Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Witchcraft in Oklahoma. Really?

I like to think I'm generally a tolerant guy.  I strongly believe in the Constitutional right of all residents of the US to believe whatever bilgewater they want to believe, and within whatever legal boundaries society has decreed, to practice that belief.

So, to hear that there are idiot fundies in Oklahoma who believe in the existence of witchcraft doesn't twist my knickers.  That doesn't mean I won't shake my head and even publicly call them idiots, though.  (as you can see.)

What DOES get my knickers in a twist is the assistant principle (AP) in an Oklahoma school who suspended a student for 15 days for casting a spell that supposedly made a teacher sick!  THAT crosses the line between his private beliefs and his very public, governmental duties which require him to administer education to Oklahoma's children in an impartial manner regarding the religious beliefs of said students and their parents.

Now, had that young lady conducted a public ceremony witnessed by other students which was intended to be such a spell (based on some weird teenaged belief in magic - which is NOT Wiccan, by the way!) I could understand his concern for her public display of ill will towards a teacher which could be considered to be a distraction to the educational atmosphere of the school.  That would be defensible, even under the well understood scientific knowledge of today that completely invalidates any idea of magic as a real, tangible force in this universe.

Again, this idiot does have the right to believe in said magic.  After all, if you are a Christian fundie, you already believe in magic, since only magic could raise a dead person back to life, and such is the central tenet of that faith.  Oh, they don't use the specific term "magic", because it is widely known in this country that magic doesn't exist, right?  But hey, it's all semantics.  To paraphrase Heinlein, "One man's magic is another man's belly laugh"!  (ok, so Heinlein used the term "religion" instead of "magic", but you get the idea.)

Upshot here is that this AP needs to be fired.  Summarily and with prejudice, along with a bad job reference as to his inability to exercise good judgement regarding the separation of his private life and his professional life.  Not for believing in magic, but for letting that belief spill over into the life of one of his students.  Because holding a belief that such magic really is effective and using that belief as an excuse to punish the alleged magic wielder is akin to burning witches at the stake, and shows that the AP has no judgement or ability to discern fact from fiction.

I do have some questions, though.

Did the parents go through any kind of appeals process to protest the suspension?   If so, what was the response of the school district?  Knee jerk support of the AP?  Was there any attempt by the District to even look at the reason for that suspension? I assume, because the parents have resorted to a lawsuit, that any response was unsatisfactory, but the answers to those questions would surely add details to the story.

I'm going to add this to the category of Harm from Religion, because if suspending a student through the belief she had really and truly cast a spell that harmed a teacher isn't hurting someone and damaging the reputation of the school, the School District, and the State of Oklahoma, I don't know what else would.

Words cannot possibly describe my disgust, my dismay, or my utter contempt for people who either do these things or allow them to happen.

For shame!



4 comments:

zeteothink said...

Hello Robert,

I enjoyed the meeting this past Friday immensely. I spoke to a few people who were not aware of the chronology of ancient religions, and how they came to be. I provided some info below that empowers budding agnostics & free-thinkers with powerful online resources.


If anyone is interested in learning more about the history of religions and how they all evolved into to present day money pits check out the resources listed.

I have been studying this stuff for about 5 yrs. Now. I have learned you can learn so much in a short amount of time if you research anthropology, archeology and especially Sumerian archeology.
These academic researchers provide a solid basis for other religions and predate most of them.

Lance



I have attached academic sites such as http://www.fordham.edu/Halsall/ancient/asbook02.asp#Human%20Origins this academic
link deals with the origins of man and religious archeology, hence ancient mythology and the evolution of human culture and traditions.



If you are interested in learning the evolution of religions a little faster, go to M. Murdock’s site www.Truthbeknown.com. Murdock is a scholar of comparative religion and mythology. Her site will give you a cliff note version of the origin of world religions. You may want to pay closer attention to the Abrahamic religions e.g., Judaism, Islam, Christianity, etc…because the Abrahamic religious tended to plagiarize heavily from all pagan religions.



Pagan was defined by the Roman Catholic Church to mean; “a person who is not religious or whose religion is not Christianity, Judaism, or Islam http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/pagan

http://www.truthbeknown.com/christ.htm


http://www.livescience.com/39393-code-of-hammurabi.html




• Ancient Near East
• Sumeria (c. 3100-c. 2000 BCE)
• The Epic of Gilgamesh
• Sumerian Language
• Art
• Connections with India
• Akkadia (c.2350-2200 BCE)
• Babylonia (c.2000-1600 BCE)
• Code of Hammarabi
• Cities
• Creation Myths
• Religion
• Kassites and Hittites (c.1600-717 BCE)
• Kassites
• Hittites
• Hittite Texts
• Material Culture

zeteothink said...

What is Cognitive Dissonance?

“I have found people with very strong beliefs in “unfounded truths e.g. Race, Religion, Human Rights, etc… tend to force their beliefs on others in order to resolve their cognitive dissonance. Systemically all discourse must be challenged based on reason and evidence, not emotional conjecture and wishful thinking. Ignoring reality can become more mentally taxing that seeking a logical solution both internally and externally” (Hassell, 2013). Historically most of mankind’s primal fears, emanated from a lack of understanding about nature e.g.,volcanoes,floods, earth quakes etc… ancient books reflected the thought processes and ignorance of the bronze age man however,
they still project fear and superstition to this day.In essence emotional fear isis learned ( even in utero) (Hassell, 2013)

Free your mind from fear.

Peace

L. Hassell


Defined-

Festinger's (1957) cognitive dissonance theory suggests that we have an inner drive to hold all our attitudes and beliefs in harmony and avoid disharmony (or dissonance). Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. This produces a feeling of discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to reduce the discomfort and restore balance etc.

Robert Ahrens said...

Thanks, Lance! I hope you've seen some things you like here. I haven't posted as much recently, time has been short, but I hope to get back to a more regular schedule.

Thanks for the links, too, I'll check them out.

zeteothink said...

Subject: INFANTICIDE - Psalm 137:9, Hosea 9:13-16, Isaiah 13:16

Hello Robert,
I just got the book , “A Manual for Creating Atheists: Peter Boghossian!
I have friends in the clergy who are literally illiterate concerning ancient religions and the origin of the “Abrahamic Religions”.

Whenever they say they will pray for me I will quote a verse from their own bible. This usually ends the prayer discussion /;). I was as clueless as them at one time however, I was never “intellectually dishonest”. If I was unsure of something I would research it.
One of the main tenants of the Christianity is:
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 King James Version (KJV).
Sadly “the religious” fail in this area of worship as well Below are some of my favorite “Bible Bash’n” scriptures. Use them whenever you want to truly enlighten a “Believer”.
Lance

Psalm 137:9 English Standard Version (ESV)
9 Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones
and dashes them against the rock!
or
Psalm 137:9 King James Version (KJV)
9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
Hosea 9:13-16 King James Version (KJV)
13 Ephraim, as I saw Tyrus, is planted in a pleasant place: but Ephraim shall bring forth his children to the murderer.
14 Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.
15 All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.
16 Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.

Isaiah 13:16 King James Version (KJV)
16 Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.