Hopefully this story will have a happy ending, heaven knows the family deserves it. At least a whole twenty four hours have gone by and there’s nothing to indicate they’ve been detained. Again.
But what caught my interest were the comments on the entry. The ones from the people crying crocodile tears about how Christians are persecuted in this country. Usually with no hard evidence beyond the hoary story about the bakers who claim that providing a cake or cupcakes for a same sex wedding would violate their consciences. There is a story making the rounds about a 5 year old in Florida who was told that saying grace wasn’t a good thing to do by the school lunch monitor. Trouble is the story is a they said, they said and I’m reporting it with full credulity and expected outrage. The school says it didn’t happen. I'm forgoing the links because frankly I don't find any of them very credible.
But there’s a video and how could a five year old make these things up? Rehearse the kid long enough and they’ll swear the man in the moon winked at them. In fact work at it well enough the kid will really believe it. Remember the school sex abuse scandals back in the seventies/eighties that turned out to have been created by the investigators crappy interview techniques. That's when we learned about false memory syndrome.
There’s another story about a twelve year old who was told to put away his/her Bible during a semi free reading period. It sounds like the school preferred that he/she actually spend time on the assigned reading materials. I grew up in the era before back packs and teens having their own cars. I had enough books, note books, library books, band music (and the flute) to hump back and forth without adding a Bible to the stack. I could read THAT at home. And to be honest? Huxley's Brave New World or Alan Paton's Cry the Beloved Country were a hell of lot more interesting. Tolkien, Heinlein, Herbert, Asimov, LeGuin. I was like a kid in a candy store. Of course I realize that for a lot of kids growing up in fundie homes all these authors are off limits.
Also both stories are being pushed by the so called Liberty Institute and at this point my Baloney Detection Kit is at about ninety decibels and rising. Especially when I discovered that the group was originally incorporated as the Free Marker Foundation. Unh Hunh. A lot of these stories involve kids and frankly I have a hard time believing the kids came up with this stuff on their own.
Anyway, back to comments. Long on claims. Short on evidence. Yes, Christians are persecuted in this world. Belonging to an unapproved group can get you a prison sentence in China. A concentration camp in North Korea. Christian villagers in India have been blocked from using the village well. And beaten or worse if they try to use it anyway. Lack of access to clean water can be a death sentence. Especially for children. And the weekly litany from northern Nigeria would make anyone despair. The long sorry history of abuse in Central and South America in the seventies and eighties in the name fighting “subversion: has been documented by multiple sources.
What makes me want to scream is that the same fundie groups who probably applauded Reagan’s war on subversion in the south (although it started before Reagan and the first Bush president) or at the very least turned a blind eye are the same ones crying persecution now. If persecution means losing your privileged position and the ability to dictate to those who don’t share your beliefs, then I guess you are persecuted. And it’s long over due.
It’s been awhile since I hit the local Barnes and Noble but there was no lack of Bibles, commentaries, inspirational literature for sale. Now that I think about it. Everybody, and I mean everybody, else got about half a rack. Hmmmmmm. I know Amazon is overflowing.
Whenever any group, any group, has an agenda it's time to take their stories with about half a pound of salt. Especially when the story can't by verified by independet sources.