: views from the Hill

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Christians, Muslims, Fundamentalists - the joys of small town newspapers

I checked the weekly SNews today, hoping for some excitement in the Letters to the Editor section.

Alas, there was no tit in response to the tat from last week's paper -- a letter from Todd Dwyer, a teacher at the local high school, in response to a letter from Elaine Hocker in the 22 Dec 2004 issue.

Mrs. Hocker had objected to "the double standard being advocated in our liberal education system" which allowed Redwood Middle School students to learn from a Muslim faith curriculum course while a fifth grade history teacher in Cupertino had to file a lawsuit against the Cupertino Union School District because he wasn't allowed to hand out papers to his students "containing portions of the Declaration of Independence and other historical documents" because he'd "neglected to remove "God" or "Creator" from the contents of the documents."

Which is all bullshit, of course, and a great source of shock! and uproar! for the right-wing pundits, Fox News and Newt Gingrich.

Yes, the teacher was told not to do what he did, but was anyone surprised when his lawsuit was filed with the assistance of the Alliance Defense Fund?

Hocker wrote

the best solution for the Cupertino school district's problem would be for the community to get involved. Assuming there are still some Cupertino churches that have not progressed to the Pagan state of having sexual orgies on their altars or casting their babies into the red hot arms of some stone idol, then these church members should immediately take action to recall all of the Cupertino school board trustees, and have the superintendent and school principal dismissed. Such action would not only solve the school district's problem, but might also act as a deterrent to other school districts intent on implementing their unconstitutional liberal ideology.


Dwyer came out swinging and said, among other things,

We explain to our students—wherever and whenever appropriate and/or necessary—that what Ms. Hocker and her born-again friends share with other fundamentalists is their boundless capacity to hate. Just like fundamentalist Islamic ideologues who doggedly adhere to religious misinterpretations every bit as silly and dangerous as Ms. Hocker's, Christian fundamentalists are blinded by their own bigotry and hatred. Just like Christian fundamentalists, Muslim fundamentalists long to impose their own unrealistic and intolerant pseudo-Calvinist morality on the rest of the world.

The fact of the matter is, Ms. Hocker and the rest of America's right-wing religious fanatics have much more in common with Al Qaeda than they are willing to admit. Just like Al Qaeda, Christian fundamentalists hate the same things and the same people: homosexuality, pacifists, Jews, educators, uppity women, art, enlightenment, short skirts, gangsta rap, tattoos, infidels, OB-GYN doctors, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, etc. Just like Muslim fundamentalist fanatics, Christian fundamentalist fanatics believe that they are right, and everyone else is wrong. Just like fundamentalist Muslim religious fanatics, fundamentalist Christian religious fanatics have just enough religion to hate, but not enough to love.


Here's hoping next week's paper will have the reaction. The delay is probably due to the fact the paper comes out on a Wednesday and any news items or letters need to be submitted by Wednesday to be included in the next week's edition. If you read your SNews after you get home from work and snail mail your Letter to the Editor, it won't get in in time for the next week's edition.

No comments: