Tenn considers religious expression bill for schools

Article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/25/tennessee-religious-discrimination-bill_n_5030344.html?utm_hp_ref=politics
Ultimately, I think it can and should be allowed for students to express religious views in artwork or wear a cross or other religous symbol as those are all personal decisions that have no effect on academia. Unfortunatley, I cannot recall the article, but I read another article on this bill (not the one linked above), that stated students would be allowed to reference their religion in work. Now, should personal religion be allowed as “references”? For example, I recently was taking Medical Law & Ethics course at the college level and one of the students failed to ever write his group discussion topics with actual references to scholarly material, rather using the Bible as a basis for all his ethical arguements and this was a challenge to have a discussion in the realm of academia with a person who was not basing his rationale in verifiable academic or ethical principles. Furthermore, I feel that when bills such as this are created, are they created with “Christian Privilege” as an underpining? Or if a student who practices Wicca starts to base his or her arguements on such, will be equally validated?

I can agree with some leeway in art class, in other subjects, I disagree. This will absolutely spill over into science classes.

I can agree with some leeway in art class, in other subjects, I disagree. This will absolutely spill over into science classes.
Essentially, they might as well be paving the way to offer the option to drop out or opt out of science class because that could be against someones religion. I am not a resident of Tennessee, but have family there and apparently, according to what I've been told, some of my old time relatives in the early 1900s "disagreed" with electricity and "science" and thought it was scary, evil and this included "electricity."

Sure students should be free to express their religious views in classwork when it’s appropriate to the subject matter. It’s just hard to think of when it would be appropriate most of the time. And it shouldn’t be allowed as an excuse for not studying. Just writing, “I didn’t bother to read the chapter on Evolution because I’m a Christian,” wouldn’t cut it. The student should still be required to read the material, even if he/she doesn’t believe it.

I think the classroom should be a learning environment without introduction of personal beliefs. First, is it only limited to Christianity or are the other major and minor religions (including Wiccan is pointed out above) allowed? One could claim that his/her religion included the idea of racial or sexual discrimination, or a wide variety of beliefs and behaviors that would certainly disrupt the class.
Occam

What would happen if a teacher failed someone because on a test the teacher disagreed or did not understand the student’s theology?

If anyone here has the time, the inclination, and the legal background to understand it here is a link t the actual bill.
http://openstates.org/tn/bills/108/SB1793/documents/TND00044082/

The bill states that time has to be granted at all school activities for student speakers ( ie. to allow a prayer no doubt) and that these student must be chosen from the following four groups

  1. Student council officers
  2. Class officers of the highest grade level
  3. Captains of the football team (I guess they are more respectable than soccer, lacrosse, basketball players and for that matter ANY female athlete)
  4. Other students holding positions of honor as the LEA ( Local educational authority) shall decide
    Pretty obvious that they are trying to prevent anyone with unpopular or minority views from speaking. It seems this law should be pretty easy to challenge since its intent is clearly to discriminate against anyone who is not of the majority viewpoint.
Article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/25/tennessee-religious-discrimination-bill_n_5030344.html?utm_hp_ref=politics Ultimately, I think it can and should be allowed for students to express religious views in artwork or wear a cross or other religous symbol as those are all personal decisions that have no effect on academia. Unfortunatley, I cannot recall the article, but I read another article on this bill (not the one linked above), that stated students would be allowed to reference their religion in work. Now, should personal religion be allowed as "references"? For example, I recently was taking Medical Law & Ethics course at the college level and one of the students failed to ever write his group discussion topics with actual references to scholarly material, rather using the Bible as a basis for all his ethical arguements and this was a challenge to have a discussion in the realm of academia with a person who was not basing his rationale in verifiable academic or ethical principles. Furthermore, I feel that when bills such as this are created, are they created with "Christian Privilege" as an underpining? Or if a student who practices Wicca starts to base his or her arguements on such, will be equally validated?
One of the big problems with legislatures that want exceptions for such religious views is that when they say "religious views" they mean Christian views. If a Muslim or a Buddhist or an atheist wanted to express his or her religious views they'd rush to change the law. They might even begin to develop an appreciation for the value of separation of church and state. As it stands they believe in separation of all churches and state except for Christian churches. Lois
Sure students should be free to express their religious views in classwork when it's appropriate to the subject matter. It's just hard to think of when it would be appropriate most of the time. And it shouldn't be allowed as an excuse for not studying. Just writing, "I didn't bother to read the chapter on Evolution because I'm a Christian," wouldn't cut it. The student should still be required to read the material, even if he/she doesn't believe it.
Not only read it, but understand it and pass tests on it. They could do that and still be free to not accept it. That would be their choice. Their choice should not be to not study it. Lois
The bill states that time has to be granted at all school activities for student speakers ( ie. to allow a prayer no doubt) and that these student must be chosen from the following four groups 1) Student council officers 2) Class officers of the highest grade level 3) Captains of the football team (I guess they are more respectable than soccer, lacrosse, basketball players and for that matter ANY female athlete) 4) Other students holding positions of honor as the LEA ( Local educational authority) shall decide Pretty obvious that they are trying to prevent anyone with unpopular or minority views from speaking. It seems this law should be pretty easy to challenge since its intent is clearly to discriminate against anyone who is not of the majority viewpoint.
Probably because council officers, class officers of the highest grade level, captains of the football team and other students holding positions as the LEA will be Christians exclusively in any school with a large majority of unthinking Christians--which I would wager is the case in all of Tennessee. Lois
Probably because council officers, class officers of the highest grade level, captains of the football team and other students holding positions as the LEA will be Christians exclusively in any school with a large majority of unthinking Christians--which I would wager is the case in all of Tennessee. Lois
Exactly, and when the motive is that obvious it is unlikely this will stand up to constitutional review if someone decides to challenge it
Probably because council officers, class officers of the highest grade level, captains of the football team and other students holding positions as the LEA will be Christians exclusively in any school with a large majority of unthinking Christians--which I would wager is the case in all of Tennessee. Lois
Exactly, and when the motive is that obvious it is unlikely this will stand up to constitutional review if someone decides to challenge it Let's hope. Lois

Why bother to try to teach. Someone is going to be religiously offended by nearly everything. By the time you water it down to an acceptable pablum, you won’t be teaching anything.

Why bother to try to teach. Someone is going to be religiously offended by nearly everything. By the time you water it down to an acceptable pablum, you won't be teaching anything.
And that is what some people want...the Bible should be the science book, the history book, the literature book and the psychology book.
Why bother to try to teach. Someone is going to be religiously offended by nearly everything. By the time you water it down to an acceptable pablum, you won't be teaching anything.
And that is what some people want...the Bible should be the science book, the history book, the literature book and the psychology book. That is not going to work if you are also accommodating the Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Calvinists, Pastafarians....

How many Christian schools give the kind of freedom of religious expression the Christians are demanding in public schools? Would they allow it if their student bodies were diverse and not exclusively Christian? Do they allow scientists in to explain why evolution science is better than creation stories? Do they allow teachers of other religions to teach their students about religion? If not, why should they demand religious expression in public schools?
Lois

Unfortunately, the answer to these questions is because they “know” they are right because they have the word of god. :lol:
Occam

Unfortunately, the answer to these questions is because they "know" they are right because they have the word of god. :lol: Occam
Well, we know we are right because we have the word of science. Lois
Why bother to try to teach. Someone is going to be religiously offended by nearly everything. By the time you water it down to an acceptable pablum, you won't be teaching anything.
And that is what some people want...the Bible should be the science book, the history book, the literature book and the psychology book. That is not going to work if you are also accommodating the Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Calvinists, Pastafarians.... The Christian Privilege is not truly concerned about the "others." As you know, if it was a non-Christian faith taking a stand, the same groups would not support similar bills, I would speculate. They disguise a lot of these discussions under organizations and bills with terminology such as "Religious Freedom" when in it actually means "Christian Rule." If they truly were advocating for religious freedom, they would discuss all world religions, to include openness toward atheistic ideas. If they wanted religious freedom, they wouldn't have spent the first four years of the President's first term trying to figure out his "true" religion, it wouldn't have mattered.