I blame the time-traveling Mr. Lincoln for forwarding me this Sentinel editorial, no doubt in an effort to get me riled up. And riled up am I!
The editorial is written by Sentinel editor/douchebag Jeff McMenemy and is entitled "Tree controversy shows what the world is coming to."
Oddly enough the piece doesn't really explain what the world is supposedly coming to. Is it Armageddon? Cultural awareness? Orgies on every streetcorner? Also, are you really supposed to end a sentence with a preposition like that, Mr. Editor? Shame, shame!
Anyway, McMenemy is apparently a Teutonic Pagan and wants to push the trappings of his crazy-ass religion (I can say that because my girlfriend is a pagan) on the rest of us. To wit:
I don't understand the world today sometimes. [Unicow's note: this is both self-evident and a really sucky sentence.]Holy crap he's a bad writer. Not to mention a misleading one. Did people really think it wasn't "fair" to put up a religious symbol (in this case a Pagan one) in a public school? I'd bet they thought it wasn't constitutional, which is unrelated to fairness. McMenemy clearly has no qualms about pushing his nutty nature-worship on the rest of us, but the Constitution of this country isn't real big on that kind of behavior.
Case in point being the decision made by Samoset Principal Donna M. Pierce early last week to take down the school's giving tree -- which was used to collect donations to give to less fortunate people in Leominster -- because she received several complaints from parents and school employees who said it wasn't fair to put a religious symbol in the schools during the holidays.
He goes on to say:
Pierce later agreed to put the tree back up after a huge public backlash.Hmm. Do you think Mr. Pantheism there reads his own newspaper?
Because there was this story which explained pretty clearly that...
A parent put up the tree Friday to the "surprise" of faculty members and students, who had been working on a display that now includes Hanukkah and Kwanzaa symbols, as well as Christmas decorations, Superintendent Nadine Binkley said Wednesday.Oh, what a huge controversy! The school took down something that was erected too soon only to put it back up when it was due to go up anyway! Oh no!
"A parent came in and put up the tree without consulting anybody," she said. "It was an individual parent who chose to do it as opposed to a unified effort from the school community."
So, some parent comes in and does something that could be argued to promote religion in a public school setting if left standing alone. Instead of leaving it there, it's taken down until such a time as the planned and coordinated Xmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Solstice/Whatever decorations can get put up and thereby avoid potential establishment clause issues (displays for religious holidays are okay in public schools only if you give equal time to all comers, and don't promote any religion). Horrible!
[Another note: I was going to make an establishment clause / Santa Claus joke here but decided against it. You're welcome.]
(Also, if you're curious about what is and is not acceptable when it comes to religious holidays in public schools, the Christian Legal Society has some information here.)
Actually, what the principal did makes a lot of sense. But it's not controversial and doesn't fit into McMenemy's preconceived "War On Pagan Traditions That Are Explicitly Warned Against By The Bible."
I mean, only an idiot would freak out over schools following their own schedules, right? Or is he advocating anarchy in our public schools now? What if the parent had put the tree up in September, Mr. Goat-worship? Should we just leave it up and thereby abandon all order? Think of the children!
If McMenemy had left it at that I wouldn't have been too bothered. I mean, he's just one dumbass among many. But for some reason he had to get nasty:
The correct thing for Pierce to do would have been to thank everyone for their concern, and then politely tell them the tree was staying up, and suggest they could lessen their chagrin by donating something to put on the tree.What the fuck?
That way these thin-skinned, politically correct left wingers -- because you know we Republicans love Christmas -- might actually do something helpful for once in their lives.
"We Republicans love Christmas?"
Okay, I'd like to think that was tongue-in-cheek, and McMenemy just doesn't have the writing skills to convey sarcasm. But I don't think it was, which just means that Jeff McMenemy is an unbelievably huge asshole. Hey, fuck you, Jeff!
I get told by people all the time that Xmas is about giving and brotherhood and all that (hey, wasn't Jesus into brotherhood too?), and you come in defending it with the most stupidly divisive statement I've ever read? Fuck you again!
What, Democrats don't love Xmas? That'll come as news to an awful lot of people. Now, I hate Xmas, but I hardly speak for all Democrats (and my hate has more to do with the secular annoyance and conspicuous consumption than the let's-pretend-Jesus-was-born-in-December-even-though-he-wasn't religious tripe anyway).
And to suggest that the left-wing doesn't do anything to help the needy? What world have you been living in? Fuck you yet again! Fuck you and all your animal-sacrificing buddies!
I wasn't opposed to having Xmas trees in schools before (when done correctly, in a way so as not to promote religion), but now I am! Just to piss off Jeff McMenemy.
People like McMenemy are so keen on destroying the First Amendment and breaking down the separation between church and state (and make no mistake, that's what this is really about), that they become blind to what's actually going on.
In reality there's no controversy here. There's no sign of "what the world is coming to." It's a non-story that the Sentinel has tried to turn into a controversy by having three stories and two opinion pieces about it (so far). All that's really here is some right-wind fucktards freaking out over nothing, and using it as an excuse to attack people who they disagree with.
I may not subscribe to McMenemy's neo-paganist beliefs, but he's welcome to them. Trying to stir shit up for no reason isn't cool, though. Nor is it in keeping with his supposed belief system. Nerthus would be very disappointed!
ps Also, nice job pushing your pro-death penalty agenda in the same editorial thing, Jeff. 'Tis the season for giving (lethal injections)!