I have never been to Louisiana, but I’ve always wanted to go. Not for stupid Mardi Gras reasons – I think crowds of that magnitude and bead-throwing and all those drunk people would make me insane and nervous – but because it seems like it might be kind of a magical place. I’ve read a lot of books about it, and watched a lot of movies and documentaries, and I love the architecture and the water and the food and the accents and the hometown pride and mystery. It’s one of the top places I want to bon vivant, someday.
I mean, look how pretty this is!
Don’t you think I would have the best time bon vivanting here? Yes. It’s all gothic and moody and haunted-looking. Plus: beignets!
Anyway, someday I will go to New Orleans (but not during Mardi Gras, because drunk tourists are not my thing, yo) and will do ALL the bon vivanting. And eating of delicious spicy foods.
Anyway, in the past couple of days, I found a couple of very worrisome Louisiana articles online that made me nervous about my magical bon-vivanting state. What’s going on, Louisiana? You’re making me worried.
Apparently, Louisiana recently passed a law allowing charter schools. Charter schools are schools that are not public schools, but kids can still go to them and get an education. And they still get public funding. We have them here in New York. Some people hate them and think they’re the end of the world as we know it and some people think they’re the best things ever. I don’t know anything about them because I don’t have children. There are a lot of people who think the public school system in this country is broken and this is a good fix. I can’t find any sort of comprehensive list of what states are best or worst with public schools or charter schools so I can put all the statistics on you, unfortunately. Because I really like statistics. Apparently, Louisiana’s public school system is very bad. Like, over half of the schools are failing some sort of rating system of public schools. So, that’s kind of sad. No one likes that.
Anyway, I’m totally not here to pass judgement on charter schools. Maybe they work for some people, I don’t know. Like I said, I don’t have kids. And I’m not sending Dumbcat to school. He’d hate that. He’d be very nervous around all those other cats and hide in the arts and crafts closet all day long and get paint on his fur, it’d be terrible for him. Poor fella.
But I read an article that at least 19 0f these Louisiana charter schools are going to be using the “Bob Jones University Press” textbooks to teach their students. They can do that, I guess. They’re allowed to use whatever books they want. Which seems weird, but whatever. What is the Bob Jones University Press? Well, remember we talked about the Creation Museum? It’s like the Creation Museum threw up all over a textbook, which is then used to teach our students. I’d link you to their site, but I don’t wanna, and it’s my damn blog. I’ll just let you know that the masthead on the website says “Christ-centered resources for education, edification, and evangelism.” They even use God to teach Algebra. From their new Algebra textbook series: “Biblical truths and principles are taught through Dominion Modeling exercises that illustrate how mathematics is used to serve others and glorify God.” Math is used to serve others and glorify God! Oh, my. Just, oh, my. They have books for every grade from kindergarten to college (even college! how handy!) and also have some excellent music glorifying God. Because other music is filled with sinfulness, of course. Especially showtunes. They’re ultra-sinful. Which is why I love them.
This excellent article found some important things that will be taught to the young, malleable minds of Louisiana, using the teachings of good old Bob Jones (who I’d never heard of, but apparently, he was some sort of loud tent-preacher who founded a university where you can learn…um…I guess to be a loud tent-preacher? I don’t know, and he died in the 60s. He also said that to oppose segregation was to oppose the will of God. So he was a racist fella, too, which is always nice.)
So, want to see what some of the youth of Louisiana will be learning at these 19 charter schools?
- Dinosaurs and humans lived on the earth at the same time, because God created the animals and men all in the same week, THE BIBLE SAYS SO DAMMIT
- Most slaveholders were kind and slaves loved being owned by them. They’ve gotten a bad rap in history.
- The KKK isn’t in existence for racial reasons. It’s there for education, religion, and reform. Again, it’s gotten a bad rap.
- The Great Depression never happened, and The Grapes of Wrathwas a lying piece of propaganda.
- Even though slaves “loved being owned”, the texts say that allowing abortion is akin to “allowing men to own slaves.” So…um…babies love being aborted? I am confused by your logic. Sorry! “Logic.”
- Satan’s latest trick is Communism, and it is how he will hurl all of us into eternal hellfire. Yes, these books were written recently, not in the 50s.
- Mark Twain and Emily Dickinson don’t show enough respect for authoreteh so they won’t be taught. Sorry, kiddos. No “Hope is the thing with feathers” for you.
- What do homosexuals, rapists, and pedophiles have in common? They should all be given the same rights.
- Environmentalists want to destroy the global economy. (I don’t know, either.)
- World unification is the first step to the rapture, the Four Horsemen, and probably plagues of locusts. LOCUSTS!
I – um.
These things are going to be taught to our kids in school, you guys.
Now, listen. I know about Catholic school. In Catholic school (as far as I understand, anyway) you have regular classes, and then you have a SEPARATE religion class. And I think you go to daily mass. Someone can correct me if I misunderstand how this works, but I’m pretty sure you don’t get your religion all smish-smashed into your history class or your English class or your math class all “you got chocolate in my peanut butter YOU GOT PEANUT BUTTER IN MY CHOCOLATE” style.
(Or do you? Yell at me if I’m wrong. I went to a heatheny public school. NO RELIGION WAS ALLOWED. Except, well, hell, 99.9% of us were Catholic and went to church together anyway, so it might as well have been a Catholic school. It was a small town.)
It’s one thing to teach religion in school. It’s quite another to teach a., blatant misrepresentations of the truth, and b., hate.
Kids have these little malleable brain-areas. You tell them something, and if they love you and trust you? They TOTALLY believe you. For example: when I was a wee one, I asked my dad, “What are those things?”
You’ve seen these things, right? They’re orange balls on the power lines.
My dad said, “Basketballs.” He was obviously kidding. (They’re safety markers or safety balls, and they’re mostly used to alert planes of power lines. One site I checked says they also alert birds to the wires.) But yeah, to a 4-year-old, they kind of look like basketballs.
Now, whenever I see these things, even though I know damn well what they are, the very first thing that crosses my mind, EVERY SINGLE TIME? “Basketballs.”
Now, that’s a minor thing. I can think for myself. I did the research, and I know damn well they’re not basketballs and he was kidding. (And it’s not like he told me something dangerous, offensive, racist, or hateful.) But it proves a point. I went about three years thinking that, somehow, for some reason, someone had put basketballs on the power lines.
If I thought such a thing, you can be damn sure these kids hearing, day in and day out, that slavery was a good thing, the KKK is a community service organization, and that gay people are the same as rapist pedophiles, from adults in authority that the know and trust, are going to believe it. You have to be CAREFUL what you tell kids! They believe EVERYTHING! I’m so cautious what I say to The Nephew, because if I’m not careful about my sarcasm (which pops out all unbeknownst-to-me all the time like a ghost in the closet) he’s going to believe something I say in jest one of these days, and then say it to some kid at daycare, and get mocked, and how terrible would I feel? The MOST terrible, is how terrible, sheesh!
Are they going to continue to believe it? Well, not all of them. I was brought up a Republican Catholic, and…well…I’m not either of those things now. Some people are able to think for themselves once they grow up (or even while it’s happening – some of us are really, really authority-challenging and stubborn.) I was lucky enough to go to just the right college and meet just the right group of people once I graduated who very gently explained that maybe there were more things out there than what I’d been shown, growing up. But there are some people – people I know – who believe that what they were taught, growing up, is how it is. Who just accept what they’re taught as fact and that’s the way it is and swallow the status quo like a delicious bon bon. That’s what worries me. That we’re producing generations and generations of kids with the wrong information, who are being taught to hate. And there’s nothing we can do about it, you know?
Then I read a little about the governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, who apparently, at one point, was one of the front-runners for ol’ Mitt’s VP nod. I find that hard to believe. Here, I’ll show you why.
OK, quick, why wouldn’t Mitt choose him for VP? He’s not a white guy with a stick up his ass, of course. Don’t be absurd.
Anyway, so this is Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana. This article seems to not only prove he was at one point batshit crazy, but apparently is still quite proud of it.
Apparently in college, Jindal’s female friend – NOT HIS GIRLFRIEND! Christians can’t have girlfriends! They get MARRIED if they want to be romantic! Sheesh, come on! – was possessed by a demon? So he and his friends locked her in a dorm room and forced her to submit to an exorcism. Even though she didn’t want it and the campus preacher, when approached by it, was all, “NOPE. No exorcisms, guys, come on.”
Selected quotes from Jindal himself, who is quite proud of his work shunning Satan:
“…whether by plan or coincidence, Susan chose the perfect opportunity to attempt an escape. She suddenly leapt up and ran for the door, despite the many hands holding her down.”
(I feel kind of terrible for Susan. Also, the article says she was being treated for cancer at the time. I’m wondering how much of her “demon possession” wasn’t just “she was exhausted from chemo and radiation and possibly not as cheerful as Jindal and Co. might have liked from fellow Soldiers of Christ.” Also, “many hands holding her down?” I’d have bitten, scratched, kicked, whatever it took. I don’t take well to being restrained. No no no Charlie.)
“Running out of options, UCF had turned to a rival campus Christian group for spiritual tactics. The preacher had denied our request for assistance and recommended that we not confront the demon; his suggestion was a little late. I still wonder if the good preacher was too settled to be roused from bed, or if this supposed expert doubted his own ability to confront whatever harassed Susan.”
(Ooh, Jindal’s totally casting aspersions on this guy and calling him lazy. Also, a “rival” group? Heh. They’re totally all Sharks and Jets over there. The other preacher – and Susan – are the only two sane people in this narrative.)
“At first, Susan responded to biblical passages with curses and profanities. Mixed in with her vile attacks were short and desperate pleas for help.”
(Please let me explain what Susan was saying. “Fucking let me GO, you fucking insane LOONIES! SOMEONE HELP ME I’M LOCKED IN MY DORM ROOM WITH THE GOD SQUAD!” Curses/profanities/pleas for help. You’re welcome.)
OK, we all did crazy shit in college. Well, that’s a broad generalization. *I* did crazy shit in college. Maybe you behaved yourself, I don’t know. Most people I know did crazy shit in college. Most of it I have no qualms talking about now. In a self-deprecating tone, like a “college, you know? What can you do?” way. THIS GUY IS STILL PROUD HE PERFORMED A BACK-ALLEY EXORCISM.
Um. This is worrisome. Totally worrisome. Also, it kind of explains why he’s not doing anything to stop these God-schools from operating (although it doesn’t really look like he could, probably – if it’s an “approved” curriculum, and it seems pretty much anything passes THAT hurdle, they can get the funding and they can teach the material.)
Louisiana! You are a state of many exciting things like delicious foods and haunted hotels and many species of tree frogs and parishes and bayous and laissez-ing the bon temps rouler! WHAT IS GOING ON? Please stop it. You’re making me worried. I may have to choose to bon vivant elsewhere someday when I am a very famous bon vivanter and that would just make me sad, because as of right now, I’m afraid if I stepped foot in your state, I’d be met by a crowd of creepy blonde children, led by your governor, and I’d be fed to an alligator or something. *shudder*