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The Right To Evangelize At School?

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I noticed a new advertisement today, from the Alliance Defending Freedom for Faith and Justice, and I clicked on it to see what it's about.  It's about letting people know their rights regarding faith and public school.  I read the FAQ and according to this group students have the right to pray, read scripture, and EVANGELIZE.

Evangelize is what I want to talk about.  I fully understand that kids are permitted to pray in school, wear religious gear, read holy books, etc.  It's the evangelizing that I question, because it calls into question where one person's right to religious freedom clash with another person's right to religious freedom.  Would you want your non-Christian child to be evangelized by another child at a public school?  I think that crosses the line.

What do you all think?

by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 6:04 AM
Replies (341-350):
romalove
by Roma on Dec. 5, 2012 at 5:17 PM
2 moms liked this


Quoting punky3175:

I love how closely so many of the religions resemble each other. I added Goddess because, as a Pagan, we worship (and work on balancing) the masculine and feminine so the Divine therefore has masculine and feminine aspects.

Sorry Roma - don't mean to hijack your thread.


Quoting macbudsmom:

I love that you added (desses).  My Kabbalah friends have really pushed or encouraged me to see that God has a feminine side too.  I believe they call her the Shekinah.  They also bring in astrology as an important tool to knowing God and finding your path.


Quoting punky3175:

That's actually how I feel as well. :-) I think exploring and learning about other viewpoints can strengthen your faith regardless of which God(desses) you honor/worship.



Quoting macbudsmom:

Even though I can never see myself turning away from my God, I believe that its always good to study, question, and explore.  I think too often people try to put our God in a little box and say this is who He is and what He has done and why He has done it.  To me, our God is to big and awesome to squish into that little box.

I am actually studying Kabbalah or Jewish mysticism now.  Not to replace my Catholic faith, but as a way to enhance it.  It definitely has some different concepts that some of my Christian friends find offensive and suggest that I am going down a dangerous path.  I disagree.  God is so much more than just one religion or faith.  Why can't we learn from other belief systems as well.  = )



Quoting punky3175:

Thank you. He is still trying g to find his path and I've told him to stop engaging in religious discussions until he's done his own research and figured out what he truly believes and can actually back it up. Which may not be fair because faith doesn't have a whole lot of reason, huh? :-) but he takes after his father and doesn't always think before he speaks whether he actual knows what he's talking about or not.





Quoting macbudsmom:

Thanks.  I hope things improve for your son.  = )




Quoting punky3175:

I keep telling him to not let the individuals destroy his opinion of the whole. Christianity has a lot of wonderful things to teach and the Christians I know personally are some truly wonderful people who are strong in their faith. I love seeing that.







Quoting macbudsmom:

I am sorry your son has to deal with that.  He shouldn't have to at school or anywhere else.  It gives true Christians a bad rap. 





Quoting punky3175:

It all depends on how they go about it. As you've said you and your children would end the conversation if the person you were talking to said they were not interested. I don't have a problem with that and i in fact, greatly respect and appreciate it.









For the record, I would never tell my kids to tell another kid that. In fact, a few weeks ago I told my son to stop talking about religion at school because he was wanting to do what I said below. He was sick of the kids at school constantly bothering him about Christianity. It's not his path but they don't seem to want to back off from it.










Quoting macbudsmom:

The example of calling someone's beliefs ridiculous or stolen is rude and disrespectful.

My kids simply talking about their faith is harming no one. 






Quoting punky3175:

Roma - you're a big ole scaredy cat. And I'm a big ole meanie because we aren't Christian and can separate religion from our lives. And I agree - having conversations with some people is impossible because they refuse to see anything but their own biased view. But if your child started telling their child(ren) that religion is ridiculous or mine started talking about how Chrisitianity 'stole' a bunch of Pagan traditions and Christ's birth story is just rehashing many old Pagan birth stories, they'd be all up in arms. Really does blow my mind but reconfirms I'm on the right path for me.











Quoting romalove:


Quoting macbudsmom:

Usually when people shut down a conversation its because they have nothing to come back with.  Gotcha.







Quoting romalove:


Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

No




















Quoting romalove:


Quoting macbudsmom:

How exactly do you suggest we stop it?  Do we also stop the kids from talking about there favorite tv shows or video games we disagree with?  Where and how do you stop it?

You see no difference between talking about pop culture and trying to convert others to your religion?








Another end to the conversation.  You don't see the difference between converting kids and taste level.  We won't be able to come to any common ground.


No, I continued when you said something answerable.  See above.  When the discussion is converting kids at school is akin to pop culture choices, we are not even on the same planet for discussion.






Don't be silly, you guys are having a nice discussion, something I always encourage.  :-)

RhiannonMare
by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 5:17 PM
1 mom liked this

Never lived in the South, have you?

Quoting mitty18:

My children have the right to go to school, pray, read their bibles, discuss their faith, and also have the right to tell their friends that they believe that Jesus is the to Heaven.
IN all of the religious talks i have been in and all the evangelizing that I've witness, never once have i heard ANYONE say that you're going to hell! Kids aren't going to be going that deep. I think that your looking at this from an adults mind, not a child's mind. You're going to deep with this.
My children know that if someone doesn't want to hear what they've got say or if they're uncomfortable to back off and leave them be. They know NOT to harass anyone about religion because that will not win anyone to Christ...


romalove
by Roma on Dec. 5, 2012 at 5:18 PM


Quoting RhiannonMare:

Never lived in the South, have you?

Quoting mitty18:

My children have the right to go to school, pray, read their bibles, discuss their faith, and also have the right to tell their friends that they believe that Jesus is the to Heaven.
IN all of the religious talks i have been in and all the evangelizing that I've witness, never once have i heard ANYONE say that you're going to hell! Kids aren't going to be going that deep. I think that your looking at this from an adults mind, not a child's mind. You're going to deep with this.
My children know that if someone doesn't want to hear what they've got say or if they're uncomfortable to back off and leave them be. They know NOT to harass anyone about religion because that will not win anyone to Christ...


I would have guessed that's exactly where she lives LOL

macbudsmom
by Silver Member on Dec. 5, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Yes didn't mean to hijack anything.  Just good when we can find some common ground.

My friend and I were just talking about the importance of that balance last night.  He was concerned because I was reading a Kabbalah book written by a woman called "God Wears Lipstick."  He worried it would be pushing the feminine aspect rather than a balanced approach.  (It isn't, but that was his concern.)

Sekirei
by Nari Trickster on Dec. 5, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Maybe she lives there... o.O Lol

Quoting RhiannonMare:

Never lived in the South, have you?

Quoting mitty18:

My children have the right to go to school, pray, read their bibles, discuss their faith, and also have the right to tell their friends that they believe that Jesus is the to Heaven.
IN all of the religious talks i have been in and all the evangelizing that I've witness, never once have i heard ANYONE say that you're going to hell! Kids aren't going to be going that deep. I think that your looking at this from an adults mind, not a child's mind. You're going to deep with this.
My children know that if someone doesn't want to hear what they've got say or if they're uncomfortable to back off and leave them be. They know NOT to harass anyone about religion because that will not win anyone to Christ...



tooptimistic
by Kelly on Dec. 5, 2012 at 5:19 PM
1 mom liked this

I asked before but no one aswered.  

Who is going to come up with the list of kids can and can't talk about in school?  Who is going to enforce it?  How will it be enforced?  Will thing like talking about drugs and sex and alchol be on the list too?  Who will determine what is offensive and what is not?  Will religion be taken out of social studies too?  Some of the lessons in my oldests social studies class boardlined on teaching religion as they teaching about "culture."

Do kids have the freedom of speech at all?

macbudsmom
by Silver Member on Dec. 5, 2012 at 5:21 PM
1 mom liked this

This quote tree is getting too long.  lol. Commenting without it.  = )

Quoting punky3175:

I love how closely so many of the religions resemble each other. I added Goddess because, as a Pagan, we worship (and work on balancing) the masculine and feminine so the Divine therefore has masculine and feminine aspects.

Sorry Roma - don't mean to hijack your thread.


Quoting macbudsmom:

I love that you added (desses).  My Kabbalah friends have really pushed or encouraged me to see that God has a feminine side too.  I believe they call her the Shekinah.  They also bring in astrology as an important tool to knowing God and finding your path.


Quoting punky3175:

That's actually how I feel as well. :-) I think exploring and learning about other viewpoints can strengthen your faith regardless of which God(desses) you honor/worship.



Quoting macbudsmom:

Even though I can never see myself turning away from my God, I believe that its always good to study, question, and explore.  I think too often people try to put our God in a little box and say this is who He is and what He has done and why He has done it.  To me, our God is to big and awesome to squish into that little box.

I am actually studying Kabbalah or Jewish mysticism now.  Not to replace my Catholic faith, but as a way to enhance it.  It definitely has some different concepts that some of my Christian friends find offensive and suggest that I am going down a dangerous path.  I disagree.  God is so much more than just one religion or faith.  Why can't we learn from other belief systems as well.  = )



Quoting punky3175:

Thank you. He is still trying g to find his path and I've told him to stop engaging in religious discussions until he's done his own research and figured out what he truly believes and can actually back it up. Which may not be fair because faith doesn't have a whole lot of reason, huh? :-) but he takes after his father and doesn't always think before he speaks whether he actual knows what he's talking about or not.





Quoting macbudsmom:

Thanks.  I hope things improve for your son.  = )




Quoting punky3175:

I keep telling him to not let the individuals destroy his opinion of the whole. Christianity has a lot of wonderful things to teach and the Christians I know personally are some truly wonderful people who are strong in their faith. I love seeing that.







Quoting macbudsmom:

I am sorry your son has to deal with that.  He shouldn't have to at school or anywhere else.  It gives true Christians a bad rap. 





Quoting punky3175:

It all depends on how they go about it. As you've said you and your children would end the conversation if the person you were talking to said they were not interested. I don't have a problem with that and i in fact, greatly respect and appreciate it.









For the record, I would never tell my kids to tell another kid that. In fact, a few weeks ago I told my son to stop talking about religion at school because he was wanting to do what I said below. He was sick of the kids at school constantly bothering him about Christianity. It's not his path but they don't seem to want to back off from it.










Quoting macbudsmom:

The example of calling someone's beliefs ridiculous or stolen is rude and disrespectful.

My kids simply talking about their faith is harming no one. 






Quoting punky3175:

Roma - you're a big ole scaredy cat. And I'm a big ole meanie because we aren't Christian and can separate religion from our lives. And I agree - having conversations with some people is impossible because they refuse to see anything but their own biased view. But if your child started telling their child(ren) that religion is ridiculous or mine started talking about how Chrisitianity 'stole' a bunch of Pagan traditions and Christ's birth story is just rehashing many old Pagan birth stories, they'd be all up in arms. Really does blow my mind but reconfirms I'm on the right path for me.











Quoting romalove:


Quoting macbudsmom:

Usually when people shut down a conversation its because they have nothing to come back with.  Gotcha.







Quoting romalove:


Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

No




















Quoting romalove:


Quoting macbudsmom:

How exactly do you suggest we stop it?  Do we also stop the kids from talking about there favorite tv shows or video games we disagree with?  Where and how do you stop it?

You see no difference between talking about pop culture and trying to convert others to your religion?








Another end to the conversation.  You don't see the difference between converting kids and taste level.  We won't be able to come to any common ground.


No, I continued when you said something answerable.  See above.  When the discussion is converting kids at school is akin to pop culture choices, we are not even on the same planet for discussion.







mitty18
by Member on Dec. 5, 2012 at 5:22 PM

No, we home school. Answering as i would if they went to public school. I do know of a little girl who does tell about Jesus and that she feels he is the way to heaven. She doesn't say tell her friends they're going to hell. She was taught the same things we are teaching our son; that you don't harass people as it isn't the way to get her point across.

Like i said you are thinking of this from an adults POV not a child's.
Children go about things in different ways then adults. You're thinking of an adult and how they'd behave. A child isn't an adult and they're not going to behave in that same way.

Quoting romalove:


Quoting mitty18:

My children have the right to go to school, pray, read their bibles, discuss their faith, and also have the right to tell their friends that they believe that Jesus is the to Heaven.
IN all of the religious talks i have been in and all the evangelizing that I've witness, never once have i heard ANYONE say that you're going to hell! Kids aren't going to be going that deep. I think that your looking at this from an adults mind, not a child's mind. You're going to deep with this.
My children know that if someone doesn't want to hear what they've got say or if they're uncomfortable to back off and leave them be. They know NOT to harass anyone about religion because that will not win anyone to Christ...

Does your child attend a public school and do these things?  Do they have friends that do these things as well?  Are there non-Christian or non-religious kids in the school?




RhiannonMare
by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Punky, what path do you follow, if you don't mind me asking? I'm a Druid, BTW. So is my son.

Quoting punky3175:

You can try to turn this around all you want but I'm not at all playing 'victim' or offended by the fact you disagree with me. I'm not that easily offended. My skin is WAY thicker than that. And I believe I demonstrated an understanding of not being the 'right' kind of Christian and even mentioned it last night. Nor have I called you or even implied you were a 'mean' Christian. So - I'm done trying to discuss with you. You too easily go on the defensive

And remember - you started this tonight. I wasn't going to engage you.


Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

Just like you are playing the poor, picked on pagan by the mean Christians?

I haven't done anything towards you except disagree that evangelizing in school should be banned.   That is all I have disagreed with and you seem to have a real issue with it.


I don't know how you feel because I haven't asked.  I tend not ask religious questions that are personal of people I don't know.

And this is slight, but try being the red-headed stepchild of Christianity and sometimes both Christians and non-Christians like to mock or attack or insult what they see as a lack of faith if you are Episcopalian.   You aren't Catholic but you aren't Protestant and you like your liquor so you can't be Mormon or Seventh Day.  Or the atheists love to remind you that you really don't have a faith because your religion allows gays to be ordained.

You ignore it, you joke about it, or you simply tell them that their breath smells.   But never, ever would I tell someone that they should not have the right to evangelize in school.


Quoting punky3175:

There you go with your poor persecuted Christian act again. *eye roll*



For me - my path is exactly that - MY path. It's for me and no one else. I don't feel the need to 'share' it with others. I felt the same when I was a Christian. My faith in the Divine (or anyone else's faith) should be far more important to them than any celebrity whether sports, reality TV or actors.



I will never agree that any religion is part of pop culture. Because really is it all that 'popular' to be a devout Christian? To live your (general) life by the bible? Don't you (general) set yourself (general) up for mockery if you (general) claim to live a Christian life? Just ask Kirk Cameron and the kid from 2 1/2 Men. And those people share the majority faith of the country.



How do you (specifically) think us 'non-Christians' (since we all seem to get lumped together) feel when people find out we don't share their beliefs?



I respect everyone's path and have plenty of open, honest, civil discussions on the issue in my real life with people from all different religions.




Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

Not everyone would care if our children were told our religion was incorrect.

It's life.   People don't have to agree on religion, but neither should it be squelched in school.   Religion is a big part of the culture in this country.   To think it can somehow be separated from the latest discussion on who Kim Kardassian in screwing is silly.

And millions upon millions of Christians in this country know things like Christmas day and trees were co-opted.

But yeah, it is only the Christians that are intolerant of discussions.



Quoting punky3175:

Roma - you're a big ole scaredy cat. And I'm a big ole meanie because we aren't Christian and can separate religion from our lives. And I agree - having conversations with some people is impossible because they refuse to see anything but their own biased view. But if your child started telling their child(ren) that religion is ridiculous or mine started talking about how Chrisitianity 'stole' a bunch of Pagan traditions and Christ's birth story is just rehashing many old Pagan birth stories, they'd be all up in arms. Really does blow my mind but reconfirms I'm on the right path for me.





Quoting romalove:


Quoting macbudsmom:

Usually when people shut down a conversation its because they have nothing to come back with.  Gotcha.




Quoting romalove:


Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

No











Quoting romalove:


Quoting macbudsmom:

How exactly do you suggest we stop it?  Do we also stop the kids from talking about there favorite tv shows or video games we disagree with?  Where and how do you stop it?

You see no difference between talking about pop culture and trying to convert others to your religion?





Another end to the conversation.  You don't see the difference between converting kids and taste level.  We won't be able to come to any common ground.


No, I continued when you said something answerable.  See above.  When the discussion is converting kids at school is akin to pop culture choices, we are not even on the same planet for discussion.




Sekirei
by Nari Trickster on Dec. 5, 2012 at 5:23 PM


Quoting tooptimistic:

I asked before but no one aswered.  

Who is going to come up with the list of kids can and can't talk about in school?  Who is going to enforce it?  How will it be enforced?  Will thing like talking about drugs and sex and alchol be on the list too?  Who will determine what is offensive and what is not?  Will religion be taken out of social studies too?  Some of the lessons in my oldests social studies class boardlined on teaching religion as they teaching about "culture."

Do kids have the freedom of speech at all?

no, they don't.. not in school at least. 


In general, minor have full first amendment rights in the private and public spheres, the same as adults. However, in the school setting, a school can restrict minor's freedom of speech under certain criteria.

For example, if the "rule [is] necessary to avoid substantial interference with school discipline or the rights of others," then their rights may be restricted. See Tinker v. Des Moines School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969).

In a recent case, the Supreme Court said that a banner which read "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" created a serious potential for disciplinary issues, and thus could be regulated. See Morse v. Frederick, 127 S. Ct. 2618 (2007). A student can be punished at school for lewd and indecet speech, but not obscene speech. See Bethel v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675 (1986). 

A school can censor the first amendment right to freedom of the press based on 'public policy'. See Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260 (1988). However, they cannot it randomly or based on personal reasons. See Dean v. Utica, 345 F. Supp.2d 799 (E.D. Mich. 2004).

(snagged this from an answer forum)

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