Thursday, June 5, 2008

Thanks For Making Me Embarrassed of Home

And people wonder where I get my motivation to oppose religion...

Here is a Letter to the Editor of the local paper in my hometown of Mountain Home, Arkansas:

I had the honor of attending a reception for retiring teachers and classified employees and bus drivers of the Mountain Home Public School District. It was so refreshing to be reminded of the years my children were in school here. You are all heroes, and I mean real heroes.

I must name a few, and if you are not listed, please don't be offended, but space prohibits listing all of you. Alice Baker, my daughter looked forward to your Bible story every morning, and she still often speaks of it fondly. Debbie King, you put a passion for reading in my son. He loved to hear you read "Fudge." Wes Henderson, you were so much support to a single working mom and her kids. Mr. Kirksey and Mr. Simmons — always so fair and so caring. Bruce Caldwell, you were an outstanding science teacher and a good friend. Bill Hughes, you were a strong Christian influence. You all really care about your students and their futures.

I knew how special you all were when my kids were in school, and now you have my granddaughters and, soon, my grandson. I appreciated you all then, and I want to tell you again how special you all are. In one way or another, you each went above and beyond — you reinforced the values I tried to instill in my kids.

Parents with kids in Mountain Home schools, I hope you are grateful for the strong Christian values of our local school district. For many families, teachers have more time with our kids than we do. I feel very fortunate that my precious children were, and now my grandchildren are, in your care when not with their parents or me. In this dark world we live in today, it is a bright light to be in the presence of Mountain Home school teachers.

Praise you all for your love, devotion, inspiration and genuine caring you so graciously shower on the students and their families. For those of you retiring, you have earned it and I applaud you. Know that you touched a child's life in a positive way forever. You have much to be proud of. You are all the best.

Enjoy your summer. God bless you all.

I actually recall being in Bruce Caldwell's science class and hearing him say that Astronomy is not in conflict with a young Earth because god could have created starlight in transit to the Earth. In class he is telling kids that inserting your own conclusion over scientific fact is ok, and this guy is teaching science!!! Now that I'm older, and actually have a bead on science (no thanks to anti-science acquired in the eighth grade), I shudder to think that this stuff is still being taught to kids.

And a bible story every morning? Surely this was not in her class, because that would be flagrantly illegal. (EDIT: It turns out that this lady retired 20 years ago. Good.)

3 comments:

nisemono3.14 said...

Wow.

I hope that Ms. Baker is prepared to tell the great stories of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Grégoire said...

I have never before been able to tout my own hometown as better than anyone else's until now. St. George Utah outdoes (in my not so humble opinion) Mountain Home in the kooky religious nutcase category.

http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/1%2C1249%2C510054991%2C00.html

Just in case you don't know where St. George (that fount of all things relevant to western civilization) is, you can get a good idea here:

http://revnost.blogspot.com/2008/02/blasphemous-rumours.html

Great freakin' blog, by the way. Teh Juggernauts is da shiznit...

JT said...

Gregoire,

Wow, I stand destroyed. I'm still embarrassed of Mountain Home, but it is clear that it could be worse.

Thanks for the compliments - I'm glad you like it. :D

JT