Mental note: Dinner conversation should be limited to subjects that do not make my step monster's mother's head rotate 360 degrees and cause her to spew obscenities and many, many other rude ass comments.
Long story short: we had a verbal brawl spirited discussion about the separation of church and state...i.e. whether or not god has a place in public schools.
Me, I'm all for the complete separation of church and state. I feel that god has no place in public schools. A public school should be neutral ground for all to go to in order to get an education without discrimination/favoritism toward any particular group based on race, religion, creed, etc. Period. There really is no middle ground here. It has to be a complete separation. This country was founded on the premise of religious freedom. Religious freedom. This country was not founded to provide the opportunity for those with Christian beliefs to rule tyrannically over those with different beliefs. Putting god in schools forces all who go there, even those with different belief structures, to recognize one god, the Christian view of god, against their choosing. This is a clear violation of the Constitution and should not be allowed. End of story.
A while back, I wrote a post on the fact that Halloween is being banned in schools because Christians are saying that it is a Wiccan holiday. My knee jerk reaction was to be outraged because, well, I fucking love Halloween. And while I still personally feel that Halloween has become more of a commercialized, community fall celebration, I will admit that it does have religious roots and therefore I can understand why it is being removed from schools. Yep, I'm actually siding with the Christians here. HOWEVER, because I understand their point of view, I also expect them to see mine. I say, sure, remove Halloween because of its religious overtones, then continue on and remove all aspects of education laced with any and all religious overtones. Complete separation of church and state.Neutral ground for educational purposes. Fair is fair.
As for my step monster, she believes that this is a Christian country and that if you do not believe in the Christian version of god then you should leave the country. Yep. Seriously. Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc have no business being here according to her. Yes, she actually said that.
When I mentioned that myself and my family don't believe and asked her if we should leave the country and asked her if my children should be denied a public school education based on that, she simply restated her belief. By this time she was also screaming on the top of her lungs, violently cursing, and getting very personal and very nasty with me.
As for me, I remained calm. I argued with well thought out, logical, fact based arguments that she could counter with nothing other than personal taunts and foul language. I believe the last straw came when I told her that she was just mad because my argument clearly had more merit than hers and that I would totally whoop her ass if we were arguing this in court as I was using factual evidence and not emotions to make my points.
She said she didn't give a fuck if I could win in court and eventually, she stormed out of the house after throwing a few dishes in the kitchen.
I felt both triumphant and sad after that. Triumphant that I was able to remain calm and level headed and not get sucked into an argument of personal insults. And trust me, there was a lot I could say to her to make it personal. Sad that there is still such ignorance in this country. I mean, come on, to believe that people with different religious beliefs need to leave the country?!
And now, now...it's tense and silent here. I have no desire to mend our relationship. She crossed a line with me when she implied that my children do not deserve a public school education. As far as I'm concerned she does not even deserve the title of "Grandma" anymore and I'm seriously tempted to have the girls call her by her first name. Anyone who does not believe my children deserve to live in this country, let alone deserve an education obviously is not concerned about their best interests and therefore do not deserve a title associated with love such as "Grandma". However, would I be serving my kids best interest if I set them on a course that could destroy their relationship with her? Does it even matter at this point? I haven't decided yet. For now, I'll leave well enough alone.
As for me, I've made the decision to be the official enforcer of the separation of church and state law in each and every public school my children attend. The days of living under the thumb of oppressive, dictator-like Christians is over for me. I will no longer go quietly into the night. They have met their match. I'm even thinking as big as political aspirations for myself.
Lack of faith does not mean lack of morals. It's time we proved it.
All that aside, I would love some insight from my readers who are believers. Why the insulting arguments? Why the tendency to not be able to respect any other opinion than that of a fellow Christian? Why the short sightedness? Why not just leave religious teachings and mentioning of god in secular schools? Why the tendency to force your beliefs down the throat of others? (I know I'm using strong wording here, however, I'm still prickly over this incident so please excuse me.)
And to my non-believing readers...what would you have done/said in the face of such ignorance? How would you have handled the situation? Would you have attacked back with personal jabs or remained focused on the debate at hand?