There are some things it’s just not appropriate for a teacher to say in a classroom full of young, impressionable students under his or her care.
Things like: “Kids, don’t do drugs, unless you talk to me first so that I can put you in touch with this guy I know, or you’ll just way get way overcharged.”
Or: “The force exerted by one body on another is proportional to its mass, as I discovered last night when I let Jenkins’s mum go on top.”
Or even: “What do you think the author of these lyrics is trying to convey? What do you think of that message?”
Yeah, apparently discussing the lyrics of a song and asking your students to write up their thoughts on the matter is something that can get you suspended these days.
If it’s a song about God, at least.
Oh, and if it’s a song with lyrics that suggest a disbelief in a particular God.
If it was a song, or a book, or a poem, that’s all about God, nobody would be noticing this, because it happens all the damn time, and it’s obviously not a problem. The Bible’s a thing well worth studying in schools. It’s hugely important to modern culture and contains a great deal of fascinating literature.
But the one special case of atheism – not being pushed as the truth, not being forced on anyone, not even being asserted in any way, simply appearing in the form of a text to examine – is utterly intolerable to some people.
And it does seem to be only religious people who ever become this intolerant. There’s no other field in which this happens. I’ve never heard of anyone complaining to a school board, or getting a teacher suspended, because their children learned about people who don’t vote Republican, or who don’t like ice cream, or who just couldn’t get into The Wire.
The kid’s mother is quoted as saying:
The whole thing, start to finish, is just wrong on six or seven levels.
Really? Name three.
The press picture of the disgruntled mother and daughter shows the latter holding up her assignment, and you can clearly see the massive letters she used on the first three words of her sentence “I HATE THIS because I believe in God and always will”.
This 12-year-old girl is apparently experiencing genuine fury, simply because she read about someone having a different opinion than her own. She hasn’t suffered any negative effects because of her own opinions, or witnessed any atrocities taking place as a result of some distorted worldview with a twisted alternate morality. She’s just read something by someone who might disagree with her, and she HATES it.
This is a horrible, horrible way to approach the world.
Look, it doesn’t even matter what the belief in question is. If your response when someone asks you to elaborate on your reasons for believing something is to cry and complain about how offensive you find the question, then your upbringing has been profoundly deficient in important ways, and there should be serious questions over whether whoever raised you has done an adequate job of preparing you for the real world.
(h/t Friendly Atheist)