handout of kachina dolls
A selection of kachina dolls. Painting by Jesse Fewkes.

Parents in Ohio are accusing an elementary school of religious indoctrination after their child was tasked with making a spiritual doll in a unit on Native Americans and their faith and culture.

Now they’ve enlisted a prominent Christian legal activist group to go on the offensive and try to stop what they say is a “clear Constitutional violation” in their son’s school.

Where is the line between teaching students about culture and religion… and endorsing it?

"No Ordinary Doll"

“On the week of February 13th, 2023, our eleven-year-old son was instructed by his fifth-grade teacher during Social Studies class to make a kachina doll,” said parent Amie Mutti to the Lexington School Board in Lexington, Ohio. “This is no ordinary doll. These dolls were used by Native Americans as sacred idols.”

The sacred dolls in question are kachina dolls, widely used by the Hopi peoples of the Southwestern United States. Traditionally carved from one piece of cottonwood root, these dolls were given to Hopi girls and young women to teach them about the Hopi gods and spirits – known as kachinas. 

The handout given to the students in Lexington asks students to craft their own kachina doll, decorate it, and explain what power it has.

Is that educating, or promoting worship?

At least one set of parents said the project was a blatant violation of separation of church and state, no different, they say, than worshiping a Catholic rosary in class.

handout of kachina dolls
Handout allegedly given to students.

“In our faith tradition, the Scriptures say not to make any graven image or likeness of anything in heaven above or earth below,” explained Mutti. “Not only are we not to make idols, our faith tradition says we are not to bring idols into our homes. After the students completed their project, they were told by the teacher to take their dolls home.”

Idol Thoughts

Rabbi William Hallbrook, whose congregation the Muttis belong to, backed them up. “You can see when innocent children are coerced to create dolls made in the likeness of spirits, this is in direct conflict with our Biblical faith tradition,” he stated. “This pagan ritual is an attack on our faith and has no place in public schools."

They enlisted the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a Christian legal activist group, to send a strongly worded letter to the school board which called the lesson plan a “clear constitutional violation.”

This isn’t the Mutti family’s first row with their local school board, either.

They previously complained about a third-grade teacher instructing their son on how to “use devotional praying hands” to “bow to the sun god,” as well as a sixth-grade teacher giving instruction on yoga poses.

What do you think? Did the teacher really intend for this exercise to convert kids to the Hopi religion? More likely, defenders say, is that the intention was to teach about a Native American culture in a way children would find engaging.

And as anyone who’s ever tried to teach a child something, it goes a lot easier when you bust out the arts and crafts.

And yet, the Mutti family felt that the project was akin to endorsing a religion – which public schools aren't supposed to do. 

What do you think? Where is the line between education and indoctrination?

215 comments

  1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

    Saying this is a violation of separation of church and State is amazing. This activity was no different than having the kids make a superhero and then ask what power it had.

    1. Carola Laroche's Avatar Carola Laroche

      Living in Canada, we do have some issues. What country hasn't. But what I am reading lately on this site is beyond me. I do not believe for a minute that the children were forced to create the dolls. (The name Mutti is German for Mama and like a Mama interfering with everything out of the reach of their clutches) People, please. Get along. We have so much more to worry about these days, Example: I recently took a trip through NY, PA, MA, WV and VA. The poverty seen in some places is staggering. Make America great again? Start right there. And learn about indigenous culture!

  1. Catherine Christina Deslippe's Avatar Catherine Christina Deslippe

    I look at this in a completely different direction than many. Living in a city with indigenous people not far from me, I am fascinated by learning about their cultures and beliefs. I am the same way about many different ideas even thou I practice Christianity.
    Opening up the minds to learning many different things in the world doesn't lead a child to have that faith; that is how the parents raise their children and talk to them.
    After reading this, what bothered me the most was how much hate we see in our world. Most of our schools are talking with the students in the history class, teaching them what happened right here where I Live to the innocent indigenous children in the schools. I knew a few from foster care that never came back. It's no different than learning other History stories of other cultures. Embrace the teachings but remember who is the best teacher. "The Parent" Protect and Love. Love Not Hate

    1. Joy's Avatar Joy

      Totally with you. I love learning about native cultures all over the globe.

      1. Keith Allen Steele Eash's Avatar Keith Allen Steele Eash

        That should be done outside the classroom. It shouldn't be forced onto the children not of that culture. More freaking wokeism.

        1. Mark Charles Pelcarsky's Avatar Mark Charles Pelcarsky

          Dumbest thing I've heard today. Wokeism ! Really ? Learning about other cultures is what may someday bring this hateful world together.

        2. Michael Hunt's Avatar Michael Hunt

          Educating students about different cultures is "wokeism"? How dare we provide a diverse education to our youth. Heaven forbid they learn something about cultures other than theirs. It sure seems to me that all these people who are anti-woke are pro-ignorance.

          1. Merlin's Avatar Merlin

            Well said!

          2. Pamela Renee DeSalvo's Avatar Pamela Renee DeSalvo

            Very well said. I agree that education of our children should include other cultures, history of our nation's beginnings and founders. I guess these kids only want to know about their culture, their beginnings, well isn't that what Hitler tried to do? I cannot stand this new age thinking that our history and culture is somehow destroying our youth, when in fact the ignorance of these issues is what is doing that.

        3. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

          But learning is what school is for. Learning about different cultures and histories is part of that. The difference between indoctrination and education is that forcing the student to believe in all the same things and punishing them when they don't. Education allows people to learn different ideas, compare those ideas and make up their own mind about them.

          1. Pamela Renee DeSalvo's Avatar Pamela Renee DeSalvo

            Exactly. well put

        4. RevWood's Avatar RevWood

          This is a ridiculous statement. I am about to turn 60 and when I was in 8th grade I had a required for all students comparitive religion class. It taught us about Jewish, Hindu, Christian, Mulsum, Jainism, Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Zoroastrianism, and barely touched on pagan beliefs as those were not considered a religion at the time as it varies greatly from area to area. Not one parent had an issue with that. The class did not favor or demean any of the religions, we were taught how they started and where and how they grew to be what they are now. It was facinating and taught tolerance, no one was indocronated into any other faith. We were just given knowledge and understanding of our big world. If your religious views require you and your children to be ignorant lest they choose to alter their beleifs as adults than that is not chrisitanity it is just fear based authoritarianism.

          1. Mike's Avatar Mike

            I graduated from Barrington (IL) Consolidated High School way back in 1975. Administration got around it by offering a "Comparative Religions," just like your school did. It was an elective, so no one was forced to attend. It was excellent

        5. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

          Like 'indoctrinating' the children to enjoy lasagna in the school cafeteria... which obviously leads to worshipping Papism?

        6. Lori-Ann Neeb's Avatar Lori-Ann Neeb

          It beats being cowards looking for evil under every rock. The thing is when you spend all your time crawling around in the dirt, that will be all you ever see.

    2. Charles Jude Platt's Avatar Charles Jude Platt

      Often times, we Americans have mixed up 'delusional' emotions with "parenting." Can't imagine what these current parents were taught by their parents. They seem to be near insane.

      The God or creator is the God of all no matter how we practice our faiths.

      1. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

        Would be a pretty non-omnipotent Creator, that was so limited by time and space as to only be there for a fraction of the humans that were created.

    3. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

      Do you not see the difference between being taught something in an academic sense versus being forced to create those images which are antithetical to the Christian faith?

      Learning about it academically is one thing, but beyond that Christians are to have nothing to with Pagan worship.

      1. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

        100 billion galaxies in the observable universe, yet some people still insist the Creator demands absolute homogeneity, uniformity, and isolationism from any diversity.

        It truly boggles the mind.

      2. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

        Pro tip re: English... 'Spirit' and 'spiritual' are 2 different words, with multiple meanings in each different context. Kachina spirit dolls are no more religious idolatry than are the bobble head dolls used to invoke team 'spirit'. Second, Kachinas are not an ancient part of an ancient culture's worship, making them became popular in the 1800s - 1900s.
        They are a mnemonic device to help associate vital parts of human life like rain, seasons, and plants, etc. with a symbol. Same process of primitive observations and conclusions that early Christians used to come up with geocentrism and exorcisms.

  1. Ellen B. Wentzel's Avatar Ellen B. Wentzel

    I was just telling my husband yesterday that I feel sorry for closed-minded, uptight people. I think all education is valuable. These are concepts and teach us how others live.

  1. Alexander Arends's Avatar Alexander Arends

    Oh please. I guess you can call anything you disagree with indoctrination". It's an interesting history lesson. If the kids were to create a voodoo doll and stick needles in it, now that would be a different story.

  1. Echo's Avatar Echo

    Imagine if this was native Americans having to carve a cross and explain what it meant. Oh wait you can go just about everywhere and buy a cross, but not native American and other cultures. So your feelings are hurt your child is learning about people that live here even before Christians persecuted and tried erasing them.

    1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

      There is a difference. When the natives were taught those things they were also forced to believe and follow those teachings. I believe this so probably why the more conservatives religious crowd are so uptight about it. They expect this to be the same as that. Nobody is forcing anyone to believe and live by those ideas.

    2. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      Well, Chonko, you're right, after all they are sinners.

      1. Adam Kahn's Avatar Adam Kahn

        Rev. Mark, do you really believe that all Pagan Native Americans were / are sinners? Literally all, just because they refused to convert to YOUR religion by YOUR will, against THEIR will, then they are sinners and they deserve to be persecuted, eradicated, genocided. It was, and to some extent it still is -- the official position of the Christian Church, implemented in real life so many times. Implemented exactly in the form of religious persecutions and genocides.

        And with all that your Christian Church calls itself "free of sin" and "loving".

        Rrrrrrrright........

        1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

          Adam: I can see your reading skills, or perhaps your knowledge of the context of Christians themselves and their self-pronouncements, have declined with age. I'm at Christians, a very big part of whose religion is all about acknowledging how they are all sinners. Get it now?

          And by the way you don't know my religion.

          1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

            Only not all religions believe in sin and those that do have different ideas on what that actually is... sometimes vastly different.

          2. Adam Kahn's Avatar Adam Kahn
            1. False assumption. Twice. Both times false. And you perfectly know it yourself, so I will leave it on your soul.

            2. For a sinner you are way too judgemental, which is explicitly prohibited by your own religion (see Sermon on the Mount, particularly Mathew 7:1).

            See, I am not a Christian, so I can do it. But you (as a Christian) - you can't.

            You have to re-read the Bible, and pray for forgiveness. Pray to your G-d, of course, not to me. I don't tolerate... sinners.

      2. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

        Because Jehovah was too weak or inept to have all of his creations worship him?

  1. James Riggle-Johnson's Avatar James Riggle-Johnson

    It was an arts and crafts project to teach children something about Native American culture. They weren’t instructed to worship the doll. I think the family is being too much the drama queen as they’ve done this before. That said, I guess it could be construed as teaching religion which should NOT be aloud in schools unless you are teaching a comparative study on religion. My two cents.

  1. Joe Stutler's Avatar Joe Stutler

    Of course some theofascist fundi-nutters are going to throw tantrums because their kids might actually learn something.

  1. Michael Burton's Avatar Michael Burton

    To the Pueblo People, nature was personified as entities known as the kachina. They represented anything from stars to various animals to even other tribes, and tended to be expressed in three ways: as spiritual beings, as masked dancers, and as dolls. I grew up learning about the Pueblos and we were taught that if you made a kachina,you first had to understand the spirit of kachina. Making a doll wasn't meant to be a fanciful exercise in toy making, but to represent one of the some 500 spirits of nature.One could hardly be "converted" to understanding the nature of the spirit merely by making a "doll". If the teacher is going to be criticized for anything, it would be that what was "taught" could be minimized to the imagry to a doll; similar to saying that drawing the Star of David would make one Jewish.

  1. William Dusenberry's Avatar William Dusenberry

    Every known religion, would dry up and then die, if it didn’t indoctrinate its kids into praying and giving them gifts at Christmas-types of annual events.

    Indoctrination is to successful religionism, as the scientific method is to ridding civilization of silly nonsensical religious mythologies.

    By far, the greatest threat to every superstition-based religion is science— which is why the Christian God made “eating from the tree of knowledge (via, Adam eating the apple) as serious mortal sin,

    Which explains, the GOP’s (especially MAGA’ers) current movement to get rid of the teaching of comparative cultures in our public schools.

    1. Anne 'Arie's Avatar Anne 'Arie

      I don't think this has anything to do with politics. Quite frankly, it really annoys me that everything gets dragged back to MAGA or Donald Trump's presidency, or the Republican party. In reality, this particular issue has to do with narrow minded people who can't grasp the concept that learning about other people and their culture is education.

      1. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

        The reality is the Republican party has a lock on narrow-mindedness.

        https://www.aclu.org/legislative-attacks-on-lgbtq-rights

        1. Anne 'Arie's Avatar Anne 'Arie

          I respectfully disagree with your comment. Although I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat, I see narrow mindedness in people in general, political parties aside.

          1. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

            I gave you an example to support my point, which you dismissed, then you disagreed and stated an opinion with no proof.

            Help me out here?

  1. Maria Kristina Davis's Avatar Maria Kristina Davis

    I am very educated in Native American history and beliefs. I also used to trade with the Hopi and Navajo, have an extensive collection of Kachina Dolls. Please let me say that these are NOT Gods. They are the representation of the "spirit" of things. Whether it's a bear, cactus, thunderstorm... They are not worshipped, rather respected as the spirit they are. Imagine someone dies and becomes part of the spirit world, to the Hopi, they would reside with other spirits... some of which are the kachinas. But uneducated people will believe the first thing they are told, that they are "gods". Even publications have said this, but if you talk directly to a Hopi, they will tell you they are spirits, not "gods".

    1. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

      Very much the understanding I've had since earning my Boy Scout "Indian Lore" merit badge over 50 years ago. Our counselor, Mr. Amedon, was Seneca and had an extensive library of books about the First Peoples of this continent. Though our main focus was on the Northeastern Woodlands Tribes, he also told us about different Peoples around the country.

      I am a heathen. Over the years my practices have become much more Animistic than Theistic. I have little shrines around the house and yard to the Spirit Beings in the Norse-Germanic Lore.

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    the Mutti family is just as bad as the idiot Newdow (who got slapped so hard by the US Supreme Court in his losing lawsuits that he has vanished never to be heard from again in the public arena, guess his "enlightened" law degree and medical degree did not help him much at all) the SPLA and the FFRF. When are people like this going to learn that its not their way or the highway and wise up that there is no such thing as Separation of Church and State in the Constitution and never was (the constitution was ratified in 1787 meaning that it became the law of the land, and to change it after this you would need a constitutional amendment and this never has happened according to the records and archives of the Supreme Court as well as the Library of Congress. Especially when Article 3 of the US Constitution (powers of the judiciary) has never given the courts nor the SCOTUS the ability or authority to interpret anything meaning they have to go by what is written only, and they also do not have the ability nor authority to just make up a right out of thin air, it has to be based on the Constitution and the bill of rights)

    In the newdow decisions the SCOTUS told newdow to his face in a 9-0 decision that as long as they can be shown that, for instance the term "in God we trust" on our money is not specifying any single deity, or that what some call a religious display also has other religions included in it...for example a christian religious display that includes a Minorah or a Quanza or a christmas tree in the same display does not violate the mythical church and state and he has no case and the same goes for the historical carvings that are on the walls of the Court chamber that he wanted removed (and yes he is a self claimed Atheist). They then threw these kinds of cases out with prejudice, meaning that no case like this can ever be filed again or heard in any court no matter who claims what, that should have ended this stupidity. Seems some people just didnt get the memo

    1. Minister Wilson's Avatar Minister Wilson

      Mr. Gray,

      Nope...

      Again with this church and state nonsense.

      Please, answer these simple questions.

      If there is no separation between church and state what is the "national" religion?

      And, if there is only one nationally recognized religion, why are people free to choose which one they can adhere to?

      Moreover, if the founding fathers "intended" for this to be a christian nation why did'nt they simply just say so, and codify that sentiment into the Constitution?

      And Finally, The Supreme court's duty is to "interpret" a law's constitutionality,

      "EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW"-These words, written above the main entrance to the Supreme Court Building, express the ultimate responsibility of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Court is the highest tribunal in the Nation for all cases and controversies arising under the Constitution or the laws of the United States. As the final arbiter of the law, the Court is charged with ensuring the American people the promise of equal justice under law and, thereby, also functions as guardian and [interpreter] of the Constitution.

      Your interpretation of article 3 is factually in error, with regards to coequally branches of government, that form a system of checks and balances.

      If the Supreme court has no authority to determine the constitutionality of legislative action then who does? and why are they even there?

      And most importantly, why did republicans pack the court with a bunch of religious right wing ideologues if it really makes no difference?

      Therefore, your interpretation, is both silly and dishonest, since it flies in the face of reality...as most intellectually honest people understand it.

      So, please stop being ignorant about this particular topic and stop ignoring the logic ramifications that support the contrary...

      Minister Wilson

      1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        And also Daniel, do you think the students could sell their Native American dolls at the Cherokee reservation gift shop?

      2. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

        And.... Gray once again, won't go hungry.

    2. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      Very well explained, Daniel.

    3. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

      And if the SCOTUS ever goes atheist, how do you think they will rule?

      Just another example of presupposing infallibility in a group of people.

      1. Minister Wilson's Avatar Minister Wilson

        IDK Mr Sanderson,

        Objectively, based on the facts and evidence of the case...(i.e. fairly, with little to no indebtness to nazi collecting billionaries who pay for their mothers house, probably).

        Just another example of flawed and imperfect thinking from an individual...

        Minister Wilson

      2. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        Sorry but your fantasy will never come true. Its a federal law that clearly states you CANNOT use a nominees religion to qualify them or disqualify them. Feinstein tried this with Barrett during a SCOTUS hearing and she got ripped apart by BOTH parties and was made to apologize and was warned that if she did this again to ANY nominee that she would be removed from the committee. And that came from Schumer himself! So you can dream on if you wish but no matter what their religion or lack there of, you will never know as they cannot be asked about it in any way.

        1. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

          MY goodness Mr. Gray - you have such strong opinions! One can never doubt the veracity of your delivery.

          Let me ask you this - what do you think is the basis of each sides opinion? Do you think it might be logic? Values? Self interest? What do you think.

          Just curious.

  1. James Thomas Mackay's Avatar James Thomas Mackay

    Someone is always "outraged" by something. I suggest they get a life. As a former associate in the social studies arena, I found that kinetic teaching is one of the most effective ways to teach. It reinforces the information that is trying to be taught. What is it that some find the most minutiae of things is "offensive?" What do they fear? I hope that when they appear before the judgment of God that they are able to defend themselves.

    1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

      It's a lot easier to be outraged at others than to look internally and sort out their own personal lives.

  1. Anne 'Arie's Avatar Anne 'Arie

    I guess folks are trying to erase the fact that the Native Americans, once known as Indians because people were too stupid to know where their ships came to shore, ever existed. What can be wrong with Kachina Dolls? It's not harming kids to learn about other cultures. More and more, I am mystified that people who are supposed to be Christians are so closed minded. In the 1960's, my father's Baptist minister stood on the pulpit week after week criticizing my friends and neighbors, who happened to be Catholic. At the same time, the Catholic kids were secretly "baptizing" us heathens so that we wouldn't go to hell. I turned Catholic out of spite, and got baptized for real shortly after the hypocrites I'd been forced to associate with as a child got caught up in lies they couldn't deny it or explain away. Other than for weddings and funerals, I've not been inside any church in more than 40 years and I don't miss it. It's no wonder that people turn against organized religions that find it necessary to run down anyone who has their own mind.

    1. Pamela Kay Waters's Avatar Pamela Kay Waters

      Great point. They are nothing more than cults and money grabbing people.

  1. Pamela Kay Waters's Avatar Pamela Kay Waters

    Was this in art class? If so then WTF? PEOPLE NEED TO GET DOWN OFF THEIR HIGH HORSES AND DEAL WITH LIFE. Whites were the ones that screwed up the Indians lives by killing the Buffalo and putting them on reservations. There are plenty other people of color that this should happen to now a days.

  1. Daniel Todd Kamm's Avatar Daniel Todd Kamm

    More right wing out-gassing... look, ancient Jews continued to worship all kinds of gods and goddesses depending on their cultures, Judaism was not so "monotheistic as some would have you believe...nor was Judaism the first monotheism.

    As a literate and aware Jew, this was nothing more than an exercise in education and understanding other peoples beliefs.

    No one was asking the children to bow down and worship a kachina doll, were they?

    "Thou shalt not make unto thee..." that's the King James version for the simpler minded... which really means to take something you make or has been made to yourself, such that what you created is more important than Creation itself.

    A more perfect analogy, and one I struggle with personally, is meat, dairy and parve dishes, serving wear, and for some entire kitchens, stoves, dishwashers, women only etc.

    For some that idol is... well... a really BIG idol. Deny it and you lie.

    Just when I have despaired of the right wing christian nationalists and their particular form of insanity, suddenly Jews and peoples of all kinds have lost their minds.

    It's a hands on history lesson teaching about how others (not our self -centered selves) think and feel and see things.

    If you can't relate and empathize with others, what good are you?

    Get over it.

    And as a Jew...I want to slap the crap out of that reb.

    Peace Out, Reb tk

  1. Merlin's Avatar Merlin

    Diversity is a component of understanding and growth. Isolation is ignorance which creates fear and hate. Children of isolationist are daily nursed and exercised in tyranny. "You reap what you sow.'

  1. Peter Scarratt's Avatar Peter Scarratt

    I am a recently retired teacher in England where I taught classes with up to 5 different religions, plus those with no faith at all. It can be a sensitive area when learning about other faiths but it is essential for a proper understanding of history as well as each other's religion. There is a definite distinction between learning about a religion and practising it. Some religions, such as Muslim, do not allow images of living creatures - which is why Islamic art is often geometric designs of great beauty and complexity - and it's essential that students and parents do not feel there is indoctrination. We sometimes met the same issues with other subjects, such as history when studying Egyptian funerial ceremonies. Some students would be uncomfortable making Shabti dolls which were intended to do any heavy work for the deceased in the next world. But nobody should ever be asked to pretend to pray or bow in any class, that's just asking for trouble. It's all about learning, not indoctrination or offending deeply held faiths.

  1. Eric M. Ramey's Avatar Eric M. Ramey

    Those of you backing up your arguments using biblical reference are using your own indoctrinated points of ignorance. You have broken the social contract of tolerance and should be shunned as the fascists you are. I'm looking forward to watching you all writhe in torment when your ideology is exposed as the bigoted horror show that it is.

  1. JaZe's Avatar JaZe

    Square mindedness has no bounds 😳😖

  1. Tom Herman's Avatar Tom Herman

    WOW! What a great way to teach a multi-faceted concept. I wish I'd thought of it. This task promotes both creativity and understanding religious cultural diversity. I applaud this teacher. For anyone to make the leap from simple education and passing along information to indoctrination reeks of paranoia. I am truly thankful there are such good teachers for our children. There are countless concepts, religions, races, ethnicities and history of the world and space to be learned. Understanding all of them and believing one or some are the only "truths" are two very different things. Education and information by its nature is not bad. It's how we incorporate it into our lives that shapes us. Restricting or prohibiting knowledge is simply a form of control designed to impact or influence one's choices. We all should embrace every means to teach a concept. Our choices are based on the information we have to make them. I would hope parents would want their children to have all there is to understand the world and build their character. The more information we have, the better the decisions we make. The more such tools to teach and connect concepts, the better. Again, what a great teaching tool. I wish I'd thought of it.

  1. Sheryl Kathryn Hussey's Avatar Sheryl Kathryn Hussey

    Kachina dolls, Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, etc are all part of human history. Creating a Kachina doll in a social studies class is a reasonable activity just as making a diorama would be. These parents are letting their religious beliefs interfere with their own rational thinking and children’s education. What’s next, don’t teach the kids about dinosaurs or the fossil record? Appreciate and respect other people’s rights to their own personal beliefs. Live and let live. Parents need therapy.

  1. Elizabeth Jane Erbe Wilcox's Avatar Elizabeth Jane Erbe Wilcox

    Talk about SNOWFLAKES! Such pearl-clutching and fake outrage. These people need to get their heads out of their ***holes and worry about more important issues like poverty, child molestation, starvation, homelessness...but nooooo.

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    I don’t see any issues with teaching belief systems that mankind has created, as long as young children’s minds are not led to believe any of them are true. Children need to be taught critical thinking skills to help them to decide what is true, and what is not. They should be taught how to think, not what to think.

    🦁❤️

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Atleast they aren't being forced to eat buffalo chips!

    2. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

      I'm down with that or none would be fine too. Our school teaches the basics of various religions.  I read my children's history books, they were fair to all, well all but one religion which they favored heavily.

      I wonder why most public schools factually teach the universe spawned itself from nothing with nothing by nothing.  Not only can the children not do the math and never will, the math must be fictional to work.  The children end up believing in something they nobody can prove, most dont understand and is known to use fictitious data. I suppose they become adults that can't do the math either and continue to believe something they can't prove or comprehend beyond the two words Big Bang.  They have to take the math guys word for it, which as we know, changes as needed to make it all work.  Doesn't it seem odd to put so much faith in a book written by men that the average, above average and exceptional believer can't comprehend?

  1. Adam Kahn's Avatar Adam Kahn

    I see zero problems with kids making kachina dolls, or learning that ancient people were praying to the Sun-God (known worldwide as Egyptian Ra, or Slavic Yarilo, or under many other names).

    Speaking of which, what does the Sun give to Humanity? The Sun gives LIFE to everything on Earth. The Sun is a perpetual and the most powerful source of energy and light that shines upon all of us. It seems that it worth at least sometimes to say "thank you" to the Sun, does it?

    Alright, what did Christianity give to Humanity? Christianity gave to Humanity DEATH (millions of innocent people were murdered only because they rejected this foreign religion). Christianity heavily suppressed and outright banned science and medicine and that resulted in many millions of deaths because of the Plague and other infectious deceases.

    Christian churches were accumulating enormous wealth and power by taking it from poor people. Pedophilia was blooming within the Church (and it still is). Everything that the Church did not like was labeled as "satanic" or "demonic" (without and even against true meanings of these definitions). And in exchange, the Church was providing nations with Jewish-written highly dogmatic and senseless mythology, the only goal of which was to keep Gentiles (Pagans) in slavery obedience and in spiritual darkness. Knowledge became the forbidden fruit.

    The current Christians' outcry about "making idols" in regard to kachina dolls is hypocritical because their own Christian Cross (with a little sad figurine of murdered Jesus) actually IS their Christian-legalized idol, the idol of inhuman suffering and death.

    Christians can weave many words to deceive that "death is life" but actually it is NOT, death is death, and even their Christian Cross is another deceit, because the original Jesus' followers (Essenes) were never worshipping that horrible tool of execution. The Essenes had other religious symbology (adopted from Zoroastrianism): the Divine Fire and the Swastika (Crux Dissimulata). Exactly these symbols were found in places where they were gathering, including in the first underground "churches" under Rome. Nobody was praying to a cross... until the V-VI Centuries AD (500-600 years after the murder of Jesus, who was executed, literally stoned to death, by the decision of the Jewish Supreme Court of Sanhedrin, or Synedrion, according to the Talmud)... Only in the V-VI Centuries AD the Hebrew letter "tav" (which was historically used by Jews to mark "dwellings loyal to the Jewish g-d", see Passover) suddenly became "the main symbol of all Christians". And, guided by this horrible sign, Christianity began spreading itself by deceit, sword and fire, jealously erasing other nations' cultures and history, and languages (see Runes), and psychopathically blaming Pagans for what most of them actually even never ever did (only the Aztecs alone were beyond being completely bizarre, when neither Vikings nor African Pagans were ever doing such things at all)...

    Oh, boy, instead, it looks like it is much better to keep praing to the Sun, indeed...

    1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      Sorry Kahn, but Atheists and Humanists have murdered and killed more people then all the religions in the world combined Cuba/Russia/China/Cambodia/ just to name a few have murdered over 500 million people and the list goes on. “The Black Book of Communism,” “The Naked Communist,” and articles in Le Monde magazine put the middle part at over 259 million people. Professor Dr. R.J. Rummel of the University of Hawaii estimates the loss of human life from atheistic communism to range from 400 million to 559 million with a median estimate of 375 million. No other religion combined comes anywhere close to that

      1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

        Daniel: you need to read the facts identified in the following book by Christopher Hitchens: God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. Really no better at all than the Communists and atheists and all the others you name, no better at all. Same, as a matter of fact.

        1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

          Why? Does Hitchens seemingly somehow have the ability to change history? Can he go back and bring back to life all the ones who have been murdered? Can he refute countries own records? Until he can he has nothing to do with this conversation except to try and sugar coat it for the ones he backs up. For instance you do know that he was a member of the Socialist Workers Party in England, meaning he was a communist himself therefor he had a pointed interest in trying to blame others for the actions committed by communists and atheists.

          1. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_violence

            1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

              Nice try but even the founder of your source clearly says NOT to try and use it as a valid source as it can be changed by whoever is editing it

              https://www.chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/wikipedia-founder-discourages-academic-use-of-his-creation

              1. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

                I hear that all the time, and do you know who wants you to believe it?

                I challenge you to do just that - go ahead, try yourself to make a permanent change to something. I want Wikipedia to say down is up, day is night, black is white.

                Go ahead and try it - and see just how desperately you want it to be true.

              2. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                So Larry Sanger, one of the two people who created wikipedia, states that you should never use it as a source.....is now somehow wrong because you say so? Ok then take it directly FROM wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_is_not_a_reliable_source which means that its not a wish, its a fact! Oh and BTW, even wikipedia is telling you how to edit and alter itself https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:Editing do you really know what you are talking about before you start talking?

              3. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

                Interesting! You have a clear 50-50 choice on what to trust - and you choose the one that supports your preconceived notions.

                Think about that. I have.

                Do you see all those little numbers next to the salient points in any article? Those are REFERENCES. You can click on them and they instantly show you where the information came from - unlike any right-wing media you could mention, including (eSPECIALLY!) the bible.

                There are no secrets DG - there is only trust, and broken trust.

                Choose wisely.

              4. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                I find it very amusing that you want to use a source for a fact when even the own source clearly says that it should never be used for a fact. And yet you refuse to follow that. Ever wonder why in every university and college in the US that Wikipedia is banned from the classroom and if its is found that you used it as a source in your thesis or class reports that you will be forced to do it over and if you refuse you get a failing grade for the assignment. And this is the thing you want to quote from?? And you are trying to tell me to choose wisely? How about you take your own advice.

              5. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

                Again you post your statement that Wikipedia is not to be trusted as "SO-and-so said so!"

                WHERE is it unreliable? WHO says that? Why can't you show me a reference??? You have no specifics.

                And where is your reference that "...every university and college in the US that Wikipedia is banned from the classroom and if its is found that you used it as a source in your thesis or class reports that you will be forced to do it over and if you refuse you get a failing grade for the assignment"? WHO says that? Show me a REFERENCE that shows that's true please. Otherwise, again, it's just "So-and-so says so!"

              6. Michael Hunt's Avatar Michael Hunt

                Wikipedia shouldn't be used as a source because it's a combination of numerous different sources. While schools will certainly tell you not to use Wikipedia as a source, many professors have told me to use it as a starting point because I can follow the references to verify the claims being made in the Wiki article and reference the original work. It doesn't mean that Wikipedia is inaccurate, just that it shouldn't be used as your source.

              7. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

                I think what you are saying is that Wikipedia is discouraged as a source because it is itself an essay, though it is a valuable resource for references, which makes sense.

                Thank you, Rev. Hunt, for lending your acuity and discernment to this discussion.

          2. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

            Daniel: you've been given the reference. Intelligent people take it from there and become informed, without having to go through someone that they're going to discount automatically anyway. Plus, I'm not your mommy.

            1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

              No, and the so called "references" that you claim I have been given, most came from Wikipedia whos own owner clearly says that it is not a valid source. Or they come from left wing sources (would be easier if they used independent sources not left or right) So you can keep whining all you want but when you are wrong you will be shown you are wrong.

              1. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

                Show they are wrong DG.

                If you can.

    2. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

      Adam K

      The Aztec sacrificed about 15 million men women and children to various gods, the sun being one of the heavy hitters. Then we have the Inca and Mayan plus many more. They all do the same thing, that is chop up humans to this god or that god, maybe one with bird feet. Of course, in the old testament were told what happens to cultures that chop up their own like that.....they get themselves obliterated, like the Aztec, Inca and Mayan did. In other fun sun God news, the athiests were able to whip up their very own fleet of sun gods back in last century, we call them nuclear warheads nowadays.......how loving.....of their .....sun god....God.....

      1. Michael Hunt's Avatar Michael Hunt

        If you actually believe that Christians weren't involved in the creation of the atomic bomb, you're ignorant of history. In fact, many Christians use theology to defend the usage of nuclear weapons in Japan.

        Atheists, by definition, do not believe in a deity. Claiming that nuclear warheads are Atheists' sun god makes no sense.

        1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

          Rev hunt. My several responses to your post did not go through, I bet this will.

          Everything you said is correct. Everything is said is incorrect.

          1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

            You gotta be kidding guys.

            1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

              And one more trial. Very exciting.

      2. Mike's Avatar Mike

        I'm well aware of the laws, rulings, and subsequent effects Daniel. I also understand the principles of separation of powers, and separation of church and state. Nowhere did I claim that these concepts work. Or do.

        You can stop attacking us. Cutting and pasting your "proof" ad nauseum proves ONLY that you can cut and paste. And enumerating your citations as you did with Rev. Gray is merely pretentious.

        We also don't have to "prove you wrong." The post has more to do with acceptance and rejection of other cultures' spirituality than the legality of making kachina dolls in class.

        1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

          I am only stating fact. If you cant accept the fact and the links that come with them proving you are wrong, then thats your problem

      3. Adam Kahn's Avatar Adam Kahn

        Servant, you intentionally misquoted me, and that looked ... dirty. Well, as many other deceipts that come from your side.

        I mentioned the Atztecs as a really bad and rare example of Paganism. Yet you stretched out and generalized it on ALL PAGANS. Wrong.

        If we take European or Slavic or African or Asian or Middle-Eastern (Zoroastrianism) Pagans than we will clearly see that they were NOT doing such things. When did you see Hinduists or Buddhists "sacrificing 15 million men"?? And what about women, I'm already affraid to ask, LOL!

        Most Pagan religions and rituals are related to Nature and its cycles, and are harmless.

        Pagan faiths look especially harmless if we compare them to the horrors that were recommended (demanded) by the Christian Old Testament (YHWH was even demanding child sacrifices). And indeed, there were wide-spread bloody human sacrifices in honor of the Jewish Tabernacle in ancient Jerusalem...

        1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

          Adam, My several responses were not published. I try a shorter and more vague response. I didn't quote you. I've used the Aztec and all south American cultures to demonstrate the barbaric nature of paganism. I use the 20th atheist rampage to demonstrate the barbaric nature of atheists. I do this when pagans or atheists claim Christians are murderous. My real goal is to show its a human problem, not a belief system in of itself.

          1. Adam Kahn's Avatar Adam Kahn

            Servant, thank you for your comment. I did some additional study and now I'm starting to see part of your point...

            You... look almost close to being right, apparently blood sacrifices sometimes could be a human problem, the problem that has existed since some very old times, and exists even now (right now), for example in some countries of Africa.

            This problem directly relates even to Christianity, which still considers death of Jesus as a blood sacrifice made by the Christian G-d. Christianity is entirely built around that dark idea.

            Mass sacrificed of humans were performed in some modern Christian sects and doomsday cults ("The Heaven's Gate", "Peoples Temple", "The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of G-d", "The Order of the Solar Temple").

            There are old Christian churches that have human victims buried under a church's foundation for the purpose of the "consecration" of such church (under some Catholic churches in Ireland, for example).

            The entire Christianity is built on the dark premise of the sacrificial torturous death of Jesus, and modern Christians believe that "eating flesh of murdered Jesus and drinking blood of murdered Jesus" is supposedly a good thing to do (I don't think so, because even figuratively I'm against any ritual cannibalism, sorry).

            Medieval burning of "witches" was also done to honor the Christian G-d, who supposedly badly wanted it. Many witches were not burned but hanged. These victims have comprised another death toll statistics, not included in "burned witches". And many more innocent people have died in Christian torture chambers, or during "water trials" (also there were many other types of "trials to expose a witch"). We don't see these victims in the statistics. They are uncounted because "their deaths during tortures exonerated them in the eyes of G-d" as Christians say.

            The Old Testament (a.k.a. The Hebrew Bible) is full of G-d's demands of frequent blood sacrifices, including ritual murders of children. Sometimes entire cities and even nations were genocided in the honor of G-d.

            Do you know about Passover? It is a celebration of all children of Egypt being slaughtered by G-d's Angel of Death being summoned by the Israelites. Do you know about Purim? It is a Jewish celebration of 75,000 slaughtered Persians. Dark...

            Orthodox Christian churches frequently have bones and skulls of "dead saints" inside their altairs (even if during their lives these "saints" were not Christians at all, and "were recognized as Christian saints" centuries later). Modern Orthodox Christians come and pray to these old sad bones still laying unburried...

            Speaking of witch trials (of men and women), they were resulting not only in murder of the accused people, but in imprisonment too, and the last person that was arrested "for acting like a witch" was Victoria Helen McCrae Duncan in 1956 in Edinburg, Scotland, UK. The poor woman died soon after.

            So, apparantly, deadly religious sacrifices could be some sort of a human problem, as you've said.. Or rather they are NOT??

            There were/are no human sacrifices in Buddhism (which is a Pagan religion). So, we already speak about half of a billion people here.

            Historically, there were some cases of human sacrifices in European and Slavic Paganism but they were VERY RARE or even EXTREMELY RARE.

            The same is correct about Indian Hinduism, Japanese Sintoism, and especially about Chinese Daocism (also Pagan religions). These religions were and are much more peaceful and light throughout all history, much purer than Judeo-Christianity has proven to be.

            And finally, I will speak for myself. I'm not a Christian, and I am against human sacrifices. So, your statement about "sacrifices are human problem" doesn't apply to me (and I think it does not apply to manybother Ministers of the ULC)...

            So, my point is: blood sacrifices are NOT a "human problem". It is only a problem of some dark murderous religious cults (even if publicly they say otherwise).

            But you, Servant.... You said ritual blood sacrifices "is a human problem", just like that, in general. Obviously, you consider yourself as a human. Let's use some logic here. Is it YOUR problem?? Or rather you are trying to whitewash 2500 years of dark blood-stained crimes of Judeo-Christianity by deceptively gaslighting that "ah, everybody do it". Wrong.

    3. Keith Allen Steele Eash's Avatar Keith Allen Steele Eash

      Another defense of paganism and attacking Christianity. Funny, methinks you'll be begging for mercy when facing God for your attacks on His Church.

      1. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

        Imagine an omniscient omnipotent being that created 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe - who's really butt-hurt that you made a doll.

      2. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

        It was neither. It was an attack on education by a Christian fanatic who doesn't understand the difference between indoctrination and education. There seems to be an epidemic of that here lately.

      3. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        Comment has been removed.

  1. Aqilah Jackson's Avatar Aqilah Jackson

    Our so called education system in this country is going to leave our children some of the dumbest, most narrow minded, non critical thinking people in the entire world. There are third world countries that don’t have computers, sometimes don’t even have books for each child, whose kids know more about this country and our history than the children who are born here. Why are people so afraid to let their children learn and think??? And speaking as an Indigenous person, if any part of indoctrination was true, I think you would see Indigenous people yelling cultural appropriation and I don’t see that or feel that way. It was a school project something interesting that the children could learn from…Some people have too much time on their hands.

  1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

    What would Jesus say, indeed? Is it surprising to find P. Robertson's CBN website writes this on behalf of the Mutti family?

    "Parents of an Ohio elementary school student say their son's First Amendment rights were violated after he was forced to make an idol and participate in a pagan ritual in his class."

    1) The Mutti parents demonstrate how personal interpretations can conflict with the bible (KJV assumed due to CBN’s involvement). Wouldn’t Jesus encourage coexistence? And, doesn't intent to misinform and stir pots violate at least a few Ten Commandments?

    2) How can assignments for cultural studies be distilled to teaching religions? How is crafting a doll, or many cultural items, definitionally construed as evangelization? Irony. There are no protections against unsolicited evangelism at my front door, email, and snail mail box. Yet religious non-profits cry when they think the same is done to them. It’s almost amusing.

    3) Most North American indigenous people I've spoken with, say their relationship with spirits of nature and the elements cannot be defined by, or confined in, a religion as non-indigenous individuals are wont.

    Also, practices differ between nations and tribes. How could this Kachina doll assignment be perceived as a threat to anyone? The International Center for Law and Religion Studies Lobbying for the Faithful: Religious Advocacy Groups has much to say about religions that actually are represented in Washington, D.C. Hypocrisy much? How much does CBN spend on lobbyists?

    From Pew Research: "I found that many religious leaders dislike the connotations of the term “lobbying” and do not consider themselves to be lobbyists. Instead they see themselves as advocates, not for narrow self-interest, but on behalf of those who often do not have a voice in the corridors of power."

    Even so, the Mutti parents who have representation in D.C., complain about people who don’t.

    4) Daniel Gray and a couple others reminded me that constitutions established world wide each have an origin in Catholic canon law. Separation of church and state is a misnomer. There’s a devil in those details.

    I found some reasonable insights on this subject with this keyword search: canon law society of India dot org canon law and constitutional law a lawyers perspective

    "In this respect, we can refer to the last of the Canons in C. 1752, wherein it is stated,” observing canonical equity and keeping in mind the salvation of souls, which in the Church must always be the supreme law”. That apart, ‘Love of God and the Love of the Neighbour’ is held to be as the greatest commandment, and forms the basis for canonical governance, referred by St. Augustine, as Doctrina Salutaris or Foundation of Christian Faith."

    So much more could be said, but this is beyond tldr.

    1. Keith Allen Steele Eash's Avatar Keith Allen Steele Eash

      Jesus never preached on coexistence with pagan cultures.

      1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

        @ Keith Allen Steele Eash You are correct, because Jesus and God do not exist. They were created by man.

      2. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

        Did you find that Jesus preached against pagan cultures? Did Jesus not offer his love, forgiveness, and encouragement to everyone?

        1. Adam Kahn's Avatar Adam Kahn

          Mathew 10:5-6. John 8:44

          Jesus explicitly said that His teachings are NOT for Pagans (Gentiles) nor for Samaritans. The teachings of Jesus were (and are) only for the "lost sheep of the House of Israel," because the Jewish (now also Christian) G-d (actually, demiurge, semi-god) "is murderer from the beginning and the father of lies."

          Directly, from the Bible. You are welcome.

          1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

            Are you familiar with Cornelius in Acts 10, KJV or NIV? Cornelius was Greek.

            Or what Jesus is quoted as saying in John 14, verses 25 and 26?

            By definition gentiles were anyone not Jewish. Sometimes 'gentile' was used to mean pagan. Anyone not Jewish, was pagan. If you are not Jewish, then you are...

            What is important - I think - about Jesus is not what men said he said. Rather, it is the concept of a human rising to the higher self through life's challenges.

            One way or another, the remainder of biblical writings mostly describes humans subjugating humans, or results of that.

            I think Jesus' intent was to improve all lives by moving through life with superior behavior, conviction, and integrity.

            I think that is possible with or without any God or gods or spirits. I think no harm is done by having a God or gods or spirits to help us move through life in the best possible way.

            I think if there were a single, truly almighty God, he would have found a way to speak to each of us in such a way that not one of us could doubt the presence of a single God. Why would an almighty God need the words of men?

            As any of that might relate to the Mutti parents, it would seem they've allowed themselves to be pawns tangled in the thinking and wants of others. People can choose at any point in time though, to own and direct their lives, while not interfering with those who choose to do the same.

          2. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

            More specifically, apparently it was Jews then (and now?) who were against gentiles aka pagans aka anyone not Jewish.

            Stories about Jesus are popular with good reason. There is much about such a figure that appeals to the best within us, wherever we may live. Still, Jesus was likely a story told many years (60-ish?) after his 'death'.

            Maybe the Jews started a story to unite their people, that other peoples adapted to suit their culture and environments? If so, whatever Jews might claim about their faith, in no way reflects the values of other faiths whether based on God, gods, or spirits.

            So again I ask, who would the Jesus most of the world is familiar with, exclude or not love and support?

            1. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

              Thank you for sharing your views.

  1. Robert Hauck, MD, FAAP's Avatar Robert Hauck, MD, FAAP

    No big deal! The Multi parents attacks on their local public schools will provide their children with lessons in intolerance. As someone else above has said, "they need to get a life" and perhaps transfer their children to a private school.

  1. Najah P Tamargo's Avatar Najah P Tamargo

    Minister Najah Tamargo USA

    And yet another frivolous law suit!! When I was in school, my favorite time was "Christmas Around the World". Imagine my surprise when I forced to put my youngest into Head Start. The word "Christmas" was not even allowed to be said!! It was downgraded to the "Winter Holiday". How are we supposed to acquire understanding and respect for other cultures if children are not allowed to learn about them? This smacks more of the continuing issue of Critical Race Theory than of a teacher using a fun way to teach their students about another culture....one that continues to this day in our OWN country. Remember who was here first? I agree that the best way to teach kids is to break out an art project. They were not "praying" to the kachinas, they were not doing ceremonial dances with them, they were not being taught to put them above any other religious teachings. They were just learning how to make one and what they meant to that culture. Do we forget that "those people" HELPED the first invading Europeans of this country survive? And to show our gratitude, we slaughtered them, enslaved them, infected them with disease and drove them off their homelands. But they were strong and their faith and fortitude has made them stronger and determined to keep their culture alive and well. I see nothing wrong with what this teacher did. And it's too bad you can't sue people for being stupid and ignorant! Can the school board sue those parents for being bigots, racists and filing a frivolous law suit?

  1. Colleen McAllister's Avatar Colleen McAllister

    I see nothing wrong with teaching about Kachina Dolls in a public school. I learned of them when I was very young. They are part of history and folk culture. It isn't like the teacher was performing a full on ritual. People need to settle down and allow our kids to learn of different places and cultures.

    1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

      Shall we Christians then support our children making voodoo dolls? It's probably best that if the children can't be taught Jesus, they shouldn't be taught about any other gods. I'm good with that except the pagans, they want their gods taught and will never stop. When Jesus said to his folowes, be as wise as a serpent, I wonder if he told us that because most Christians are naive and trustwilling by nature. We're easy to trick, fool and lead by the nose.

  1. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

    Having read through many comments here and in other blog posts, I have to say I am absolutely stunned by the small-mindedness, bigotry, prejudice, and ignorance often displayed here.

    This is the ULC. The ONLY reason we are all here is because of the ULC's high values of inclusiveness, tolerance, and appreciation of diversity. That many of these people are accepted BECAUSE of these values then so soundly rejects them is a real testament to the dedication and sincerity of the ULC to its mission.

    Thank you!

  1. Robin Call's Avatar Robin Call

    Wow throwing a fit over a doll…a doll that represents another culture that children can learn from…how shameful…Parents making something out of nothing…Children willing to learn about other cultures to make the world a better place for everyone and keep peace in the world…Parents are throwing tantrums over it…what a shame

  1. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

    The 21st century was designed for lawyers.

  1. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

    The 21st century was designed for lawyers.

  1. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

    Forced? No.

  1. Bruce Tabashneck's Avatar Bruce Tabashneck

    An overreaction

  1. Julie Armstrong's Avatar Julie Armstrong

    I'm sorry. I look at it as education. The children are learning History. Native Americans were here way before others, living peacefully. The children are being taught History. As long as we believe in GOD, we just choose different paths. If this would have been Buddha, would the outcry be the same? When my children were little, I took them to multiple churches and let them decide or themselves. They chose different religions, yet all believe in GOD. In the end isn't that all that matters?

    1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

      Though I don't feel beliving in a God is all that matters, I do think self-individualization and acting with thoughtfulness are vitally important.

      I sometimes think appreciation - for lack of a more apt word - of the incomprehensible immensity of how this world and universe(s?) were created can be so overwhelming that looking for something or someone to credit for its creation seems necessary.

      All of nature coexists symbiotically, without pre-meditated malice, judgement, and persecution. I also wonder if what separates us from nature is what we use to call ourselves above nature, which God or gods created. What right have we to claim superiority and act with impunity while we destroy what has benefited us because we do not appreciate the gift of life?

  1. Larry Mager's Avatar Larry Mager

    Iam SO DISGUSTED that the "Separation of Church and State" is being dragged out yet AGAIN!!!!!!!!!! As much as I I admire Thomas Jefferson, He fouled up in discussing the fact that, unlike England, America should NEVER, EVER, have a "Church of the United States!!!! As an ongoing student of American History, and Early American History at that, I have had this "discussion" before! In my opinion as a person with degrees in American History and Religion and Philosophy, I can state that making a Kachina Doll and coming up with a background for it is ONLY a teaching tool designed to expose children to other cultures in our own country and how to think for themselves! Thinking for oneself seems to be THE REAL fear of people who scream "Separation of Church and State!" EVERY time something is taught that make these folk uncomfortable.

    1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      I've looked all through the Constitution on numerous times, and I don't find separation of church and state anywhere. I also don't find a prohibition of slavery.

      1. Michael Hunt's Avatar Michael Hunt

        The Constitution reads,"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." which provides for a separation between the state and religion. If Congress can't make laws that favor specific religious beliefs nor can they prevent the free exercise of religion, then there is a separation between church and state.

  1. Mike's Avatar Mike

    This part is a violation of that separation between religion and state: "(E)xplain what power it has." IMHO, the rest is a cultural issue and I'm all for that. In fact, I was recently made a "Good Friend" by a member of the Lakoda tribe, a very high honor indeed

    BTW: The family can always send their kids to a private school or homeschool. But filing suit is also effective, despite often being a cash cow.

    Since my last comment here, I have had a powerful conversion experience into gnostic Christianity. Gnostics like Marcion hold that YHWH of the TaNaKh is actually evil, personified as Satan. This makes sense because Jesus calls the Creator God "Abba" (Father) instead. Consequently, any attempt by YHWH to stifle competition results in silly prohibitions like the idol one.

    Yes, there are beautiful moral imperatives in the Old Testament, many of which reflect the "Natural Religion" of the pre-exilic Israelites. With the advent of oral stories becoming written down and REVISED by the Jewish ("Judaic") scholars in Babylon, the Natural became "Constructed." This happens in almost all major religions and you can discern this for yourself because the peaceful becomes usurped by the violent. Almost all modern religions underwent that usurpation.

    What's my point and how is that relevant? The Hopis are peaceful folks, while the suing parents are not. As others here recognize. That should tell you something about the real cause of this battle.

    Oh, and I'm looking for a name for the new yet old gnostic Christian organization I am creating. The pre-Nicea gnostic churches have 99% in common. I'm trying to corner that 1%.

    Abba bless all of you, including the parents, their child, the rabbi, the Lexington school board, everyone reading this, and even the Æons (benevolent spirits) represented by the kachina dolls.

    1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      Sorry Mike but this mythical Separation of Church and state has never existed and to get it to exist you would need two constitutional amendments. First you would need to amend Article 3 to allow Judges to interpret, an authority they have never had in the 240+ years of our existence. Then you would need another constitutional amendment to put this mythical separation actually in the constitution. Something that you will never get which is why I cant seem to understand why people keep insisting that its there when no mention of it has ever been made and no amendment has ever been proposed to make it exist.

      1. Mike's Avatar Mike

        I'm well aware of the laws, rulings, and subsequent effects Daniel. I also understand the principles of separation of powers, and separation of church and state. Nowhere did I claim that these concepts work. Or do.

        You can stop attacking us. Cutting and pasting your "proof" ad nauseum proves ONLY that you can cut and paste. And enumerating your citations as you did with Rev. Gray is merely pretentious.

        We also don't have to "prove you wrong." The post has more to do with acceptance and rejection of other cultures' spirituality than the legality of making kachina dolls in class.

      2. Michael Hunt's Avatar Michael Hunt

        Your lack of understanding of US case law doesn't make you right.

        1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

          Ok PROVE ME WRONG, but you wont because you cant.

          Date of Constitution being ratified? According to the US Senate Archives, and I quote "ratified in 1787, and in operation since 1789, the United States Constitution is the world's longest surviving written charter of government. Its first three words – “We The People” – affirm that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens."

          Me 1 you 0

          How do you change the constitution? from the National Archives/Constitution and I quote "A proposed amendment becomes part of the Constitution as soon as it is ratified by three-fourths of the States" Which means you have to have a constitutional amendment to even start the process.

          Me 2 you 0

          The myth of Separation of Church and state in the Constitution? Again according to the national archives/constitution it clearly states and I quote "The term Separation of Church and State nor the words appear in the Constitution and are not explicitly stated in the First Amendment"

          Me 3 you 0

          And you STILL have not shown under Article 3 of the Constitution where the SCOTUS was granted the authority to "interpret" anything

          Me 4 you 0

          Not doing very well are you? And lets get this finished once and for all. You can claim case law all you wish, BUT if its not in the Constitution or if it violates the Constitution, then your "case law" is not worth the paper used to wipe your behind with as the Constitution is SUPERIOR to all other forms of law.

          Done getting your behind whipped with facts or are you going to continue to show your ignorance?

          1. Michael Hunt's Avatar Michael Hunt

            Daniel, you've been whipped by facts so many times here by others who care more or have more free time than I do. I could present a well researched and detailed essay rebutting your claims and you'd still cry foul. I've seen you do it countless times so I'm not going to waste the time going over it now. I suggest you take a constitutional law class for once so you can stop making yourself look so stupid.

            1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

              facts only in your mind, but not based in reality. the vast majority of people call that fantasy.

  1. Mary Haviland's Avatar Mary Haviland

    I can u!derstabd that, in the Jewish and Christian religi ok n, and maybe the Muslim religions. That could be seen as making idols. And these denominations are not supposed to be doing anything with idol And false gods. I think that those parents have a right to be upset. If the table were turned and they were christians and we're having their students make chrusefixs you know you would hear the pegans and all the other religiously zelics scream bloody murder. Because demons done like holy things like crucifixes.

  1. Carol M. Anaski-Figurski's Avatar Carol M. Anaski-Figurski

    Interesting article of kachna dolls. I think it's a great idea. It's also a gray area in learning. Most churches have at some point
    taught on world perspective on religions. Diversity is important at all ages. . Family values on religion & faith based are to reinforced upon in the family as to which religion you'll follow.

  1. Rev. Kev's Avatar Rev. Kev

    Since this was in the context of a social studies class, it seems they were learning about a social group and their practises. We're not really getting the actual context of the class as much as hearsay from second or third hand sources. But if the teacher was genuinely just giving the kids an interesting project as a learning tool, what's the harm? It's not worship to simply make or look at an object. Worship is a willful practise. Just as I can look at an image of Krishna and not be worshipping it, let alone acknowledging any actual existence in the first place. I can learn about the powers and characteristics of gods in the same manner. I walk away unconverted.

    Instead of being all offended (and not considering how many Christians work tirelessly to get their religion of choice in schools), find out if this was an actual attempt at converting kids to a religion or if this was a social studies project, and nothing else. It can be an excellent time for parents to sit down with their children for an open discussion about the existence of other religions. Face it instead of fearing it. They're gonna be exposed to other religions as they grow up, one way or another. The internet is awash with various religions and teachers and gurus. Best to get ahead of it.

    1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      It wasn't a religious instruction glass nor was it coerce. It was simply a social studies class. Social studies. Social studies. That's all. But you know a lot of these parents are actually maga activists and that's all they are so even if the teacher was breathing she would be castigated as whatever is convenient for the extremist rhetoric and hijacking of these sicko activists. They want a civil war.

      Listen to this week's installment of podcast "On The Media."

    2. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

      Oh yeah no problem. Besides learning about it academically let's just dabble a little bit into this pagan worship by making one of their idols.

      Now I'm holding the doll and the sky hasn't fallen in and it's kind of cute so I'll even take it home and put it on my shelf there, doesn't seem to be any harm in that.

      And here I am at the sleepover and all my friends want to play with this Ouija board. And even though the scripture speak against such things, what could be the harm?

      It's not like the scriptures tell Jew and Christian alike to eschew all such Pagan practices for any good reason, right?

      1. Rev. Kev's Avatar Rev. Kev

        Rev. MichaelRS,

        You wrote: "Besides learning about it academically let's just dabble a little bit into this pagan worship by making one of their idols."

        How is making a doll worship of any sort? As I mentioned in my previous comment, worship is a willful act. You can't do it accidentally nor incidentally. Do you think you have so little control over your own mind and will that you can be doing something and just start worshipping it?

        In the same manner, there is no harm in putting a doll on your shelf. Any more than it's harmful for various Barbies or G.I Joes or what-have-you to be on a shelf. We're not in some fictional "Insidious" movie.

        You then wrote: "And here I am at the sleepover and all my friends want to play with this Ouija board. And even though the scripture speak against such things, what could be the harm?"

        Honestly? No harm at all. Ouija boards are the stuff of horror movies and silly attempts by kids to scare each other. Ouija board planchettes are either purposefully moved about by one of the players as a gag, or by our subconscious mind. Psychologists studied this some time ago. Countless tests have been run to learn about this aspect of the human mind. It's called the ideomotor effect. The ideomotor effect is subconscious, involuntary movement; scientists first documented it in 1852.

        Marc Andersen, an assistant professor at the Interacting Minds Centre at Denmark’s Aarhus University, published a study in 2018 on his Ouija sessions. His team asked participants to wear goggles outfitted with cameras to track their eye movement. As a control, the participants were asked to spell the word “Baltimore” using the planchette; their eye movement neatly anticipated the planchette’s trajectory across the board as they looked at the letter where they were moving it.

        The participants then were asked to use the Ouija board normally, asking questions they came up with. In this part of the study, the individual participants weren’t as good at looking at and predicting the next letter. But when the two participants’ eye movements were analyzed together, they tended to be about as good at predicting the next letter as they had been when spelling Baltimore. Often, “if you look at two people,” says Andersen, “one of them will have predicted the letter.”

        Typically, he says, “the first letter is more likely to be random, and then it becomes less and less random, so the likelihood that one of the participants can start predicting becomes much higher.”

        Researchers also ran tests like blindfolding participants and rotating the board 180 degrees. Not only were the participants unable to move the planchette to form a single word, they couldn't even hit the "Yes" or "No" spots. Which the non-blindfolded spirit (if one were present) should have no effort accomplishing. But this was quite predictable if it's just the humans who must rely on their own eyesight for their brains to do the work.

        Despite what the movies would lead one to believe, no one has been demon possessed nor died some horrible death by using a Ouija board. You also won't find them in the Bible since they didn't exist back when it was written.

        The hard, non-superstitious, non-fear-filled facts are that dolls are just inanimate objects that only have the power given them by an individual in that person's mind.

        And Ouija boards are games churned off an assembly line that, once again, are only powered by the individual person's mind.

        Lastly, I would fully expect a set of books written by the spiritual leaders of a given religion to include admonishments against exposure to other religions. Those leaders want to keep their followers. Let folks wander around and see what else is out there and they may decide some other group is more appealing. Or maybe find out the original group was full of it. Or whatever. So threats of Divine Retribution for angering their god(s) are predictable. Much like some modern groups today are against their adherents from receiving a higher education. Exposure to new people, new ideas and critical thinking skills can be the Death Knell for religion in some cases.

        It's a reason. Some might call it a "good" reason. It's certainly a very human act.

        1. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

          If one approaches it from the perspective that they do NOT believe in the principals or doctrines of judeo-christian faiths then there's really no discussion to be had.

          However if one holds to those principles they simply need to look up what both the Jewish Bible and Christian New Testament say about Idols and or Pagan religious practices at every turn every time the subjects are brought up.

          So why would anybody who claims to be spiritually Jewish or Christian want to mess with something like that that God so clearly disapproved of on any level? And making these idols, bringing them into existence is in fact a form of worship.

          The article linked below expands on this through slightly different example.

          https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/demons-and-idols

          1. Rev. Kev's Avatar Rev. Kev

            Let me quote from Wiki: "Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. It may involve one or more of activities such as veneration, adoration, praise, and praying."

            Worship most often requires the willful recognition of a God or gods (although people can worship another person....like a famous political figure, for example).

            Just making something isn't worship. That line of poor reasoning would mean people who make puppets or dolls of any sort are automatically worshipping them. Which is just silly. Of course they aren't.

            It's all about intent.

            You would have to be omniscient to know if any of these kids seriously decided to recognize these dolls as actual deities and offer them intentional veneration, adoration, praise, or prayer. But I'm going to bet you aren't. No offense. It's just not a talent we humans possess.

            You are obviously entitled to your opinions, and your preferred interpretation of the Bible. There is certainly no shortage of divergent beliefs in the many denominations of Christianity. You are equally as obviously tied to the certainty of your position. So it would be a waste of my time to attempt to offer any further reason to the matter.

            I'll end my participation in this exchange with two opinions of my own:

            First, whatever the tenets of your faith, this strikes me as a very fearful view. That one can so easily fall into unconscious worship of a doll and risk whatever eternal fate you may believe in. Such an innocuous thing that a wrathful God would make into an endless consequence. It just strikes me as the proverbial walking on eggshells situation.

            Second, these parents could have handled this in their own homes in accordance to their own beliefs. Probably the best way being to have a calm discussion to find out what the child thinks of the doll. Then discuss it in the context of whatever religion to which they adhere. No need for anger. No need to take it out on anyone. That way they can prepare their growing child for all the other cultures and religions they will be exposed to as they mature and go out into the world. Which just seems more rational and constructive to me.

            But, again, that's just my opinion, man.

            1. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

              Wiki is not scripture. So whatever it says about what worship is or how to do it or whatever means nothing.

              And no the parents could not have handled it in their own home because the children were required to make the idolatrous images as part of a public school project.

              You seem to feel that the only way people can learn or know about other cultures or religions is by participating in their practices. In particular those which the Judeo-Christian scriptures eschew at every turn. And if they don't do that they will somehow wind up akin to Appalachian Hillbillies; isolated from and ignorant of the world. Well I'm here to tell you that's absolutely ridiculous.

              This "no harm in exploring or dabbling" in these things is exactly what Satan (or by whatever name you know the concept) wants us to believe to set up little gateways so that step by step we are pulled further away from the Lord's light and into his darkness.

              It doesn't matter if it is taken as fact or allegory, this type of thing is clearly Illustrated early on in the scriptures in the story of Adam and Eve and the temptation that led to their fall from grace;

              It's okay. A little bite of the "apple" won't matter. Take it and you'll be just like God and all will be well.

              Sorry, I reject that one needs to wallow or participate in sin to be aware of it for the greater world around us.

          2. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

            Must be hard going through life never touching or looking at those venerated images engraved on filthy lucre... hmmmm?

            1. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

              P.E.N.

              That is ridiculously extreme. There is no prohibition in the judeo-christian scriptures about looking them or touching them from an academic point of view.

              How are there a clear prohibitions against making any and there's no caveat that it's okay to do so for academic purposes.

              In Deuteronomy 32:16 - 17 and 1 Corinthians 10:20 we are told how such Idols are connected to demonic spirits. That's why Jew and Christian alike are are warned against them.

              1. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

                The cherry picked version of scripture, and the '10 Suggestions' that Moses carried. The worship of money gets a pass, because it's an 'extreme example'... and bearing false witness is no big deal. Got it.

              2. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

                What nonsensical things are you talking about?

                There is no actual spiritual connection to the saying, "the worship of money". Nobody is praying to a $100 bill for it to bring rain or more of its kind into somebody's life.

              3. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

                Why are you avoiding the obvious that money is worshipped by mega churches, like CBN and Sar Shalom?

              4. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

                That's a value judgment, not an objective fact

              5. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

                How so? Mega churches could not maintain their status and buy lobbyists in Washington D.C. if they didn't focus on money. Public records make that a fact. Hence, 'worshiping money'.

                I despise mega churches because I've personally witnessed people losing their home after tithing beyond their means because they were encouraged with "God will provide".

                I've witnessed and experienced first hand that there are people who put tithing to their church above taking immediate care of their family, again because "God will provide. My mother did that, and she was not an easy sell. Imagine how many others are easier targets because they feel the weight of their sins more than those begging for more of what they have so little of.

                Mega churches are parasites on the depressed, desperate, and disparate, like no other business I've seen.

                If it isn't a fact that mega churches worship money, how else do you explain their sociopathic behavior toward parishioners and congregants?

                I would agree it is those at the top who spend most of the money given to their church.

                This hardly a moral judgement on my part.

                Not to be rude, but because you consistently twist words or do not understand what you are actually saying, I recommend using a dictionary to check what you've written before posting.

                Or maybe you are trolling and that went over my head.

                I think I will let the possibility of what might have been a good discussion slip away. My time and energy on the matter has been misspent attempting to rationally discuss this with you.

                Whatever the case may be, have a better day :.) I will.

              6. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

                Give me an example of how I twist words or don't understand what I'm saying.

                Because, unless my teachers through high school and college were all idiots who consistently gave me A's in all the various English courses I had over the years because they like the twinkle in my eye, I think I do well enough in English. Now math...that's a different story.

                And here there may be some grammar faux pas because I used talk text and I am only trying to get a larger point across as opposed to turn the paper into an English class for a grade or write a report that's being used in a legal setting.

                And it is it possible to have a rational discussion on the subject of mega churches when one party starts off with...

                "I despise mega churches... ." or "Mega churches or parasites... ."

                Anyway that whole subject seems far afield from the topic of THIS thread. More for a thread about how a number of people over the centuries have acted badly in the name of God or Christ.

                Like the prosperity theology preached by the televangelist Rev. Ike (Frederick Eikerenkoetter) if you don't know who Reverend Ike is you should look him up on wikipedia. So yes, somebody like him would come close to what you are saying when talking about worshiping money, but the mostly metaphorically the "worship of money" does not even come close to what the subject of this thread actually is.

                Oh, and there's no trolling involved.

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    Stories like are being publicized but non-Christian’s to make Christins look evil and controlling. It’s working. Just look at how young people view Christians today - Full of hate, controlling as they say they are spreading the “love” of Jesus. All they are doing is spreading hate and a lack of respect for others.

  1. Aaradhya Devotion's Avatar Aaradhya Devotion

    Well if they have such a problem all the time and always going to the school board director to complain about how someone else's teaching their child I suppose maybe they should think about homeschooling so they can indoctrinate and there son into being against every freaking thing.

  1. Karen Markle Pittman's Avatar Karen Markle Pittman

    I believe this is just another example of parents worship of religion and politics over education and Christianity. If we only could demand adult education on the entire nation. Courses on facts, history that had not been altered, and lessons on how to respect others, which includes their religion. But most importantly focus on diversity which can hopefully remove fear.

    We HAVE to break the silence Karen Pittman

  1. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

    Parents gone crazy. Lawyers that indulge them.

    1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

      Education is learning about these things. Indoctrination is demanding they believe and practice those things. It's history with arts and crafts. I grew up where they did these things all the time. Did I become part of any one of those societies? Nope. Many people learn a great many different things. It doesn't mean they MUST follow those things. You learn, you think and compare, you choose. People who refuse to allow learning about other things are the ones indoctrinating others.

  1. Roland A. Brawner's Avatar Roland A. Brawner

    The 'title' of this article says students were "forced" to make this doll. They were ASKED. It should have been stated in the class that these were held in high esteem by the Hopi Indians, as to them, these are part of their religion. I can't think of any religion that does not have its' object(s) unique to their beliefs! It is good that young minds are made aware of these differences in people and their beliefs...this is one of our basic God given freedoms!

    1. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

      It's interesting that you talk about "God given freedoms" ( and I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume you're talking about the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob), yet ignore the fact that through the judeo- Christian scriptures, the ONLY insight we have to God's will, tells us at every turn when the subject is brought up that were not have nothing to do with Idols or idolatry.

      And if these kids were ASKED to make them, as in it was optional, what was the alternative project that could have been done to receive the same credit?

      And lastly, why is nobody shouting about separation of church/religion & state in THIS case? You could bet they would be if the students were "asked" to make Christian crosses.

    2. Mike's Avatar Mike

      Despite the bloody history of iconoclasm in Christianity, the Constructed Christian Religions still worship their sacred objects. The rosary and pietas of Roman Catholicism, the music of Bach in Lutheranism, the book of Methods in Methodism, and the American flag among evangelicals in this country. I pledge allegiance to whaaaaat? And of course the coup de grace, the bloody dead Jesus suspended on a cross. That's just gross.

      It just shows to go Yahweh that humans are genetically engineered to seek the Absolute through any means necessary.

      1. Adam Kahn's Avatar Adam Kahn

        Very well said, Rev. Mike.

        That's because modern Christianity is just using (mocking) the name of Jesus to achieve dark psycopathic goals of Jewish-Christian YHWH, when actually the real Jesus was fighting against all of that (John 8:44, Mathew 10:5-6). But Christians do not read the Bible, even less follow its regulations.

  1. MIKE's Avatar MIKE

    In truth, there us no such thing as a "false" religion.

    https://www.qcc.cuny.edu/socialsciences/ppecorino/phil_of_religion_text/CHAPTER_1_OVERVIEW/Religions.htm

    1. Mike's Avatar Mike

      Yeah, tell that to evangelicals. They even accuse other evangelical churches (mega-, large, mainstream, and house-) of being false based merely on differences of biblical interpretations.

      This was nailed home to me when a Southern Baptist pastor railed on about how the charisma of speaking in tongues is really demon possession. Pentecostalism is a false AND evil religion in his opinion.

      FYI: I was forced to attend that service at the Memphis Union Mission earlier this year. No churchie, no eatie.

  1. Dina Geracimos Wert's Avatar Dina Geracimos Wert

    As an longtime educator and administrator, the only question I have is regarding the instructional purpose for the activity. What educational purpose would there be to crafting a Kachina doll in an elementary classroom beyond a wood working objective? If the objective was to explore the Hopi culture, there could have been a choice of activities from which to choose to research and compare, contrast, question, create, etc. around not just "religious" beliefs, but food, housing, family and community structure, clothing, "jobs," etc. Not to mention, asking students to create something for which they have to purchase materials is discriminatory against students of poverty. Just sayin'....

  1. Charlene Davis's Avatar Charlene Davis

    Our people are not evil and those dolls are for traditional custom for healing, blessings, crops, and other origin of healing everybody and the Earth. If people started reading about our traditional ways and maybe you wouldn't be so confused attend a pow wow learn. Out of 304 indigenous American reservations except for the state of New Jersey because that's only recognized by the state not the government it's actually a concentration camp in which the US government appointed by former President Andrew Jackson AKA native killer made.

  1. Melaine Rae Thompson's Avatar Melaine Rae Thompson

    When I was in school we had to create our own Greek god/goddess complete with a background on them. It was to educate us about another culture as I am sure this teacher was trying to do. As for taking them home, what else was the teacher supposed to do with them, they are the kid’s art work. I would have kept it the same as the macaroni art.

  1. Steven Frederick Gordon's Avatar Steven Frederick Gordon

    I lived and worked in Tuba City, at the border of the Navajo and Hopi reservations.

    The Hopi would not have approved. Making Kachina dolls would probably be perceived as mocking their religion, but they're too polite to point out our insensitivity. If you want to give kids a flavor of what Hopi religion is about, consider teaching them to apologize to their food, including asking forgiveness of the plant before picking fruit.

    1. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

      Those seem like patronizing, 'Noble Savage' stereotypes. And not every tradition is 'religion'.

  1. Ronaldo's Avatar Ronaldo

    The Hebrew word translated as "graven image" meant "idol", something to be worshipped. If these kachina dolls are just art used to teach indigenous culture and history, and the students are not expected to worship them, then they are not graven images. If our courts decide that they are graven images even if not worshipped, then that decision would set the stage for all statues and paintings of Jesus, and all animals, must be removed, simply because they are images of something "in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea." In fact, to comply with the court decision, no images of people, landscapes, buildings, etc. would be permitted. That would definitely spell the doom of all art. It may also end television and movies.

    1. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

      Yes... and was correctly understood as such, until King James put his political spin on ancient writings.
      Both KJV and the Pauline epistles are the product of very 'unreliable narrators'.

  1. Rev. Kev's Avatar Rev. Kev

    I suppose I'm writing the obvious here when I say I can see a dividing line in the comments. There are those who are very dogmatic in their faith. Being absolutely certain their choice of faith is the one and only Truth. Their interpretation of scriptures (or that of their church hierarchy) is the one and only Truth.

    And that's cool. People have a right to their beliefs (as long as they practise them peacefully).

    Then there are those of other faiths, or who are a little more liberal in their Christian faith. More open to exposure to other ideas or beliefs. Less afraid that Satan is plotting to take their very soul to the bowels of Hell just for making or reading about a religious item from a different culture (which, BTW, would infer such items, culture, and people are evil in themselves).

    I'm a Universalist. Hence my participation in the ULC. I find it difficult to believe only one religion or organization or hierarchy bound by geography and time is the holder of the one and only Truth, and anyone outside of it is dooooooomed. That would automatically make a LOT of people doomed.

    The reality is that all people will never all be in the same church, temple, community, or synagogue, nor hold the same beliefs as everyone else. Any plan with the tacit prelude of "If only everyone..." is bound to fail. Because everyone won't.

    So it makes zero sense that, if there is some Higher Power or Big Plan, everyone needs to be on the exact, same page with the same group or theology. That is a plan made to fail before it starts. And makes that Higher Power seem not so competent.

    My view (and the view of many others) is that there are many paths to get to the peak of a mountain. Some are easy. Some more difficult. Some take a more direct approach. Some may go in all kinds of directions before getting there. It may take longer for some than others, but everyone gets there in the end.

    With the exception of some programs created just for making money or other self-serving reasons, most religions and philosophies have some, same, basic Truths. I think that's the important part. The basic foundation. Things like treating others like you want to be treated in the same circumstances. Compassion. Sharing with the elderly, sick, and needy. Promoting peace and community over war and division. Looking at most religions and philosophies, these ideas permeate throughout them all. Some to a greater extent than others. Often, we need to push through the cultural practises or the things tacked on by religious or political leaders for their own benefit to see it. It can be a rough schlog at times. On occasion, we can see religious leaders and thinkers who clearly teach these ideas. Probably some of the most well-known being Jesus, Lao Tzu, and the Buddha.

    The rest is cultural window dressing so that each group can relate to those truths in their own, unique way.

    I believe there is something of real value to be learned from other cultures and religions. So I see no problem with things like an introduction to NA ideas and beliefs. This is not to say that one needs to convert and begin practising those other religions. It may not appeal to some or be relatable. But maybe they can see useful and practical ideas that add to their own and can make their own lives happier and more fulfilled.

    I also believe that it is human fear that prevents such exploration and continued understanding into what may be a greater, more beautiful Plan than their current religious ideas propose.

    But...like....that's just my belief. I'm not claiming to be the arbiter of all that is true. I'm certainly not claiming to have all the answers. I can only speak from personal experience as a guy who started out as a VERY conservative, "I have the ONLY Truth" Eastern Orthodox presbyter. I don't think anyone has the full picture of things way above our limited, subjective, mortal lifespans. But I also think the only way to get a larger look at that picture is to get out of our comfort zones and see what other people see of that picture.

    1. Brien's Avatar Brien

      You speak well, so I will try to do the same. Here is the picture I see, the one that must change if our species is ever to progress. The few thousand year old beliefs in the mythical, fictional, and magical excuses to hate. Organized religious brainwashing has been responsible for the most horrific blood shed in the history of mankind. Used as an excuse to absolve horrible crimes of genocide because "God" ordered it. I will always battle all of these beliefs until the day comes that those "believers" step up and publicly admit that there beliefs are based on fear, control, and murder. I wanted to show you one picture. I too enjoy the ULC because there is hope here. Not everyone is brainwashed, at least not yet. Peace ✌️

  1. Robert Rohr's Avatar Robert Rohr

    Being formerly intimately involved in the Hopi culture and admitted to practice in its courts, I only see this teaching method as a way of educating students about another traditional culture in America. I did not see this as in any way promoting or advocating any religion. Don't we want to learn about other ways of life that have been in existence here for hundreds if not thousands of years? Doesn't mean we have to agree, but at least know how others view the world.

  1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

    Rev. MichaelRS,

    Perhaps you are a member of the Judeo-Christian congregation supported on CBN's website in favor of the Mutti parents? Or, at least sympathetic to Judeo-Christians because you keep specifying that group as if it somehow rates importance over others.

    Whatever the case may be, to conclude the original broader point, I think the CBN and Sar Shalom are two organized religions acting with malice toward indigenous people.

    Isn't it hypocritical to claim Jesus as savior while ignoring his teachings?

    So, bigotry toward indigenous people continues unabated, sanctioned by lawmakers yet again, amidst the world's voices calling for acceptance of diversity.

    Know that people like me move through life just as determinedly as bigoted religions with mega church business enterprises.

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    Hey Teacher leave the kids alone do they need to learn this.I don't think so

    1. Lori-Ann Neeb's Avatar Lori-Ann Neeb

      Apparently they do. Sounds like you have a lot to learn also.

  1. Adv Cherry Kushwaha's Avatar Adv Cherry Kushwaha

    Bible nowhere mentions about voodoism or any witch craft! Stop ashaming each religion

  1. Brien's Avatar Brien

    How many times must we be forced to deal with this issue? School is for reading, writing and arithmetic. But school has also decided that those subjects aren't good enough, so let's include some useless stuff and forget the rest. Parents have allowed the disintegration of the public education system. If you want culture to be taught, send YOUR children to private school. Now, why is that so hard to understand? Maybe because your problem solving skills were eroded by the educational system?

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    Has anyone seen flugo? It seems like he would have escaped from the home again by now, and found his phone. He hasn't been active on this blog for quite a while. He could have broken some bones the last time he fell off his barstool, and hasn't fully recovered yet. It takes a really long time for ancient bones to heal.

  1. Pamela J Manyfield's Avatar Pamela J Manyfield

    This is a bit of both. If the children knew nothing about what this doll is, then they have learned something. On the other hand to ask the children to make the doll , I have to ask WHY???? This falls into idolitry. What was the teacher's intent with making the dolls. Exodus 20:3-5KJV Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      That's only because that god of the bible is selfish, and doesn't want to share glory with those other gods who have rightfully earned it. That god ought to have his mouth washed out with soap, for claiming to be better than the rest of them.

      1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

        Amen, indeed. What almighty loving and forgiving god would be so petty and narrowminded?

        1. Adam Kahn's Avatar Adam Kahn

          That's correct.

          That "almighty" and "loving" Christian/Jewish G-d is actually a very sadistic and bloodthirsty demiurge (means, hierarchically lower than other Gods) with a very low self-esteem (therefore very jealous) and with too high ego, an active narcissistic psychopath, who chose and corrupted many of my people, to deceive and harm and enslave the entire world, as he wants.

          Jesus tried to stop it (John 8:44, Mathew 10:5-6, and Rev. 22:16 yet without the deceptive insert of the word "David"). His mother Mary was not Jewish, nor was His father, that means, Jesus was not Jewish, He was a Gentile (read His arguments and disputes with the Jewish pharisees), and as all Gentiles at His time Jesus was a Pagan.

          Later on Jesus was prosecuted ("for doing sorcery, worshipping idols, healing during Sabbath, and leading Jewish people astray" according to the Talmud) by the Jewish High Court of Sanhedrin (Synedrion) and stoned to death (read the Talmud), and all that was psychopathically blamed on Roman Pagans.

          Then the new religion was created, bearing (mocking) the name of Jesus, waiving with the Cross (Hebrew letter "tav" in this shape was presented as "Christian Cross" in VI AD). This new religion had one main purpose, while using His name, to enslave (re-read Mathew 10:5-6) Gentiles (Pagans, non-Jews).

          The catch was in the fact that in general the Goyem are dumb and do not read even their own books (leave alone the Talmud), and are uncapable of performing complex cognitive operations, particularly, most people cannot do systemic analysis and critical thinking. So, the idea with "Christianity" worked, slowly, but worked.

          So, now most people think that black is white and white is black, that sex is love and ignorance is strength, that tyrants are liberators and restrictions are freedom, they blame whoever (Nazis, Pagans, climate, guns, viruses, presidents, past, present, and each other, yet zealously protecting the real 2500-year old liars and evildoers) and people even fight each other for nothing more than... induced illusions, being completely blindfolded and deceived.

          What could go wrong.........

          1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

            The Biblical Archaeology Society has an reasonably objective article: "Was Jesus A Jew".

            It's easy enough to agree with some of what you've written, though some parts seem misinformed. That is possibly due to words of men with ulterior motives who use the bible for personal gain.

      2. Adam Kahn's Avatar Adam Kahn

        Correct.

  1. Helen Morrison's Avatar Helen Morrison

    Teacher could have chosen a different object for arts and crafts First Nations peoples made many beautiful, practical objects with little to no spiritual significance.

    Some people would say the act of turning another cultures' sacred object into your arts and crafts is the definition of Cultural Appropriation. It's just one step away from asking the children to create a comic book character and give them a superpower.

    Here's what I find curious - , these dolls were given to Hopi girls and young women to teach them about the Hopi gods and spirits – known as kachinas.

    WHY only girls and women? Are men forbidden to have this knowledge? Are they taught another way? Or is this just patronizing - girls can't just learn, they need toys to help them??

    1. James Marion Del Duca's Avatar James Marion Del Duca

      In Hopi culture men are initiated into the Kachina ceremonial society. They are active in presenting the ceremonies involving Kachinas and she that way. Women have their own societies. Gifting the dolls is one way to tie everything together. Also, in traditional Hopi society women own the home (through clan rights), and displaying the dolls in the home both ties everyone together (male and female) and teaches all the kids about what the Kachinas represent.

      The dolls are not worshipped as idols. They are valued and respected teaching tools. I speak from personal experience talking with Hopi people, being invited into their homes, attending their ceremonies, and living as neighbors.

      1. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

        Facts. Thank you.

      2. Adam Kahn's Avatar Adam Kahn

        That's very interesting insight and information, thank you so much for writing it for everybody, thank you Brother James!

        I won't say for the rest, but personally I do appreciate it.

        Hopi Pagan culture is another great example of a balanced approach to the world, to both mutually connected polarities (femenine and masculine, dark and light, et cetera), to both physical and spiritual, mysteriously yet comprehensibly intertwined, interconnected in all aspects. Beautiful!!

      3. Helen Morrison's Avatar Helen Morrison

        Thank you for explaining this.

  1. Karen Markle Pittman's Avatar Karen Markle Pittman

    I believe this is just another example of parents worship of religion and politics over education and Christianity. If we only could demand adult education on the entire nation. Courses on facts, history that had not been altered, and lessons on how to respect others, which includes their religion. But most importantly focus on diversity which can hopefully remove fear.

    We HAVE to break the silence Karen Pittman

  1. James Marion Del Duca's Avatar James Marion Del Duca

    The problem starts with the lesson. The wording is ll past tense as if the Hopi do not still exist and do not still create Kachina dolls. The second problem is cultural appropriation. Hopi carve and use Kachina dolls as a cultural practice. Did the school receive permission from any Hopi to borrow this practice? So...I have to agree with the parents on this one.

    A better lesson would have been something related to growing maize and vegetables in the desert, which the Hopi still do, and what an accomplishment that is as Indigenous agriculturalists. And how one of the Hopi villages (Oraibi) is the oldest continuously inhabited community in Arizona and possibly the entire USA. The Hopi are a very ancient people. Not a flashy lesson but still very meaningful and educational.

  1. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

    ========

  1. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

    It costs very little to file 'We're offended/Think of the children' frivolous lawsuits (often based on bearing false witness) and a lot more to defend against them. In today's social media driven world, it also allows instigators to make a tidy crowd sourced profit by crying outrage and victimhood. Courts are having to become more stringent in levying sanctions against blatant abuses of the process.

  1. Stephen Noel Hughes's Avatar Stephen Noel Hughes

    Insecure, imbecilic, childish value judgements. So afraid of everything, even the many faces and representations of God. These people appear to be rather fascist. Any beliefs or people other than theirs are lesser and to be judged as “bad”. Is that a “Christian value”? No. They’ve no place in any educational system anywhere. They’re dangerously biased and should be silenced.

  1. Doctor Loyal's Avatar Doctor Loyal

    I see no problem introducing diversity into a classroom, however, that shouldn't include actual "hands-on" crafting of religious affiliated devices, toys, etc. A discussion with a touchy-feely interface should be enough to introduce the subject as long as it doesn't include actual religious indoctrination. Take a look at the subject as taught in the 50s and 60s and even a neophyte classroom instructor or teacher should be able to grasp the concept.of introduction without indoctrination.

  1. Rev. Jim Sutton's Avatar Rev. Jim Sutton

    At least the teacher wasn't trying to hide the assignment. And I'm surprised that no call of "Cultural Appropriation" was sounded. To me, that would've been more effective than the non-existent "separation of church and state." Plus, would there have been the furor if the lesson had been done here in Arizona? To fully learn about a people and understand them, one must look at all aspects. And religion, or a belief system, IS an aspect. Otherwise, the education is incomplete and faulty.

  1. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

    I remember doing similar arts and crafts projects when I was in grade school, and learning about other cultures. I finished 6th grade in the Spring of 1969.

  1. Rev. Elizabeth's Avatar Rev. Elizabeth

    I see this as an educational tool. Many learn by reading and others by hands on. This isn’t an indoctrination into a different religion. It is learning their belief system. Everyone has a belief system and we would be smart to learn these beliefs and respect that they value theirs as we value ours. I have read the Quran, but that doesn’t mean I joined their religion. I have read others bibles as well as my Christian Bible. It is for me to learn people’s mindset, to understand them and to know what not to say to make them feel I may be attacking them. It is good to know all people so everyone can live in harmony. I commend the teacher teaching about the Hopi Nation. When I was in Seminary, we didn’t just study our Bible. We were encouraged to read other bibles so we can understand our neighbors. If anything was going on with their lives, understanding their beliefs, I can give that person assistance because I understand. I learned them and this opens doors for me to help more people. Look at this as a learning tool for your child. Don’t be in your child to discourage them. You should be teaching them to accept everyone no matter their beliefs. You want to be respected I’m sure. Others do too and what a wonderful education your child is getting. Don’t look at it in a negative situation but a positive situation. Good Bless that teacher. This teacher is a good teacher.

    1. Billy Heckstall's Avatar Billy Heckstall

      Well said. Thanks! I 100% agree… Peace

  1. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

    People keep making the ignorant point that these are not Idols or idle like objects of worship related to a Pagan religion.

    From a judeo-christian Christian point of view they are.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopi_Kachina_figure

    This is America. People are free to worship as they please and play as fast and loose with their soul as much as they want. However they should not be dragging others into that.

    The greatest trick Satan (or by whatever name you know the concept) ever played was convincing people he does not exist. The second greatest was convincing people that having anything to do with his dark plan is no big deal.

    A prime example of this is very early on in the Bible through the story, (whether you consider it fact or allegory does not matter) of his temptation of Eve in the Garden of Eden where he tells her that it's no big deal to take a bite of the "apple" because then she would be just like God and that would be all cool with God...and she falls for it.

    Through his scriptures God has forbidden us from dabbling in certain things. Not because he is mean and does not want us to have fun or whatever, but because he knows of the negative consequences that are out there.

    1. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

      But that whole 'not bear false witness' thing is what... optional? You are doing exactly what persecutors of Christians have done... assigning the evil in their own hearts to the 'others'.

      1. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

        Well that's a silly thing to throw out there without any evidence or explanation. Who am I bearing false witness against and what evil is there in my heart that I am projecting.

        When it comes to images of idolatry the evil is inherent in them they are gateways for demonic spirits to enter this realm and individuals associated with them. That is one of the reasons why in both the Jewish Bible and the Christian New Testament, combined with the Christians refer to as simply the bible, we are warned against having anything to do with them.

        It is a fact, and not a false witness, to say that the school, or maybe just the teacher without any knowledge of the school, ignorantly had a project where these idolatrous images were assigned to be made by children.

        But please, if you're going to throw out such accusations have some evidence and a particular example because one cannot really refute such vagaries

    2. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

      Rev. MichaelRS,

      "From a judeo-christian Christian point of view they are"

      Why would a judeo-christian Christian point of view be prioritized over other views?

      This is the catch. Organized religions want to be elevated above other religions. The special snowflake syndrome.

      1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

        This is not to split hairs or digress. There is a bigger point to make.

        A christian by the most simple definition is someone who accepts Jesus as their savior. Many faiths can choose to be christian in that way. However, Judeo-Christians are understood as Jews who believe in Jesus as their savior and converted to christianity, meaning they are no longer Jewish by orthodox standards.

        So, Jews 'for Jesus' do not reflect historical or present day orthodox Judaism. Orthodox Jews likely think different than I do, because I think we can each choose to believe what helps us become the best representation of our individual Self.

        Example:

        "SIX REASONS WHY JEWS DON'T BELIEVE IN JESUS

        No matter how many unusual & miraculous things Jesus seems to accomplish in the New Testament, he doesn't fulfill even one of the 6 criteria by which the Nation of Israel can recognize him as the true Jewish Messiah."

        "Historic Jewish Views on Christianity

        In its very earliest days, Christianity was seen by the Jewish teachers as a Jewish heresy; its adherents were Jews who believed in the divinity of Christ [and considered Christianity a Jewish sect]. But when Christianity spread and became a world religion, with numerous converts from the Gentile world, it became a rival religion to Judaism. Christians were then seen as Gentiles not because they were Christians but because, in the main, they were, in fact, Gentiles (i.e. not Jewish)."

        I think that the Jewish view of gentiles is interesting, considering Judaism came from Yahwism which worshipped multiple gods and goddesses. Could those gods and goddesses now be perceived as pagans? Maybe multiple gods and goddesses is okay for the Jews and no other faith? Who decides this?

        'True' Jews delineate between who is and is not a Jews.

        "Why Is Jewishness Matrilineal?

        The Code of Jewish Law clearly states that a child of a Jewish mother is Jewish, regardless of the father’s lineage (or whatever else may show up in a DNA test), while the child of a non-Jewish mother is not Jewish.1 Matrilineal descent has been a fundamental principle of Torah since the Jewish people came into existence."

        This opposes a more common view that bloodlines are followed through fathers.

        Details of the evolution from Yahweism to Judaism to Judeo-Christians is fascinating.

        My intent with sharing what I learned is that learning from various opposing sources helps distill as much truth and fact as possible from what they agree upon. Even then, so much information has been destroyed over time that we might actually be significantly left in the dark.

        Most agree Jesus may have been a real person. After that, what people believe splits in endless directions. The point trying to be made is that it is natural to believe what we want to believe, and unfortunately equally natural for more aggressive people to enforce what they believe over those of us who don't choose to think for ourselves.

        Now for the Kachina dolls.

      2. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

        Dang, this is so tedious. I don't mean the dialogue, I mean when I get a notification that there is a comment and I follow the link it only takes me to the whole thread. The tedious part comes in having to scroll through the whole thing trying to find it. It would be nice if the link was able take people to the specific comment. Anyway, to answer your question... .

        First, there's no point in having separate faiths if they're all the same. People should be practicing their faith because they believe it is the right or true path.

        And if one truly believes they are on the right or true path there is a natural sense of elevation there and you want others to come to that faith, to come to that path, as well. But all of THAT is NOT even the point here.

        The point here is that it is a matter of disrespect or lack of consideration for the teachings of a particular faith group for a school or teacher, or whoever is responsible, to have students make these images that are in direct opposition to the teachings of that (mainstream) faith group.

        1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

          Given the variety of differences, do you have a solution such that religions can respect each others sensitivites?

          1. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

            Yes, I do have a solution, and the solution is in your question. As far as readable just respect the other's sensitivities.

            What do I mean y as far as reasonable?

            Well, if you're a Muslim or a Jew and you join the military it might not be reasonable to expect that you won't have to fight on Saturday or pork is going to be totally absent from your meals.

            However, if one is the leader in a school setting, such as the subject of this thread, maybe one could take a deep breath and think a little bit before commencing projects that have religious overtones to them.

            1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

              The question I posed is actually unfair, because tenets, behavior, and actions of most organized religions do not allow respecting sensitivies of other religions. That can become pedagogical violence, yes?

              For one religion to be different from another requires creating disparities that really have no valuable substance when it comes to manifesting the best of human potential. Why not focus on the best of what we each share in common?

              Certain organized religions' self-preserving 'our way or no way' thinking muddies all manner of things, doesn't it?

              Why do some religious scholars study philosophies to improve critical thinking, while expecting the rest of us to do what they say rather than apply our own critical thinking abilities? I think, because it does not serve them and has little to do with Jesus, God, or gods.

              Obviously the Mutti parents don't want to conform to principles different from theirs. How can they reasonably expect the school, teacher, and other families to conform to theirs?

              I think learning we are different is naturally healthy. If not, wouldn't every human be damned if the most aggressive religions had their way?

              1. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

                Well, one can LEARN about anything. I don't know of any judeo-christian teaching that says you cannot hear or academically study what other people believe. It's not a matter of putting one's hands over one's ears and going "Nah nah nah nah nah." to shut out the rest of the world.

                The problem is, as it is here, participating in those practices. I can learn about Voodoo without having to strangle a chicken or make a voodoo doll. Just as those children could have learned about the pagan Indian beliefs without having made those dolls.

                So yeah it's not expecting the school or the teachers to conform to anyone's belief, it's a matter of the school and the teachers not pushing other beliefs on the students or families that don't have those same values.

              2. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

                When you say "judeo-christian", are you referring to Jews who converted to Christianity? Even if so, why does any religion or faith need to be specified for the purpose of this discussion?

                How is making a doll pushing a belief on anyone? I can't wrap my brain around the notion.

                Should all art and crafting be removed from public or private schools because that might directly or indirectly offend someone's sensitivities?

                While it would not bother me at all for certain organized religious art to be blasted to oblivion, isn't it fair - given life is generally unfair :.) - to consider religions or spiritual practitioners have as much right as any other entity to express their tenets in art and crafting?

                Doesn't a lesser known spiritual practice deserve attention as much as those of organized religions?

                The Sedlec Ossuary comes to mind. Supposedly built to utilize tens of thousands of bones that significantly amassed in cemeteries during the plague and other events. Maybe in part? A Russian historian explained many locals perceived this ossuary as an effort to instill terror in errant or lazy congregants. Yet it is a UNESCO site because of the architecture. I consider that deeply horrifying and stultifying. That is art and architecture I can certainly live without. Do I rage against it? No. Why? Because what other people tolerate is entirely out of my control and I would not want such control anyway.

                (Aside: How would Jesus view a church that desecrated graves to build a church with bones? Maybe he wouldn't care. Somehow I think he would. I think most people would.)

                Would this discussion be more brief if all religions and spiritual practitioners agreed to keep their art and crafting within the confines of their religious premises, kept publicly UNreknowned, so as not to risk offending any other religion?

                Is that a realistic possibility?

                I think offending other religions serves offenders, and those offenders like it that way.

                Again, historically and presently and directly and indirectly, organized religions shed more blood and create the most division among people throughout the world. They could easily be considered among the most aggressive leaders who creatively utilize division to strengthen their governing reach and deepening their pockets with tithing, favors, and gifting from lesser well-to-do parishioners. Forget those parishioners who have not much to give and give anyway... their voices are only heard at the top of when real, tangible atrocities are committed so blatantly that those cannot be ignored.

                Does making a spiritual representation of a doll do any of that? I think it has at least inspired these discussion, on ULC and elsewhere.
                So that much can be said. And all those thoughts should see the light of day. Truths don't choose where to shine their light. They just sit there as an entirely objective third party, showing us what is real and what is not if we choose to recognize what is obvious. What might the obvious be?

                As different as we each are, not a single one of us has any 'born right' whatsoever to tell anyone how to live their lives. We can choose to find ways to coexist, or not. Those who do are most immediately benefited in all manner of ways. Those who want to control other people are more often challenged with self-imposed struggles and grief, and of course there is the constant (unnecessary) fight to be above all others.

                Considering a particular religion led the way with God-approved, church-sanctioned genocides and destruction of cultures to have its way for mostly status and monetary gain, is the making of the doll in a school more offensive to organized religions? Or to children who have no idea about these supposedly mature conversations ad learn bigotry from less mature adults?

                By comparison, the efforts of the Mutti parents are entirely frivolous and made a poor attempt at self-aggrandizement because they seem to think what they prefer should prevail over what serves the most people best. Who do the Mutti parents keep seeking 15 minutes of fame? I think it is because they don't feel heard. Unfortunately, freedom of speech does not grant the right to be heard.

                I think the study of comparative religions and cultures is important to everyone who is not a bigot, who want to be accurately informed, don't want to live with blinders always on, or indulging in willful ignorance.

              3. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

                Well the term "judeo-christian" is a simple Wikipedia search I initially give up pretty good two or three sentence definition of it.

                And the kids were not instructed to make simple Indian dolls what they were instructed to make was religious figurines/idols

                Again you can simply search what Judaism and Christianity has to say about idols. The short version is, you're do have nothing to do with them.

                I don't see what the problem is wrapping your mind around the tenant of that belief.

                Then you move outside of the realm of making religious articles to talking about making a simple arts and crafts talking about directly versus indirectly. Well there's a big difference in all of that.

                Here we're talking about something very specific that does directly offend a large portion of the populations deeply held religious convictions. And that thing we're talking about is having children making idols.

                You further go into subjects that have nothing to do with the issue; yes religions have the right to express their beliefs in arts and crafts that their practitioners take part of. They do not have the right to have others that do not share those beliefs to take part in those religious arts and crafts.

                So yes, those Indians that still adhere to Pagan religious practices are perfectly free to do that. But if any of them are calling themselves any kind of christian, that is a grand every Christian teaching on the subject.

                At the same token they don't have the right to require non-practitioner of those Pagan rituals to participate in them, such as by making idols.

                Then you want to conflate the sins of all the men over the centuries committed they call themselves Christians. Yes, you can call it Satan or the devil or the Dark Force or whatever you want but evil works on the hearts of men, even Christians, and it's often a struggle to resist it. No argument there.

                But you don't exacerbate the issue by, what is from a Christian perspective, making dolls/Idol that are spiritually unsound from the point of view of judeo-Christian teaching.

                As I've said before, very clearly the study of other faiths is not at all prohibited in judeo-christian teachings. However engaging in the practices of those faiths are prohibited.

                Lastly, I would respectfully suggest that you take your own advice that you put forth in the last paragraph.

                The subject of this thread is one of the major tenants or philosophies of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The fact that you are not aware of it or misunderstand it to the degree that you do seems to be a result of all those negative characteristics that you you outlined in that paragraph and would put on others.

        2. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

          If you are looking for replies to your posts, try using the browser's 'find on this page' feature to locate your name. Select the up or down arrow on your keyboard or in the search field (where you typed your name) to move through posts more quickly.

        3. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

          Rev. MichaelRS , regarding your comment: "And the kids were not instructed to make simple Indian dolls what they were instructed to make was religious figurines/idols"

          Isn't it important not to conflate understandings of our language with a different language? What you or I might call a God or god, has only spiritual and elemental representations and implications to indigenous people in general, not only in North America. When what is important to indigenous people about life and living is described to us, it has been historically written in old letters and reports. We apply our understanding of words from our language and think, "oh, that's like our God (or gods)". Misunderstandings follow misnomers, don't they?

          As far as I am aware, there is not one indigenous group of people in North America who will agree their spiritual practices are a religion because their practices are strictly spiritual and elemental, grounded in all of nature. Their practices are not always the same between groups, therefore not organized as religions often are. In no way have I found any indication that the indigenous people in North America practiced a religion that was not introduced and often forced upon them.

          As a friend explained, kachina dolls teach life lessons. self-discovery, independent decision making, importance of following directions, useful interdependencies, and critical thinking. Eventually the children find out kachina dolls are only dolls representing spirits and a means of understanding how life works. The children learn important personal growth lessons, and might later remember the dolls as reminders of lessons learned. Any history that might have be imparted with the making of the dolls, cannot possibly by any stretch of imagination be confused with representing idols or any religion.

          In my opinion, kachina dolls are similar to contemplating Plato's Allegory.

          Tough somewhat of a stretch, learning life lessons might come from Barbie and Ken dolls. Gremlin dolls. The Cabbage Patch Kids dolls. Etcetera.

          I feel very strongly that everyone can have spiritual moments entirely free of religion. And anyone who practices organized religion can feel spiritual. The two are not mutually exclusive.

          For fun I looked up definitions of religion and found these two:

          "the belief in and worship of a superhuman power or powers, especially a God or gods. ideas about the relationship between science and religion"

          I thought ideas about the relationship(s) between science and religion are most beneficially discussed as philosophies, because it is a fact that no religion - organized or not - can consider all possible views to be valid for their purposes because some of those are likely to be offensive to someone.

          Pretending to partake of Christ's body and blood with bread and wine is abominable. It's creepy and reminds me of cannibalism.

          "the service and worship of God or the supernatural. b. : belief in or devotion to religious faith or observance"

          In this definition, I think 'supernatural' is a misused word because - in the English language - that might be called magic, belief without substance, or simply not having found an explanation for what is not yet understood.

          How self-proclaimed authorities manipulate words is an art.

          Strong emotions rise within most (all?) of us when experiencing the deep strengthening powers of nature. So it's easy to see how between languages, when there is not a word to describe what we feel, we tend to choose one anyway regardless of the confusion that might cause for other people.

          The gist of this discussion about Kachina dolls, is the Mutti parents seem not to have looked further than their personal sphere of influences to understand what kachina dolls represent. The Mutti parents, and others, assumed much without also assuming responsibility for their ignorance. While I think the Mutti family doesn't need to look farther than they are willing, I don't need to allow anyone's limited thinking to become mine.

          1. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

            Well it really doesn't matter if the Indians call what they are doing a religion or not. Their practice of venerating these spirits and other things makes it a religion (or as Senator McCain said, "Call it a banana if you want to") from the Western point of view. So it boils down to the same thing.

            And then I'm going to jump right to one point that you said that the dolls represent spirits.

            Dolls representing spirits are demonic from a scriptural Christian point of view.

            If I was a teacher or school district and we were approaching Christmas or Easter I would not have Muslim or Jewish children make some sort of Christian Christmas symbols. I would find another project for them to do.

            Or if at the class about culture and comparative religions you can teach the information on how these people do things without having the students participate in the rituals or practices.

            I truly believe that you mean well as you went through the lengthy explanation of how benign those dolls are.

            But no few Christian groups would look at that and say,

            "Well that's what Satan wants you to think. it's just benign, so it's okay. Just like all the cajoling he did in the Garden of Eden to get Eve to bite the Apple."

            Now I don't want to get into a big thing over that because obviously you have some people that think that the Bible is history and others that think it's allegory and others that think it's a mix of the two. I'm in the mix crowd. But regardless that is THEIR position on the subject.

            What I can't figure out is why it's soooo important to so many people here that Muttis violate THEIR faith principles over this. Again, from certain Christian perspective, some might say that also is Satan at work.

            1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

              Thank you for your patronizing condescension? <3

        4. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

          @Rev. MichaelRS

          On cathdal dot org are: Symbols of the Holy Spirit

          On bnaimitzvahacademy dot com jewish-symbols-for-judaism are: The 25 Most Significant Jewish Symbols Explained

          On stjudasmaccabaeus dot wordpress dot com are supposedly Judeo-Christian (I would not know): Religious Symbols

          I've seen some of these religious symbols in public schools, stores, decorations, advertisements, at work, on toys, clothing, calendars, and definitely in art and art classes. Agreed, some venues are more or less okay with that, though I would argue that is because of narcissistic, and possibly sociopathic, bigoted tyrants. "If it doesn't serve me as I want to be served, to h-ll with it."

          Isn't it true, that what law takes from one of us, can be taken from all of us? Something to consider, yes?

        5. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

          Comment removed by user.

  1. Traci Googins's Avatar Traci Googins

    Public school are so overrated and now more dangerous than ever....no matter what the curriculum, someone is going to complain. So, my thought is..... HOMESCHOOLING!! As parents, if we were to all join together and start homeschooling, then the public school system would fall apart and we could all teach our own children during their vulnerable ages. Even if we just did away with grade school and keep our children home until they were old enough to understand what is going on around them. I homeschool my granddaughter and it's the best decision we could have made, she is blossoming so well with her wild imagination and there is no one on the sidelines holding her back. The government and the schools are ruining our children.....STAND UP AND TAKE CHARGE AND SAVE THE CHILDREN FROM ALL THIS HATE IN THE WORLD. GOD BLESS US ALL Rev. Traci Googins

  1. Thomas Edwin Peterson's Avatar Thomas Edwin Peterson

    Exercises to learn about such things that have been around for millennia doesn't seem bad if they aren't required to worship the entity. In fact I just downloaded the handout to use as a crafts project. Since retirement I do such things to break the monotony occasionally. Also I respect people of the various tribes / cultures of our country.

  1. Billy Heckstall's Avatar Billy Heckstall

    To teach is a great honor, and no limits should be placed upon the giving and length of that knowledge. If a teacher’s syllabus is to cover the culture of other human beings, I see no wrong it that. As long as the students are not forced to believe or practice in someone else faith contrary to their own upbringing. There are many advantages to knowing other cultural beliefs, it has aided many in times of war and survival. As I’m sure a troop of American soldiers, who survived being over run in Korea would agree. Thanks only to a Teacher of American History. Whose education lead him to remember a survival method, used by the natives of America to survive an attack. When surrounded by American troops. Allow them to prevail. In all strong faiths, it is necessary to know the truths for others. Their faith, their lives. Least we will always remain strangers and worst enemies. For all over the world I have found, and throughout history; mankind has always believed in something greater than himself. We must Learn of them; so we might recognize them when they are sometimes secretly imposed into your lives ti measure how they might benefit us, or not. Otherwise, we walk blindly through this life…Always allow ourselves, as well as, your children to live in darkness, in which case, how can we lead. Always, always we must be willing to try on a new pair of glasses. Bring a brighter light into the world. Jesus was noted for being among unfavorable companions, as well as teachings, and apparently he grew and was able to reach others through those experiences. I say, always FOLLOW the master…

  1. JaZe's Avatar JaZe

    Why shouldnt children learn about different cultures? They do in many other countries. Why are these parents so close minded?

  1. Richard Lee Cornell's Avatar Richard Lee Cornell

    Miss my days of making Voodoo dolls. Then there were the dolls made out of snow and ice. Every child has done that.That is every normal child does them. Christian children are not consider normal.

  1. Minister Raymond Butterworth's Avatar Minister Raymond Butterworth

    As a Christian minister, it saddens me to see people using Christianity to start trouble from something so mundane. These people are seeking attention and money. Wanting to get their names in the news and create an issue to sue over and get some money. I am praying for all involved to realize that this is not the way the word of God is to be used. So many people use Christianity as a shield so they can spew hate from their hearts and for greed. My advice to those lost souls is to read the Bible and pay heed to what it says. You only have one life to get yourself prepared to enter the kingdom of heaven and the next hour is not promised, so use your time wisely.

  1. Tammy S Gardner's Avatar Tammy S Gardner

    I am half Native American but I worship my God. I love learning about different cultures and learning their languages. Am I missing something when I say I see it as learning about another culture. I think an idol would only have the power thaat one gives it. I do not believe the children making dolls to make the lessons about another culture more real is an attempt to change their faith. It helps to understand the culture and their way of thought but one does not have to agree or adapt another cultures ways.I doubt if anyone was forced to make dolls. Children love to do creative things. Maybe a choice should have been given as to taking the dolls home or leaving them there but it does not chance the Indian cultural beliefs. I do not think the teacher meant to change anyone's religion but wanted to make Indian history real to the children in a constructive way. I can tell others about my religion and still respect theirs even if I do not believe in it. Knowing the differences does help relate to people in a stronger way. Sometimes knowing the differences can make the difference between insulting someone and/or being able to reach out to them and then offer them your views on the matter. Neither side has to change religion but it helps people get along in other areas by knowing you cn be different and still be accepted.

  1. Tammy S Gardner's Avatar Tammy S Gardner

    I am half Native American but I worship my God. I love learning about different cultures and learning their languages. Am I missing something when I say I see it as learning about another culture. I think an idol would only have the power thaat one gives it. I do not believe the children making dolls to make the lessons about another culture more real is an attempt to change their faith. It helps to understand the culture and their way of thought but one does not have to agree or adapt another cultures ways.I doubt if anyone was forced to make dolls. Children love to do creative things. Maybe a choice should have been given as to taking the dolls home or leaving them there but it does not chance the Indian cultural beliefs. I do not think the teacher meant to change anyone's religion but wanted to make Indian history real to the children in a constructive way. I can tell others about my religion and still respect theirs even if I do not believe in it. Knowing the differences does help relate to people in a stronger way. Sometimes knowing the differences can make the difference between insulting someone and/or being able to reach out to them and then offer them your views on the matter. Neither side has to change religion but it helps people get along in other areas by knowing you cn be different and still be accepted.

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