23 April 2013

A little poem about murder

The image to the right turned up in my Facebook feed tonight. I almost looked right past it, but the last line happened to catch my eye and upon reading the rest I was disgusted.

Generally I don't start religious or political discussions on Facebook but I do make exceptions, so I thought for a while on whether this case should be one of them. In the end I decided it wasn't worth it. But I still find the whole thing quite infuriating, so I'm going to vent my frustration here.

As you can see, in addition to being a shitty poem it has the audacity to claim that the reason for the increase in school shootings is the fact that official moments of prayer have been done away with in many schools.

First of all: who the hell thought a blithe little poem such as this was an appropriate way to broach the subject of the violent deaths of children? It's so hideously disrespectful that I can hardly believe it's real.

Next, you may have noticed that I was somewhat particular in my description of the state of prayer in schools. The poem claims that it's "illegal ...  to bring the Lamb of God to school, or even speak His name," but that's an outright lie. Nowhere in the United States is it illegal for a student to mention God in school—the Abrahamic one or otherwise. Nor is it illegal to pray in schools. All that's happening is that "moments of prayer" are being replaced with secular "moments of silence;" if a student wants to pray during a moment silence, they're perfectly able to. The fact that this poem is lying through its teeth doesn't do much to secure the position on the moral high ground that it so obviously thinks it deserves.

My main problem with it, though, is how intellectually insulting it is. It takes a complex and tragic problem and has the arrogance to proclaim that all it comes down to is that people aren't praying enough to the author's particular deity. Basically, all you atheists and Buddhists and Jews have the blood of scores of children on your hands for not praying, or praying wrongly. Other than being incredibly offensive, it's a lazy approach to a serious problem. If we were to throw our hands up and decide this was our "solution" we'd be condemning many more children to death. Our kids deserve serious thought put toward real solutions, not cop outs and excuses.

And lastly I can't help but mention the horrible light in which this poem puts its own God through its claims. According to the poem, the allegedly omnipotent God sits by and watches as children are brutally slain because a prayer quota hasn't been met. Sorry, little Katie, He might say, if you'd only prayed a little harder I might have stopped that bullet...

I've got no use for any god that operates like that, and I've gotta wonder about anyone who thinks that sort of behavior is deserving of worship.

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