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Young Atheist Gets Youth Pastor Banned From Middle School


lilwriter85

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From the Friendly Atheist

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyat ... ing-lunch/

 

News article

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/n ... /18217503/

 

 

Quote
October 31, 2014 by Hemant Mehta

 

Tim Saffeels volunteered at Straub Middle School in Salem, Oregon, meaning he supervised during lunch periods, reminded students to clean up after themselves, and served as a role model during his time there.

 

Last week, he sat near a group of students, including one who attended Salem Heights Church, where he serves as youth pastor. The subject naturally drifted to religion. He should’ve stopped the conversation there, but (of course) he kept it going.

 

Shit really hit the fan when a student told him she didn’t believe in God:

 

… I replied that I am an atheist, which I am, and I am very firm in my beliefs, and that he should not try to convince me otherwise. He began insulting me, my beliefs, and my intelligence, saying that, “Any logical person would see that atheism is wrong� and telling me that I am “too young� to choose this belief and saying that he believes I am simply trying to “rebel�. I explained that it was quite the opposite, that I find religion itself illogical. He got upset here and started telling me that my belief was “bad,� “stupid,� and “evil,� and that I was as well. I was already quite upset, so I told him to “leave me alone� and he simply continued, telling me that I needed to come to a church function to “cleanse my mind and soul of evil� and gave me a card for his youth group, because, as he said, which I promptly got rid of. I know there were other things he said, but some were not direct, and I don`t remember exact quotes.

 

That’s from an incredible letter 14-year-old Shelby Conway sent to Principal Laura Perez.

 

Go read that letter because it’ll restore your faith in… people without faith. It’s respectful, detailed, and well-written.

 

It worked, too. Perez told Saffeels that he’s banned from visiting the school:

 

“I decided that I’m not going to allow him in because to me there was a breach of trust there,� Perez said.

 

…

 

Perez said that she appreciates volunteers at the schools and the time they commit. This is the first time she’s faced this problem.

 

“I want to make sure that we’re doing what we can to make sure that it doesn’t happen again,� she said.

 

For what it’s worth, Saffeels claims he never said any of this, but the parents of the student he said would corroborate his story refused to speak with the reporter.

 

Saffeels doesn’t deny bringing up religion at all, but says the kids brought it up so that should let him off the hook. (Spoiler: It doesn’t work like that. You’re the adult. You’re supposed to say, “I shouldn’t be talking about that,� then change the subject.)

 

Hey, Freedom From Religion Foundation and American Atheists and the American Humanist Association: I know you give out college scholarships.

 

Shelby Conway seems pretty damn deserving of one (or more).

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Too bad that pastor is such a freakin idiot. He really blew it. He had a chance to have a respectful interchange with a young person and he absolutely said all the wrong things.

He deserves to be banned.

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Too bad that pastor is such a freakin idiot. He really blew it. He had a chance to have a respectful interchange with a young person and he absolutely said all the wrong things.

He deserves to be banned.

qft.

spoiler alert: if christians want to convert non-christians, insulting them like this is not the way to do it.

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qft.

spoiler alert: if christians want to convert non-christians, insulting them like this is not the way to do it.

tell all the street preachers and Duggars that
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tell all the street preachers and Duggars that

i have, actually. :P there were some guys preaching in long robes on a street corner in minneapolis who were being loud and generally obnoxious. i was waiting for a bus (which wasn't due for a while) so i was wandering around since it was a bit of a newer area for me. one of the guys tried engaging me, and i tried to sweetly defer, but they kept on, so i did a 180 and told them rather coldly that, "yeah, go ahead, insult me. i really want to get in on a religion that insults me and degrades me. yeah, no. if you really want to convert me, you're doing a piss-poor job of it. maybe come back with some decency and the ability to hold a civil conversation, and then maybe you'll get more listeners. bees and honey, man, bees and honey."

they weren't there after that. whether they had only planned to be there the one time, or they had a schedule to go other places and they went back after i started using another stop, i'm not sure. *shrug*

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Wow- way to win souls..... :oops:

Any volunteer at schools should know that you are not there to push your own agenda- whether religious, political or social. This irks me at any sort of community event where groups participate- just showing up doesn't give you the right to take over and hijack it from the rest of the community.

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Too bad that pastor is such a freakin idiot. He really blew it. He had a chance to have a respectful interchange with a young person and he absolutely said all the wrong things.

He deserves to be banned.

He should have kept his mouth shut, period. He had no business prostelyzng school grounds. You think he has that right?

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I'm glad that young lady stood up for herself. That man had no business mentioning or discussing religious beliefs in that setting. He should have known better than to engage in that type of conversation and he definitely should have known better than to single out and belittle a teenager like that.

Its sad when teenagers show more class and respect for the beliefs of other people than adults do. Adults should be setting better examples for kids than this.

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He should have kept his mouth shut, period. He had no business prostelyzng school grounds. You think he has that right?

why God invented duct tape
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It goes without saying, of course, that if the tables were turned and an adult atheist was harassing a Christian student, all hell would've broken loose. We would've never heard the end of it, because persecution.

ETA: Also, if the student, according to the asshat volunteer, is too young to decide to be an atheist, isn't she also too young to decide to follow a religion?

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ETA: Also, if the student, according to the asshat volunteer, is too young to decide to be an atheist, isn't she also too young to decide to follow a religion?

logic isn't always a strong point for some people (okay, a lot of people)

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It makes me think of an account I read in a book about the Good News Club. When a GNC started at a Seattle-area elementary school, the leader of the club started volunteering as a 1st grade classroom aide. She seemed to be doing it with the intent to blur the lines for children too young to know better. She ended up getting fired (from a volunteer position, no less) because in the GNC newsletter she described how she "saved" a kid at the school, giving enough identifying details to violate the school's privacy policy.

There's no reason that religious adults can't be good school volunteers, but schools should still do interviews and background checks, and have firm guidelines in place to prevent these things from happening.

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He should have kept his mouth shut, period. He had no business prostelyzng school grounds. You think he has that right?

I said he had an opportunity to have a respectful interchange.

Does that sound like proselytizing to you?

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I predict that any minute now, this very brave young girl and her family will start receiving death threats and the like from the fine, upstanding, persecuted Christians.

I said he had an opportunity to have a respectful interchange.

Does that sound like proselytizing to you?

Yes, you most certainly CAN have a respectful interchange of ideas, but any time the focus of a discussion veers into "I'm right and you're wrong" territory, it ceases to be just a respectful interchange and then becomes proselytizing and harassment. ETA: Especially when you have a power differential such as you would between a young student and a teacher/adult volunteer WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER.

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I predict that any minute now, this very brave young girl and her family will start receiving death threats and the like from the fine, upstanding, persecuted Christians.

My thoughts exactly.

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Cue Tim Saffeels going on Fox News and being labelled a hero.

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I predict that any minute now, this very brave young girl and her family will start receiving death threats and the like from the fine, upstanding, persecuted Christians.

Yes, you most certainly CAN have a respectful interchange of ideas, but any time the focus of a discussion veers into "I'm right and you're wrong" territory, it ceases to be just a respectful interchange and then becomes proselytizing and harassment. ETA: Especially when you have a power differential such as you would between a young student and a teacher/adult volunteer WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER.

I agree. Which what I said. He's an idiot.

Religion talk or not, no one should talk to a kid that way. His church ought to be taking a long, good look at this guy.

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I agree. Which what I said. He's an idiot.

Religion talk or not, no one should talk to a kid that way. His church ought to be taking a long, good look at this guy.

I took the way your original post was worded to mean that you approved of the witnessing, just not the way he went about it.

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I took the way your original post was worded to mean that you approved of the witnessing, just not the way he went about it.

I said he was an idiot and deserved to banned. Honestly don't get how you saw approval in that.

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I lived in Pensacola, FL, where there were two Christian colleges: Pensacola Christian College, and Liberty Bible College. At some point of their studies, apparently they had to go and do some street preaching. I don't really know how much good standing at stop lights and shouting at people in cars (with windows rolled up and AC on, because, summer in Florida!). I am not sure if it helps to make the message penetrate more fully if you held your bible to one side of your face as you screamed, getting spittle all over it. Perhaps the bibles were examined for spittle later, and contributed toward their grade for the exercise. Occasionally we'd see some douche who brought his whole family, including toddlers, and set them up in the median of the street in broiling heat, to also witness as he preached. Nothing demonstrates good headship like having your young children get second degree sunburn, and heat prostration.

Another popular preaching venue was an Irish pub, which was family oriented but did sell cocktails. The men would stand outside and shout to customers waiting to enter about how evil the place was. Ironically, there was a strip club directly across the street. Suggestions to them that they take their message to the men who were coming in and out of the strip club were ignored. We were also accosted by street preachers as we tried to enter a Chinese food restaurant. I don't know why they thought Chinese food was evil. I mean, two hours later, and you feel saved again. And right next door, 20 feet from where they accosted us, was a bar with a steady stream of men coming and going. I guess drunken rednecks looking to put some dollar bills in G-strings, or looking to hookup with women during happy hour, are inherently less sinful that people wanting supper. Or, perhaps dealing with those other venues would expose them to personal harm, and I don't think the colleges give extra points for black eyes.

In summary, you will find the "Word" being preached in places with the least amount of physical threat to the speaker, and where the audience is captive; such as a middle school lunchroom. Awesome way to witness, guys.

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