September 14, 2005


I saw a couple of headlines today that pricked my culture-war ears and caused me to prepare myself for the conservative backlash. One of them was that the Massachusetts legislature turned down a bid to make homosexual marriage invalid. The other was that a judge in California has sided with that guy who thinks the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional.

I know people are going to have all kinds of things to say about these news items. One guy will start with the "We need to return to our Christian roots and get GAWD back in our schools," and both sides will start to spew from there. Spew, spew, spew.

If I might offer my two cents...

We could argue forever about the rightful place of God in public life. Seriously, forever. But maybe the Pledge of Allegiance issue isn't so much about the place of God in schools as about the place of government in schools.

I've determined that I find lots of things annoying. Pat Robertson annoyed me well before the Chavez affair. I'm annoyed by America's fascination with all things Spears/Federline. Stinging and biting insects annoy me, as well as a host of social and cultural pressures and ideas.

The thing is, I'm not demanding that someone enact a law against those pressures and ideas --- or against stinging insects. Maybe public schools aren't a governmental entity so much as a social entity --- a social entity that has certain protocols and traditions, one of which involves saying the word "God" occasionally.

I guess the question is whether a school's dependence on government funding dictates that the government should regulate any and all cultural everything done within the school walls. I think I say no.

Yeesh, I almost sound like a Republican. That won't do. Er, raise minimum wage. Or something.

Posted by jessica at September 14, 2005 09:19 PM