At times when I am desperately bored I read the UK’s comedy newspaper, the Daily Mail, looking for some badly written news article … and just today I find one entitled Pagan mother’s fury after son brings home Bible from school but witchcraft books are banned. It tells of a Pagan woman who was outraged when her son brought home – of his own accord, mind! – a Bible from school, which was one of a consignment donated by the Gideon Society. So incenced was she that such scurrilous literature was available at the school, she tried to bring in a load of spell-books to distribute to the pupils… but was declined.
This story is remarkable for a number of reasons. For a start, this is the first time I have heard of a Pagan giving her books away for free, given that Llewellyn usually charges top-dollar for all kinds of rubbish 😉 . Secondly and more to the point, though, American schools apparently have an all or nothing approach to religion based upon an interpretation of the First Amendment. This is alleged to be part of a successful “grand experiment” to avoid religious trouble which has happened in e.g. Germany and Ireland. This of course plainly ignores the fact that such trouble has not happened in the UK, which operates a Church-of-England-by-default-but-you-can-opt-out-of-it-if-you-want type of system. Maybe this system works in the UK because the Church of England doesn’t count as a proper religion!
Anyhoo, in the all-or-nothing debate, I am backing the “All” option – for the simple reason that if it goes through, I intend to found my own religion! That way people will be forced to read my books! (Actually I don’t mind if they don’t read them as long as they pay for them 😉 ).