Friday, August 27, 2010

Christian Crusaders in Alexander City, AL

I wish people would learn and teach their children to mind their own goddamn business.

My daughter is in marching band at her school and last night was the first home game. Why they had it on a Thursday night as opposed to a Friday night is beyond me. But, that is another matter entirely. As is the ILLEGAL prayer that was made over the public address system before the game.

During halftime I caught up with my daughter and got her something to drink. As we were standing there talking a little girl in Bell's grade came up to her and said, "Hey Bell I wanna be your friend. I know you don't have any friends. (Not true, by the way). It ain't my place to judge you (because we Nall's are an Atheist/Agnostic family). We used to be friends in 3rd grade and I want to be friends again."

Bell didn't seem all that impressed and mumbled a non-committal 'sure' to the invitation.

I thought it very odd. Those little vicious (now) teenage tarts have tormented my daughter for 9 goddamn years about her lack of belief in the invisible sky wizard. Bell never talks about it among her peers (she rarely talks to them at all)....because I have taught her that religion or lack thereof is a private family matter and because when it was first learned by her peers that we don't do the bible thumping rigmarole she became a target for every ill mannered, inbred, redneck, 'Christian' kid in that whole damn school. She's had rocks thrown at her, been told she is 'a goin ta helllllllllllll-ah', etc....

After the game as we were driving home I asked her what that little encounter was all about. She told me that the night before a girl in the grade below her got up in front of her church and asked the whole congregation to "Pray for Bell Nall because she is an Atheist." Bell said all that has done is remind people who finally quit fucking with her about it that she is still an Atheist and now the teasing has started again.

While this kids intentions may have been good, I AM PISSED LIKE A BEAR!! What right does she have to get up in front of a group of people who we do not know and who do not know us, other than perhaps me and then only through my political work, and pray for if lack of belief in their ridiculous theology is some sort of sickness that can be cured? The fucking gall of these people.

After all these kids have done in the name of Jeeeeeezus to make Bell's existence absolutely miserable for the last 9 years, why the hell would they reasonably expect Bell to want to have anything to do with them now? Or with Christianity ever? They tormented her because she didn't believe in their Jesus. They never once showed her the tolerance that Jesus taught. Or the love. Or the peace. Or the respect for those who believe differently. Only torment, bullying, hatred, viciousness, and cruelty. And now they want to suddenly start praying for if she is the one who is cruel, vicious, mean, if they were the ones ostracized from every social circle in school because of their beliefs. The goddamn gall!!!

Christianity and all other religious faiths are dangerous tools in the hands of those who lack the brain capacity and life experience to understand them. Children especially. They use it like a weapon to inflict pain and to ostracize anyone who is a little different. Then they turn around and act like the person who they have hurt and tormented is the one who needs praying for. WTF? These people are sick and twisted. And just plain damn stupid. They can't see the forest for the trees. I am so glad I raised my children to NOT be like them. They disgust me.

I intend to find out what church this took place at and, the Sunday after I do, I intend to show up and say much of what I have said here. Then I am going to tell them exactly what they can do with their hateful offspring and their holy book, too.

HINT: I won't be suggesting reading from the 'sacred' text.


Almoderate said...

Glad to see that you were kind enough to put the word "Christian" into quotes. Taunting children is about as Christian as bombing a building is Muslim. It's certainly not what Jesus asked us to do, and it's certainly not what I'd do.

I suppose I can't see the opposing side of it very well, but I really don't have much of an issue with a prayer at a gaming event (or the lack of one) anymore than I have an issue with the Pledge of Allegiance or the Star Spangled Banner being played. Honestly, I'm just there for a football game, and none of them really bother me any. I don't participate most of the time because my personal belief is that prayer (and shows of patriotism) should be genuine and not mere routine (or for show). They all just feel so damn fake before a game, but I'm a big girl and can ignore it.

The only thing I can say that I hope will make you feel a little better is that the intention of the prayer was likely not "pray for Bella because she's evil." At the very least I hope it wasn't. Prayers like that are supposed to be a prayer of inclusion-- as in the intent is supposed to be a hope that the person will come to join them in their faith. (Kind of like hoping that your friend will want to join the softball team with you.) Jesus never taught that any human being, believer or not, was more or less evil than another. In fact, He explicitly warned against that thinking.

Of course, if the teasing has started again, that's another story. That shouldn't happen, and it breaks my heart that kids have to be that way.

As you may or may not know, my own Bella was recently diagnosed with a high functioning autism spectrum disorder (speculated Aspies, since it runs in the family). Last year, she received quite a bit of underhanded treatment by her teachers in 3K last year. They told our psychologist (who thankfully knew better) that the other kids were scared of her and that she ate poop, which wasn't true. They diagnosed that all the problems were because we were bad parents. They told me that I shouldn't try to come in and observe (to find out what was triggering her meltdowns) and that she was acting out "unprovoked." (Bullshit. She was overstimulated, which I assessed the first time I observed, and they weren't following the recommendations from the psychologist.) Most of this was sent to my psychologist in the hopes that I wouldn't ever see it. Some of it was said to my face-- like the suggestion that she didn't feel physical or emotional pain. One person even suggested that she was possessed by a demon. Did I mention, by the way, that the program was run by a church?

So yeah. I get exactly how you feel. I actually did write a letter to their pastor about everything I had experienced over the school year and exactly what I thought of how their preschool program reflected on the faith they were supposed to be representatives of. For some reason, I never sent the letter. I have no idea why not. I think I still might.

Loretta Nall said...

Alamod...Somehow I knew you would understand. I am very sorry to hear about the problems your own sweet, innocent little angel is suffering at the hands of the ignorant, unwashed masses.

I've decided that I, too, will write a letter to the Pastor of the church where these children attend and tell him about all of the abuse my daughter has suffered at the hands of some of the youngest members of his flock. I'd very much love to deliver an alternative sort of Sunday sermon and shame these hateful douche bags. However, I know my Irish temper would get the best of me and the police would be called and it would just be real, real ugly. The point I want to make to the members of this church and to the children who attend school with my daughter is that she isn't the one that needs praying for and that perhaps they ought to look in the mirror before deciding who needs the most help from their god.

I remember when all of this first started. Bell was in third grade and one of her classmates invited her to church. She thanked them, but declined. When they asked why she told them that we don't go to church. When they asked why again she told them that we do not believe in any Gods or Demons or any religion. From that point on she has been tormented.

I've grown so weary of the bullshit from the ignorant masses who in no way practice what Jesus taught in the New Testament. The audacity of these fuckers to 'pray for Bell because she is an Atheist' just chaps my ass. Our personal beliefs are our business. We keep it to ourselves, mostly. Why can't others?

Don said...

I’ll give the little girl who asked the congregation to pray for Bella the benefit of thinking that as a child she didn’t know any better than to name Bella. I more mature way would have been to just ask that they pray for her friend or acquaintance without calling Bella by name. We all know from experience that kids are cruel to their peers at times. That’s just the way kids are, but hopefully if their parents find out what they are doing they will be admonished for their actions and stop what they are doing. I believe Bella is wise and strong enough to get through this with your support.

Chris said...

Damn Lo', sorry to here that. You know I wholeheartedly consider myself a christian, but my God didnt instruct me to belittle anyone. Jesus taught love, peace and tolerance, evem to non believers. We as christians were charged with spreading the "Good news" and trying to bring people to Christ. Not to belittle and treat people as outcast. We love you "Nalls" and we pray for all of our friends you guys included.. :-)

Unknown said...

Actually, quoting from the bible could be a good thing. The first two things that come to mind is why are there two very different creation myths: one follows after another at the beginning of Genesis. The other is in Exodus where the Pharaoh is punished by god for not releasing the Israelites even though God had "hardened the Pharaohs' heart to the plight of the Israelites. So basically the guy and his nation were punished by god for not doing something that god had made impossible? That doesn't sound like a just and loving god to me! One of the things that happened was the first-born son of everyone was slain? Why would the Creator slay the innocent? As Penn & Teller said in their Bullshit! episode on the Bible, reading the Bible carefully is the fastest way to Atheism. Well, I'm not an Atheist, but Deists are not drinking that Kool-Ade either. A good Bible to read is the Skeptics Annotated Bible--this is well annotated to point out little things such as these. ( It also has an annotated Koran and The Book of the Mormon as well.

Loretta Nall said...

Chris....It's fine to pray for me and my long as the prayers are if we are sick or for our general well being etc...But to pray for someone to start believing what you (not you specifically) believe really makes me angry. It is condescending and insulting.

My lack of belief is as relevant as any believers belief since neither can be proved or disproved.

I respect all people's rights to believe and worship or not in any way they choose and do not wish for them to change and become like me. Religious belief or lack thereof is a personal, private matter. Why can't other people respect that?

Anonymous said...

This is religion in a nut shell ,Build up your self by making others feel bad becuase they are not the same. so they are either guilted in to going along or they are harrassed until they do.Or in simple terms beleive what i do or i will hurt you .I know alabama is not ranked in the top 10as education goes but is it really so much to ask that they teach the meaning of the 1st amendment Before they teach kids to hate others that are not the same.Just remeber when you go to their church to use small words and short sentences so they can understand what you are talking about.sometimes i really think some one took north america and shook all the dimwits into this one corner of the country. good luck

Anonymous said...

Dear Loretta,

I just want to say that I am deeply sorry for what happened to your daughter. It makes me upset to know that these idiots are walking around acting like that and saying that they are following Jesus. I can only imagine how truly pissed you are.

In my opinion, you and your daughter are more "Jesus like" than those people. Innocents being unfairly judged by Neo-Pharasees and unjustly treated and tried by beaurocrats and idiots.

I love to read your blog and have been extremely obsessed with and entertained by the clip you posted of Autotuned Antione Dodson. Life has seemed more stressful than usual lately and this clip has kept me laughing and has helped me get through this difficult time. I am truly thankful that you are in this world Loretta, standing up to the Bullshit.

So, I penned a parody to the "Bed Intruder Song" that relates to what happened at the football game. I hope it gives you a giggle:

"Well obviously we have some fakeness here in (school name).
So Dumb, So Dumb, So SO DUMB!
They're tormenting your sweet girl all just to build themselves up.
Trying to judge, so hide your kids, and hide your wife, hide your kids, and hide your wife, hide your kids and hide your wife,
and hide your husband 'cause they're judging embody out here.
You don't have to try be her friend, she don't need you, she's just fine, Yo! She's just fine, Yo!
And you can run and tell that, run and tell that, run and tell that DUMB, DUMB, DUMB, DUMB, DUMB girl!
You don't have to try be her friend, she don't need you, she's just fine, Yo! She's just fine, Yo!
And you can run and tell that, run and tell that, run and tell that DUMB, DUMB, DUMB, DUMB, DUMB girl!"