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51 Answers

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

Of course not. Next question.

Zaku's avatar

Of course not. At least it’s a way to get your child away from dreadful teachers.

Brian1946's avatar

Fictitious place of eternal infernal punishment NO!

zenvelo's avatar

Nope. Not even in a church school.

basstrom188's avatar

Definitely not! Does not your country separate church from state?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

That teacher should face some very harsh discipline for that, what an idiot.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

No, but Indiana is turning into a “Fundamentalist” state. Just ask their Governor Mike Pence Receives Instant Backlash After Signing Anti-Gay Bill Into Law

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

@zenvelo brings up a good point. This wouldn’t even happen in a Christian school unless it was Westboro bible high.

As @basstrom188 said.. there’s ample reason to separate church from state.

johnpowell's avatar

How about if MIT tossed all student applications from Indiana that want to go into the geology program?

syz's avatar

Of course not.

kritiper's avatar

No way Jose’!

JLeslie's avatar


I do wonder if the child brought it up out of nowhere? Or, if another kid asked him about where he goes to church?

Pachy's avatar


Darth_Algar's avatar

No, but I do believe that a teacher has the right to be thumped upside the head for punishing a student for not believing in god.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Poor kid. I can’t imagine the kind of bullying that’s going to take place now, and instigated by an adult no less. The teacher should lose her job and be banned from teaching ever again.

zenvelo's avatar

@JLeslie Another kid asked him on the playground where he went to church. And when a girl heard him say he doesn’t believe in God, she started crying. So then the teacher started to interrogate him, instead of teaching the girl about tolerance.

Adagio's avatar

If that was my child she would have been out of there on day 1 of the incident.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
stanleybmanly's avatar

No, and the courts won’t either. It’s troublesome that a person with this disposition is allowed access to kids. This isn’t about religious intolerance. It’s just plain dumb.

Buttonstc's avatar

Of course not. That’s ridiculous.

JLeslie's avatar

@zenvelo Of course, the teacher’s reaction is ridiculous. She should be reprimanded in some way.

I know people will disagree with me, but I do think the parents should tell the boy to answer that question saying simply, “my family doesn’t go to church,” and not expand on it. I also think the little girl should be taught not to ask what church someone goes to, but her parents and community probably do it, so that’s out the window.

However, we’re dealing with little kids, so I’m not saying either child did anything wrong. One asked a question, another answered the best way he knew how, and it upset one of them. The little girl should have been comforted and told, as you basically said, about how people are different. I don’t even call it tolerance at that age. It’s not “tolerating” each other is it? Just being accepting.

zenvelo's avatar

@JLeslie I wonder what the reaction by the teacher would have been if the child had said, “I go to temple” or “I go to the mosque”.

JLeslie's avatar

@zenvelo I missed what state this happened in? My experience in the Bible Belt is most religious Christians have the hardest time with atheists. Muslims and Jews they can deal with ok. In fact the Evangelicals are kind of obsessed with defending Israel and the Jews so we are ok there. It’s only the fringe skin head like people who are antisemitic in my experience. The Muslims have a more precarious plight in those parts of the country, it’s hit or miss. Most Christians are tolerant as long as the Muslim person isn’t trying to be a political leader or marry their daughter.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m going to add that I wouldn’t want some Christian kid going on at length about God, Christ and church with my Jewish kid, and I’m fine with Christian parents not wanting my atheist kid to talk at length about why God doesn’t exist. These kids don’t seem to be talking at length, just a brief exchange, but my only point is I can put myself in the Christian parent’s place insofar as I am similar.

thorninmud's avatar

I think we should leave it to God to punish those who don’t believe in him. Seems like everyone should be on board with that.

JLeslie's avatar

Edit: I went to the article again and see it happened in Indiana.

I’m curious who filed the suit against the teacher? Is one of the organizations that often fight for separation if church and state issues helping out? Or, is it just some random lawyer the parents hired?

Did it really have to become a lawsuit?

cazzie's avatar

To answer this question; Of course not. What would I do with this teacher? If I was the school administrator, I’d put her on notice and then audit her class. If I was a parent, I would go to the administrator and if they didn’t put her on notice and audit her class, I would make it into a lawsuit. This shit don’t fly.

LuckyGuy's avatar

And this is why there are organizations like Freedom From Religion .

talljasperman's avatar

What if it was the other way around? Where a child was punished for believing in God? I believe it should go both ways. The teacher was wrong and the child should not be punished.

cazzie's avatar

@talljasperman when was a child punished for believing in god? Can you link to that story?

talljasperman's avatar

@cazzie I told a grade 6 teacher , in a Roman Catholic elementary school, that I was immortal and when asked how old I would be in 2015 I said infinite. I got a zero on the math assignment. The teacher wanted me to say 38. I refused. I was denied recess until broke but I never did so no recess for me. I did get ahead of my vocabulary homework and got 236% in it. I was able to transfer to the honors class in grade 7. And I was permitted to skip religious classes and attend special ed classes for the gifted.

planetsreign's avatar

Punishment should never be happening for Children who believe or do not believe in a god. Rather instead Educate them and allow them to make decisions based on the INFORMATION and Facts that You have Given them.

JLeslie's avatar

@LuckyGuy This is why I asked just above your statement about the FFRF who brought suit. I was curious if it was an organization like that.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@JLeslie “Did it really have to become a lawsuit?”

Yes. That’s generally how one seeks recourse from the state.

cazzie's avatar

@talljasperman I think you should have been diagnosed then.

JLeslie's avatar

@Darth_Algar What recourse? What are they asking for?

cazzie's avatar

@JLeslie I think bringing the case to national attention is a damn good start for one.

kimchi's avatar

Teachers cannot even mention religion in school, or favor of any religion. In our school, we never talked about it.

Darth_Algar's avatar


It shows that such flagrant violations of the religious freedoms cannot, should not and will not be tolerated. What do you propose they should do?

JLeslie's avatar

I’m just asking (curious) what the lawsuit is asking for? Money? Firing the teacher? What?

Darth_Algar's avatar

Well you can’t really sue to have somebody fired, so yeah, there’s going to be a bit of a financial tag applied. Though my understand is that as far as financial compensation goes they’re mainly asking for a reimbursement of their attorney’s fees.

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie I think bringing it to national attention is good too.

cazzie's avatar

It’s worse in the Southern Court system. Stories like this are common.

And the sad thing is that these are so common, the couple didn’t even think they’d have a chance to appeal this crazy.

JLeslie's avatar

You don’t have to tell me. Some of the schools where I lived in the south taught the bible in literature class. That’s how they got around it I guess.

I just wonder if the story the OP linked, what the family tried to do at the school level before going to a lawsuit.

fluthernutter's avatar

@JLeslie It really depends on the approach. I read the bible (and other religious texts) for an English lit course in college.

JLeslie's avatar

College is totally different.

fluthernutter's avatar

@JLeslie I think with the right teacher, the bible could be approached like any other piece of writing. I had a great English teacher in high school. He could have pulled it off.

Do you feel college is different because of the students or teachers? Or something else entirely?

JLeslie's avatar

@fluthernutter It’s different because the students are adults in college. It’s also different because a whole big section of America is very religious and think their religion, Christianity, is right. I’m not going to trust them to teach the bible to my kids as literature. Not when we still hear people want prayer in school and they get all worked up when coaches are no longer allowed to say a prayer before a game, and they feel creationism is equal to a scientific theory. Not when the religion we are talking about, and a decent percentage of the kids in that class are taught by their churches and family that other religions are wrong and the followers of other religions are going to hell, and the goal of the religion is to convert people. When some of the churches push teenagers to invite friends to their church socials to rope them in. In those parts of the country they are trying to find a way to get Christianity into the schools, and their loophole is English Lit. I am not ok with it.

I am fine with comparative religion as an elective in high school though, which might surprise you. I’m also ok with what the Mormons do in Utah which is have religion class off school property as an elective and the kids can get a credit hour for it.

cazzie's avatar

Well, here’s the thing with the christian bible and literature. You can’t study classic literature long before you hit a reference to the bible. Knowing what the references mean and having a sense of the history and meaning behind it isn’t the same as preaching from it. Just off the top of my head (and I’m going back some 30 years here folks to 1985) John Donne, Milton, Shakespeare, Bronte (all of them) Shelley, Keats…. I’m sure I could list more if I looked more up, but I think you get my point. Of course the same goes for art.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I think the teacher should be brought up in front of the class and told exactly what she did wrong and why it was wrong, then told that she would never be allowed to teach or supervise children ever again. Then her teaching license should be permanently revoked, as well as her passport, and she should be abandoned on the shores of Iran.

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