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Is this upholding separation of church/state, or an even more blatant violation of establishment of religion?

Posted by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:25 PM
  • 29 Replies

Yes, the source is biased. I couldn't find an objectional article on the issue, other than the policy in writing here. READ IT. As for a quick summary:

Indianapolis Schools Ban Atheism Websites

by Jesse Galef

The Indianapolis Public School system has a policy to ban certain websites from being viewed at school.  I certainly hated it when I was in high school (we found ways to bypass it if course) but it’s a reasonable idea.  And the list of subjects banned is pretty straightforward: Pornography, Social Networking, Atheism and “Alternative Spirituality”, Games –

Wait, what?  Sites on ‘alternative spirituality’ are banned?  From the policy (pdf hosted on FFRF website):

“Sites that promote and provide information on religions such as Wicca, Witchcraft or Satanism.  Occult Practices, atheistic views, voodoo rituals or other forms of mysticism are represented here…  This category includes sites which discuss or deal with paranormal or unexplained events.”  [emphasis mine]

Any site addressing LGBT issues or sexual identity is also banned – great idea for the kids going through confusing times, right?

Ok, first of all, I don’t know why “atheistic views” are in the same category as Satanism.  But ignoring that idiocy, this is hugely discriminatory.  “Normal” religious sites are allowed, but not the “scary minority” religious views.  I could understand if all religious sites were banned but there’s no way to justify banning only some.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is on the case, writing a letter to the superintendent and urging people to voice their concerns.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2009/11/indianapolis-schools-ban-atheism-websites/


"Women need not always keep their mouths shut and their wombs open." -Emma Goldman
 


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by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:25 PM
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Replies (1-10):
stringtheory
by Gold Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:33 PM

BUMP

momtoscott
by Platinum Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:37 PM
1 mom liked this

So a kid can look up information on Christian or Jewish (or Islamic, I'm hoping) sites, but not wicca, pagan, or atheist?  I can understand keeping kids from playing games or watching porn, at least not on the school's server.  Keeping them from gaining knowledge about other belief systems is wrong.  Since the prohibition clearly discriminates against some forms of religion, I'm going with violation of establishment of religion. 

stringtheory
by Gold Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:43 PM

So the only thing I can think that would make this NOT an establishment of religion is if it were ever brought to light that viewing a Christian site might arguably fall under this description from the policy:

"this category includes sites which discuss or deal with paranormal or unexplained events."

Quoting momtoscott:

So a kid can look up information on Christian or Jewish (or Islamic, I'm hoping) sites, but not wicca, pagan, or atheist?  I can understand keeping kids from playing games or watching porn, at least not on the school's server.  Keeping them from gaining knowledge about other belief systems is wrong.  Since the prohibition clearly discriminates against some forms of religion, I'm going with violation of establishment of religion. 


romalove
by Roma on Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:45 PM
2 moms liked this


Quoting stringtheory:

So the only thing I can think that would make this NOT an establishment of religion is if it were ever brought to light that viewing a Christian site might arguably fall under this description from the policy:

"this category includes sites which discuss or deal with paranormal or unexplained events."

Quoting momtoscott:

So a kid can look up information on Christian or Jewish (or Islamic, I'm hoping) sites, but not wicca, pagan, or atheist?  I can understand keeping kids from playing games or watching porn, at least not on the school's server.  Keeping them from gaining knowledge about other belief systems is wrong.  Since the prohibition clearly discriminates against some forms of religion, I'm going with violation of establishment of religion. 


Sounds like an issue ripe for a lawsuit.  Unless all religious sites are blocked, it is a blatant violation of the First Amendment.

stringtheory
by Gold Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:48 PM
1 mom liked this
Yet the liberal media can only be found reporting when a Jesus picture might be banned... I KNOW FFRF put out a press release, they do for just about all their cases, I'm pretty sure.

Quoting romalove:


Quoting stringtheory:

So the only thing I can think that would make this NOT an establishment of religion is if it were ever brought to light that viewing a Christian site might arguably fall under this description from the policy:

"this category includes sites which discuss or deal with paranormal or unexplained events."

Quoting momtoscott:

So a kid can look up information on Christian or Jewish (or Islamic, I'm hoping) sites, but not wicca, pagan, or atheist?  I can understand keeping kids from playing games or watching porn, at least not on the school's server.  Keeping them from gaining knowledge about other belief systems is wrong.  Since the prohibition clearly discriminates against some forms of religion, I'm going with violation of establishment of religion. 


Sounds like an issue ripe for a lawsuit.  Unless all religious sites are blocked, it is a blatant violation of the First Amendment.

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stringtheory
by Gold Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:49 PM
This is from 2009, so I'm curious if the school has changed the policy. But couldn't find anything...
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Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:50 PM

I dislike that it blocks sites on atheism but I'm hardly surprised. Ultimately the school district can ban access to just about anything they wish to ban access to on the internet used at school. Am I wrong? I need more information about legality and constitutionality of banning particular webites while on campus.

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:51 PM
1 mom liked this

As long as sites on Christianity are banned as well, while at school, I have no issue with this.

romalove
by Roma on Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:52 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting stringtheory:

Yet the liberal media can only be found reporting when a Jesus picture might be banned... I KNOW FFRF put out a press release, they do for just about all their cases, I'm pretty sure.

Quoting romalove:


Quoting stringtheory:

So the only thing I can think that would make this NOT an establishment of religion is if it were ever brought to light that viewing a Christian site might arguably fall under this description from the policy:

"this category includes sites which discuss or deal with paranormal or unexplained events."

Quoting momtoscott:

So a kid can look up information on Christian or Jewish (or Islamic, I'm hoping) sites, but not wicca, pagan, or atheist?  I can understand keeping kids from playing games or watching porn, at least not on the school's server.  Keeping them from gaining knowledge about other belief systems is wrong.  Since the prohibition clearly discriminates against some forms of religion, I'm going with violation of establishment of religion. 


Sounds like an issue ripe for a lawsuit.  Unless all religious sites are blocked, it is a blatant violation of the First Amendment.

When it comes to light it will be under "Indianapolis Schools Asked by Atheists to Remove Ability To View Christian Websites At School".

romalove
by Roma on Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:52 PM


Quoting FromAtoZ:

As long as sites on Christianity are banned as well, while at school, I have no issue with this.

Did you read the policy?


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