What would you do?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by TexasSky, May 4, 2005.

  1. TexasSky

    TexasSky
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    SCENARIO 1:
    A few years ago I told my class of sixth grade sunday school students to carry their bible with them to class, and see how many times God used the simple presence of his word to offer an opportunity to witness for Christ.

    The next Sunday a little girl told me that her teacher confiscated her bible. I asked if she was reading it during class time. The answer was no. I asked if she had, in any way, disrupted the class with it. She said no. She sat the bible, with other books, on the top of her desk. The teacher said bibles weren't allowed in school and removed it.

    I called the parents, and together we approached the school, explaining to the principal and the teacher that the law against prayer in school did not prohibit carrying a bible.

    Another Christian chastised me, and the parents, after hearing the story, saying that it would set the child up for persecution by the teacher, and that it was best to just leave it alone.

    What would you have done?
    What would you say to the Christian who said "leave it alone?"

    SCENARIO 2:
    A man I know is a school teacher in public schools. He is a Sunday School teacher in a Baptist Church. He recently shared with me the story of a boy in his classroom coming to him and saying, "You don't believe in God do you?" The man responded, "This isn't the place to talk about religion."

    What would you have done?

    SCENARIO 3:
    My cousin is the child of 2 missionaries. She was given a class assignment of writing a paper which defending or attacking the existance of God. She wrote a paper supporting the existance of God. She was given an F, with a margin note that said, "You can't defend a fable."

    What would you have done if you were her parents?

    SCENARIO 4:
    I worked in higher education.
    My supervisor of many years retired.
    The new supervisor began a full fledged campaign supporting homosexuality.
    There were groups to teach people who to "be a better friend" to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders.
    There were signs to encourage people to "come out" to you.
    There were public gatherings and pizza parties and things to "show support for the gay movement."
    If you did not participate in these things, actively, you were told you were not a team player and you were in danger of being fired.

    What would you do?
     
  2. Gold Dragon

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    There is probably more to the story, but as you have presented it, I believe this is a clear violation of infringement of the free expression of religion by a representative of the state and if dealt with through the proper channels should get this teacher fired.

    Having a wife who is a high school public school teacher, I sympathize with this man. I'm not sure what the legal options are for this teacher and would probably say his approach was a safe one, not closing the door to that discussion in a different setting, but still trying to stay within the rules set by the governing authorities.
     
  3. FrankBetz

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    1.
    a.I advocate Homeschooling as a conviction, not a preference

    b. I would inform the christain he is nothing more than a liberal and not man enough to blow the wings off a gnat.

    2. Tell the man to get right with God. If he is going to let his job have preimminense over God, he should not call himself a Christian, ever!

    He should resign his Sunday School class and openly apologise to his church!

    3. Ask that teacher to prove there isn't a God. Even the heavens declare His Glory and his very existence proves God is real. But first I would immediately repent of sending my child to a public school and get right with God and start homeschooling!!

    4.Find another job, right after telling him about Sodom and Gomorrah, and the judgement of God on those two cities, Lot. Or would you rather risk vexation of spirit and lose your testimony with your family?
     
  4. TexasSky

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    Just a note - there is nothing more to the story regarding the paper. At least nothing to defend the teacher. It was, however, not a US school. It was in Canada. That is where her parents are stationed in their mission work.

    My Aunt and Uncle approached that situation this way. They went to the teacher, asking for the teacher's grading criteria on the paper. (Did it involve spelling, composition, were they looking for a certain style of writing.) With that in hand, they went to the school's principal and gave him the criteria and a copy of the paper. The only "change" made from the original to the copy was to "block out" the grade already given. They asked him to grade it.

    He gave the paper an A.

    They then explained that they were curious over why my cousin received an F.

    The principal spoke to the teacher with them. It turned out to be exactly what it looked like. The teacher was an athiest, and had been using the class to further athiestic ideas.

    The grade was changed, by order of the principal, but my cousin spent the remainder of the semester suffering persecution for the run-in.

    When asked if they would have changed anything, my cousin, Aunt and Uncle all say they only wish they had insisted my cousin be allowed to read her paper to the class.
     
  5. Gold Dragon

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    If the child does not wish to pursue this fight, I would leave it alone. A political battle is not worth fracturing my relationship with my daughter.

    But if she agrees with the cause, this is an injustice that needs to be addressed by the proper channels. A student having a bible in class in not an infringment on the free expression of religion of other folks, but the teacher preventing her from having it is.
     
  6. Gold Dragon

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    Hopefully the atheistic teacher will not repeat that mistake again which is a clear violation of the rules here in Canada.

    I hope the actions of your cousin and her parents in this ordeal revealed Christ to the hardened heart of this teacher. If there was any other blatant persecution after this event, it should be documented and reported.
     
  7. Gold Dragon

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    I always wondered how Christ attracted, hung around with and showed love to drunkards, prostitutes and tax collectors without condoning their sinful behaviour. That is what we should strive to do but I couldn't begin to tell you how.

    The board may ask you to go beyond that and teach that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality and support the "gay movement". I'm not sure what your legal options are but I think if you have a good relationship with your administration, and you privately approach this as a conflict of conscience that you aren't sure how to deal with, maybe they will understand, provide exception for and respect for handling a delicate situation with integrity and compassion.
     
  8. gb93433

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    As far as carrying a Bible I seldom do. The reason is because often it acts as a barrier. It is often a road block to dialog with the person. Memorize scripture and you won't need the Bible. If I do use a Bible I may ask if they have one. If not thenm I pull out a small NT.

    When I was in high school over thirty years ago in Washington students could do things together. They could carry their Bible to school, pray and share their faith. They still do.

    Having taught in California I did share with students who would initiate the subject. On a few ocassions there were students who would ask me if I was a Christian in so many words then I had the opportunity to engage in dialog with them about what I believed. I never dominated the conversation but would certainly let them know what I believed. I believe students respect that. But too I was well respected by students and my students did well as students in competitions with other schools and regions.

    I believe that the majority of times when we show great respect we great respect back. One of the things I ask God for is to give me areas of opportunity where I can praise the person. People don't get that very often and when we do they give us their attention and God uses it to obtain favor with them. They will see us before they see our God.

    Too many Christians are not very good listeners. It is hard for people to listen. It is much harder work to listen than to talk. Too many words makes it hard for a person to listen. The shotgun gospel aproach does not work. When I listen to another they will be more likely to listen to me. When they are ready to listen they will hear what I say.

    Yes I have been in some strange positions as a businessman and as a teacher. 1 Peter talks about what to do when we are mistreated because of our faith. I never got a master's degree because of some Mormons in the department. But it no longer matters because another much more prestigious university accepted the work and allowed me to move on.

    Sometimes we need to think about Joseph and his brothers.

    Scenario 4:
    I would have documented every case along with the time and date. Texas is a state where you can hire and fire for no reason. So welcome to a right to work state.

    I worked in Texas for awhile and noticed that when I arrived the local business was not very thorough in their investigation of potential employees for those not in management. Management was hired by those from headquarters. I later found out why. Their mentality was they could fire the person if they didn't like them. Before that I had never lived in a state that treated employees quite like that. That same company did not have that same practice in other states. It was a nationwide company too.
     
  9. gb93433

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    Hopefully the atheistic teacher will not repeat that mistake again which is a clear violation of the rules here in Canada.

    I hope the actions of your cousin and her parents in this ordeal revealed Christ to the hardened heart of this teacher. If there was any other blatant persecution after this event, it should be documented and reported.
    </font>[/QUOTE]It's a violation of the law here too.
     
  10. Lacy Evans

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    I teach in public schools. I have my Bible in my desk. My kids can read theirs during silent reading time. There is no law against it. The ACLU and other groups try to use intimidation and fear tactics but it is all a bluff. Most schools take the path of least resistance and just try to avoid conflict at all costs by capituation. But it need not be. Every Christian student, teacher, administrater and board member should push the boundries and we should stand up for each other.

    That is ridiculous. Again, we teachers are free to answer questions like that. Religion is not taboo. We just can't proselytize.

    I'm not suggesting we buck the system or cause trouble. But we should be familiar with the laws so when someone trys to bully us, we can stand up to them.

    Lacy
     
  11. msinave

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    am i the only one with a problem with scenario 2? how was the teacher living his life before his class if at least one student assumed he DIDN'T believe in God? i've always felt that other would know i DO believe in God even if i never said a word.
     
  12. yabba

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    Exactly what you did. I carried a bible to high school every day. There is abolutely nothing wrong with having a Bible at school. If she was not interupting class with it then there is no reason for taking it up. I am interested in knowing what the principle said.
    I would have answered the student's question and if more questions followed I would have answered as your friend did. There is no law against answering a question about God.
    Well if one of her options was to defend the existance of God then the teacher is clearly in the wrong. This would be blantant religious descrimination seeing that any Christian would defend God and an non-religious person would not.
    Toughest scenario of all. Personally I would start looking for another job. I would do all I can to not condone the actions, but this is a tough situation to be in.


    FrankBetz,
    Gal 5:22-23
    (22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
    (23) gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
     
  13. chipsgirl

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    (I realize no one is going to like my comments here). I believe school is for learning about school subjects. Sure I would like for my child to share about Christ but at the same time, what if another child talked to mine about their God? It's easier to just leave it out of school.
    I know it's not an option for everyone, but this is the reason you send your child to a Christian school or you homeschool them.

    As for the last scenario, I would have to lose my job. I wouldn't support that. Once again, school is for learning about school subjects. Matters of religion, sexuality, politics, etc...should be left to time off the clock.
     
  14. StefanM

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    Scenario 1--the teacher was in the wrong.

    Scenario 2-- I believe the teacher handled it correctly with minimal risk. You never know who is trying to trap you.

    Scenario 3-- Horrible

    Scenario 4-- Perhaps said individual should have sent notice in writing (and perhaps with witnesses) that participating in said functions would involve a violation of religious conviction. Then the individual would have a legal case for religious discrimination, which is illegal, even in an at-will state.
     
  15. jim62

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    I can't help but think, of what it would be like if christians, didn't give up there life for Christ, way back.

    Christians today have no power over the way things are going on in the world today, most of them are ASHAMED of Christ. CHRISTIANS TODAY ARE NOT LIKE THE ONES BACK IN THE DAY, THAT WOULD GIVE UP THERE LIFE FOR CHRIST.

    2 Timothy 1:8
    Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

    2 Timothy 1:12
    For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
     
  16. TCassidy

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    Interesting scenarios. Here is a real one.

    One of the kids in our church took his bible to school every day (he was 11 at the time). During lunch time he was outside sitting on a picnic table after finishing lunch. He opened his bible and was reading when a teacher walked up and said, "You can't do that here" and took his bible away. He didn't make a fuss. When his mom came to pick him up after school he told her what happened. She said, "wait till your father gets home and let him handle it." The next day dad stopped in at the school principal's office. Dad is a career Navy officer with the rank of Commander, and a JAG lawyer. He was in uniform. When he told the principal what had happened, that he was a Lawyer and a Christian and that if immediate steps were not taken to rectify the situation he would file civil suits against the teacher, the principal, and the school district that would keep them tied up in court for the next decade and cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars. The principal caved in immediately, called the teacher and fired her on the spot. (The teacher appealed and the CEA [California Education Association, the teachers union], one of the most powerful political lobbies in California stepped in and got her job reinstated, but with a reprimand in her file, a transfer to another school and the warning that if it happened again should would be terminated and the CEA would not be able to help her.)

    Never let anybody push you or your kids around regarding their faith. Push back. The only thing many of these ideologues understand is brute force. [​IMG]
     
  17. TexasSky

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    Jim,

    I think along the same lines.
    It really worries me when people decide to take the "safe" and "easy" route in regards to Christ, because I know where we would be if Christ had chosen the "easy" route instead of the path He took.

    I believe I did the right thing in scenario one. I think it was important that the teacher in question know that she was interpreting the law incorrectly.

    In Scenario 2, I think the man should have used the opportunity to witness to the young man. If someone later brought it up to the school board as a violation of any separation of church and state law, the man had only to say, "The boy asked me a personal question about my life, I answered."

    In Scenario 3: I think my Aunt and Uncle handled the situation well. They took it to the supervisor of the teacher, and they used it as a chance to teach my cousin that sometimes standing up for Christ will result in negative consequences, but you should STILL put Christ first.

    I was caught in Scenario 4. I did change jobs, but it took me a long time to get out of there. The stance I took during that time period was, "I respect the fact that you do not share my convictions, but you are not asking me to "not discriminate" against a certain lifestyle, you are asking me to endorse it, and I cannot do that. You can fire me over it, and I can sue you for firing me over it. I will do anything my job requires that is reasonable, but this is unreasonable and I won't do it. You wouldn't ask me to teach a religion, and in my eyes, and my heart, this IS a religious issue."

    The fact is, the place is being sued right now over religious persecution.

    I notice someone said they don't want others teaching their children about other faiths, and I want you to know, I respect and understand that view. I don't really share it though.

    I discuss other faiths with my children so that they will be better prepared to face the challenges that will come their way, and so they can witness to members of other faiths more effectively. We discuss what other faiths teach, and compare it to what Christ teaches, and we discuss how to approach the differences in a loving way, vs a contraversial way.

    When I was in high school the church I attended was sued by Madelyn Murray O'Hare. An effort of hers to shut us down. She used zoning laws. She also showed up at my high school PTA meeting to protest the opening prayer.

    I grew up in a world where almost everyone claimed a church home, whether they attended or not. Everyone prayed, especially in public gatherings. There was a respect for Christ, even by the lost. No one was mocked for belief in Christ. We prayed at graduation and at sports events. We had bible studies on school grounds.

    Then slowly that all changed. It began with the dismissal of the morning prayer. Something that I was actually glad to see go. I'm really not fond of "canned prayer," and think it should be sincere. Those morning announcement prayers never came across as sincere.

    Then one day my sister's school was sued for having a bible study on the high school campus. The principal and the teacher pointed out that it was totally voluntary, and that it was held before classes, so it shouldn't bother anyone. The stance of the athiest group was, "it is on public property so it doesn't belong."

    Then, I learned that moral lessons that I sort of grew up with were no longer allowed because some people didn't have any morals and they wanted their rights not to respected. Remember the stories that taught things like, "don't lie," and "family matters?" They vanished from text books.

    People said, "oh, well, that's fair. I don't want them teaching their morals to me, so lets not teach any morals."

    Suddenly the schools were unruly, the teachers were afraid, the kids were armed, and.. they were teaching a new morals that I couldn't swallow. They were teaching kids that homosexuality was perfectly normal, that extra-marital sex as a child was "safe." In the name of trying to be supportive of single parents, they painted pictures of two-parents homes as "weird." You could teach evolution, but not creation.

    At the same time, they were banning people from speaking who disagreed with their view.

    In one class students were told to study the religions of the world, and told they could write about anything EXCEPT Chrstianity. (Yes, they were challenged on that one legally.)

    Now, my children are in a world where people are openly hostile to Christians. We're mocked as ignorant in prime time television shows and movies. When someone goes insane, and acts in the most unChristian manner any of us can imagine, such as drowning their children, they are front page news as an example to the world of why Chrisians don't belong in the world. Let someone do something wonderful in the name of Christ and it doesn't even make the paper.

    I have recently seen people call for the elimination of all Christian teachings anywhere outside of a church building. In America we think this can't happen. I wonder why we think that. It happened in China, Russia, Saudia Arabia.... why do we think it can't happen here too?

    Christians don't help this image when we "hide" our faith. If the world labels us as ignorant, and those of us who are educated don't say, "Wait a minute, I'm a Christian," is it their fault or our own that they think educated people aren't Christian?

    I don't think I should shove my faith down someone's throat. I can't force someone to Christ, but I think I MUST stand up and say, "I am a Christian," before I lose the right spiritually or earthly, to do so.
     
  18. TexasSky

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    TCassidy - I like that Jag Officer. ;)
     
  19. WallyGator

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    Thanks,
    Your posts have given me a little hope that something can be accomplished.
    WallyGator
     
  20. FrankBetz

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    More evidences of "Christians" burying their heads in the sand! An outright disobedience of the command found in Jude to "earnestly contend for the faith", and to think some would actually "not carry a Bible" THINKING IT IS A "ROADBLOCK"
    :rolleyes:

    More like a road barrier to try and prevent others from being cast headlong into the gorge because the bridge is out.
     

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