Thursday, November 10, 2005

Striking Back

That's right folks, now your kids will have to go to Church five days a week in Glynn County. This is the school system that requires our kids to attend assemblies where they are urged to become born again. You can read all about it here. One step forward, two steps back.

But here's my contention, especially after listening to this 'put God back in schools' nonsense on the radio on my way to work this morning.

We've lost this battle because we've been fighting it wrong. This goes for all us liberals and libertarians out there who realize that, in a plural society, the way you worship may not be the way I worship, if we choose to worship at all. For too long, we have waged a battle that can be too easily spun as a battle against God. That wasn't what we were doing at all, but we never responded adequately to the questions. These people who are for putting prayer in schools don't want students to have the option of prayer, the option of faith, they want to ram it down everyone's throats.

Well that's fine, culture warriors. This is one battle you will lose in the long run.

Remember what I said about all those "non-offensive" laws being written to protect Christian baby-darlins against what I was in high school (long hair, horn-throwing, steel toed boot and black trenchcoat wearing iconoclast)? Well it's time they remembered why.

When they do make this happen, I say let em. The backlash it inspires, if handled correctly, is always better than taking the First Amendment for granted. It will solidify those non-evangelicals and non-practicing into a vocal and thinking minority. Right now, we are seen as enemies of God even though we are not. Well, they are about to be seen as what they are: enemies of America.

When the School Board comes into a classroom and puts up the "In God We Trust" on the walls, there are three ways to respond, IMHO:

1. The Principled Opposition: Cover that sign with a homemade sign that is the text of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. See if the school board makes you take that down, and see how they explain that to the public.

2. The All-Inclusive Opposition: Next to the "In God We Trust" sign, put up a copy of the First Amendment, put up a copy of the "Give unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's and Give Unto God what is God's" verse. Put up "In God We Trust" in Hebrew, put up "there is no god but God" in Arabic, "Ad Astra Per Aspera," just cover the walls in whatever text from every religion says "In God We Trust," and when asked why, say you were just 'covering all the bases.'

3. The Iconoclastic Opposition: In order to fall in line with our new scholastic fatwah, we must have the words "In God We Trust" hanging from the classroom walls. Go buy a poster that is a replica of a $100 bill. Hang it up, front and center. The words "In God We Trust" will be prominent. The meaning behind this symbolism is wild and varied, but you are in line with school policy.

Next Up When they have this inch and decide to take another mile, they will start encouraging children to lead classes in prayer. My suggestion, for all those kids and teachers who don't want to go along with it, it to memorize and speak, loudly and clearly, the words to the First Amendment. Start loudly at first with "Congress Shall Make No Law."


patsbrother said...

Personally, while I would like you, paT, to procure for me certain addresses of school officials so that this Thanksgiving I may register my disapproval in letter form, I see this as more annoyance than real concern. (If) It is, after all, the national motto. It would seem to be counterintuitive to ban the national motto from American public schools.

It is unclear from the article whether the superintendant sought permission to put these up in certain classrooms or in all classrooms. Even if it were all classrooms, such action would not be unreasonable per se. However, there is the matter of individual teachers, and woe to the superintendent who messes with a teacher's walls. If the superintendant asked so that teachers like Mrs. Wheeler would have permission to put up the motto at their choosing, then thank you for asking, sir. That was nice of you. I will give the superintendant the benefit of the doubt that he is not action in bad faith. (My opinion would likely change were there more information here; Christian imagery woven into the sign would defintely do it.)

I suppose my real concern regarding religion and schools does not involve nondescript placards on walls. It is the mandated expectation of adherence when a teacher takes the pulpit. I admit, that last statement does seem a bit hyperbolic. I will leave you with this:

I remember my second grade teacher fondly. However, my memory includes standing in line at the door to leave the classroom, the lights off, the sun coming in the windows, and being told to bow my head and and recite the Lord's Prayer before we could go to lunch. It wasn't optional. It was a condition. We wouldn't go until we got this done, together. It was the same thing I recited to my father every night before going to bed, yet there was a difference: I asked my father to come hear my prayers. I cannot say for certain my seven-year-old brain registered anything but adaptation standing in that line. Perhaps I have since created the following impression. I didn't/don't like that it was something I had to do.

patsbrother said...

And to follow up on paT's post: another Pat, with some of his own really real issues to add...

Buzzzbee said...

I guess when it comes right down to it, I'd rather have that sheenan chick on my side than Pat Roberson. He must be the most ungodly, man of god I have ever seen.

Dante said...

buzzzbee, it's been DAYS since anyone mentioned Sheehan. I was hoping she'd be gone for good.

I'd rather have Robertson. Sheehan just whines and complains. Robertson is gonna kill us a Commie Dictator with his top secret US Ninja Operatives.

ruby booth said...

man, conservatives get all the top secret US Ninja Operatives. it's so unfair!