South African Skeptics

Religion in schools

Tweefo · 78 · 28488

Offline Faerie

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could be  ;) but really "tantrum"

Afrikaans is oulik beskrywend.

Correct! Tantrum it is.

My youngest's school only teach about the xtian god in their religious studies.

My eldest though (high school), receive a more wholistic curriculum and have a different demonation every week stating their case for their particular deity.  He got chucked out of his religious study period last year because he started asking (the same) ackward questions to each of the "leaders" and insisted on answers which they couldnt provide - they all complained and my son got himself excused from the period (fortunately both the boys enjoy math).

One of the questions I remember was related to the gender of a soul, and if a soul should be genderless, why should women be subservient as a female soul is equal to a males.  Good boy. Proud of that one.


Online BoogieMonster

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..... and how quick they are to abandon one of "God's" children should he think too much. True love that is.
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline Faerie

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..... and how quick they are to abandon one of "God's" children should he think too much. True love that is.

Yes, the poor lad is doomed to hell, I comforted him by assuring him I'll help him with his shovel as I'm doomed to burn too.

He was considered inciteful as well, being 17 and having an edge over an adult resulted in the majority of his friends pouring over their bibles to find things to challenge the poor sods that came to teach them. It became a huge game with a tally being kept as to who could outwit the teacher the most.  This year its offered as an optional and the kids may attend or not as they feel. Much better.


Offline Lilli

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The mere fact that the debate is taking place is already a step forward.

agreed - but is it a big enough step? I mean, a really lot of people have been talking about the supposed merits and/or drawbacks of a religious upbringing for many years now. I think everyone who participates on this forum should know by now that a religious nut is not capable of having this discussion. ('the bible says so', or 'god left me a post-it' seems to be popular counter-arguments.

Faerie I really like your children - they remind me of myself, only i was part of the generation who got a good beating when i rocked the proverbial boat - happy that at least that is not so anymore.


Offline Faerie

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Faerie I really like your children - they remind me of myself, only i was part of the generation who got a good beating when i rocked the proverbial boat - happy that at least that is not so anymore.

I rather like them too!  ;D

I was also part of the generation that received good beatings, and hence was a horribly rebellious teen. Probably why I'm so liberal in the upbringing of my kids. I think our generation were still in the trappings of children should be seen and not heard, I was adamant not to do that with my kids, also the reason my kids are bought up English and not Afrikaans - the Afrikaner Culture is generally way too conservative.


Offline Lilli

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Quote
the Afrikaner Culture is generally way too conservative.

Too True! I grew up in a house where my father was the ultimate conservative afrikaans speaking christian and my mother was the ultimate free spirit english speaking hippie. guess opposites attract or something.  :-\

Being horribly rebellious as a teen is of course excusable in the eyes of the then older generation - after all, they tend to think: 'oh shes just a kid, what does she know'. I have subsequently gotten myself into a professional situation where i would really no longer enjoy my bosses' support if they knew what i really thought about their religious views. I commend you for raising your kids in such a courageous way, because i think it would have been much easier if i were able to toe the line (i find it exceptionally difficult to keep my mouth shut at appropriate times sometimes  :-[) Instead i am pretty sure i am going to get myself fired pretty soon. Some things never change...


Offline Faerie

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because i think it would have been much easier if i were able to toe the line (i find it exceptionally difficult to keep my mouth shut at appropriate times sometimes  :-[) Instead i am pretty sure i am going to get myself fired pretty soon. Some things never change...

It would have been easier if I was able to toe the line too, I understand what you're saying, as for the rest, well, I happen to be looking frantically for a new job for exacly the reasons you've stated.

We're hijacking the thread a tad, is admin comfortable with this or want to divert this discussion to a new thread possibly? I personally would like to find out if the rest of us were rebellious teens and outspoken adults?


Offline bluegray

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We're hijacking the thread a tad, is admin comfortable with this or want to divert this discussion to a new thread possibly? I personally would like to find out if the rest of us were rebellious teens and outspoken adults?
Just start a new thread and continue there, I'll move the relevant posts if needed ;)
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Offline singemonkey

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Presumably the endorsement of a religion by a state school is unconstitutional?  How does it work in SA?  Are these schools just getting away with murder because of the overwhelming support for Christianity in this country?  Is there a "don't ask, don't tell" policy by the state in terms of their schools endorsing particular religions?

My other question/issue: is this the mother of all wasps nests?  Could challenging religious endorsement by state schools trigger a wave of resentment against the godless SA constitution?

It's pretty obvious to any rational person that official instruction in a particular religion exerts strong peer pressure on religious minorities.  Of course, South Africa is not exactly over-burdened with the rational.


Online BoogieMonster

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Quote
My other question/issue: is this the mother of all wasps nests?  Could challenging religious endorsement by state schools trigger a wave of resentment against the godless SA constitution?

This has already happened, in fact I'm surprised you don't know about it. HUGE media controversy after he threatened legal action against such "state" schools. The wasps nest was so badly disturbed the skeptic making the claims (Prof George Claasen) had to retract his views and decided to just shut up about the whole issue (I'm guessing death threats).

"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline singemonkey

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Hmm... Missed that one.  I follow the news but don't watch TV.  Might be the reason. 

Shouldn't the first baby step here be to publicise the plight of religious students of non-christian faiths and how they feel about being excluded from religious lessons in state schools?  Make it all about the children.  Good, religious children. 

Maybe the way to go is to use the rights of the child to force christian schools to provide religious instruction to other religions.  Since this would be unsustainable, they might then decide themselves to back away from the whole thing?


Offline StevoMuso

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Maybe the way to go is to use the rights of the child to force christian schools to provide religious instruction to other religions.  Since this would be unsustainable, they might then decide themselves to back away from the whole thing?
My son is in Gr 10 at a public high-school in Pta. All I did was write a letter saying we are not religious and that he should be excused from chapel (he goes to a study-session in the library instead). When he started at this school in Gr 8 he was nearly expelled for "satanism" - this is when I told the vice-principle that atheism is not anti-religion, it is the absence of religion. So, I considered fighting the system but have since realized that it would be as effective as trying to empty the ocean with a tea-cup. Most of the teachers are over-the-top-born-again-fundamentalists who took up a teaching career as a "calling" from Gawd. They still try and "reach" my son but he's a bright kid and way out of their league (hehe). We now just keep our mouths shut and heads down and try not to rock the boat too much. Cowardly? Naa - I don't think so. I just want my son to get his matric and have found that making waves will not change anything. Frustrating but realistic.
Friendly neighbourhood atheist.


Offline Brian

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My youngest daughter matriculated some years ago at St Mary's in Kloof durbs (private school). When she started there she started asking questions in RE (Religious Education) at my behest...like why is the course RE and we only learn about Christianity...so the school started the odd Muslim lesson...given by a fundamentalist Christian, no less...the next question: what about Judaism...no response...then 'my father's an atheist and he's prepared to give a talk on why he believes there is no god'....she became a marked person; the shock of being seen to be 'different' and peer pressure started telling on her in boarding school and she became anorexic (I was in Dar es Salaam for a year). It took about two years to get her back to 'normal' after we removed her from boarding and today she's a well balanced (whatever that means ;D) young woman. To end: We have four kids: One into spiritualism; one religious and two atheist. family discussions are way cool! >:D
Never let the child in you die!


Offline StevoMuso

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People don't want us to say anything about Atheism. I offered my services to a Pastor the other day. He has a Bible school and I said I would come and give a talk about atheism to the final-year students. He laughed and made a joke but I could see that there was no way he would allow it. My son is an outspoken atheist (I've tried to calm him down but hey - he's 15 going on 16) and he has a very lonely school life. Other kids see him as weird and the teachers ... well, let's just say he's not very popular (and he gets in the 90's for maths, 80s for English etc).
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Offline Faerie

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My son is an outspoken atheist (I've tried to calm him down but hey - he's 15 going on 16) and he has a very lonely school life. Other kids see him as weird and the teachers ... well, let's just say he's not very popular

Common problem it would seem, my youngest is 14 and has similar problems, he had a spat earlier this year with his two friends, patched it up briefly, but are now "friendless". He's optimistic though, he feels High School next year will bring more opportunities with regard to like-minded friends. Fortunately he's okay with being on his own. Its tough at their age. My eldest was fortunate enough to have had friends with likeminded parents since primary school and these issues never really became a problem for him.