scatterwisdom expresses a bit of bewilderment in King Solomon, Help Protect Me from Religion?

In a previous post, an interesting commentary developed about Government run Public, versus Private Religious Schooling and opinions of the whys and wherefores for the need for school vouchers.

We all have personal opinions, however, what amazed me was the statement made by a concerned, feisty, articulate young woman, that the purpose of the First Amendment was “about freedom from religions.” (from here)

Some of us derisively refer to those who think they have a right to be protected from other people’s opinions as snowflakes. Nevertheless, there are people out there who insist upon being protected, and there are others who are delighted to do the protecting.

Is this something new? No. It just shows we do not live in the Information Age. We still live in a far older age, The No Soliciting Age. Very few of us tolerate contrary opinions well.

When God gave Isaiah his commission as a prophet, He put it this way.

Isaiah 6:9-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

And He said, “Go, and tell this people:

‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’

10 “Make the heart of this people dull,
And their ears heavy,
And shut their eyes;
Lest they see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart,
And return and be healed.”

Healed? Of what? Well, that is what the Bible is about, but what the Bible says stings our pride. So we don’t want any part of it. Yet when we refuse to use our ears to hear and our eyes to see, we prove we are fools. Our Lord God gave us ears to hear and eyes to see (Proverbs 20:12); it is pure idiocy to ignore what we might learn about Him.

What is the punishment for refusing to give our attention to God. It is the very thing He would heal us from, our sins. Consider Rebecca Hagelin’s observation about a mass shooting at a school in Santa Fe, Texas.

We live in a decadent, “progressive” pop culture that glorifies violence, ignores God and has all but destroyed the nuclear family. Exactly where do we teach that life has meaning and purpose?

The Rev. Brad Drake of Dayspring Church in Santa Fe, who lost a congregant in Friday’s shooting, hit the nail on the head: “We have created a culture that does not value life, that does not honor God, that does not respect authority. We are reaping the consequences of those actions, and that’s not going to be reversed by a security guard or a metal detector.”

Those who demand federal action must realize that Washington, D.C., and its massive bureaucracy cannot solve the problem of school violence. (from here)


Consider a two-year old child. When mommy or daddy tells Tommy or Suzy he or she is misbehaving, what is the likely reaction? A tantrum? Well, God often has the same problem with us. That’s probably why we get spanked so much.

Still, God loves us. That is why His Son died on that cross for our sins.Anyway, please check out ‘s post, King Solomon, Help Protect Me from Religion?. Then consider Amanda‘s comments. Is she demanding freedom from religion or demanding the right to foist her beliefs upon the children of others? Has the way we educate our children become a liability instead of a benefit? Are we freeing our children by teaching them the truth or allowing the foolish to teach them lies? For “bonus points”, please see WHEN DO THE PEOPLE STEAL THEIR OWN FREEDOM?

73 thoughts on “WE NEED TO TURN TO GOD, BUT…….

  1. No Tom, we do not value life…as both John Paul II and Mother Teresa so sorrowfully noted, we live in a ‘Culture of Death’
    Ireland’s latest referendum to rescind the abortion law and the near hysterical celebration following the vote which now allows for the killing of the unborn is a very visceral and visible sign of just how much we embrace death. And yet we fain with indignant disgust over school shootings…yet where have we taught our youth the importance and sacredness of life? It all leaves me so very sad.

    1. @Julie (aka Cookie)

      The contrast, the love for the abortion of children versus the supposed hatred of school shooting, is odd. How do you explain that?

      1. I wish I knew Tom..but I have found the juxtapostion of reactions between the two types of killings perplexing at best, tragic at worse.
        And the thing is…nobody seems to “get it”–
        I suppose if you can see the person, its killing, if you can’t, well…maybe it never happened since you couldn’t see it.
        What is happening in Ireland is humankind at its most barbaric…so so sad

  2. Interesting discussion, Tom. Isaiah, ouch, good choice. You nailed it there.

    So secularism IS a form of religion and people often have a hard time recognizing that. Secularism is an ideology, a set of values, backed by government force and mandates. It is actually forcing “religion” on people. We often miss that line, “prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Secularism seeks to prohibit the free exercise of Christian values. My problem with that is that it is our Christian values that speak of freewill and choice,that allow for diversity, that grant us individual rights and the protection of those rights under the law, like the right to educate your own children as you see fit.

  3. First line of the Amendment of the United States of America:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

    Many, many people are not spiritual or religious, and people should not be forced to practice or abide by any religion’s doctrine or ideology.

      1. I thought this post was regarding secularism and the secular structure of the US in general; I wasn’t referring to just public schools as much as the idea of ANY government and tax payer funded thing being non-secular (which violates the amendment clearly).

        1. @Amanda

          Actually, the Supreme Court has already declared school vouchers constitutional.

          Since parents choose the school, school vouchers clearly do not violate the establishment clause. On the other hand, pressuring parents to sent their children to schools that instill values with which those parents disagree should raise constitutional issues.

          Here is another source.
          => https://www.edweek.org/ew/issues/vouchers/index.html

          Neither of the publications I cited are biased towards school vouchers, to say the least.

          Since the issue is highly controversial, I expect we will see it go to the Supreme Court again. With Trump in the White House, however, judges favorable to the idea will probably approve it as constitutional.

          What is the only issue I have with school vouchers? When government takes money from one person so it can give “charity” to another, that is stealing. Is it good to educate children? Yes, but it does not just justify stealing. The only reason we are having this debate is that we were stupid enough to trust politicians educate us.

          Anyway, school vouchers are better than government-run schools.

          1. So then all that’s left to do is vote, which the people will likely vote no to paying for school curriculums for religions they don’t practice or support.

            Before people choose the school for their kid, the schools and their curriculum have to be funded and built.

            Who is going to pay for religions to have their own schools, and most importantly, WHY should they HAVE to?

            I just dont see why you cant pay up for private education according to your religion of choice, instead of making your religious fanaticism the rest of society’s problem.

            People should not legally have to put a penny toward anything related to ANY religion, PERIOD.

          2. @Amanda

            Your comment went into the spam queue. Not certain why. Sorry.

            Anyway, what about your comment? The reason I support school vouchers is that they are a better idea, not a perfect idea. The public school system is a one size fits all solution that eliminates competition. It is system run by politicians and civil servants. Nobody with any sense trusts politicians. Why would any parent want someone other people chose, the supposedly ignorant masses, in charge of their child’s education? Why would anyone want civil servants teaching their children? Because of government employee unions, civil servant are notoriously expensive, and the incompetent ones are next to impossible to fire. Yet you are worried about who is going to pay for private schools? Seriously? Are you actually so ignorant you think government is inexpensive?

            When I moved into the western end of the county where I live, I found myself in a relatively rural area. Then a building boom started in about 2000, and builders built thousands of houses, and lots of families moved in. At the same time shopping centers went up all around the area. Because it is so wound up in red tape, only the government could not keep up. Whereas businessmen looked upon the situation as a great opportunity, county supervisors and school board members complained about a crisis. And you want those people running our schools? The people on the Board of Supervisors and on the School Board actually are good people, but government is horribly inefficient. It is dumb to put government in charge of anything it does not need to run.

            Why do you and other Secularists need government-run schools for your children? Why do insist on forcing me and everyone else who would rather not pay taxes for inept, inefficient, secularized schools to participate? All you are doing is setting yourselves up to be punished with the same instrument with which you are abusing others. How long will it take you to figure out how that old axiom works? What goes around comes around.

            Unless you and your ilk wise up, you will be helping to pay schools you detest. All I can say for myself is that I have already been there and done that.

          3. I dont personally force you to pay for anything, the LAW forces you to pay taxes.

            We vote on what we pay taxes for, which is the whole point here.

            Why should voters agree to fund schools for religions they don’t practice, agree with, promote or support?

            Governments run public schools in America, and if that is the issue you have then maybe that should be what you’re advocating against instead of advocating for taxpayers to fund the teaching of religions.

            Private schools exist bec

            Non-religious taxpayers value their dollars certainly no less than religious taxpayers ; why should the money be taken away from law enforcement, emergency services, and other avenues of tax funding and instead put into all religions being taught in schools with money from hard workers who disagree with the cause ?

            Not only are religious studies ALREADY TAUGHT IN PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS, but is that not what CHURCHES are for ??

          4. @Amanda

            I dont personally force you to pay for anything, the LAW forces you to pay taxes.

            When you vote, it means something. When the American people elected Barack Obama, Obama tried to nationalize our healthcare. The people who voted for Obama were responsible for giving him and the congressmen they elected that authority. When the American people elected Donald Trump, Trump started undoing bunches of Obama’s executive orders. The voters who elected Trump are responsible.

            Elections have consequences because your vote has consequences. If you vote for a politician and that politician does what you expected him to do, you bear part of the responsibility.

            Why should voters agree to fund schools for religions they don’t practice, agree with, promote or support?

            I don’t think government should be in the education business. Just because you have yourself convinced that Secularism is not a religious belief does not mean everyone has to agree with you. Parents have the right to educate their children as they deem appropriate. School vouchers just return that authority where it rightfully belongs.

            Non-religious taxpayers value their dollars certainly no less than religious taxpayers ; why should the money be taken away from law enforcement, emergency services, and other avenues of tax funding and instead put into all religions being taught in schools with money from hard workers who disagree with the cause?

            If you are going to insist upon using government funds to educate other people’s children, that money will be diverted from other purposes. You do realize that money belongs to the people who pay the taxes, not the government? Many taxpayers would like to keep more of their money. What I think most taxpayers are concerned about is getting the job done for the least amount of money. Private schools chosen by the parents, because of competition, will get the most bang for the buck.

            Not only are religious studies ALREADY TAUGHT IN PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS, but is that not what CHURCHES are for ??

            Frankly, I think parents want people they choose teaching their children about religion and a whole bunch of other things too. Why do you insist on controlling what other people’s children learn? You don’t have the right.

          5. Elections have consequences which is why we should vote for the consequences we agree with.
            Money certainly belongs to the people, which is why we should keep the spending fair to all of them, not just the ones that choose to practice religions.

            If you dont think government should fund and regulate the curriculum of public education, why are you not raising hell about separating the government and it’s funds from public education?
            Or better yet, why are you still living in America knowing that the government funding and regulating public education isn’t going to change?!

          6. @Amanda

            Parrots show more discernment. Don’t pointlessly mouth bunches of words. THINK!

            1. Supposedly, the object of the public school system is to make certain poor children receive a decent education. Except to impose Secularism upon as many children as possible, why is a government-run school system is needed? What makes it mores fair? Apparently, this outcome is just what you want because is secularist. Secularism is that is all that is necessary?

            2. Why should your frustration with your inability to make any sense require me leave the country? Obviously, it does not.

            If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. — President Harry S. Truman

            This is America, still a free country. Here we debate public policy. If you want to go to a Secularist nation where they shoot people who disagree with government-run everything, try North Korea.

            3. We have a government-run school system. This happened more by accident than design, and it is not working well, not even when it comes to instruction in the 3 R’s. Public schools promote conformity and self-esteem, not a love of learning. Moreover, many believe that government-run schools interfere with the free exercise of religion. When parents clearly have these responsibilities, government-run schools put politicians too much in charge of ethical instruction, moral teaching, and “religious studies”. That’s wrong, not fair. Government has no right to tax us, take our money, and then demand control over the education of our children because it controls the dough. Just because it can take our money from us by force, that gives our government the right to control the education of our children? Seriously?

            Except for complaining that I have no business having an opinion that differs from yours, have you justified your opinions? No, but you have made it obvious you don’t understand either the Constitution or school choice.

            Here is a proverb I have had to learn, had to relearn and am still learning.

            Proverbs 17:28 New King James Version (NKJV)

            28 Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace;
            When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.

            Because our pride too often controls us, we can say the most wicked things. So when we recognize we are angry, we should consider wisdom of holding our peace.

            Give it a break. Instead of reading text books, try reading what some of the founders of this country read and wrote. Go to the source. Learn from the people responsible what the First Amendment was supposed to protect.

          7. The object of the public school system is to provide an equal education to everyone, NOT just according to what people who choose to practice religions want in education. As I said, churches are for religions, schools are not.

            You aren’t required to leave the country, but if you don’t agree with secularism, why on Earth are you choosing to live in a nation that will only get more and more secular into the future ?

            Public schools are to provide education, period. If you can’t come up with a decent justification for why non-religious taxpayers should have to fund religious education? Many many people are not religious or spiritual, how is it fair to take their dollars away from making the community safer and cleaner and instead funnel them into building more churches for broke people to send their breed of children to? WHY ARE YOU HAVING CHILDREN ANYWAY WHEN YOU’RE TOO BROKE TO EDUCATE THEM TO YOUR OWN PICKY STANDARDS ? This whole thing is such a silly NON ISSUE.

            Religious fanaticism is not welcome in America’s public schools and never will be, period. Welcome to the land of the free.

          8. The American government has the right to control the education of your children because YOU CHOSE TO HAVE CHILDREN IN AMERICA AND SEND THEM TO GOVERNMENT RUN SCHOOLS.
            Don’t like it? Go elsewhere, but don’t try to infiltrate our SECULAR nation with your religion of choice because religions belong inside of churches and the privacy of homes, NOT in public schools.

            This is so clearly an agenda to push your personal religion to be taught as fact free of charge to you, and that’s a bunch of crap.

            Pay up for your child’s education to be laden with religion, or shut up about your broke, irresponsible breeding ass.

            YOUR children learning to practice YOUR religion is YOUR responsibility, not taxpayer’s responsibility and not the government’s responsibility.

          9. @Amanda

            Different people have different ideas as to the purpose of education. The only one I have heard of that sort of makes sense is to make certain the poor have an opportunity to be educated. Since we don’t have equal abilities, even if it were desirable a good and equal education is impossible. If everyone receives an “equal” public education, their education will only be equal if everyone receives an equally awful education. Unfortunately, that has been happening. C. S. Lewis observed the slow decline decades ago in “Screwtape Proposes A Toast” (see => http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2010/09/13/post-fiction/classic-fiction/screwtape-proposes-toast-c-s-lewis.html). When equality becomes the goal of education, education ceases to be about education. It becomes a means to self-esteem. We keep everyone uneducated so everyone can say “‘I’m as good as you.” The glories of equality!

            What is the Christian church? It is not a building; it is the body of believers. Whenever you see a Christian, you see part of the Christian church, even if that Christian is in a school.

            Let’s suppose you can predict the future and our country will continue to become more secularist. Why would I stay? Jesus gave us the Great Commission (see => Matthew 28:16-20). Sooner or latter, the church will begin to grow again in this country. Elsewhere it is growing

            As to the rest of your last two comments, well I think you did a better job of making my case than you did your own. I suspect more one person looked at your little display of pique and wondered why they would want you to have anything to with where they send their children to school.

          10. I disagree that an equal education for all is one that includes religious curriculum funded by tax payers.

            The essence of equality is the democratic coming together and voting the majority opinion into society, which is why the nation has evolved to be secularized. Most people by far have enough sense to value the separation between state and church.

          11. @Amanda

            What you are describing is majoritarian tyranny. Here is a post that uses the words of a Frenchman who much admired America to describe what is wrong with such tyranny.

            The phrase “separation between state and church” is not in the Constitution.

            The Constitution does not evolve. We have not amended the First Amendment. Judges in black robes have just said the Constitution says something it clearly does not say.

            Christianity is about a relationship with God. Christians strive to walk with God, to live their lives step by step in accordance with His Will. How Christians live their lives does not violate your rights.

            Whatever we believe in most, we devote our lives to. There is something or someone more important to you than all else. That something or someone is your god.

            In a republic, we do our best to let each other devote our lives to what we each believe in. Tyrants, on the other hand, strive to force the people to devote their lives in the service of their beliefs. Often, tyrants strive to make the people treat them as their god. Oddly enough, that sort of personalty cult is usually where Secularism leads.

            Let’s consider your reaction to school choice. I would be perfectly happy to get the government out of education business, but you are irate because I won’t quietly accept your precious “majority” opinion. Is the majority god? Doesn’t the majority change its mind quite easily? Can we not keep the same opinion and be in the majority one day and the minority the next? So instead of worrying about being in the majority, don’t you think it would be wiser to try to do the right thing?

            Since we can make mistakes even when we are in the majority, don’t you think it best to respect other people’s rights and let them run their own lives? That is what the founders thought, and that is why they gave us a republic. Unfortunately, we are very close to losing that republic, and majoritarian tyranny is a major reason.

          12. What I’m describing is an explanation of how the United States operates on a basic level.

            I pasted the first amendment in a previous comment, which clearly demonstrates the fact that the law must respect the right to and the right from religions (aka, separation btwn church and state).

            Most of us agree with the fact that religions should not be forced by law or otherwise, why should that be changed or “evolve”?

            I definitely think forcing everyone to fund the teaching of your religion is most certainly a violation.

            You keep making comments about why you disagree with secularism, as if I’m personally somehow the inventor or representative of it. I am simply pointing out that the nation is secular and why it’s only fair for it to be.

            MANY many people are not religious or spiritual, and their lives should not be hindered upon by any religion, whether your children are involved or not.

            How is it unfair to expect people to use their own money to indoctrinate their own children?

            America doesn’t want to build your churches. Maybe stop putting so much in the basket every Sunday for hell insurance and you might have enough money to raise your children instead of relying on everyone else to do it and complaining that they’re doing it wrong.

          13. @Amanda

            What the 1st Amendment says is that the government cannot establish a religion or interfere in the free exercise of religion. The 14th Amendment imposed the same limitations on State governments. At a minimum what you want interferes with the free exercise of religion. Arguably, you wish to establish Secularism is the religion of the United States. In fact, you have said as much.

            When we argue for a public school system, we let the cat out of the bag. When you and other proponents advocate a government-run public school system, you are effectively demanding the right to teach children a certain set of beliefs. Since there is no one set of “true” beliefs that anyone accepts about history, mathematics, science, and so forth; you have to pick something. If you actually intend to teach children something, then you don’t have a choice. What you have picked is what you define as secular, that is, Secularism.

            Look up the word philosophy. Consider what the word encompasses. When we teach children from kindergarten through a PhD, we teach them a philosophy of life. We cannot avoid it.

            Whose philosophy would you teach in our in government-run public school system? Yours? Why not mine? All I have suggested is that the people responsible for a child, the parents, have the right to see to it that their children learn what they believe.

            At this statement I wondered. Should I laugh or cry?

            What I’m describing is an explanation of how the United States operates on a basic level.

            What you described is your point of view. When we refuse to consider a broader perspective, we can behave in an insanely dangerous fashion.

            You want to read a horror story? Consider the stories told in the Bible in the Book of Judges. Here is the theme.

            Judges 21:25 New King James Version (NKJV)

            25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

            That statement sounds innocuous enough, but here is the problem. When men only look at things from their own point of view, they can be quite indifferent to the harm they do to others.

            When we walk with God, we try to see things from His point-of-view. Because God loves each of us, those who walk with Him tend to be more considerate of other people.

          14. Actually that’s only part of what the amendment says. The first amendment says several things:
            “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

            Notice the very first sentence says “NO LAW RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION” ;

            According to Cornell Legal Dictionary, “This clause not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another.”

            What this means is that, if religions were somehow voted into public school curriculum (they wont be, but if they were), that schools for ALL religions would have to be in all districts to be fair to all taxpayers of all religions (which is the law).

            It costs thousands and thousands of dollars for ONE person to be put through public education. WHY should people (taxpayers and the government) have to pay for ALL religions to have schools, in a nation that observes (by law) the people’s freedom from forced religions? That would be false advertising.

            How would you like to see millions and millions and millions of tax dollars pissed away to teach Islam ? THAT IS WHAT YOU’RE ADVOCATING FOR.

            There would, by law according to the 1st amendment, have to be an equal amount of Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Jehovah, Jew, Mormon, and Christian schools, and other religious denominations I wont list at the moment, in order to assure that no one specific religion is respected or put above another.

            Even in towns and cities and states with only one or two predominate religions, the law still applies; if there are people practising a religion in a town, there would HAVE to be a religious school for them. I’m sure you can see the (not only obscenely expensive, but) unfairness in forcing people to pay for all religions to be taught, especially when churches already do this EXACT THING.

            The entire Christian bible (as well as most religious texts) is a horror story (human sacrifices, severe oppression and sexism, rape, slavery, homophobia, misogyny, list goes on)

            People of EVERY SINGLE RELIGION say the EXACT SAME THINGS about their god and their religious bible that you say about yours. Absolutely no difference.

          15. Amanda u say:

            ‘The entire Christian bible (as well as most religious texts) is a horror story (human sacrifices, severe oppression and sexism, rape, slavery, homophobia, misogyny, list goes on)’

            Really? Do you suffer from myopia? If you do, and have trouble processing information, then I apologize. If you are somewhat cogent, then you are careless or worse yet, a sloppy reader.

            The entire bible is a horror story???

            ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’ Yes, truly horrible.

            ‘God created great whales.’ Yes, truly horrible.

            ‘God breathed into man, and he became a living soul.’ Truly horrible.

            Have I caused you to recognize your own distress? Have I revealed your insane level of literary blindness?

            But I’ll continue just in case your ears are still stopped.

            ‘Love thy neighbor.’ Yes, horrible.

            ‘Pray for your enemies.’ Horrible I tell you.

            ‘Grace, mercy, and peace be upon you.’ Oh my, so horrible.

            And oh, there is always this: He justifies the ungodly, purely by and through grace, so no, all teligions of the world are not equal. Biblical Christianity has no competitor.

          16. I’m not here to discuss the Christian bible or any bible or religion, I’m here to discuss legislation, laws, fairness, and taxpayer money. The reason I made that comment was in response to another comment; context is important.

          17. @Amanda

            If we give parents school vouchers, they can use those voucher to pay for instruction in private schools. When relatively few people would want to send their children to Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Jehovah, Jew, and Mormon schools, why would anyone bother to build lots of them? That makes no sense.

            School choice is about letting the private market decide what is needed, not the government. That’s the whole point, and the Supreme Court has already said it is okay. You are posing problems that don’t exist.

            Please note that Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Jehovah, Jew, and Mormon religious facilities are scarce. Does anyone consider their absence a form of religious discrimination? Well, if we follow your logic, it seems you do.

            What does school choice — where parents INSTEAD OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS choose what schools their children go to and who teaches them — have to with favoring one religion over another? Only if GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS CHOOSE can the government favor one religion over another, and that is exactly what government is doing. That’s what you are defending. Why? Government OFFICIALS are favoring Secularism, denigrating the importance of God, as opposed to letting parents decide for themselves what their children should be taught.

            Will some people send their children Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Jehovah, Jew, Mormon, and Atheist various other types of schools? Yes. Some parents will make the effort, and that is their right. That is why school choice is better. Because of the 1st Amendment, they have that right.

            Because they love them, I have faith that most parents will make a better choice for their children than politicians will make for other people’s children. I also have faith that most people will copy a good example when they understand the wisdom of it. Unfortunately, because we have a government-run monopoly, it is difficult to find and follow good examples.

            The entire Christian bible (as well as most religious texts) is a horror story (human sacrifices, severe oppression and sexism, rape, slavery, homophobia, misogyny, list goes on)

            The Bible is the story of our redemption by Jesus Christ. The Bible shows us why we need redemption.

            There are two basic steps to accepting the salvation offered by Jesus.
            1. Repent of your sins.
            2. Trust Jesus.

            In addition to showing us our sinful nature, the Bible also explains the benefit of trusting Jesus. Hence, the Bible is not just a horror story; it is a story of love, that demonstrates God is love.

            People of EVERY SINGLE RELIGION say the EXACT SAME THINGS about their god and their religious bible that you say about yours. Absolutely no difference.

            Not true. Every other religion says you have to do something to achieve nirvana, paradise, or whatever rewards its followers think are offered after this life. The Bible says we have already been saved. Jesus did it all. We just have to accept His gift. What gets in the way? It is our inability to do anything; it is just our pride.

          18. Who is paying for these vouchers? Not I that’s for sure.

            Scarcity of religion (while Islam, Judaism, and Mormonism are in fact not scarce in the US) does not change the fact that all religions must be respected equally according to law.

            Like you said, not all taxpayers can afford private school, so according to your argument, ALL children of religious people – regardless of religion – must have access to a school near them of the religion of their parent’s choice.

          19. @Amanda

            What is a religion? There is no perfect definition? You say your Secularism is not a religion. Yet you want to force it on other people’s children. What’s the point? How is that different from what you say you are against?

            The differences between Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Paganism, and so forth are huge. Because each religion is so different, what makes something a religion is ill-defined. The most accurate thing we can say is that religion is a philosophy of life.

            When children are grow up, they are desperate for guidance, a philosophy of life. Why? Think about the imperative need to answer these questions. Where did you learn your answers?

            There are four big questions in life.
            –Why am I here?
            –What is right and wrong?
            –What brings me meaning
            –What happens to a human being when I die?
            — List from Ravi Zacharias (an expert in Christian apologetics) who says there are Four Questions To Answer In Life.(=>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfb5-7mtC-8)

            Because students learn their answers to those questions from their teachers and their fellow students, to a large degree every school is a seminary. Some schools are much better than others. Some teach faith, hope, love, and even instill a bit of humility. At the opposite extreme others are seminaries of vice and crime.

            What kind of seminary do you think politicians would like to run? Do their glowing promises every match their deeds? Why don’t you think parents are more trustworthy? When it is not necessary, why do you want to take people’s money from them and have politicians spend it for them?

            As fare as I can tell, you are being hypocritical. You are posing problems that don’t exist and misunderstanding the obvious. That indicates an agenda and not one you can honestly defend.

          20. It is not MY secularism; the US is secular by definition because practicing a religion is not required to be a citizen.
            Society is not force bound by or force tied to religion in any way.

            Religion: a particular system of faith or worship

            Your personal view of philosophy and religion do not change the fact that you cant force me to pay for your child to learn religions as fact, period.

            We already teach children religious studies as electives in public high schools, why is this coupled with church going not enough ?

          21. @Amanda

            You are already be forced to pay taxes. I am already being forced to pay taxes. That has never been what this debate is about. So quite the silly posturing.

            School choice is about parents, not politicians, choosing the schools their schools attend. It is a civil rights issue. Because of your Secularism, you favor state control. Because believe in religious freedom and the free exercise of religious belief, I favor parental control.

            Because you believe in majoritarian tyranny, if school choice continues to become more popular, you will pay your taxes. If not, I hope you look good in an orange jumpsuit.

          22. We pay nonreligious, secular taxes, yes. Not taxes to push religions.

            Whatever school choice is about, I’m still not paying for it, because I don’t have to. This is America, after all.

            This has nothing to do with my personal beliefs. The law separates church from the state, and tax money is a state issue, therefore no taxpayer funded religion “schools” allowed, sorry.

          23. And in what hillbilly XXXXXXX place did that happen?

            Are you saying that one court ruling means the law and entire structure of the country is going to change? Doubtful.

          24. I looked it up and was only able to find one case in one town of it getting approved and several cases of it getting denied.

            Either way, a court’s ruling has nothing to do with what’s fair or ethical.

            Religion needs to be kept off the list of things tax money is used for.
            We do not need church time during class time.

          25. Secularism is a religion.

            The founders created a secular state, not secularism. They intended government to be neutral towards religion, not to suppress religious belief.

            School vouchers are neutral. Government-run schools are not. As presently constituted, they discourage religious belief, and that is obviously what you want.

          26. What definition of religion applies to secularism?

            Neutral means an option that people can choose to take or leave. That is precisely what religions are and should remain, not forced on people and their paychecks.

            What I want is for religions and their ideologies and doctrines to be kept away from the paychecks of taxpayers.

          27. I suppose I have to write a post of the definition of religion. Meanwhile, why don’t try to define religion? Provide a definition that includes all the things you call religion without including Secularism? Then explain how government-run schools are supposed to teach anything without teaching religion.

          28. There are several definitions of the word, I’m just curious to know which one you’d say secularism falls under, a post dedicated to it is unnecessary.

            I’d say even if you can apply one of the definitions of religion to secularism, doesn’t that just mean that you support vouchers for the “religion” of secularism, since you’re promoting vouchers for all religions?

            Public high schools already offer religious studies as elective classes, just like other theoretical studies; I’ve said this a few times now. No reason to force more than that using other people’s money.

          29. So the idea that religions should be optional and not forced on society is a religion ? That gets sillier the more I think about it

          30. @Amanda

            You are not going to provide a definition that includes all the things you call religion without including Secularism? You are not going to explain how government-run schools are supposed to teach anything without teaching religion?

            When we don’t want to change, it is an old trick to force the other guy to answer endless questions. No change is perfect. The issue is whether a change is an overall improvement. School vouchers would be a definite improvement.

            Anyway, I will write that post. Don’t expect to change your mind, but if it opens a few eyes that will be for the good.

          31. That is in no way a response to anything I said. I’m getting frustrated with this conversation and it isn’t worth it to me to finish it since I’m just repeating myself and getting ignored with irrelevant questions.
            Please don’t respond to me anymore at any point further than this.

          32. @Amanda

            I will let you know when I put up my post on the definition of religion.

            Why are you frustrated? Since we impose frustration upon ourselves, I think that has to do with the goals you have defined, not me.

            Have I answered your questions? Well, it is apparent I have not given you the answers you want. Why? Well, that is a good question.

            When I answered your questions, I gave you my answers as I understand your questions and perceived the answers. Since we cannot force others either to understand us or to adopt our point-of-view, we often find others in disagreement. Even in a totalitarian state, those who rule can only force the people to parrot words, not believe.

            Still, some people will go great pains to force others to do what they want. Imagine being in an army, and battle has begun. You are ordered to attack, but you don’t want to do so. However, your commanders have given you a choice. Attack or be shot by members of your own army. As it happens, because this army is made up of young men who were impressed into service, the commanders have ordered their most loyal soldiers bring up the rear, to shoot anyone they see running from the fight.

            Do you want to be like one of those commanders? Would you like to be one of the loyal soldiers ordered to shoot any soldier who runs away? You may be surprised to know the Bible addresses this issue. The Bible says God only wants volunteers fighting for Him.

            I don’t know if this will help you with your frustration, but here is an old poem about distinguishing between the things we can change and the things we cannot change => https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/prayer/prayers/serenity-prayer-applying-3-truths-from-the-bible.html.

            Anyway, you are welcome to comment or not.

          33. My frustration with the conversation is 100% because of your refusal to answer my questions before asking me questions. It is rude and not how conversation works. Please reread my comments if you have any question or misunderstanding of my position. I will not be looking at your blog or communicating with you at any further point. Very dissatisfied with the dishonesty and rudeness I’ve experienced here; I would never act that way to people on my blog, and I actually have valid points to make.

          34. @Amanda

            Since I don’t read minds, I don’t know exactly what is going on in your head. However, in spite of your protests to the contrary, I don’t have any reason to feel guilty about the way I have treated you. Given what you have said, I think you think I am rude because I don’t agree with you. If only take the time to read your last comment, I suppose some people will think me absurd when I say that, but I did answer your questions, I just did not give you the answers you wanted.

            When we look around the world, one thing we can see is that within each society of people there tends to be a high degree of conformity. More often than not, people tend to insist that the people around them believe and behave like they do. That’s why societies with freedom of religion, including the free exercise of religion, are so unusual. People like yourself get mad when other people dare to believe something different.

          35. I don’t have my own definition; Words already have definitions so I’m not sure what you mean by MY definition?

          36. Again I don’t make my own definitions, I go by standard definitions; so I’m not sure what you mean?

          37. Amanda,
            I can see why you are frustrated.
            You don’t even seem to be aware of what the Supreme Court is or its function. I’m not even sure you understand who Thomas Jefferson is. It’s always frustrating to engage in a debate when you are bringing nothing but monumental ignorance to the subject.

          38. @anon

            Amanda’s ignorance stems largely from the fact that our education system and mass media leave much to be desired. That’s why Obama said this in 2008.

            You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

            Think of the arrogance. How can he miss his own hypocrisy? Obama thinks we are intolerant because we don’t want to be changed by a supposedly wise soul like him? Obviously Obama is a good person. Why can’t we see that? It must be our problem.

            Of course, Mr. Change was still singing the same old tune in 2015.
            => https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/12/21/obama-dusts-off-his-cling-to-guns-or-religion-idea-for-donald-trump/?utm_term=.967852fed5fb

            While we were clinging to our guns and religion, Obama clung to himself.

          39. “Think of the arrogance. How can he miss his own hypocrisy? Obama thinks we are intolerant because we don’t want to be changed by a supposedly wise soul like him? Obviously Obama is a good person. Why can’t we see that? It must be our problem.”

            “All dem “hillbillies of XXXX places” need more learnin'” -public skooled

            I’m not sure what questions Amanda has asked that you have failed to answer (though, candidly, it became a little painful to read after the Supreme Court response followed by…”I looked it up and there’s just this little case…” showing further ignorance on the purpose of the USSC. So I might’ve missed it.

            I might point out that almost all of our State Constitutions mention God explicitly. Do they violate the 1st Amendment? Amanda’s rational seems to support that idea that it would be unconstitutional in Texas for the fire department to respond to a fire at Dallas Theological Seminary, because doing so would specifically benefit that seminary.

          40. @anon

            Sad as it sounds, I fear they are many out there who who happily start the fires and let “other people’s churches” burn if they could get away with it. Throughout history it has been that way, and people have changed little.

            Only Jesus has the power to change hearts, but even Christians still sin.

        2. “I wasn’t referring to just public schools as much as the idea of ANY government and tax payer funded thing being non-secular (which violates the amendment clearly).”

          If that sort of federal funding violates the amendment “clearly”, you should take your objections to the ACLU. They support the public funding of Muslim foot baths at Universities. On second thought, you might want to start with a protest of the Inaugural Prayer. Which has been a tradition since…um, George Washington.

        3. FWIW, Thomas Jefferson had the audacity to use federal money to buy Bibles, to put in schools. Guess he didn’t understand the Establishment clause as well as you do.

          1. You’re correct, it is my position that federal or any government or taxpayer funds should not be used for the purpose of any religion in any way, period.

          2. I thought my statement was obvious sarcasm.
            You truly believe you understand the intent and function of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States better than Thomas Jefferson?
            He’s the one from whom the phrase “separation of church and state” ORIGINATED.
            And he would disagree with you.

          3. Tom,

            You have to admit that @Amanda has a point.

            For example, let’s suppose that you live and work in a predominantly and deeply Catholic community. Because of your voucher system, one can imagine that tax dollars would flee the public school system for parochial schools leaving you little or no choice but to send your child to be indoctrinated by Catholics who would teach her to deify Mary, to give much greater significance to the Eucharist and to believe that good works are far more important to achieving Heaven than the simple justification by faith that you preach here. If that’s not disconcerting enough, then imagine that your community is mostly Muslim, and the only viable school you can take your tax voucher to is a Madrasa where, instead of the three R’s, your child will have to memorize the Koran all day. Do you really want your tax dollars going toward indoctrination in ANY religion or cult? If your religion is a tiny minority in your community, wouldn’t you prefer that your tax dollars only be spent on a public school option that, as much as possible, tries to be religiously neutral?


            That said, do you really think that it is possible to teach morals without ANY regard to religious mythology? Because we are human, we cannot help but be the products of the metaphors of our culture. The heroes and heroines of our culture as we are growing up inculcate into our very being and every notion of how we judge right from wrong. Although I tend to agree with you in that public paid for education should be as religiously neutral as possible, we can no more divorce religion from ourselves than we can deny any other part of being a human. So Tom has a point too – taken to an extreme, anti-religious indoctrination in schools is not only psychologically unhealthy, it becomes state sponsorship atheism in violation of the spirit of the 1st Amendment.

            Now I’ll shut up again and just enjoy this lively debate.

          4. @tsalmon

            I considered replying to your post, but it was too exasperating. You are not intending to be annoying, but the moderate position is too often just statistically moderate, not actually moderate.

            Consider how WWII started. The Nazis and the Communists invaded Poland. Since the Poles were overwhelmed, their opinion did not count for much. When the Nazis attacked the Communists, however, a real war started.

            Could the Nazis and the Communists have compromised? What would have been the moderate position between those two? Would either of them have cared?

            Anyway, I guess I will have to do a post on the definition of religion and its relevance to school choice.

          5. @tsalmon

            One of the reasons some people supported our government-run school system is that they wanted to prevent the Catholic Church from building schools. There is still a lot of anti-Catholic bigotry out there.

            Your New York Times article does say much about how Ireland funds the Catholic schools, but it is not through school vouchers, and it is still monopolistic.

            If you investigate, you will find that Catholic Schools in this country allow parents to choose not to participate in religious studies and services. It is choice to attend a Catholic School, and it is a choice to participate in religious studies and services. If a school annoys a parent, it gains nothing, but it loses a student.

            If we want choice, the answer is generally free enterprise. That are no perfect solutions, I have not claimed it would be, but school vouchers would work in Ireland too.

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