No More Empty Fortune Cookies!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

California takes one step forward as Tennessee takes two steps back

Today, the California Supreme Court overturned the state's ban on gay marriage! California will soon become the second state in the nation to allow gay marriage, and not like MA where you have to live there, show residency there, kind of allowance, but a come to California and get married kind of allowance.
Lets keep our fingers crossed that the coalition of religious and socially conservative groups who are attempting to keep the ban on gay marriage in place(due to their religious beliefs) are unsuccessful.

And who cares about keeping church and state separate? Tennessee sure doesn't seem to! This week a bill has passed that will approve of Tennessee's public schools teaching bible classes, so long as they utilize a text book and maintain a "nonsecular, nonreligious atmosphere". If this is the case, well then, lets introduce koran class, and torah, and fairy tale class, hell we could even have a pagan class complete with text books too!
I thought that if you wanted your child to have bible studies in school, you sent them to private school. End of discussion.
My parents wanted me to know and understand the bible, so they worked hard and made sacrifices and sent me to private school. Sure, not everyone can afford tuition, I understand that. But that is why private schools have scholarships.And when that fails, you know what? Teach that at home and in Sunday school. Where it belongs.

This raises some serious concerns about church/state separation issues.
If you have concerns about this bill, please, do like I did, and send an email, a letter, and/or place a phone call to your House Representative
you can find them by clicking HERE.
The full text of the bills are available in PDF here : HB4089 and SB4104

8 cookies cracked:

Karen said...

I honestly just glanced over the bill, but it seems to authorize a history or sociology class based on the the Bible. I took 2 semesters of that sort of thing in college. Religion aside, the Bible is such an important historical document that I am sure they can full a cirriculm on the topic.

I understand your concerns. I guess I would have to see how the class would be enacted. New ways of understanding history is not a bad thing as long as the spirituality is kept out.

Jay said...

A few years ago a group of people wandered into town from "off" and started trying to push the local school board to teach the bible as a historic document classes. The local community college already has that class available to the public, but they thought it should be offered in high school. The school board got a lot of support from the parents and was just about to approve it when somebody noticed that at the last second somebody snuck in a thing making the class MANDATORY for every single student.

After people saw that they got a little angry and the school board voted the class down. Turns out one of the school board members had been in contact with this right wing fundamentalist group that specializes in duping people into thinking the bible will be taught in a non-religious way and then of course doing the opposite once the class is established. That guy got voted out.

Colleges and churches and other groups teach the bible as a historic document all the time. It's not needed in the schools. They won't be straight up about it and it WILL be a religious class. These groups just aren't honest about their intentions.

Fortune Cookies said...

Karen, I think college is a great place for those classes, it's much more appropriate, also, I agree with you that understanding history from another perspective is beneficial, however, I don't trust these groups pushing a bible study and saying it will be non-religious. by it's very nature, it's religious. besides, there is no evidence that the bible is historically accurate, not to base an education on anyways. faith and fact are two different things. the bible relies upon the faith of it's readers, education is a product of evidentiary factual material presented and explained.

jay - I believe your people from "off" wandered across the mississippi and landed in Nashville.

gr said...

I always wonder how fundamentalist Christians would feel if they suddenly found themselves in Saudi Arabia. Where Islam is assumed, and taught, and is the state religion, and enforced as law. Maybe they would cry out 'you shouldn't force me to learn your religion!'. Or if they suddenly found themself in the Vatican. 'They shouldn't force me to honor the Pope!'. Or maybe Israel. 'Why are all these strange Jewish holidays being crammed down my throat?'.
Freedom of religion includes freedom FROM religion. Maybe some people need to realize that it is impolite to display your views or force them onto others? It is rude! Leave me alone!
I sometimes think to myself 'how could my good friend Fortune Cookie live in a place like Tennessee, when she is obviously so smart and progressive, and maybe some people in Tenn. would give her a hard time just for being herself?'. But the answer, of course, is that even though I live in what may be the most liberal town in the US, the adjoining communities and rural counties are filled with highly 'traditional' conservatives etc, some might call them rednecks, so you just live where you live and make a good life......

Fortune Cookies said...

gr - "Freedom of religion includes freedom FROM religion." well said!
an in reference to how I could live in TN where I probably get a hard time from time to time just for being me, well, sure, it's happened, here and there. I was fired once for being gay. Employee of the month one week and fired the next, when my sexualty was discovered, however, the same discriminations could occur anywhere. as you said, you make do where you live and make a good life. I think it's important for people as myself to embed ourselves in small town usa where we can live our normal lives under the scrutiny of the not so liberal observers who would love nothing more than to pick us apart. that way they see we are just like them, and hopefully, eventually, they come to accept and tolerate just a little bit more.

gr said...

whoa, things look a little different suddenly

TNC said...

Did you go to school in middle TN? I went to Goodpasture, and we had to take bible classes every year. I hated them. Not that I hated the bible, or the stories in it, I just hated the way everyone thought they were better than "non-church goers". It drove me insane.

Fortune Cookies said...

tnc - yes I did, actually. I started out in catholic school, then when they gave me the boot, I entered the middle tennessee public school system, attending Overton and Antioch. yowzer, they're really somethig, and not in a good way ;) goodpasture, eh? howdy neighbor!