Tuesday, July 08, 2008

BURNING RELIGIOUS QUESTIONS

Lemme see if I have this one straight. Seems there's a Scopes-esque controversy erupting in some town in Ohio. The usual nonsense: teacher fired, teaching creationism, failure to remove a bible from the class room, burning the image of a cross on students' arms . . .

Say what?

That's right, according to the article, among the other crazy shit that 52 year-old John Freshwater did, he also "burned a cross on [a] child's arm with an electrostatic device." I wonder if that was part of his "science" curriculum.

Anyhow, I'm not gonna bother composing the blogosphere's 63,927th "These Creationist Loonies Are Fuckin Nuts" post. Nah. I assume anyone reading this blog feels pretty much the way I feel (i.e., these creationist loonies are fuckin nuts).

Nor am I gonna bother boring you with my politico-philosophical ramblings about whether a local community has the right to teach mumbo-jumbo & voodoo to its youngins. (If you care, my opinion is: Yes.)

No. Instead I'm gonna briefly ask how, in the words of this article, there is a "debate over the fate of a science teacher." Seriously, check some of this out:
* Freshwater's supporters have rallied on the town's public square urging school board members to resign. A much-viewed sign planted along a roadside about a mile from town reads: "If the Bible goes, the school board should follow."

* "The Bible, that should be OK to have," said James Mills, 25, a former student of Freshwater. "Isn't it in the Constitution that we have freedom of religion?"

* Freshwater, who has filed an appeal with the school board over his firing, said Monday he's disappointed with the way the investigation was conducted. His appeals hearing is scheduled for Aug. 26. "They used half-truths. They didn't interview people who had been in my classroom," he said. "Science teachers at the high school: Why would you interview them?"
Now maybe I'm just a soft New Yorker, ignorant in the ways of tough mid-west life including Friday night football, good ole Jesus larnin', and devouring raw meat with the bones still in it. Ok, I admit that.

But . . . it's this pesky little detail of burning crosses on students' arms that gets my inquisitive mind wondering. So I ask, where exactly is "the debate" here? Am I missing something? Am I so sheltered that I don't realize that teaching creationism & reading Corinthians I in science class means you have to brand the mark of Christ onto students' bodies?

Someone help me out here.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Deb said...

*Sigh* I wish I could help you out, there, Mike, but the fact is, as much of a religious person as I am (being a Religious Education teacher, a Eucharistic Minister, a program facilitator in the Church, a Columbiette, blah blah blah), I don't get a lot of what goes on out there, which purports to pass for freedom of religion.

Mostly, it passes for nuttiness, fanaticism and recklessness and disregard for others, in my book.

It never ceases to amaze me what people will do or try to do in the name of God. I often wonder how He must feel... good thing He's God, with the infinite capacity for love and forgiveness.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Smitty said...

I love how they townfolk made this an issue of religious persecution. It must be normal, then, for the fine citizens of Freshwater to burn crosses into each others' limbs. Because why else would he be fired? Certianly not for, you know, burning a cross into a kid's arm or anything of that nature.

I quit. I'm becoming a Buddhist.

10:46 AM  
Blogger DED said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:53 AM  
Blogger DED said...

I'm just as stumped as you are, Mike. The whole branding a cross in the kid's arm is battery, is it not? Maybe, that's ok in Ohio. Apparently, the loonies think so.

11:53 AM  

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