I don’t make much of political issues, but I had to be amused by a recent story of a student in Texas, the child of one Carla and Danny Schultz (also Skeptics) who filed a lawsuit to stop prayers at a public school graduation. The story has so many twists and turns that I don’t have time to follow it closely; you can see a link about it below. I’d just like to remark on a social aspect of the situation.
Apparently, the judge who sided with the student in this case argued that the student “irreparable harm” if the decision was not in his favor. What sort of harm? The student had apparently experienced “anxiety” over the issue.
He wants anxiety? Let’s send him to Sudan, they’ll be glad to show him how to relax there.
I don’t care for whiners. That includes Christian whiners, too, lest anyone think otherwise; as for example when I said concerning something in Frank Viola’s Pagan Christianity:
The first part of this is a fictional account of a man named Winchester who is bored with church; it is an expression of Viola's "blame the object, not the person" argumentation. Winchester says church "bores me to tears." A trip on over to Sudan would resolve that boredom, and he wouldn't have to dress up either. Winchester objects to wearing a tie -- over in places like the Sudan, they have some much more uncomfortable neckwear for Christians.
Whiners like Viola or that agnostic student have never experienced real persecution. They’ve never been physically tortured. They’ve never had their property confiscated by a merciless state. And please – don’t pull the old “slippery slope” canard on me with this, either; if you think allowing such trivialities as school prayer opens the door to more serious persecution of people like atheists, then the character of this nation and its people is such that you’re not going to stop it with the legal system anyway; the federal judge who decides for you in such a theoretical nation would end up dangling on a noose right next to you.
Which reminds me – although, apparently, this judge’s orders were overturned, I would say that if they had not been, it might have been a good time for some civil “disobedience.” Nothing illegal, necessarily, though as we know from leaders in such movements, like Gandhi, that level of action may someday be necessary. For now, if indeed that student had succeeded, how about giving him a taste of some real “anxiety” or “harm” (ha ha!) with things like:
Saying prayers aloud, or having religious discussions, any time he comes nearby.
Always turning conversations with him towards religious topics.
Wearing plenty of religious t-shirts and other paraphernalia in his presence, including at that graduation ceremony.
Of course, the poor whiner will probably say he’s being persecuted. (Like I said, though, he doesn't know what real persecution is.) And other whiners will say, “How would you feel if someone did that to you?” My answer is that I wouldn’t feel anything – and I wouldn’t whine about it, either. I’d engage others in debate. I’d do all I could to make my own views widely known while not also spoiling life for others. I’d produce books, films, and other media promulgating my POV. Of course, the whiners also forget that they wouldn't have those options in the Sudan. They're just using the freedoms religious people fought for to accommodate their own whininess.
One particularly whiny YT atheist wonders if we’d put up with things like atheist blessings at graduations if Christians were in the minority. Um, well, some may not like that, but I wouldn’t care one bit. Not that it matters: Atheist whiners take stuff like this to court because they know they can’t win the real arguments, so they take it out on others with whatever weapons they can scratch out.
How about this: Let’s see if the Schultzes can defend their views on a forum like TheologyWeb! Anyone out there know them well enough to extend the challenge?