Today I actually have something to say. Go figure. While reading the Red Eye this morning, I learned that the Illinois state senate has passed a bill requiring schools K-12 to have a moment of silence at the beginning of every school day. This is seen as a way to circumvent the whole no prayer in the schools thing. Obviously, they can’t require prayer because of a little thing called The Constitution but, apparently, this is just fine.
Currently, there is a law saying that teachers can choose to have a moment of silence at the beginning of the day if they so desire. I had no idea about this, then again I have never attended school in Illinois and I don’t know how long this law has been around. It seems strange to me though. I do, however, know that I will very likely be teaching in Illinois at some point and will, as of now, be required to have a moment of silence in my classroom. I find this disgusting.
I have written about my views on organized religion before (although it was so long ago i had like one reader and no comments). I consider myself to be agnostic andI am generally uncomfortable around praying people. I don’t know why but I guess I assume that your praying should be done in the comfort of your own church or home. Maybe I am being insensitive about it but that is just the way I feel. Once I went to breakfast with co-workers and was about to start eating when one was like, “Wait, we have to pray.” I looked at her a little funny and ate. Thinking "Sorry, I don’t have to do anything". (I totally I wrote that interaction wrong. It was more like our food came and I picked up my fork and she stopped me with "You better pray over that food, you don't know where it has been". "Thanks, gross, and I don't pray" I thought. She then began to pray aloud while I just sat there with my fork still in my hand looking confused. I did wait for her to finish before eating. I'm not as rude as all that. Although I did want to be.) Now, if I am eating with someone and they take time out for a little prayer to themselves I am not bothered. I guess it is organized praying that gets to me. Kind of like how organized religion does but spirituality doesn’t.
Now if people want to pray before they start their school-day it’s fine. Do it before you get to school. If you want to have a little moment to yourself at the start of class then fine, but to have it legislated is preposterous. I fully understand that just because people are being silent doesn’t mean they are praying. A moment of silence is technically a time for reflection and introspection. However, that is not how it will be seen. I would guess that there are other teachers or potential teachers who, like me, are uncomfortable with the idea. That would be why some of them have elected not to have moments of silence in their classrooms. I would also guess that, particularly in High School, there would be a number of students who, like me are a little uncomfortable with the whole idea.
Maybe I am being too sensitive. Maybe there really isn’t anything strange about requiring this and I am just an odd person out. Maybe my thinking that people have a right to go to work and school and not be surrounded by people involved in religious practices is out of line. I really don’t know. I do know, however, that I don’t think it is right. I don’t think it is something we should be required to experience. If you want to pray at school go to a religious school. There are plenty of them. I know those schools cost money and that brings up a whole issue of class and rights of the more economically disadvantaged to be able to pray in school. I do see both sides to the issue. I just think there are many far more important (and less divisive) things that our state senate could be focusing on.
On a happier note it looks like they are also very close to passing a bill on legalizing civil unions. It’s not marriage, but it’s a step in the right direction. Baby steps here, people, baby steps.
I am also getting my hair cut tonight. I have no idea where my camera is so I am hoping that I can find it by the time I get home tonight for an after picture. If not I’ll either be very happy tomorrow or very sad. Maybe my writing will sufficiently describe what happened to my head.
1. It’s raining/ It’s raining/ There’s nothing you can do/ It doesn’t only rain on you/ But you’re acting all upset/ like you’re the only one that’s wet.
2. On the corner/ We talk away/ Everybody's older these days/ I'll just hit the reset button on this game.
3. Let it flow/ Let yourself go/ Slow and low that is the tempo. Kiyotoe knows it's the Beastie Boys but we still have room for the title. Ern to the rescue with our title of "Slow and Low".
4. Well she was just seventeen/ You know what I mean/ And the way she looked was way beyond compare. I Saw Her Standing There, The Beatles. Identified by WLFG and Danielle
5. Lada-dada-da it’s the motherfucking “d” “o” double g/ Lada-dada-da you know I’m hoppin with the “d” “r” “e”. Kiyotoe Knows it's Dr. Dre but we are, again, titleless Ern has cleared it us with "The Next Episode"