For God and Kentucky

JISHOU, HUNAN — I used to live in Kentucky. It’s a beautiful state, full of great people, but afflicted with legislators who are mostly terminally stupid. In that, I suppose, the Bluegrass State is not unique. There’s a whole lotta stupid goin’ on. (Take Zimbabwe, for example.) Kentucky’s latest contribution to stupidity was the inclusion of “Almighty God” in two state statutes a few years back dealing with the state’s homeland security. Someone finally caught wind of the terminology and has filed suit in state court to have the offending laws rewritten. The someone is the group, American Atheists. So you can already predict how the religious right and right-wing radioheads will react: “Godless atheists are trying to destroy our Christian nation! Blah blah blah …!” I mean, the American Atheists have a point, but why couldn’t the plaintiffs been someone less obvious a target for right-wing vitriol, like maybe the Presbyterians headquartered in Louisville? The right-wing blather will only obscure the real issue, which I hope the courts will settle quickly. Our laws cannot invoke God without running afoul of the US Constitution, specifically this part: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the ...

A fox in the henhouse

JISHOU, HUNAN — The border police in Berkeley, California, must have been napping. A proselytizing teacher slipped into town long enough to traumatize her class of eight-year-olds. She told them that Harry Potter, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus were ALL fictional characters, and that God was the only thing they should believe in. Nice. And I wonder what grade she got in ed psych? She also reportedly told her third graders that she didn’t believe in evolution or the Big Bang either. I suppose none were able to shoot back a counter-argument, since they were all in tears about the Santa Claus/Easter Bunny revelation. The teacher, a new hire over the summer, is now being investigated by the Berkeley Unified School District for possibly (!) violating laws against the separation of Church and State. The details are here. I’m not sure which is worse, burning a cross onto a teenager’s arm with a Tesla coil or demolishing an eight-year-old’s belief in Santa and the Easter Bunny. Is the US this desperate for teachers? Thanks for Pharyngula for this story.
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