Greased Enlightening

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Memo to lube-happy Christians: YOU ARE DUMB.

The right is constantly bitching about the ACLU taking prayer and religion out of the public schools. The idea being, of course, that religion in schools is a good thing, and that religion is a positive, harmless influence on young minds. The people trying to pray in schools aren't trying to proselytize, or indoctrinate children into the One True Faith. They're just instilling good, old-fashioned American traditions and values.

The problem is, even given that assumption (one I'm not normally even willing to give), this opens the door to a bunch of kind-hearted, well-intentioned people who also happen to be completely bugfuck crazy by any objective measure taken outside the confines of their belief system.

For example, Brooksville, Florida. I know, you're shocked, SHOCKED to find crazy religious behavior coming out of Florida. You see, it was February 2nd. State testing was starting on Monday. So the principal and a couple of teachers decided to have an after-school prayer session to pray for the students to do well. In the age of No Child Left Behind, this wasn't as altruistic an action as it once may have seemed, of course. If the kids do badly on the state-wide mandatory tests, the school ends up hosed.

And actually, now that I think about it, it betrays a certain lack of confidence in their own abilities as educators. I mean, if the principal hired good teachers, and the teachers taught the students right, then God shouldn't really get involved. Or, alternately, God should have gotten involved a lot sooner, making sure all the kids had working brains and healthy home environments. Asking him the Friday before the testing starts seems a bit deathbed confessional to me.

But theological considerations aside, even this radical lefty atheist would have been fine with the after-hours prayer session, except that on Monday morning, students and teachers arrived at school to find their desks coated in oil. Prayer oil, that the principal and teachers ANOINTED THE DESKS WITH.

Anointing with oil is one of those things that immediately raises the red flag of crazy. Any ritual partaken of regularly by John Ashcroft is automatically suspect. Especially when applied to inanimate objects in a way that completely denies practical concerns. You're getting ready for a big, important test. You want your students to do as well as possible. And so, you decide that the biggest obstacle facing your students is...the amount of friction between their test papers and the desk! Brilliant!

I mean, let's ignore the reports that the school's officials frequently step over the line into praising Jesus. Let's ignore the statements that say teachers are afraid to complain. They left fucking PRAYER OIL all over the desks! I know God works in mysterious ways, but does an omnipotent being really need extra lubrication to get his mojo going? Say what you will about Satanists, but you'd never hear a report of a classroom opening up on Monday and teachers finding goat entrails all over the floor. CLEAN UP YOUR SHIT.

Needless to say, the principal, having gotten caught with her hand in the canola jar, is petulantly penitent. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Now I tell my staff members, 'You're welcome to pray for my classes and my children, but you need to do it somewhere else,' And that disappoints me, because it is after hours or before hours, and why should it be an issue?" - Principal Mary LeDoux. It's an issue because you didn't dispose of your silly little ritual's silly little props, you silly little twit.

Predictably, the community has, for the most part, leapt to the defense of the school in the St. Petersburg Times' obligatory post-story comments thread. I thought about awarding the gold medal in stupidity to the obligatory Columbine reference. I thought about awarding first place to the person that said the prayer was an effective counter-agent to hip-hop and drugs. I mean, if they came in on Monday and found thongs and crunk juice all over the desks, they'd be plenty upset. But the grand prize in post-comment retardation has to go to "Child of a KING". ACTUAL COMMENT TIME!

"You nay sayers should know that in the END GOD will JUDGE YOU by using the SAME measuremnt that you have JUDGED others. GOD never turns away HIS children and HE knows that we ALL fall short at one time or another. Mrs. LeDoux has VISION! GO GOD!!"

Mainly because, according to that first sentence, God will, upon my death, write a five-hundred-word column calling me an atheist pigfucker. Which would be so awesome. I'd almost want to be wrong about this whole God thing if it meant I got to read that. Unless it was, you know. Covered in oil or something. That's just gross.