Wednesday, December 06, 2006

For Ever and Ever

A handy mnemonic for folks like me. Incidentally, if you need a mnemonic for the word "mnemonic", just think of Keeanu Reeves' 1995 opus, "Johnny Mnomonic".

I teach in a public school funded by Saskatchewanian (since MS Word hasn’t put a jagged red line underneath it, I assume “Saskatchewanian” is actually the word describing people who live in this province) taxpayers who believe in various things, religiously speaking. Christ, as odd as it sounds, I am actually one of these taxpayers, even beyond the GST/PST (seriously, that’s odd).

Every morning, at 9 o’clock Indian time (it’s okay for me to joke about that, y’see, cause the Indians joke about it too), some old lady comes over the PA system and does the Lord’s Prayer. This is ridiculous for the reasons outlined above. Like, it’s so fundamental a part of the taxpayer system/separation of church and state/democracy that I really oughtn’t have to explain why this is wrong. Yet, every morning like clockwork, Lord’s Prayer in a public school.

This is wrong, but I will gladly tolerate it. First of all, it wastes time. Anything that wastes time is okay in my book. Sometimes, if they’re feeling frisky, they’ll even do a musical, folksy version of the prayer to guitar (JP2 must be rolling in his grave. Also, probably all the rest of the popes). This wastes a huge amount of time, and I really love it on that level. The notion that a taxpayer-funded school is promoting a particular religion… not so loveable.

During Lord’s Prayer, I have taken to leaving the classroom. Nobody has really caught onto this, however. I have also started picking staples and shit off the walls in the hall during the prayer to make it obvious that I am not participating. Still, no comments on this, and I guess it is a reflection of how petty I am that I even care. I want to be that guy from outside the community that shows up and starts causing some shit, getting kids to question whether they need to be doing this every day, eventually getting an interview on “As it Happens”. I want to be like Edward James Olmos, but instead of teaching them math, I want them not to be religious. But I’m not. It’s ten times more mundane than that.

Staff meetings have started with the Lord’s Prayer. This is the one that pisses me off. I can see the argument for having it for the kids in the morning, however wrong it may be. The community needs something to hold onto, even if it, ironically, happens to be a religion that destroyed their own culture and values centuries ago. But the staff? That’s bullshit, and I brought it up with the VP one evening while drunk. Given that he turned out to be a sober and religious man who wholeheartedly supported the Lord’s Prayer in the school, I ended up regretting that one.

During the observance of the prayer during staff meetings, I sit down in my chair while everyone else stands. I don’t know why I am the only one. Many of these people I know to be irreligious. Why the fuck do they let this happen? It pisses me off.

So enjoy it, Sandy Bay. Enjoy your vaunted Christianity. I have never understood why they place such importance on it. You run into the odd religious nutbag back home, right, but since everyone here is also big-time into the Jesus, it becomes less of an issue (and, thus, less obvious). But, press them on it and every one of them will steadfastly defend their religion just as much as that weird kid back in grade 11 Math (you know who you are). Then, later in the summer, they will engage in their pow wows, and they will stick to their native traditions, but it’s all rather incongruous; your Pope, people, doesn’t really want you to do this. At best, he finds it quaint. At worst, it’s heretical and he wants you to stop. Figure it out.


Blogger Buzzard's Eye View said...

I know what you mean about the religion thing. It's all platitudes to somehow make people think that out there somebody cares which is nonsense.

I can never make up my mind if it is destructive or not. Some people need a crutch and it may be all they can find. But when it comes to having it pushed down your throat it becomes a bit much.

Hang in there. You going away for a break in a couple of weeks.


5:20 am  
Blogger Renee said...

I applaud your shit-disturbing, /applaud stylz. Have you heard of The God Delusion? Cam got it for Christmas, and I was reading about it on Wikipedia. Sounds like a good read. Richard Dawkins is rabidly anti-theistic...sounds like your cup of non-denominational tea. :)

8:42 pm  

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