Louisiana: Consistently Bad At Walls
9 August, 2012 - 20:55 — Bryan Lambert
Memo to Louisiana: YOU GOTTA KEEP 'EM SEPARATED.
Church and state. Oil and water. Guy Fieri and dignity. Some things just aren't meant to mix. Hardcore Christians get pissy about this because, well, they're hardcore Christians, and they want to run shit their way. But true religious freedom means the government can't tell you which religion is the bestest, no matter how many members of that government know, in their heart of hearts, that Jesus totally kicks all those other religion's asses.
Louisiana, desperate to be at the forefront of anything that isn't either corruption or the indoor seawater industry, has been making great strides toward undermining the already-tenuous-in-the-South-and-rural-areas separation between church and state. They passed a new law letting them give government money to schools that teach that the loch Ness Monster is real and a dinosaur and therefore creationism, or that the Moon exists because we believe in it strongly enough.
Fun fact about that law, though. It passed despite losing the support of conservative Republican Valarie Hodges, who comes from a proud line of Louisianans who refuse to let some highbrow edumacated university professor tell them how to spell "Valerie". Anyway, Rep. Hodges came to what, for her, must have been a startling revelation. Outside of Louisiana, we call it The Fucking Obvious. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"I actually support funding for teaching the fundamentals of America’s Founding Fathers’ religion, which is Christianity, in public schools or private schools…Unfortunately it will not be limited to the Founders’ religion. We need to insure that it does not open the door to fund radical Islam schools. There are a thousand Muslim schools that have sprung up recently. I do not support using public funds for teaching Islam anywhere here in Louisiana."
What's amazing is that her startling revelation leads immediately to her missing the fucking point and then takes her straight into religious bigotry. Louisiana, ladies and gentlemen. Where even the epiphanies are backwards.
The government can't pay to have kids learn about Jesus, and then NOT pay to have kids learn about Allah. An even stricter, saner, and more meaningful interpretation of the First Amendment would tell you they can't fucking pay for either of them, because the government's job is to educate students on the facts, and churches can use all the money they don't pay in taxes covering the gaps in children's complete fucking bullshit knowledge. But it's post-millennial Crazy American and so we take what we can get, and if a little mindless bigotry were to have stopped Louisiana tax money from going to creationist parochial schools, I'd have taken it.
(Today's complicated syntax brought to you by me not realizing this story and the Loch Ness story were the same story a few weeks ago. Good thing this shit is free.
On a related note, the ACLU apparently has its hands full in Louisiana, because another charter school is now in trouble for forcing female students to take pregnancy tests. Stick turns blue? You're kicked out of school. Refuse to take the pregnancy test on the grounds that WHAT THE EVER LOVING FUCK IS THIS ALL ABOUT, THIS CAN'T POSSIBLY BE FUCKING LEGAL, CAN IT and you also get kicked out of school. I can't even find anything, anywhere, indicating the weird reasoning or grounds by which the New Delhi Charter School thinks this policy is warranted. No defenses to pick apart, they've just been... doing it. For six years. Until someone spoke up.
Bet it was some Puritanical religious women-hating bullshit, though.