One common whine of theocratic Christians is that mean ol’ atheists “took God out of the schools” with the 1962 Murray v. Curlett decision, and that America has been going to hell in a handbasket ever since. The omnipresence of 24-hour media makes rare, isolated crimes like Columbine stand out, creating a sufficient atmosphere of fear that people ignore the fact that overall, things like violent youth crime and teen pregnancy rates have been trending downwards steadily over the last few decades. (Unlike the Christians, I am not arguing a direct causal link here; only that the argument that crime increases if people aren’t having Christianity shoved down their throats is demonstrably false.)
Christians respond to the lack of state-mandated religion for students by complaining that this is anti-Christian presecution in action. And yet, a scan of the real world whenever religion rears its ugly, pock-marked head in a scholastic environment very often shows that the reverse is true. Christians take on a mob mentality and mercilessly harass and intimidate anyone who even suggests that open, unconstitutional religious activity in public schools might be inappropriate.
When a teacher in a Florida school complained that the principal was inappropriately placing Christian paraphernalia around the flagpole, she found herself suspended on trumped-up charges of helping a student cheat on a test, and has been blackballed in the rest of her community. A more open-and-shut case of religious harrassment you couldn’t find.
It’s entirely legal for students to do the babble-to-your-invisible-friend-around-the-flagpole-after-school thing, just as it’s entirely legal for them to take their Bibles to school, for them to pray on their own when they get a free moment, or whatever. The only thing the Constitution prohibits is the school itself, as a government-run institution, either making religious exercises mandatory, or creating an atmosphere in which students and faculty who choose not to partake in these primitive rituals feel shunned or threatened.
For the principal and other school administrators to participate in the after-school flagpole prayers created a legally questionable situation. And that is all this teacher did: raise questions. For this, she finds herself victimized, threatened with her livelihood, and defamed. Even some parents who are supportive of the teacher have been threatened.
Several parents would not comment on the record, and one mother asked that her name not be used because she “was threatened to not be allowed back on campus if I say anything about it.”
Threatened by the very same “loving,” “moral” God-botherers who think that their brand of righteousness is what is needed in our schools and workplaces — hell, just about any public venue they can grab — if the horrors of the secular, liberal world aren’t to destroy the fine fabric of our godly civilization. And if you disagree, don’t show your faces around here, bitches. It’d be a shame if somethin’ was to happen to ya.