View Full Version : Alabama: Creationism to Public School Students
02-17-2012, 11:50 PM
Alabama Latest State To Attempt Teaching Creationism To Public School Students
February 17, 2012
By Justin "Filthy Liberal Scum" Rosario
Addicting Information (http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/02/17/alabama-latest-state-to-attempt-teaching-creationism-to-public-school-students/)
In the never-ending battle to teach religious dogma in public schools, the GOP in Alabama has introduced a bill that will lift a ban on “release time” classes that will allow students to leave school grounds and study Creation “Science” in a different location. The school would only be involved so far as to give an elective credit to students that participate.
The main proponent of this disingenuous plan is Mr. Joseph Kennedy, a teacher who had been fired in 1980 for teaching Creationism to his sixth grade class and refused to stop after students and parents complained. Mr. Kennedy is a Young Earth Creationist (meaning he believes the Earth is only several thousand years old) and had this to say:
“We’ll have to raise all the money,” Kennedy said. “All the school board needs to do is set it up. They can give the students credit. We’re going to major on creation science. Since creation involved science, then certainly we can study it. We want to give students good sound scientific reasons to support their faith in the seven-day creation and the young Earth. For example, there is no delta to the Colorado River, which is evidence that it was washed out after the flood.”
The bill is being introduced by Rep. Blaine Galliher (R-Rainbow City):
“This is legislation that has been adopted in several states: Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, just like this,” said Galliher, sponsor of House Bill 133 and chairman of the agenda-setting House Rules Committee. He said he modeled the bill after laws in other states. “It’s already been litigated all the way through the court system, so it’s constitutional.”
This absolutely fails the Muslim Test. The chances of Alabama going to bat for a Muslim looking to teach the same material to students is between zero and none. But they’ll still claim it’s not a religious class.
This kind of class is legal in some states because the schools, so far, remain completely outside of the logistics of the class, preserving the the separation clause of the First Amendment. On the other hand, proper separation has not always been maintained leading to the banning of release time classes. Because of this, the new bill may not pass constitutional muster. Thomas Berg, a constitutional law professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis is concerned it will not:
“Even giving elective credit could be considered too much involvement by the school, Berg said.”
“The school is encouraging taking the class by offering credit for it,” Berg said. “Is the religious teacher going to certify that the student passed? Would the school do any review of that? Would they monitor the class for quality to ensure it would warrant a public school credit? All those things would entangle the school.”
There is a much more fundamental question here (if you’ll forgive the pun): Why is it necessary to teach this class during school hours to begin with? Why is it even necessary to offer elective credits for it? It could just as easily be taught on weekends, after school hours or even over the summer break. Why sacrifice even a minute of real school time for this kind of pseudo-scientific garbage? The objective, as always, is to erode the barrier between Church and State, even a little. A few years after it becomes normal to receive ”elective” credit, there’ll be a new push to make it part of the standard curriculum and there will already be a precedent in place. And why not have it on school grounds? It’s already part of the course work. Isn’t it silly to waste all that money by transporting the students off campus? And so it goes.
If parents want their kids to learn about religion, let them do it at their tax-exempt churches on their own time.
02-18-2012, 03:16 AM
It shood be illegal to brainwash kids.
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: cushioncrawler</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It shood be illegal to brainwash kids.
So you believe the works of Einstein, Greene, Hawking, Newton, Planck, Heisenberg et al should be banned?
02-19-2012, 05:30 AM
I doubt that much of that highfalutin science stuff would be taught under 18 years anyhow. And of course most of it iz wrong anyhow. And allmost 100% of teachers teaching that stuff dont understand it anyhow.
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: cushioncrawler</div><div class="ubbcode-body">And allmost 100% of teachers teaching that stuff dont understand it anyhow.
And that is truly sad.
Then maybe the wages should be increased to attract more qualified people.
The GOP says no.
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">In the never-ending battle to teach religious dogma in public schools, </div></div>
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">religious dogma </div></div>
Brainwashing involves getting the subject to believe things that are not true. Creationism or ID qualifies for that IMO.
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Qtec</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Then maybe the wages should be increased to attract more qualified people.
The GOP says no.
Actually the union should be broken to allow the removal of the bad ones ... but the moonbat crazy left says no.
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Qtec</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Then maybe the wages should be increased to attract more qualified people.
The GOP says no.
Bumping for yourself are you now?
Insanity is a fascinating thing to watch ... as your friends will surely attest.
02-19-2012, 03:32 PM
Mind control (also known as brainwashing, coercive persuasion, mind abuse, thought control, or thought reform) refers to a process in which a group or individual "systematically uses unethically manipulative methods to persuade others to conform to the wishes of the manipulator(s), often to the detriment of the person being manipulated". The term has been applied to any tactic, psychological or otherwise, which can be seen as subverting an individual's sense of control over their own thinking, behavior, emotions or decision making. In Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes, Jacques Ellul sustains that the "principal aims of these psychological methods is to destroy a man's habitual patterns, space, hours, milieu, and so on."
Theories of brainwashing and of mind control were originally developed to explain how totalitarian regimes appeared to succeed in systematically indoctrinating prisoners of war through propaganda and torture techniques. These theories were later expanded and modified to explain a wider range of phenomena, especially conversions to new religious movements (NRMs).
02-19-2012, 03:39 PM
The Oxford English Dictionary records its earliest known English-language usage of brainwashing in an article by Edward Hunter in New Leader published on 7 October 1950. During the Korean War, Hunter, who worked at the time both as a journalist and as a U.S. intelligence agent, wrote a series of books and articles on the theme of Chinese brainwashing.
The Chinese term 洗腦 (xǐ năo, literally "wash brain") was originally used to describe methodologies of coercive persuasion used under the Maoist regime in China, which aimed to transform individuals with a reactionary imperialist mindset into "right-thinking" members of the new Chinese social system. To that end the regime developed techniques that would break down the psychic integrity of the individual with regard to information processing, information retained in the mind and individual values. Chosen techniques included dehumanizing of individuals by keeping them in filth, sleep deprivation, partial sensory deprivation, psychological harassment, inculcation of guilt and group social pressure. The term punned on the Taoist custom of "cleansing/washing the heart/mind" (洗心, xǐ xīn) prior to conducting certain ceremonies or entering certain holy places.
Hunter and those who picked up the Chinese term used it to explain why, unlike in earlier wars, a relatively high percentage of American GIs defected to the enemy side after becoming prisoners-of-war. It was believed that the Chinese in North Korea used such techniques to disrupt the ability of captured troops to effectively organize and resist their imprisonment. British radio operator Robert W. Ford and British army Colonel James Carne also claimed that the Chinese subjected them to brainwashing techniques during their war-era imprisonment. The most prominent case in the U.S. was that of Frank Schwable, who confessed to having participated in germ warfare while in captivity.
After the war, two studies of the repatriation of American prisoners of war by Robert Jay Lifton and by Edgar Schein concluded that brainwashing (called "thought reform" by Lifton and "coercive persuasion" by Schein) had a transient effect. Both researchers found that the Chinese mainly used coercive persuasion to disrupt the ability of the prisoners to organize and maintain morale and hence to escape. By placing the prisoners under conditions of physical and social deprivation and disruption, and then by offering them more comfortable situations such as better sleeping quarters, better food, warmer clothes or blankets, the Chinese did succeed in getting some of the prisoners to make anti-American statements. Nevertheless, the majority of prisoners did not actually adopt Communist beliefs, instead behaving as though they did in order to avoid the plausible threat of extreme physical abuse. Both researchers also concluded that such coercive persuasion succeeded only on a minority of POWs, and that the end-result of such coercion remained very unstable, as most of the individuals reverted to their previous condition soon after they left the coercive environment. In 1961 they both published books expanding on these findings. Schein published Coercive Persuasion and Lifton published Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism. More recent writers including Mikhail Heller have suggested that Lifton's model of brainwashing may throw light on the use of mass propaganda in other communist states such as the former Soviet Union.
In a summary published in 1963, Edgar Schein gave a background history of the precursor origins of the brainwashing phenomenon:
Thought reform contains elements which are evident in Chinese culture (emphasis on interpersonal sensitivity, learning by rote and self-cultivation); in methods of extracting confessions well known in the Papal Inquisition (13th century) and elaborated through the centuries, especially by the Russian secret police; in methods of organizing corrective prisons, mental hospitals and other institutions for producing value change; in methods used by religious sects, fraternal orders, political elites or primitive societies for converting or initiating new members. Thought reform techniques are consistent with psychological principles but were not explicitly derived from such principles.
Mind-control theories from the Korean War era came under criticism in subsequent years. According to forensic psychologist Dick Anthony, the CIA invented the concept of "brainwashing" as a propaganda strategy to undercut communist claims that American POWs in Korean communist camps had voluntarily expressed sympathy for communism. Anthony stated that definitive research demonstrated that fear and duress, not brainwashing, caused western POWs to collaborate. He argued that the books of Edward Hunter (whom he identified as a secret CIA "psychological warfare specialist" passing as a journalist) pushed the CIA brainwashing theory onto the general public. He further asserted that for twenty years, starting in the early 1950s, the CIA and the Defense Department conducted secret research (notably including Project MKULTRA) in an attempt to develop practical brainwashing techniques, and that their attempt failed.
The U.S. military and government laid charges of "brainwashing" in an effort to undermine detailed confessions made by U.S. military personnel to war crimes, including biological warfare, against the Koreans. (The United States and Biological Warfare: Secrets From the Early Cold War, by Stephen Endicott and Edward Hagerman at York University, Toronto; Indiana University Press, 1998).
02-19-2012, 03:40 PM
After the Korean War, applications of mind control theories in the United States shifted in focus from politics to religion. From the 1960s an increasing number of American youths started to come into contact with new religious movements (NRM), and some who converted suddenly adopted beliefs and behaviors that differed greatly from those of their families and friends; in some cases they neglected or even broke contact with their loved ones. In the 1970s the anti-cult movement applied mind control theories to explain these sudden and seemingly dramatic religious conversions. The media was quick to follow suit, and social scientists sympathetic to the anti-cult movement, who were usually psychologists, developed more sophisticated models of brainwashing. While some psychologists were receptive to these theories, sociologists were for the most part skeptical of their ability to explain conversion to NRMs.
 Theories of mind control and religious conversionOver the years various theories of conversion and member retention have been proposed[by whom?] that link mind control to NRMs, and particularly those religious movements referred to as "cults" by their critics. These theories resemble the original political brainwashing theories with some minor changes. Philip Zimbardo discusses mind control as "the process by which individual or collective freedom of choice and action is compromised by agents or agencies that modify or distort perception, motivation, affect, cognition and/or behavioral outcomes", and he suggests that any human being is susceptible to such manipulation. In a 1999 book, Robert Lifton also applied his original ideas about thought reform to Aum Shinrikyo, concluding that in this context thought reform was possible without violence or physical coercion. Margaret Singer, who also spent time studying the political brainwashing of Korean prisoners of war, agreed with this conclusion: in her book Cults in Our Midst she describes six conditions which would create an atmosphere in which thought reform is possible.
Approaching the subject from the perspective of neuroscience and social psychology, Kathleen Taylor suggests that manipulation of the prefrontal cortex activates "brainwashing", rendering a person more susceptible to black-and-white thinking. Meanwhile, in Influence, Science and Practice, social psychologist Robert Cialdini argues that mind control is possible through the covert exploitation of the unconscious rules that underlie and facilitate healthy human social interactions. He states that common social rules can be used to prey upon the unwary. Using categories, he offers specific examples of both mild and extreme mind control (both one on one and in groups), notes the conditions under which each social rule is most easily exploited for false ends, and offers suggestions on how to resist such methods.
02-19-2012, 03:47 PM
Let us now put our hands together and pray. O God, we gather here today to ask you to free our schoolchildren from being forced to go through this charade every day. As you know, O Lord, because You see all, British law requires every schoolchild to participate in "an act of collective worship" every 24 hours. Irrespective of what the child thinks or believes, they are shepherded into a hall, silenced, and forced to pray – or pretend to.
If they refuse to bow their heads to You, they are punished. This happened to me, because I protested that there is no evidence whatsoever that You exist, and plenty of proof that shows the texts describing You are filled with falsehoods. When I pointed this out, I was told to stop being "blasphemous" and threatened with detention. "Shut up and pray," a teacher told me on one occasion. Are you proud, O Lord?
Forcing children to take part in religious worship every day is a law worthy of a theocracy, not a liberal democracy where 70 per cent of adults never attend a religious ceremony. That's why the Association of Teachers and Lecturers – one of the teachers' unions – has recently moved to ask the Government to stop forcing its members to take part in this practice.
Why does this anachronism persist in this blessedly irreligious country? For all their whining that they are "persecuted", the religious minority in Britain are in fact accorded remarkable privileges. They are given a bench-full of unelected positions in the legislature, protection from criticism in the law, and vast amounts of public money to indoctrinate children into their belief systems in every school in the land.
I can understand why the unelected, faltering religious institutions cling to this law so tightly. When it comes to "faith", if you don't get people young, you probably won't ever get them. Very few people are, as adults, persuaded of the idea that (say) a Messiah was born to a virgin and managed to bend the laws of physics, or that we should revere a man who at the age of 53 had sex with a nine-year-old girl. You can usually only persuade people of this when they are very young – a time when their critical and rational faculties have not yet been developed – and hope it becomes a rock in their psychological make-up they dare not pull out.
But why do the rest of us allow this fervent 5 per cent of the population to force the rest of our kids to follow their superstitions? Parents can withdraw their children if they choose – but that often means separating the child in an embarrassing way from her friends and exposing them to criticisms from the school, so only 1 per cent do it. Most don't even know it is an option.
More importantly still, why is worship forced on 99 per cent of children without their own consent or even asking what they think? As the author Richard Dawkins has pointed out many times, there are no "Christian children" or "Muslim children". I was classed as "Christian" because my mother is vaguely culturally Christian, although at every opportunity I protested that I didn't believe any of it. Children are not born with these beliefs, as they are born with a particular pigmentation or height or eye colour. Indeed, if you watch children being taught about religion, you will see most of them instinctively laugh and ask perfectly sensible sceptical questions that are swatted away – or punished – by religious instructors.
I am genuinely surprised that no moderate religious people have, to my knowledge, joined the campaign to stop this compelled prayer. What pleasure or pride can you possibly feel in knowing that children are compelled to worship your God? Why are you silent?
The prayer-enforcers offer a few arguments in their defence. At first, they claim it instils "moral values" in children. The scientist Gregory S Paul produced a detailed study in 2005 to find out if rates of murder and rape went up as levels of religion went down. He found the exact opposite. On detailed international comparisons, the more religious a country is, the more likely you are to be stabbed or raped there. There isn't necessarily a causal relationship – but it blasts a bloody hole in this claim.
Of course, if you actually followed the morality explicitly commanded by the Bible, Torah and Koran, you would kill adulterers, gay people, apostates, and disobedient children and be sent to prison. Thankfully, the vast majority of religious believers long since decided to disregard much of "God's word", because it is manifestly appalling, and read it metaphorically. But you have to strip away an awful lot of the texts as metaphor before you get to a few bland lessons about being nice to each other. Can't we get the lessons about niceness from somewhere else, without the bogus metaphysics and endless injunctions to kill our friends?
Once the morality defence dissolves, the religious switch tack, and claim that children indoctrinated into religion perform better academically. As "proof", they point to the fact that faith schools perform somewhat better on league tables. It's true – but look a little deeper.
There have been two detailed studies of this, by the conservative think tank Civitas, and the Welsh Assembly. They found faith schools get better results for one simple reason: they use selection to cream off highly motivated children of the wealthy and weed out difficult, poor or unmotivated students who would require more work. Once you take into account their "better" intakes, faith schools actually underperform academically by 5 per cent (and that's before you factor in all the other problems they cause).
I am absolutely not saying that schools should teach children to be atheists. No. Schools should take no position on religion. They should be neutral, and equip children with the thinking skills – asking for evidence, and knowing how to analyse it rationally – that will enable them to make up their own minds, when they wish, beyond the school gates. How can a religious person object to that, without admitting that open-minded, evidence-seeking adults would see through their claims in a second?
And so, O Lord, I ask you – and the British Government – to set our children free, at last, from being forced to worship You. Amen – and hallelujah.
02-19-2012, 03:52 PM
Actually, I’m trying to get away from discussions concerning creationism and Intelligent Design, since I think in the last couple of years everything there’s to say about it has already been said. There are topics in the field of science and religion that are more interesting, rewarding, and fruitful. However, every once in a while I simply come across something that infuriates me and that I need to write about. Creationist brainwashing strategies to confuse the whit out of young children’s minds is one of them…
One of the things that infuriates me is brainwashing children with nonsense. There’s a lot of nonsense floating around in Western culture nowadays. Unfortunately, much of that nonsense is religious in character, creationism being a brilliant example. Just take a look at the following blog entry, written by someone who actually had the nerves to pick up an American homeschooling textbook, to see what children are actually taught. The textbook is breathtaking in its stupidity.
The analysis of the book is thorough, and it’s especially interesting to actually see the rhetoric strategy of the book unfold in one blog entry. The strategy of the textbook writers is to start right away with young earth creationism, and then slowly move to more established areas of knowledge. The blog writer explains the underlying psychology as follows:
By going strong on God early, sprinkling in a few Bible quotes throughout, and occasionally dropping in a completely ridiculous page like the one on electricity, the book comes off more like a propaganda tool than an educational one. All that science in the middle is presented on equal footing with all the young-Earth creation theory in the first chapter — and with the pages on electricity and the Moon’s role in the Rapture. It sets everything up to be an all-or-nothing truth. “Well, all this matter-of-fact science I’m reading seems very thorough and researched, so the stuff I read earlier about the Moon and Biblical theory must be right too, by association.”
It’s like me saying, “I don’t believe in creationism, intelligent design or talking dogs.” By putting the last one in, I’m suggesting all three are equal. I’m suggesting creationism is as outlandish as a talking dog. And to an eight-year-old reading that, that subtext can sneak right on in.
Very, very clever – even devious. The blog writer’s conclusion is therefore absolutely true:
This isn’t a real textbook. It’s, at best, a flawed book that confuses the issue of science and faith and, at worst, a deliberate effort to insidiously brainwash children with inaccurate information to discredit anything except one belief system.
Fortunately, homeschooling in Europe is as yet a relatively rare phenomenon, but also in the Netherlands there is an increasing number of fundamentalist or orthodox parents who claim that even the most right-wing orthodox school is not good enough for their kids, because of the government’s insistence on teaching established science, and thus evolutionary theory, in schools. These parents are insisting on homeschooling, but luckily our secular government is still able to put a brake on this phenomenon. But for how much longer?
I consider myself a religious person, but God forbid that a time comes in which some Dutch children are brainwashed by the made-up nonsense of religious fanatics…
02-19-2012, 03:58 PM
Letters to the editor page, Vancouver Sun newspaper
The front-page picture in Thursday's Sun sums up the root cause of much of the conflict and trouble in our world right now. A young Pakistani child is shown sitting on an American flag pointing a toy gun at the camera. The headline reads: "Child joins anti-U.S. protest."
But that child didn't join any protest. Neither is it accurate to describe him as a "Shiite Muslim boy." He is a child of Shiite Muslim parents/caregivers who are indoctrinating him in their irrational religious beliefs so that when he grows up he will be as brainwashed as they are now.
For our civilization to advance, for the sake of the security of all of us on this tiny planet, this abuse of children's minds must end. It is unrealistic to try to stop parents raising their children in their religion (their religions command that they do so), but what we can do is stop religious schools perpetuating this endless cycle of mental abuse. Through our school system let us strive to produce young adults who are free-thinking and who have a healthy skepticism of any institution that would attempt to brainwash them.
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