Friday, October 12, 2007

Let Us Prey

Here's an idea -- what if we were to use schools for learning, and then we could have a whole 'nother type of building, where people could go in on their own time and pray, or meditate, or get their spirit on, or whatever it is they need to do to validate their place in the universe.

You could call these buildings, let's say, "churches". Or, for that matter, homes.

Nobody is fooled by these seemingly harmless half-measures, people. Outside of school, children have a good eighteen hours a day for religious indoctrination at their family's discretion. There is no harm per se in having a moment of silence every day at school, but there is also absolutely no need or practical use for one either, and considering how the American public school system has been eviscerated over the past couple decades, one would think that people would have more realistic priorities.

As always, one would be completely wrong.


woodguy said...

Familiar with "National Prayer Day"? Yeah, sad to say, it exists.

Several years ago a co-worker suggested our crew pray at noon to observe this glorious holiday. I told him all my prayers were answered when Richard Nixon died.

He never bothered me again.

Heywood J. said...

I've heard of it; I'm pretty sure I've slammed it a time or two in the past. First week of May, right?

That Nixon line is an awesome response. I'm glad I don't have co-workers like that, but if I did, I hope I could come up with something like that on the spot. Perfect.

woodguy said...

An all too rare opportunity. Timing is everything.

thedevilzone said...

There is no harm per se in having a moment of silence every day at school, but there is also absolutely no need or practical use for one either

Therein lies the rub. The harm comes from dozens of these little accumulated shuffle-steps in the direction of a theocracy, and by its nature, it's something you only really notice in hindsight.

The thing to remember is how easily this kind of argument could be avoided with just a miniscule amount of good faith and willingness to compromise for others' sake on the part of the religious nuts. Why can't the kids just pray in the morning before heading to school? Are prayers weaker than cheap batteries, needing to be refreshed every few hours? Is God such a senile drooling old fuck that he can't remember what you asked for unless you repeat it constantly?

Why can't they just mumble to their invisible friend during a private moment in between classes? Why bring everything else to a halt just for this? Can we interrupt Sunday school with a quick science lesson in return?

The ultimate kicker is seeing how they ignore words supposedly from the man himself that make perfectly clear what the official policy is regarding peacocks who want to show off their holiness in public. We're supposed to be impressed by what the barbaric Old Testament says in Deuteronomy about homosexuality, while these fuckknobs can't even pay attention to the book of Matthew?

Of course, it's no mystery at all - being an obnoxious dick is the entire point of the exercise. If you allow it, they get to preen for an audience and reassure their insecure herd mentality. If you refuse, they're being persecuted. The only thing to do is point out how many reasonable alternatives they blow past in order to arrive at this point, but I'm not holding my breath for that to happen.

And hey, it's almost that time of year again! Time for these same empty, shallow jerkoffs to make a public spectacle over their pathetic need for validation of their Iron Age mythology by means of a required pleasantry mumbled by an underpaid cashier at a big box department store. It's what Jesus would have wanted.

Heywood J. said...

Yeah, since their little "intelligent design" gambit got shot down, they're back to their old tricks. And as you say, the right to pray is less important than the ability to be seen going through the motions, stroking their tassels and phylacteries in the public square and what-not. There's nothing stopping them from praying silently pretty much anytime they want; what they're obviously after is the state's formal genuflection to their holy writ.

Fair enough. As far as I'm concerned, it's an all-or-nothing proposition, so they can just suck on it when the Muslim kids want something for Eid al-Fitr, or the Wiccan kid wants a Vernal Equinox something or other. See how that works for the Special People of America's (and therefore, Gawwwd's) Official Religion.

For people who constantly whinge about persectuion, they do seem to have a tough time leaving everyone else the fuck alone. I'm really looking forward to this year's War on Christmas too. It's become as much an annual rite as Black Friday.