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god-not-allowed-in-schoolsWhat’s the best part about using a graduation to preach the word of God? I imagine you are thinking that the best part about talking about God might be spreading the good word, right? Well you’d be wrong about that. Very wrong. The best part about talking about God on a public occasion is hope that it will piss off the atheists.

Just ask Joe the Plumber!

…and dozens of people taking advantage of the occasion to tweet about how this speech pissed off atheists over the last day or so. The anger of atheists plays a prominent role in most of these narratives. It isn’t the blessings of God or even those of a theocracy-Friendly SCOTUS that these people want to talk about; it’s the anger of atheists. Which is kind of flattering if you think about it. The most important part of addressing God is, for some believers anyway, what it will mean to us non-believers.

It’s almost as though the real point of the exercise has less to do with the Old Man Himself than it does with us lowly nay-sayers.

…in much the same way that the best part of prayer is not the talking to god part. Frequently, it’s the irritation inflicted on unbelievers when you say to them; “I will pray for you.” I mean prayer is hit or miss anyway, or just miss, but what the Hell, that look on the other guy’s face when you dismiss him with that special condescending note, it’s just pure gold. The good guy in the sky may or may not bring you a puppy, but if you address him on the right occasion (or at least threaten to), you can sure count on getting under someone’s skin.

Am I right?

Could it be that the best part of waving a flag is the hope that it will make some lefty uncomfortable?

Maybe the best part of printing God on your money is the hope that it will give someone conflicted emotions about his pocketbook?

Do you ever get the impression the best part of a really cool thing is the part where it pisses someone else off? And do you ever wonder if maybe that really cool thing might not be so cool after all, if it didn’t piss off that other guy? Cause maybe it’s really pissing that other guy off that’s the really cool part of the cool thing after all, and if we take that away, maybe the cool thing just becomes too damned dull to bother with.

…which is how God in the schools used to be, at least until someone made him a rebel.

Do you guys know that all the troubles in America began when God was chased out of the schools? Seriously, I’ve been hearing this one since I was a kid, so I’m guessing you heard it too. Now, a smart person might wonder how a god could be kicked out of the schools, but a smarter person would just peel a potato for Jesus and plop it in the stew. I mean, why ruin a good story? The bad guys chased Jesus out of homeroom, and then guns and drugs and teen pregnancy came in to take his place. Hell if only the Prince of Peace were still allowed in math class, no-one would shoot anyone there anymore.

Nope!

Of course, every good story needs a villain. Every rebel needs a tyrant, and every free spirit needs a stuffy old codger to make her inner beatnik shine. Even God, it would seem, needs a brutal oppressor, and that’s why the Devil gave us teachers, and atheists. They come together in the schools, or at least in evangelical stories about the schools, and the wonderful thing is that we can all identify with God on this one. We’ve all got that image in our minds somewhere, the horrible ruler-wielding fiend who made it his job to fill misery with a whole company of children from his own classrooms. Well now that guy is torturing God too, just like he did in our own eighth-grade science class, and all we have to do is pray to god to piss him off and all the people like him. And thus prayer becomes a supreme act of rebellion, a grand middle finger held high at the demons of our own childhood and those of human history too, or at least the evangelical version of it.

It’s a good story, or at least a compelling one, this Bible-wielding rebel theme.

The problem of course is that some of these rebels aren’t rebels. Some of them have authority, and some of them are celebrating the use and abuse of authority. They just don’t want the responsibility that goes with it. But what the Hell! WWJT?

Who would Jesus troll?