice you have nothing bad to say about all the people who made up lies about the LaClair family for the sole purpose of trying to smear them. Why is that?

I also notice you have nothing bad to say about Paskiewicz, who clearly crossed the 'wall of separation,' and then refused to admit to any wrongdoing, but not before blatantly lying about his statements in the meeting with Principal Somma. Why is that?

Psst, your bias is showing.

Those that disagree with him become targets of his invective, sarcasm and condescension.

What do you expect when the "disagreements" are nothing but nonsensical meanderings that show a clear lack of understanding of the Constitution (and/or a willingness to completely ignore the actual situation and misinterpret it as some sort of attack on religion), laced with juvenile, clumsy personal insults? Reap what you sow and all that.

He accused Bryan of being mindless.

Cite? That seems unlikely considering that Paul has several times expressed sadness that Bryan would misuse his intelligence (his words, not mine) in the way he has.

Is it really necessary to respond to "mindless" people in posts consisting of hundreds of words?  In the real world, you dismiss the claims of "mindless" people and they go away.

Do they really? I do believe there are still people out there trying to take evolution out of schools and replace it with creationism, for example. If only it were as simple as you say.

The fact that Paul constantly feels the need to prove Bryan wrong demonstrates to me that Bryan has actually rocked Paul's world.

lol, if you say so. :D

I have even read Paul's posts criticizing Mr. P's views concerning scientific theories like the Big Bang and Evolution.  He stated that a well known astrophysicist came out against Mr. P's views in a New York Times letter to the editor.  All this shows me is that like Paul La Clair, this scientist felt threatened by a little old History teacher in Kearny NJ.

So if someone says something ridiculous and I point out how ridiculous it is, that means I feel threatened by that person? What were you smoking when you came up with that? ;)

He took time out of his busy astrophysicist schedule because he felt compelled to prove his position.

"His position" has already been proven beyond the comprehension of most people. Someone asked him for a comment and he gave one, that's all. What was that you were saying about being intolerant of different opinions?

I listened to the classroom recordings and I believe the logic of Mr. P's statement concerning the Big Bang was threatening to the astrophysicist.

When asked about the Big Bang theory Mr. P stated that the Big Bang says that in the begining there was nothing, then "nothing" exploded and created something.  Mr. P's position was that this is a logical contradiction, if "nothing" existed, then "nothing" exploded.  I know that some would say that its not that there was "nothing" according to the theory, but all of the matter in the entire universe was condensed into a single, dense, pinpoint in the universe, but this would be a greater miracle than any found in Genesis!

No, it wouldn't. A "supreme intelligence" creating the universe is NECESSARILY MORE COMPLICATED than the universe, therefore the opposite is true. No possibility is less likely than a supernatural supreme intelligence, the ultimate complexity (again, more complex than its alleged creation, to make sure I don't lose you here), existing at the very beginning (when everything we've ever observed shows the opposite progression--simple to complex) and literally willing the universe and everything in it into existence.

And it's not "some" that contradict the "nothing exploded into something" nonsense. The theory doesn't and has never said that. Anyone who does say that the Big Bang is 'nothing exploding into something' is completely ignorant of the theory.

Why would Paul and an astrophysicist be threatened by this if it were mere nonsense?  The fact is, its not,

No, the fact is they're not. What can feel threatening is the fact that these idiots are have actually made some progress in injecting their ridiculous views into everyone else's lives. Blue laws and "In God We Trust" are proof enough of that. If you people would keep your faith to yourself and would stop pretending it's fact or science, we would leave you alone too. But no, freedom to worship just isn't good enough for you. You have to spit on that freedom by wanting to take it away from others.

and this makes them uncomfortable, because if there is a God, they will be accountable to Him. 

PS:  Another thought concerning Bryan, Paul is jealous because he is the Lawyer, yet Bryan makes a better case!  ;)

lol, you wish.

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Paulie, Paulie, Paulie.  Shame on you!  I listened to those tapes and Mr. P was asked explicitly by a student (I'm assuming it was your son), "Were there dinosaurs on the Ark?"  Was he really interested in Mr. P's answer or was it a scripted question by lawyer daddy in order to attempt to embarass a fundamentalist.

Matthew is more than capable of embarassing a fundamentalist all by himself. Any middle schooler with his/her head on straight is. Perhaps Paszkiewicz is just too stupid to know his limits as a public school teacher. ;)

Also, stop lying about the hell quote.  Mr. P did not tell students that if they didn't agree with him they would go to hell.  His exact (EXACT) words were,

          “He (God) did everything in His power to make sure that you could go to Heaven, so        much so, that He put your sin on his own body, suffered your pains for you, and He’s saying, ‘Please accept me, believe me!’ If you reject that, you belong in Hell … its up to you to reason it out, the outcome is your prerogative.  But the way I see it, God himself sent his Son to die for David Paszkiewicz on that cross … and if I reject that, then it really is to Hell with me.” (Classroom recording September 14, 2007 )

"...we can't disagree with [God] on salvation...if you reject his gift of salvation, you're going where you belong." --http://dranger.com/classtranscript.html (emphasis added) <-- What exactly do you think Paszkiewicz is saying here, moron? Seriously. :D

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Riddle me this: Who decides who gets rights if not the majority?

You're missing the point. In a democracy the majority has enough sense to protect the minority's rights. A sensible majority understands that its power of numbers is not license to do whatever it pleases. That is why we have a Bill of Rights. You're arguing for a man's "right" to use tax money to preach his religion, and you know perfectly well he couldn't get away with it if his religion wasn't that of the majority in town. It is not permissible, which is why he has stopped doing it, supposedly, and the Board of Education is so quick to announce that he has stopped.

And as if that isn't bad enough, he is a teacher babbling ridiculous things. Dinosaurs on Noah's ark because he thinks that's the logical conclusion the Bible forces him to draw. What is wrong with you, and what is wrong with him? The fact that we're even discussing this in New Jersey in 2007 is shameful.

You want Kearny to look like a townful of idiots? You're doing a bang-up job making it look that way.

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.... telling kids that dinosaurs were on Noah's ark and telling kids they belong in hell if they don't agree with him. That isn't teaching, it's indoctrination in intellectual slop. Shame on you for defending it.

Paulie, Paulie, Paulie. Shame on you! I listened to those tapes and Mr. P was asked explicitly by a student (I'm assuming it was your son), "Were there dinosaurs on the Ark?" Was he really interested in Mr. P's answer or was it a scripted question by lawyer daddy in order to attempt to embarass a fundamentalist.

Also, stop lying about the hell quote. Mr. P did not tell students that if they didn't agree with him they would go to hell. His exact (EXACT) words were,

“He (God) did everything in His power to make sure that you could go to Heaven, so much so, that He put your sin on his own body, suffered your pains for you, and He’s saying, ‘Please accept me, believe me!’ If you reject that, you belong in Hell … its up to you to reason it out, the outcome is your prerogative. But the way I see it, God himself sent his Son to die for David Paszkiewicz on that cross … and if I reject that, then it really is to Hell with me.” (Classroom recording September 14, 2007 )

By the way, this quote was in response to a direct question to Mr. P by a student (I'm assuming Matt La Clair) concerning how a loving God could possibly send a person to hell. By the way, Mr. P's response is in complete agreement with the Scriptures (See John 3:16-18 and Romans 5:8) Are the Scriptures what you meant by "intellectual slop" in your last post? Shame on you Paulie..... You just denegrated the faith of millions.

Finally !! Someone beside me recognizes Paulie's a fraud.

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It is a great day for democracy because democracy doesn't mean that the majority gets its way on everything. In a democracy, the minority's rights are respected and honored. In a democracy, not everything is decided by majority vote. There are some things that people in a democracy get to decide individually and for themselves, no matter what the majority thinks. One of the most important of these is religious preference.

The whole point of the First Amendment, and most of the Bill of Rights, is that some things are not subject to majority rule. One of the most important of those individual rights is freedom of religion. What part of this don't you get?

Freedom of religion doesn't mean that the majority, or culturally dominant religious group, gets to push its views on everyone else. It means exactly what it, says, which is that all people are free to worship as they see fit, free from interference by the state. That doesn't mean that a public employee gets to use his time on the taxpayers' payroll to spout his personal opinions, especially his relgious views. He is paid to do a job, not misuse the classroom as his personal pulpit or soapbox. In a public school, which is an arm of the state, that means that a state actor such as a teacher may not proselytize his religious views.

If he wishes to do that, he must go elsewhere to do it. He may still teach, but if he wishes to preach he must do it somewhere else. He can go to his church, he can go into the street, he can go door-to-door, he can go into the newspaper or on radio or television if the owner will allow him there --- he can go pretty much wherever he wants, but he can't do it in his classroom, especially when he's dismissing science with his ignorance, telling kids that dinosaurs were on Noah's ark and telling kids they belong in hell if they don't agree with him. That isn't teaching, it's indoctrination in intellectual slop. Shame on you for defending it.

What you are advocating, deny it as you will, is not a democracy, but a theocracy. Do you really think that in your version of the United States a Muslim would be allowed to express his religious views as freely as a Christian? If an atheist had stood in David Paszkiewicz's classroom and dogmatically announced that the Christian God is a myth, and then defending that proselytizing, is there the slightest doubt in your mind that he would have been fired within a week? Not one of you has been willing to address that question honestly or for more than the briefest moment. What implications does this have for equal treatment under the law, and "liberty and justice for all?" Have you considered the question, or do you not care? Do you have any idea what being in a religious minority is like, or how hard it is for anyone, let alone a child or teenager, to withstand the pressure of the cultural majority? Do you really believe that Christians are not free just because they may not push their religion on anyone and everyone, anywhere and anytime they choose? Do you have no concept of limits? Do you really think that religious minorities will remain free if the government does not protect their rights? Where is the historical example for that? Do you really think that laws can ever be absolute, or is it possible that legal principles must be taken in the practical context of the world? And when you get around to thinking about that context and these other issues that inform the law, if you ever do, what does your principle --- if you actually have one --- really mean for the rights and privileges of everyone in your country, not just those whose views are culturally dominant? Have you ever once thought about any of this, or were you too busy reconstructing the world to fit it into your biases?

The doublethink is yours. It is in proclaiming religious freedom that offers true freedom only to the majority and to those in power. That is the same absurd and unsustainable concept of "freedom" that led to legalized slavery, the "right" to own slaves, legally recognized and protected in the United Stated of America until after the Civil War. Why is this hard for you to understand? Why don't you see that this does not work? Or is it that you just don't want to see and understand it?

I've asked this question several times, and not one of you radical theocrats has answered it. The law in the United States is that each person is free to worship as he or she sees fit without interference from the state. It is a beautiful principle, hard-won and precious. Why isn't it the best rule, and why aren't you satisfied with it?

For months, you've been mindlessly but selectively nit-picking individual sentences and phrases, often out of context, as though you can make a coherent argument in tiny pieces. So go ahead, have a party: answer all these questions if you think you can. No doubt you'll come up with some meaningless words to convince yourself this is all possible. I count seventeen questions, and probably double or triple that numbers of statements. Have yourself a party. Comment on them all.

Bryan, there are people defending this teacher who don't have the intellectual muscle to know better, but you do. You have enough of a brain that you have no excuse, and so I say shame on you.

Please !! Shut the f - - - up. Do you really think ANYONE is reading your mindless, endless diatribes of verbal diarrhea anymore. l

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Please !!  Shut the f - - - up.

*cue baby crying sound effect here*

Do you really think ANYONE is reading your mindless, endless diatribes of verbal diarrhea anymore.

What's a matter, got tired of BLOVIATIONS? Isn't he such a BLOVIATOR, BLOVIATING his BLOVIATIONINGS all the BLOVIATED day? It just makes me want to BLOVIATE all over myself.

;):D

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Nice try, Bryan. Your ignorance of science is obvious. The Big Bang theory holds that extremely dense matter exploded, not that nothing exploded. Do you really think yourself competent to take on all the world's astrophysicists? You are not.

First of all, I'm honored that you think I'm Bryan, but I'm really not that intellectual. Sorry Paulie... By the way, did you even read my post? This is what I wrote:

I know that some would say that its not that there was "nothing" according to the theory, but all of the matter in the entire universe was condensed into a single, dense, pinpoint in the universe, but this would be a greater miracle than any found in Genesis!

Paulie, there is no way that all the matter in the entire universe could condense into a pinpoint, but I'll bet we could squeeze it into your inflated ego! :D

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Please !!  Shut the f - - - up.  Do you really think ANYONE is reading your mindless, endless diatribes of verbal diarrhea anymore.  l

Apparently someone is.

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The student who asked the dinosaur question was a female. So obviously you didn't listen to the recording yourself, and are carrying the party line, or you've forgotten. In either case, the teacher has to know better than to give that answer.

First, you avoided my question about "intellectual slop." I'll ask again, do you think the Scriptures are intellectual slop?

Second, concerning your statement "...the teacher should have known better than to answer," are you implying that the student shouldn't have asked the question?

By the way, I did listen, it was a while ago, if it wasn't your son, I'm sorry. The question was asked however.

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I'd say Yes. In addition, he gained the respect and gratitude of many. 

KOTW

Oh yeah, who was the poor girl? His sister? lol! Respect and gratitude of many? Yeah, probably from the atheists, Mr. Santos (our "religious" mayor) Mr. Pinho (the lawyer who looks retarded) and Mr. LaClair (who doesn't do anything else in life other than post here) lol!

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After many months, we were finally able to reach agreement with the Board of Education to resolve the matter that arose last autumn when a history teacher made inappropriate comments in the classroom. The Anti-Defamation League will provide training for teachers and students on church-state separation and evolution. A statement issued by the Board includes a re-affirmation of its commitment to evolution and the big bang as part of the science curriculum.

This accomplishes what we set out to do. The Board has also issued a strong statement commending Matthew, and we have issued a statement commending the Board for the actions it is now taking. A complaint policy will also be implemented to provide a mechanism for students to report misconduct in the classroom, and addressing our concerns about recording classes when misconduct is occurring.

The Board has agreed to reimburse our expenses in connection with this matter, but we are not taking a penny in damages. Our expenses do not include any attorneys' fees , as our attorneys were working pro bono. They believed in the rightness of this cause as much as we did.

The link to today's New York Times article is:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/10/nyregion...r=1&oref=slogin

The Board's statement reads as follows: “The Board wishes to publicly express their appreciation to Matthew LaClair for his efforts in bringing to the School Board’s attention a serious situation in the Kearny schools regarding the Constitutional mandate of Separation of Church and State. Because of Matthew’s exemplary actions in standing up for his Constitutional rights and the integrity of education, often at the cost of his own popularity in the community and the school, the Board was able to take action to correct this situation and improve the educational environment for all students. The Board commends Matthew LaClair for his courage and integrity in taking the responsibilities of citizenship seriously and acting accordingly. We thank him for calling attention to this important issue. The Board reaffirms our commitment to the core academic curriculum standards relating to the Big Bang and evolutionary theory.”

Our statement reads: “We applaud the Board's actions today in moving forward on its commitment to providing Kearny’s young people a first-class education on a broad range of subjects, including science and the law.  We appreciate the Board’s willingness to meet with us to resolve this matter.  This has been a difficult situation for everyone involved and we commend the Board for committing to conduct student and teacher training on constitutional principles and affirming its commitment to the separation of Church and State and the teaching of science in the classroom.  We further appreciate the Board’s efforts in abating objectionable religious content in the classroom.  We are also pleased that the Board has committed to adopting a Complaint Policy which will allow students to address their concerns. We recognize that the Board must be mindful of the interests and well being of all members of its school community, and we understand and acknowledge that the Board’s Policy on Recording Devices seeks to address the privacy concerns of students.  Life is a learning process, and we welcome the opportunity to move forward together for the good of all concerned.”

Our thanks go to KOTW and to our supporters. It is disappointing that there should be any battle at all over these issues in a public school in New Jersey in 2007, but we are pleased that the Board has acted to address this matter in an appropriate way.

Good!!! Now shut up!

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Nice try, Bryan. Your ignorance of science is obvious. The Big Bang theory holds that extremely dense matter exploded, not that nothing exploded. Do you really think yourself competent to take on all the world's astrophysicists? You are not.

Hahahahh! Explaining again Paul? why if it doesn't make sense? I guess you can't resit, huh? lol!!!!!

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Please !!  Shut the f - - - up.  Do you really think ANYONE is reading your mindless, endless diatribes of verbal diarrhea anymore.  l

I know I don't read them...I skip the parts that Paul writes. They are usually boring and a bunch of nonsense...I rather read something that will actually teach me something.

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Nice try, Bryan.

Bryan virtually never refers to himself in the third person. ;)

You weren't replying to me.

Your ignorance of science is obvious. The Big Bang theory holds that extremely dense matter exploded, not that nothing exploded.

That's the version of the Big Bang theory that floated while you were in school, Paul. Science has come a long way since then, and scientists hope that entering freshmen in college will realize that that the Big Bang teaches that the universe came from nothing.

Prather, E.E., Slater, T.F., and Offerdahl, E.G. (2002).

"Hints of a fundamental misconception in cosmology," Astronomy Education Review, 1 (2), 28-34.

Open-ended surveys administered to 1000 middle-school students, high-school students, and undergraduate science and non-science majors showed that 70% of students at all age levels describe the Big Bang as an event that occurred to and with pre-existing matter, suggesting that they are using a phenomenological primitive idea of "you can't make something from nothing" in their reasoning strategies.

http://astronomy.uwp.edu/saber/biblio.html

Hmmm! That's exactly the "fundamental misperception" manifested by the LaClairs.

Do you really think yourself competent to take on all the world's astrophysicists? You are not.

I just need to know science better than you know science. And I do.

There's still time for Matthew to enter college without a fundamental misperception about the Big Bang theory. Why don't you share my post with him? You know, to help him out.

As with the initial survey, we found that the majority of these students (nearly 70%) provided a written response clearly indicating that matter existed in some form prior to the Big Bang. Their ideas most often include atoms, molecules, and gas particles existing within an otherwise empty space, or the existence of a massive object such as a star or planet. A less common response given by only 11% of these students suggested that a single, compressed, very small, point-like massive object existed prior to the Big Bang. This response could be considered to have at least an element of consistency with current scientific thinking. The belief that matter existed before the Big Bang is further illustrated by students in their written responses to the second question of the survey, in which students were asked to describe what they thought happened during the Big Bang. A description involving an explosion that either distributed matter throughout the universe or formed planets, stars, or galaxies was given by 49% of students. In addition, 17% of the students described a scenario in which matter combined or came together; and another 10% listed changes on Earth, such as separation of Earth's continental plates or the occurrence of mass extinctions. Overall, the results from the second survey further illustrate that students hold scientifically inaccurate ideas about the modern topic of the Big Bang when they enter the classroom.

http://aer.noao.edu/cgi-bin/article.pl?id=26

<italics for emphasis added>

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You're missing the point. In a democracy the majority has enough sense to protect the minority's rights.

They do? Then why is Paul so worried? Why did the Framers concern themselves about the "tyranny of the majority"?

A sensible majority understands that its power of numbers is not license to do whatever it pleases.

And majorities are always sensible? Is that the idea?

That is why we have a Bill of Rights. You're arguing for a man's "right" to use tax money to preach his religion, and you know perfectly well he couldn't get away with it if his religion wasn't that of the majority in town.

No, I'm not. I don't agree with non-sectarian schools preaching the doctrines of a particular sect as part of the curriculum. On the other hand, I believe that a teacher ought to be who he or she is without having to hide it from the students. It should be okay to discuss religion in class, and it should be okay to offer opinions--and primarily at the discretion of local governments instead of the federal government (which was the real purpose of the religion clause in the First Amendment before the courts decided to play games with it).

It is not permissible, which is why he has stopped doing it, supposedly, and the Board of Education is so quick to announce that he has stopped.

It doesn't have anything to do with the threat of lawsuit, in your opinion?

And as if that isn't bad enough, he is a teacher babbling ridiculous things. Dinosaurs on Noah's ark because he thinks that's the logical conclusion the Bible forces him to draw.

You can draw a whole bunch from a "yes," apparently.

What is wrong with you, and what is wrong with him? The fact that we're even discussing this in New Jersey in 2007 is shameful.

I imagine that Paszkiewicz takes his constitutional right to free speech seriously.

For my part, I'm defending Paszkiewicz primarily because of the lies and distortions of those attacking him.

You want Kearny to look like a townful of idiots?

What do I care? I live in Florida. ;)

IMHO, Strife is the biggest liability to Kearny's reputation.

You're doing a bang-up job making it look that way.

You mean via the way I correct the errors of Kearny resident Paul LaClair?

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Somebody loves quoting others out of context.

("Let's say that you disagree [with God]. Let's say that

maybe, in God's eyes, you have done something wrong.")

[...]

"...we can't disagree with [God] on salvation...if you reject his gift of salvation, you're going where you belong."

<green bits added to supply significant portions of the missing context>

It's obvious from the audio that Paszkiewicz uses "you" in the same manner that LaClair used it.

Paszkiewicz was not preaching at the kids, as is suggested by the out-of-context quotation, but explaining a widespread doctrine in answer to a student's question.

A school that forbade answering a student's question on that topic may be on constitutionally thin ice (having a law restricting religious speech where other types of opinions are okay).

--http://dranger.com/classtranscript.html (emphasis added) <-- What exactly do you think Paszkiewicz is saying here, moron? Seriously. ;)

You haven't changed your sig line yet.

Why not?

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Nice try, Bryan. Your ignorance of science is obvious. The Big Bang theory holds that extremely dense matter exploded, not that nothing exploded. Do you really think yourself competent to take on all the world's astrophysicists? You are not.

You'd better re-read that one Paulie.

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Please !!  Shut the f - - - up.  Do you really think ANYONE is reading your mindless, endless diatribes of verbal diarrhea anymore.  l

We can all understand your frustration, 2dim4words. All those words, and what do they mean? And all those people who don't think like you do just keep writing them. Why, some of them even write more than Paul. Those things are called books. Others write dense pieces in trade journals. Who can understand any of that, with all those big words and ideas that you won't find in the Bible. Who do those people think they are, anyway, writing things you can't understand?

We can all understand why you're frustrated, 2dim. What amazes me is that even you should be able to see what a fool you're making of yourself. Let me guess how you'll respond to this. What shall it be? The Kool-Aid drinker bit, or the shut the F--- up bit? You have a limited repertoire, so it's not hard to narrow it down.

It's OK, 2dim, get it all out of your system. Your side took a good hosing this time. Have a good cry.

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Riddle me this:

Who decides who gets rights if not the majority?

In a true democracy, that's exactly how everything is decided.

That's why it's a good thing that we live in a constitutional republic instead of in a democracy.

It's true that "democracy" is applied as a bit of a misnomer almost anywhere people vote on stuff, though.

That's not always true in a democracy, and it's not always true in a constitutional republic, either.

Probably the part where the United States isn't a democracy along with the part where the Constitution was written to delineate the responsibilities of the federal government while powers not specifically provided to the federal government were reserved for the states.

Freedom of religion is not a democratic ideal, per se.  In a democracy, the fundamental concept is majority rule.

You don't really believe that, so why are you claiming it?  Try participating as an honorary Rastafarian near the grounds of your local police station.  See what happens.

May I forward this portion of your message to hundreds of radical leftist professors who do exactly that?

It means that according to some judges.  What if they were wrong, and the judges who disagreed were right?

Shame on your for misrepresenting Paszkiewicz again, and shame on you for not bothering to acknowledge the federalist angle in your telling of the tale.

Shame on you, IMO, for selling out the Constitution in favor of your ideology.

What you are advocating, deny it as you will, is not a democracy, but a theocracy.

lol

Only if the United States was a theocracy for its first hundred years or so.

Was it, IYO?

Do you really think that in your version of the United States a Muslim would be allowed to express his religious views as freely as a Christian?

Yes, so long as his speech did not run afoul of the law.

If an atheist had stood in David Paszkiewicz's classroom and dogmatically announced that the Christian God is a myth, and then defending that proselytizing, is there the slightest doubt in your mind that he would have been fired within a week?

No, I wouldn't have slight doubt.  I would have massive doubt. 

He would not be fired if there was no school policy touching the issue.  It's not usually allowed to pass a law and then enforce it retroactively.  I would expect a teacher union to aggressively protect the teacher's job, and the teacher would probably win if there were a legal dispute.

Not one of you has been willing to address that question honestly or for more than the briefest moment.

Baloney.  You're such a liar.

What implications does this have for equal treatment under the law, and "liberty and justice for all?"

You've already admitted that it doesn't exist regardless, haven't you?  If you doubt, go try the Rastafarian experiment I recommended to you.

Have you considered the question, or do you not care? Do you have any idea what being in a religious minority is like, or how hard it is for anyone, let alone a child or teenager, to withstand the pressure of the cultural majority?

Does being an Episcopalian among a bunch of Baptists count?  Or how about when I defined myself as a deist?  Was I a minority then?  When a majority of my friends were atheists, was I under pressure from a cultural majority?

Do you really believe that Christians are not free just because they may not push their religion on anyone and everyone, anywhere and anytime they choose?

No, not if "free" is taken to mean something other than able to push their religion on anyone and everyone, anywhere and anytime they choose.

Certainly they are less free if inhibited from any of those activities, however.

Do you have no concept of limits?

I'm getting an image of flecks of spittle flying from your lips at this point.  Is it my imagination or were you experiencing an adrenaline rush while typing this one?

I probably have a better concept of limits than you do. 

How about that?  ;)

Do you really think that religious minorities will remain free if the government does not protect their rights?

What, their right not to have Christians push their religion on them any time they like?  Where is that right delineated (there's a limit to rights, right?).

Where is the historical example for that?

Historical example of what?  I know of no culture ever that permitted Christians to push their religion any time and any way they liked.  It might be fun for me to program your television so that it showed nothing but Earnest Angley, but as a practical matter governments don't go in for that sort of thing, not even when there is a state religion as in the modern United Kingdom.

Do you really think that laws can ever be absolute, or is it possible that legal principles must be taken in the practical context of the world?

Aren't you glad I don't dodge your questions like you do mine?  :)

Yes, laws can be absolute in terms of enforcement, and yes moral laws are absolute.  As I described earlier (making me wonder if you paid attention), I see morality along the lines of W. D. Ross, where all moral precepts are absolute and hierarchical.  Imperfect humanity will not apply the moral law accurately for a number of reasons, not least of which is the epistemic difficulty of discerning the (absolute) moral laws and correctly arranging them in hierarchy.

And when you get around to thinking about that context and these other issues that inform the law, if you ever do, what does your principle --- if you actually have one --- really mean for the rights and privileges of everyone in your country, not just those whose views are culturally dominant?

This is too funny.

I described my system to the point of mentioning Ross ages ago.  You're only stopped from having a decent understanding of my view of morality by your own lack of curiosity and initiative.  Meanwhile, you trumpeted your "objective" system of morality based on "universally held" values--and your attempt to justify your views was, in a word, pathetic (not objective, not universally held).

The only real problem with Ross was his overreliance on intuition for the epistemic foundation he proposed.

As for your question, it means the same thing as your system, but with different default national worldview.  The worldview I advocate is the one shared by the Framers of the Constitution.  The one you advocate has been substituted as the default by unelected judges, without the consent of the people.

Wouldn't it be incredible if the Framers intended to undermine their own worldview by the Constitution they signed?

Have you ever once thought about any of this, or were you too busy reconstructing the world to fit it into your biases?

Anyone who's paying attention can tell that I've put more thought into it than you have.  Or if you put more time into it you weren't thinking very well.

The doublethink is yours. It is in proclaiming religious freedom that offers true freedom only to the majority and to those in power.

You can't offer any better than that.  You try that Rastafarian thing.  See if you remain in power.  ;)

That is the same absurd and unsustainable concept of "freedom" that led to legalized slavery, the "right" to own slaves, legally recognized and protected in the United Stated of America until after the Civil War. Why is this hard for you to understand?

Because it's a lie.  That's why.

I've already pointed out to you that slavery was ended prior to your watershed moment (the 14th Amendment).  I don't recall you addressing that point.  I expect a repeat of your performance.

If the system I advocate could not end slavery, then how did it end slavery?

Why don't you see that this does not work?

I don't have your gift for fallacious thinking.

Or is it that you just don't want to see and understand it?

It's that I've already covered this issue with arguments that you have failed to address--and I expect more of the same from you.

I've asked this question several times, and not one of you radical theocrats has answered it. The law in the United States is that each person is free to worship as he or she sees fit without interference from the state. It is a beautiful principle, hard-won and precious. Why isn't it the best rule, and why aren't you satisfied with it?

Try worshiping as a Rastafarian in the most secular town you can find and get back to me.

Your question is based on a false premise.

For months, you've been mindlessly but selectively nit-picking individual sentences and phrases, often out of context, as though you can make a coherent argument in tiny pieces.

I never intentionally take another's comments out of context, and if you're going to accuse me of it I'd appreciate it if you'd provide an example.

So go ahead, have a party: answer all these questions if you think you can. No doubt you'll come up with some meaningless words to convince yourself this is all possible. I count seventeen questions, and probably double or triple that numbers of statements. Have yourself a party. Comment on them all.

Done.  And now I can expect you to claim again that nobody will answer your questions within a few weeks.

Meanwhile you dodge my questions as though you're vying for a position in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Bryan, there are people defending this teacher who don't have the intellectual muscle to know better, but you do. You have enough of a brain that you have no excuse, and so I say shame on you.

I say shame on you for not being able to back up your accusations in debate.

And double shame on you for your continual reliance on fallacies of distraction.

Bryan, grow up. Now you want to center your argument around the distinction between a democracy and a republic. That isn't the point. What's being discussed here are rights under our system and our Constitution. The mere fact that people often call our system a democracy when it's technically a republic has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion.

There's no point trying to have a discussion with you. You don't listen and you re-frame every argument however makes it possible for you to imagine that you are right.

Well, you're not right. Your side lost this battle. Your side was wrong. Paszkiewicz was wrong and so are you. Wrong legally, educationally, scientifically, ethically and spiritually. The Board of Ed knows it, the public knows it and I suspect you know it. You got pasted by a 16-year-old. Take your lumps like a man and move on.

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The student who asked the dinosaur question was a female. So obviously you didn't listen to the recording yourself, and are carrying the party line, or you've forgotten. In either case, the teacher has to know better than to give that answer.

We could have a long discussion about the damage done by a "faith" that includes eternal torment in its concept of justice, but to what end? You've already made up your mind what you believe and you don't listen. You think I'm the same way, but I'm not. Give me a sensible reason to believe in that and I'll consider it, but you can't because it's nonsense, and damaging nonsense at that. We can't even imagine how much better our culture and our world might be if not for that horrid theology, because we're so buried under the layers of mind-muck it created that we can't see above it. Read the new books coming out by Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, among others. People are starting to wake up to the fact that this theology has done a lot of damage. You don't like my saying so, that's too bad. That's what I believe, and just like you get to believe slop I get to believe the truth. Deal with it.

Why am I bothering? Matthew accomplished what he set out to do, with a little help. Game, set match. You guys keep playing your silly games. No one will convince you of the truth. You don't care about the truth. All you care about is defending what you decided to believe before you were old enough to know better. Well now you're old enough to know better, so grow up.

The reason I care, I suppose, is that you guys are as much a part of our system as I am, but it won't work your way. Shame on you.

You really do not care about the town of Kearny or its people. As I had mentioned about it originally, it was always about the money. You and Matthew are nothing more than black spots on our town that has continued to embarrass this town we live in and its people all for your self gain. Maybe you could have received more money, but the money you already received is nothing more than blood money anyway.

The issue is that you do not care. You never cared about this topic only trying to clear the smeared name of your son, “the instigator”, “the troublemaker”, and the "black spot".

Have a nice day.

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