Religion is a Belief NOT a Bulletproof Vest

stop_religionI was going to leave this topic alone. There are enough crazy people spouting off their theories and beliefs without me getting into the fray. It wasn’t meant to be…

In my last post, some of my religiously inclined readers likely felt that I was extraordinarily harsh on religion and the word “Christmas.” I would like to say that they had the wrong impression and I blame it on the intent I put behind those words. I was annoyed at the time I wrote that post. Just like how I’m annoyed right now.

What people need to realize is that words are words. It is the intent behind those words that we need to pay more attention too. Anyone can guess intent by the speakers body movements or the type of “energy” they put into those words. Most of us can tell when a person is angry, happy, etc.

When you have government officials – former or otherwise – on television spouting (what I and the rest of the sane world perceives to be) nonsense, it’s easy to see if they believe what they’re saying or when they’re simply saying it to garner favor with a particularly insane group.

Actually, let’s throw motive out the window. The fact that they spout lies and nonsense to the general public for a modicum of notoriety is nefariously greedy, shady, and wholly not right. Why? Because there are illiterate yahoos that will believe that guff.

For the record, I bring to light two examples of public nonsense.

First we have the heinous Mike Huckabee. He was governor of Arkansas and tried to run for President. Here are his comments the day after the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

It’s this line that annoys me the most: We ask why there is violence in our schools but we have systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?

We have not “systematically removed God from our schools” as Huckabee wrongly states. Religion is alive and well in our schools especially Christian religions. As Steve Benen from the Rachel Maddow Blog says…

Theologically, many Christians believe God is omnipresent, and can’t be “systematically removed” from anything. For that matter, there’s very little in the Christian tradition that suggests God punishes children when constitutional law hurts His feelings…

For the Republican pundit, Americans “have systematically removed God from our schools,” is presumably a reference to Supreme Court rulings prohibiting state-sponsored, government-endorsed religion in public schools.

What Huckabee may not appreciate is just how many religious rights public school students currently enjoy. Contrary to myth, students can pray before, during, and after school, so long as it’s not disruptive to class. They can say grace before meals in the cafeteria, they can invite classmates to religious services, and they can form after-school religious clubs. All of this is legal right now, under existing law and court precedents, suggesting if anyone has tried to “systematically remove” religion from public schools, they’ve failed.

When I walk into the schools that I work at, I see coworkers and students wearing crosses. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes was one of the largest clubs when I went to high school and it still looks like they’re going strong today. After we say the Pledge of Allegiance, we have a moment of silence so kids can pray no matter their religion.

When I went to college, the religious organizations had booming memberships and the on campus religious center was teeming with worshipers no matter what religion was being observed.

Religion has an intrinsic role in public schools because it has an intrinsic role in the lives of most of the students and workers. It simply doesn’t have a prominent “in your face” role within public schools, which is as it should be.

While I’m sure that Huckabee read Benen’s blog post correcting his narrow minded view of American public schools, he was still spouting the same ridiculous rhetoric today.

Since Huckabee wants to ignore the logic of Benen, why don’t I have a crack at him? I know that Huckabee has an egregious aversion to fact, he also suffers from a chronic case of select memory disorder. In his mistaken view, a gunman decided to take up arms against helpless elementary school children is because there is no God in public schools.

Huckabee seems to forget the tragic victims of a hate crime who were shot worshiping at their Sikh Temple in Wisconsin of August this year. Technically, they’re creator was present at the time of the shooting, but that didn’t stop the insane man. Maybe what Huckabee is inferring by blatantly ignoring the Sikh tragedy is that their religion doesn’t count. If that’s the case than that’s just as heartless as Huckabee using the Connecticut shooting to use as proof for his fictional War on Religion.

If Mike Huckabee’s remarks aren’t disturbing enough, there are Republicans who want to arm educators!

The man in the video is Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas). He believes that if the teachers were armed and trained, the shooter would have been stopped before he started.

Struggle-iconGohmert is so far off base that it’s unbelievable. The answer isn’t more guns! A teacher’s job is to educate students and they are trained for that express purpose. If we have to live in a world were a teacher’s training includes handling, caring, and shooting a gun, what kind of messed up country are we living in?!

What if those teachers in Connecticut had guns at their disposal? How would the elementary school children react to their teacher shooting back? What if a teacher accidentally shot a student or two because they got in the way?

There are too many variables in crowded areas where returning fire would actually make a situation worse. Most Americans within easy reach of law enforcement are taught to trust the uniformed officials with the gun, that they are there to protect us. However, the same Americans are taught to run away from a nonuniformed stranger with a gun because they are there to hurt us.

Remember Gohmert was the nut job who questioned why no one else in the Colorado theater was armed during the shooting. If there was, people would be running from both shooters. It wouldn’t matter what the intentions were of the other gunman.

Panicking people wouldn’t care because that second gunman wouldn’t be wearing a police officer’s uniform. They would believe the intentions of the second gunman would have equally ill intentions. (By the way, the Colorado theater shooting happened in June of this year.)

Gohmert and Huckabee love to criticize other countries for their perceived faults when they should hold their tongues. At times when people who have easily obtained assault riffles walks into a public building of any nature and starts shooting innocent civilians, it should be a reminder to arrogant jerks like them that Americans are not perfect.

We have no right to criticize other countries. If teachers are taking up arms to protect children instead of taking up books to educate them, than countries deserve to criticize us.

If we left the fate of our nation up to thugs like Gohmert and Huckabee, we would be a paranoid nation spouting bible verses as we shoot people indiscriminately.

Related…kinda sorta…

Local Sikh Community Remembers Connecticut Shooting Victims

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