Saturday, August 08, 2009

Some Thoughts On Keeping "God" Out Of The Classroom

Prof. Howard Friedman who moderates (and censors comments to) the blog Religion Clause, has tracked 4 school-prayer disputes since Jan, '09. The absence of cases in the recent past prior to Jan, this year, seems to indicate the issue has been quiescent for a while, but incidents worthy of adjudication are cropping up more regularly now.

Which reminded me me of the last spate of cases, almost a decade ago, in the aftermath of which I penned the following ode:

Some Thoughts, In Doggerel, Composed On The Event Of The Santa Fe Independent School District (TX) v. Doe (2000) Decision.
Now I set me down to bless
The Court for its judiciousness,
Rebuking 'Christians' who'd pressed unbidden
Their prayers upon the un-prayer-ridden.

It's amusing, almost trite,
That prattle 'bout a child's right
To pray in class, if he's neglected
To review (e.g.) how folks get elected.

Parent or preacher, all can attest,
That prayer, uttered just before a test,
Isn't just spiritually misleading,
It's prideful, lazy special pleading!

So go ahead, young children, Pray!
(You'll write those exams anyway.)
Its not the private prayer that breaches
What your Constitution teaches.

Rather it's the willful pressure
Of elites on the less 'elect' or less-sure
That, when "teaching" bible verses,
Does not instruct, but more coerces.

The vice is the utter disregard
For those who believe just as hard
In prayers they'd never ever think to say
Cuz 'the neighbors just don't think that way.'

The 'faithless' (by your peculiar lights)
Are not thereby bereft of rights

To not have biblically mediated
Versions of their world 'created'

And foist upon their own progeny
As the Official State Cosmogeny,

Or to hear their OWN convictions
Maligned as a-theistic fictions.

No one says you cannot quote
The stories your smelly prophets wrote;
It's just they're not allowed to claim
Any special privileges in their name.

This 'Scripture' that you like to quote,
You know for sure who, when, where wrote?

I wouldn't even proffer its mention,
If it weren't a matter of contention;
But unless the translator's you,
And fluent in Aramaic, Greek and Hebrew...

If you'd bother ever to look,
You'd find a lot of "holy" books.

Do you KNOW that 'worship' and 'fellation'
Aren't synonymous in any translation?

In both, the work'd done on the knees,
And in both the object is to please.

No surprise that the word 'Fellate'
As to the worshipful stance cognate.

There's nothing in a Court decision
That, unless it's to derision,
Subjects the pious prayerful to
Attentions that are at all undue.

So when teaching in a PUBLIC school,
Remember please the new given rule:
"Render Ceasar's things to Ceasar.... "
Your own God says that how to please HER!

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