Straight Up with Sherri

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The Freedom of Offending

A high school principal in Athens, GA read a poem over the school intercom system last Tuesday before the Thanksgiving Day Holiday break. On Monday, he made an apology to the students after “several” parents complained. This sounds odd, that parents would complain about a principal reading poetry to the students via the intercom system. Well, not in this day and age, since the poem mentions God and is read in the rhyming style of a child’s prayer “Now I lay me down to sleep.” The mere mention of God in any public forum seems to be more “offensive” than a public school offering students condoms and birth control pills. I am shocked at the atmosphere now “tolerated” in public schools. Here is the poem that the principal read. It has been circulated on the Internet since 1992.

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.

We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.
It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such "judgments" do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.

It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!

There are several points to make on this issue.
  • This is a HIGH SCHOOL, not an elementary school. Why does this make a difference? If this poem were read in an elementary school, it would be easy to make the case that the young students may have felt they were being lead in a prayer instead of being read a poem. High school students are very capable of distinguishing the difference between a poem and a prayer, the same way they can distinguish between a song and a rap. They may be very similar, but yet the differences are clear.
  • It is amazing that parents are “offended” by this poem on the basis of separation between church and state. I must admit- I am not offended, but I am a little uncomfortable with it being read by the principal as an announcement. But my concern is NOT the mention of God, or the use of the word Amen at the end. What has me alarmed it that the principal is using words like condoms, birth control, pregnant Homecoming Queens, and unwed daddy.
  • I may be alarmed by these words, but before I get my panties in a wad and start making complaints, I need to put this into context. It is obvious he was not announcing to the kids to stop by the nurse’s office for their Holiday contraceptive needs. He was making a point.
  • Was his point that kids should pray? Did he, in any way, suggest that those without faith were wrong, or bad? NO! and NO! The point of this poem is NOT to persuade people to be Christians, or Jews, or Muslim, or Buddhists. The point of this poem is that in an attempt to protect the rights of the non-religious, we have NOT protected those that HAVE faith.
  • As we work towards not offending those that don’t want to hear about our religious views, or see us practice them; we have actually ended up in a place where we offend those that DO have religious views and/or practice them. As people fight to rid the words God from any public forum, and to stop people from praying in public, we here about tolerance, yet give none. They like to use words like pressure, or force, and offend, on the grounds of “separation of church and state.” Yet, they defend talk and study of witchcraft, promote providing birth control, and want to dispel any judgments of right and wrong on the grounds of kids rights and diversity. So diversity becomes welcome in areas that dispel foundations of faith, but offer no tolerance of diversity in areas that embrace foundations of faith.
  • It is okay to be tolerant of children expressing themselves with foul language (cussing), but it is not okay for a child to quote a Bible verse, give out Christmas Cards, or thank God for Thanksgiving.

    Have you been to a local public high school lately? I am in shock every time I visit my son’s school. My first encounter was dropping off some food as his Spanish Class had a little ethnic meal. I went into the front office to have them call him up to get the food, and found myself holding back a soap box rant. One of the students helping in the front office was wearing those jeans where the waist was WELL BELOW THE WAIST, with a ring in her belly button, and a top that barely covered her mammary glands. What on earth is she doing? What on earth are the school employees THINKING? This isn’t appropriate school attire! I can see her G-string panties coming out of her pants- ON PURPOSE (THIS IS A FASHION THING NOW)- but God forbid I see the 10 Commandments hanging on the wall! How is it that God has no place in public schools, but viewing a girl’s panties all day long is okay?

    I am sick of hearing people claim that Christians are fighting to shove religion down people’s throats. I am sick of hearing that the moral issues battle is about forcing religion on people. I am sick of the word God and the 10 Commandments being visible in the public forum is somehow “state support” of religion. Christians are not fighting to try and convert people; they are fighting to protect their right to preserve our historical foundations and the freedom to practice our religion without ridicule. No one is suggesting that schools hold mass, or communion. No one is trying to establish the 10 Commandments as the official national motto. If we are going to be HONEST, then let’s talk about these issues. How does one claim that forcing me to hide by faith and beliefs is based on not wanting to offend and showing tolerance, and simultaneously insult me by not hiding your lack of tolerance for my faith and beliefs.

    It is time for the Liberals to be HONEST. It is not diversity you seek. It is not your concern for offending people that motivates you. You have no qualms about offending me. You have no qualms about exposing my son to half-naked girls, condoms, and witchcraft. Your motivation is to dispel the notion of right and wrong, moral clarity, and family values from our society and political arena, so that you can further you socialistic, progressive agenda. As much as this frustrates me and insults me, I must say, I am rather pleased with the results. The youth of today is not embracing your values. The youth of today is far more conservative than their parents. It is hilarious how professionals sit around trying to explain this “phenomenon.” Why this is happening is really quite simple. They are the collateral damage of us acting “progressive.” The era of divorces due to “irreconcilable differences,” lots of sex for fun with no accountability, adultery is no longer “taboo,” and keeping up with the Jones’, has wreaked havoc on our children. They are growing up with single moms, brothers and sisters they have never met, parents that are never home but nice cars and lots of “toys,” and no accountability to their wants and needs. We have a society that gives lip service to values of family, but the kids end up at the bottom of the list when it comes to us making sacrifices to give them what they really starve for; US! “My kids come first!” Uhuh, sure. Ask them if they feel that way. While we were out enjoying our new social freedom of non-judgments, they were left picking up the pieces of their self-esteem scattered amidst friends having sex, taking ecstasy, and idolizing Gangsta Rap Artists. We became LOUSY parents. We didn’t set out to do this, but the “if it feels good, do it” mentality of the “don’t judge me” era DID accomplish exactly this result.
    I will close with this today. Make a copy of this poem. Share it with your kids. Ask them what they think about it. Ask them if they would be offended by seeing a student saying grace before he eats his lunch. Ask them if they would feel offended by a student handing out Christmas cards. Then ask them if they think it is a good thing that kids can get condoms and birth control pills at school. Ask them how it would make them feel, or what they would think of a pregnant Home Coming Queen, or an “unwed daddy” as King. You may be surprised by their answers, you may not; but one thing is for sure, you will end up learning something about your child, and spending some good quality time with them. Sounds like a GREAT IDEA, huh?


  • - The good news is that the "progressive" (read Marxist) socialistic program of attack on mainstream Christian/Judao freedoms and traditions is fatally flawed in at least one aspect. They start with the assumption that everyone is looking for an easy way out and will choose to gravitate toward risk/responsibility aversion if lied too enough and given enough shoves in that direction. Along with this cynical view of "everyone", in particular young minds, goes the twin assumption that kids are naive and insensitive to ulterior motives and hidden agenda's. If you think that children do not immediately sense the lack of bonding and cold indifference that "progressive" irresponsible liberal parents display to them, you're going to be in for some "shock and awe" somewhere in your miserable, asocial life. The generations of children that are pushed away in the myopic, self serving narcissism of "secular materialism of "ME", will be the conservatives of tomorrow turning their backs on you in your dotage and electing people they know in their heart they can trust. Children in general know instinctively, that faith and mutual human love and support, are better than video games. They catch on pretty quick that there are no reset buttons in the game of life. A minority of children are taught by example to avoid every semblance of human interchange and sharing, and are the "victims" of progressive upbringing, the "progressives" you see today trying so hard to "remake" society so they won't feel so terribly alone. Its a losing battle, but sadly they never listen until real life intervenes...

    By Blogger - Hunter, at 3:34 PM  

  • Nice rant, Sherri.

    You said:

    "It is time for the Liberals to be HONEST."

    Uh-huh. Just don't go holding your breath.

    If schooling were done with vouchers your kids would be in some decent private Christian school. Libs won't ever give up the (enforced) priviledge of indoctrinating kids. But that priviledge can be taken away from them. Some fine day. -- Victor

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:22 PM  

  • Hunter, great points.

    Sherri, I think you're right on target. Somewhere along the line, the concept of "diversity" came to mean "OUR kind of diversity" for a particular cultural/ideological group that happened to be in power. Something is wrong.

    By Blogger Asher Abrams, at 10:43 AM  

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