Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Religion

This post is in response to "Anonymous" under the title "Vote for Jennifer Abell" which I have asked for more clarity. (I would like to please urge everyone to at least use a username because all of the anonymous posts are getting really confusing. ) I thought it might be better to start another topic group, since this topic is of a more sensitive nature.

As for religion, I am religious, I am a Christian, and I love God. He is my companion and confidant and sustains me through my days.

I do not believe I have ever pushed or even tried to push my religious beliefs on anyone. I respect all religions, cultures, and people and knowing that everyone is different, also believe that religious teachings are best left for the family to decide. After all, these students are not just students of the Charles County Public School System, but they are first and foremost YOUR children.

I do believe there are certain values that can be enhanced, instilled and enforced in the school system. Sometimes people might betray these values as religious but they are simply values that are necessary to live in unison in a community. Such as, do not kill, lie, steal, or cheat. Respect one another and their property. Etc. I do not believe that anyone, no matter what religion (or following), culture, or upbringing you come from, would argue these values as unimportant in society.

I hope this posts clarified my position on religion in the schools.

7 comments:

Religious said...

With regards to the comments about keeping religion out of schools I was very encouraged by your opinion that all religions, cultures, beliefs, etc. should be respected. I believe respecting others' differences is the key to peaceful, harmonious existence. I was also glad to hear you say that religious teachings should indeed be left to family & religious institution, NOT our schools. I think you were perceived as pushing to teach creationism & NOT evolution in the classroom. Thanks for clearing that up.

VOVeritas said...

Dear Mrs. Abell:

Thank you for deciding to run for Board of Education. I also appreciate your web log as an attempt to reach out to the public for stimulating ?healthy debate.?

One debate that will never depart the schools is the Creation/Evolution debate. More often than not, the teachers? union will do everything it can to suppress it. But I contend from experience that debate must be taught.

You may feel the current Board never recovered from the October 2004 sessions concerning it, or the fact whichever position is supported ultimately dissolves into a religious impasse having no resolution beyond personal decision, and no middle ground. The existence of God being a ?yes or no? matter, therein lies the division you sense. The Jews reacted to Jesus Christ the very same way (e.g., John 10:19-21). While I confess my zeal back then led to a regrettable resolution banning me from school grounds ? an order I have respected -- I also note that due process in this country usually grants the right of an accused to confront his accuser in the appropriate public forum. Cara Busch was granted that in 2004. I was not.

Do you see in that injustice an attempt to suppress debate? Another example more recently is Ms. Kati Cabanillas (Westlake High School) editorializing in the Maryland Independent how creationism should not be taught in public schools. My rebuttal follows, but the Independent decided not to publish it. Editor Angela Breck?s reasons aside, I ask you: If students are allowed to participate in open debate, why aren?t knowledgeable members of the public allowed to oppose them just as openly ? and forcefully -- when those same students fail to demonstrate the reasoning ability they attend school to acquire? The schools disgrace themselves every time a student stands forth only to spout ignorance. (As a matter of public affairs, the Board ought to adopt a review policy before students get published on matters concerning their education.)

My single biggest grief with kids like Ms. Cabanillas is the culture of ignorance they too readily embrace without school authority repudiating it authoritatively. Worse, behind that culture is a monopolistic teachers? union whose business philosophy is inherently secular humanist, even Marxist ? complete with all the social and political ills those views beget. Evolution doctrine is a core tenet of both Humanism and Marxism, while Creation is a tenet of the monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and their philosophy. In a course on comparative religions, teaching both Creation and Evolution is obligatory, as it is also in teaching the Scientific Method. Anything else improperly abrogates the First Amendment -- and in the past I?ve sent you and the Board several Supreme Court case references explaining why.

The Lord be with you, Mrs. Abell!

Sincerely,

Deran Eaton
3206 Devonshire Rd.
Waldorf, MD 20601
Dse@affinity4.net 301-843-7747

*************
TITLE: Teach the Debate, Examine the Evidence

If Ms. Kati Cabanillas were a serious student of science, comparative religious worldviews or any other subject, she, her peers and instructors should never so dogmatically disdain instruction within a public school or out. Considering such duplicity ? if not the immense taxpayer-funded tutelage that produced it -- her arguments are specious on their face. Our youth ought to sensibly learn as much as they can in school -- while they can -- before Life starts teaching lessons beyond school books.

That starts with cultivating sound reasoning ability. People who live real science daily tend to have what the late Dr. Carl Sagan (an evolutionist) called ?a good nonsense meter.? I earn my living as a design engineer. I?ve judged many science fairs in Charles County schools. Worldwide, the fields of science and engineering have many creationists of solid scientific integrity, even today. Many of them are former evolutionists who?ve examined the evidence against Darwinian evolution directly ? and rejected Darwin?s glorified hypothesis. I count myself among them.

Those five areas of science that challenge evolution are: The Laws of Physics, The Law of Biogenesis, Geology, the Information Theory and Biochemistry of DNA, and the Scientific Method itself -- which presumes an ordered universe capable of being studied and understood.

Over 20 years ago, the creation/evolution debate over the Origin of the Universe was the exact vehicle my sophomore biology instructor used to teach the rigorous, critical thinking demanded by the Scientific Method. He knew that ? from a strictly scientific approach ? each side would eventually reach the point where empirical data could no longer be gathered to develop a hypothesis to theory, or theory to law. He also knew Natural Law?s place, as many students? ill-informed zeal fell victim to observable, provable reality.

For example, hard core evolutionists and opponents of ?intelligent design? contend that order comes spontaneously out of disorder. If that were so, then the La Plata Tornado still fresh in many local minds should have built La Plata up without having to call FEMA or a host of general contractors, architects and engineers.

As complex design cannot exist without a Designer, theistic evolutionists like Ms. Cabanillas think God directs evolution. Irrespective of belief, the problem here is contradictory definition: Evolution is defined as a naturalistic process, where God is a supernatural being. Bringing Him into the discussion immediately subjects any origin model to theological analysis criteria Ms. Cabanillas, et. al still have yet to learn.

God always wins that contest, even as Jesus Christ proclaimed everyone would be taught by God (John 6:45, quoting Isaiah 54:13). If only all earthly instructors and students would pursue such high standards again!

Jennifer Abell said...

To voveritas (Mr. Eaton),
Thank you for your input. I agree, a HEALTHY debate on the subject could be very beneficial and clear up any misconceptions. In fact, I publically suggested just that a little over a year ago. We could send invitations to reknown experts to represent each side during an open forum. Unfortunately, my idea never came to fruition.

doodydom said...

see http://www.venganza.org/ for a demonstration on how foolish this whole subject is treated when discussed in public schools. Creationism is a Christian belief, and if we are to truly adhere to an unbiased view of diversity in our schools, then it should be discussed away from schools. In addition even the Pope recently admonished world citizens to not make the same mistake the Catholic Church did over 500 years ago with Galileo. Without science, our nation is doomed. Thomas Jefferson would be ashamed!

Jennifer Abell said...

Doodydom, I agree! Creationism is based on Christian belief and that is why I do NOT believe it belongs in the public school system. Your comment, Without science our nation is doomed and Thomas Jefferson woould be ashamed, I'm not sure where you are coming from with them. No one is trying to ban science and why would Jefferson be ashamed? Please clarify.

Anonymous said...

I found this on The Bay Net News -
WHAT A TERRIBLE THING THIS BOARD HAS DONE TO OUR CHILDREN..teachers afraid to teach, children who are taught to not question...no wonder our SAT scores are down. KEEP RELIGION OUT OF SCHOOLS

The Bay Net News Home To RegionalNews Home

Your Source for What's Happening in Southern Maryland Submit A News Story!

THE BAY NET NEWS, http://www.thebaynet.com/news/index.cfm?fuseaction=news.viewStory&story_ID=3238
STAND UP for Charles County Schools
8/28/2006

This Story Has Been Viewed 198 Times Since 8/28/2006


"There is great argument in the news about teaching evolution. Many believe creationism or intelligent design should also be taught. My children and their friends are amused at the argument as all report they were never taught evolution, creationism or any other theory. It was not the level of course they were enrolled in- from AP to honors to B level, nothing was taught.

Maybe the argument should be actually teaching any subject. As an example: In Honors Biology, no dissection was taught even though we had to pay a fee for the tools and supplies. In fact they all reported that the same teacher was seldom in the room because of other voluntary duties and just told the teens to read.

In the small time she attended class; she told the class that if they did not believe in God, they would go to hell. In what context this was associated with, no one had any idea."

Jennifer Abell said...

I must say I am shocked! Unfortunately, the only way the Board or the Superintendent is aware of this type of situation is if a parent is bold enough to bring it to our attention. I am currently on the way out the door with my children to a family event, but I will be printing the article you mention and taking it with me for further reading. Thank you for pointing this out. and of course I do not condone this type of behavior.