Religion in flux in U.S.: 5-1-09
Celebrating bioethical help: 5-4-09

Is this school a good idea?: 5-2/3-09

First, a word about what's not here this weekend. I had hoped to have a blog book column ready for now but lots of things -- including work related to my own new forthcoming book -- have slowed that down. Look for my exploration of new faith-based books next weekend.

* * *

But the subject of books reminds me of school, which is what I want to tell you -- and ask you -- about. A new completely online Christian middle and high school, St. Mark's Academy, will start offering classes this fall.


This is what a press release about the school said:

"St. Mark's Academy provides an alternative for those middle and high school students whose needs are not being met in a traditional school setting," said Jamie Osborne, the school's Headmaster. "Our educational model is designed to provide a learning option that maximizes flexibility and personalization, without sacrificing academic quality."

The academy's Web site to which I've linked you says the school is non-demoniational, though it's a ministry of something called, which is affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia. And, in turn, that association is in partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention.

I know that many colleges offer lots of online courses, and in many ways it is the wave of the future. But what's your thought about whether it's an appropriate vehicle for middle- or high-school students, whether in a church-affiliated school or not?

My own view is that young people of that age need lots of opportunity for guided socialization, to say nothing of spiritual mentoring. Even traditional Christian theology would affirm that we are built for relationship and part of the task of parents, families, clergy, friends and schools is to help young people form healthy relationships. I think that would be much more difficult in an online school. To make up for that, students will need lots of other opportunities beyond just hanging out with each other at the mall.

So if you could send your children or grandchildren to a completely online middle or high school, especially one affiliated with your religion, would you?

* * *


What are the possibilities for the upcoming journey of Pope Benedict XVI to Israel? This report suggests there's a minefield of explosive issues that people with various agendas may seek to exploit. My hope is the trip will help people see the necessity for finding peace -- and soon.

* * *

P.S.: You may remember my mentioning here a group called Care of Poor People and its annual Kansas City event headed by a man named Richard G. Tripp. Well, the event happened April 11, and C.O.P.P. has posted this 10-minute YouTube video of it. Fascinating. This is what Americans do to help other Americans.

* * *

ANOTHER P.S.: Through the AIDS Ministry at my church, I'm a volunteer with the Good Samaritan Project, an AIDS service organization in Kansas City. GSP has a big fund-raiser coming up May 15. There are details on the GSP Web site if you want to help out. Oh, and thanks to those of you who contributed to the recent AIDSWalk in which I participated. My church team was able to contribute more than $1,000 of the more than $400,000 raised.

* * *

OH, AND: You may recall this March blog entry in which I wrote about a Kansas City area teacher who was doing her best to give students a realistic understanding of the Holocaust. Lisa Bauman of St. Thomas Aquinas High School took students on a Holocaust study tour to Berlin, Prague and Krakow in April. Now they're back and eager to describe what they learned. There will be a "Lessons of the Holocaust" presentation at 7 p.m. this Thursday at the school, located at 11411 Pflumm in Overland Park, Kan. And the public is invited.

* * *

FINALLY: Another Web site to check for a calendar of Kansas City area cross-cultural or interfaith activities is Cultural Crossroads.




Will, adamh, JT,


Will Graham

So, Bill, you think young people need lots of opportunities for socialization and spiritual mentoring?
Well, in public schools they learn much from their peers...what kind of drugs they can buy, various sexual activities, techniques of crime, bullying, violence, etc. And just think, they miss all that in an online school.
And, of course, the spiritual mentoring they receive in middle school is priceless.

Nah, I say this about the secular benefits public schools offer...keep your hands off my kids.

Dolores Lear

Schooling for Children and Charity Groups have been around, since the Original Sin of High Tech Purebred Human Male and Female Clones.

Why did they Fall to Heterosexual Body Birth Misbreeding and Death?

That event in our High Tech Past History, set up Male and Female Reproduction, which Resulted in Inequality and Inhumanity.

In Genesis, Equal Human Male and Female Clones, Reproduced Supernaturally with High Tech Birth Reproduction, began Unequal Generation Birth, Death, and Rebirth Reproduction.

Or else, Creation Religion is invalid, and Life Evolved up from Animal Heterosexual Reproduction to Humans.

I accept, the Human Equal Clone Fall to Body Birth Reproduction, was the Original Sin of Human Animalistic Misbreeding and Death. I do not accept Evolution.

Genesis has the Blue Print of how to Colonize a Planet, and Reproduce Male and Female Clone Humans.

The Original Fallen Society had Schooling for children, and Charity Groups just as we do today.

After the Fall, they Evolved back up to their Unbalanced High Tech Knowledge, during the Noah/Atlantis Society, like Humans have today, since the Planetary Flood.

With their Nuclear Bombs and Planetary Pollution, they were destroyed, in a Planetary Noah/Atlantis Flood, and Body Birth Humans began again in our Present Society.

How many more types of Schooling, including Home Schooling, and More Religions, do Misbred Killing Humans need, to Reproduce an Equal Human High Tech Peace Generation?

Eternal High Tech Life on Planets and in Spaceships, is for Living Humans, not the Dead. Like the Lord God in Genesis, our High Tech Human Clone Ancestors. And Jesus and other Humans, Alive, who are with them.


Bill, about the online studies -- this doesn't mean homeschooled kids spend all their time in the house. They actually have more opportunities for varied interactions with people in the community (including, but not limited to, people their own age), than do kids who are spending so many hours in a school setting. And about the "real world" -- how realistic is it to just get used to socializing with large groups of people your same age, overseen by adults who are all "authority figures?"

This is not to knock parents who send their kids to school -- my own daughter wanted to try it out for a whole day last fall, and our neighborhood public school graciously extended their hospitality. She decided she prefers homeschooing -- but if at some point she'd rather do school, we'll support her in this.

From yesterday -- Just Thinking, yes I believe in the Holy Spirit, too. Only I no longer believe that He's only available to Christians. I believe it's God's Spirit that motivates us to develop empathy for others, and to listen to others and want to help wherever we see need and suffering that we can help with. I know there are people who are tuned into God's Spirit who don't even believe in God. God is love, so I believe when we make loving choices, we are listening to God.

Also from yesterday -- adamh, the fact that you would "wonder" what I would find offensive about your insinuations that Iggy and I are "working together" to pull off some dishonest "stunt" here on Bill's blog -- well, this just tells me that you and I are more different than I'd even imagined. Honest people are offended by accusations that they are dishonest -- so the fact that you don't see such insinuations as offensive, makes me wonder if YOU are trying to pull off some kind of stunt.

JT, I’m not angry. You are misreading me. I have fun. If I appear that way, I’m sorry, this is not my nature. I’m a fun lover. I know I will not change somebody who believes as you do. That was never my goal, but by discussing with people on this blog there are many more who visit here. Perhaps somebody is questioning and will search for their own way in life without fear and help promote education and science without the god myths. Live in the real world. I don’t want people to think just like me, but to promote fairness.

I have helped six people toward their own life in the past few years. They were already questioning religion – I didn’t do much. People have to make up their own mind. But if people don’t know there are other ways sometimes they sit where they are with no new knowledge. That is why I promote education and science. I am working on many endeavors in this field. That is why I don’t post here for a few days, then back. I am busy promoting…

To whether I will become depressed and abuse alcohol and drugs it won’t happen. You may think this and truly be concerned about me, but this is because you do not know me, as I –really - don’t know you. I truly like having fun and this is fun. To learn how people think is rewarding, sometimes confusing a bit – how people can believe in the supernatural world - but I don’t dislike anybody on this site. Life is great! This is all educational. We need to live together. This is my point. Tolerance. continued

Continued: I moved on from supernaturalism, as a skeptic, at the age of twelve. Even though there was a lot of religious influence in my family – 10 until I graduated high school – I always lived my own life. I received a lot of grief from the religious (relatives and friends – if they truly were-), but I simply went on and enjoyed my life. A few months before my father died- he was a X and we didn’t see eye to eye, he told me I did it right, doing it my way. I suppose that was some kind of apology, enough for me.

As far as Iggy goes, not many here know much about him. Everything he did was a mental exercise. Nothing more, nothing less. He has been very generous with people. Blunt maybe at times, but a good person. He is a good friend. I have lots of friends. I am my own person, strong willed, nobody leads me where I don’t want to go. He and I think a lot a like, but we don’t share the same brain. If your concern is real, thanks, but it is not necessary. I ‘am’ happy and this is fun. Do you not see this as fun?

JT “How do you want to be known, Cole? Which of those alternatives qualifies as goodness, Cole? Which will bring you peace, Cole?”

I’m not going to answer your list because it is your list - how you think of me. I want to be known as a person who lived his own life and who never intentional harmed anybody. How I live ‘is’ peace for me. Continued

Continued: Jt :Guard your own goodness and peace, Cole, because you can't change someone else, and you'll never have peace trying. But you can lead by example.

I am leading by example, like Xs say jesus did…that’s my whole point.

I think you mean well, I do. Even though I believe you have been mis-lead, I believe you believe you are doing goodness by spreading your faith. But as you have given me advice I would like to give you some, because I too care about people. In the last year I have heard dozens of testimonials from people who have given up religion for total freedom. Young, all the way to older. So far it is unanimous: They say they have never felt better, leaving religion. No more ‘fear’…or ‘guilt’. Have you ever stepped outside your world recently and live a little without constraints? I have lived in your world and want no part of it. It’s too much fun out here...

PreacherDJ, Christianity ‘is’ made up.

Just because people have died for something doesn’t make it right or true. It has happened plenty of times outside the X world. According to you -I think- all other writings are wrong, just yours is right. This is not rational thinking, sir. Re-read your bible and get back with us. If by chance you would like something else to read I can make some suggestions. Just ask…You’re not much of a poet. Continued

Continued PreacherJT said to Susan: “There is a way that seems good to a person, but in the end it leads to destruction.”

Me: How do you know it leads to destruction?

PreacherJT to Susan. “That is not to say that we don't have a responsibility to care for this planet - not littering and such. But I don't think we'll be altering our orbit anytime soon.”

I think I will have to agree with you. But soon can mean many things. In Jamaca it can mean minutes or weeks. As you said before “I think I would rather take the consequences of a lie than to hold to the lie and die.”

It can’t hurt to be nice to Mother Nature now. After all, this is the only planet we have…for now….

Adamh you are a mystery. It must be sad not to have your own life. If you have a job, I hope it’s not investigation.

Adamh said, “What did I tell you? Susan now has seeds of "skepticism growing".

Me: You sound like a rat. Like a hall monitor.
Seed? Growing? You’re a gardener, not an investigator?

There is indeed some work to be done in a lot schools, not all public schools. I have helped out with classes over the past five years with my Daughter. She is a wonderful teacher. I am helping this year with summer school. In the past very few children were a problem and if they were it was worked out with patience, always. I know this isn’t always the case, but this is how I see it: Most of us as adults, and the upcoming graduations, will and have been successful contributors in society. It’s not all doom and gloom. This view is much like media hype. Most of the people in the world get along just fine. Take away religion and it will be much better.

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole

Just Thinking

The Southern Baptist Convention was among the first to petition President Bush to go to war in Iraq. A letter drafted by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and signed by Bill Bright, Chuck Colson and other prominent Christian "leaders" justifying war against Iraq was enough to sicken me against Southern Baptist and other sympathetic Christian "leadership." We need people who will investigate facts, stand up for what is right, and not rush headlong into ill-conceived, unjust wars. We need Christian leaders who will stand up against torture, too. These signers were WRONG:

Richard D. Land
Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
Southern Baptist Convention

Dr. Chuck Colson
Prison Fellowship Ministries

Dr. Bill Bright
Founder and Chairman
Campus Crusade for Christ International

D. James Kennedy, Ph.D.
Coral Ridge Ministries Media, Inc.

Dr. Carl D. Herbster
American Association of Christian Schools

The President of AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS calling for unjust war! We need people who will investigate facts. We don't need more Texas-style-shoot-em-up, knee-jerk, cross-eyed-fish-bumper-sticker-displayin', empty-headed Christian jihadists at the helm. Why would anyone want their children indoctrinated in the ways of those who love rushing headlong into unjust wars? I think Southern Baptists should FIX THEIR leadership instead of trying to make more of it.

It appears to me that the Southern Baptists want to relive their glory days, and the only way its leadership knows how is by cloning and brainwashing children from an early age, indoctrinate them into the methods of Southern Baptist fear and jihadism. Southern Baptists bringing up children in their ways of leadership? Nein danke. I've read the literature from these folks and it doesn't appeal to me. In all fairness, though, it probably lost something when it was translated from the original German.

Dolores Lear

A light post from me for a change.

I play all types of games on Pogo. And they give us Mini's with all types of clothes, and extras, to make as our identification. On our individual Mini page, they make a bubble to say something.

The other day while I was playing Pinochle, and you can pull up the player's Mini. One male has this for his comment.

"Each day comes bearing it's own gifts. Untie the bow."
I really thought that was neat, and very soul searching.

My bubble says "Have a Winning Day".
My favorite Saying category: "United We Live - Divided We Die"

I guess I should start adding this to my posts again, as I used to.

When I am not busy with normal living, such as going to the store, I watch TV, Play games, Read and Search www., and post on Blogs.

I used to go to Card Club twice a month. Our first home was GI housing, at 7100 Wayne, 22 houses on one block, in 1951. No basement or garage.

The women started a Card Club in 1952, with 12 of us.

They put up with me and my new Knowledge, in 1971, but no takers as usual. Our group had Catholic and Protestant Religions.

We continued, even though we all moved to different locations in Metro KC. This past summer we were were down to 4, and one died, so we gave up Playing cards, after 56 years, but still phone each other.

Even at 87, our Civilization gives many things, for old people to keep busy with, besides a house and children, whether it includes different Religions or not.

So hope we can do something Good on Bill's Blog with: "Untie the Bow!

United We Live - Divided we Fall


I agree with Bill on this issue of online school from a religious perspective. We don't do our kids any favors by trying to isolate their experiences. Learning to live with discomfort is Necessary and important for life long learning and growing.

Bill, when will the Star put you back in the printed newspaper? I miss reading you and don't appreciate having to log on and go to the Website just in order to read your opinions. I believe you are one of the more thoughtful writers, and this forum doesn't really attract that type of posters....


Will Graham


Cole and his buddies can slime believers as "delusional" and "psychotic" and, along with Susan, tar them as child abusers and yet still continue to be above it all and be leading us to "Peace and Goodness" by example.

At the very least, Cole, you appear to be kind of stupid, but more likely it is just dishonesty.

And your statement "Take religion away and it will be much better." is CLASSIC!

Your kind tried that before.

It wasn't pretty.

Will Graham

JUST THINKING, I see you are joining in with Susan. You are right, this stuff is infectious.

Your claim that the only thing the Baptist leadership knows is cloning and brainwashing is simply a lie.

You're not supposed to bear false witness, remember?

Dolores Lear

Correction on my May 2, 11:45 post.

My saying is:
United We Live. Divided We Die. I have not used it for awhile, and I changed the Original word Fall, to Die.
"PreacherJT said to Susan: “There is a way that seems good to a person, but in the end it leads to destruction.”
Me (Cole): How do you know it leads to destruction?"

Religion seem Good to many Humans, but how much Human Destruction has been a result of Man-Made Religion.

Or, Man-Made Government, or Man-Made Families, or Man-Made Flesh Lust. How much Destruction has Heterosexual Male Lust, Human Body Birth, done just in our Lifetime to male, female and child?

Heterosexual Animal Reproduction, has set up a Killer Lifestyle, not only to Human Brothers/Sisters, but to All Life and our Home Planet.

Have Humans Evolved up from Animals to High Tech, only to Kill Each Other and their Home Planet Base?

Or did Humans begin as High Tech Male and Female Clone Helpmeets, and when they Fell to Heterosexual Mates, by Male Lust Body Birth Reproduction, start Killing Each Other, and their Home Planet?

Either Way Humans are the Killer Species on Earth. Why do they keep teaching about a Peace God, in our Human Image, and Prince of Peace Jesus, in our Human Image?

Is Jesus Alive with the Alive Father, that Reproduced an Eco System, and All Life Species on Earth?

Eternal High Tech Life, After Birth is for Living Humans, not the Dead.

United We Live - Divided We Die.

Red Biddy

No, Bill, I certainly would not send any child to an online school, although computers can be a fine source of back up education. I don't approve of home schooling either. Your view that young people need some guided socialization is perfectly valid although I don't agree at all that they need any spiritual mentoring in school. I think what is important is quality education wherever it can be found and nothing can replace a really good teacher in the flesh !

There does however seem to be a serious problem in schools, these days, with bullying. There were two reports last week of two little boys both under 12 years old, who had hung themselves due to the other kids attacking them for "appearing" to be gay.
My own son had similar experience here when he started school - not because of appearing to be gay but because he didn't know how to answer the question "Do you believe in God." except to say "No." My fault - hadn't told him anything about religion before we came to KC and didn't realise (as I came from Europe - there I've given something away !) that non-belief was going to be a problem here in the Bible Belt.

Red Biddy

Boy was I ever wrong about that. My poor kid had a terrible time in his first grade school, age 5 - 11. There was one incident when a neighbors kids actually threw stones at him - very biblical.
His teachers did their best and told the other kids that non-belief was O.K. but the damage was done. He eventually got himself a "bodyguard" a bigger boy a year older who had been held back a couple of grades because of being in a coma for a year due to a car accident) who acted as both body guard and friend. (Thank you Jimmy, you were a brick !)
Can't say I was too impressed with the education he got at that grade level - had to correct his home room teacher's spelling continually before he did his homework and I was horrified to discover that they had programs particularly geared toward gifted children. The Special Ed. classes, which were funded, included the disabled and gifted kids all bundled together under one teacher. Ridiculous ! (My son was 2 years ahead of the other kids in reading - thanks to Montessori pre-school...
So, private school thereafter was the only solution where he was very happy and his religion or lack of it was no longer a problem !
Years later a young man came up to me in the grocery store, introduced himself and said " I'm really sorry for the way we treated you son in grade school !" This is a true story !

Red Biddy

Back to the issue of climate change. Had to laugh at DJPreacher's comment "Scientists (who aren't locked into the religious belief that man is warming the planet)are seeing that it is likely we are heading into another ice age."
Religious belief ???? I thought most scientists were supposed to be atheists. What happened here ?
Mind you when people try to describe climate change in religious terms the results can be rather comical.
"This is God's world and the whole issue of climate change drips with the blood of Christ." Rep. Emanuel Cleaver Radio interview, July 6, 2007.
You gotta love it !
Cleaver (in spite of the language which is wierd to me) has managed to squeeze $350,00 out of the Federal Government to help build a Climate Sustainability Center here in Kansas City. Great idea for a city that doesn't have a botanical garden. We should thank him for that.


Bill, when I said what I did about the "real world," I didn't mean to make it sound like I was quoting you: I guess I'm so used to that coming up when conversing with critics of homeschooling -- as in "how will they ever learn to live in the 'real world?'" -- that there I went answering a question you hadn't even asked!

As far as Sara's assessment that homeschoolers isolate their children's experiences -- I guess it depends on who you meet. From my own experience, it took me a long time as a young adult to be able to walk into a room without inwardly cringing, and assuming that others in the room were all critiquing me and finding me lacking. The real world feels a whole lot kinder to me than school, and I feel that spending 7 or so hours in an environment where I was mocked and despised -- well, I'm sure it did get me used to discomfort, but I also think it isolated my experiences to just that of being inferior ...

I realize I'm speaking from the perspective of someone who spent most of her school years at the bottom of the pecking order, and don't dispute the fact that some have found school helpful to them in their life. Red Biddy, my parents even debated private school for me at one point, but I said I didn't want to after my mom made it clear the whole family would be sacrificing (things like family vacations) just to pay my tuition -- and it would have just been for me, since my brother was happy where he was at.

But I think it's fine for people to disagree with homeschooling, just so long as no one tries to interfere with our freedoms to keep doing it. Now, Sara, I'm wondering if you didn't get enough varied experience, because it seems like you've soaked up a whole lot of that "academic" mentality -- peering down your nose at those of us who are attracted to this forum ...

Red Biddy

That should have been $350,000 - I left out an 0. Good ol' Rev. Cleaver he should get together with DGPreacher and sort him out !
I wanted to comment on yesterday's topic and the article Bonnie Erbe to which Bill directed out attention. She wrote that "...until atheists can somehow replace the psychological and social benefits of church going, religion will continue to be s powerful and cultural force." And Bill said it was his guess that 50 - 100 years from now the percentage of atheists will be roughly what it is to-day.
That's a hell of a long forecast Bill ! You may be right but with a 50 - 100 year time line , none of us will ever know !
I think it would be interesting, for the purposes of debate to compare the long religious histories of Western Europe and its present lackluster enthusiasm for religion, with the relatively short religious history of the U.S. and it's continuing enthusiastic religious culture.
I think one of the causes of this difference is that most Western countries had some sort of state religion which was aligned closely with its government. The Spanish Civil War history would indicate this. The church was on the dictator General Franco's side in that awful conflict. Same thing in the French Revolution - the church was with the monarchy not the people. Same thing in England with the dominant religion being embodied in whichever king or queen happened to be on the throne and God help you if you belonged to the "wrong" religion !
While here in these United States freedom of religious belief became a reality, although it didn't start that way did it ? - with the Puritans persecuting the Quakers and then making martyrs of the Mormons and having them flee to Utah !

adam harrison

Susan, now you say you were "mocked and despised" seven hours a day at school?

Thats a new one; your personal story just seems to expand and expand to fit any post here.

And don't tell was all those CHRISTIAN kids who mocked and despised you for seven hours a day. Boy oh boy, thats a lot of mocking and despising.

And look what you grew up to be...someone who mocks and despises fundamentalists, evangelical, "inerrantists", Baptists, Assemblies of God, etc.

And you cackle with glee when Cole and his buddies call people "psychotic", "delusional", and child abusers. If you had ever once called them out on that I would have an iota of respect for your stories.

adam harrison

Biddy, there is no contradiction in talking about the religious beliefs of atheistic scientists.

Its just that atheism is their faith, and their religion. They have their rules, laws, and priests...the whole bit.

By the way, regarding your son being bullied...are you seriously trying to pretend that religious kids are not bullied in school?


Will wrote -

"At the very least, Cole, you appear to be kind of stupid, but more likely it is just dishonesty."

Naive is a better word, I think.


lord have mercy. Mr. Tammeus, a writer for many decades that has brought so much to his readers at the KC Star, deserves courteous and thoughtful responses on his blog. Today is the first day I've logged on to try and read his writings. And I've been treated to the most rabid and idealogical name calling (posters are called 'stupid, naive, dishonest'.....all this on a board purported to discuss religion, of all things!!) Bill, PLEASE plead with your editors to return you to the printed pages of the Star, where I can think upon your copy, and not be pulled into the morass of this blog!!

You would think some of these trolls would be happy on Limbaughs or Coulters site. They dish plenty of same... Civilized folks find this behavior untenable.



Sara, I do see your point about some of the posts here. And I'm sorry I expressed offense with you earlier.

But did you not know that you can just read Bill's blog -- you don't have to click on "comments" just because it's there! And you can even send him emails, if you want to make a comment without having to wade through all this stuff.

I find enough really interesting comments that I keep coming back -- but I understand that not everyone enjoys this sort of thing.

Will Graham

Sara, no one is making you read the posts; if you want to read Bill's column great. Do that and skip the posts if you like.

But if you have trouble with people freely expressing themselves, you have become something of a troll yourself.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)