The Instigator
asshat69
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
SemperVI
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points

Should Bibles be Allowed in Public Schools

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
SemperVI
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/9/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,495 times Debate No: 41963
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (48)
Votes (5)

 

asshat69

Pro

I feel that the government is restricting teens and kids from knowledge. What happened to freedom of religion, is this not the United States of America. The government needs to come to a conclusion about letting speak their faith in public schools.
SemperVI

Con

Hello, thank you for providing me an opportunity to help bridge a gap of misunderstanding regarding freedom of religion and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. As a theist, I deeply respect every individual's right to practice any religion and believe in and worship any God(s) they choose in accordance with their traditions.

I will however; argue a public K12 school is not a proper venue to teach theological philosophy beyond the context of world history itself.

I look forward to reading your arguments, learning more about the subject matter and wish you the best of luck in this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
asshat69

Pro

I rest assured that this topic is quite broad. However, I support somewhat of what you say because I respect anyone, in any religion that they believe, because that is what Freedom of Religion is all about; the right to practice ones belief in all areas of this country. Politically speaking, if you fail to realize that God, the only one true God, had intended for all mankind to spread the Gospel in all areas including schools; speaking as a believer myself. Then it should be that way. Unfortunately, we live in a sinful world and everyone has their different logic of beliefs. Nevertheless, I respect your opinion and look forward to what you have to say.
SemperVI

Con

Thank you for your insight and I really appreciate your enthusiasm and passion for this subject matter. I do recognize the broad scope of your original premise and will make an effort to be brief. Having established this, I do feel compelled to address some of the ideas you propose in an effort not to refute the merit of your arguments, but to bring more light to the spirit of philosophical consideration regarding this topic of discussion.

First, I would like to address Pro's opening premise

"I feel that the government is restricting teens and kids from knowledge. What happened to freedom of religion, is this not the United States of America?"

While, I realize the point Pro is trying to make, the premise is over generalizing the government's take, more specifically, the public school system as a governing U.S. agency's take on this matter. If I understand Pro's position clearly, the issue is schools should not prevent students from learning about God while school is in session. I say while school is in session because it is a fallacy to say schools prevent students from learning about God when school is not in session. Having established a schools scope of authority, The problem with schools allowing theology to be taught is two fold.

Problem 1: First Amendment to the United States Constitution explicitly forbids this

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

It the most simple term, schools are not allowed to have this kind of authority. It is quite literally unconstitutional. Freedom of religion is not given to us by the U.S. Constitution. This is unfortunately a popular myth. Freedom of religion is a natural right, an unalienable right as said best in the Declaration of Independence.

"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness"

The First Amendment does not grant me freedom of religion, it restricts the U.S. Government's authority to take this right away from me. In short, they can not tell me what God to believe, by what name I refer to God or by what religion I must worship God. Nor can they tell me I must believe in God(s) or practice a faith. Learning about God in a public school is a form of respecting the establishment of religion. By proxy, it would be state sponsored, and therefore a violation or restriction of my unalienable right to freedom (liberty) of religion (life & pursuit of happiness).

Point 2: Public schools do not have the time or resources to cater to all religions considering the primary task at hand.

The purpose of K-12 education is to fulfill specific social obligations to transfer the wealth of human knowledge to all our children. The goal of our public system is to allow every child to develop his/her talent, and bring each one of them into full membership in our economic, cultural, and social national community. This includes music, the arts, sports, physical and mental play, communication and expression. We prepare children to become active contributors to our culture and full participants in our democratic institutions.

Because of the diversity in religious differences and the importance these differences mean to individual members of the community. It is unreasonable to think a single organization like a public school could do a better job of teaching an acceptable and proper message about God than a church dedicated to this subject matter could do. Any attempt to do this would distract from a schools core curriculum.

In summary, while I believe my opponent should be able to freely speak his/her mind in a public school as a student. I would encourage he/her, and like minded individuals to recognize our system was set up to be as fair and inclusive as possible. While I share the same faith in God Pro has, I recognize the potential dangers of allowing any governing authority to make decisions about God.

In closing, my debate friend correctly stated, "Unfortunately, we live in a sinful world and everyone has their different logic of beliefs." It is exactly for this reason I believe a secular government in a sinful world is so important. Governments have always proved to be poor moral authoritarians. This was particularly true when government and religion are one in the same as persecution is rampant... This however, is a topic for another debate.

Thank you for your time and consideration my friend.
Debate Round No. 2
asshat69

Pro

In conclusion, I have had actually a great time discussing this debate with you. It has been quite the show. I am just a sophomore in high school and I really tried my hardest at this debate. Alas, you have showed me reasons why the Bible is not allowed in Public schools. I wanted to see the other side of things, and you gave every single fact that states why Bibles aren't allowed. I look forward for the next time we might debate.
SemperVI

Con

Thank you asshat, I too enjoyed debating you! I am encouraged to see students like you take a position on something you feel strongly about and express those ideas in a manner others can contemplate and consider as you did. The truth is, it is a difficult subject matter to debate on either side. Debate is what makes a democracy healthy. Knowledge is what makes you spiritually and mentally healthy.

Perhaps someday, schools will consider offering theology as an elective you can sign up for. Theological philosophy is critical in understanding our past. You can agree with it, or disagree with it, but if you ignore it, you do not know the full story. You did well my friend and I would love to debate you again.

In closing, while it is true, many public schools are attempting to stifle student prayer in school. They will never be able to do this as long as they keep giving the students tests.

Take care and good luck! :)
Debate Round No. 3
48 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ajr18 3 years ago
ajr18
I found another video y'all might appreciate too. Google "Richard Dawkins Talking Education Episode 1."
Posted by ajr18 3 years ago
ajr18
I know I'm behind, but y'all should google "Daniel Dennett teach religion ted." Even though he's an atheist, he still argues that religion should be taught in schools. He's even for proselytizing, just as long as teachers also teach facts.
Posted by SemperVI 3 years ago
SemperVI
Very well stated bucklebunny...
Posted by bucklebunnie 3 years ago
bucklebunnie
I know this is a debate and my responses probably don"t fall within the guidelines, but I felt compelled to reply.

Religion in school: Some people believe that an individual should choose their own faith and belief system. When we are children this past on faith is not fully understood, and easily manipulated.

PRO:" I feel that the government is restricting teens and kids from knowledge."

I also consider myself a knowledge seeker and/or truth seeker. I have also often wondered, "Is an authority figure hiding some form of hidden knowledge from us?" After sometime of searching for this thing that someone was hiding from me, I slowed down and thought deeply about what it was that I had been hunting for, for all these years. Then I realized I wasn"t hunting at all. I was exploring, creating, and inventing. Then I thought, "Maybe it was just as our forefathers had searched and found God, the stars, planets, words, disease, and cures. That searching for the unknown is just what humans do."
Posted by SweetTea 3 years ago
SweetTea
I find it very interesting that Pro didn't (for whatever reason) use more research that would have bolstered his position. For example ... The Good News Club v. Milford Central Schools, 99-2036. In that case, the SCOTUS ruled in favor of religious prayer groups (comprised of students) meeting at Public Schools. I'll just bet someone had a Bible; don't ya think? Another good research point would have been The Equal Access Act (20 U.S.C. 4071-74). And it gets even more interesting ... the "ACLU Defense of Religious Practice and Expression" (found on its website). It appears, Public Schools cannot teach ANY specific faith, but they also cannot deny ANY student the right to exercise their freedom of religion.
Posted by PureEnergy 3 years ago
PureEnergy
Bible's already are allowed in public schools, buy prayers are not. No, praying should not be allowed in public schools. Church and state shale remain separate! If you want your child to pray in school then pay for them to go to a religious school. This is one of the United States core issues of it's constitution. Public tax money should not be spent on any religious matters. There is a reason we don't have a national religion here in the States. We are free to choose and practice our religion, but not impose it on others in a public school setting. That is what churches are for people.
Posted by SemperVI 3 years ago
SemperVI
Debate takes practice Seek. Many members are new to it, even more are young and still gathering ideas. Be patient with people. We can't all be Spock. :)

Be encouraged they spend time here instead of cruising Lady Gaga tabloids.
Posted by Seek 3 years ago
Seek
I'm finding unclear prompts to be a running theme on this site.
Posted by bubbatheclown 3 years ago
bubbatheclown
I suppose this all depends on what the guy who made this debate was talking about. Did he mean that it should be taught in schools, or that students should have the right to have one in school? That was not specified.
Posted by Seek 3 years ago
Seek
In that case, the debate itself was off topic. How is one to judge who won the debate, when the posited topic is not what was discussed?
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Cygnus 3 years ago
Cygnus
asshat69SemperVITied
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Reasons for voting decision: Bibles, as well as prayers, are allowed in public schools. What isn't allowed, however, are school-sanctioned Bible readings and prayers. I suggest that those who believe prayer and Bibles are being taken out of public school should read up on Engel v. Vitale and Schemp v. Abington School District. SemperVI had better grammar and seemed more knowledgeable about the facts and myths surrounding this hot button topic.
Vote Placed by austinlaam 3 years ago
austinlaam
asshat69SemperVITied
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Vote Placed by Silentsvc 3 years ago
Silentsvc
asshat69SemperVITied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro, you had a decent debate here and you were good at stating your beliefs. Conduct was great on both sides, slight edge to Pro. Con had better grammar, and a more convincing argument because of one major thing...sources. The best lesson pro can take away is that debate is based in sourcing not in persoanl opinion. There is a massive amount of information out there to defend your case. you did good, but no sources can kill you in a debate, beit on here or in real life. Good job Con and Pro.
Vote Placed by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
asshat69SemperVITied
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Reasons for voting decision: I think both sides did an atrocious job on arguments. I was not swayed one way or the other. Con claims government is restricting kids from knowledge and pro just spurts out that God intended for man kind to spread the word. The only thing I can vote off of is noticeable spelling errors by pro. therefore s&g to con
Vote Placed by Yraelz 3 years ago
Yraelz
asshat69SemperVITied
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Reasons for voting decision: I think that con wins arguments on the government being a poor moral authoritarian. Combined with limited resources arguments this means that people get excluded. I really don't care about the constitution but those arguments aren't being refuted anyways.