Morality Woes

Novinite Insider » EDITORIAL | Author: By Alex Bivol |April 4, 2007, Wednesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 32
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Bulgaria: Morality Woes Photo by Yuliana Nikolova (Sofia Photo Agency)

We're in the last week of lent, the week when Christians commemorate the passions of Christ, his crucifixion and resurrection.

It's one of those times when religion, usually relegated to a secondary and tertiary role in the hectic lives we lead nowadays, steps back to the front.

Even people who are by no means religious for the rest of the year often use this week to "get in touch with the divine."

Fine, Bulgaria is a free country and its constitution grants the right to freely exercise one's religious beliefs.

But the proposal to introduce a class about religion, even as an optional one, which enjoys serious support according to one poll, is a step in a dangerous direction.

The separation of the church and state is a cornerstone of the modern society. �Modern" not necessarily as "contemporary," more like secular, which keeps religion out of politics and education, which is aware of diverse and competing points of view.

Now that very cornerstone is being taken out. Give in a little and next you know, you'll hear demands for creationism to be taught on equal terms, or instead even, of the evolutionary theory.

Furthermore, it is doubtful anyone can draw a syllabus of teaching about religions that would satisfy all the representatives of said religions. All in all, a can of worms better left unopened.

Finally, what bothers me personally is the reason why the respondents of the survey support the idea.

"Such a class could help check juvenile delinquency, aggression and drugs use."

Isn't that part of raising your kid, the job description of a parent? It's a pretty sad state the society finds itself in, if Bulgarians would pass their parental responsibilities on to the state, rather than do it themselves.
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» To the forumComments (32)
#32
JosephU - 7 Apr 2007 // 10:36:14

In reply to a statement by:
Author: viking6 Apr 2007 15:07:49
"That is all just "Faith" on your part and not fact.

According to God,
faith is very important:

Galatians 3:11
... The righteous will live by faith.

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God,
because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists
and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

#31
JosephU - 7 Apr 2007 // 10:24:12

Regarding several comments by : Author: Devil's Advocate 6 Apr 2007 15:33:06

1.)
"I am glad you have faith ... I ask that you learn to be respectful and keep your faith to yourself"

DA, you want respect for your faith and beliefs, but you also want to censor other's faith and beliefs ... that is not very respectful.
God tells us;

Romans 13:7
Give everyone what you owe him:
If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue;
if respect, then respect;..."

2.)
"You have not differentiated yourself from extremists who use religious books to excuse their bad behavior."

I do not know what all the other religious books say, but my religious book, The Bible, tells me to:

Psalm 34:14
Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

Amos 5:15
Hate evil, love good;
maintain justice in the courts. ...

3 John 1:11
Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good.
Anyone who does what is good is from God. ...

3.)
"Not all answers for every person are in the Bible."

Answers that teach us, encourage us, and give us hope
are in the Bible:

Romans 15:4
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us,
so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures
we might have hope.

4.)
"I know that different portions of the book where written at different times, but the last time it was TRANSLATED (interpreted) was almost 400 years ago."

A newer Engish translation I use is:
The New International Version (NIV),
Copyright В© 1973, 1978, 1984 and is available on-line at:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=1&chapter=1&version=31&context=chapter

Other versions are also available at http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/
. . . including the
1940 Bulgarian Bible: http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/index.php?action=getVersionInfo&vid=82&lang=26
В© Copyright 1995-2007
Битие 1:1
В начало Бог създаде небето и земята.

(NIV) Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

#30
Bloke from Alrewas off the A38 - 7 Apr 2007 // 08:09:34

DA,

You needn't apologise at all for slagging off colonialism. I abhor colonialism and that's something that has been banded about as a black mark on the very face of English history!

I am not an apologist for the Empire - I just spit on it... unreservedly so! The despicable acts of the Empire are there to be learned from and the perpetrators of those heinous colonial crimes should be pilloried throughout the history annals!

That applies to all colonialists, though. It was NOT just Blighty that colonised - don't forget our Froggy bastard mates along with the Portugeezers, Spaniards, Krauts, Eye-ties, and the Hollanders as well! They are all equaly guilty as sin for pillaging and destroying lands that they had no right whatsoever to occupy. Of course, they never assimilated into the local cultures - they merely imposed their bastard cultures and for that they should be pilloried from here to eternity!

Having said that, any suggestions of present-day reparations and other tokenism schemes are nothing short of grand-standing on the claimants' part! Yes, all that happened years ago but we had Norman Viking, Anglo-Saxon, Jutes, as well as Roman invaders in our country many moons ago. Yeah, all these drongoes who invaded us were tossers but it happened! Shit happens! You learn to live with it! Life goes on! It gets better!

The fact is we were the first country to abolish slavery and we helped eradicate Nazism for which the bleeding Europeans have never properly thanked us. For that very reason among many more, I have to wonder... WAS IT REALLY AND TRULY WORTH THE EXPENDITURE????

Stevie

#29
Bloke from Alrewas off the A38 - 7 Apr 2007 // 07:21:42

Dear DISPLACED PTERODACTYL,

First and foremost, Happy Easter to you! I hope you had a reasonably tolerable Good Friday!

Secondly, Dubya is nothing more than an illiterate tyrant still grappling with the fundamentals of the English (or American) language who wears a quasi-religious veil that the masses buy into as though it were a marketing microchip from outta space. Well done, rednecks!

Dubya is a sick Mongoloid megalomaniac and he should be tried at the Hague along with his lover, our twat of a PM, Mr. 'Tone' 'Blairaq'. The war in Mesopotamia is about oil, it's costing the English taxpayer an arm and a leg whilst being of no benefit whatsoever to our nation.

Instead of having the cream of our military crop manning our borders and pulverising bloody foreigners who set foot on our soil they are dying like fleas at the hands of friendly fire from Dubya's incompetent drongoes in ol' Mesopotamia who have been attacked illegally - end of story!

Our soldiers belong at our frontiers with grenades in their hands and then we would not have busloads of Europeans invading us and pillaging... and raping the knickers out of our great nation! We have no business 'helping' Mesopotamians 'install' so-called 'democracy'. We have no business colonising other lands and telling them what to do same way as no foreigners have a right to be here!

Dubya has stained the star-spangled banner and his orangutang-like countenance is the bane of humanity!

#28
Devil's Advocate - 7 Apr 2007 // 01:28:41

Speaking of religion, this was kind of funny...Happy Easter, all...

From the Associated Press, a Palm Sunday service in Port Richey was interrupted by a booming voice, but it definitely wasn't God. Father Gregory Andrews started Sunday's Mass outside St. James the Apostle Catholic Church. After finishing the Blessing of the Palms, the congregation headed inside. As parishioners sang hymns, a voice cut in through the church's sound system, saying "Yo, Homey," followed by several expletives. Apparently, teens hanging out at a gazebo near the church had found the live microphone used during the first part of the service. A group of men from the church went outside and chased the boys before deputies arrived. So far, no one has been charged, but the sheriff's office is referring the matter to the state attorney's office for possible charges of disorderly conduct, trespassing or disrupting a lawful assembly.

#27
Devil's Advocate - 6 Apr 2007 // 22:30:37

DP,
Actually I don’t remember you voicing support of the war in Iraq. IT is my opinion that the US is there because 1) Bush Jr. wanted revenge for his father and 2) Bush, a well known former alcoholic and drug abuser latched on to religion to get himself clean. It worked for him and has kept him clean, but it has also led to an underlying motivation/fanaticism to all he has done since- including starting a war with a country that had no weapons of mass destruction but was a country that believed in a different religion. Now that we are there we have to stay there, but we did not need nor have to go there. Again, that is just my opinion.

In regards to politics and religion, well to start with the US’s First Amendment is a direct reaction to it. The people in the colonies where tired of the British (sorry guys) Royalty telling them what they could and could not believe. When the “founding fathers” sat down to write the constitution they made sure to allow for the freedom of religion and the separation of church and state in order to insure the freedom. I think it is more of a reaction against Totalitarianism then solely communism.

#26
DP - 6 Apr 2007 // 22:10:01

DA,

I don’t think that there are plenty of instances that back my belief, for there was never such an experiment as communism throughout history. It was the most ambitious, grandiose ideological coup and a monumental failure still hard to understand or appreciate to some.

I would sound less than truthful if I let your remark about Bush go by. I do not see Bush as a religious fanatic, and I do not see him as a phony. I support the war in Iraq and have made it clear on this forum; so I wonder why you bother mention it. Maybe I am wrong to think that you remember, and if so, I apologize for saying this.

Anyway, thanks for your compliments :-) !

#25
Devil's Advocate - 6 Apr 2007 // 21:23:35

DP,
I have found your incite to religion to be very fascinating. You said: "Let people find their way back to religion without state interference, give people time to develop as individuals and shed old habits of dependency on the state versa the family." There are plenty of instances though out ALL of history to back up this theory- not limited to only communist history. With regards to religion, no one way is the ultimate correct right way for everyone. It is an individual endeavor. Besides as soon as you mix religion with state issue you get one sticky situation- just look at the (pardon my French...) cluster f*ck that GWB got the US into all under the guise of his religious fanaticism...;-P

#24
DP - 6 Apr 2007 // 21:14:11

CreepyS:“But to get back to the initial topic, please see the last post in the thread, people say its not such a bad idea to teach a course on world religions at school.”

I think that it is not a bad idea to teach a course on world religions, only, this is not what the question was, as I understood it. I was never though “verouchenie”, but I think that this is the proposal. As far as I know it was thought by priests. Frankly, I am not comfortable with this idea—it smacks to me as a replacement of the old �political information classes’—indoctrination in the religion of communism. Let people find their way back to religion without state interference, give people time to develop as individuals and shed old habits of dependency on the state versa the family. This is my opinion on the introduction of “verouchenie” in BG schools. Separation of Church and State—maybe I got used to that and I like it.

Wishing you a very Happy Easter, CS, and to all! :-)

#23
Kolega - 6 Apr 2007 // 19:30:37

"It's a pretty sad state the society finds itself in, if Bulgarians would pass their parental responsibilities on to the state, rather than do it themselves."

This is just funny!
IF?
We Bulgarians have been passing our parental responsibilities to the State for the last 60 year - it's almost a tradition now!
To say that "if Bulgarians would pass it to the State" is pretty ridiculous.

I grew up in day cares, after school programs, summer camps, - almost like a guest in my house.
Guess what - I still argue with my friends in BG that parenting your children yourself is the best option - most are convinced that if they raise their children themselves, somehow the kids will become "un socialized" and will have problems in life....

We rely on the state for everything - health care, retirement, education, why not raising our children?

#22
CreepyS - 6 Apr 2007 // 18:35:47

DP,

Oh, it must be because I dont like so much ice cream - didnt know it had such positive effect on the human beings;) Of course, religion makes one stronger and happier no matter what. But to get back to the initial topic, please see the last post in the thread, people say its not such a bad idea to teach a course on world religions at school.

By the way, Happy Easter, DP, and everyone!;)

#21
DP - 6 Apr 2007 // 18:25:10

CreepyS: “Many people go to church and perform some religious rituals from time to time but this is more like an occasional therapy, nothing to do with the everyday discipline and the depth of feeling the religious people imposed on themselves before. This is an amateur religion where every individual picks up what he or she likes and Pope Benedict says its not really what the religion is about;)”

About the computability of religion and science there is more places/religious teachings where you can find amazing references to concepts central in modern theoretical studies in physics. As far as religion goes I do not understand what you mean by “amateur religion” and Pope Benedict, being the spiritual leader of the Catholics, is not my guide ;).

“Maybe strictly speaking its not religion at all, just a religious icecream to decorate your identity as you say.”

I did not say, and most importantly, I do not believe in religious icecreams and using religion for “decorative purposes” for I have nothing to gain of such an empty headed delusional behaviour, waste of life. To me religion is very important: it provides nourishment for the spirit, makes you feel good, and uplifts you. This was the meaning of the comparison I used. But, of course, you knew that…..:-)

#20
CreepyS - 6 Apr 2007 // 17:46:47

Look what Ive found - a study says courses on world religions in public schools do no harm and increase mutual tolerance and knowledge abour religions. So the answer of the question whether or not optional courses are useful in BG schools is yes.

http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/commentary.aspx?id=16884

the first study of the effects on students of in-depth treatment of religion in a public school.

After the course, students were more likely to support religious liberty for all religious groups. On a more personal level, the study shows the course increased the likelihood that a student would defend a fellow student whose religious beliefs were insulted.

the survey tested what students learned about the religions covered in class. Average scores on these questions went from 37% correct before the course to 66% after; these gains persisted several months after the course ended.

One of the more intriguing findings concerns student attitudes about similarities among religions. Before the course, 45% of students agreed with the statement that “all religions share the same basic moral values.” After the course, that number rose to 63%.

#19
Devil's Advocate - 6 Apr 2007 // 16:44:13

William Wohlhieter,
I forgot to appropriately address the message topic to you since you want to get personal and be on a first-name basis you stalker you!
:-P

#18
CreepyS - 6 Apr 2007 // 16:26:57

So yeah, if people feel they are free to teach their children some personalized version of their religion at home, why not allow some qualified people to be able to teach the official version at school - if someone shows up at all in their classes, of course.

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