Toledo Talk

Why does it bother me?

I brought this up on my Facebook page after reading it on one of the news sites and I got some answers that really didn't mesh with why it was so bothersome to me.

"Does anyone else find it odd that TPS would host a welcome back to school party at a church? I have read kids getting suspended for prayer, saying "Bless you" to someone who sneezed. Not sure why it bothers me but it does. You can't have standards on one thing but do another."

So please help me understand why this does bother me. Some answers ranged from "it's just a building" to "they are trying to push Muslim beliefs". And that is not my feeling on the whole thing, I always thought, "never the twain shall meet" Some one shared a Blade article it states "Nobody is mandated to go, so people who would be uncomfortable at a Christian church can stay away," says Mr. Gault. Then why have it at a venue where some aren't able to attend because of their belief. Wouldn't this then, deprive TPS employees from celebrating just as others are but because of religious beliefs?
I have recently read stories where a student in another state was suspended for saying "bless you" to a classmate who sneezed. Others for prayer before lunch, one child for saying "Merry Christmas" to his teacher, one for wearing a rosary and another for reading the bible.
Maybe someone has a way to put it in to words that I can not find the words to express or maybe able to help me understand why it should not bother me.

created by ToledoLatina on Aug 26, 2014 at 05:17:34 am     Religion     Comments: 12

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Synopsis: TPS is holding an event for Teachers and Staff at the building which houses Cedar Creek Church in south Toledo.
It used to be a grocery store. The event was held yesterday.

Folks who attended past events at the same space reported that it was about TPS, not Cedar Creek. The TPS spokesman said the reason to use this facility was because it has enough parking and is big enough to accommodate everyone without interfering with preparation for back to school at any particular TPS school.

My thoughts: Perhaps if it was for students, who are more impressionable and less equipped to reconcile these kinds of issues, I would be concerned. Although, having said that... I swam each summer for years in the pool at the JCC, and I didn't become Jewish.

Perhaps the differentiation is that we are discussing a location for adult workers away from TPS property, not instances of religious instruction or content inside a classroom.

I guess I'd be more interested in the budgetary implications, and trust that if Cedar Creek did anything to make these grown up adults uncomfortable, that would be the end of that.

Besides, if you are not a Creeker, you may not know that a big box CCC style "church" looks a heck of a lot more like a concert venue inside than the Rosary Cathedral.

Hope that helps. Merry Christmas.

posted by justread on Aug 26, 2014 at 06:40:51 am     #   3 people liked this

I have been to Cedar Creek and feel they do awesome things for the community. Meals, free health clinic, amazing work. However, I would feel the same way if the event was held at any other denominational building.

posted by ToledoLatina on Aug 26, 2014 at 07:00:09 am     #  

Toledolatina-As a non-Christian, I think the separation of religion and schools is a very important one. The notion of "optional" religious activities just provides another opportunity to chastise someone that is different, and therefore, isn't socially reasonable for children. For adults, it's fine. My question is-who was expected to attend? Was this simply used as a venue or as a church? Sounds like it's just a venue, which is fine in my book. The fallacy about those in favor of school being separate from religion is that we don't even want acknowledgment of religion. I think quite the opposite. I would prefer education about all religion and allowing students to celebrate diversity and their own differences. I also think there's a lot of grandstanding done in the media because these absolutely ridiculous isolated incidents make some pro-religious people crazy. The Fox "war on Christmas" is a great example of the imagined threat to the moral fabric our nation was built on. I wish all of my Christian friends Merry Christmas quite sincerely, and wouldn't even be afraid to do so in a school. It's sort of the assumption that Christmas includes everyone that feels pretty icky & narcissistic, even if the intentions are pure. I'd better start typing or I'll go too far down a rabbit hole here.

posted by ahmahler on Aug 26, 2014 at 07:11:23 am     #   2 people liked this

It sounds like they were just using the space, so I think that is acceptable.

When I first started voting, my polling location was at a church. I don't know if there are any churches still in use as precincts - my current location is a VFW.

posted by mom2 on Aug 26, 2014 at 07:29:27 am     #  

It never occurred to me to be outraged that my polling place was at a (gasp) CHURCH. Maybe I should demand that it be moved on account of separation of church and state and stuff.

And to make it worse, they were selling baked goods. To support (gasp) the CHURCH.

I wish I had realized I was offended sooner.

Of course, a VFW won't work either, because I am a conscientious objector, and foreign wars are violent.

posted by justread on Aug 26, 2014 at 07:41:59 am     #  

"I have recently read stories where a student in another state was suspended for saying "bless you" to a classmate who sneezed. Others for prayer before lunch, one child for saying "Merry Christmas" to his teacher, one for wearing a rosary and another for reading the bible. "

Where did you read about these? I have trouble believing many of these actually happened. The issue is that the school cannot instruct the students in religious activities. But a child suspended for saying a prayer before eating his lunch? I'm not sure about that.

posted by Johio83 on Aug 26, 2014 at 09:33:15 am     #   1 person liked this

The "bless you" after sneezing story is recent and I think it happened in Tennessee.

I haven't actually read the story, but all the morning news programs were discussing it last week.

posted by mom2 on Aug 26, 2014 at 09:38:18 am     #  

Wow-First article is irresponsible journalism-The school stated that any outburst in this particular class is against policy. It sounds like her argument about WHAT she said got her suspended, but you know, saying she got suspended for saying "bless you" certainly drives more clicks. 3k shares on FB and counting, all from some local news editorializing something trivial. And this:
Turner said she then told the teacher that her pastor said she had a “Constitutional right…First Amendment Freedom of Speech.”

Why is this concept so difficult to understand? 1st amendment means the GOVERNMENT can't control what you say, it doesn't alleviate personal responsibility nor does it save you from any potential policy-based repercussions from whatever group you are participating in.

Regarding the second article-well, that's just stupid and insensitive on the part of the school district. They should apologize immediately.

posted by ahmahler on Aug 26, 2014 at 11:25:08 am     #   5 people liked this

ahmahler posted at 11:25:08 AM on Aug 26, 2014:Wow-First article is irresponsible journalism-The school stated that any outburst in this particular class is against policy. It sounds like her argument about WHAT she said got her suspended, but you know, saying she got suspended for saying "bless you" certainly drives more clicks. 3k shares on FB and counting, all from some local news editorializing something trivial. And this:
Turner said she then told the teacher that her pastor said she had a “Constitutional right…First Amendment Freedom of Speech.”

Why is this concept so difficult to understand? 1st amendment means the GOVERNMENT can't control what you say, it doesn't alleviate personal responsibility nor does it save you from any potential policy-based repercussions from whatever group you are participating in.

Regarding the second article-well, that's just stupid and insensitive on the part of the school district. They should apologize immediately.

There are other accounts of the "bless you" story that state the teacher said she would not tolerate "godly talk" in her classroom. Whether that's true or not, who knows. It hasn't been denied as far as I know. But can you imagine if a teacher said she wouldn't tolerate any "Allah talk" in the classroom? The ACLU would be all over that one.

posted by dell_diva on Aug 26, 2014 at 12:59:16 pm     #   2 people liked this

I think godly is a pretty non-denominational term. Last I checked, the defining trait of ALL religion is some version of god . Now if she had (allegedly) said Jesus-y , then you have would have a valid comparison, and heck, maybe the ACLU would have cared about that too.

posted by ahmahler on Aug 26, 2014 at 01:23:36 pm     #   1 person liked this