Hello.

I'm new, just joined, and thought I'd break the ice with all of you by telling you about how ignorant most of my peers are. It was during the Chineese New Year, I decided to go to school wearing a shirt that had a bunch of the original Shwastikas*sp* on it. I knew that I'd probably get a few second glances, but guess what? I get sent to the office. Twice. The first time, the teacher gives me this smug look, asking me where I got this shirt and thinking that she had a kid who was making a sick joke for no reason. I explained to her that this symbol was a Buddism symbol, which has been around for over five thousand years. I continued by telling her that if I were to take the symbol, dye it black, turn it on a slant, take out all the dots in the corners, put a white circle around it, and a red square around THAT, then it'd be Hitler's shwastika*sp*. She then appologizes and says it's okay to wear the shirt. That same day during lunch, an aide warns me that someone may take offense to that shirt. I told him I was aware and can defend myself.

He says okay, calls me a "well read kid" and walks off. The next period, I get called down to that same teacher's office. After I sit down in front of him (And smile inside at the fact that behind him was a computer with a wikipedia page about the original shwastika*sp*) He tells me that people are taking offense to the shirt and asked me to take it off and wear my under shirt instead. For a second, I thought about being a total asshole and shout at the top of my longs "NO, I'm NOT going to take off my shirt in front of you! STOP ASKING!", I tell him that I won't, and I don't care if I get suspended, because I'm not doing anything wrong. I'm wearing a religous symbol. He then says "Aren't you Athiest?"

I say yes.

"Then why are you wearing that Buddist symbol?"

My response?

"Becasue Budda was a real pearson, and I agreed with his ideals. Today's the Chineese New Year, and being that we have midterms today, I thought I'd wear the shirt for good luck."

He asks me if I'll take off teh shirt, and I say no. He then gives me this "Alright man, it's your funeral" look, and I'm free to go.

That day, everyone made one of two comments.

1. "OH MY GOD THAT'S THE HITLER SYMBOL! YOU LOVE HITLER!"

Or 2. "Isn't that the Budda symbol?" me: "Yeah, it's the Chineese New Year." "Oh really? Cool."

I got the second response about 15% of the time throughout that day. I can't believe how this symbol's been so screwed up. This symbol has been one about saftey and peace for over 5,000 years, and yet we let the influance of one evil man who's reign lasts for six years, mess up that entire image. If that isn't sad, I don't know what is...

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Comment by Dr. Terence Meaden on February 11, 2009 at 6:49am
Bravo. You did well. I am an archeologist and therefore quite aware of the antiquity of the swastika in prehistory and early history.
I must say that my favorite ancient symbol is the spiral---and even better the double conjoined or returning spiral.
The left-handed spiral is female; the right handed spiral is male. The two, when joined, represents the Marriage of the Gods---Earth Mother with Sky Father.

So welcome to Atheist Nexus----the world of reasoning, rational sense, and good friends.

Terry Meaden
Founder of the busy Nexus discussion group
"ORIGINS: Universe, Life, Humankind, Religion, Darwin..."
We seek to understand the mysteries of the universe, and how life and humans and religion and everything began. There's a lot to talk and think about. Come and join us.
Comment by Jennie on February 10, 2009 at 10:42pm
But you did good, though. Educating people is the antidote to ignorance. As Richard Dawkins would say, you gotta do some consciousness-raising! :)

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