Personally I'm a lifelong practicing Catholic, but I'm also a fervent believer that a teacher's personal religious beliefs have no place in a public-funded classroom.
This seems to be somewhat of a contradiction. I suspect the tenets of your Catholic faith would have you "practice" differently. Perhaps I am wrong though as I not a Catholic scholar.
WRT the Catholic Church and the Theory of Evolution:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_and_the_Roman_Catholic_Church
The encyclical Humani Generis
, which states that there is no conflict between evolution and the Catholic faith, is still the prevailing doctrine I believe. The late John Paul II bolstered that opinion and Benedict seems not to have rescinded it.
(BTW, I'm not a Catholic; I follow religions though. There are some things I don't like Catholicism, but I have some good feelings toward that faith.)
Furthermore, here in Missouri there are a lot of fundamentalists, so if we let them push the thin edge of the wedge into the classroom on one thing, before you know it all science and sex education would be gone, and they would be burning books that they don't like.
This seems odd on a Linux forum where people seem to complain about FUD as it is just that. What science are you referring to? To say that the theory of evolution is fact is another contradiction. It is not fact and is no better supported by science than Intelligent Design. Both have holes in them. Which do you choose to believe (oops there's that faith subject again).
Intelligent design is not science at all; perhaps philosophy or theology of a kind. The theory of evolution is. 'Proof' does not exist in science as it does in mathematics, and, by definition, there are 'holes' in any scientific theory. Evolution is among the best tested of theories and is nearly as important to modern biology as cell theory.
The way I look at science, or knowledge in general really, is that we want to draw a circle, but we can only draw regular polygons. With each new discovery, we more closely approximate a circle as a new side is added. Triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, and so forth...we will never have a circle but maybe damn close to a circle.
And of course one can observe evolution in a very mundane way...note that flu shots change every year.
If you are also suggesting that lifelong, monogamous sex is bad education then you don't know the facts about sex. Just because people don't like to acknowledge consequences resultant from promiscuity doesn't mean that removing restraint is the best choice. People make choices and leaving out part of the information is not good education. Ignoring part of the information would include them in the same "backward thinking" that you seem to have put those fundamentalists.
Well if it's abstinence-only education you have in mind, it has been a statistical failure.
Also, there would be school prayer, and it would be Protestant prayer, which would not be to the liking of us Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics, and so on.
Perhaps the "fundamentalists" you speak of would want prayer to fit their belief system but considering that the majority of the public population in these United States calls themselves Christian (not Catholic, Jew, Muslim, Atheist, Agnostic, and so on) I think it's interesting that you would be opposed to what the public wants who fund the school you work at. But again because these United States are a Republic and not a Democracy you get the voice of a minority (Atheists) removing any opportunity for anyone's prayer to be school sponsored.
I'm curious about whether prayer has to be organized. I'm not really sure about the metaphysics behind it, but isn't it possible to pray mentally and silently, at least for Christians? Furthermore, why must prayer be held in school, as opposed to church or at home or whatever? I don't ask rhetorical questions (pointless), so I really don't know the answer.
Anyway, I for one don't think that students should be forced to pray. I think if prayer were imposed on us when we were in high school, one of my non-practicing Jewish friends and I (I'm a freethinker) would probably goof off.
And so the school board thinks it's best to keep the religion out completely. I'm in full agreement with them.
Perhaps you could ask them why, in the interests of education. The likely answer would not be something most would accept in any other aspect of their life. They (the school board) don't want religion (Protestant in particular) because someone would alert the ACLU or other such group and the school board would be sued and probably lose a great deal of money. But consider something a bit less obtrusive to life such as computers. The minority group Microsoft has the power to control the market. They have done so to the disdain of some. Many on this forum and other's like it don't particularly appreciate it and would like others more influentual then they are to stand up to what they feel the majority of computer users really want (interpreted as NOT Microsoft). Thus MS "keeps" other OSes from getting significant market share; a misinterpretation of Thomas Jefferson keeps prayer out of schools.
Microsoft are a powerful multinational corporation and the majority...the comparison doesn't hold up. I can't speak for everyone, but I think that many who don't toe the party line here, atheist, agnostic, independent believer (like me), or otherwise, are sometimes treated with suspicion and distrust. Persecution would be too strong a word, but, yes, fundamentalists do have way too much power in policy-making and culture here. As such, the friend I mentioned earlier and I will probably not be here too much longer. I think that many of the USA's intellectual youth, particularly we men, for whatever reason, are really disillusioned with the way things go now.
I have never agreed with reasoning that says one should do something because everyone else does it. In this case, it's an adult form of peer pressure, and I rarely ever bow to peer pressure. To put it bluntly, peer pressure is silly.
Fortunately I'm still protected by the "free expression of religion" clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, so they can't do a damn thing about it.
So you would use what you disagree with to support your opinion? The constitution was penned by men who were willing to die for the right to be Protestant. They were lifelong, practicing Protestants and their Biblical beliefs invaded every part of their life including the documents that we in the USA hold very dear.
I don't see why I should form my religious opinions according to what someone else believed long ago, whether or not they wrote an important document or not. Those who wrote the Magna Carta were Catholic, and those who wrote the Old Testament were of course Jewish. But that doesn't imply one must be Catholic or Jewish.
Actually, some commonly observed Western customs are distinctly un-Christian. If we were to make everything Christian, we'd have to change the names of the weekdays (for Tuesday is named after one of my favorite bands
), and move Christmas to a more likely date for the birth of Christ, and call 'Hell' by its original Hebrew name, 'Gehennom', or at least something like it, as in French. That last one has caused much confusion. Hel is where one goes when a warrior smacks him with a huge tree trunk: "Rívur upp eikikelvi stór / hann lemjir summar til heljar
For the "scientific" mind to discount something based on current knowledge and theory is arrogant as science had never been very good at predicting the future.
Predicting the future is integral to science. It's the only good way to test its reliability.
And lastly, to ignore spiritual issues in the name of science will doom society as history has revealed often (what was the last war over scientific beliefs...)
To the best of my knowledge, there have never been wars over scientific beliefs, but many over religion.