Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Hell of a country

In case any of you think that maybe, things aren't quite as bad as they look, and this country isn't *really* regressing on tolerance and civil liberties, I direct your attention to this story in today's New York Times:
The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit yesterday against a Missouri high school that twice admonished a gay student for wearing T-shirts bearing gay pride messages. The suit charges that the school violated the youth's constitutional right to free expression. By the account of the civil liberties union, the student, Brad Mathewson, a 16-year-old junior, was sent to the principal's office at Webb City High School on Oct. 20 for wearing a T-shirt that he said came from the Gay-Straight Alliance at a school he previously attended, in Fayetteville, Ark. The shirt bore a pink triangle and the words "Make a Difference!" Mr. Mathewson, the A.C.L.U. said, was told to turn the shirt inside out or go home and change. ... A week later, Mr. Mathewson was again admonished for wearing a gay pride T-shirt, this one featuring a rainbow and the inscription "I'm gay and I'm proud." Told once more to turn the shirt instead out or leave, he chose to go home and was eventually ordered not to return to school wearing clothing supporting gay rights. ... Mr. Mathewson began attending the school, outside Joplin, in September. In a statement issued by the civil liberties union, he said: "The school lets other students wear antigay T-shirts, and I understand that they have a right to do that. I just want the same right. I think tolerating each other's differences is a key part in teaching students how to become good citizens."
And if this isn't depressing enough, check out the latest from Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia:
"Did it turn out that, by reason of the separation of church and state, the Jews were safer in Europe than they were in the United States of America? I don't think so."
There you have it -- seperation of church and state is worthless because it didn't prevent the Holocaust! These stories hit me hard after my day began with NPR's coverage of 'intelligent design' in public school science classes, where a woman explained how taking prayer out of schools leads to godlessness which leads to Columbine massacres. Take that, Michael Moore. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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