At work, once a month, we have a church group that comes in with snacks and a video for the kids, they do a devotional, a big group prayer, and a little lesson for them to think about. Now, as severly NON-Religious as I am, I usually spend that night keeping busy and trying to be not in the room at all. Not only do I vehemently disagree with everything they say, etc, but I also have a little thing I like to call respect. I respect them for believing what they believe, and while I do not agree with it, everyone is allowed and entitled to their own belief. I also am of the opinion that if a person doesn't believe in specific religious events and ideals, it is much more respectful to exclude yourself from said events and ideals so as not to be rude. It's also a little issue I have with hypocracy - how can you be against something and then participate in it? Anyway, my only real major problem with this is that it is not an option for the kids. We force them, under penalty of a write-up, to participate, or at the very least join the group. I understand the reasoning, I really do - that by social interaction and trying to get the kids to understand the importance of so-called "brotherhood" and religion in one's life, that maybe they'll spark something and a few of them will think "hey, wait a minute, I can get back on the right track." The logic to me is backward, a little, but I digress.

I just recieved an email from my supervisor kindly letting me know that we'll be having other church groups come in, for a minimum of three "church nights" a week. And I am outraged. I don't think that I would be so angry if they were having multiple religions represented, say, Christianity, Judiasm, and Islam just because they're the Big Three. Because at least then I could support the idea that we're trying to expose these kids to so-called "positive" influences, in spades. But by representing only one viewpoint and perspective on religion, and if you so believe - "God", we are showing them two huge points: One, that there is ONLY one "good" or "real" religion out there and if you don't believe it, you're wrong (and yes, I am aware that out of the Big Three, all three believe they are the only "good" and "real" religion - IRONY), which is simply not true. And number Two: This one religion may be the only way you will ever get out of jail and stay out of jail which is also not true. Now, putting aside my personal vehement dislike of anything claiming it is "the will of God," my overall concern here is that by doing this we are further narrowing minds that are otherwise already warped and narrowed from a life of abuse, neglect, general bad-parenting, and extremely poor moral standing. You do not have to believe in religion or God to be a moral person. It worries me that this is what we are telling them.

And even standing outside of the control that Christianity has over America, we are supposed to be protected from this. I am supposed to be protected as a Citizen and as an employee. The kids are supposed to protected while they are in the custody of the State. We all are supposed to be shielded from the glaring eyes and powerful fists of any church - it was the main objective of creating this country. We are a nation of equals and your God is not better than my God (or non-God) under the laws that govern us. Why are we allowing our goverment to impose religion on us, in any sense? And why aren't more people angry about this same sort of situation - it is everywhere! I may have been one of a handful of people who celebrated when the courts said children were no longer forced to pledge their allegiegance to God. Don't they understand by forcing me to administer this belief, and by forcing the kids to participate in this belief, they are breaking the law?

I'm probably a little overboard on this, but this is one of my biggest issues with, well, Life. At work, I am literally the only person working there who is not a "believer" and there have been comments made. For instance, last night when my Supervisor first broke the subject to me, letting me know she was thinking about this, I told her how I felt about it. She rolled her eyes and said "well no one your age likes church..." which is insulting and demeaning, first of all. But then when I explained to her it wasn't about church, that I do not believe in her religion - or any other - she just laughed and said "Oh, one of those," ending the conversation and walking away as if my thougths and ideas were nothing. Do not dismiss me. My non-belief is every bit as vaild as anyones belief. These are my civil liberties, and I'll be damned if anyone that isn't named George W. Bush tries to take them away.


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