Update: Very good news! Soon after posting this, I was contacted to run this article. I’ve moved the whole of it there, but here’s a bit of it with the rest now on their site.
Here’s the link to the full article, as published on Common Ties. Enjoy!
I submitted the following essay to an unnamed media outlet but it never made it to print. So I thought I’d give it exposure in the place it really belongs: Mental Mayhem. Comments are welcome.
If you scratch the glass
My husband and I moved to the Unites States from Amman, Jordan a year and a half ago. During this period I had to adjust to a myriad of lifestyle changes. Whether it was learning how to use the garbage disposal, handle a furnace, or even attempt to catch a glimpse of the American dream, my life in the past 18 months has been overwhelming and hectic at most times.
But of all the pieces of Americana that I try to acquaint myself with on a daily basis, there is one that never ceases to dazzle me to this day. It is the American high school. We currently live in the suburbs of Washington DC, right next to a buzzing high school. This location has its perks, one being the serenity of the suburbs and affordable rent. But living next to a school can be tiresome, as it brings into our quaint neighborhood at some instances a good share of noise. From weekend concerts to high school football games, the serenity of our suburbs gets shattered as a result of this constant teenage activity.
Putting the inconvenience aside, I have to admit that our location near an educational edifice has introduced me to a new realm: the world of American high school kids. It is a world that I had previously watched in awe from my parent’s house in Amman via American movies. Of course, being so close to a high school doesn’t really give me a full access to the mysterious life inside this building. I am merely a voyeur. I observe from afar as kids march half asleep to school in the mornings and drag themselves back home in the afternoons.
What is the name of your girls high school in Jordan? I am a former teacher at a girls high school in Chicago. I would like to research your school to do a comparison/contrast analysis. Is it still in existence? Thanks!
And are genders mixed in public schools? (High school, “small school”, university, etc.)
Not everything can be explained like on the evenings news using sound bites and people need to stop complaining when its not, so shove it. How is that? lol
Can’t you post your point in two short sentences?
Hmm. Just to clear something up and avoid offense to Natasha. Catholics are a hairs breath from rational. The church itself isn’t, because it still has a tendency to see *some* things as unchangable and evidence against those positions as unholy. But, for the other 95% of reality, they tend to ascribe to St. Thomas Aquinas’ view that when obvious truths become so obvious you can’t deny them, religion must give ground, not truth. There are *some* other religions, like Buddhism and true Hinduism that view things the same way. I say *true* Hinduism, because modern Hinduism in its country of origin has ironically embraced the entirely western concepts of Post Modernism, as a means to reaffirm their own cultural identity and “reject Western influences”. See the irony there? lol This means that they throw out real science where its too “western” and replace it with Vedic stuff. What is Vedic? Well… Stuff like Astrology and magic weapons. See, if you reject the western ways, then you can “reshape” local reality, since its all just points of view and all views are equal, so if you want magic arrows, flying carpets, spears that project lightning, etc., all you need to do is imagine them real, then (I imagine) consult enough horoscopes… lol
But *some* religions are mostly sane. Its that niggling bit of slightly insane that makes me nervous though. It tends to bread *far* more people that don’t know the difference and don’t care, than it does ones that clearly understand where the line exists between, “I believe it because only a fool would deny the *evidence*.”, and, “I believe it because only a fool would dare risk the danger of claiming scripture is wrong about it, if, as I believe to be the case, its actually right.”
Point being. I don’t mean to insult Natasha or anyone else that “is” at least as sane as everyone else. We all have things we think are true that are total BS, even me. But at least some religions *acknowledge*, how ever much they whine and cringe about it, that denying reality won’t make contradictions disappear, even if you spend centuries trying to insist that something can’t be true.
Well, mind you, I wrote that having just come from reading several examples of this sort of idiocy. Two examples… One delusional nut that wants to make challanges against city or state officials illegal in the courts *if* the source of the challenge is a dispute over whether or not their actions where unduely influenced by religious bigotry. This was followed two articles later by one about a rape victim being denied the second dose of a treatment intended to “prevent” ovulation (not implantation, but prevent the release of an egg in the first place), based on the religious convictions of the deputy that arrested her, after some entirely trivial BS she did years earlier as a teen came up as an outstanding warrent.
Now.. This is imho, bad enough, but what happens if such a law passes, and instead of preventing proper medical treatment to keep a rape victim from becoming pregnant, the next idiot decides to let someone bleed to death, on the grounds that “their” religion doesn’t believe in transfusions? It already happens in families that have those beliefs, and the state has a hard time prosecuting it. The idiot in the first article now wants to exempt the “state” itself from any obligation to be decent and sane human beings, or any responsibility at all for any injury, death, etc. that is caused by it….
While most of Europe is realizing that most of the stuff religion is good for you can manage to have without **forcing** everyone to follow a specific religion, the US is suffering a backlash right now, from a fairly small, but highly vocal nuts that are scared to death of the fact that everyone else is realizing that they don’t need to consult the Bible every time they balance their checkbooks. And ironically, these people break nearly every commandment they claim to believe in, but especially lying, theft and bearing false witness, to convince the mojority of people that some vast war is brewing between unbelievers and believers.
At least once a year you hear:
1. Complaints about someone wanting to remove something about God from *state* documents or offices, most of which where **never** in/on those things until the 1950s, like the pledge, which McCarthy added “under God” to.
2. Insistence by the nuts that people are trying to ban Christmas. Proof? People use X-Mas. And the group X-R (Chi Ro) isn’t really a Christian Gospel group either, but a vast conspiracy to make people sing Gospels outside of churches, thus undermining religions… lol Their claims are complete idiocy. The problem is… Half of the people making the claims couldn’t tell you *one thing* about the history of their own religion, and really don’t have a clue that X is the first letter of Christ in Roman letters, and 90% of the rest have almost as little, or less, understanding of that history that the nuts.
3. Lots of fake conspiracies about how some nonexistent person wants to prevent some school from using easter decorations, praying on campus, or letting the students give each other Christmas cards. The only evidence of any of it is “justifiable” challenges to the right of some idiots teachers to practically wallpaper the class rooms with their favorite out of context, and often mistranslated (most use the KJV, which was *intentionally* changed to give King James justifications for his war mongering and excesses…), quotes. But of course, in the minds of these people, telling them they are not allowed to do the equivalent of burning a cross on your front lawn while shouting that you are going to hell is *exactly* the same as telling them that they are not allowed to *own* crosses or babble to “each other” about who they think is going to hell.
Its a conflict of desperation. And ironically, Christians have spent the last several centuries convincing themselves that being a good Christian means *not* blowing people up, but rather making up lots of rules and using those to throw people in jail. Had that transformation from the very real warfare and crusade mentality of early Christians to one of sort of completely scitzophrenic peace seeking (The ones most likely to want to use warfare are still the ones most likely to protest how “peaceful” they are because of their belief in God… You tell me how that works, because I can’t comprehend it.), never happened it might be hard to tell the so called Western World apart from the crazier parts of the ME.