Ignorance, Bigotry and Racism, Oh My!

I am going to need a new desk. This one has a head-shaped dent in it.

A mural meant to bring people together is causing a rift in the Bastrop community.

The painting in question, a student project completed in 2003, adorns a wall in the corridor leading to the Bastrop High School gym. It depicts the sometimes unpleasant history of the town, showing scenes of a Mexican and Comanche raid and slaves working in a cotton field, as well as unifying visions of children of different ethnicities reaching out to one another.

..

Among the images on the mural are an Aztec sun, ancient Egypt’s King Tutankhamen, Buddha and Shiva, a Hindu deity, dancing on a demon of ignorance.

The stereotypical prayer-meeting-having homeschooling mom wants the (TEN THOUSAND DOLLAR) mural removed:

“When she showed it to me, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ ” said Hansell, who added that the mural presents a new age idea of peace and unity that could be confusing to Christian students.

You just can’t make this stuff up. Keeping firmly in mind that I am a COMPLETE CYNIC when it comes to organized religion, and the destruction it has wrought across history, I just have to say, yes, I could see where ideas of peace and unity would be confusing to Christian students. Can’t have them thinking that everyone is equal, no matter if they pray to Buddha, Coyote or the stunted begonia on their front porch, because, as the pig says, some people are clearly more equal than others.

The extra-special-bonus comes at the end of that article, where we’re treated to a glimpse of the future:

As Mandi Colvin, a sophomore at Bastrop High, sees it: “It’s breaking the First Amendment. It needs to come down.”

Oh indeed? The mural is making laws that interfere with the free exercise of religion? Or it is making laws that infringe the freedom of speech and the press? Maybe it is limiting the right to peaceably assemble? Or limiting the right to petition the governemtn for a redress of grievances?

What? Murals can’t do those things? Amazing what you’re NOT learning in Civics class, isn’t it.

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4 Responses to “Ignorance, Bigotry and Racism, Oh My!”

  1. Madrocketscientist Says:
    May 15th, 2008

    “It’s breaking the First Amendment. It needs to come down.”

    Wow, our chillens is learning

    ReplyReply
  2. doubleplusundead Says:
    May 15th, 2008

    Once again why I’m in favor of all private schools, everyone can do their own thing. If it was a private school, she can whine all she wants, but they can ultimately ignore her if they want, and she can go elsewhere, you can’t do that at a public school, because she is forced to have a stake in it.

    ReplyReply
  3. porkopolitan Says:
    May 17th, 2008

    Come now, Hazel. You and I know that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” means that you cannot compel any individual to adhere, even nominally, to the tenets of any particular (sub)faith in order to hold elective or appointive Federal office, and nothing more. But we also know that the First Amendment is in practice what the Supreme Court says — and that portraying the “Aztec sun [god], ancient Egypt’s King Tutankhamen, Buddha and Shiva, a Hindu deity, dancing on a demon of ignorance” is just as much an “endorsement” of religion as a portrayal of Christ would be.

    Maybe it’s paranoia on my part, but I am frankly doubtful that “[a] mural meant to bring people together” which contains multiple religious references, while ostentatiously omitting the single most common one, is really meant to bring “people” “together.” This is not in itself reason to remove the mural. But I will bet the hard-won love of “my” feline that the locals who really think of the mural that way have in the past been quick to advocate any action necessary to protect the chirrens of the community — and most especially those not their own — from the dark spectre of Christianity…

    ReplyReply
  4. Drumwaster Says:
    May 17th, 2008

    portraying the “Aztec sun [god], ancient Egypt’s King Tutankhamen, Buddha and Shiva, a Hindu deity, dancing on a demon of ignorance” is just as much an “endorsement” of religion as a portrayal of Christ would be.

    Methinks you misunderstand what the First Amendment was trying to do. Simply displaying those figures is not an endorsement of religion (and it was the endorsement of a single religion – a State religion, much like many other countries have – that the Founders were trying to prevent*), but an acknowledgment of its existence in our society.

    If a government agency (such as a school) were to push a single religion to the point where they were requiring students (who must, by law, attend such institutions) to adopt religiously-based names for the duration of the lessons, praying to that religion’s holy site five times a day, playing “jihad games” and setting aside special places to pray for the actual adherents of that religion, while simultaneously barring the free expression of other religions (no praying in classrooms or in groups, no extra-curricular religiously-based groups, no prayers at official functions, etc.), THAT would qualify as an endorsement of that religion. But if a government were to (say) display a copy of the 10 Commandments, along with a copy of the Koran, the Torah, and the Code of Hammurabi, that isn’t an endorsement of religion.

    Yet in this screwed up legal arena, the one is permitted, while the other is barred.

    So get your facts together, and come back when you have a firmer grasp of the topic, m’kay?

    * – Up until SCOTUS pointed out that the 14th Amendment prevented the various States from having their own religion (equal protections under the Bill of Rights by the States), there had been several States that endorsed a specific religion, and that was not a violation of the 1st Amendment, which only barred Congress from establishing such.

    ReplyReply

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