Wednesday, April 22, 2015
A to Z Challenge: S is for Satan
I was searching the abyss of memory for a topic for "S," and then Satan rose from the depths. Here's my story about Satan.
Most people think of Oregon as a liberal state, but I live in Eastern Oregon. It's the red part of the state. It's sort of the bible belt of Oregon and very conservative.
For 7 years I was the vice principal in our one high school town. Early in the school year the Christian students organize an event called "See you at the pole." Students gather before school at the flagpole and pray. Because it is a student-led event that does not disrupt the educational activities of the school, the administration does not intervene.
One year several students decided to express their displeasure of this activity by wearing devil horns, tails, and carrying plastic pitchforks. I started getting phone calls about 15 minutes into the school day.
"My daughter is upset because YOU are letting students dress up as the devil. It is not appropriate to have the devil at school."
Now, you might wonder how many phone calls I got from secular parents about the hoard of students praying and singing Christian songs at the front entrance to the school. The answer is none...no one in Eastern Oregon is surprised when people break into spontaneous prayer, even at a public school.
I explained to the Christian parents that freedom of speech allows students to express their beliefs, political leanings, and points of view. If we allow Christian students to wear a "Jesus Saves" T-shirt, then another student is free to wear red plastic devil horns as a form of protest as long as neither expression creates a "material disruption of the educational process."
Another reason to be grateful for retirement...I no longer have to participate in these stupid debates!