"Having a blog is like wandering around your house naked with the windows open; it's all very liberating until someone looks in the window. However, while being caught unawares is one thing, it is quite another to stroll up to the window and press your naked, flabby body against the coolness of the glass in a hideous form of vertical prostration for all the world to see..." These posts are the smudges that are left behind on the window.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Driving God to Drink

The camera slowly pans the auditorium from left to right. It's jammed with people. The voice-over tells us it holds 900 people, and the crowd has even spilled over into another room. It then starts to cut in closer and we see there are nests of people in the chairs -  six to eight - some hunched over with their elbows on their knees. They seem to be examining the floor like it's going to start talking to them. Others are sitting upright with their arms outstretched slightly, their palms facing up ready to catch a baby being tossed from a burning tenement house. It looks like their eyeballs would escape if it weren't for their lids being closed so tight. Their lips move, but we can't hear what they're saying. The little groups are everywhere. All doing the same thing.

It turns out this is a school auditorium. The voice-over tells us this school is located in a small city known for it's plethora of car dealerships - and it's religious conservatism. And they are praying. But what has happened? Has there been another senseless slaying of innocent children? A hurricane swept through town leaving hundreds dead? An ax murderer from Hawaii prowling the streets looking for wayward fruit?

No. They are fervently petitioning the Almighty because of anti-bullying legislation. The government has said that if you are a public school, or a private one that gets money from them, you have to have certain anti-bullying policies in place. And what, exactly, are they so upset about? Two things. They have to allow anyone who wants to set up a group such as a gay-straight alliance to do so, and they think the definition of bullying is too broad.

What is a gay-straight alliance you ask? Here's a definition from Wiki.
Gay–straight alliances (GSAs) are student-led organizations, found primarily in North American high schools and universities, that are intended to provide a safe and supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth and their straight allies.
Sounds horrible! How can you possibly expect people who worship a God that defines himself as Love to be so accepting? Impossible, I say. Next you'll be expecting them to love their neighbour as themself. Not gonna happen my friend.

And what about this broad definition? The issue is that the legislation includes a statement that defines one of the symptoms of bullying as hurting someone's feelings. Now, I admit, this one could go sideways.

What it says is, any behavior
"intended to cause, or should be known to cause, fear, intimidation, humiliation, distress or other forms of harm to another person’s body, feelings, self-esteem, reputation or property.”
 I'm not exactly sure how you remove the word "feelings" from that statement and still have anything worthwhile left over to work with.

Are we seriously fighting over the protection of vulnerable people because we don't want our religious sensibilities offended? Is this what conservative fundamentalism has come to? Besides, do you honestly expect someone who attends one of these conservative private schools to put up their hand in class and announce they are gay - even if there is a gay-straight alliance? This is why people send their children to a private christian school in the first place: so they won't be sullied by the world; so they won't have to deal with what the rest of us call... life. You'd be better off wandering into the polar bear pit at the zoo with your pockets full of hamburger. It would be worse than hell. You'd have half of them ostracizing you, and the other half trying to convert you. I don't know which would be worse. Maybe the bureaucrats in these private schools are actually doing the gay community a favour by classifying them as sub-human.  Now I realize there are other people that are bullied, but by far the largest group is the LGBTQ's, and the religious community has made it quite clear that these people are the problem.

It's at times like this that I imagine God walking to the front of his mansion, drawing the blinds, locking the front door, going up stairs and packing a small bag. He then sneaks out the back door for an extended vacation in the eastern Uzbekistan so the reporters can't find him. Perhaps drinking himself into a stupor on the flight over.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel... ...you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to leave a comment. Your comment will not show immediately as I am moderating them for now.