What Schools Are Not For

26 03 2010

No, surprisingly this post isn’t about separation of church and state, but it has a lot to do with the stupid American puritanism that is still pervasive in our culture. You see, a school decided to ban two girls from all extracurriculars because they dared play with a lollipop and take pictures!. Teenage girls have sleepover. Teenage girls “pretend to kiss or lick a phallus shaped multi-colored lollipop that they had purchased.” Principle decides that this is his business, and bans them from all extracurrics for a year unless they attend 3 counselling sessions and apologize to the all male athletic board, in which case it would “only” last for a quarter of the year.

Yes, the correct reaction here is “what the fu…?”

First of all, who the hell cares? Teenagers are aware that sex exists, and joke about it even! Shock! Horror! I’m sure the older generation never had a sexual thought even once until the day they married. If you’re worried about the issue of posting pictures of yourself in this sort of situation online, fine, that’s legitimate, tell their parents. But outside of that, this is a non issue. There is no reason that what they did should even be considered bad.

Second, who the hell made you God? What conceivable reason does the school have for claiming authority here? Schools have neither the right nor the authority to control every aspect of their students’ lives. Unless it is causing significant disruption at school, what students are doing outside of school is really none of their damn business. “Government in the bedroom” is a bad thing, right? Well how much worse is having the frigging school in the bedroom? There is no reason whatsoever for the school to have any authority over any of its pupils’ sexuality outside of school.

This isn’t just an issue of expression, it’s an issue of authority. Let me say that as a high schooler, I think that to give schools control over students this way is just creepy. This wasn’t even sex! This was playing with a lollipop and taking pictures. And if it were sex, which is the logical extension of this policy (assuming no cameras, because that brings up the issue of child porn), well, that’d be even worse. If teenagers want to have sex, there is nothing wrong with that.

[Feel free to insert the phrase “fucking stupid” as you desire in the above post. I had to restrain myself several times to avoid using it, because man does it ever fit]


Vote of No Confidence

12 03 2010

I would like to motion for a vote of no confidence in Texas. That is to say, go have your little independent country. We don’t want you anymore. You’re just too goddamn stupid for us.

Texas’ governmental stupidity normally isn’t newsworthy, but in this case it has reached such truly staggering feats of idiocy that I think they deserve special attention. You see, according to Texas’s BOE, Thomas Jefferson wasn’t a founding father.

12:32 – Board member Cynthia Dunbar argues that the Founders didn’t intend for separation of church and state in America. And she’s off on a long lecture about why the Founders intended to promote religion. She calls this amendment “not historically accurate.”

Madame, you are not simply ignorant. You are deeply, shockingly stupid.

…I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.

Hm, that’s interesting. Some of that sounds familiar. It sounds almost like…

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

As Dunbar probably doesn’t know what I just quoted, I will explain: this is the text to the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. See where I’m going with this? If the Founding Fathers did not intend to construct a wall of separation, and therefore Jefferson is not a Founding Father! I wonder who else I can find out wasn’t really one of the Founders?

The civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the State

-James Madison, “The father of the Constitution,” in a letter to Robert Walsh

The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses….

-John Adams

As to religion, I hold it to be the indispensable duty of government to protect all conscientious protesters thereof, and I know of no other business government has to do therewith.

-Thomas Paine (incidentally, as far as I can ascertain he is not part of the Texas education standards at all)

And lastly, from one of the relatively unknown Founders:

In the Enlightened Age and in this Land of equal Liberty it is our boast, that a man’s religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest Offices that are known in the United States

Have you guessed who it is yet? Yes, you in the back? Did you say George Washington? Exactly right! I’m surprised you got that, not many people have heard of him!

Study of the Constitution is not the only thing that has undergone a lobotomy, though. What kind of fundies would they be if they’d only destroyed the standards on one important topic? The Enlightenment is being treated rather like the women of a village when the Mongols invaded. You see, the word “Enlightenment” is gone from the standards, replaced with “the writings of…”. Jefferson has been ejected from the unit, too. Who has replaced him? John Calvin and Thomas Aquinas. No, I am not kidding. I wish I were.

The 11th Century South

11 03 2010

In Virginia, public universities may no longer have antidiscrimination policies that protect gays because the general assembly has not specifically told them to protect gays.

In Mississippi, a school’s prom was cancelled because two people of matching anatomy wanted to attend together.

DC prevents discrimination by those who hold city contracts, so Catholic Charities cuts spousal benefits to all of its employees rather than help people who happen to love in a way that the world’s oldest parasite doesn’t approve of.

A parochial school ejects a student because she has the nerve to be raised by two women rather than A Man and A Woman.

This is not just difference of opinion, nor is it a matter of religious beliefs that we have to accommodate because of pluralistic bullshit. This is evil. I have always known that, but it took a long time for it to hit me on an emotional level. It’s easy to explain intellectually (imagine if you were kicked out of school because one of your parents was white and one was black, imagine if your prom were cancelled because you wanted to go with your Jewish boyfriend rather than a Good Christian, etc etc). Let’s try to hit a little closer to home.

If you’re a parent, imagine that this is your child. Imagine that your daughter is not only barred from prom, but told that she is the reason that it has been cancelled for the entire school. Imagine that your child is told that she is no longer welcome in her school because your family is not in line with their religion.

If you’re not, then imagine this happening not to yourself (I think it’s actually sometimes harder to understand things that way) but to one of your close friends. Imagine watching this happen to someone you care about. Imagine your best friend being told that she can’t come back to school for as stupid a reason as this.

Imagine being told that you cannot get health care from your spouse’s employer because they don’t approve of the fact that you exist. Imagine being subject to rejection from a job simply because of who you go home to each night.

Imagine that your child, your little brother or sister, your best friend, you yourself lived in a world where there are still places even in the United States where they cannot be open about who they are without the risk of physical attacks and even murder. Welcome to life as it is for gays.

So I ask you…can you hear the gunshot in the next office over? That thud, outside your window? Do you hear the glass breaking a few houses over? Do you hear the lynch mob running down the street? The massacre in the church at the end of the street? Can you hear the sound of burning torches? Do you smell that scent hanging in the air? It is blood and burning flesh. Welcome to the dark ages, America. Enjoy your stay.