Wednesday, April 06, 2011

God, Guns & Glory

As we creep steadily closer to the 2012 election, new talk and new legislative efforts have come up regarding getting
guns into church and church into schools. I’m wondering: by the transitive property of firearms, does that mean we’ll allow guns in schools?

Personally, I think carrying a hogleg to church is a good idea. For one, it makes the preacher put some real thought into his sermon planning. You don’t want to bore a guy to the point of violence when he’s packin’ a nine. Another good thing is your church can be defended if, on some sunny spring morning, the Huns, for example, attempt to overrun it and take your women. Huns do that kind of thing. The third reason is, of course, that … well, it seems there is no third reason – but those two are apparently good enough for the Arkansas House to pass legislation removing the ban on guns in church, and send it to the Senate. The Senate, apparently infiltrated with Huns, rejected it. For the time-being, anyway.

Now comes the perennial effort to teach The Bible in public schools. In late March, by a 71-16 vote, the brilliant folks in the Arkansas House passed a bill allowing Arkansas schools to offer the Good Book as an elective course in “history.” It’s not “required,” they insist, just making it available if the school wants to offer it. Presumably, some parents pulled their kids from Sunday Schools because they couldn’t take their pistols – on principle – and are now looking to fill that void in their spiritual lives in a tax-supported institution.

There’s a heartwarming little story going around the Internet about a kid wanting to know how God could let some terrible thing happen in his school, and God replies to him “I’m not allowed in your school.” For an instant, it kind of brings a tiny tear to the left hand corner of your right hand eye; but then, if you think about it, you have to wonder how an all-powerful deity – an invisible one at that – could be kept out of the classroom by a sign on the front door that said “No Gods Allowed.” Don’t you? Well, I guess the House doesn’t.

Here’s some more questions: Should the Senate pass this bill, which version of The Bible will be taught in school? I understand there are over 300. What if the school decides they like the Old Testament? Can they go with that? If so, will there follow a religious movement by the students to ban pork chops on the school’s lunch menu? Will the principals, as de facto parents, be compelled to kill disobedient children? What if they selected The Book of Mormon? Could the school administrators opt out of all of the Christian versions of “history” altogether and instead go with The Analects, the Avesta, the Koran, the Talmud, the Tao, the Veda, or The Epic of Gilgamesh? Here’s a good one – Scientology. If a school was to do that, even though the course is not “required,” could we expect some rather heated input from Protestant Christian parents who didn’t want these texts even being offered to their children? I dunno. Just askin’.

Playing Devil’s Advocate here (pun intended), what if, instead of disguising a religious doctrine as “history,” public schools offered a Theology course, in which the kids studied all of the various religions? That certainly wouldn’t leave room for anybody to say that Arkansas was attempting to circumvent the doctrine of Separation of Church & State by recognizing one form of religion as teachable history while ignoring scores of others. And when the children of the Arkansas Legislature are finally restored their God-given right to carry their guns to church and they return to Sunday School (probably none of them go to Saturday School), the fact that they’re also studying Theology in public school, being a completely different subject, shouldn’t have too much of a negative impact upon their “historical” teachings there, or their religious views. Unless, of course they are attracted to something in school to which they have never been previously introduced.

Something tells me this idea isn’t going to be too well received. Hey, I’m just an idea man. I don’t make the rules.


© 2011, Rick Baber