John Freshwater was back in the news this week because the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that R. Kelly Hamilton, Freshwater's attorney, could not force members of the Mount Vernon School Board to testify at the hearing. The comments on the above linked article are a fair indication of the local views about the hearing except, this article having been printed in the Columbus paper, the number of comments supporting Freshwater are probably much fewer , and maybe a little less subjective, that if the comments had all come from the Mount Vernon area (but more numerous and subjective that most of Earth, I'll bet).
Mean while, the Christian Post had a couple of articles about the interaction of public schools and religion. I know I shouldn't go to the Xian home turf for material. It's unsportsmanlike, but sometimes I just need a laugh or to induce a headache when the aspirin's near its expiration date. Anyway, the first aricle was about the heart-break of having to tell public high school cheerleaders in Georgia that they could no longer display their banners with bible quotes at football games. The other article was about how 350 (I'm guessing public) schools in 43 states are offering courses in the bible (and I'm betting zero schools teaching the Koran or Rig-Veda. Any takers?). Texas has the most schools offering bible classes and #2 is (drum-roll) Georgia!
Comments supporting the cheerleaders' banners and the classes tend toward the "majority rules" rationale for perpetuating Xian bias in public schools, completely missing the point that the 1st Amendment's intent was to protect the rights of the minority groups against suppression by the majority. Also it is suggested that those on the other side of the issues are probably mean, immoral Xian-haters (and probably commie homo baby eaters). It is just like the way the atheist Muslims in Washington are taking away all their rights and destroying America. In summary; They're right and anyone who disagrees is the enemy. Most of these people couldn't shift a paradigm if it came with an automatic transmission and a copilot.
I'm sorry, I got a little off track there. My original intention was make early thoughts flow seamlessly into the next point I wanted to make (It could've happened. Oh yes it could. Could too. Could too! Could too infinity!). All right here comes the seamless part. Comments always seemed to express the problem as "keeping religion out of the classroom." It's like some book stores I've been in where the Religion section contains only books about Christianity and if you want a book about another religion, you have to look in the Philosophy section. It's not about keeping religion out of the classroom, it's about keeping A Religion and the blatant bias toward it, to the exclusion of all other beliefs, out of the classroom.
The problem in all these examples is that a protestant Xian majority has had a privleged place in American society for a long time and they have come to believe that it is part of the design of the US government and therefore anyone who suggests that a different belief is guarenteed equal treatment under the law is viewed as anti-America and therefore a legitimate target for their righteous hatred. I can only hope that continued court cases and public demands for equal treatment for all will slowly eat away at the strength of the intolerants until the vast majority of Americans see the obsurdity of their position and realize how ridiculous it is to support people like Huckabee and Palin who try to turn every political move into an evangelical sermon. Or maybe we could start by putting "kick me" signs on all their backs.