[FoRK] flag burning...

Kevin Elliott k-elliott
Tue Nov 1 13:06:55 PST 2005


At 20:45 -0800  on  10/31/05, Bill Humphries wrote:
>On Oct 31, 2005, at 3:42 PM, Kevin Elliott wrote:
>
>>  Don't forget the issue of courtesy/politeness.  It isn't 
>>unreasonable to expect or schools to teach polite behavior.  If I 
>>were in Canada and the anthem were played (just to pick a random 
>>example) I'd stand face the flag and follow along negating the 
>>"pledging part".  It doesn't seem inappropriate to have students 
>>behave similarly if the choose not to pledge.
>
>A couple of years back, I was listening to a panel discussion on the 
>radio, one of the >panelists was an Islamic cleric who was asked 
>about tolerance of non-Muslims in the Umma. >"Of course," he said, 
>"Islam is tollerant," as long as Christians and Jews don't offend 
>Islam. >Now offending Islam brought up a whole list laundry list of 
>things that you would normally
>expect Christians and Jews to do in their daily life, and of course 
>following Islamic dress >codes.

Yes.  We have a culture, it has rules, and we are quite intolerant of 
people who break those rules.  People get mad when a man beats a 
woman in public.  People get mad when someone talks loudly on their 
cell phone in a public area.  A "culture" is little more than a 
collection of rules about how people should behave.  Middle eastern 
culture happens to refer to a large collection of them as coming from 
"Islam" (though their is some debate as to the appropriateness of 
that).

I don't see how it's surprising or inappropriate that children 
brought up in an American public school would be educated and trained 
in American culture.

>I mention that radio interview, because Kevin's statement reminds me 
>of that cleric, the >majority faith "Patriotism" barely tolerating 
>people who don't practice it.
>
>If your patriotism is so fragile that one person sitting down during 
>the pledge will offend, >look into a more robust religion.

My patriotism is unaffected, but that's not the issue.  The issue is 
what acceptable behavior do I want my child taught, and by extension, 
how children at school should be expected to behave.

Lets get concrete- your the teacher in charge of a bunch of 5th 
graders.  The class is saying the pledge of allegiance.  What range 
of behavior from the children is acceptable?

My feeling is that it's a solemn occasion, they should be expected to 
quiet and respectful (not looking around, not moving a lot).  Sitting 
is probably ok.

I don't see how this issue is any different than demanding children 
not yell or trow food while eating in the cafeteria.  It's about 
demanding and building polite, civilized behavior.
-- 
______________________________________________________
Arguing with an engineer is like wrestling with a pig in mud.
After a while, you realize the pig is enjoying it.
______________________________________________________
Kevin Elliott   <mailto:kelliott at mac.com>
AIM/iChatAV: kelliott at mac.com  (video chat available)
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