AR School Cancels 6th Grade Grad Rather Than Not Pray

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Re: AK School Cancels 6th Grade Grad Rather Than Not Pray

Postby KnightExemplar » Sat May 11, 2013 3:38 pm UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:The way this was put to me by a french friend (who is an english/french/outdoor ed teacher) of mine is thus... "In france, as a citizen you're FRENCH first, and everything else second... Your responsibility to france and your fellow frenchmen is the most important one; Religion can take up whatever space you have left if you like." (I'm not sure if he's as blunt in his mother tongue, he did learn English in glasgow)

By way of comparison: Americans seem to think of themselves as American after they've thought of everything else... Being a citizen of the US, figures somewhere behind say, being a Brooklyn Dodgers fan or the owner of a classic muscle car... From a European perspective it's a brave new world on the other side of the Atlantic.


Gonna have to disagree with that. Every major sports event is started with the National Anthem, and it is expected that you remove your hat and stand during it, regardless of which sports team you're rooting for. Every school in the nation starts their morning with the Pledge of Allegiance as well. Its more that "Being American" means accepting the melting pot of cultures. America is what it is because we're one of the few countries in the world that accepts other cultures. We technically have no national language, we have no national religion. This is so that you are free to speak your own language, and practice your own religion.

Our culture is the melting pot. Your responsibility as an American is to accept other cultures as they melt into our own. We call ourselves the "Country of Immigrants"... because cultural diversity is itself an American trait.

philsov wrote:It's a case where being "free to practice your religion" and being "not free to push your religion on others" are mutually exclusive. If there's a christian sect whose tenets include witnessing and preaching, it's a similar situation; they cannot be members of that sect, logically, if they aren't legally permitted to bother others about their worldview.

In this case, yes, it's unfortunate that it has to occur, but it's better to err on the side of people not messing with each. I'm free to flail my arms around wildly, but if I hit someone in the process it's a bad thing. If I'm stuck in a crowded room, I lose the right to flail because I will hit someone. Welcome to society.


Welcome to America.

Jehovah's Witnesses are annoying, but it is their legal right to preach in public. If you're a tourist, just accept their bible / papers, say "thank you" and move on. Hold onto it till you get to your hotel, so that other members of that church don't bother you. :wink:
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Re: AR School Cancels 6th Grade Grad Rather Than Not Pray

Postby nitePhyyre » Sat May 11, 2013 4:58 pm UTC

Sure America is accepting of immigrants.

How's that border fence coming along, again?
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Re: AR School Cancels 6th Grade Grad Rather Than Not Pray

Postby Puppyclaws » Sat May 11, 2013 5:11 pm UTC

To many Americans, sports and muscle cars and believing in Jesus is what makes them Americans. To them, being secular is equivalent to being anti-American. A strong national identity is a problem for us, not a thing to strive for.

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Re: AR School Cancels 6th Grade Grad Rather Than Not Pray

Postby morriswalters » Sat May 11, 2013 6:34 pm UTC

I don't notice anyone giving up their national identity, anywhere. Most countries have armies and the UN was founded in hopes that they would work out their problems there and quit pounding on each other. It's not working if you haven't noticed. Americans are more complex the Bible toting, gun loving, bumpkins. Twice we've gone to Europe to fight in wars that weren't really our business. And in doing so, intervening where we have no business became a very bad habit. How Americans identify themselves varies over time, since geographically they are spread out. So people in California don't share a lot of day to day commonality with Kentuckians for instance. Some days I'm a hillbilly and others I'm something else. Yet I could move to California and fit right in. Some school in Arkansas does something off the map and it disturbs people. There are 10,000 other schools operating day to day that you don't hear about. And while your not hearing about them, they manage to educate both Liberals and Conservatives and all points in between. We muddle through.

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Re: AR School Cancels 6th Grade Grad Rather Than Not Pray

Postby CorruptUser » Sat May 11, 2013 8:09 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Twice we've gone to Europe to fight in wars that weren't really our business. And in doing so, intervening where we have no business became a very bad habit.


Because we totally should've let the Bosnians sort out their own mess. Yeah, genocide is not our business. Tough shit on them.


The UN charter requires every single nation on Earth to stick their noses in others' businesses when that business involves genocide. Most countries get around that by declaring, say, the murder of nearly a million black Sudanese to be "genocide-like" so they can continue to get the oil from Sudan without having to get their noses dirty.

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Re: AR School Cancels 6th Grade Grad Rather Than Not Pray

Postby gmalivuk » Sat May 11, 2013 8:13 pm UTC

Puppyclaws wrote:To many Americans, sports and muscle cars and believing in Jesus is what makes them Americans. To them, being secular is equivalent to being anti-American. A strong national identity is a problem for us, not a thing to strive for.
Yes, butTheKrikkitWars made the rather bizarre claim that people in the US are "Americans" after pretty much everything else, in contrast to how French people see themselves. It's bizarre because it strongly suggests that TheKrikkitWars has never actually met an American, which I find hard to believe, or at least never talked to one about national identity, which I suppose is plausible.

Because while you're correct that a distressing number of Americans see Christianity as an essential part of that identity, there are also quite a number of us (many Christians included) who see cultural tolerance as an essential part of our American identity. And, at least when it comes to discussions of national law or policy, I'd say that the majority of people in both groups see being "American" as a more significant part of their personal identity than most of the other things they are.
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Re: AR School Cancels 6th Grade Grad Rather Than Not Pray

Postby Zamfir » Sat May 11, 2013 8:19 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:I don't notice anyone giving up their national identity, anywhere.

The DDR would be a recent case. Though that's a textbook example of an exception that proves the rule.

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Re: AK School Cancels 6th Grade Grad Rather Than Not Pray

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Sat May 11, 2013 8:54 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Gonna have to disagree with that. Every major sports event is started with the National Anthem, and it is expected that you remove your hat and stand during it, regardless of which sports team you're rooting for. Every school in the nation starts their morning with the Pledge of Allegiance as well. Its more that "Being American" means accepting the melting pot of cultures. America is what it is because we're one of the few countries in the world that accepts other cultures. We technically have no national language, we have no national religion. This is so that you are free to speak your own language, and practice your own religion.

Our culture is the melting pot. Your responsibility as an American is to accept other cultures as they melt into our own. We call ourselves the "Country of Immigrants"... because cultural diversity is itself an American trait.


Yeah Right, because the country that brought the world Arizona SB 1070 is doing really well with dealing with it's relationship with immigration...
You forget that I come from one of the most culturally diverse nations on earth myself, arguably moreso than the US; and yet illegal and legal immigration is considered to be something of a fringe issue for "closet racists".

As for the Pledge of Allegiance, doesn't the specific and eternal disestablishment of the US in the Constitution somewhat conflict with the 1954 addition of "under god" into the pledge? and moreover does saying those words or standing for the national anthem actually make someone a better citizen? Does it even mean they know what it means to be one? Is it possible that it's just social conformity?

Puppyclaws wrote:To many Americans, sports and muscle cars and believing in Jesus is what makes them Americans. To them, being secular is equivalent to being anti-American. A strong national identity is a problem for us, not a thing to strive for.

Puppyclaws seems to get what I meant, some Americans have developed a horribly warped view of what their national identity is and what citizenship means... France has managed to be somewhat clearer about that, with Liberté, égalité, fraternité for a motto it's pretty clear that equality and the unity are just as important as personal freedom, not inexplicably less so.

gmalivuk wrote:TheKrikkitWars made the rather bizarre claim that people in the US are "Americans" after pretty much everything else, in contrast to how French people see themselves. It's bizarre because it strongly suggests that TheKrikkitWars has never actually met an American, which I find hard to believe, or at least never talked to one about national identity, which I suppose is plausible.

It would be fair to say that my wording was a little hyperbolic, to be more correct I should say that a significant subset of America has decided that the things that describe them, are the only possible things that could also describe other Americans and what it means to be one... and as is the root of many issues in America they're the ones who are shouting loudest and worse, politicians are pandering to them.

FWIW I do know a fair few Americans and have talked at length about what it means to be American to them*, though almost exclusively people from the South East** which at the risk of generalizing, probably does introduce a bias...

*Usually in the context of them asking the only British person they know why the welfare state is so great anyway, and it always eventually boiling down to the difference in national values...

**I do know a nice bloke from Vermont, though he feels that: "American politics have become so hopelessly out of touch with the values they espouse to be built on that I'd rather my state seceded to join the Canadians" Which doesn't really support either argument, but is a pretty stark statement nonetheless.
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Re: AR School Cancels 6th Grade Grad Rather Than Not Pray

Postby morriswalters » Sat May 11, 2013 10:45 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
morriswalters wrote:Twice we've gone to Europe to fight in wars that weren't really our business. And in doing so, intervening where we have no business became a very bad habit.


Because we totally should've let the Bosnians sort out their own mess. Yeah, genocide is not our business. Tough shit on them.


The UN charter requires every single nation on Earth to stick their noses in others' businesses when that business involves genocide. Most countries get around that by declaring, say, the murder of nearly a million black Sudanese to be "genocide-like" so they can continue to get the oil from Sudan without having to get their noses dirty.
It's easy to want to do something, but knowing when is the trick. Counterpoint, Iraq and Afghanistan. At some point in time Bosnia will have to sort itself out. You can't impose a solution, and generally speaking we don't have the will to do indefinite commitments. That we intervened stopped the killing, but it didn't fix the problem.

Zamfir your point might have been telling if I had any idea of what or who DDR was. Never mind, I see. East Germany. I'll leave that at Germans are Germans. All the DDR shows is that the Soviet Union couldn't change that.


TheKrikkitWars wrote:Yeah Right, because the country that brought the world Arizona SB 1070 is doing really well with dealing with it's relationship with immigration...
It is doing neither better nor worse than anywhere else. I understand Europe seems to have some reservations about immigration, and a right wing establishment which gives voice to it.
TheKrikkitWars wrote:Puppyclaws seems to get what I meant, some Americans have developed a horribly warped view of what their national identity is and what citizenship means... France has managed to be somewhat clearer about that, with Liberté, égalité, fraternité for a motto it's pretty clear that equality and the unity are just as important as personal freedom, not inexplicably less so.
Be careful about drawing conclusions based on the information you receive from where ever it is that you get it from. The biggest difference from the perspective of one of those citizens, is the distance which the average citizen from the problems that nationalism caused Europe. If Europeans have gone in a better direction it may just be that their history has taught them lessons we haven't yet had to learn. We, for the most part are a country composed of European immigrants and everything that brings with it. They have come in waves, and the new immigrants have always been looked at as second class citizens, and in the end we have absorbed them, and to this point we are absorbing the current crop, and I expect that people of European descent will someday be a minority. What you see is the inevitable response of the current power group which knows that they are losing control.

America is an experiment that may yet fail. The identity that each of us has, and the view that we have of our place as Americans, has brought us to Civil War once. And could well again. But I doubt that the canceling of a 6th grade graduation service because of the tension over religion will be the spark.

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Re: AR School Cancels 6th Grade Grad Rather Than Not Pray

Postby Puppyclaws » Sun May 12, 2013 12:52 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Because while you're correct that a distressing number of Americans see Christianity as an essential part of that identity, there are also quite a number of us (many Christians included) who see cultural tolerance as an essential part of our American identity. And, at least when it comes to discussions of national law or policy, I'd say that the majority of people in both groups see being "American" as a more significant part of their personal identity than most of the other things they are.


I think that it is true that being an American is complex and means many things to different people. My point, rather, was that one can go forward with the idea that they are "American first" and "taking care of other Americans" because they are working hard to preserve the Christian establishment and the good old days of the 1950's (as seen on TV). That the very idea of "[nation] first" comes with all sorts of problems. I might say I have America's interests first as an anti-war leftist; a good number of people believe putting America first means supporting every war we go into. Putting France first strikes me as approximately as meaningful as supporting the troops. Two (reasonable) people may have very different ideas of what putting France first looks like.

I think you do make a good point in the last sentence I have quoted here, there is a spirit of putting aside one's prejudices for politics, whether it really plays out. I do think the idea of putting aside differences comes across as part of what being American means in my head, as much as it can mean anything.

On a nearly unrelated note, I once saw a "reality" television program where two people discussed that they were Louisiana folk first, Americans second. It was jarring to me. I can't imagine anyone in any state I have lived in saying something like that. And I think people would get rather offended if they did.

I use a lot of quotation marks writing like this.

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Re: AR School Cancels 6th Grade Grad Rather Than Not Pray

Postby Tirian » Sun May 12, 2013 5:13 am UTC

Puppyclaws wrote:On a nearly unrelated note, I once saw a "reality" television program where two people discussed that they were Louisiana folk first, Americans second. It was jarring to me. I can't imagine anyone in any state I have lived in saying something like that. And I think people would get rather offended if they did.


I've lived in a couple different corners of the United States, and I think the only difference of those Louisiana folks is that they were able to verbalize the reality that everyone lives without reflection. The United States is humongous and wonderfully diverse even locally, and those folk are right that their culture and values don't have much in common with mine. I'm pretty sure that comfortable majorities support individual freedom and equal protection under the law at the end of the day, but you're going to run into extrapolation errors any time you presume that much of anything beyond that is core to the American character.

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Re: AR School Cancels 6th Grade Grad Rather Than Not Pray

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sun May 12, 2013 6:01 am UTC

I consider myself a Portlander first, an Oregonian second, and an American third, culturally anyway. I agree with Tyndmyr that many, perhaps most, Americans would agree for their particular regions if they put much thought into it.

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Re: AK School Cancels 6th Grade Grad Rather Than Not Pray

Postby Lucrece » Sun May 12, 2013 6:11 am UTC

Chen wrote:I'm curious about a certain hypothetical. If I'm a validictorian at my public high school graduation, they can't prevent me from saying a prayer during my speech right? I understand the public school administrators (ostensibly representing the state) cannot drive a prayer, but part of the first amendment is not "prohibiting the free exercise thereof[referring to religion]". I presume this wouldn't restrict students from prayer themselves if they so wanted?



It is my impression most valedictorian speeches and speaker events are vetted by the school.


As for more identity anecdotes, I feel American. There are obvious regional gaps in culture I notice. A Miami boy is not the same as an Austin or Atlanta or Boston boy. But I guess as an immigrant to the U.S. I assimilated the national identity before the regional.

When people ask where I'm from, I tell them I'm US, not Floridian or from Miami.
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Re: AK School Cancels 6th Grade Grad Rather Than Not Pray

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun May 12, 2013 10:14 pm UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:As for the Pledge of Allegiance, doesn't the specific and eternal disestablishment of the US in the Constitution somewhat conflict with the 1954 addition of "under god" into the pledge? and moreover does saying those words or standing for the national anthem actually make someone a better citizen? Does it even mean they know what it means to be one? Is it possible that it's just social conformity?


Everyone around here knows what the "good citizen" does. Pay your taxes, vote in elections, stand during the pledge and anthem, support our troops. "And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country". The whole schtick: Americans know what a good American does.

There are of course disagreements to the details, as expected of any culture mass of 300 million people. Some people drop "under God" during the Pledge for example, Baltimore emphasizes the "O" during the National Anthem (because "The O's" is the nickname of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team). Some unfortunately see "whiteness" as part of American culture, but hopefully that sort of stuff is getting stamped out.

The interesting thing is the play in mostly the former Confederate States, as they think Abe Lincoln is the worst president... and they believe that their State has a right to secede from the Union. But that sort of issue is quite similar to "26+6 == 1" is it not? I dare say that the US is more united than the UK on that front: Texas is one of the most vocal states on its right to secede... but is simultaneously some of the most "American" and patriotic identities of the Union. (Even Northerners will react to the battle-cry "Remember the Alamo", despite the fact that Texas wasn't even part of America during that whole war :wink: )

Anyway, the coastal states definitely emphasize cultural diversity as an American trait. I don't mean to compare cultural diversity between America and the UK, but speak to any American and they will tell you about the Melting Pot. Everyone knows "Give me your tired, your poor, // Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...", the poem etched onto the bottom of the Statue of Liberty. (and if not, they'll all recognize the Statue of Liberty as an American icon). You seem to think that America has some sort of identity issue. And while yes... there are lots of disagreements about American ideals, I am pretty confident in the ability to point out "Patriotic" things that all Americans agree with.

--------

EDIT: Okay, found the reference, so I'll finish my point.

Yeah Right, because the country that brought the world Arizona SB 1070 is doing really well with dealing with it's relationship with immigration...
You forget that I come from one of the most culturally diverse nations on earth myself, arguably moreso than the US; and yet illegal and legal immigration is considered to be something of a fringe issue for "closet racists".


As much as you'd like to criticize American policy with regards to Immigration, we are in fact the country most accepting of immigrants. In fact, the US accepts more immigrants than the rest of the world combined. Sure, certain states, such as Arizona, have a weaker tolerance of immigrants than other parts of the country... but it is their right as a State to pass their own laws. The general American ideal is to support our culture as "The Country of Immigrants", the "Melting Pot", etc. etc.

I mean, sure, say what you will. But statistics as well as the "American" ideals (if you know what they are) back me up. Currently 1/8th of our citizenry is foreign-born, that is 12.4% of our country is currently composed of foreign-born citizens. (Yes, our number is bigger than yours UK. :-p)

So take that in your pipe and smoke it. We're a country of immigrants, dumb Arizona laws be damned.
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Re: AK School Cancels 6th Grade Grad Rather Than Not Pray

Postby firechicago » Sun May 12, 2013 11:18 pm UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:That said the french are naturally laid back enough to not get all hyped up on their own self importance and go round annexing their neighbors, a strong national identity may not be for everyone!


I'm not so sure that's true.

Just because they haven't done it in a couple generations doesn't mean that foreign conquest is somehow foreign to the French national character.

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Re: AR School Cancels 6th Grade Grad Rather Than Not Pray

Postby addams » Mon May 13, 2013 1:16 am UTC

pray? You people have your panties in a bunch because of prayer?

Schools Teach.
Do people need to Learn Prayer?

A moment of silence?
What is so hard about That?

No. You do not get to Chant.
You can Chant later.

No. You can not Make us All watch while the Oldest Women in Your Family Walk Naked around pouring water on People!

No. You can Not conjure The Spirit of Orion. I like Orion, too. Later!

No. Do not use The Name of Jesus that way. There are Christians present.
Leave all Name Dropping out of it.

Each person has a God inside their head.
Some have more than one.


Take a deep breath. Now!
Everyone hold hands!
Quiet! A Moment of Silence!

Oh! You can breath. Don't sneeze.
Sneezing starts giggles. No giggling.
Stop giggling! Hold hands!
60 seconds is Enough?

Talk to Your God. Or; Not.
It is none of Our business.
Do you need to pass out wipes for hands?
How dirty are The People?

Inside or Outside? How dirty are The People?

Now; Who passed The Test!?
Funny hats and All? Good.

France? What do The People of France know?
They have a long history of being White People.

Do they Do a moment of silence? Ever?
What do We Know about The French?

They have a bunch of Letters they don't use.
I am sure of it. They are silent while they are talking.
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