My High School religous rebellion, and how it threatened my graduating.

I live in the bible belt, and during my senior year in High School, (public school tax funded) I only had to have 3 classes to graduate so I had to take some BS classes to fill my day and one was Chorus. Our "director" was a holy roller who was a beloved talent in the local majority church and a star student from the christ filled university that runs this town I live in.
We were preparing a program for a winter concert with a christmas theme. (I don't mind xmas, because it to me isn't about jesus and there are so many customs from different cultures assimilated into it, I can use it to celebrate peace and humanity not jesus.) She had us singing about baby jesus, and I was fit to be tied. I have a strong voice and have sang in many musicals lead parts. This I was offended to sing, and refused. I complained to the principal and then to the school board. We had jewish and hindu students in that class not to mention me (an atheist in hiding). I encouraged those students to speak up. We started a petition. I was amazed at how the student body was sympathetic. Then one day I got called into the principal's office. I was told to pipe down and stop my petition efforts. I argued my case to the principal. He was a cool guy and I thought above all of the politics. I instead was told if I didn't cease my campaign, I would not be allowed to walk graduation line. I could tell that he was not happy about having to lay this on me but this was way over his head. This ridiculous woman teaching chorus had friends in high places and this 17 year old heathen wasn't going to screw up her chance to perform in front of the entire university and alumni at the big xmas concert. This was in 1987. My parents were ill about the whole thing (me being threatened.) We were catholics in the South and that can be a stigma down here especially with the particular denomination that controls this town, so they were stoked I was fighting it.
Long story short, the program was performed WITHOUT the jewish, hindu, and closet atheist (me). We rebels were given a pass for not participating and our spring program was about show tunes (I'll assume that maybe my letter to the ACLU got a nasty gram sent to the school).
I was bitter and it fueled my fire!!! Ever since then, I have been fighting to keep jesus and god out of being forced into my life! And more important to let these fundies know that it is NOT OK to force religion on our kids!!! Still they are everywhere in our government up to the highest office in this country. Jesus being big business! I could take some pics of mega churches here that would blow your mind. You KNOW that they have money to burn when you see $1M RV parked in the hanger at the local airport they own beside the jet they have. How many starving babies could that feed? Guess god wants them to be comfortable when they travel.....meh...I have been besieged by these assholes my entire life! Sorry...I ranted.....I have a kid and this all pisses me off and scares me so much that people are this stupid and irrational. Not at all what I want my son to be surrounded by.
My latest bone to pick, is that the Gideons were allowed to hand out their shitty little bibles at my son's school. Will this shit ever end?? Anyone else have similar stories? What did you do to stop it? Advise is welcomed!!
Thanks!
Kelly

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Replies to This Discussion

Our town is dominated by Bob Jones "University" and we have similar problems. Well done on confronting the nutters of God.
How wonderfully courageous of you. We are surrounded by Oral Roberts, Rhema, and several smaller bible colleges and mega-churches, so it's very in-your-face here as well. I find that simply being 'out' and open as an atheist tends to keepthem a little more honest. As you know too, a letter from the ACLU or the FFRF tends to shake them off their hallowed perch as well. Kudos!
You know, I don't even think it was courage. I was just straight up PISSED OFF! I acted out after this too. I was bitter! My favorite t-shirts were the one I had of a smiley face with a bullet hole in the head, and then there was the Mickey Mouse flipping a bird! They made me put black tape over the "finger" hehehe. I had friends that were also outwardly vocal, and one of them ran for student body president. We decided instead of campaign poster and buttons, we would just put pieces of black electrical tape on our shirts. And the signs were white posters with a big black dot. Everyone knew what it meant. Vote for Pat...and to this day, I believe he won the election but the powers that be decided he didn't represent well, as he had a mohawk and wore combat boots. Kid was an honor student too. At the result meeting in the gym they announced the new president elect, not him, and there was overwhelming booing!
Oh, High School....it taught me so many things.....mostly about how much bewel sheeut (that's the way we southerner's say it) there is in life. Good times :/
The worst part is, the second you speak up for your rights they try and claim you're persecuting them. The sheer confusion of ideas that has to exist to consider yourself a persecuted majority in a democratic country is absolutely mind-blowing.

If I found out a public school in my district was letting people pass out bibles I'd be writing a letters to the ACLU and FFRF ... And I don't even have kids.

Actually that might be a good strategy if you have non-Christian friends in the district without kids. They have every right to contest it too because it's still a misuse of their property tax dollars and it keeps your kid from being stigmatized as "the one who's mom is trying to stir things up."
I fail to see where this school would afford the same opportunity to say Wiccans, Pagans, or Atheists! But they indeed opened that door! They were sure to preface that no one had to take the books they were handing out. But again, I feel sure that they wouldn't let an atheist organization even through the front door there. Yeah, I'm on it! Sending out names and address of the superintendents and school board to the good folks at ACLU and FFRF.

As for the confusion of ideas that exists to consider yourself a persecuted majority in a democracy, that bunch is confused about a great many things. Besides mind blowing, I'll add on asinine!
Man... they would not have liked me in that school. My area was not that bad at all when it comes to religion, most kids at my school were not religious. Evolution was taught as a fact, I didn't even know that people still argued that until a couple years ago. I just assumed people were smarter than that. Blasphemy was pretty common, I somehow got the nick-name "Bible Eater"... guess its bad to tell me to get Jesus in me when I am drinking... I might just do it.

I would have thanked them for the book, took a step back, opened a yummy page, ripped it out and stuffed it in my mouth and chewed it like gum or played hacky sack with it. Ah... the priceless reactions...

I actually started a religion in high school, but I didn't finish the book... the holy text was called "Thebookofmike" and the clergy was properly me and a friend also named Michael.
This is why I homeschool my kids. I am not joking when I say, I found a third grade science textbook with a huge section on Noah's ark in the playground one day. The (now retired) principal had a fish on his car and frequently talked about his faith in the local newspaper. The teachers keep crosses and angels on their desks and the window sills.

Since we are the teeny, tiny minority here and our kids have special needs which would be most definitely ignored, we decided to homeschool. It was tough finding a secular curriculum - believe me. But oh, so worth it! I looked into the only homeschooling group that claimed to be secular, but they met in a church and most of them were members. It can be very tough to find secular or tolerant homeschooling groups.

I've had people tell me angels are secular. No, they aren't. I've had people say "everyone believes in angels. What's wrong with angels? That's not showing religious preference." *roll eyes*

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