Daily Archives: March 20, 2016

On Inclusion

My kid’s baseball coach prays with the team after each practice and game. They all get in a huddle and hold hands while Mr.P intones the dumb kind of prayer that causes people to say “Yes, Lord” while he prays for the boys. My kid doesn’t even know to take his batting helmet off while they do their prayers. He just looks at me beyond the fence, and I know he feels ridiculous.

And, if I say something, he will be excluded. Because Mr.P isn’t going to stop his prayer-he’ll let my kid go home and every goddamned kid on that team now knows that Walter is different. I think it sucks and I barely know what to do. It’s county sanctioned ball, so I wonder if this is a freedom from religion case that I can pursue.

Well, that’s all depressing. I found some good news, that a New York planning board has cut the shit with saying the pledge of allegiance before it opens for business, and for all the right reasons:

The officials on the Planning Board in New Paltz, New York decided this week that they would no longer say the Pledge of Allegiance at meetings. It was a 4-3 vote to eliminate it.

This did not sit well with the god crowd:

We either have a country, or we don’t. It’s shocking that an elected official won’t take the 15 seconds required to put their hand over their heart and recite the Pledge of Allegiance,” [Andrew Heaney, a Republican candidate for New York’s 19th Congressional District] said.

Pray tell, how does not saying some bullshit equate to us “losing our country”?

Cooler heads prevailed:

“The reason I voted for us not to begin meetings with it is because a few members on the planning board felt strongly that they did not want to recite the pledge, and they didn’t want to be put in a position where they were sort of branded or singled out at every meeting,” said board member Michael Zierler.

If only my kid’s coach could see how freedom of conscience works.

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