Archive - Sep 15, 2009

Subliminal Baptism

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Memo to Scott Mooney: YOU ARE DUMB.

As a nerd, I have, during my formative years, had a certain amount of... indignity forced upon my by the gym coaches of America. Some of us were never destined to climb ropes, dammit, no matter how many knots you tie in them. But despite all the kickball-based trauma I suffered through the years, at least no gym coach ever tried to make me a Christian. That's what the Cub Scouts were for, dammit.

Apparently, shit is different in Kentucky. I mean, yeah, I knew that, what with the horse fetishes and the mint juleps and, you know. Being Kenfuck-ee. But I didn't realize it was so different that you could go on a field trip and get baptized.

This was the brilliant idea of Breckinridge High School football coach Scott "So Totally Not Paul" Mooney. Loaded the team into a public school bus, drove 'em to church, and baptized half of 'em. Why half? Damned if I know. Presumably the other half had already been dipped in liquid Jesus.

Now, I am obviously of two minds about this whole thing, because baptism ain't nothin' but two H's and an O. Splashing around in a church's birdbath doesn't make you a Christian, there are no magical powers involved, and thus, a couple of laps around God's pool doesn't do any real harm. On the other hand, I know what DOES do harm. Abuse of power. Also, the failure of a school chaperon to keep church from grinding its booty all up on state's crotch.

Now normally, the coach thought this was a good idea. And normally, once a parent complained, it would normally be inevitable that he would defend his actions amidst the rising controversy. And it would normally be equally inevitable that whatever defense he raised, it would be ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

But unfortunately the school's lawyers got to him before the press did, and Mooney clamped down tighter than a Kentucky teen at a purity ball. So all we're left with is a superintendent's meager excuse and some ravings from one of those crazy fucker groups with "Liberty" in the title. ACTUAL SETTLE FOR THESE QUOTES TIME!

"None of the players were rewarded for going and none were punished for not going." - Superintendent Janet Meeks, who then went on to inherits the earths. I think that's a refreshingly atheist-friendly statement for Meeks, since it is official church doctrine that the players who went were rewarded with life eternal, and the students who didn't go were punished with hellfire and damnation.

"However, Matt Staver, founder and general counsel for Liberty Counsel, an Orlando-based group that provides free legal assistance in religious liberty cases, said there was nothing wrong with trip as long as it was voluntary and no public funds were used. He compared it to a coach inviting players to attend a play or to go see a baseball game." - USA Today, apparently feeling that direct-quoting Staver would make my life too fucking easy.

That actually makes sense, in a twisted sort of way. I mean, like a play, church is chock-full of fictional theatrics. And like baseball, it's way too strongly associated with the American way of life. But I'm pretty sure we hold our schools to a higher standard than just "voluntary" and "doesn't use public funds", or all those teachers wouldn't get in trouble for fucking their students.

This isn't that difficult, people. Don't bring your students to your church and convert them to your religion. It's simple common sense. And the only reason you don't understand this is that nobody called you on this shit for 200 years. But things are changing, and maybe soon we'll be dunking YOU in "atheist tubs" to build team spirit. A lot less holy glory, but a lot more chlorine. We'll wash that God right out of your hair.