Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Flying Spaghetti Monster

Thank you very much to Steve for reminding me of the Church of the FSM.

Of course for you to really understand my reason for loving it as much as I do, please read the Open Letter to the Kansas School Board.

And, I'm jetted right back to when I was working at an unnamed school district just outside the Seattle area. A group of VERY right wing parents were trying to ban Harry Potter from the district because it was "Pagan". As if 1. that is a bad thing and 2. the books espouse actual pagan beliefs. The Multicultural Education Director in our district wanted me to defend Harry Potter in front of the school board against this group proving 1. Harry Potter is not a Pagan book and 2. there is nothing wrong with Paganism-after all I (a fairly well respected teacher in that district) was one.

My principal put the kibosh on that, however. As he put it, "These people have more power than you realise. I don't want to lose one of my best teachers." In the end I gave our Multicultural Education Director enough evidence to make the Right Wingers look idiotic and the school board didn't ban our dear friend, Harry. I left the US shortly thereafter.

Thus, I admire the followers of the FSM. And applaud them for speaking out in their own individual way for Freedom of Religion or Freedom to not have any religion. May my home country see that Freedom of Religion (or lack thereof) stays that way. It's been dangerously close to abandoning that freedom before.

As a bit of a post scrip to this story, I told my friend Michael about my experience as it was unfolding and he was inspired to draw this portrait of me as an angry goddess. I'd like for you to notice 2 things. 1. The 'H' in my head-piece and 2. the fact that I'm holding a copy of Harry Potter.


mrsb said...

Last year, when my daughter's 4th grade class was voting on what book the teacher should read to them next during their "free" period, my kid asked for Harry Potter. The teacher told her that she couldn't read it because some parents had objected to it.

What a load of crap. I'm sure the 4th grade class was going to turn into a bunch of Satan worshipers because of Harry. Ech.

TD said...

Sometimes I wonder how many of these so-called "Christians" have actually *read* the books they're banning (or burning).

I say that as a filmmaker who once braved the picket lines in San Francisco to see Martin Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ" and wondered how many of those angry folks outside the theater had actually seen the film, or were just following the edicts of Rev. Bill Bright (and his ilk).

Kudos to you, Heather, for standing up to stupidity and ignorance. What every good teacher should aspire to do.