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Published: Sunday, March 30 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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slcdenizen
t-ville, UT

"Whether anybody likes it or not, religion plays a big role, if not the biggest role, in human culture"

The role religion has and continues to play is as a deterrent to pluralistic progress. It has reliably served as a lens through which peoples have viewed the world, but often a pernicious and inaccurate lens that perpetuates myths about other groups and cultures. Our evolved educational system serves to dispel many of those myths in order to promote the common good, resulting in better opportunities for communal trust, commerce, political participation, poverty alleviation, etc. We absolutely should encourage learning religion in schools under the category of philosophy, separate from the other more critical areas of learning. There is nothing noble about screeching and braying at the slightest perceived offense in life, because as the adage goes, life will go on.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

We have here another example of imaginary religious persecution.

Try actually reading her homework assignment requirements. It isn't about just writing about "who" her hero is, it's also asking her to write about the "what," "when, "where" and "how" of that makes a person a hero. The girl's submitted draft, which was rejected by the teacher, did not explain who Jesus was, when and where he lived, or what he did and how those things make Jesus a hero. When the girl expressed an unwillingness/inability to write about Jesus that way, the teacher suggested she try a different person as an example of a hero.

The religious outrage echo chamber is all over this story, but the truth is nowhere to be found in it.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

"By not allowing this girl to write about Jesus, the education system is giving an unrealistic view of the world to the students. If this is allowed to persist, I believe our education system will ultimately fail.'

Have you looked close Tyler. The US is brining up the rear in math, reading, the sciences and just about everything else of importance and it has nothing to do with Jesus.

Talk about an unrealistic view of the world.

Badgerbadger
Murray, UT

How many other students had their hero rejected and disallowed? None! So yes, this was religious discrimination and persecution, against a child, no less.

Those who say it isn't, should be ashamed of yourselves, cheering on the humiliation of a child.

Whether you are a Christian or not, Jesus lived and was a historic figure. He helped many and harmed no one. There is no earthly reason why a student cannot write about him as her hero.

HaHaHaHa
Othello, WA

Finally one of our liberal masterminds got it right. Although it's probably not entirely accurate, he states that the US is "brining" up the rear in math, reading, science and everything else. Then he recognizes it has nothing to do with Jesus. We probably haven't been the world leader in education, since the "thinking" among us forced us to remove prayer from schools.

Schnee
Salt Lake City, UT

@HaHaHaHa
"We probably haven't been the world leader in education, since the "thinking" among us forced us to remove prayer from schools."

The vast majority of the nations that passed us have even lower levels of religiosity than we do so that hypothesis is illogical.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

So let me get this straight. The right wing believes that the state of education has nothing to do with the terrible pay given to educators, the rise in Spanish speakers (which big corp loves), the decline of teaching unions, the ineffectiveness of vouchers, the failures of race to the top and NCLB, the large class sizes, the endless standardized tests, the micromanaging of republican state legislatures, the ridiculous grading systems, the lack of accountability from parents, the lack of respect for teachers, the demand that evolution be taught along with creationism, the endless berating of education by right wing media, and the overall lack of focus on academic achievement?

According to the right, none of this is responsible for the state of education?

All of it is attributed to taking prayer out of school?

Wow

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

There's 300 million stories in the naked continent. You pick one. You stereotype it into an epidemic based on the Blaze and you expect me to take you seriously? I would dare wager that after accumulating all evidence the shoe is really on the other foot.

GZE
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Badger,

As long as she wrote about Jesus, the historical figure, you are correct. What is known about Jesus' life, however, is pretty light. He was born in Bethlehem. Joseph was a carpenter so he probably was too. He became a rabbi. The leaders of the church were afraid his teachings would bring the wrath of Rome down on them so they pressured Rome to put him to death. Doesn't sound like it would be long enough to qualify as an actual essay.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Jesus is a legitimate hero for an 8 year old. I recall that Gene Autry was my hero at the time and was the one I would try to emulate. I knew about Jesus from my Sunday school class and my mothers admonitions about what Jesus would do or not do, but somehow Jesus did not really fit in my world.

Having recently discovering that the really big hero of children, that guy with the red hat and white beard, was just an imaginary hero I turned to the action heroes of the real world. Not only was there Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and the Lone Ranger, but a whole raft of guys starting with Super Man, Bat Man and Robin, etc.

It would be hard to imagine a better hero, other than God himself, than Jesus for any one at any age. But religion tends to go beyond the bounds of imaginary and uses its power to control its believers. And it is this that we must protect ourselves from.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

I am sorry… but this is a case of cherry picking stories. Living in North Carolina, and having kids who have and still are in public schools here…. I can tell you this story is not indicative of any trend or normality out here. Two years ago when my father in law died, my then 4th graders teacher offered up a moment of silence and recommended the kids say a prayer for my son that he will do well in his grief for his loss. There were no complaints. There were no upset parents.

Everywhere you look, on most any subject, if you look long enough you will find someone who will in their own discretion cross a line. To pretend this foretells some headlong dive into anti-christiandome is to be seeking signs of persecution. Each religion or faith, or evenlack there of, can tell these very same stories.

Yes, we need to be vigilant in protecting our rights… but lets not get carried away, because I can tell you as one who has both students and a spouse who are part of the North Carolina education, this story is not indicative of anything happening out here.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

I have no doubt in my mind that were this Muhammad and not Jesus, the Blaze and all it's conservative followers would be equally outraged.

factsplease
SLO, CA

Oh, my, my. We can't have a day go by without conservative media (Glenn Beck media in this case) promoting a story short on facts in order to whip up followers. This story doesn't even pass the smell test at first glance being that it happened in the bible belt.

I would urge readers to simply go to Cerro Gordo Elementary's school website link to "response to media" and read what it says there.

The child was never prohibited from writing an essay on Jesus. Principal Kent Lovett reports:

"The class had been instructed to create a composition about their hero, and was in the early stages of the writing process. As they were working, several students experienced difficulties in the planning stage, including the student in the midst of this firestorm. She, like the others, approached the teacher for guidance on how to proceed. As the teacher and student conferenced, the teacher asked the child if she wanted to stay with this subject, or choose someone else, perhaps
her mother or father. The student expressed her desire to keep Jesus as her hero, and the teacher replied, “Okay, that will be fine.”

spring street
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

@badger, haha etc....
did any of the other fail to meet the requirements, As Blue points out its was not who she choose that was the problem she refused to complete the requirements of who what where why and how that s not persecution thats trying to shift responsibility away from herself when she failed to complete the assignment. Ignoring the facts surrounding this case also does not make them go away or make something that is not persecution persecution.

Badgerbadger
Murray, UT

The outline and thesis of this 8 year old's paper are online for all to see. As an educator, I was impressed with the writing of this 8 year old. The work was at or above grade level.

Pretending that she wasn't adequately fulfilling the assignment is a lying cheap shot.

Sentinal - it is the anti-religious left that is intolerant of religion. Muhammad was a great prophet who also would make a great hero, as would Buddha, and Martin Luther, and numerous other great historical religious figures.

Now if a child wrote that Hitler, or Bin Laden, or Jack the Ripper was their hero, I would hope there would be outrage.

Badgerbadger
Murray, UT

Again, those who belittle this little girl for her writing should be ashamed of themselves. It takes a small person to pick on a child.

Sven
Morgan, UT

First Amendment U.S. Constitution:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

"Separation of Church and State" is not in the Constitution. These are words from Thomas Jefferson.

Liberals use this deception time and time again to try and shut Christians up. Sorry, but people have the right to speak about God and religion, without the intolerant persecution of Leftists. Sadly our pathetic public education system (subservient to their Almighty Teachers Union) has fostered this ignorance and downright contempt for our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

airnaut
Everett, 00

1. the Blaze.
2. cherry pick a negative emotional story.
3. play the victim card.
4. create and fan the flames of controversy. [Now wonder it's called "the Blaze"].
5. make more money.

It's a schtick.

spring street
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

@badger

So its all right for the far right to hide behind an * year old child and use her as a human shield while they loop political false political rhetoric but its "picking on" her when the rest of use dispute the rhetoric? Interesting attempt at twisting what is happening, but not buying it.

spring street
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

wow, sorry, that was some poor typing and editing on my part. I need more coffee

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