Posts Tagged ‘separation of church and state’

(disclaimer: I am not a mother. I don’t claim to feel how mothers feel. I’m sure that if I was a mom, I would understand this more. But, as I am childless, this is how I feel.)

People nowadays overreact about everything, I think.

Most political quandaries center around how offended people will get. For instance, “Separation of Church and State.” (those of you who know me well know that this is a subject about which I am passionate.) Prayer has been removed from schools, the Ten Commandments banned from being displayed in most places, “Under God” petitioned to be removed from the Pledge of Allegience and “In God we trust” asked to be taken from the face of the dollar bill —- all to avoid offending those who don’t believe in God.

Ten years ago, if you drove by a Target or a Wal-Mart in December, you’d see “Merry Christmas!” happily postered on its windows. Now, to avoid offending those who celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa (or don’t celebrate at all), stores simply say “Seasons Greetings” or “Happy Holidays.” Not a huge deal, but it’s the principle of the thing. All this, to avoid offending people. But, what if it offends me to NOT say Merry Christmas? I think people should just buck up! Take it like a man! and if someone says “Merry Christmas” to a Jew, the Jew should say back, “Happy Hanukkah!”

(For the record, the phrase “Separation of Church and State” never appears in the constitution. It was a phrase coined by Thomas Jefferson, referring to the first amendment, which says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Now how in the world is displaying the Ten Commandments going against that amendment?)

I could go on and on about Separation of Church and State, but I need to get to my original point.

Recently, a school in Conneticuit banned touching of any kind. No hugging, no handshakes or high fives. They made this rule because a boy was hospitalized after being kicked in the crotch. How is hugging related to being kicked in the crotch? No idea, but somehow they see any physical contact of any kind “dangerous.”

Another school (can’t remember where) has outlawed playing Football at recess. A boy broke his arm (or was it his leg? doesn’t really matter) playing, so no more football! Oh wait, he didn’t break his limb playing the game, he broke it doing his victory dance! He was dancing in the endzone, tripped over a tree root, and broke his whatever. Why don’t they ban dancing? Or tree roots?

These school administrations ban these things to appease the parents of the injured children. In general (and again, refer to my disclaimer up top), people (especially parents) need to blame their problems on someone else. It’s human nature. So when Janet gets a call from the local Elementary School that says, “Timmy broke his leg at recess. Meet us at the hospital,” Janet is freaking out! She’s automatically inclined to blame the school, and so to avoid a lawsuit, the administration bans whatever harmed the child. Call me crazy, but that’s just kids being kids. Children, at some point in their young lives, will get hurt. That’s life. If my child got hurt, I would be upset, yes. But I wouldn’t want them to stop playing for fear of more injuries. I wouldn’t want them to stop hugging their friends, in case of crotch-kicking.

 (This could branch out into a whole nother blog, about how avoiding doing anything remotely dangerous will make your life very boring.)

 (This could also branch out to how sue-happy people are. Molly burned herself with McDonald’s coffee? Well, sue them, because they didn’t warn her that coffee is hot!)

When I was in 4th grade, there was a kid named Nick in my class who everyone loved. He was hilarious. When it came time for us to read “The Witches” by Roald Dahl, his parents insisted he leave the classroom. When we made Christmas decorations out of construction paper, he was ushered to an empty room to read until it was all over. I think that is a much better way for his parents to deal with it, instead of demanding the school remove all witchcraft- or Christian-related activities.

Stop worrying about offending people! It Janet wants the principal to ban Football, or if Atheists want the government to deny any kind of religious history, tell them “Tough love, baby!” That’s life! and if Janet’s going to keep Timmy inside to prevent him from being exposed to injuries or Christians, then he’s going to end up playing video games in her basement till he’s 45.

I have completely run out of blogging stamina. I’m terrible at strong conclusions, so just pretend you got interrupted or something and have to stop reading. Maybe the school called you to tell you little Jeremiah choked on a grape at lunch, so now all children must bring lunch from home.


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