Ran into a guy I sort of know.
We talked about things.
The conversation eventually turned to Education:
Him: The problem with education in America is that Liberals have taken God out of the schools!
Me: Beg pardon?
Him: We didn’t have gang problems and drug problems and that kind of crap before they took God out of school. Kids used to behave.
Me: The hell you say. Where are you getting this nonsense? Texas history books?
Him: Kids can’t even pray in school any more. Christians I mean. But if you’re a Muslim, they have to give you a special room and let you pray to Mohammed. But not Christians!
Me: I’m pretty sure Christians can pray to Mohammed if they want to…
Him: Ha ha. Funny. But you know I’m right.
Me: Uh, no, you’re wrong. Christians, and anybody else for that matter, can pray if they like, in or out of school. The school just can’t make them pray. The school can’t advocate any one particular religion. However, by law the school must make allowances for religious beliefs, Christians and everybody else’s.
Him: Then why are they discriminating against Christians?
Me: Oh for fuck’s sake, Christians are the least persecuted religion in America.
Him: We can’t even talk about God in school, but the Muslims can wear those rags on their heads and hide their faces…
Me: And Jews can wear the yarmulke and Christians can wear their crosses. And Goths can wear black and paint their faces. And people from Wisconsin can wear big foam blocks of cheese on their heads. And this has what exactly to do with declining test scores and poorly performing schools?
Him: That’s my point! We need to put God back in the schools!
Me: And by God you mean the Christian God?
Him: There is only one God…
Me: Well, he should have behaved better then.
Me: If God didn’t want to get expelled, he should have behaved better.
Him: You’re just being a jerk.
Me: Probably. What exactly do you mean? Put God back in the schools?
Him: Evolution! You can’t even mention alternative theories! Students can get kicked out for even mentioning intelligent design, but they’re supposed to believe people came from monkeys!
Me: Oh bullshit. In fact, nearly every school district in the country allows students to opt out of class work that conflicts with their religious views. But just to make sure I’m understanding you correctly, teaching Intelligent Design will get rid of gangs and drug use? Improve test scores?
Him: Yes! It’s about morals. Evolution says you can do anything you want because there isn’t a higher purpose. You can just rape and kill if you want to, according to evolution! Drugs? OK. Sex? OK. You can’t even have the Ten Commandments in the schools or the courthouses any more. Liberals have gone crazy with this kind of censorship! This country was founded on the Ten Commandments!
Him: It was!
Me: That’s actually incorrect, Jefferson and the Founders referred to a number of texts when writing the Constitution, including the Bible and the Torah and the Koran.
Him: That’s crazy, the Koran wasn’t even written then!
Him: Anyway, whatever, even you have to admit that the Ten Commandants should be taught in school. Don’t kill, don’t steal, obey the law…
Me: Um, I’m pretty sure the Big Ten doesn’t include “obey the law.” I’m OK with thou shall not kill and thou shall not steal. But I do have a major problem with teaching the rest of it in public school, especially the parts about which God to worship. And what about that part where it says “Honor your father and mother.” Hey that’s great for most people, but what about those kids who have parents who abuse them? Say a child molester? What about that bit about no idols or graven images? Does that apply to football mascots?
Him: Don’t be stupid.
Me: Do you even know the Ten Commandments?
Him: Better than you!
Me: Good thing smug hubris wasn’t outlawed uh? Never mind. Look, don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t commit perjury, etcetera are already covered by state and federal laws. Along with things like don’t rape, don’t hit people, don’t blow shit up, don’t break other people’s stuff, and so on along with a lot of other things the Ten Commandments seems to have left out. In fact, as a guideline for life, the Ten Commandments are pretty damned simplistic, and they are certainly woefully incomplete.
Him: That’s a lie! If you live your life by God’s law like Christians then…
Me: Whoa, stop. I call shenanigans. You said rape, drug use, etcetera. The Ten Commandments do not in any way say a damned thing about “Thou shall not smoke the ganja,” or “Thou shall not force a woman against her will or ply her with roofies and have your way with her without her consent,” or “Thou shall not join the Crips or the Aryan Nation.” Hell, the Ten Commandments don’t even say to study hard and stay in school. And God’s law? What law? Where’s this written down?
Him: In the bible! Of course!
Me: Right. Exactly. So according to God’s law I should be able to sell my daughter into slavery? And in fact slavery is perfectly acceptable, right? In fact, if I’m not mistaken, Jesus mentioned the proper care and feeding of slaves on more than one occasion, right? How about genocide? God himself killed all the firstborn of Egypt, didn’t he? And doesn’t the Bible tell me to kill my son if he disrespects me? Should we stone adulterers to death? Burn witches?
Him: That’s in the Old Testament!
Him: You people always bring that stuff up. That was in the Old Testament, Jesus changed all of that. That’s why the Jews are cursed! Because they don’t accept Jesus and the New Testament! You have to read what Jesus said, and God’s covenant with Man through Jesus’ sacrifice!
Me: So, there was no slavery in the New Testament?
Me: Also, aren’t the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament?
Him: You’re an asshole. I’m not talking to you anymore.
Me: So I guess a blowjob in the parking lot is completely out of the question? Oh, c’mon don’t go…