Outrage... Diminishing...

« May 2008 »

Memo to Bastrop High School: YOU ARE... DUMB?

Goddamn Texas. I cannot believe a public high school had the balls to put up a giant mural full of religious iconography, plastered across a wall students walk by every day. When will these people learn to keep their theocratic fantasies out of the public square? I swear to fuck, this country's going crazier every single...

Oh, wait. Looking into this, it turns out the mural's been up for about five years. You'd think someone would have complained by now. I guess the whole hick pigfucking town is used to seeing their dominant philosophy sprayed across the landscape like a dog's liquid territory demarcation...

Huh, that's weird. It's actually on the outskirts of Austin. It might even be inside the edges of the protective dome I'd want to erect around Austin if it became necessary to nuke the state of Texas for chronic, incurable stupidity. Well, the point is, stupid can occur even in the midst of relative civilization, so Bastrop High School really needs to get its ode to Jesus stripped down to the bare...

Oh. the religious iconography depicted in the mural are Buddha and Shiva? Fuck. Well, I suppose, in the spirit of fairness, that a secular crusader is applying the strict separation of church and state across the board. For the past five years, Bastrop High students have been unwillingly indoctrinated into Eastern religions through the subliminal influence of the muralist. And that's really not right.

Hm. According to Buddhist and Hindu sympathizer Raul Valdez, the images were chosen by the students to represent cultural unity. Apparently, Shiva and Buddha are dancing atop a devil of ignorance. Well, even though there was no overt attempt to force Eastern Hemisphere religious iconography on Texas high school students, the use of religion as a substitute for culture shows a certain level of insensitivity that I'm sure those complaining about the mural were focusing on. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"When she showed it to me, I was like, 'Oh my gosh.' It doesn't even represent even a fingernail of the faith here in Bastrop County and what (residents) believe." - Lauren Hanzell, Bastrop resident and Christian, who saw the mural when visiting the school with her home-schooled children to lead prayers out by the flagpole each Friday.


OK. I'm really trying here to overcome my innate assumptions about Christian home-schoolers in Texas who get cranky when their deity isn't front and center. Let em read the article from the Austin Statesman again. I'm sure there are some details in the story that will help re-stoke the outrage and sympathy I know I'm supposed to feel toward Hanzell and her predicament.

"[Hanzell] added that the mural presents a new age idea of peace and unity that could be confusing to Christian students... Hanzell, who at first interpreted Shiva's dance as a message in favor of abortion, said laws that bar Christian symbols from public schools should apply to the mural."

Fuck it, I'm out. Can't do it. Even if it makes me a bad person, a hypocrite, whatever. I don't care. There are larger social issues at stake here, and at the end of the day, I have to go with a higher principle over a legal technicality. And that principle is that when someone looks at Shiva dancing upon a demon of ignorance, and sees it as a message supporting abortion, that you immediately stop listening to or giving credence to ANYTHING THEY SAY.

Why? Because it only encourages them. If Bastrop High School carefully parses the nuances of the law in such a way that Hanzell gets what she wants, the crazy home-schooling Texan mom is not going to walk away satisfied that she has defended the separation of church and state and struck a blow for religious equality in the public square. She's just going to think that Satan's minion on earth, Shiva, will no longer be telling impressionable teens to kill their babies. And we don't need that a lot more than we don't need a mural.