Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis
“Prayers are to men as dolls are to children.”
― Samuel Butler
I have a list.
I keep a list of states that I would love to see secede from the Union. Those being, Texas, Indiana, Oklahoma. I might consider throwing Kansas onto it (given their proclivity for stupidity). But now Florida? Check this nonsense out:
Florida governor Rick Scott recently signed a bill that promotes religious freedom in schools. Bill 98 gives students "sole discretion in determining whether an inspirational message is to be delivered" at student assemblies, and also prevents school officials from influencing and participating in how these inspirational messages are delivered.
Governor Scott's decision might serve as a favorable public relations tool amid mediocre approval ratings and recent revelations of animal abandonment, but Bill 98 is attracting support from satanists.
Members of the fringe group The Satanic Temple are planning a rally outside of Scott's office on Jan. 25 in support of Bill 98.
For satanists, the bill might as well be divine intervention.
"Satan does ask us to do good among each other and follow our own path to happiness as long as it doesn't encroach on others," temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves told the Palm Beach Post. "Faith-based initiatives like this one in Florida gives marginalized religions like ours a chance to be heard.
"You don't build up your membership unless people know about you," Greaves continued, "so this allows us to get our message out in public. We're hoping it will reduce the stigmatism."
As incredibly amusing as this is (the Christians are almost always whining and puling about their alleged ‘persecution’ in these sort of matters), Rick Scott has missed a mark by a country mile: the students should not have a say in such matters.
And why not? Because responsible adults should make informed decisions for these youngsters, until they’re of an age where they’re capable of making said informed decisions.
And before the Children’s Rights Activists among us start sputtering in outrage, lemmee ask you this: who among you would trust a teenager to make an insightful, objective, informed decision about any noteworthy topic? Not I. It’s not that I dislike teenagers (HEY! Get off my lawn, you damned kids, rassa-frassa-sassa whippersnappers!) – it’s that I recall what a raging maelstrom puberty was, what a formative hell it proved to be, and nobody but NOBODY asked me “Hey, what would you prefer to be taught in school?” (because my wastrel youth informed what little opinion I had at the time, which consisted of blotting out my consciousness with as many psychoactives as possible.I likely would’ve responded, “I haven’t done peyote yet.”) Kids go to school to learn how to deal with the world (and granted, public schools aren’t the best places for that) – and education, like science, is not a democracy. You may have noticed this over the past decade or so, but the only people who want to let students decide school policy are the religious wingnuts. Mostly because they’ve been losing ground for years, and need a new source of manipulatory power. And since adults have stopped listening to them, let’s drag the kids into the mess.
And that’s pathetic. Not to mention unethical. There’s a reason there are age limits for specific things: going to war, voting, driving, or even getting elected to state or federal office. Because kids as a rule, don’t know squat. Sad but true. All those coming-of-age movies that portray teenagers/pre-pubescent kids as having their shit together? That’s called fantasy. Ninety percent of adults aren’t that together. Another big middle finger to hollyweird.
Further, of course we shouldn’t allow religious worship in public schools. It’s a clear violation (both literally as well as figuratively) of the Separation of Church & State. And even if we didn’t have an Establishment clause, it would still be a fucking stupid idea. Because we all recall how cliques in K1-K12 schools work: the majority would come down real hard on the minority (and if you’ve ever been a ‘minority’ of any sort prior to becoming an atheist, you’ll know exactly what I mean).
Worship in school? No. Prayer in school? Absolutely not. History is full of people who got down on their knees, prayed to their deities to bless their swords/guns/knives, and promptly went out and butchered ‘non-believers’. Prayer improves nothing, does nothing, and reinforces lower self-esteem in narcissists.
Till the next post, then.