Rah Rah Rass, Kick 'Em In The Other Knee

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Memo to theocrats: IS THIS REALLY GOING TO BE A THING?

We have some updates to the cheerleader story from last Thursday's column about the Jesus-loving cheerleaders of Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. First, I have been reliably informed that Fort Oglethorpe is in fact in Georgia, not, as I stated, in Tennessee.

No excuses, I accept full responsibility for my error. And now, here are my excuses. The story was covered extensively by Chattanooga media. This is because Fort Oglethorpe is very close to the Tennessee border. We're talking "genitals of Fort Oglethorpe's cousins" close. So close that, if you looked at the geographical distribution of SAT scores, it would actually qualify as part of Tennessee.

Second, what looked on Thursday to be a legal ruling, followed by a brief hissyfit and a further deepening of a general feeling of persecution, is now turning into a full-blown Thing. My inbox has gotten stories about this from both Donald Wildmon and OneNewsNow, so expect to start hearing about the atheist War On High School Football any day now. Wildmon wants to pay for the lawyers, although his description of them is... iffy. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Your AFA has been in contact with our friends at pro-freedom First Amendment law firms, and are confident that the school district will have outstanding legal counsel if officials choose to craft a response that will preserve this uniquely American tradition. - AFA E-mail.

Let's make one thing perfectly clear. The AFA has no friends at actual, pro-freedom, First Amendment law firms. Unless by "freedom" they mean "freedom to do whatever the fuck they want no matter what the law says", and "First Amendment" means "Genesis". And while I will be the first to admit that football players bursting through Scripture banners like they're hymens on prom night is a "uniquely American tradition", none of those words actually describe something that's either widespread or good.

Meanwhile the anonymous complainant has been outed, and it turns out she's not an atheist. She's even more dangerous. She's someone who accidentally learned something at Liberty University. Donna Jackson at Ringgold is pursuing a doctorate in education from the Falwell-founded college, which seems to me like an awfully terrifying thing to be pursuing. If I saw a doctorate of education from Liberty University in a dark alley, I'd drop my wallet and run like hell.

Anyway, Donna* took a school law class over the summer, and somehow managed to correctly deduce that EIGHTEEN-FOOT-HIGH SCRIPTURE might run afoul of those damn activist judges. If you believe her story, and it does sound stupid enough to be plausible, she expressed these concerns to the superintendent not as someone who hates Scripture, but as someone who feared this turning into a huge issue. The superintendent, dumb enough to believe the legal analysis of a Liberty University student, then overreacted by doing the right thing and banning the banners, if you'll pardon the awkward but necessary construction.

And now we have the usual humdinger of a fuckwagon. State representatives saying the Founding Fathers intended exactly this kind of thing when they founded a "Christian nation". There were rallies. People brought Scripture signs to the game, which is totally legal. They painted Bible verses on their chests, which is stupid, but also legal. They waved signs saying "We Will Not Be Silenced", which, given all the other shit in the stands, you'd think would be self-evident.

The Hordes For Jesus want a huge stink, which I think is great. Because that means America's eyes will be on Fort Oglethorpe, not just a scattering of inbred eyes along the TN-GA border. And all this attention makes it much more likely that someone will make a formal ruling stating the obvious, that schools can't promote the King James Motherfucking Bible during official events. And once the signs are gone for good, we'll all notice if they try to sneak them back. Thanks, Rev. Wildmon! Odds are, you've ensured that school-sanctioned Scripture has been eradicated from another hellish corner of the Bible Belt.

*Ms. Jackson if you're nasty.