In Support of School Prayer (with a Twist)

Sophie Anderson, "Foundling girls in their school dresses at prayer" (1877)

Sophie Anderson, “Foundling girls in their school dresses at prayer” (1877)

Here’s a story I’ve been sitting on for a while but that’s okay since new versions of it keep popping up. In March of 2012 Florida passed a bill allowing students to “read inspirational messages of their choosing at assemblies and sporting events.” As Huffington Post reported at the time,

Although the word “prayer” was explicitly struck from the bill’s language, the legislation is largely seen as a way for the State to sneak in religion into public schools.

At the time the Governor Rick Scott signed the bill, however, some unexpected support for it came in. Satanists saw the new law as an opportunity for them to get their own message out. In other words, rather than attempt to separate church and state, some are taking an opposite approach and arguing that all religions should be allowed in. Needless to say, this is not exactly what those proposing the bill had in mind.

A similar drama occurred this past December in Detroit when Satanists received permission to erect a Christmas display alongside a Christian crèche. As the Associated Press reported,

Christians and Satanists put up competing displays Sunday on the Michigan Capitol grounds as Christmas week got underway.

The Detroit chapter of the Satanic Temple set up its “Snaketivity Scene” featuring a snake offering a book called “Revolt of the Angels” as a gift. The snake is wrapped around the Satanic cross on the 3-feet-by-3-feet display. 

I don’t know what has been happening in the Florida school system since the bill was passed, but here’s a poem by my father offering the children some suggestions. It was written in the 1990s so the reference to “the Bulls” is to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. Juxtaposing the pop star Madonna with the NBA team, however, also suggests the myth of Zeus and Europa, as well as Cretan bull worship. In the end, though, America’s deepest religion may be the trinity that concludes the poem.

The Lingam, incidentally, is male sexual energy, which means that the bored children in the poem should, for balance’s sake, also pray to the Yoni.

School Prayer, Semester Schedule

By Scott Bates

Begin with Lucretius’s prayer to Venus,
         Alexandrian prayers to Pan,
The Golden Ass’s prayer to Isis,
         Humanist prayers to Man;

Continue with Baudelaire’s prayer to Satan,
         Huxley’s prayer to Henry Ford;
And there’s always a Tantric prayer to the Lingam
         Whenever the children get bored.

You can finish with prayers to Gods of the Hour
Like Madonna, the Bulls, Sex, Money, and Power.

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  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

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