You have the Right to Remain Stupid…

Anything you say can and will be used against you when you apply for jobs

Missouri voters today will get to decide if they want to amend their Constitution to make prayer a right.  The Missouri Supreme Court has stated that the amendment is unnecessary—religious freedom is already well protected in the State’s Constitution.  However, this amendment goes a few steps further.  It would allow any child to opt out of an assignment in class that they find offensive to their religious views.  Naturally, this opting out will occur most often in science and some history classes.

If the amendment passes, it seems that a legal battle will ensure over who has the right to control school curriculum.  To be honest, I do not know how that will turn out.  Either way, education is in trouble.  Say the amendment is ruled unconstitutional and kids have to take the required classes and complete the necessary assignments….they do not have to really learn the stuff and can still believe that things such as evolution are wrong.  Here is what I do know.  You, as a human being, have the right to remain stupid.  You have the right to avoid learning about things such as evolution and physics.  You have the right to avoid learning the true history of Christianity over the last 2,000 years.  You have the right to choose ignorance.

Here is the second part to that ignorance.  The rest of the world has the right to not hire you or your children because you and they are poorly educated.  Look around you and tell me what fields are going to have the “good” jobs in the future?  If you answered the sciences, you will most likely be correct.  Your child who is not just ignorant of true science, but actively rejects it, will not be getting those jobs.  So to recap, you have the right to remain stupid, but also must deal with the consequences of that stupidity.

This amendment will also allow for public prayer.  However, the public prayer that it will allow will be denominational.  That is correct, the generic prayers are out and very specific denominational prayers would be in.  While this may benefit your particular sect today, it only serves to reduce the religious freedom of other sects and those of secular citizens.  Be aware, your sect may not always be the dominant sect.

Voters in Missouri had better think this through before they head to the polls today.  This amendment does two things: 1) it erodes the education of religious children leaving them woefully unprepared for life in this century and 2) it seeks to hamper religious freedom, not strengthen it.

The sad news is that it looks like this amendment is going to pass, and do so easily.  I can find nothing to celebrate in that—not because I am an atheist, but because I fear the future consequences of this poorly thought out new law.

So yes, you have the right to remain stupid, but future societies will hold all that you say and do against you.  Think it through Missouri.

Thanks for Reading.  I look forward to your comments.


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9 thoughts on “You have the Right to Remain Stupid…

  1. matt greenberg from Norristown, PA, United States

    yeah i saw this and wrote about it yesterday. it concerns me deeply, although it probably shouldn't. i don't live in Missouri, and frankly it will likely be thrown out by the courts. still, what happens in Missouri can happen in Pennsylvania (where i live). maybe that's why it bothers me.

    moreover, i'm concerned about the dumbed down electorate of our future, that is, unless it's already here. the ignorant and empoverished whites in rural America seem to have accepted their lot in life. at least many in the ghetto strive to get out of the ghetto. that doesn't seem to be the case in the Heartland. they have Jesus and that's all they need in this life. so they don't care about policies that would improve their quality of life. they're more concerned with the afterlife, which means electing officials who will allow them and those around them to find salvation. that means social conservatives who pander to their desire for righteousness and help spread God's will (as they see fit).

  2. Hausdorff from Troy, MI, United States

    Terrible. So painful to read this. As a former teacher, one thing really jumped out at me.

    "It would allow any child to opt out of an assignment in class that they find offensive to their religious views."

    So if I am teaching a class and one of my students decides an assignment goes against their religion, do I have to recalculate their grade individually? What a pain. What if I do that and the kid still fails? Now he is going to complain that I just gave him a zero. Now do I have to prove that I recalculated his grade and show everyone my rubric in detail?

    What happens when one kid opts out of an assignment? When the other kids get wind of it they will complain and try to opt out as well. Can I replace the assignment with a different one? Now how do I do grading, I will be comparing apples to oranges.

    this is just awful

    1. Loren Miller from Bedford, OH, United States

      [sigh] Unbelievable. The US is falling further and further behind as regards math and science education, and now we're giving parents judicial permission to make their kids even DUMBER.

      About all I can say about this is: if they want to opt out, their Grade Point Average should suffer for it. "Oh, but no, we can't have that; it would be inequitable to the child," say the promoters of this particular brand of hogwash. My answer: "If your kid isn't as educated as someone who DID take that course, his personal metrics should reflect that lack of instruction. Right now, we do that with GRADES, and if you want your child's grades to measure up, he or she can take the appropriate courses. If you can't stomach those courses, I would suggest either parochial schools or home schooling."

      Man … I'm still boggling from the idea of giving kids the chance to opt out of courses they or their parents can't deal with. We are, indeed, giving a graduate of our school system the right to be stupid … with a diploma. That is wrong in more ways than I can count.

      1. Sue Blue from White Swan, WA, United States

        You are absolutely right. Why should we allow kids who are intellectually lazy to get the same grades as kids who do the work? I had something similar happen in college – a student complained that I got preferential treatment when it came to grades and sued the school when she was threatened with failing for poor grades. I had done the work (which required many sleepless nights), and this student had not – but she claimed I was "hogging" all the points! After all was said and done, the instructor gave her a (barely) passing grade. I was infuriated, along with many other students who had struggled and sweated and stayed up all night to learn and earn our good grades. This was nursing school, where the quality of the student's learning translates into quality care for human beings. I couldn't believe that such a person could be let loose into the healthcare system where lives are at stake. Hopefully she didn't pass the NCLEX (state boards).
        This is what we will get if this Missouri brain-fart passes – unqualified graduates who feel entitled to everything everyone else has to actually work for – like we don't have enough of those already.

  3. Sue Blue from White Swan, WA, United States

    If these people are so concerned that the public school curriculum doesn't mesh with their religious beliefs, why don't they send their children to private religious schools, or homeschool them? Because private schools are expensive, and homeschooling is both expensive and time-consuming – and impossible if both parents work. What these people really want is to do an end run around the first amendment and get free religious schooling, "free" being paid for by the state, and ultimately by taxpayers.
    Maybe they should just move to Louisiana, where the first amendment has already been gang-raped to death in the name of "education".

  4. fester60613 from Binghamton, NY, United States

    The law did pass – which is awfully sad.
    I don't mind people being stupid – I often feel that I'm surrounded by idiots – but I lament the fact that now, in 2012, in the United States, stupidity is being institutionalized by government.

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