Schools must allow children leave during religion class, says Atheist Ireland


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[–]snowcone_wars 58 points59 points60 points  (2 children)

I asked why Job was okay with his new family and how he just casually forgot that Satan killed his original family.

Of all the things in this thread, this is the most insane one to me. Job is, bar none, considered the Abrahamic text for philosophic interpretation, it practically begs you to ask those kinds of questions.

On another note, in Job, Satan isn't actually referring to the Christian "devil". Satan in Hebrew literally just means "adversary"--that is to say, "that which stands opposed to order". It's a perfectly valid question to ask whether "Satan" does anything at all, or whether he's just representative of "sometimes shit happens with no rhyme or reason".

It's poetry, and exists solely to probe the problem of divine justice. Denying someone the ability to ask questions about divine justice is nonsensical.

[–]Jakobissweet 7 points8 points9 points  (0 children)

"When I was in seminary... I was more studious than pious, more... skeptical than most of my peers. I had this notion... which I was more than willing to speak about, at length, to whoever I could corner... that the Devil... was inconsequential. Minor figure in the grand scheme."

"Not very Catholic of you."

"Uh-huh, yeah. In my defense, in the scriptures, the Hebrew word "Satan" actually means "adversary". It's applied to any antagonist. Angels and Humans, serpents and kings. Medieval theologians reinterpreted those passages to be about a single monstrous enemy. And, in my youthful zeal, I was certain I knew why... propaganda. Played up to drive people into the church."

"So you don't believe he exists."

"Am I done talking?"


"Years later, I was in Rwanda... trying to help local churches provide aid and sanctuary to refugees. I'd become close with the village elder, Gahiji. He and his family had the respect of all tribes, Hutu and Tutsi alike. He'd helped them all... through famines, disease. The militia liked to force Hutu villagers to murder their neighbors... with machetes. But nobody would raise a hand against Gahiji. They said, "Well,... how can we kill such a holy man?" So the militia commander sent soldiers... with orders to cut his head off... in front of the entire village. Gahiji didn't try to put up a fight. Just asked for the chance to say goodbye to his family. By the time he was done, even the soldiers didn't wanna kill him. So they went to their commander and asked permission to shoot him. At least give him a quick death. The commander wanted to meet this man... who had won the respect of so many. He went to Gahiji... talked with him in his hut... for many hours. Then he dragged him out in front of his village and hacked him to pieces... along with his entire family. In that man who took Gahiji's life... I saw the Devil. So yes, Matthew... I believe he walks among us... taking many forms"

[–]_I_Am_Pagliacci_ 23 points24 points25 points  (5 children)

Bear in mind this article focuses on religious education in primary school, which is straight up indoctrination from start to finish of each schoolday.

I'm talking prayers each morning, before lunch, before going home, multiple religious songs being sung every day, a heavy focus on stuff out of the bible depending on the time of year. Visits from priests, school masses, having to do the rosary during May. On top of this, schools do all of the preparation for sacraments during school time, which is what Atheist Ireland has been mostly referring to when they talk about exemption from religion classes. It can be very difficult to draw the boundary because as I've said above, the indoctrination is pervasive. We were never taught about other religions, only small aspects of judaism came up because jesus was from a jewish background.

So much time is wasted on catholic indoctrination throughout those 8 years of early education that could be better spent on things like languages and science. Speaking as somebody who has grown up in this education system and is now an atheist like a lot of my peers, it disgusts me to think about all the time that was wasted being forced to believe in a thing that imo doesn't exist because I didn't know any better. Add in all of the scandals that have came out recently which makes the feeling worse.

[–]charliehustles 5 points6 points7 points  (0 children)

There’s probably many different examples and types of these things that vary from region to region around the world.

Here’s a US perspective.

I live in NY and there is a large number of Roman Catholics. Public schools here are not allowed to teach religion. Global and Social Studies classes are allowed to teach about religion but in an informational manner just about what the beliefs of each type are. I remember in like 7th and 8th grade learning about Islam, Hinduism, Buddhists, etc.

Direct teachings from scripture or holy text would have to take place in a house of worship. Church, Mosque, etc. This is because public school systems are state funded and there’s an established separation of church and state.

Back to my experience, about 25% of my classmates growing up were from Catholic families. To accommodate their need for religious learning, every Wednesday, after lunch, all the Catholic children were dismissed and bussed to their church where they had CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) classes for the remainder of that afternoon.

If accommodations like this aren’t met for a group of people that are a sizable percentage of the community it could be viewed as religious discrimination.

On the other hand, if religious teachings start to make their way into public schools, many interpret that as a direct violation of the US Constitution and an attack on religious freedoms.

This is an ongoing, ever present issue in the US. Especially in heavily Christian communities.

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