Quantcast

«

»

Nov 11 2013

No, School Bus Driver, You Can’t Pray With Kids

A school bus driver near Minneapolis, who is also the pastor of two churches, has been fired after repeatedly praying with kids on the bus on the ride to school. And he kept doing it even after he’d been giving a warning and told he’d be fired if he didn’t stop.

A bus driver for the Burnsville school district was fired last week for leading kids in Christian prayers on his bus, even after he was warned to stop — a move he considers a violation of his freedom of speech.

George Nathaniel, 49, of Richfield, who is also a pastor for a pair of Minneapolis churches, was in his second year as a school bus driver for a company under contract to the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage district.

After receiving a complaint from the district about the prayers, the bus company, Durham School Services, gave Nathaniel a warning and assigned him two new bus routes serving Edward D. Neill Elementary School and Metcalf Junior High School in Burnsville, he said.

That didn’t dissuade Nathaniel. “I let them know I am a pastor and I am going to pray,” he said.

What is it with these people that they are so utterly incapable of understanding context? Your right to pray is protected by the Constitution, but you do not have a right to subject other people’s children to those prayers without their permission. This seems so completely obvious that it astounds me that so many don’t get it.

Nathaniel said that he had driven school buses in Wisconsin and Georgia before coming to Minnesota and that he had always prayed with the kids.

“We got to get Christians to be able to be Christians and not have to be closet Christians,” he said. “You have something good, you are going to share it with somebody.”

“But I got away with violating the constitution before, why can’t I keep doing it?” Wrong answer. Watch this moron go file a lawsuit now. And watch this become the latest example of the crushing of the religious freedom of Christians.

26 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Trebuchet

    Correction: He’s not praying “with” the kids, he’s praying at them. Or maybe preying would be better.

  2. 2
    Area Man

    Being a church pastor must be the least demanding job on the planet. Apparently he had two gigs doing that and still found time to drive a bus on the side.

  3. 3
    matty1

    “We got to get Christians Satanists to be able to be Christians Satanists and not have to be closet Christians Satanists,” he said. “You have something good, you are going to share it with somebody.”

    Do you think he’d accept the fixed version of this argument, or even see why they are equally valid?

  4. 4
    davidct

    If it had been an Imam leading the prayers, everything would have been crystal clear. Hypocrites just don’t get it.

  5. 5
    Marcus Ranum

    astounds me that so many don’t get it.

    Why are you assuming they’re ignorant? They get it, just fine. They simply don’t want it to apply to them.

  6. 6
    erichoug

    FUCK! I HATE PEOPLE LIKE THIS!

    When I was 16 I had a job in a clothing store. I typically had 1/4 of the store to run by myself or with one other person.

    There was this one guy that would come in with his wife and maybe another woman. As soon as they came in the door he would make a bee-line for me.

    Fist off, he always called me “Saul”, despite my name tag clearly reading “ERIC”. He called me Saul because I was on the road to Damascus and was going to suddenly have a flash and become “Paul”, apparently. After that, it was guaranteed and hour of him sermonizing at me no matter what else I had to do. He would follow me around while I was helping other customers, he would preach at me while I was re-stocking. Hell he would even sermonize while I was sizing the racks.

    I complained to my manager once and he said the next time the guy came in, to call him. When he came in, I called my manager and he helped the guy while I hid in the back.

    That guy was just like this guy is a total FUCK WAD! using social convention to trap people into listening to his bullshit. Nothing in this world did more to turn me against the church than this asshole. It just seemed ridiculously un-fair and ludicrously inappropriate for him to do this.

    JESUS FUCKING CHRIST@ I nearly 25 years later and I am getting pissed off writing about this douche!

  7. 7
    richardelguru

    “…not have to be closet Christians,…”
    I read this somewhere. I think it might help our poor pastor to TRUTH (or whatever)

    And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

  8. 8
    Michael Heath

    Ed writes:

    What is it with these people that they are so utterly incapable of understanding context? Your right to pray is protected by the Constitution, but you do not have a right to subject other people’s children to those prayers without their permission. This seems so completely obvious that it astounds me that so many don’t get it.

    Well, put this way, the matter is confusing and not consistent with the idea of inalienable rights along with how the government must act in protecting certain rights but not necessarily others.

    The educative need here is to inform this yahoo that when he’s a bus driver he’s the government where our government was never delegated power by the people to pray*. Instead the government was delegated authority and the obligation to protect the individual religious freedom rights of the people, which is infringed upon when government prays.

    He can still pray all he wants when driving the bus if it doesn’t dilute his performance as a bus driver, to himself. But just like the government can’t voice Muslim prayers to captive students, neither can the government do the same for Christian prayers or any other religion for that matter.

    *In the context given. I think all government prayer is unconstitutional, unfortunately our kangaroo Supreme Court disagrees.

  9. 9
    Michael Heath

    Blockquote fail @ 8; Ed’s content is only one paragraph long, the rest is me.

  10. 10
    timberwoof

    According to famed biologist Richard Dawkins, Christians can’t reproduce (“There is no such thing as a Christian child”), so the only means they have of perpetuating their irrational lifestyle is by recruiting children. They do this by preying upon and reinforcing their magical world-view.

  11. 11
    John Hinkle

    “You have something good, you are going to share it with somebody.”

    Well, if it’s so good it should stand on its own, no? He could’ve just said, “Hey kids, read the Bible. It’s got something good in it.” And left it at that. Then the tykes could read it on their own and before you know it his whole bus is filled with brand spanking new Christians.

    What, you don’t think that would work?

  12. 12
    Modusoperandi

    Pray with the bus driver, bus driver, bus driver. / Pray with bus driver, bus driver man!

  13. 13
    Doug Little

    If this guy needs to drive a bus he’s doing the religion thing wrong. Maybe this is part of his master plan to bring in the sweet, sweet donations that only the christian persecution complex can demand.

  14. 14
    freehand

    matty1: “We got to get Christians Satanists to be able to be Christians Satanists and not have to be closet Christians Satanists,” he said. “You have something good, you are going to share it with somebody.”

    Do you think he’d accept the fixed version of this argument, or even see why they are equally valid?

    Nope. He would argue furiously that Jesus wasn’t anything like Satan. Fundies do not do analogies. I’ve met several Fundamentalists who insisted that metaphors were synonymous to exaggeration. I had classmates (briefly) that could not distinguish between “claiming X” and “teaching that some people believe X”. Similar to how they cannot seem to differentiate between saying that gays exist and “advocating the gay lifestyle” – whatever the heck that means.

    Marcus Ranum: …astounds me that so many don’t get it.

    Why are you assuming they’re ignorant? They get it, just fine. They simply don’t want it to apply to them.

    Nope, they really don’t. Which doesn’t mean that they are innocent. They are committing what Satre called bad faith. They avoid thoughts, stories, or conversations that are scary, difficult, unprofitable, and threaten their self-image. They are guilty of philosophical cowardice and cognitive laziness. Eventually this is ingrained. The result is pain, ignorance, poverty, and possibly the end of the world. But nobody will be flying away naked with Jesus.

  15. 15
    dan4

    @14: “The result is pain, ignorance, poverty, and possibly the end of the world.”

    WTF? Dude, ease off on the caffeine.

  16. 16
    chilidog99

    It starts with a little prayer, then it’s a little time on your knees together, the next thing you know, someone’s pants are off.

  17. 17
    freehand

    dan4: @14: “The result is pain, ignorance, poverty, and possibly the end of the world.”

    WTF? Dude, ease off on the caffeine.

    Nope. Numerous unsustainable processes are being ignored by too many people, and the financial elite and their anti-science minions are actively fighting any suggested steps to mitigate the damage.

    Reduced harvest of food.
    Reduced available potable water.
    Climate refugees.
    Multiple wars.
    Marine ecosystem collapse.
    Spread of certain pests and plagues.
    Forest death.
    Mass extinctions.
    Droughts relieved by torrential downpours.
    Peak oil.
    Rising sea level + greater storm intensity.

    Of course I don’t mean the end of Earth – many species will survive, and in ten million years or so we will have a biological diversity equivalent to what there is now. But civilization is threatened, as is the survival of our species.

    These processes and the consequences are happening now, but they will rapidly get far worse. I grieve for our grandchildren.

  18. 18
    dalbryn

    They completely understand the context although they might play dumb. Mostly they don’t care. In their fantasy world, they are standing up for Jesus and spitting in the face of Satan when they do this sort of stuff. In the end they think they’ll get an extra big hug from God himself for being so damn brave.

  19. 19
    caseloweraz

    “Every day I get my cue
    To get on the bus and pray with you.”

    Magic Bus… “Can’t have it!”

  20. 20
    dan4

    @17: Holy cow, if that’s meant to be funny, then I don’t “get it.” If that’s meant to be serious, then you are fucking nuts.

  21. 21
    dingojack

    Oh Dan – what’s happening in the Phillipines?
    Dingo

  22. 22
    Ichthyic

    “But I got away with violating the constitution before, why can’t I keep doing it?”

    [insert mandatory Scooby Doo reference]

  23. 23
    Ichthyic

    what’s happening in the Phillipines?

    very very bad.

    the infrastructure of the places that need the most help is entirely destroyed. No water, electricity, food, or even any way to GET help to them.

    some have been waiting days for basic medical services, but only one airport into the biggest stricken area (Tacloban) has been cleared, and the Philippine government is being very slow to release usage to any other than the Philippine military. so far, I think only a few thousand people have been evacuated,

    this morning, they got hit with a 5.0 earthquake, to put the cherry on top.

    The US is sending large naval vessels with helicopters and c130s to assist, but they will have to coordinate
    with their own aircraft carriers to do the back and forth work, and it will take days to settle all that.

    I have hopes that there are private boats that are assisting in transport, but I see nothing in detail yet.

    this will be by far the worst natural disaster the Philippines has ever experienced, and we’re still not even AT the stage of knowing what the overall impacts actually even are. Some communities in the East have not even been contacted at all yet, and may have been entirely wiped out.

    tidal surge from the storm was 25 feet. Nothing much that was in the way survived.

    don’t know what else to say. It’s like the boxing day tsunami, all over again. :(

  24. 24
    Ichthyic

    Nope, they really don’t. Which doesn’t mean that they are innocent. They are committing what Satre called bad faith. They avoid thoughts, stories, or conversations that are scary, difficult, unprofitable, and threaten their self-image. They are guilty of philosophical cowardice and cognitive laziness. Eventually this is ingrained. The result is pain, ignorance, poverty, and possibly the end of the world. But nobody will be flying away naked with Jesus.

    authoritarian personality, in a nutshell.

    WTF? Dude, ease off on the caffeine.

    he’s right Dan. look at what authoritarianism accomplished in the last century, then make that a global phenomenon.

    though i would indeed ease off on the caffeine; alcohol is the better drug to drown these sorrows.

  25. 25
    Ichthyic

    @17: Holy cow, if that’s meant to be funny, then I don’t “get it.” If that’s meant to be serious, then you are fucking nuts.

    lesee…

    you agree global warming is a serious issue, yes?

    that we inevitably must reduce our carbon emissions if we want to meet ANY realistic mitigation targets yes?

    well, for the last 10 years, carbon emissions have INCREASED to the highest levels ever.

    seems to me, your chastising the guy for simply stating what he sees.

    he’s not nuts, he’s observant, and depressed.

  26. 26
    dan4

    @25: “you agree global warming is a serous issue, yes?”

    What the heck does that have to do with some dipshit bus driver who proselytizes when he shouldn’t?

Leave a Reply

Switch to our mobile site