Submit a question to our community and get an answer from real people.
Submit

Is mentioning religion in a classroom illegal?

I live in Utah, a highly religious state with an unfortunate affinity for Mormons, but I am an atheist. However, almost all of my teachers are LDS, and say so in class. For instance:
"While I was on my 2-year religious vacation in Taiwan.." (a clear mention of his LDS mission)
When talking about a student's class changes, which involved dropping LDS seminary: "Are you sure you made the right choice?"
"Hunter's an *atheist?*" with an expression of disbelief and pity
"As you know, the Church believes that..."
"Abraham tells us that..."
Etc. etc.
I am just wondering if things like these are illegal. I understand mentions of religion in my AP Human Geography class, in which an entire unit is devoted to the spread of religion and its impact on migration, but its mention in Math or Chinese shouldn't be happening. Should it?

Report as
wickedpissah

Yes. If any teacher or faculty member attempts to influence your beliefs or attempts to lead a student or a group of students toward a particular faith, then that person is VIOLATING THE LAW.
It is a violation of your Constitutional rights for a public school teacher to use their position of authority to try to influence your beliefs.

Helpful (6) Fun Thanks for voting Comments (3)
Report as
didn't say he/she was being influenced just basically acted annoyed by it all - lighten up.
Report as
wickedpissah
Their reaction is irrelevent.
The teacher's actions are all that matter.
If a public school teacher acts or speaks in such a way s to attempt to influence a student toward a certain faith, then that teacher is in violation of that student's First Amendment Constritutional rights.
Report as
Right you are, wicked.
Report as
Add a comment...

No way, freedom of religion is one of the first amendments in the U.S. Constitution!

Helpful (1) Fun Thanks for voting Comments (3)
Report as
Well, you don't understand the freedom of religion. The freedom of religion means that you have the OPTION to worship any god you want freely. Key word in that sentence was 'you'. You can't push your beliefs on others.
Report as
But that's the problem. I am trying to use my freedom FROM religion, which is pretty much the same thing. I don't want MY basic human rights violated!
Report as
Hunter, your "teacher" clearly has an agenda. He's not just talking about himself. He's exercising his authority to marginalize you. I'd be very interested to know how your grades are in his class.
Report as
Add a comment...

It is not illegal.

Helpful (2) Fun Thanks for voting Comments (6)
Report as
wickedpissah
Yes, it is.
It is unconstitutional.
Report as
Yeah, it is illegal.
Report as
wickedpissah
I wonder if people's reactions to this question would be different if the teacher were not a christian, but rather a Muslim, or a Buddhist, or a follower of His Noodly Appendage.
Report as
Wouldn't happen. Only Christianity has as it's fundamental tenet the conversion of the whole human race. Buddhists, Muslims, etc. could give a rip.
Report as
wickedpissah
R.I.P. George Carlin.
Report as
True dat!
Report as
Add a comment...

Since I study in a Catholic school, almost all the teachers can talk freely about religion. But, hmm... I don't think that (in your case) it's illegal, but I do think that is unprofessional.

Helpful (2) Fun Thanks for voting Comments (0)
Report as
Add a comment...

It's legal to mention. They can't try to convert you or make you pray

Helpful (2) Fun Thanks for voting Comments (0)
Report as
Add a comment...

Well, is it a public school? That really changes the whole picture. The first instance "While I was on my 2-year religious vacation in Taiwan..." is fine, because the teacher is simply stating where s/he was, not promoting religion. The rest really depends if it was a public school.

Helpful (1) Fun Thanks for voting Comments (2)
Report as
It's definitely a public school.
Report as
That adds quite a few problems. See Wickedpissah's answer (he covered everything else).
Report as
Add a comment...

lol. It is no different then when someone says I went to see a seminar on Alien Life and as you know it explained so may things. Or the favorite Football Team. Or the favorite vacation spot. Lighten Up. I bet the reason they talk about it the way they do is because it is a main focal point to them. I had a teacher who managed to include his trip to Paris in his classroom teaching every day for a year.

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (0)
Report as
Add a comment...

Casual mention? Or is he seeking conversion?
I had many religious teachers in public school. One was a former catholic priest (my physics teacher) and another a former nun (French). Several baptists and a bunch of mainline, as well as atheists. All of them were good teachers and nobody asked them to be anything other than authentic. But no preaching and no quoting the Bible. The problem with atheists is they want everyone to leave their faith in the ashcan when they come to school; nobody else makes that demand, only atheists. Christians don't demand it of Muslims, nor Jews of Sikhs. The most prickly people in school are atheists, which is why they are the least trusted and the most difficult to integrate into polite society. They demand culture be converted into an atheist model.
The First Amendment is not a protection in schools. But casual talk not designed to convince you or argue a point but just tell you something about their life? I would let it ride.

Helpful (1) Fun Thanks for voting Comments (3)
Report as
I think you are painting with some pretty broad strokes, lumping Christians and atheists (no mention of agnostics, we are the native Americans of world religions) into one box. I don't have a problem with other people's beliefs, and I don't have a problem with them being taught in schools. What's more, I am not alone. Most of my non-believer friends feel the exact same way. Many even respect faith, despite the subtle and not-so-subtle ways they are granted second-class citizen status throughout the culture. Your statement reminds me of segregationists bemoaning "uppity" you-know-whats, though I know you didn't intend it that way.
Report as
Oh, and out of curiosity, would you be so nonchalant and "let it ride" if a teacher were singling out a Christian kid in front of the class as an example of the deviant? Would you "let it ride" if constant mentions of one's atheistic beliefs were made by a teacher?
Report as
I was and I did. I had an atheist math teacher that was quite overt about his belief. I let it go because it was HIS belief and he accorded us all respect who believed. See, we all can get along. It's only when someone tries to force it onto someone else, or does not respect a sincerely held belief, that we take offense. In either direction.
Report as
Add a comment...

It is legally illegal to mention about religion and influence others beliefs.

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (0)
Report as
Add a comment...

Whether or not it is illegal is beside the point. It is wrong, especially when you are being clearly singled out in front of the class. How are your grades in this class, BYW? Your "teacher" is not doing his faith any favors, and is validating all the justified outrage against other people of faith who support this kind of behavior. Christians have had a persecution complex since the beginning, and you can't say anything critical of them without them getting all emo about it, but keep your head up. Turn the other cheek and be more Christ-like than them (it's surprisingly not hard). Then get the f out of that school and move to a different State!

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (2)
Report as
good and sound advice but gratuitous snide remarks about Christians when doing so takes a point away from full marks. :) as a teacher, we are not forbidden but are told to not make it other than personal and incidental. however I avoid it because students are quick to call foul.
Report as
I wasn't going to go snide until I read the above answers. But you are correct, I should adhere to my own advice. But as a teacher and agnostic, I see absolutely no reason to bring my beliefs into the classroom even though I know I'm right. It does my beliefs no service to go on the offensive, which is what so many Christians frustratingly don't seem to understand. We all know about Jesus! We haven't been living under a rock our whole lives! Most non-believers CAME FROM VERY RELIGIOUS FAMILIES!! By proselytizing to non-believers, you are only confirming for them that they made the RIGHT choice in walking away from their faiths. I don't think I am giving most Christians too much credit to be able to infer this information, which leaves the only logical explanation that they are not really trying to convert anyone, but exercising their own vanity and, on the case of teachers, abusing their authority.
Report as
Add a comment...

No. Infact its your right to.

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (0)
Report as
Add a comment...

No.

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (0)
Report as
Add a comment...
Do you have an answer?
Answer this question...
Did you mean?
Login or Join the Community to answer
Popular Searches