I suppose this was fucking predictible.
I remember in the days after Columbine there was a sign somewhat in vogue around real American parts. 'Dear God why didn't you save the school Children at Columbine? ' 'Sorry, I'm not allowed in schools.' Truly, there is no more effective advertisment for the God of Abraham then to portray him as meglomaniac demanding constant flattery on pain of death. The last place I saw the sign was at a hair stylest in downtown North Platte while I was a teenager. I remember that while she chopped my mane she talking with another customer about the obvious utility and moral rightness of spanking ones' children, and how terrible it was that the PC bureaucrats were taking this good and neccesary power out of parents hands. Of course the actual truth is that it is known; not believed, not softly felt, but indisputibly known, that spanking is of absolutely no help in building a succesful adult. But of course the problem with accepting this would mean not only accepting ones own self as wrong but ones own parents grandparents and on down through the mists of time as wrong. And of course suggesting that grandpa can possibly be wrong earns a spanking. But anyway let's return to the central point.
I think that the loong insistance upon public school prayer, (Rapidly on the wane now though it is, and thankfully so.) can be easily related to today's NYT column about how we seek second-hand immortality through group identities. Passing down one's beliefs to the next generation, by force as some feel entitled to do, is obviously a big part of this, and of course it's very obvious that religious beliefs are more closely associated with eternity than secular ones, at least for those who haven't convinvced themselves that the two can be mingled in one perfect bloc of certainty. It is clear that the denial of ultimate mortality and helplessness ishe spine of chauvinistic attitudes and behaviors. However abhorant these behaviors can sometimes be they are still based on recognizably human feelings that normaly should be sympethized with. In the case of forcing ones' religion on the public however I can and will not sympethize. The reason is that for all the language of selfless devotion to God and the Founding Fathers behind it the forcing of ones' religion is really about aggrandizing oneself and nothing more. It is about establishing oneself as a God that future generations will bow to in unquestioning fear. It is evil.