By Charles Redfern, first published on www.creedible.com on June 4, 2010
To: The Board of Education; From: The Committee of the Concerned
As you know, a federal judge recently stopped the Board of Education in Enfield, CT, from holding its graduation ceremonies in a mega-church building. Among her reasons: “By choosing to hold graduations at First Cathedral, Enfield schools sends the message that it is closely linked with First Cathedral and its religious mission, that it favors the religious over the irreligious and that it prefers Christians over those that subscribe to other faiths, or no faith at all.”
We’re so happy with the judge’s decision – because we’ve been concerned. Thus our name.
Which leads to our point: We’re more than a little worried about next year’s scheduled field trip to Europe and how the region’s sinister religious art might brainwash our gullible youngsters. Italy, for example, is a veritable trap. We urge you to avoid Saint Peter’s Basilica and all those roving monks, nuns, and priests. They’re on the loose. And please run away from the Sistine Chapel at top speed. Its ceiling not only advocates blatant monotheism, its Creationism is palpably anti-intellectual. We have reluctantly concluded that the structure’s owners actually believe in Catholicism and, even worse, want to share their beliefs. The nerve. Such ominous propaganda will endanger our children. We won’t have it. You’ll force us out of our current diplomatic stance if you even draw close to that chapel door. We will take action — and you’ll bear the blame.
We say that with respect and in an atmosphere of dialogue. Of course.
Pa-lease remain vigilant once you leave Rome. Don’t let up for a moment. The City of Assisi is especially dangerous. Rumor has it that Franciscan friars and nuns still prowl the streets in broad daylight, more than 700 years after the deaths of Saints Francis and Clare. Such is their grip. Check your maps for a bypass around the town. Follow it if it’s there. Otherwise, our children might hear the oppressive message of love of God, fellow human beings, and nature. They might even adopt the simple life and never saddle us with arguments over designer jeans again. What will life be like without those emergency trips to the mall? What will we do with all our extra cash?
We’re less worried about that swing through France – but there are those ancient cathedrals, so beware: We know how to text and skype. No Notre Dames in the background or you’ll meet a fat man with a big subpoena at the airport. Go ahead and view other French sites – except the Louvre: too many statues of Mary, seraphim, and angels.
“Perplexed.” That’s the one word that describes us vis-à-vis the trip’s third leg. You want our kids in the Holy Land! What were you thinking? Were you thinking? Didn’t you see the word “holy” attached to “land”? That’s blatant religion! And think of it: Our precious cherubs’ll hear all those calls to prayer! Even flying close to Israel raises eyebrows (the very term, Israel, means “one who wrestles with God,” which is a subtle endorsement of prayer in and of itself, but we’re so broad minded we won’t hold that against you), but landing in Tel Aviv? That’s tantamount to force-feeding the darlings hallelujah shouts at a Pentecostal revival. Don’t you dare harm our kids. Stay away from that place. Remember the fat man with the subpoena.
But we want you to know you’ve got some wiggle room. In fact, we voted just now and agreed: you can view one Roman art piece – the statue of David. We were initially worried because David was a biblical king of Israel — oh no: that word again – but, let’s face it, few will contemplate spirituality while staring at a stark naked man – especially the young ladies. Let them gawk all day.