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In God We Teach - documentary excerpt


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Guest John The Baptist

Check out this excerpt from the documentary, "In God we Teach", on the Laclair/Paszkiewicz controversy. It contrasts the views of Neil de Grasse Tyson and KHS teacher David Paszkiewicz concerning the big bang theory. Thought provoking....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyhgvG5iPV4

I watched this video and I am confused. The video shows Mr. Paszkiewicz lecturing to the Kearny High School Christian Club about his religious beliefs. Isn't he still doing what he was doing previously in a public school setting that got the Board of Education in trouble for allowing this to happen in the past? I believe he has just created a disguised venue "Kearny High School Christian Club" to do it in. I wonder how much money this next round is going to cost the taxpayers of Kearny because of this guy?

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Check out this excerpt from the documentary, "In God we Teach", on the Laclair/Paszkiewicz controversy. It contrasts the views of Neil de Grasse Tyson and KHS teacher David Paszkiewicz concerning the big bang theory. Thought provoking....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyhgvG5iPV4

It's only thought-provoking if you're as ignorant about science as Paszkiewicz is. Tyson was offended at what Paszkiewicz did for the same reason any scientist would be offended by it. He's a buffoon who knows nothing about science but chose to claim to know more than the scientists do.

Tyson wasn't offended because Paszkiewicz somehow challenged him. He was offended because Paszkiewicz was abusing his position to misinform students, some of whom don't know better. In a country where about half the population doesn't accept evolution, that is a serious public concern.

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Check out this excerpt from the documentary, "In God we Teach", on the Laclair/Paszkiewicz controversy. It contrasts the views of Neil de Grasse Tyson and KHS teacher David Paszkiewicz concerning the big bang theory. Thought provoking....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyhgvG5iPV4

In the first place, Paszkiewicz is a liar. He wasn’t asked. He brought up the Big Bang on his own. No one asked him about it. He's lying.

In the second place, the director the Hayden planetarium felt the need to speak out not because it’s a church-state issue but because Paszkiewicz was saying things that revealed him to be ignorant and scientifically illiterate, exactly as Tyson said. When you say ridiculous things, don’t whine and complain that people ridicule you.

It is shameful that this community allows this man to continue to teach young people. He may have some knowledge about some things but he is so profoundly ignorant about other things, and so consummately arrogant, that he undermines education.

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Do we really have to go over this again? Paszkiewicz is the one who brought up the big bang. http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php?showtopic=17885&view=findpost&p=72405

So not only is he ignorant and scientifically illiterate. He's a liar. There's no way around it. He's not telling the truth, he's been lying about it for years and he continues lying about it.

Why is he still teaching?

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Guest Hiram

While Mr. P. or any other teacher should not be teaching their religious beliefs in the Kearny Public Schools, the Big Bang theory could not have existed with the elements to make the Big Bang happen. Like where did the matter come from? Whether you like it or not everything has to have come from somewhere.

Now, when it comes to teaching the youth of America, the Big Bang theory seems to be the scientific thought of choice. I think educators should explore the theory of: "How could there be a Big Bang just like that?" Science does not have the answer to where the matter came from for the Big Bang. If you are going to preach the Big Bang theory, why not preach the other non-scientific beliefs as well? As no human was around when the supposed the Big Bang happened, why could that be just what it is said to be, just a possibility.

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While Mr. P. or any other teacher should not be teaching their religious beliefs in the Kearny Public Schools, the Big Bang theory could not have existed with the elements to make the Big Bang happen. Like where did the matter come from? Whether you like it or not everything has to have come from somewhere.

Now, when it comes to teaching the youth of America, the Big Bang theory seems to be the scientific thought of choice. I think educators should explore the theory of: "How could there be a Big Bang just like that?" Science does not have the answer to where the matter came from for the Big Bang. If you are going to preach the Big Bang theory, why not preach the other non-scientific beliefs as well? As no human was around when the supposed the Big Bang happened, why could that be just what it is said to be, just a possibility.

This is why non-scientists aren't allowed to teach science. The Big Bang is in the realm of theoretical physics, which takes the observation that the universe is expanding, and then uses the rate of expansion to trace the universe back to the point at which the universe would have been contained into an infinitesimally small space. All of that may sound crazy but that is because we make the mistake of assuming that everything works as we observe it to work with our eyes and ears. Science has uncovered several facts, such as Einstein's observations about the behavior of light in relation to massive objects, which show beyond a doubt that our everyday observations don't always tell the whole story.

Then, if you account for the existence of black holes, which we know are present even though their existence doesn't seem to make any sense at all, you begin to realize that something like the Big Bang is possible after all. We think we know what time is - but maybe we don't. We can only measure time as we pass through it, at what appears to be a steady rate - but how do we know that's what time is? We don't. It doesn't matter that many of the questions remain unanswered. Science has always left questions unanswered, but still it has advanced, at an increasing pace in recent centuries, and completely transformed our way of living and our standard of living.

You can't equate that with non-scientific beliefs. There are no similar methods, no similar record of advancement, no similar database of information on which objective people can agree to found a discipline. "Non-scientific beliefs" have a notorious history of dividing people and causing arguments without leading to any demonstrable advance in the human condition. That is why they are not allowed to be made a part of the curriculum in our public schools.

Read some books about the Big Bang.

Simon Singh, Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe

Brian Clegg, Before the Big Bang: The Prehistory of Our Universe

Paul Kupperberg and Jay Snider, Hubble and the Big Bang

So by all means, yes, ask questions. But don't stop there. Learn what you're talking about. Then post on the subject. One of Paszkiewicz's worst offenses is the arrogant assumption he makes - constantly, it seems - that he knows everything without reading spit on the subject or making any real effort to understand. He's got his Bible and his closed, made-up mind and he doesn't even try to consider other ideas; just the opposite, he'll go to any lengths to dismiss any idea that doesn't fit into his little world. That is why he shouldn't be teaching. The very essence of the way he thinks is ignorant. It's not about having a different point of view; it's about how narrow and closed his mind is. A person like that does not belong in the classroom - any classroom.

By the way, if everything has to come from somewhere, then God can't exist. So you see, that's why you shouldn't try this stuff unless you know what you're doing.

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I could present past students of this guy that were in his classroom as far back as 1994/1995, 17 years ago and this guy was doing this then. Preaching in the classroom and anyone that challenged him, it affected their grade that they got. This guy should have been stopped years ago and even all that happened 3 years ago, he is still at it.

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This is why non-scientists aren't allowed to teach science. The Big Bang is in the realm of theoretical physics, which takes the observation that the universe is expanding, and then uses the rate of expansion to trace the universe back to the point at which the universe would have been contained into an infinitesimally small space. All of that may sound crazy but that is because we make the mistake of assuming that everything works as we observe it to work with our eyes and ears. Science has uncovered several facts, such as Einstein's observations about the behavior of light in relation to massive objects, which show beyond a doubt that our everyday observations don't always tell the whole story.

Then, if you account for the existence of black holes, which we know are present even though their existence doesn't seem to make any sense at all, you begin to realize that something like the Big Bang is possible after all. We think we know what time is - but maybe we don't. We can only measure time as we pass through it, at what appears to be a steady rate - but how do we know that's what time is? We don't. It doesn't matter that many of the questions remain unanswered. Science has always left questions unanswered, but still it has advanced, at an increasing pace in recent centuries, and completely transformed our way of living and our standard of living.

You can't equate that with non-scientific beliefs. There are no similar methods, no similar record of advancement, no similar database of information on which objective people can agree to found a discipline. "Non-scientific beliefs" have a notorious history of dividing people and causing arguments without leading to any demonstrable advance in the human condition. That is why they are not allowed to be made a part of the curriculum in our public schools.

Read some books about the Big Bang.

Simon Singh, Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe

Brian Clegg, Before the Big Bang: The Prehistory of Our Universe

Paul Kupperberg and Jay Snider, Hubble and the Big Bang

So by all means, yes, ask questions. But don't stop there. Learn what you're talking about. Then post on the subject. One of Paszkiewicz's worst offenses is the arrogant assumption he makes - constantly, it seems - that he knows everything without reading spit on the subject or making any real effort to understand. He's got his Bible and his closed, made-up mind and he doesn't even try to consider other ideas; just the opposite, he'll go to any lengths to dismiss any idea that doesn't fit into his little world. That is why he shouldn't be teaching. The very essence of the way he thinks is ignorant. It's not about having a different point of view; it's about how narrow and closed his mind is. A person like that does not belong in the classroom - any classroom.

By the way, if everything has to come from somewhere, then God can't exist. So you see, that's why you shouldn't try this stuff unless you know what you're doing.

It is sad that we are not all on your academic level--I would venture that you feel all "Atheists,"as you profess to be, are above anyone who professes a faith in a spiritual being. Well with your Black Holes and Al Einstein with is Autism, you feel that you can put any theory into practice. But you still can not say were it all came from. God does exist--He Was and Always Will Be. God didn't come from somewhere, like you did, as he has always existed.

Your thesis on Mr. P is questionable. How can you state anything about the man and his teaching? Have you ever been in his classroom? Having been there, his concept of History, granted, is not right as prescribed in our textbooks, but who is to say that all the History books are correct? Could our History be wrong as it is found in today's books? Rather than searching Black Holes, you should read some History Textbooks--I'll bet you can find mistakes.

Getting back to Mr. P, I agree, he doesn't belong in a public high school preaching his brand of History. Remember, he is a "minister" and, probably, would be great in a religious school that professes the same beliefs that he follows. To make a blanket statement that "A person like that does not belong in the classroom-any classroom" destroys all your credibility. There is a place in the Master Plan for everyone.

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Guest God's child

It's only thought-provoking if you're as ignorant about science as Paszkiewicz is. Tyson was offended at what Paszkiewicz did for the same reason any scientist would be offended by it. He's a buffoon who knows nothing about science but chose to claim to know more than the scientists do.

Tyson wasn't offended because Paszkiewicz somehow challenged him. He was offended because Paszkiewicz was abusing his position to misinform students, some of whom don't know better. In a country where about half the population doesn't accept evolution, that is a serious public concern.

Intelligent design evolution, evolution that is guided by the hand of God is true evolution.

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It is sad that we are not all on your academic level--

What's sad is that many people don't try to be objective, no matter what their academic level might be. Instead, they resort to making personal attacks. You can't address the issue by making it about me. In fact, you can't make it about me, because it's not. You're demonstrating a primitive reptilian response, which is not a good start if you want to criticize the quality of someone else's thinking.

I would venture that you feel all "Atheists,"as you profess to be, are above anyone who professes a faith in a spiritual being.

You are venturing - a guess - and you are wrong. I didn't profess to be an atheist. I only took the premise to its logical conclusion. To me, we are all spiritual beings.

Well with your Black Holes and Al Einstein with is Autism, you feel that you can put any theory into practice.

That's gibberish. And you have no idea what I feel. You don't even know who I am.

But you still can not say were it all came from.

I could say anything, just like you can. But I won't because I realize that people who claim to know the answer to that question are just guessing. It's not hard to figure out where this guess comes from. We want to believe that we are going to live forever, that someone is watching over us, etc. So sure, you can say it. People have been saying it for thousands of years. But they don't know it, despite what they say.

God does exist--He Was and Always Will Be. God didn't come from somewhere, like you did, as he has always existed.

You can say that all you want but (1) all it proves is that people can conceptualize anything and (2) if it's true, then something can exist without coming from something else. Unfortunately, you didn't read my comment carefully. I didn't say I was an atheist. I only took the premise to its logical conclusion.

Your thesis on Mr. P is questionable. How can you state anything about the man and his teaching?

Getting back to Mr. P, I agree, he doesn't belong in a public high school preaching his brand of History. Remember, he is a "minister" and, probably, would be great in a religious school that professes the same beliefs that he follows. To make a blanket statement that "A person like that does not belong in the classroom-any classroom" destroys all your credibility. There is a place in the Master Plan for everyone.

How can I say? Because I heard three days' worth of his so-called teaching. If you see an athlete or hear a musician for three hours, you know whether they're any good at what they do. If you hire a plumber and three hours later, he has bent half your pipes, do you need any more time to know that he's not a competent plumber? No, you wouldn't. P was doing things and saying things that are so contrary to educational principles that he shouldn't be teaching in any classroom because he is a danger to the students. He's telling them that illogic is logic and that you can believe anything you want and it's just fine - but only if you agree with him and ignore all the other teachers and your parents and your minister. He said all of that, and plenty more. Some of the students won't have the ability to sort out the nonsense. They'll like what he did and try to emulate him, but if they do that, they run the risk of the same arrogance, ignorance and unreason that he displayed in the classroom. That is why he should not be allowed to teach.

Having been there, his concept of History, granted, is not right as prescribed in our textbooks, but who is to say that all the History books are correct? Could our History be wrong as it is found in today's books? Rather than searching Black Holes, you should read some History Textbooks--I'll bet you can find mistakes.

And there's the proof of what I just wrote. Sure, you can find mistakes in history textbooks. In fact, that is exactly what Matthew LaClair did the very next year, and he made national news for that too. But you have to do it discriminately, like Matthew did. You're doing it indiscriminately. By that standard, there is no history, only each person's opinion. That non-standard would destroy the educational system, and if you look around at what is happening in the media and in popular culture, which is sharply divided along ideological lines, we are getting dangerously close to exactly that.

By the way, your comment about Black Holes and History Textbooks is a false choice. An informed person who cares about knowledge reads both.

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Remember, he is a "minister" and, probably, would be great in a religious school that professes the same beliefs that he follows. To make a blanket statement that "A person like that does not belong in the classroom-any classroom" destroys all your credibility.

We now have a federal law called "No Child Left Behind" that requires certain standards in school curricula. That is because education is a matter of national importance, including national security and national economics.

One of the basics in primary and secondary education is to teach children, going through their teenage years and into young adulthood, how to write an intelligent paper, such as an essay. A standard part of the curriculum is that students should learn that an argument must be supported with facts and good reasons. Students are routinely assigned writing assignments to test their ability to do this, and if they do not grasp the basics, they can fail the paper and even the course. This applies to all students and teachers in the United States, even those in religious schools because the educational requirements are mandatory in each state and to some extent now at the federal level. We have no other choice if we hope to remain strong and competitive as a nation.

Paszkiewicz violated those basic rules. His arguments were illogical, deceptive and not based on facts or reason. He misused his authority to browbeat the students into agreeing with him, and when one student did not agree, instead of backing away, P told the students that if they did not agree with him, they belonged in hell. When confronted, he lied about it, not realizing that his words were recorded.

What does that tell you about the man? You can argue that he could get away with that statement in a religious school but that misses the point. He wasn't in a religious school and he lied about it when confronted. As you point out, he was in a public school where he should not saying such things in the first place, much less lying about it. He also told one Christian student to ignore his parents and his pastor on a religious point and listen to him. He told Matthew that if he was sincere, he would put his finger in Jesus' side, even though he obviously knew by then that this was completely contrary to Matthew's religious beliefs and upbringing.

The point is that Paszkiewicz cannot control himself. He is on a one-man crusade to save the world by any means necessary, even if it "requires" him to lie, intimidate, bully and deceive. He is arrogant to the point of telling students to ignore their parents and listen to him on matters of religion. And he will break basic rules of pedagogy (accepted educational methods) to do it. Even if he was in a religious school and some student had a different view of the same religion than he has, you couldn't trust him as a parent not to browbeat the kid. Now come on, you really think that someone like that belongs in a classroom where students have to learn something besides religion? I don't.

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Intelligent design evolution, evolution that is guided by the hand of God is true evolution.

True evolution is when a culture gradually wakes up to the fact that stories about an imaginary god are just that: stories.

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Guest Kearny Christian

True evolution is when a culture gradually wakes up to the fact that stories about an imaginary god are just that: stories.

You're entitled to your opinion, even though you have no proof to back up your opinion.

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Being an atheist isn't always the greatest thing in the world. It's true that we're all much more open-minded and forward-thinking--because we don't read books from thousands of years ago and bind ourselves by irrational, outdated, nonsensical laws. It's also true that we don't have to feel unrelenting guilt for every selfish thing we do. It's also true that we fornicate much more often--maybe this isn't true; you folks do like to F**K children. We're much less self-righteous and proud. We don't have to wake up early on Sundays or Saturdays. When we're parents, we don't have to worry about priests raping our kids. But, when we die... and this S**ks... we go to

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We now have a federal law called "No Child Left Behind" that requires certain standards in school curricula. That is because education is a matter of national importance, including national security and national economics.

One of the basics in primary and secondary education is to teach children, going through their teenage years and into young adulthood, how to write an intelligent paper, such as an essay. A standard part of the curriculum is that students should learn that an argument must be supported with facts and good reasons. Students are routinely assigned writing assignments to test their ability to do this, and if they do not grasp the basics, they can fail the paper and even the course. This applies to all students and teachers in the United States, even those in religious schools because the educational requirements are mandatory in each state and to some extent now at the federal level. We have no other choice if we hope to remain strong and competitive as a nation.

Paszkiewicz violated those basic rules. His arguments were illogical, deceptive and not based on facts or reason. He misused his authority to browbeat the students into agreeing with him, and when one student did not agree, instead of backing away, P told the students that if they did not agree with him, they belonged in hell. When confronted, he lied about it, not realizing that his words were recorded.

What does that tell you about the man? You can argue that he could get away with that statement in a religious school but that misses the point. He wasn't in a religious school and he lied about it when confronted. As you point out, he was in a public school where he should not saying such things in the first place, much less lying about it. He also told one Christian student to ignore his parents and his pastor on a religious point and listen to him. He told Matthew that if he was sincere, he would put his finger in Jesus' side, even though he obviously knew by then that this was completely contrary to Matthew's religious beliefs and upbringing.

The point is that Paszkiewicz cannot control himself. He is on a one-man crusade to save the world by any means necessary, even if it "requires" him to lie, intimidate, bully and deceive. He is arrogant to the point of telling students to ignore their parents and listen to him on matters of religion. And he will break basic rules of pedagogy (accepted educational methods) to do it. Even if he was in a religious school and some student had a different view of the same religion than he has, you couldn't trust him as a parent not to browbeat the kid. Now come on, you really think that someone like that belongs in a classroom where students have to learn something besides religion? I don't.

I am guessing you are Matthew's father?--the spiritual being? I must admit that I am flesh and blood. It is an honor to converse with a "spiritual being" via the internet.

No one in the Bible, to my knowledge, spoke about putting a finger in Jesus's wound that was on his side--it was Thomas who said he would not believe that Jesus had risen until he could put his hand in the wound caused by a spear and his finger in the nail holes in Jesus's hands--where did P get the finger in the side from? I guess he has his own version of the Bible. Like Noah and the dinosaurs, must be that new version. More proof the man's emotions--speaking without thinking or foot in mouth disease. Why ask a student to do any thing like he asked Matthew is really wrong and has no place in a public school history class or any classroom. It seems that P uses his own brand of religion to put fear into his students--maybe that is how he was raised--religion was a form of punishment.

What Mr. P has said over his tenure has all been a poor excuse for teaching and he should have never been granted tenure. Your son and my son sat through his belittling of his students. Mr. P has been under the tutelage of two department chairpersons--they obviously had no clue as to what was going on in his class, or do not, or did not care. No student seems to have gone to Mr. MacP or Ms. W with their case. My son never told me about his experience with Mr. P until his class had ended. My son speaks about girls cheating by sitting by Mr. P's desk and copying the answers off the teachers copy of tests which was on his desk--these were honor students--Level 1--one being an administrator's daughter to be exact, "top five" in the class, who couldn't score above a 900 on the old SAT exam. So, Mr. P knew who he could belittle and get away with doing that deed; and who could cheat and he would let it slide. I am sure that people can go on and on with stories about this teacher over the years.

The point is that with our tenure laws, no one is doing a thing about this guy. Good textbooks, Black Holes, atheist, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Shintoist, Zoroastrian, Confucian, or what ever you belief--none of this matters, as this guy has a home until the tenure laws change. Put down our Governor, as the NJEA is doing, is not the way to go. I am sure that the NJEA and the KEA are backing Mr. P. Let us hope that the tenure laws are done away with and we can clean house. We should not be supporting him with a job and benefits. He should preach and teach to his own denomination.

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You're entitled to your opinion, even though you have no proof to back up your opinion.

The proof is all over the world and throughout history. There are Norse god myths, Greek god myths, African god myths, Roman god myths, Central and South American god myths, Native American god myths, Hindu god myths, Chinese god myths, Japanese god myths and many others. You can do the research yourself. It’s not hard to see how I did the search.

These stories are wildly inconsistent with each other. If you think there’s only one god, that God is real and that God has a particular history, such as is found in the Bible, then all these stories are false. Yet people believed them.

As for the Christian narrative, the reasons we know it’s not true depends on how you tell the story. But if you start with the basic premise of a god who had the power to make the world any way he wanted to, and this is the result, then it’s obviously not true. Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted to be alive. But we are all going to suffer and die. More to the point, the suffering of innocent animals is completely senseless. No sane being would purposefully make one conscious creature food for another. It’s obviously just a story. We are obviously products of natural forces that don’t have the capacity to care about anything. But people have been told those stories, they want to live forever, they want to think that in the end they and their loved ones are safe, and so they will do anything to believe the story they’ve been told. And what that tells you, if you’re being honest and paying attention, is the tremendous capacity we have for believing what we want to believe, even if it means envisioning a future in which most people are burning in hell – just not you or your family. And that’s your idea of the divine, the holy? No thanks.

Yeah, I know, not all Christians believe that. And that’s just the point. There are so many variations on the story that there isn’t one story at all. It’s whatever each person decides to think it is. There’s absolutely nothing behind it except the desire to live forever and millennia of social conditioning.

Some people can resist that. But even most of the people who say they believe in a god realize that there are problems with the stories and that they really don’t know.

Humans are story-tellers. What makes you think that the story that took hold in your culture is any different from the stories that have taken hold in other cultures all over the world for thousands of years?

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I am guessing you are Matthew's father?--the spiritual being? I must admit that I am flesh and blood. It is an honor to converse with a "spiritual being" via the internet.

No one in the Bible, to my knowledge, spoke about putting a finger in Jesus's wound that was on his side--it was Thomas who said he would not believe that Jesus had risen until he could put his hand in the wound caused by a spear and his finger in the nail holes in Jesus's hands--where did P get the finger in the side from? I guess he has his own version of the Bible. Like Noah and the dinosaurs, must be that new version. More proof the man's emotions--speaking without thinking or foot in mouth disease. Why ask a student to do any thing like he asked Matthew is really wrong and has no place in a public school history class or any classroom. It seems that P uses his own brand of religion to put fear into his students--maybe that is how he was raised--religion was a form of punishment.

What Mr. P has said over his tenure has all been a poor excuse for teaching and he should have never been granted tenure. Your son and my son sat through his belittling of his students. Mr. P has been under the tutelage of two department chairpersons--they obviously had no clue as to what was going on in his class, or do not, or did not care. No student seems to have gone to Mr. MacP or Ms. W with their case. My son never told me about his experience with Mr. P until his class had ended. My son speaks about girls cheating by sitting by Mr. P's desk and copying the answers off the teachers copy of tests which was on his desk--these were honor students--Level 1--one being an administrator's daughter to be exact, "top five" in the class, who couldn't score above a 900 on the old SAT exam. So, Mr. P knew who he could belittle and get away with doing that deed; and who could cheat and he would let it slide. I am sure that people can go on and on with stories about this teacher over the years.

The point is that with our tenure laws, no one is doing a thing about this guy. Good textbooks, Black Holes, atheist, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Shintoist, Zoroastrian, Confucian, or what ever you belief--none of this matters, as this guy has a home until the tenure laws change. Put down our Governor, as the NJEA is doing, is not the way to go. I am sure that the NJEA and the KEA are backing Mr. P. Let us hope that the tenure laws are done away with and we can clean house. We should not be supporting him with a job and benefits. He should preach and teach to his own denomination.

Excellent, but even if the tenure laws changed, would the homeys in this town get rid of this guy? You can't tell me that didn't know what was going on, they just didn't care, and the ones who did care didn't dare say anything - because P had the support of the homeys.

And that's why Kearny's kids consistently score at the top of the charts and get into the best universities! :rolleyes:

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I am guessing you are Matthew's father?--the spiritual being? I must admit that I am flesh and blood. It is an honor to converse with a "spiritual being" via the internet.

No one in the Bible, to my knowledge, spoke about putting a finger in Jesus's wound that was on his side--it was Thomas who said he would not believe that Jesus had risen until he could put his hand in the wound caused by a spear and his finger in the nail holes in Jesus's hands--where did P get the finger in the side from? I guess he has his own version of the Bible. Like Noah and the dinosaurs, must be that new version. More proof the man's emotions--speaking without thinking or foot in mouth disease. Why ask a student to do any thing like he asked Matthew is really wrong and has no place in a public school history class or any classroom. It seems that P uses his own brand of religion to put fear into his students--maybe that is how he was raised--religion was a form of punishment.

What Mr. P has said over his tenure has all been a poor excuse for teaching and he should have never been granted tenure. Your son and my son sat through his belittling of his students. Mr. P has been under the tutelage of two department chairpersons--they obviously had no clue as to what was going on in his class, or do not, or did not care. No student seems to have gone to Mr. MacP or Ms. W with their case. My son never told me about his experience with Mr. P until his class had ended. My son speaks about girls cheating by sitting by Mr. P's desk and copying the answers off the teachers copy of tests which was on his desk--these were honor students--Level 1--one being an administrator's daughter to be exact, "top five" in the class, who couldn't score above a 900 on the old SAT exam. So, Mr. P knew who he could belittle and get away with doing that deed; and who could cheat and he would let it slide. I am sure that people can go on and on with stories about this teacher over the years.

The point is that with our tenure laws, no one is doing a thing about this guy. Good textbooks, Black Holes, atheist, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Shintoist, Zoroastrian, Confucian, or what ever you belief--none of this matters, as this guy has a home until the tenure laws change. Put down our Governor, as the NJEA is doing, is not the way to go. I am sure that the NJEA and the KEA are backing Mr. P. Let us hope that the tenure laws are done away with and we can clean house. We should not be supporting him with a job and benefits. He should preach and teach to his own denomination.

Tenure laws make teachers unaccountable and interfere with good school districts that want to demand performance. Christie wants to starve the schools. Both tenure laws and Chris Christie are bad for education, bad for our kids and bad for us.

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Tenure laws make teachers unaccountable and interfere with good school districts that want to demand performance. Christie wants to starve the schools. Both tenure laws and Chris Christie are bad for education, bad for our kids and bad for us.

Kool-Aid is bad for you, better lay off it.

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You're entitled to your opinion, even though you have no proof to back up your opinion.

You are incorrect. History is replete with proof, to wit, the following histories:

ancient gods

Mesopotamian gods

Egyptian gods

Greek gods

Roman gods

Norse gods

Chinese gods

Japanese gods

Indonesian gods

Polynesian gods

Pagan gods

Hindu gods

South American gods

African gods

Native American gods

Now ask yourself: Are those thousands of gods products of knowledge or products of the human mind’s innate curiosity, willingness to believe and desire to know (even when and perhaps especially in the face of doubt)? Unless you take all of those gods seriously, which I strongly doubt, then your answer is that superstitious people have believed in primitive ideas about God, and told and accepted and passed on stories about those gods, which other people in the culture believed and then passed on to their acquaintances and the next generation. These stories are wildly inconsistent with each other. In fact, your Bible says that the worship of any of these is a violation of the First Commandment, the worship of “strange gods.” These “strange gods” were a threat to the burgeoning religion of Judaism, and so one of the commandments was to have nothing to do with them.

What makes you think that the genesis of your god myth is any different? We know that it is borrowed from earlier myths that you probably laugh at. The only thing that makes it special is that you have decided it is special – but everyone has done that, the believers in Zeus and rain gods and fertility gods all thought they had the truth. After all, their leaders told them it was the truth. You’re playing on a bigger stage. Christianity has endured for two thousand years, and its precursor Judaism for 3,500 years. But all that proves is that it has the most enduring story. The histories of all these other religions proves that people are gullible, especially where gods are concerned.

You asked for proof, my god (so to speak), it’s all over the place!

You think you’re special? No, you’re not. You have the opportunity to take the information you have available to you and behave differently, but instead you believe in ancient fables and ignore or reject all the real information you have available to you today. That renders you far more ignorant than the witch doctor and the people who believed he had magic powers. You have information available to you. They didn’t. They had an excuse. You don't.

You don’t want to hear that, do you? That’s my point. You believe what you wish to believe, and that’s all that’s going on. If you want the truth, you’ll have to scrap your self-indulgence and do some work.

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You are incorrect. History is replete with proof, to wit, the following histories:

ancient gods

Mesopotamian gods

Egyptian gods

Greek gods

Roman gods

Norse gods

Chinese gods

Japanese gods

Indonesian gods

Polynesian gods

Pagan gods

Hindu gods

South American gods

African gods

Native American gods

Now ask yourself: Are those thousands of gods products of knowledge or products of the human mind’s innate curiosity, willingness to believe and desire to know (even when and perhaps especially in the face of doubt)? Unless you take all of those gods seriously, which I strongly doubt, then your answer is that superstitious people have believed in primitive ideas about God, and told and accepted and passed on stories about those gods, which other people in the culture believed and then passed on to their acquaintances and the next generation. These stories are wildly inconsistent with each other. In fact, your Bible says that the worship of any of these is a violation of the First Commandment, the worship of “strange gods.” These “strange gods” were a threat to the burgeoning religion of Judaism, and so one of the commandments was to have nothing to do with them.

What makes you think that the genesis of your god myth is any different? We know that it is borrowed from earlier myths that you probably laugh at. The only thing that makes it special is that you have decided it is special – but everyone has done that, the believers in Zeus and rain gods and fertility gods all thought they had the truth. After all, their leaders told them it was the truth. You’re playing on a bigger stage. Christianity has endured for two thousand years, and its precursor Judaism for 3,500 years. But all that proves is that it has the most enduring story. The histories of all these other religions proves that people are gullible, especially where gods are concerned.

You asked for proof, my god (so to speak), it’s all over the place!

You think you’re special? No, you’re not. You have the opportunity to take the information you have available to you and behave differently, but instead you believe in ancient fables and ignore or reject all the real information you have available to you today. That renders you far more ignorant than the witch doctor and the people who believed he had magic powers. You have information available to you. They didn’t. They had an excuse. You don't.

You don’t want to hear that, do you? That’s my point. You believe what you wish to believe, and that’s all that’s going on. If you want the truth, you’ll have to scrap your self-indulgence and do some work.

You offer as proof the fact that throughout the thousands of years of history, various cultures have believed in a supreme being ?? Flawed logic at least, ignorance at best.

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You offer as proof the fact that throughout the thousands of years of history, various cultures have believed in a supreme being ?? Flawed logic at least, ignorance at best.

Not at all. Reason it through instead of just stating a conclusion.

To deal with the most general point, many people assume that the inclination to believe in a god or gods is evidence that a god or gods exist. But in fact, all it proves is that people are inclined to believe in a god or gods. The explanation is not hard to understand. People want to have an explanation for things and a comforting framework in which to live. People do not wish to die but imagine themselves living forever. This isn't rocket science. People believe in gods because it makes them feel better, which has nothing to do with whether any such belief is true. The logic is impeccable and the argument is based on a wealth of data, which I've already cited.

More specifically: As a Christian, you don't believe in just any god. You believe in the god of Christianity. That god comes with a particular story.

Furthermore, you believe that those thousands of other stories about different gods are false. In fact, your First Commandment forbids the worship of them, so obviously you cannot resort to the old saw that it's the same god. John 3:16 says that the only way to obtain eternal salvation is to accept Jesus - not Zeus or a rain god or Thor, but only Jesus.

So from those facts, what reasonable and in fact inescapable conclusions can we draw?

1. Human beings have a demonstrated propensity for making up false stories about gods. They have been doing it for thousands of years. That is a fact, if we accept your claim that your god is true and all the other gods are false. And in fact, you must make that argument in order to maintain your belief that only acceptance of Jesus will bring a person salvation. It's your argument. You cannot deny it without denying John 3:16.

2. Given the now indisputable fact that human beings are prone to making up false stories about gods, and considering the vehemence with which people adhere to those beliefs - to the point of fighting wars over them - we know that the vast majority of theologies have tragic consequences. This is also a statement that you must accept as true, else your own theology falls by internal contradiction.

3. There is nothing about Christians that makes you any better than the rest of us. For you to claim otherwise, you would have to declare yourself superior, which Jesus of Nazareth also cautioned against, if we are to believe that the Bible records his statements accurately. So if you are committed to logic, as you claim to be, then you must support your argument not with unsubstantiated Christian apologetics or claims of superiority or special pleading but with facts and reason. In other words, you should not be doing what you just did if you truly aspire to follow Jesus' example. You must put yourself on the same footing as your brothers and sisters and demand of yourself the same standards you would demand of them - in fact, you should demand it of yourself first. You are doing the worst possible thing: demanding a standard of me that I am in fact meeting but then not demanding that standard of yourself. As I said, if you want the truth, you'll have to do some work.

All that remains is the question I asked you and you avoided: What makes your religion better than any of the others? And I don't mean better merely in the sense of being more uplifting; I mean better in the sense of being exclusively true?

You can say that there's something wrong with my argument, but then you should be able to identify what is wrong with it. You're like a little kid who doesn't want to go to bed and his mother gives him ten good reasons why he has to, and he says "well, I just don't want to." Don't just repeat your claim. Back it up with an intelligent chain of reasoning supported by facts, lest others think that you are guilty of looking at an imagined mote in someone else's eye and ignoring the plank in your own.

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You offer as proof the fact that throughout the thousands of years of history, various cultures have believed in a supreme being ?? Flawed logic at least, ignorance at best.

Oh, and if you want to discuss logic, look at your final sentence. What is worse than ignorance? How can logic be more than flawed?

Your problem is that you don't really think. All you do is put words together. Don't confuse that with intelligent thought.

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You offer as proof the fact that throughout the thousands of years of history, various cultures have believed in a supreme being ?? Flawed logic at least, ignorance at best.

Most of them didn't believe in a supreme being. Many of them believed in many gods, each of whom was said to have supernatural powers without being supreme. Maybe you shouldn't accuse others of ignorance and faulty logic.

The point is that the stories are so totally different from culture to culture that you have to wonder whether any of the stories is true or whether the existence of a god of gods is just something that people want to believe. In other words, is the genesis of Genesis fact or fiction? We know that people make up stories to explain life, the world and the universe. We also know that most of the stories in Genesis have parallels in other myth traditions. Add to that the fact that the story has a woman being created from a man's rib, a story about a flood that could never have happened, a talking snake, etc. That makes all such claims suspect, the biblical stories in particular.

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