Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Score One For...Nobody

It's been too long since I last posted, and I really do want to keep up with regular posting. Sometimes, though, I don't have a whole lot to share. Well -- I don't have a whole lot to share that might be interesting to those reading, anyway. I could go on for a very long time about things that I think are worth talking about...but that's mostly going to cover my husband, my son, and how much I still want another baby but am trying to be okay and have faith with that situation not being the way I'd hoped. See? Forever. And now you're bored.

But today I do have something to share, and it involves an article that caught my eye: "Student Wins Suit After Teacher Says Creationism 'Superstitious Nonsense.' " (Click here to read the article. And I don't even know how I came across it, because I don't read the Fox News site.) Now, you might already be thinking that you know what I'm going to say about this. Something like, "Yeah, way to stick it to 'em!" or "That's what happens when somebody messes with us Christians!"

This was a 16-month 'legal battle' between a junior in high school (really? He did this all by himself? No help from any adults? Hmm...) and his former history teacher over some 20 statements made by the teacher that were 'hostile to Christian beliefs' and 'made Christian students feel uncomfortable.'

I read the article, and the statements made by the teacher that were quoted in the article (one example: "...when you put on your Jesus glasses, you can't see the truth."). Obviously, the teacher is a bit of a jerk and needs to rein it in. He has some very strong opinions about religion and Christianity and God (who doesn't, right?), but sharing them in that manner, in that venue...not wise. I know that I personally wouldn't have been happy hearing the things he said had I been a student in his class.

But a 16-month legal battle? Seriously? And I'm sure there are Christians out there cheering this 'win,' but what bearing, if any, does this have on the two commandments that Jesus said were the most important (Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; Love your neighbor as yourself)? Can you tell me that this high school teacher -- or the kid, for that matter -- are any closer to God (or anything remotely good) for what went on in a courtroom over a dozen or more statements that were made in a classroom?

It's like, "Hooray! We won! We proved that we were right and he was wrong (according to the law). Woohoo! What a coup for the Christians!" what?

When these students were being made to feel 'uncomfortable' because of someone else's decision to spout their own bitterness...was there ever a thought of how the first-century Christians were treated for their beliefs? They were THROWN TO THE LIONS. Now that, kids...that is what you call uncomfortable. As Christians, we are called to carry a cross, to face persecution, to be scorned, to be made 'uncomfortable' in our everyday lives. Not only that, but we are called to rejoice in all of it:
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. ~ 1 Peter 4:12-14
For me, this article brought about no happy feelings. Somebody said something negative about Christianity, a young Christian kid took him to court (I'm still not sure that was all his doing), and for what? So that those in the world who already have a bad image of Christians can say, "Yeah, that's how I thought they were -- vindictive, vengeful, bitter, self-righteous..."?

I'm sorry, but I don't see anything good or right or godly in any of it.


Jana Green said...

Hey Tracey,

I saw this article too. And while you do have a point, youreally don't think that anything good came out of this?

I don't know for sure, but I imagine that this lawsuit wasn't a first or even a second step for the student.

I just think that maybe the student did this for all the future students that teacher will have. I am the kind of person who if that had been me, I don't know if I could have stayed in the class. In high school I was not the type of person to handle that kind of "bullying" from a teacher.

Anyway, I don't think it was the best or only way to handle it, but not knowing the full extent of the situation, I have to give the benefit of the doubt to the student who probably tried to talk to the teacher, principal, superintendent, and then when that didn't work, decided to continue to stand up for what is right.

And assuming that the environment was not one that students felt comfortable in not only being, but learning, I would imagine that the other students could be grateful.

ANyway...didn't want to harp on this, just as a teacher and a timid, shy student, I wanted to set up a hopefully different perspective.

Thanks for the food for thought,
Have a great day,

tracey said...

Hey Jana, thanks for your thoughts! I like that you are sharing as both a teacher and student. I still do, however, stick by my opinion -- because it is only that, I certainly don't speak for all Christians -- because even if this teacher was quieted for the sake of future Christian students, then why? I don't feel that God called us to cushy, easy lives. I've been made better for suffering through some things in my life, and it seems that those who have not suffered much at all do not appreciate as much. But mostly, I think that this is yet another thing for non-Christians to point their finger at and say, "I knew you were all like that!" and I feel the need to say NO, we are not. I guess we could assume that the kid and his parents took all the necessary steps in between before suing the teacher, but I don't know that for sure. I looked for it in the article but didn't see it. And if they did take those steps, it all seems that much worse to me, because it means they had all that time along the way to realize what they were getting into. Like I said, I would not have liked the comments myself. I just don't know that something (besides prayer) must be done about it. Thanks again for reading and commenting!

Melissa said...


I have spent some time contemplating this....I have written a few comments and then erased them.

Maybe we shouldn't judge this boy (no I'm not saying that you were condemning him Tracey) But in the sense of right and wrong.

I can see where this issue could cause some non-Christians to point fingers and I can also see where this boy may have done good.
I can see maybe a hint of Moses. He was called to stand up for God's people - I wish we had more Moses'.
Maybe God led him. Maybe some young Christian in the class was thinking that this teacher had a point and maybe someone was praying for someone to stand up before this young persons faith dwindled anymore.
Or it could be Satan using this boy in - what some might say a good way - in order to bring Christians down.
My point is - we never really know why things happen. God works in mysterious ways. (if it was God working at all)
Yes opinions are opinions. LOL Especially when it's your blog! Keep it up I love reading your thoughts- I love anything that makes me "think".
I WANT to see a good light in this world - I WANT to know that someone is doing good - so maybe that is why I see a little Moses in this boy.

Melissa F

tracey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tracey said...

Hey Melissa ~ Thanks for your comments! I like your comparison of the boy to Moses. I really don't feel like I have any negative feelings toward the boy as much -- more his parents, if anyone.

I'm thinking I may have been misunderstood in something...I fully believe that we should stand up for what we believe in -- always! However, the manner in which we do this is very important, and can strongly affect how others view Christians, even Christ and God. That is scary! If I had read a different story, maybe about how this young man had spent each night praying fervently for his teacher, yet remaining meek in that classroom no matter what was thrown at him...I feel like that would greatly inspire me instead of leaving me shaking my head. Because, what, we're leaving it up to our judges instead of our God? Is prayer not the way to go? Is meekness mistaken for weakness? Yes, by all means, I love seeing Christians standing up for what they believe in (i.e., Rachel Scott from Columbine)...but I don't think I like seeing them do it in a court of law, because I see it as an attack rather than a turning of the other cheek.

Hope I cleared up my viewpoint!

Melissa said...

OH yes yes - We are even told to settle things outside of court in the Bible - so I totally agree!
Please don't think that I was mentioning that you didn't want others to stand up for God - I know you better than that. It really does seem like an attack when taken that far. I do wonder what I would have done if it was my child - (LOL I guess thats why I'm choosing to homeschool - Lord willing!)
I guess I would have talked to the teacher myself - and if things didn't change - I would have him/her taken out of the class. This may be way off but I remember a time in the fourth grade when it was too wet for p.e. and the gym was being renovated - so the coaches gave us a movie to watch - It really scared me. I don't remember the name of the movie - but it was about a man that could see where "death" was on your deathbed - if he looked through this special glass he could tell if "He" was sitting at your feet or on your chest - I guess to know how much longer you had. Well, I went to bed that night and kept seeing "death" sitting on my feet. My mother called the school and the next day when we were supposed to finish watching the movie - the coach said "Since one a you are too chicken and scared of the movie we can not finish it." I can still feel the hurt and embarrassment - The Coach was WRONG. People in place of authority should keep opinions to themselves. I think that the school board should have done something - not firing - but a reprimand.
Love you Trace

tracey said...

Hey Melissa...thanks again, I really do appreciate your comments and thoughtfulness. I would have mentioned the verses about settling things outside of court, only that is directed at Christians settling things with other Christians. But yeah. That really stinks that you had that experience when you were so young. My brother had some similar experiences as the boy in the article, it's a little fuzzy now. But my dad did go and speak with the teacher. I'm sure lots of kids have dealt with this, and it's sad that there are teachers out there who do those things and get away with it. I just hope this boy (from the article) doesn't grow up disillusioned. Surely there isn't a great feeling over winning. I don't know what he won -- self-righteousness?

Melissa said...

yeah - I thought about that too - it being settled between two Christians - it should just be for everyone....
I don't know what he won - I didn't think of how he would grow up from this - hopefully he will be alright.
Love ya

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