from the language-barrier dept
Well, that was quick. We had recently discussed an athiest activist who had planned to have some fun pointing out the veiled nature of a Texas law that requires a school to display any donated poster featuring the phrase “In God We Trust” along with the American and Texas flags. How was the fun to be had? Well, by donating posters that very closely followed the law’s requirements… except to put the phrase “In God We Trust” in Arabic. Should a school or the public freak out over such a poster, well, that would point out the true motivation of the law, which was to promote white, English speaking Christianity rather than an American motto.
It took all of a week or so for this point to get made. A parent in Texas followed along with the plot and donated just such a poster, written in Arabic, which followed the requirements of the law perfectly. The school, based on the pure writing in the law, should be required to put the poster up on school grounds. In a surprise to exactly nobody, however, the school is refusing.
On Monday, a parent in that school district attempted to donate additional “In God We Trust” signs written in Arabic and decorated with rainbow colors. The school board president informed him that schools already have enough posters, but that parent wasn’t buying the explanation.
“It doesn’t say you have to stop at one. That is your decision to stop at one. Why is more God not good?” Srivan Krishna asked at Monday’s school board meeting. “And are you saying you don’t have like one square foot of space in our buildings?”
The parent is completely correct. The law doesn’t make any mention of a provision in which someone can donate a poster, scream “First!” like they were on an internet comments board in 2005, and thereby preclude all other poster-donators from getting in on the game. In fact, one might suspect that, by the letter of the law, enterprising jokesters with enough time and money on their hands could essentially wallpaper over an entire school with these posters if they chose to donate enough of them.
Is that what any of us really want? Not in my camp, no. I don’t want to see any Texas school garishly adorned in posters mentioning God in English, Arabic, or any other language. That type of thing has no place in secular institutions, in my view.
But if we’re going to allow it, then we have to actually allow it in every iteration that follows the law. And though the Arabic poster may violate the jingoistic sensibilities of some folks in Texas education, it certainly doesn’t violate Texas law. In fact, it appears the only one doing that is this Texas school district.
Filed Under: arabic, in god we trust, posters, schools, texas
Source by www.techdirt.com
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