One of my son's teachers likes to use his power to expound on all of his opinions about politics and what gets reported in the news.Fortunately, he's making Michael angry, and Michael is learning how to think critically so he can debate Mr. S.
We had a big discussion last night about how Mr. S said that since the CT school shooter planned the shooting, he must not have been crazy. As Michael pointed out to me, the very fact someone would murder innocent children seems to be evidence of mental illness.
One of the most important lessons I think we need to teach our kids is how to debate. I told Michael he should make a point of learning how to respectfully point out to a teacher when he has a differing viewpoint.
I went to a small Christian college my freshman year, and I had a lot of stuff thrown at me that I didn't agree with, and it made me angry. I had to learn how to argue my point of view. I didn't change any rock-hard unyielding fundamentalist minds, I'm sure, but I didn't just give in to their dogma, either.
I got into a debate on Facebook last night with a friend who thinks the school shootings happened because "God isn't allowed in the classroom any more."
Um, nope. Two flaws with that argument.
1. Any child can pray any time, in any classroom, to any deity. The fact the teacher isn't leading them in prayer is irrelevant. To believers, God is everywhere.
2. The CT shooter was mentally ill. God had nothing to do with that. Religion doesn't stop bullets being sprayed by anyone. In fact, right now in Afghanistan, people die every day because there are fundamentalist Muslims who don't tolerate anything else.
In response to her assertion that the founding fathers of America were all Christian and we should all be Christian, this was my take on it:
The founding fathers could not have envisioned the public schools we have today, with a mix of Jewish, Muslim, and non-Christian children. To insist that all children pray the same prayers and think the same things, which might contradict what their parents believe, is simply wrong. If you want your children to believe a certain religion, by all means send them to a religious school. Do not impose one set of beliefs on all children, though. America was founded on the principal that everyone has the right to worship God or not - completely different from any other place at the time of our founding. Some of my ancestors were French Huguenots, persecuted for being Protestant in Catholic France. So I am sensitive to the idea that everyone must have the same beliefs or be punished. // We'll probably have to just agree to disagree. The nice thing is that we can do that and neither one of us has to fear being arrested because we disagree on this.
Michael and I have been watching a terrific movie, For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story, and we've had some good discussions about what it's like to live in a communist country, and why democracy is better. I like to show him movies like that, that make him think. Plus we get to listen to some wonderful jazz music.
I pointed out that his birthmom probably had no choice in her career. In America, we can be what we want, without the government forcing that on us.
We can also believe what we want, without the government forcing religion on us. Thank goodness.
Michael has to go to school dressed as a god today, and we had fun putting together his costume. He is Zeus. If he was in a "Christian" school they probably wouldn't allow this, so I'm glad he goes to a public school. He's not fixing to worship Zeus. I'm not worried about it. LOL