PZ Myers Doesn’t Get It

August 25, 2008 at 1:23 pm (Uncategorized)

I wouldn’t get so pissed off at his cute little rants if he didn’t begin with faulty axioms:

An elementary school in Missouri has been allowing the Gideons to distribute bibles to students on their lunch hour. It’s crazy stupid, a clear violation of the separation of church and state (not that fundie churches care about that anymore).

First, seperation of church and state has never, and probably will never, apply to public schools.  Receiving state funding is not necssarily tantamount to being the state itself.  The school didn’t even necessarily have anything to do with the Gideons being there in the first place.  They have an annoying way of just showing up and distributing bibles.

But you know what?  The vast majority of people in Missouri – especially rural Missouri – are Christians anyway, if not even fundamentalists.  Hell, the parents were probably just happy not to have to pay money for bibles for their kids.

Besides which, these Gideons are probably shouting something like “FREE BIBLES RIGHT THIS WAY!” as opposed to “EVERYTHING IN THESE PAGES ABSOLUTELY MUST BE TAKEN LITERALLY AT FACE VALUE!”  There just isn’t a nice ring to it.  I defy you to read the Book of Job, or many of the Proverbs, and not get something out of it, religious or not though you may be.  God (and, later, Jesus) contains the vernacular through which the Bible communicates, but if you can’t take anything as metaphor I really hope you didn’t try to read Animal Farm in middle school.

Finally, as a public school is public property, there’s nothing they can do to prevent anyone being there unless they are specifically threatening children.  No, giving them free paper does not constitute a “threat.”  And even if they WERE kicked out from school property, I’m sure there’s a perfectly good sidewalk right there for them to do the exact same thing on.

It’s called freedom of speech, asshole.

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1 Comment

  1. MrvnMouse said,

    Heck, if anything the Gideons could also be seen as promoting smoking since the really thin paper the bibles are printed on can be used as rolling papers if nothing else.

    The Gideons weren’t strapping children to chairs and forcing them to read the bibles, they simply were handing them out. I’ve seen them do this in my hometown, and all they do is set up a table with a sign saying free bibles, and the kids who want one take one.

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