Thursday, June 25, 2009

Supreme Court Ruling on School Search

If we disregard the rights of children, we teach them not to regard the rights of other human beings as we undermine our own humanity. However, qualifying factors determine the protection of any right. None is absolute.

On the other hand, the strip search of this young woman clearly violated her human rights because the violation of her privacy outweighed any danger to her or other students. The search was out of proportion of any harm the victim might have caused or might cause. The problem was the lack of prudence school officials exhibited. They acted against the victim without forethought and proportion.

These school officials acted in an unprofessional, unreasonable, and thoughtless way. However, financial penalties might not be fair because of the climate of control that dominates our thinking about school. In some ways, our schools are little prisons, not civilized communities. We make our school administrators wardens rather than educators.

Criticism of Justice Thomas might be in order, but the man is intelligent and thoughtful. He is not the caricature his critics often make him out to be. I dislike him and have, I confess, little respect for him or his views, but the attacks on him seem excessive.

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In this my personal Christian blog, I hope to be discursive and now and then critical. What I write here is tentative and tensive. I post thoughts, feelings, and observations somewhat randomly and often in immediate response to current events and posts on other blogs.

"Serendipitous Creativity" from Gordon Kaufman

"I suggested that what we today should regard as God is the ongoing creativity in the universe - the bringing (or coming) into being of what is genuinely new, something transformative; …

"In some respects and some degrees this creativity is apparently happening continuously, in and through the processes or activities or events around us and within us(…) is a profound mystery to us humans(…) But on the whole, as we look back on the long and often painful developments that slowly brought human life and our complex human worlds into being, we cannot but regard this creativity as serendipitous …

"I want to stress that this serendipitous creativity - God! - to which we should be responsive is not the private possession of any of the many particular religious faiths or systems …

"This profound mystery of creativity is manifest in and through the overall human bio-historical evolution and development everywhere on the planet; and it continues to show itself throughout the entire human project, no matter what may be the particular religious and or cultural beliefs."

Gordon Kaufman, Mennonite Life, December 2005 vol. 60 no. 4

Melville is a rational man who

"Melville is a rational man who wants God to exist. He wants Him to exist for the same reasons we all do: to be our rescuer and appreciator, to act as a confidant in our moments of crisis and to give us reassurance that, over the horizon of our deaths, we will survive." (John Updike)

And that is a problem for me.

Fragmented Notions

Fragmented Notions
Copyright © 2007 Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt University

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