As I think I’ve explained before, I read my local college newspaper in order that I might be amused by the police briefs (“Suspicious service dog interrupts IM fields”) ; I do not read it in hopes of seeing in blinding relief, everything that is wrong with our society.
And yet they continue to surprise me.
On September 24, they ran an opinion article (purportedly) about how political correctness had gone too far. I remember reading it and raising my eyebrows skyward, because the whole thing was a fear/ignorance induced hate-fest on Muslims who, he asserted, wanted to kill us all; this seemed especially uncalled for considering that this guy obviously represents Christianity, a religion which I can define and decry in three words: “Puritanism,” “Native Americans,” and “Crusades.” Last time I checked, the Christians (although not, I willingly concede, Christ himself) honed, perfected, and elevated to an art form the concept of killing people who don’t worship your god – whether by lighting them on fire (Puritans) or by inflicting massive genocide (upon Native Americans during the pre-Colonial era and upon Arabic peoples during the Crusades).
If you’re interested in the actual content of the article, all you need know was that it was similar in tone to the stupidity displayed here. One of his points was that, apparently, unbeknownst to me, all American schools everywhere, were forcing children to don Muslim attire and read the Koran aloud. This seemed like an interesting claim, but I had a class to get to, and I promptly forgot. Until today, that is.
The other regular author of the Opinion column (they rotate, not unlike Anna Quinlan and George F. Will in Newsweek, only considerably less talented) used his space today to write an entire column about the Muslim column, calling it a “hate article against Muslims in the cloak of a dislike for all things PC.”
He proceeded, in his bumbling, vaguely literate, college-paper way, to trash the entire article and its author, while, all the while, noting that it was perfectly constitutionally acceptable for him to be a bottom-feeding ethnocentric prick (I’m paraphrasing here).
Under the opinion article ran a letter to the editor expressing disappointment that a college paper, a bastion of academe (have you ever read this paper, dude?), would publish an article in such poor taste. “If he would simply open his eyes and garner information from somewhere other than right-wing propaganda websites……”
I have never seen this level of debate in a college paper, ever, not once. This is like watching two Supreme Court Justices duke it out in a vat full of jello (I’m thinking Ginsburg and Thomas) (Fully robed, of course). This is like Joe Biden and Sam Brownback prancing around each other, fists raised, while the rest of the Senate forms a ring around them and Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi chant “Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!”
In short, this is so cool. Almost as cool as that one time we had a college student go missing and then he turned up a week later in jail under an assumed name.
The letter-writer goes on to say that the school that was supposedly has kids dress up in burkas and read the Koran was
1) in California (well, screw it then, is that still even part of the country?)
2) merely teaching an eight-week class in multiculturalism
3) not requiring that the kids wear burkas, just making it an option.
This actually seems like a pretty good idea to me. As long as school is compulsory, and as long as there are people with fanatical religious beliefs that they want to impose upon us (I include Christians in that statement), doesn’t it make perfect sense to teach comparative religion in elementary school?
I know my Liberal Lion would approve. (“Fine, they want church in the schools? Well, they’ve got it! We’ll teach them all through the same filter, and then they almost can’t help but be recognized as mythology!”)
He’s right. I have a theory that exposed to the world’s religions, both ancient and modern, your standard eight-year-old would call bullshit in about an hour, if that. Hell, the various creation myths are so clearly derived from one another, I don’t know how adults fail to notice.
Kids are really more logical than you’d think — they may believe in magic, but their magic plays by clearly defined, sensible rules. Prime example, my younger brother, who we are trying to wean off Santa Claus this year.
“Santa might bring your presents a few days early, and they might all be wrapped,” my mom told him. There was a pause. “Why would he do that?” asked my brother in the most skeptical tone of voice I have ever heard. “That’s what Santa does when you get older,”my mom said lamely. “That isn’t how it works,” my brother explained dismissively.
So, in summation, I think we should go out of our way to educate the youth of America about religious dogma so that they may better recognize it — both when they see it, and when they don’t, and thus won’t wind up like Mr. All-Muslims-Are-Terrorists-Opinion-Writer.
But, by all means, let’s keep this spirit of debate — or as I like to call it, college paper catfighting — going, because it is awesome.