Here is a perfect example of how a culture keeps itself ignorant and a threat to the civil liberties of everyone.
Students of a northeast Ohio school district (or should I say, their parents and guardians) decried the fact that several constitutional watchdog groups brought it to the attention of their school district that it was in violation of the US Constitution to permit religious practices to take place during public school sponsored events. The school board, knowing full well that prayerfests of any type during public school time was in violation of the US Constitution and that they could very easily be sued by allowing it to continue, decided that it would be best to terminate the practice of offering prayers during school sponsored sports events. Of course, that was a very wise decision on their part. Their wisdom and knowledge of Constitutional law saved their district a big hassle, major embarrassment and a ton of bucks leaving their already depleted coffers because of their own negligence to know, respect and follow the law.
Do the parents and guardians of these children follow the district’s wise example? Do the parents and guardians of these children encourage their kids to know more about the history of the First Amendment and its protections, to honor and defend them from the encroachment of zealots who would, through their own ignorance of American history, muddle and ultimately destroy them? Are these children being taught that they could pray any place they damn well please, just not during public, State-sponsored events? No, apparently not. The standard, knee-jerk reaction in this part of the country is to scream like a bunch of loose nuts claiming that you’re being oppressed and persecuted because “what you like to do is being taken away from you” and then encouraging your children to wear T-shirts that proudly proclaim your stupidity and ignorance.
Does the local newspaper help to clarify the phony controversy that the parents of these children project? Heck no. Why not? Easy answer. The Vindy is a bastion of religious fundamentalism. They regularly plaster their headline page with all manner of superstitious bunco. Easter and Christmas are their two favorite periods of the calendar; the stories of religious-induced delusion come flowing into their press rooms like as tsunami. And they made no exception with this recent phony-baloney and ridiculous brouhaha.
Scripture is quoted daily in their pages. They hardly miss a day without publishing (always in glowing terms) some preposterous (if not asinine) story of a religious event, like the orthodox shaman who heads down to a local feeder creek of the Mahoning River where he and his wing-nut followers pray while he tosses a crucifix into the running creek. This, the shaman claims, somehow protects the creek and the waters it meets on its way to the Ohio River. The Vindy is so giddy about this annual event that they send a camera crew and a local “reporter” down with the shaman and his delusional followers to video-capture the event for all posterity! But, I’m happy to report that this annual event does have a happy ending. You see, for many years the shaman tossed the crucifix in the creek and that’s where it remained. But after a complaint came (from a friend of mine) that his action was in violation of the EPA’s clean water standards, he decided to attach a string to the crucifix so he could reel it back in after performing his worthless ritual. Pollution problem solved.
So, there you have it my friends, the full explanation as to why a sizable segment of our country feels quite comfortable creeping culturally backwards, and trying desperately to drag the rest of their patriots with them.