A question for Christians

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by TennisPlayer, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    Oct 25, 2009

    I have to agree here. I've had so many people try to have me pray on the spot for my vision back. I think this is God's plan, and to be honest I don't mind being blind, so I don't think it's the place of someone on the street or in the hallway to stop me and have me pray with them.

    If they want to keep me in their prayers, that's fine. I appreciate the kind gesture. I draw the line at trying to make me pray, though.

    I wouldn't file a complaint but I would decline.
     
  2. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Oct 25, 2009

    I am an atheist, and have been for over 20 years. I don't talk about it at work, even if the kids ask,because I know how influential my actions can be to them. It's a decision that I made long ago, and it suits me fine.

    When I am approached by people (christian or otherwise) who want to politely share their faith with me, I usually listen, will engage in conversation with them, etc, as long as they are not pushy. People who "pray" for me are always welcomed, because I know their intent is no different than mine when I wish someone "good luck," or, "I hope you get better soon." If I happened to run across Bonne and she suggested that I pray, I would tell her that I appreciate the gesture, but that it was not part of my beliefs,but she is welcome to pray for me if she likes.

    What it comes down to is treating people the way you would luke to be treated. Isn't that what we have been trying to teach our kids to do anyway?
     
  3. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Oct 25, 2009

    I said nothing about BonneB. In her situation it is completely acceptable. In mine, it would not be. I would file a complaint if any other teacher on my staff suggested I pray, or an EA or anyone else. I've done it before and would do it again.
     
  4. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Oct 25, 2009

    Frivolous lawsuits are thrown out of court in Canada, and also in Canada, we aren't exactly a sue happy group. However, I make my views on religion clear at work - I won't discuss it beyond saying I have faith. I have an EA is super religious. She encouraged me to attend Church at her Church multiple times and I finally had to ask the principal to talk to her because I was done telling her that I was not interested.

    I teach in a public school. While God belongs in BonneB's world, he doesn't belong in mine.
     
  5. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Oct 25, 2009

    I don't share my faith. Faith is personal. We learn things as children from our parents, and many of us grow away from our parents beliefs and chose our own. I have had many debates with my Minister about this, but I do not believe in sharing my faith. I have faith, that's all people need to know about it.

    You'd be amazed how many times I've been accused of being an atheist as a result of this, but supposedly "good" Christians (including here, on these boards). My faith is incredibly personal, to the point where I follow no one strict doctrine. I believe what I believe because I believe it. I don't need anyone's validation of my faith.

    That said, I am not God-fearing.
     
  6. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    Oct 25, 2009

    I think the reason complaints need to be filed with unions is because there is a power imbalance in schools. If, for example, in the public school I teach in someone like Bonnie approached me and they were just another teacher I'd voice it to them. If they were a department head I'd contact the union. Why? Because I've learned through time that although we are all adults some people in positions of power don't like being treated as an equal. In an unequal relationship sometimes unions are very necessary to protect the weaker person's rights.
     
  7. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    Oct 25, 2009

    And I'm culturally Christian but not religiously so, so I wouldn't appreciate anyone trying to speak to me about religion. I think we live and die and that's it.
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oct 25, 2009

    I still don't understand why it would be necessary to go to your union if someone asked to pray with you, department head or not. And trust me, offering to pray with someone isn't something I would do, but I fail to see it as a terrible offense. I just feel it's overreacting when a simple statement expressing your displeasure with the offer would suffice. If it became a continuing problem, I would be better able to understand, but in the situation BonneB described even placed in a public school setting...no thanks and move on with life.
     
  9. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Oct 25, 2009

    Its a terrible offense because it crosses professional boundaries. If my supervisor offered to pray with me, I would feel compelled to do so, because I don't yet have tenure, even if it makes me uncomfortable.

    I worked in a public school where the Lord's Prayer was repeated daily. I refused and they didn't have me back. I don't share my faith - certainly not with first graders in a public school! It's wrong IMHO.
     
  10. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    Oct 25, 2009

    Well for starters it contravenes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada. No one can impose their religion on me. If you have more power within the school than I do, offending you might hurt my career. Religion does not have a place in our public school system. If someone wants to try to impose prayer on me in the hall and they are my superior I'd file a complaint. Weirdly it seems that many on this board have no problem doing to the P over the smallest things. Going to the union is much less severe. It involves no discipline. It just means a 3rd party deals with the issue and makes sure that should the DH later try to react to my refusal to pray that furthur discrimination doesn't happen. Realistically this would never happen because no one in my school would ever dream of stopping a teacher in the hall and asking them to pray. We have religious people on staff but they don't go around asking other people to pray with them because they know it isn't appropriate in a public school. My best friend at school is super religious but she knows it is her religion and doesn't impose it on anyone else. But if someone in a position of power did do this I would have the union address it as I would feel uncomfortable dealing with the power imbalance on my own.
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oct 25, 2009

    For the record, I'm certainly not suggesting or promoting that someone should ask to pray with a colleague in a public school...but I don't see the offer as "imposing". I do understand your argument about feeling as though you can't decline the offer especially if someone is in a position of power, but overall hopefully we can just agree to disagree. :)
     
  12. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Oct 25, 2009

    I agree with the sentiment, unfortunately, however I could never turn down a superior and feel comfortable that my job is secure.
     
  13. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oct 25, 2009

    I left to get a bowl of cereal a moment ago and suddenly remembered that just last week at our faculty meeting our principal read a verse of Bible scripture that applied to a personal situation he was dealing with and thought the rest of us might benefit from hearing as well. And another principal I was in communication with regarding a possible position prior to working where I do now told me that I should pray about things and realize that God is control and so on and so on. So as I do often, I suppose I'm only thinking about this from my own perspective in my own school and community. Not that everyone is a Christian in my school and community, but there are plenty of religious references in our school and our school activities making it so that a teacher offering to pray with another just doesn't seem as absurd to me as it may to others. Again, it doesn't make it right, but...

    And I'm so not purposefully trying to continue a back and forth argument, but I thought of the above scenarios and thought I'd share. :)
     
  14. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Oct 25, 2009

    And in those scenarios, I would file complaints, because, as I said, prayer has no place in public schools in Canada. It violates my Charter Rights.
     
  15. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Oct 25, 2009

    When someone comes to you in tears and tells you her daughter is dying, you offer to pray. You put your arms around that friend and help her the only way you can.
     
  16. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Oct 25, 2009

    I think I would just ask them to stop (after the meeting was over) or tell them how uncomfortable it makes me feel. If they ridiculed me for asking, then I would file a complaint. I am a firm believer of talking to the person first, and if it doesn't work, then take the steps available to you.

    I am not afraid of getting fired for speaking my mind, as long as i am respectful about it. I like to think that going to the union FIRST, who then would talk to the P would create more havoc than needed.
     
  17. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Oct 25, 2009

    But they never say that's WHY you are losing your job. Instead they make up excuses about how you aren't the right "fit" for their staff. I want that crap documented with my union.
     
  18. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Oct 26, 2009

    The way it was originally mentioned, the poster said, "Let's pray right now." That is a command from a supervisor. if my department head said, "Let's talk about this right now" or "Let's look at these test scores and make plans to improve them right now" I'd immediately do it because she is my supervisor, and she is telling me to do something. Even more so with an AP or a principal.

    If the supervisor said, "I'll be in prayer for you" or even, "would you like to pray with me about this?" I'd feel much less threatened. If it was just a coworker, I wouldn't feel threatened at all, but would feel uncomfortable enough to decline.
     
  19. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    Oct 26, 2009

    Couldn't agree more. In this case, I would offer to pray for the person coming to me in tears. If I already knew the person was religious from previous interactions, I would offer to pray together. If I didn't know the person's religious standing, I would offer to pray for them but would not ask them to pray with me. I think there's a chance that even if I framed it as an offer ("Would you like to pray together?"), the person still might feel like they have to comply. In my opinion, it's not only safer but more sensitive to just offer praying for them and leave it at that.
     
  20. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Oct 26, 2009

    Yes, people with tragedy I offer to pray for them. My little school has lunch for birthdays once a month. My first time there I started snacking then realized we would bless the food. And have ever since. Had a supt. a couple of times that was very religious. Im not a "christian" but I have little problem with any. When I went to school (dark ages) we prayed in the morning, for lunch and even read bible verses. We survivied.
     

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