Sometimes it’s the little things that are the most revealing, that expose the bankruptcy of an idea. For instance, this story from a Florida school where the principal and teachers cast a magic spell.
It had been a hard Friday at Brooksville Elementary School, with lots of misbehavior that didn’t bode well for the start of state testing the following week.
So the principal and a few staff members appealed to a higher power.
They prayed and blessed their students’ desks with prayer oil.
While the Christian prayers and anointing took place after school hours on Friday, Feb. 2, the oil was still on desks the following Monday when teachers opened their classrooms.
I know that sometimes the staff at schools have to compromise to deal with public pressure, and that sometimes we can disagree on policy issues. I have high expectations of teachers and administrators, though, and I trust them to be educated, intelligent, and rational, at least in matters of running the school and educating kids.
These people are superstitious lunatics.
Look, it’s very simple: if you believe that daubing objects with holy bacon drippings and chanting magic words will imbue them with special powers, if you think your imaginary Lord of the Universe will whisper answers to a test in a kid’s ears if his chair has a spot of grease on it, but won’t if it doesn’t, if your job is to teach children and you think one way to give them an understanding of algebra is to beg a ghost to do it for you, you are a disgrace, a confused and deluded kook, and you are screwing up. Get help. Your delusions are affecting your performance and your life.
The ACLU is getting in on the act.
But an official with the American Civil Liberties Union said the religious group crossed a constitutional line, effectively imposing their beliefs by leaving prayer oil on the desks for children and staff members to see.
“If the principal and teachers want to have some kind of prayer after hours, that’s not a constitutional problem,” said Rebecca Steele, director of the ACLU office in Tampa. “But they did leave tangible evidence of their religious activity, (and) that was troubling to people.”
That’s fine, but it’s criticizing them for all the wrong reasons. Yeah, they’re violating the separation of church and state, and they should be slapped down for that. It’s missing the point, though.
What the heck is prayer oil, and what kind of kook believes this nonsense has any effect at all? The problem here is that there is a set of teachers and an administrator at this school who are deranged…but of course, because they use the excuse that it is “religion” everyone backs off, gets all deferential, and pretends they aren’t dealing with a team of quacks, clowns, and slow-witted, thoughtless incompetents.
I say fire the lot of them for behavior not befitting a civilized member of an enlightened society, especially not people of responsibility to whom we entrust the education of our children.
Jebus. Magic goop. Prancing, chanting shamans. If the kids do poorly on the test, we know the reason: idiots running the classrooms. This is what religion does, it rips up your brain and infuses it with credulity and sloppy thinking.