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Old 05-27-2011, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Connecticut, USA
157 posts, read 216,649 times
Reputation: 126

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesmama View Post
I, personally, see no issue at all with a student praying to Allah. It's that student's moment.
But she was asked to lead a moment of silence for everyone, so it wasn't just her moment. It was everyone's moment, and she took that feeling away from those who don't believe as she does by leading a Christian prayer first. Her actions -- and those of the people who actively participated with her -- said, "This ceremony is about me and people who believe as I do, and our needs and wishes trump yours. If you don't believe as we do, well, we'll pay lip service to respecting you, but you just aren't quite as important."

A moment of silence is nice in that it can be whatever you do or don't want it to be, without deliberately alienating those who don't believe as you do. You're a Christian? Feel free to silently give thanks to God and/or Jesus. You're a Muslim? Feel free to silently give thanks to Allah. You're an atheist? Feel free to give thanks to anyone you feel contributed to your success and well-being.

No matter how you classify yourself in regard to religion, a moment of silence gives you a private, personal moment to give thanks, if that's what you want. You want to let the lyrics to your favorite song run through your head instead, go for it.

What happened at that graduation was not only wrong, but unnecessary even if one is a devout believer. Prayer doesn't usually have to be aloud, but if for some it does, they could have prayed aloud at any time before or after the ceremony to the same end.

The intent of a "moment of silence" is to cover everyone, in that it gives those who are religious a quiet moment to give thanks without making those who are not religious listen to it -- because everyone has equal value and standing during such a ceremony.

But that only works if the moment of silence is, well, SILENT.

Last edited by ChristieCT; 05-27-2011 at 01:44 PM..
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
10,234 posts, read 14,009,862 times
Reputation: 25890
I agree that a moment of silence would have been the better choice.

But other than just not wanting to hear it, it didn't kill the boy. And so he created a fuss big enough to hit national news, and he brought a lot of misery on himself. Those are the consequences, and this boy will hopefully learn to pick his battles more wisely with time.

There are LOT of things in life around me that I don't like or agree with, but as a rule I don't expect the majority around me to change just because I don't like something. I work with mostly "dirty liberals" (a term commonly used here, even amongst themselves); I do not bring up politics, let alone try to stir up arguments.
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:24 PM
 
16,120 posts, read 17,947,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesmama View Post
I agree that a moment of silence would have been the better choice.

But other than just not wanting to hear it, it didn't kill the boy. And so he created a fuss big enough to hit national news, and he brought a lot of misery on himself. Those are the consequences, and this boy will hopefully learn to pick his battles more wisely with time.

There are LOT of things in life around me that I don't like or agree with, but as a rule I don't expect the majority around me to change just because I don't like something. I work with mostly "dirty liberals" (a term commonly used here, even amongst themselves); I do not bring up politics, let alone try to stir up arguments.
He didn't create the fuss after the prayer happened. It was already in the news in Bastrop, LA and he was getting death threats because he had threatened to call in the ACLU. The SCHOOL agreed to the moment of silence and this girl took it upon herself to disobey that.

Something like this is a big issue when we are talking about a public school disobeying the law of the land.

Are you justifying the bad behavior of the so-called Christians who threatened him? Of the girl who stood up and disobeyed what the administrators told her to do?
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
10,234 posts, read 14,009,862 times
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HE stirred the pot. And it was not necessary.
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Connecticut, USA
157 posts, read 216,649 times
Reputation: 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesmama View Post
I agree that a moment of silence would have been the better choice.

But other than just not wanting to hear it, it didn't kill the boy. And so he created a fuss big enough to hit national news, and he brought a lot of misery on himself. Those are the consequences, and this boy will hopefully learn to pick his battles more wisely with time.

There are LOT of things in life around me that I don't like or agree with, but as a rule I don't expect the majority around me to change just because I don't like something. I work with mostly "dirty liberals" (a term commonly used here, even amongst themselves); I do not bring up politics, let alone try to stir up arguments.
While I understand your perspective, and agree that we all have to learn to choose our battles, I don't see this situation as an inconsequential matter. This incident was just one example of a much-larger problem, and things won't change for the better without people like this student who are willing to put themselves at risk to address it.

What's scary is that addressing it put him at risk in the first place. I'm no more comfortable with religious inequality than I am racial inequality or gender inequality and so on.

There was nothing unreasonable about this student's insistence that there be no "official" prayer during the graduation ceremony, as a moment of silence was a more-than-reasonable solution that represented everyone equally. Students who wanted to pray could still have done so, so they weren't being denied the right to pray; they were just being asked to do it privately.

And, frankly, NOT being able to pray wouldn't have killed them, either.

That the agreement to replace prayer with a moment of silence elicited THAT reaction (meaning not only the disregard of the agreement but the subsequent threats against him) demonstrates how serious a problem this actually is. I do not see death threats as appropriate "consequences" for asserting one's right to religious freedom, so I in no way agree that he brought any of this upon himself. The only people to blame for how Damon Fowler is being treated are those who are treating him this way.

I don't care what excuse they use to justify it...it isn't good enough.

JMHO
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
10,234 posts, read 14,009,862 times
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Damon fought to disrupt the program, the girl fought back. I see no "larger problem". And, yes, she should be held accountable for her actions as well.

I have no sympathies for him whatsoever.
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:59 PM
 
16,120 posts, read 17,947,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesmama View Post
Damon fought to disrupt the program, the girl fought back. I see no "larger problem". And, yes, she should be held accountable for her actions as well.

I have no sympathies for him whatsoever.
Without those of us who rode the buses in the civil rights movement, participated in sit-ins or protested the Vietnam war, nothing would have changed about civil rights or Vietnam (not much has changed in terms of wars though as we are now in Iran and Afghanistan with little justification).

This, too, is a civil rights issue.

It's not stirring the pot to stand up for your rights when they are being violated.
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Connecticut, USA
157 posts, read 216,649 times
Reputation: 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesmama View Post
Damon fought to disrupt the program, the girl fought back. I see no "larger problem". And, yes, she should be held accountable for her actions as well.

I have no sympathies for him whatsoever.
If the "program" is unjust or discriminatory, it should be disrupted. If no one ever did so, there would be quite a few laws and/or traditions in place today that would be pretty damn appalling.

And there was nothing for the girl to fight back against. She still could have prayed, as could everyone else who wanted to. She just wasn't going to get to do it out loud, into a microphone, where everyone present had to listen to it.

The larger problem is that too many people seem to think it's acceptable to threaten the life of a teenager because he didn't want to listen to a Christian prayer at his graduation. Anyone treating a protest against prayer as an offense worthy of death is a huge freaking problem to me.
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
10,234 posts, read 14,009,862 times
Reputation: 25890
Damon lives in a highly Christian state, and he admitted to being one of the rare few Christians where he lives. So, in other words, HE decided to change what everyone else was comfortable with for his own self-serving needs. That would be like a Democrat removing all the Republican elections signs from his right-wing neighborhood, or vice-versa.

This is just like that situation in Utah several years ago, in a high school comprised of practically all Mormons, where a Jewish girl in choir decided to file a suit against the school because SHE didn't want to sing Christian songs for the Christmas holiday! Absolutely moronic.

Damon may be atheist but he's created his own private Hell for awhile. His parents did not support his actions, which have likely affected them, too, as citizens of their town.

I see no civil rights concern here. Just a kid full of hostility out to make a name for himself, and he did it, and now he is on his own as an adult. He'll have to deal with his ramifiications for awhile then move on and hopefully make a productive life.
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:39 PM
 
Location: California
30,717 posts, read 33,549,234 times
Reputation: 26154
Moments of silence in a group setting are silly and just a way to impose something upon the crown and control it. It never works of course, and you can pray all you like and be silent all you like without asking others to participate in your ritual. It amuses me to see this kind of thing because people never recognize themselves.
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