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First of all let me introduce myself my name is Lynn, I am a 30 year old college student. I am majoring in Education and hope to be an elementary school teacher. I am by no means a professional writer. This is the first blog I have ever done so please bare with me because I am just learning.
  Majoring in education you must know I love children. I don't have any of my own for matters I wish not to discuss. I do have 2 nieces ages 5 and 10. I have a nephew who is 4. I am very close too.

 So when I woke up last Friday morning and heard about the shooting at Sandy Hook I was extremely upset. The first thing I did was pull out my phone and call my sister just to speak with my nieces and nephew. It was horrifying to hear that someone could do a horrible thing. Then as the day unfolded and I was glued to the media news outlets more and more horrifying details. I like most other people in America thought wow that could have been my niece, nephew or child.

  I have a Facebook account so when I log on the first thing I see is a picture of "God" and the caption said "Why did this happen" and God replies "Because I am not allowed in schools". I found this very offensive. First of all let me say that I am a Christian, I believe in God. I do not judge anyone who has different beliefs than I do. So I am not pushing Christianity by any means. The way I interpreted this picture was that God was punishing us by allowing this to happen because we don't allow prayer in school. The God that I believe in is not a vengeful God. He would not allow this to happen just because religion is not allowed in public schools.

  I choose to believe that God is in your heart no matter where you are physically. I choose to believe that God was with each and every child that morning and that before those gun shots rang out he had taken all of those children home spiritually that the only thing left was their shell of a body. That is how I cope with the bad things happening.

 As a Christian I believe when something like this happens it does shake your faith. That being said I don't think prayer should be allowed in school for various reasons. First of all not all religions are the same. There are many different religions, It would be impossible to cover all the different religions. I believe that religion and spiritually learning should come from the parent or church that the family attends. As educators we are not qualified to teach children about religion. That is just the way I feel. Please feel free to comment or give tips. Like I said I am new at this so any help would be great.

Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 4:45 PM PT: I would like to apologize for my grammar. I received an email from a reader who pointed out some of the mistakes that I made with this entry. I am very grateful for the help that I have been receiving from everyone.

Originally posted to blessedgirl on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:21 PM PST.

Also republished by Youth Kos 2.0 and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A warm welcome from a fellow Christian Dem (10+ / 0-)

    And yeah, you're spot on.  Not to mention the fact that you may be teaching a bunch of non-Christians as well.

    Of course, you know what the fundies will say--those are false religions, so it's your duty to show them the one true path.

    Romney-Ryan: America's Rollback Team

    by Christian Dem in NC on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:29:11 PM PST

    •  Thank You (12+ / 0-)

      Exactly, I understand that some people are Atheist and I respect that is what they choose to believe. It is not my place or the government to tell people what they should believe. I can remember when I was in school around the holidays we would have a Christmas party and do arts and crafts. There was one boy who's family were from a different religion and he had to leave the room while we celebrating and that wasn't fair.

      •  I was in elementary school in the sixties and we (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ubertar, BYw

        had to have Christmas parties and Christmas caroling every year.  There were definitely many Jewish families in the town where I grew up, but never any public acknowledgment of Hannukah in schools or in public.  (There was always a huge creche in town square, probably until the 80s I think, when at some point, probably following lawsuits, it stopped being put up.)  

        Anyway the point is that it felt really uncomfortable for me to have to sing in those Christmas carols in school every year.  It didn't occur to me to sit out from them, nor to my parents to pull me out of them.  But I was deeply confused and worried singing them.  Would God be mad at me if I sang them?  Would I be betraying everything I'd been taught, by singing them?  My eight year old mind and heart were torn through this yearly imposition of Christian ritual on our public schooling.

        That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

        by concernedamerican on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:45:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you for sharing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          your personal experience. I understand how that could be confusing to a young mind. It is like you are going against what you were taught and it felt wrong. That is why I am against prayer and religion in school. I would not want anyone of my students to feel that way.

  •  a "friend" put that up in facebook (12+ / 0-)

    I defriended that person. Then I post why I had defriended the person

    fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

    by mollyd on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:35:04 PM PST

    •  I am glad I am not the only one (10+ / 0-)

      that finds that offensive. In my opinion that is just horrible to even imply.

      •  Indeed...according to many Christians, God is... (5+ / 0-)

        everywhere, so even among believers, that should have been off-limits.

        It wasn't the "absence" of God that caused this unspeakable tragedy. It was the presence of evil (Satan, according to many of those same Christians) that precipitated the horror.

        •  And for those of us that don't believe in (10+ / 0-)

          God or the devil, or have other superstitions....

          ...Perhaps it was simply a boy whose brain was defective or who had a chemical imbalance or another physical defect that prevented him from seeing how life is precious for everyone.  

          I have not intention of trying to belittle this tragedy, but please remember that all around the world children die for no reason, sometimes at the hands of our own Government, where we call it "Collateral Damage" instead of Evil.

          We allow children to die every day from a long drawn out violence called starvation, and this is another tragedy that could be averted with the proper will and political attentiveness.  

          In my opinion, God is an evil entity if he exists, because he allows this shit to begin with.

          •  My son has Asperger's. His brain is not defective (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Southern Lib, blessedgirl, Steven D

            and he is in the gifted program at his middle school.

            He sees how precious life is for everyone.

            He also has received years of behavioral therapy, takes a medication for ADD to help reduce his anxiety and fear around people (focusing with the medication helps him really see that situations aren't as bad as his neurological make up disposes him to think they are), and has two parents who are actively, constantly involved in teaching him social skills and rooting for him to be able to make it through his school years both academically and socially.

            What pisses me off about the NRA's, and many people's pointing to "mental disturbance" as a causal factor in the Sandy Hook massacre is the refusal to acknowledge that often the killers have families who are supposed to care about them, get them the help they need, teach them values, make clear that it's wrong to hate; teach them that it's wrong to wholesale and blindly distrust something as amorphous and enormous as "the government" or "those people"; that it's not acceptable to lock yourself in your room for hours and not interact with family, people, the living world.   And if the families don't do those things, then is it only the mental issues that are to blame?

            That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

            by concernedamerican on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:54:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree there is help (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              for people who suffer from mental illnesses. I myself suffer from depression and an anxiety disorder.

              What I have noticed myself and I am not saying that this is the case but most of the mass shootings that has happened in schools the shooter is mostly white males who come from a wealthy family.

               I think that the mother of this shooter had to have known that he was suffering from some kind of mental illness other than asperger's . That maybe she was in denial because she did not want other people to find out. Which a mental illness is nothing to be embarrassed about it is a illness just like cancer.

              What I really don't understand is why did she have guns around him . Why did she teach him how to shoot them. She must have known that he had some kind of anger issue.

          •  Out of line with that comment...and incredibly... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            offensive to believers, of which there are a great many here.

            In my opinion, God is an evil entity if he exists, because he allows this shit to begin with
            Do try to remember that when injecting opinion, it is best to form arguments instead of tossing baseless assertions. You might also try actually studying the scripture, which clearly states that men and women are given free reign with regards to their own actions. God doesn't "allow" anything. We act and live with the consequences because we're human...good, evil, and in between.
            •  Injecting opinion????? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gsenski, NonnyO, 84thProblem

              I see, "Believers" are simply stating facts.  And I have to study scriptures to come to the baseless assertion that if there was a god that exists he's evil because he stands there and allows millions of kids to die.  

              You're a moron.  Even in the sentence you quoted, I started out with "In my opinion..."

              And because something is stated in scripture, that does not make it true.  And you're right, god doesn't allow anything.  Because he's a figment of your imagination.  And only fools believe in him.

            •  Thank you for your comment (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Love Me Slender
            •  "The" scripture? (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NonnyO, BYw, gsenski, Farlfoto, 84thProblem

              You mean your scripture, don't you? Your god is not the only one. And since the commenter doesn't believe in god at all, why would he be studying your scripture?

              When it comes to supernatural beings about which we have no actual information, all assertions are equally baseless - yours included.

              We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

              by denise b on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:47:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not assertions, beliefs...from which ALL religions (0+ / 0-)

                ...are derived. Religion would be useless were it not for the necessity of beliefs in lieu of facts.

                I don't recall making the assertions you claim...namely that "my" God is the only one. Please try to stay on topic and avoid injecting your own conjecture and assumptions. Thank you.

                •  Excuse me? (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  NonnyO, gsenski, Farlfoto, 84thProblem
                  It wasn't the "absence" of God that caused this unspeakable tragedy. It was the presence of evil (Satan, according to many of those same Christians) that precipitated the horror.
                  I'd call that an assertion. And this:
                  You might also try actually studying the scripture, which clearly states that men and women are given free reign with regards to their own actions. God doesn't "allow" anything. We act and live with the consequences because we're human...good, evil, and in between.
                  which refers to "the" scripture, as though there were only one, and makes assertions about your god as though they were facts.

                  I am completely on topic. You are the one making assertions; I am only commenting on them.

                  We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

                  by denise b on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 03:05:01 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not willing to say "boy" about a 20-year-old (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blessedgirl, NonnyO, 84thProblem

            mass murderer.

            I don't believe, however, that the "will of God" had anything to do with this incident. Whether or not the man who murdered his mother and then continued with this horrible spree of murders had been treated for  some kind of mental illness, what happened in Sandy Hook happened because that is what one man chose to do.

            One man chose to open fire in a theatre in Aurora.
            One man chose to try to assassinate a Congresswoman in Tucson.
            One man chose to murder JFK.
            One man chose to murder Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
            One man chose to terrorize a mall in Clackamas.
            One man chose to open fire on a clinic full of unarmed soldiers at Fort Hood, in the name of his religious convictions.

            There are two common elements in these horrific killing sprees. Firearms, and men who choose to use them to commit murders.

            The common element nobody wants to acknowledge is "one man."

            One man attacked schoolchildren in China on the same day the Sandy Hook attack occurred in the US. Parents ran to the school with brooms and chased him out.

            The common element in all this evil is a man who decides not to obey the laws, not to live by the morals, not to care who he may hurt or kill. That is the bottom line, and until we find a way to stop that ... which has been going on since the days of Cain and Abel ... this kind of murder will still lurk among us.

            It is not God, or Satan, no matter what names you call them by.
            It is human beings.

            LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

            by BlackSheep1 on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:40:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And today [of all days!]... (0+ / 0-)

              ... there was this headline (below) - but it's now far behind the others on the top of Yahoo news because all the things in front of it are in keeping with the happiness of the season.

              Evil exists side by side with good.  There's no rhyme or reason for it.  It has nothing to do with belief systems or religions or god or devil or anything else.  Most people are naturally good, a few people are naturally evil psychopaths who were born without a conscience.  That's just the way it is.

              If someone wants to commit suicide, let them.  It's a choice.  [A cousin of mine did so, and I actually understood it.]  I don't understand the murder-suicides of any combination (unless it's an evil spouse or parent or child - then I get it).  The ones I will never forgive are the ones who want to commit suicide or suicide-by-cop..., but take out the innocent victims first [Sandy Hook last week, firefighters in story below].  I have zero understanding of those people, and, in fact, if they or any like them survive, I wish they could be transported to a desert island and never have contact with anyone in the outside world by any means whatsoever for the rest of their unnatural lives.

              Man set trap and then shot and killed firefighters responding to Webster, N.Y. fire

              A man with a criminal history shot and killed two West Webster, N.Y. firefighters and seriously injured two others as they responded to a fire at his home, police say.

              William H. Spengler, Jr., 62, apparently started a 5:35 a.m. fire at his home on Lake Road  and then waited with an armament of weapons for first responders to arrive, Webster N.Y. Police Chief Gerald Pickering said at an afternoon news conference.

              “He was shooting from high ground or a berm," Pickering said. "He was barricaded with weapons to shoot first responders."

              After a brief exchange of gunfire with police, Spengler then shot and killed himself at the scene, Pickering said.

              Spengler was convicted in 1981 in the death of his 92-year-old grandmother a year earlier. He served time in prison and was released in 1998, Pickering said.

              Spengler beat Rose Spengler to death with a hammer 1980, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported. Rose Spengler had lived in the home next to William Spengler on Lake Road at the time of her death.

              Local police had not noted any criminal activity in his recent past, Pickering said.

              Pickering said they are looking into the apparent disappearance of Spengler's sister who is unaccounted for at this time.

              Police and fire officials are continuing to gather evidence and will inspect the seven homes that were destroyed in the fire that spread to nearby houses in the small lakeside town located 10 miles east of Rochester.

              [More on link.]

              I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

              by NonnyO on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 04:05:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  NonnyO -- that sister's absence (0+ / 0-)

                how long ago was it that someone saw her last?
                He beat his grandmother to death with a hammer....and they let him out?

                LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

                by BlackSheep1 on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 10:41:36 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Although I don't share your opinion (0+ / 0-)

            I appreciate your comment and thoughts on the subject

          •  Amen to that. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BYw, NonnyO, Farlfoto, 84thProblem
            In my opinion, God is an evil entity if he exists, because he allows this shit to begin with.
            I am completely befuddled by people who are think the best response is to "pray." Pray to who? Clearly, God either:

            * wanted to this to happen
            * doesn't give a shit
            * doesn't even know about it, or
            * is powerless to stop it.

            In any case, talking to this entitly is clearly a colossal waste of time.

            •  I respect your opinion (0+ / 0-)

              but in our faith we are not to question God as hard as that may be sometimes. I know that people who agnostic or atheist don't quite understand why we choose to believe or not question because it is only human nature. Especially when a tragic even happens.

              The way I look at it and many may not agree is that as tragic as this shooting was these children are no longer in a world were someone can come into their classroom and begin shooting. A world were millions of people go hungry each day.

              I believe that on Earth we do have to go through trials and hard times to fully appreciate the gift of Heaven when we pass.

              This piece was not intended to start a firestorm between whether or not God exist. If you truly believe in God or if you don't then nothing will convince you otherwise.

              •  yea (0+ / 0-)
                If you truly believe in God or if you don't then nothing will convince you otherwise.
                That is exactly the problem.  It's what allows people like Pat Robertson or Fred Phelps spew the hatred they espouse, in the name of god.

                And that's why I have no respect for religion, because they believe in things they desperately hope to be true.  Like the afterlife.

              •  You're right (0+ / 0-)

                but the lies that are organized religions are just smoke screens that keep otherwise well-meaning people from seeing what needs to be done and doing it.

                I used to be a christian. I used to speak in tongues and stand on street corners handing out gospels of John and telling people that if they didn't repent they're going to hell. I know what you believe, and frankly I don't care. If it makes you happy, you're welcome to it.

                It just pisses me off every time I hear that more God or more praying to God or more taking about God is going to solve anything. God is fucking useless. Want to stop little kids from getting mowed down with machine guns? Do something to get rid of the guns.

                •  I do beleive that we should do something (0+ / 0-)

                  to help get rid of guns. I think that is one of the biggest problems in America but I have replied many times that this is not about whether or not anyone believes or does not believe it is about prayer in school. I am sorry if I have offended anyone. I did not intend to do so. I am not pushing religion on anyone. I know that some people claim to be a Christian and then they make comments that tell otherwise. I am probably the most friendliest person you would ever meet. I have friends who are Christians, atheist, Jewish, and agnostic.  They don't push their beliefs on me nor do I push mine on them. I totally agree that something needs to be done as far as gun control is concerned. I don't think having an armed guard standing at the door is going to stop anything.

          •  Epicurus agreed with you (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
            Then he is not omnipotent.
            Is he able, but not willing?
            Then he is malevolent.
            Is he both able and willing?
            Then whence cometh evil?
            Is he neither able nor willing?
            Then why call him God?”

            Epicurus, Greek philosopher, 341-270 BCE

            I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

            by NonnyO on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 03:03:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Well, there have been shootings (6+ / 0-)

        in churches, so that pretty much renders this particular talking point nonsensical.

        Welcome, and keep reading; keep writing diaries. I work in public schools (in special ed). It's my chosen second career. And yes, I took a pay cut to do it, but the pay is not why we teach, as I'm sure you know already!

    •  If you drop an egg and it breaks, does it break (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ubertar, gsenski, NonnyO

      because god is angry at you for not praying? Or did it break because you dropped it?

      If you saturate your society with guns and crazy people use those guns to shoot up schools and malls, are the schools being shot up because god is angry at you for not praying?

      For some, god is the ultimate cop-out.

      and their contempt for the Latin schools was applauded by Theodoric himself, who gratified their prejudices, or his own, by declaring that the child who had trembled at a rod would never dare to look upon a sword.

      by ban48 on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 06:48:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  De-friending is a last resort, I take the (0+ / 0-)

      opportunity to point out God gave us free will. Which means it is up to US to figure this all out, OUR responsibility, not God's.  This is not God's fault, it is our fault. Pray less DO more, we have the world we are willing to work for, the world WE choose to make.  

      The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die. ~ Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy

      by cherie clark on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 08:08:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think a "god" that would kill children under (0+ / 0-)

      those circumstances is really just a petulant child, more deserving of a time-out than worship.

      -7.38, -5.38 (that's a surprise)

      What is the sound of one hand clapping? Just listen!

      by 84thProblem on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 06:25:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think you will be a great teacher (8+ / 0-)

    It is very important as a teacher to recognize that your students come from different places, different cultures, different religions. You have compassion and respect for others.

    Good luck to you.  This has been a terrible week for all of us.

    We have nowhere else to go... this is all we have. (Margaret Mead)

    by bruised toes on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:36:43 PM PST

  •  Even amongst the Christian faiths (12+ / 0-)

    There are such amazing differences in the purpose and role of faith, deeds, and outcomes.   Are we saved by faith and faith alone?  Do our good works temper or invalidate our baptismal gift?

    And those are just the challenges of Christianity.  

    The Lord, says the bible, doesn't need your outward protestations of faith, your demand to be  heard because of all your praying.   God, at least to Christians, can see your heart and judges it as so.  (1 Samuel 16:7)

    For Children, the pure of heart, to be assessed in such a way by those who want "prayer in school" rejects so much of their own core belief; God in most of the major faiths of the world demands little in major shows of public protestations of faith - in fact, for the new testament, islam, and bhudism, you are assessed by the merits of your heart.

    The protestation of "if only there were prayer in schools.." puts a great fault on the hearts and souls of so many.. it says that in some ways, their failure to recognize the truth of faith in their life has created a situation in which they could be killed.

    I am not religious.   But I have no qualms with those who find that religion does something for them.

    But I would remind them: things like this "happen" not because God is allowed in schools, but because, as all religious teachers have told us, we are beings of free will who must choose our outcomes, not puppets who are sent to entertain a deity in a bloodbath or a set of rewards; if we were, evil would never succeed and good would always prevail..

    The children who were murdered were pure of heart spirits who found their life ended far too soon.   Children in school who go to learn do not need to learn faith from a teacher; they can learn it from their parents and grow to accept or reject it within their own hearts.

    I've known powerful men of faith.  I've known powerful advocates of atheism.  And I'm mostly agnostic.   But I know this.. blaming a teacher, a school, or a child for not praying enough is not the right answer, it divides and not joins us.

    In the end, no matter what faith you are, there is one universal truth to all religions:  Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself.

    Live in that world, and things improve.  Decide you want to force things on others, and they don't.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:58:11 PM PST

  •  Something else that should help (6+ / 0-)

    There are a good number of teachers and retired teachers on here, so if you need moral support you're in a good place.

    Romney-Ryan: America's Rollback Team

    by Christian Dem in NC on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:58:36 PM PST

  •  Great first diary! And it sounds like you'll be an (4+ / 0-)

    amazing teacher as well. I grew up in the public school system with no religion except when it was taught comparitively. And I have always been so grateful for that. The reponsibilty for a child's religious education is the parents, not the schools. And they'd be far better off teaching their children about values, ethics and morals (not to mention manners!) based on what's right and what's wrong & why that is and teaching them to treat others how they would want to be treated themselves without any religion involvement at all, at least at first. Because kids certainly aren't learning those lessons in most churches these days as far as I can see.

    I respect people who are Christian and actually walk the walk, but unfortunately they are few and far between these days.

    "On this train, dreams will not be thwarted, on this train faith will be rewarded" The Boss

    by mindara on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:00:29 PM PST

    •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My mother is a great person, she has strong beliefs, that she taught my sister's and I while we were growing up. We didn't not attend church regularly but she taught us about the Bible, God, and morals. I think parents are the greatest teachers. I think it is more common now to walk into a church and not feel welcomed as sad is that is to say. It seems to me that most people attend church for attention or status in their community. I don't attend church one reason is because when I do go to a new church I don't feel comfortable and welcome.

      •  Same friends and I talk about religion (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and I swear, I get way more from those convos than I ever did from church.

        "On this train, dreams will not be thwarted, on this train faith will be rewarded" The Boss

        by mindara on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 12:47:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Me too (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cherie clark, white blitz

          I think that you don't have to be in a church to worship. You can simply have church in your home. If you discuss religion and worship then it does not matter where that takes place. I find that a religious discussion at home is more interesting because it is not as judgmental you are not expected to believe the same thing everyone in the congregation believes.

      •  Purely a personal comment, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, blessedgirl

        of course, but if there is a Unitarian - Universalist congregation in your community, you might want to visit one Sunday and see what it's like.

        I'm a lapsed Presbyterian and a born-again agnostic who believes in and seeks a spiritual aspect of life. I began attending our local UU in the summer.  I found the people to be wonderfully (and sincerely) friendly and welcoming, and the (new at the time) minister to be intellectually stimulating in her message. It helped that several members were former colleagues of mine from the university I retired from a few years ago. I've since joined.

        A funny comment from the minister: after she first arrived and had enjoyed a round of dinner parties and other events where she got to know the members, she mentioned to a mutual friend of ours that she'd met all the agnostics and atheists in the congregation and was looking forward to also meeting any who identified as Christians. ;)  

        Being the single intellectual in a village of 1,100 souls ain't much fun, especially when 1,099 of those don't think you're all that smart.--Lucy Marsden

        by Miniaussiefan on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 04:42:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have to laugh sometimes, my youngest son says (0+ / 0-)

        "don't need no stink'in religion, I grew up just fine without it." His values mirror my own and the Catholic social teachings of my childhood with a little bit of Huckleberry Finn thrown in. He was raised Catholic ( the good parts) and still hasn't figured it out, LOL. But he is passing on those some values to his nieces and nephews and he lives them everyday.

        The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die. ~ Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy

        by cherie clark on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 08:26:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Anyone who doesn't think praying was going (7+ / 0-)

    on in that school is an idiot. And I'm agnostic. But I guarantee you, people pray wherever they want to. And they definitely pray when they're being shot at.

    "Mitt Romney looks like the CEO who fires you, then goes to the Country Club and laughs about it with his friends." ~ Thomas Roberts MSNBC

    by second gen on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:02:48 PM PST

  •  Well The God You Believe In is One They Reject. (8+ / 0-)

    This is an imperialistic movement, they've got the correct God and the correct faith and they've been working for 40 years together with the Republicans to take over everything they can.

    Discussions and comparisons of faith or ritual can be a help in reaching persuadable moderates in society to counter some of the views of the religious right, but they themselves can't, and they won't restrain themselves.

    They have to be recognized for what they are and how they work, and everywhere possible they have to be stopped.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:09:55 PM PST

  •  I did a diary on the good ole days (7+ / 0-)

    Of enforced prayer in public school, here, and for this Jewish child, it was not a pleasant experience.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:31:58 PM PST

    •  I will check out your diary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Navy Vet Terp

      Thanks for the comment I will check out your diary entry. I am very interested in learning about different faiths. I will never be an expert by any means but I want to learn because I know that one day I will have many different child from many different faiths and I would like to know as much as possible so that I can make them all feel comfortable and maybe understand their traditions and beliefs.
       I feel like it would be very helpful in connecting with the children.

  •  I think most of us here would agree with you (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blessedgirl, chantedor, Amayi, white blitz

    that organized prayer in public schools is not appropriate. However, I think individual students and teachers should not be prevented from praying on their own initiative, as long as they don't disturb anyone else or impose their beliefs on others.

    "I have more than two prablems" - The Coach Z

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:28:55 PM PST

  •  Thank you everyone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thanks so much for your comments and words of encouragement. I was a little nervous about my first entry. I hope to write more soon. This is a wonderful community and I am so glad that I stumbled upon this website.

    •  Hi :) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Not only are you welcome, the advice and help you received, and the promotion of your Diary was done by an Atheist.

      You will read lots here that you will struggle to understand and agree with. Take your time, enjoy the company because by and large we are nice people who will help anyone who is prepared to remain open-minded.

      There are many practising Christians, and those of other faiths who participate here, and they have done so for a long time.

      Good luck.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:50:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you so much! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I really appreciate all your help you have been too kind. I do respect everyone's beliefs and I am very open minded.I understand that what I choose to believe many not be what many other choose and that does not mean they are wrong or that I am wrong. I think the world would be a much better place if we all just understood that.

        •  Just ask. (0+ / 0-)

          I would much rather people simply ask, than worry about doing the right or wrong thing thinking it is too much trouble to send a message.

          You will be fine :)

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:07:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I am a retired teacher/coach and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blessedgirl, chantedor, Leap Year

    am a Christian who prayed often at school. We started each day with a moment of silence where students of all faiths could pray to their God. God has not been removed from our schools. I submit that because of Christian educators like us, that God has never left our schools. If you will continue to be a Christian role model God's love will shine through you everyday.

  •  The thing that bothers me most (10+ / 0-)

    is this idea that prayer is NOT allowed in schools. That is ludicrous. Prayer is a very personal thing, and at no time can someone prevent someone else from praying. In silence. With thought.

    When I hear anyone go off about not being able to pray in school, what I really hear is... "I am not allowed an audience to my prayers while in school." And it makes me wonder, just what is the intent behind that particular prayer that it requires the audience of man, and not the audience of God (or gods, or to whomever or whatever one chooses to pray).

  •  People like that facebook friend of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blessedgirl, Amayi

    yours make sensible Christians such as yourself look bad. I would have shown him/her this comic:

    and suggest that he/she take up ping-pong or windsurfing instead.

    As far as I'm concerned, religion is a deeply personal and individual thing and should never be used as a means of advancing a political cause.

    •  I agree with you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It is deeply personally and like I said I don't go to a church. I interpret things my way I guess you can say. Five people can read the same version of the Bible and all five people will interpret it different.

      •  My friend once told me that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blessedgirl, 84thProblem

        having religion is like having a penis. It's ok to have one but don't whip it out and wave it around in public or worse shove it down someone's throat against their will. Our society would do well to adopt that mentality.

        No one can agree on which version of the Bible is the correct version let alone what to take away from it. Your faith as you have described it reminds me of my mother which I find admirable, though it is not something I share with you.

        For a first diary you did well. Stay involved with us going forward.

  •  Prayer in schools (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blessedgirl, Zinman, wishingwell

    is not effective. An old friend from high school was involved in a discussion some of my friends had about this. I was raised in a different religion from Christianity, and they said prayers in the schools, and they also held religious assemblies every week (protestant preachers only). So we were discussing that they were violated our Constitutional rights and we never even knew it.

    And my friend, Johnny, said prayer in the schools were ineffective, because every time he was sitting outside the principals office waiting to be seen, he prayed really hard and it ever helped.

  •  Prayer IS allowed in school (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Prayer is allowed in school.  The first problem is that we let the other side the hijack framing just like happened with "right to life" which was the anti-death penalty slogan and twist the meaning inside out. Then we fall into the trap of repeating it just like it makes sense.  In the first case they mean right to birth and then your on your on. They don't really mean that you have a right to actually live a life.  In the second they leave out the word "official" and we go right along with them.  

    There is no law against prayer just as there is no law favoring prayer.  You can pray all you want but the government can't force you to pray it's way.  

    You can pray in school all you want just as Christ taught.  You can pray in the privacy of your thoughts, between you and your God, if you have one.    If God is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent then God, as theology claims, can't be locked out of schools or anywhere else. So I guess they don't really believe what they believe or something.  

    What we must not do is let any particular group hijack prayer in the name of "their" God which of course is what Christians really want when they say that there should be prayer in school, official prayers, official Christian prayers that is.  Does anybody really believe they mean Muslim or Jewish prayer or Wikien or Satanic prayer?  Of course not.  Rational Christians understand that the first amendment is in place to protect religious freedom from the government and not the other way around.  

    Even if there were official Christian prayers which denomination, which sect would get to write them?  Would they be Baptist prayers or Catholic prayers, maybe Church of God, evangelicals vs christmatics.  They're all Christian and all different.  So then what?  Of course we fight over who gets to write the prayer and who has to say it which is exactly why government has to stay out of the prayer business.  

    Now the really big question is why an all loving God, who is all those Omni things, allows evil.   I've studied the answers of smart people who have called themselves theologians or philosophers over the past two millenium and have no satisfactory answer.   So don't blame me if your omnipotent God can't or won't stop 20 innocent children or 6 million of his "chosen people" from being slaughtered.  

    If God is Omniscient then God knew this killing was going to happen.  If God is Omnipresent then God was there watching.  If God is Omnipotent then God chose not to stop it.  Words have meaning and we really need to think whether we really believe what we think we believe when we use them.  

    A bad idea isn't responsible for those who believe it. ---Stephen Cannell

    by YellerDog on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:23:58 PM PST

    •  I understand your point (0+ / 0-)

      although I do not share your beliefs. I respect your statement.  I was taught and believe that everything happens for a reason. I was taught there is a purpose even for the terrible things that happen.

  •  Your love of children speaks volumes. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And your latitude in religious feelings is well-accepted.  We all want the things you want, on a spiritual level.  Beyond that, our religious leaders can decide.  Let's each find our center for love and acceptance and the safety of our children.  I think your experiences were similar to mine, in general.  

    Hurting little children is horrific in everyone's eyes.  I am not religious but I'm sure there was plenty of prayer flowing from Sandy Hook Elementary School that morning.  But nothing, in my humble opinion, could have stopped that madman.

    I agree with you: God is a personal belief and can only benefit you internally.  To direct others to your beliefs can only
    dilute the effect on your life.  Let His love flow through your being and don't succumb to the siren to make it important to others.  He's your personal God.  He's your personal salvation.  Cherish that for your own.

    Thank you for your diary.

    The system isn't broken; it's fixed - OWS sign

    by john07801 on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:23:25 AM PST

  •  No Scourges: Prayer is in schools, and God, too (0+ / 0-)

    Suppose, for a moment, that God were "not allowed" in a school. If that were so, would God visit this town or nation with a scourge?

    Whenever people say that X hurricane or disease or misfortune is because of this bad thing or that, they are announcing:
    1. God is sending a scourge
    2. They are a prophet of the Lord
    3. They have been inspired to speak to the nations.

    Look through the Bible. How many times does God send a scourge? In the Old Testament, there are. . . two? The Babylonian captivity and the loss of the homeland the first time called for prophets to explain the matter and speak to the people. In those cases, God dealt with existential threats to His people.

    How many in the New Testament?

    Perhaps that's because of Luke 13:1-5:

    "There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
    2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
    3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
    4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
    5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." KJV
    I.e. Jesus said it directly and plainly: these misfortunes ARE NOT because of this or that.

    People complain about dirt, but I'd like to see them make some.

    by The Geogre on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 05:00:48 AM PST

    •  Also, too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Children may pray. Adults may pray. Staff may pray. All may pray separately together.

      The only thing not allowed is for the school to mandate a prayer, and having teachers "lead" a prayer is coercive. The people throwing a tantrum because they can't lead prayers and dictate their contents in school and willing to blame victims in the process are as heartless as thoughtless.

      People complain about dirt, but I'd like to see them make some.

      by The Geogre on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 05:22:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Clearly your diary has hit a nerve, blessedgirl, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    texasmom, blessedgirl

    and has attracted a lot of good attention. Congratulations on doing so well, especially with a first diary! It is fun to have started a successful dialogue, isn't it--even if it is about such a painful topic. People here generally respond positively to openness and curiosity. Welcome to Daily Kos!

    I'm also sending you a Kosmail which I hope you can find. Look under "messages" at your profile page.

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 05:47:56 AM PST

  •  Keep writing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Best wishes to you - you have the makings of a truly great teacher!

  •  As my cousin replied on Facebook to her sister (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cherie clark

    who posted some nonsense about God being kicked out of the schools..she said..

    If God is everywhere, it is impossible to kick him out of any place on earth. If God is in our hearts, he goes with us wherever we go.  If God is indeed almighty, he can go anywhere he damn well pleases.  So this is foolish as God is not being kicked out of any place. But a public school funded by state and federal dollars as well as taxpayer money.....should be for all students and not just some.

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:44:15 AM PST

  •  How do they explain... (0+ / 0-)

    ... Church shootings then?

  •  Prayer in School (0+ / 0-)

       Just my opinion, but organized prayer is school that is being thrown about by some seem to overlook or ignore that this was a SCOTUS case in the 60's:  Murray v. Curtlett and prayer "lost" 8:1.  The SCOTUS upheld Engle v. Vitale using the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment.

         Are these folks looking for another case to try and overturn the earlier verdicts?

         My desire to get into any other discussion re:  God is zero.  

  •  Let's Ask The Bible (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Let's for the moment ignore the numerous instances where the Bible admonishes believers to kill their own family members (such as disobedient children).

    "Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children." (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT)
    "Make ready to slaughter his sons for the guilt of their fathers; Lest they rise and posses the earth, and fill the breadth of the world with tyrants." (Isaiah 14:21 NAB)
    "Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes.....They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children." (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 10:10:13 AM PST

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