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Ordinary Shoes

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  1. Another annoying is that EVERYONE understands that there are always risks. No one expects that we can eliminate every risk. The goal is a reasonable reduction of risk. And we also all understand that other things are important as well. That's part of determining what is a reasonable reduction of risk. After watching another anonymous priest online preaching about how we shouldn't fear death, I had the realization that these guys are all completely out of touch with people outside of their bubble. They think that the rest of us need to hear their great insights but they don't unders
  2. A few months ago, the editor of First Things (conservative Christian journal) went on <presumably drunken> Twitter rant about how wearing a mask was cowardly. He actually used the word "coward" to describe people who wore masks. That's the mentality - people who wear masks are "afraid." If they understood that the decision to wear a mask was largely motivated by a concern for other people, why would they accuse mask wearers of being cowards?
  3. Yes. One of the many things that has been so strange during all of this is realizing that many Americans could not understand the basic concept of doing something to reduce the risk for other people. At our former church, they went on and on about how we aren't supposed to fear death. I finally gave up trying to explain that I didn't "fear death." Segue but this all reveals something very dark about American culture and in particular Christian America (before you jump on me - I am an American Christian).
  4. I know real people who have died of COVID. I'm afraid of the virus but I'm not afraid that it will kill me. I know the risks of death are low. I'm more concerned about the long term effects. But my point was that all of the sermons about not fearing death are based on false premises. Most of the people taking precautions are not afraid of personally dying. I don't need some priest lecturing me about how Jesus should make me unafraid of dying so I can off my mask and go to crowded places again.
  5. I keep hearing about the "fear of death" WRT COVID. Someone posted another sermon about this on FB recently, "don't fear death..." blah blah blah. But how many people are actually scared of dying of COVID? I've concluded that the people going on and on about how we're not supposed to "fear" death from COVID aren't paying any attention to anyone outside of their bubble. They keep preaching at people without understanding what people actually fear.
  6. Have you seen the Rick Riodan Presents books? They're based in non-western mythology and are written by authors who come from those cultures. Some have male protagonists and some have female protagonists. My daughter really liked the Aru Shah books which is based on Indian mythology and the main character is a girl.
  7. Of course they can be expressed but should they be? You, like everyone else, values the free exchange of ideas. That is not value neutral. there are no value free zones anywhere in education. The articles I cited provided conflicting approaches for what is and what is not allowed. French is a classical liberal. That supports the marketplace of ideas that we’ve seen expressed here. The example of the science teacher teaching evolution in a way that does not undermine the beliefs of the student whose faith teaches against evolution. A marketplace of ideas assumes that people will choos
  8. Talking could absolutely undermine. I don't have time to get into much detail but you're essentially motivated here by a modern idea that an exchange of ideas is value neutral. Most of us in our modern societies believe the same. It's essentially our religion in a way. The idea that the wrong ideas can be exchanged as freely as right ideas is a modern idea. Think of the idea of "Error has no rights." Of course, who gets to decide what ideas are right and what ideas are wrong? For more color on this, read the discussions between illiberals and mainstream conservatives. A start
  9. The fact that we would need to approach creation differently than other science is a value judgment itself. It is based on the assumption that religion is a valid reason to discount science which is a value judgment that religion is good. Are there other reasons why would we allow a student to disbelieve scientific fact as taught in school? Must the student believe in a god (or gods) to not have their beliefs undermined? Need it be the Christian god or the "Judeo-Christian" god? Can a teacher expect her students to believe that the Earth is round or rotates around the Sun? There ar
  10. Like I written several times, these are not easy questions. I think the mistake is assuming that they are easy. After I went to bed, I remembered a very infamous case from the mid-19th century. A Jewish baby boy who lived in Rome was baptized by his Catholic nurse. The Church discovered this and exercised their right to remove him from his family and raise him as a Catholic. This came up again a few years ago because someone wrote an article in First Things defending the Church. There was a lot of hue and cry about the article in the name of parental rights. This wasn't the state in the
  11. If you see it and identify it as abuse that's still based on your values. Someone else might have a different definition of abuse. I certainly don't want to discuss the morality of circumcision but I think that's a good example of something that is viewed as abuse by some people and not abuse by others. I don't think anyone here is arguing that the state has an equal or greater right to have authority over a child's lives. I've written above that generally speaking we can assume that parents will care more about their children than anyone else so parents are most capable of making import
  12. The flip side is to argue that literacy is not important to having a meaningful, productive life. I would agree with that. But what societies provided a meaningful, productive life to the majority of their citizens? That's impossible to measure. There are measures indicating a higher quality of life but that's not exactly the same thing. Did people in the past lead more fulfilled, productive, and meaningful lives? I know that some would that they did. I'm not sure that I agree. And you would also have to consider the change in societal expectations for women. Again with the a
  13. Exactly. It's easy to say "the parents are right unless there is abuse" but what is abuse? Is it abuse to refuse to vaccinate? I know our society does not believe that constitutes abuse but it significantly increases the risk of the child suffering from a debilitating illness. Sounds like abuse when you think of it that way. At least to me. These are just really hard issues with no easy answers. I'm as critical of the American public schools systems as everyone else here. From top the bottom, it's bad. But what's the better, practical solution? Every other country that grappled wit
  14. But what is abuse or neglect? Sometimes that is obvious but not always. Let's say a child tells his parents that he is gay and the parents believe that homosexuality can be cured and send him for conversion therapy? Is that abuse? Some say it is. The parents would say that they get to decide something like that. Who's right? What if a parent decides that a girl cannot be educated past the age of compulsory education because it is a sin to educate women? Is that neglect and who gets to decide? What about spanking? Abuse or not and who decides?
  15. The problem in many American families is that there are probably no way to have these conversations supervised unless they happened at school. Many families are not equipped or willing to discuss this with their children. These are very hard issues. I think what it comes down to is the question of who gets to decide what a child is exposed to. Most parents believe they should be the one who gets to decide. Why is that? Many have a religious belief that gives them authority over their children. There is also the assumption that the parents care more for the child than anyone else so
  16. I see what you are saying here but there must be some absolutes that we can agree upon as a society. Everyone has a different perspective, of course. But I think there are some minimums that we should be able to agree upon today. I would say that race and gender can be those minimums today everywhere in this country. What does that mean? I know that it's vague. Some basics that should be taught to every child in this country that the Civil War was about slavery and that the Confederate states seceded from the Union because of slavery. I understand that today that is a controversial state
  17. Things began to change in the 1980s. That would have been a different generation of parents. The 1970s were the height of the non-helicopter parents. Go out and play and come in when the lights come on.
  18. Yes, I'm aware of that. My parents didn't feel they needed to pre-warn us about school because they would have assumed school was for people like them, white middle class parents. I'm not up in arms about the shoe being on the other foot now. Because of my past experience, I am concerned about teachers with too much power but on the other hand, I think school should be a place where a child can question his/her upbringing. Generally, I'm disturbed by the idea that parents own their children and should get to censure what is said in school. When I was kid there were many debat
  19. In the 1970s? You're pretty young so I'm assuming your husband is pretty young too.
  20. That is a difference from my parents. My parents never pre-taught or warned about school. It was the 1970s and parents were not very involved in school matters. I have another story. When I was in the 1st grade my teacher had MS and missed most of the year. The school never informed the parents. My mother had no idea what was going on until a friend of her mentioned that she was subbing in my class. In my childhood, parents in general did not get involved in school other than volunteering and parent/teacher conferences.
  21. I NOT was raised to see teachers as infallible authority figures either. My parents are actually pretty liberal and somewhat anti-authority. I never received the lecture about always obeying my teachers. In fact, we weren't raised to always obey our parents either. My parents were never authoritarian parents. But despite that, I still picked up somewhere the idea that teachers were right. I think it's more the culture of school than anything else.
  22. I was on this forum when my daughter was still attending school. You're right that there is a lot of hostility on this forum to school. I did not find it alienating when my DD was in school because I shared that hostility. But I think that hostility is sometimes based on false assumptions about schools and parents who send their children to school. I have hostility towards school because I had some bad experiences in school. I wrote above about my 4th grade teacher who led prayers in school despite that being prohibited by the Constitution. This teacher had a big problem with me because
  23. I haven't read this whole thread but I'll offer an example of when I trusted a teacher over my parents because I saw her as an authority figure. I was raised Catholic in a Bible belt town. My 4th grade teacher was an older women and she would lead prayers in her classroom. I can't remember if it was a regular occurrence but it definitely happened a few times. She led the class in the Our Father, the Protestant version. I remember the disconnect between how we said it at home and the way we said it in school. I remember thinking that my parents must have had it wrong. I remember thi
  24. I think the difference is that art can be passive. Reading can never be a passive activity. Listening to books read to you can be passive.
  25. I think this is what I was getting at in the post I just wrote. Not every kid is going to want to read. It's not a failing on anyone's part. Do we think we failed if our kids aren't interested in playing sports? There's an interest level required in anything that requires work. Reading requires work.
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