One common whine of theocratic Christians is that mean ol' atheists "took God out of the schools" with the 1962 Murray v. Curlett decision, and that America has been going to hell in a handbasket ever since. The omnipresence of 24-hour media makes rare, isolated crimes like Columbine stand out, creating a sufficient atmosphere of fear that people ignore the fact that overall, things like violent youth crime and teen pregnancy rates have been trending downwards steadily over the last few decades. (Unlike the Christians, I am not arguing a direct causal link here; only that the argument that crime increases if people aren't having Christianity shoved down their throats is demonstrably false.)
Christians respond to the lack of state-mandated religion for students by complaining that this is anti-Christian presecution in action. And yet, a scan of the real world whenever religion rears its ugly, pock-marked head in a scholastic environment very often shows that the reverse is true. Christians take on a mob mentality and mercilessly harass and intimidate anyone who even suggests that open, unconstitutional religious activity in public schools might be inappropriate.
When a teacher in a Florida school complained that the principal was inappropriately placing Christian paraphernalia around the flagpole, she found herself suspended on trumped-up charges of helping a student cheat on a test, and has been blackballed in the rest of her community. A more open-and-shut case of religious harrassment you couldn't find.
It's entirely legal for students to do the babble-to-your-invisible-friend-around-the-flagpole-after-school thing, just as it's entirely legal for them to take their Bibles to school, for them to pray on their own when they get a free moment, or whatever. The only thing the Constitution prohibits is the school itself, as a government-run institution, either making religious exercises mandatory, or creating an atmosphere in which students and faculty who choose not to partake in these primitive rituals feel shunned or threatened.
For the principal and other school administrators to participate in the after-school flagpole prayers created a legally questionable situation. And that is all this teacher did: raise questions. For this, she finds herself victimized, threatened with her livelihood, and defamed. Even some parents who are supportive of the teacher have been threatened.
Several parents would not comment on the record, and one mother asked that her name not be used because she "was threatened to not be allowed back on campus if I say anything about it."
Threatened by the very same "loving," "moral" God-botherers who think that their brand of righteousness is what is needed in our schools and workplaces hell, just about any public venue they can grab if the horrors of the secular, liberal world aren't to destroy the fine fabric of our godly civilization. And if you disagree, don't show your faces around here, bitches. It'd be a shame if somethin' was to happen to ya.
When I was in high school (in the Bibble Belt), everyone else knew that my group of friends were nothing but atheists, agnostics, and other "weirdos."ReplyDelete
If it'd been just me, I'm sure things would've turned out different, but since there were about a dozen of us (and considering we were also the "freaks" and "metalheads") we never got harassed. (So much for those hard-ass "Christian soldiers," huh?)
That's what really pisses me off about this sort of thing; it's usually a group of pissed-off, hypocritical fundies against a lone non-believer.
It's seems they're only effective when they outnumber people and threaten harm or ostracism. And they're most effective when they skip the "threat" stage.
I can relate.ReplyDelete
When I taught Math and Physics it got out that I was on the intellectual path that would eventually lead me to full atheism.
The kids and their parents had a unique way of dealing with it. I was spit on, my property was vandalized, my family was harassed, all because I was a "God hating commie." Of course there never seemed to be any witnesses and when I complained to the authorities, I was called a "faggot" to my face. When I complained to one of the local pastors, he wondered why he hadn't seen me or my family in church... Even the union couldn't do anything unless I could produce a paper trail or witnesses.
It was in a small town with one grocery store. When we would drop in, all cashiers would go on break, leaving the manager to tend to us. My wife was so upset we ended up doing ALL our shopping out of town.
I realized nothing and no one was worth that kind of trouble and I left teaching forever. That was fifteen years ago and I've never regretted it a minute. I have, however, watched the educational and social scene closely and I can tell you it's only getting worse.
In the Minneapolis Star Tribune, for instance, when I moved here as a result of my new career in nursing, the paper had a beautiful section called Science and Technology. There was always something interesting in it, and always something for kids that wasn't condescending. I subscribed for that very section.
About five years ago it disappeared. It was replaced with a 'Faith and Values' section. You can just guess which filthy faith and which hypocritical values are being discussed. Now we see a Time magazine cover story with the monumentally ignorant belief that a book of filthy plagiarized lies should be taught in schools in bald faced violation of the very principles of this country.
It's exhausting to even think about the ignorance and superstitions rising in this country. In this age of political correctness damn few have the courage to say to these fools:
"If you believe in a completely unoriginal, poorly copied fairy tale of blood and hatred like Christianity, you should be sterilized."
Until these cancerous sub-par fools stop breeding and making more clones of their ignorant selves, mankind simply has no future.
And people wonder why atheists are so cranky....
(Oh, and CB Dan Y-B Marvin, don't even reply. Your slimy sh**t is not appreciated when we are talking amongst ourselves.)