The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Teach Happiness and Daisies - 24/7

I feel a little bit sick to my stomach after reading a recent article in the Daily Mail. Teachers in public schools changing or omitting what they would normally teach (about the Holocaust or evolution or the Crusades) in order NOT to offend Muslims or Christians who may be being taught differently at their homes, churches or mosques.

You've gotta be fucking kidding me.

First of all, when did the State or Province give teaching licences to the imams, clergy or home-schooling moms and dads? Once that happens, maybe I'll start taking them slightly more seriously than I presently do. That being said check out this quote from the article:
...some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial.

There is also resistance to tackling the 11th century Crusades - where Christians fought Muslim armies for control of Jerusalem - because lessons often contradict what is taught in local mosques.
When the hell did religious institutions become the standard for how kids are taught? Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't these the same folks who think that some dude flew up to heaven on a horse with fucking wings? Do we have to hide all the normal horses from them so they don't question why Trigger and Mr. Ed can't fly? Will that offend them too? Fuck you and your stupid beliefs.

People are free to believe any retarded, helmet-headed, drool-inducing, third chromosome ideas they want to, but don't even think about including them in schools or deleting solid history or science because it conflicts with the shit you just made up. Like Junior said on The Sopranos: "If you're going to lie to me, tell me there's a broad in the car who wants to tongue my balls."

Some of the teachers cited said they feared teaching the Holocaust because of possible anti-semitic reactions or comments from Muslim students. See, this is the problem with schools today - the teachers can't tell a student to shut the fuck up and learn different points of view. If I said an anti-semitic remark when I was in grade six, the teacher likely would have made fun of me until I was the laughing stock of the class. Then when my fundie dumbass parents came in for the "meeting" s/he would have told them that it's great they have a strong faith community, but that their history is sadly and horribly ignorant of actual events and that they should look into fucking night classes or something. Oh, and that teacher would have had the backing of the principal and the school board who wouldn't have soiled their panties at the thought of a bit of head-butting with a goddamn church group.

Backing down from educating kids in what actually happened, pleasant or not, because of the threat of confrontation is absolutely inexcusable. Religion, and in particular religious "education", needs to be offended. Repeatedly and unflinchingly. Because it's fucking WRONG! Christians getting pissy because the school doesn't teach their version of the Arab/Israeli conflict and the history or Israel? Tell 'em to go stuff Genesis up their ass. Muslims don't like Jews and say the Holocaust didn't happen? Inform them that, as George W. says, "denial ain't just a river in Libya", and to go kiss a dick.

This whole "respect for stupidity" bullshit is really getting old. Can we toss it out the fucking window, please? Sam Harris is correct when he says that moderate believers fuck things up almost more than anyone else (I'm paraphrasing). See, it's the people who say, "Well, those guys are wrong, but God is real and that's the main thing, so I can't offend them", are the ones who throw a wrench into the solution - which is just to tell believers that they're retarded and wrong and if they want to teach half-truths and outright lies to do it solely in their religious towers. Leave public schools to the rational and realistic.

Religion must go away.

11 Barbaric Yawps:

At 12/4/07 12:13 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Denial of the holocaust given free air time in school? As they say, those ignorant of history...I guess this means children in the future won't get to see the video of the SS bulldozing gassed Jews into dirt pits. Seeing that sort of human depravity only once sends the message home, and as ugly as it is, it is a lesson of extreme importance.

This is the exact problem of allowing the all-ideas-are-equal, teach-the-controversy line of thinking to exist. Patently stupid and ugly ideas are given the kind of clout they don't deserve, while the otherwise normal human revulsion of them is allowed to float away, or at least have a short seat on the public park bench for a chat. Suddenly, dropping bombs on far away poor peoples = democracy on the march. Torture by shadow intelligence agencies in other far away lands of uncharged individuals = effective defense of freedom. Hate speech over public airwaves by political movement = people who tell it like it is.

A lot of people seem to have lost respect for the kind of destruction stupidity on a large scale can bring to society.

At 12/4/07 12:27 pm, Anonymous Skeptico said...

Ramen brother! I was thinking of posting on this subject but you just covered all the points.

At 12/4/07 12:53 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL at the Uncle Junior quote!

At 12/4/07 5:04 pm, Blogger King Aardvark said...

I love the rant, but isn't it annoying that all the conversation takes place at Pharyngula instead of migrating over here? I'm sure you'd love to see 40+ comments for one of your posts. PZ doesn't need any more.

At 12/4/07 6:18 pm, Blogger BigHeathenMike said...

Meh, I'm ok just with getting the traffic. I sent PZ the link (unknown to me that the paper the article is in is a right-wing psycho rag) after I did my little rant, so he threw up the link.

But yeah, more is good. ;)

At 12/4/07 10:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good rant.

It's spelled "Semitic," though. As in "anti-Semitic."

At 12/4/07 11:51 pm, Blogger BigHeathenMike said...

Thanks, man (or woman, as the case may be). Jumped in too quickly with the bitching and moaning to spell-check. It's corrected as far as I can tell.

At 13/4/07 7:51 am, Anonymous Dunc said...

Oh for pity's sake...

If you read actual report, you may notice that it doesn't actually say what these dreadful newspaper reports claim. Someone has lifted 2 or 3 sentences, out of context, from page 15 of a 48 page report.

Read the damn thing before you go taking stories from The Daily Mail (a source slightly less reliable than fox news) at face value.

And yes, I do know that pratically identical stories appeared in several other papers. With emphasis on the "practially identical" part. Someone sent out a spin press release, and a bunch of lazy journos printed it without bothering to read the primary source. And then a bunch of otherwise fine sceptical bloggers did the same.

At 13/4/07 8:21 am, Blogger BigHeathenMike said...

Yeah, I'm getting the distinct impression that The Daily Mail is like a shittier version of Fox News. I tried to find the original version of the report this morning from the Daily Mail site and there was no link. Being from Canada and unaware of the craptastic reputation of the paper, I stand by my initial reaction to the piece; but knowing now that it's full of out-of-context shit - and after skimming the actual report - I thank the slammers here and at PZ's site for the corrections.

At 13/4/07 8:33 am, Anonymous Dunc said...

I think another problem is perhaps that people don't understand how history is taught in the UK. There are (or at least there were when I did it) several differnet curriculum tracks available, and a school will generally choose one. For example, my school did British Political History 1812-1918 - with nary a mention of the Holocaust, for some reason ;). Plenty of stuff about subjects like the contribution made by British trade policy to the Irish famine, the brutal state repression of the Chartists, and the assorted horrors of the British Empire (including the invention of the concentration camp), etc...

At 13/4/07 9:41 am, Anonymous Dunc said...

Oh, and I notice that the Mail version of this story completely omits the fact that the only actual complaint received from parents about history teaching came from Christians.


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