Now They Want To Ban “Bless You”

By | September 21, 2015 | 0 Comments

sneeze

High-school teacher lowers student’s grade for saying “Bless you!” when a classmate sneezes.
News report

Theophobia means “fear of God.” No, not the biblical, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” That type of fear is a magnified version of our feeling for our parents: a mixture of love and respect, tinged with a bit of actual fear. Nor is it a fear of divine punishment.
On the contrary, this is a pathological, neurotic fear. It is not a fear of God Himself, at least not consciously. It is a fear of the very mention of God, even indirectly, even casually, even if it is not in the context of prayer. This type of fear perverts the constitutional freedom of religion into freedom from religion. This type of fear caused the U.S. Supreme Court to rule unconstitutional the New York State Regents’ Prayer said voluntarily by public-school students:

Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country.

Doesn’t that strike terror into your heart? Doesn’t it cause you to tremble for the future of the republic? It doesn’t? Good. You don’t have theophobia.
This type of fear causes judges and school officials to forbid a high-school valedictorian to say, “God bless the graduating class.” But oddly, it does not cause school officials to forbid students to go down the corridors loudly cursing “God damn.” This type of fear dreads blessings more than it dreads curses. How revealing.
In one case, graduating students arranged that the speaker would fake a sneeze − and the class shouted, “God bless you!” They assumed that this innocent phrase uttered after a sneeze could not possibly provoke hostility. They were correct at the time, but things have “progressed” since then.
A high-school teacher in California reduced the grade of a student because the student reflexively said “Bless you” when a classmate sneezed. No, the monstrous amounts of class time the school wastes did not concern the teacher, but he felt that the one- or two-second pause for “Bless you” would seriously impair the educational process. He claimed this was “disrespectful and disruptive.”
This is pure narcissism: I feel offended, so you must alter your behavior to suit my feelings. Isn’t it interesting that narcissism and liberalism so frequently go together?
Not incidentally, the class “disrupted” was health class. Perhaps the teacher feared that a one- or two-second delay would prevent his students from learning how to put a condom on a cucumber. After all, this complex task requires fine hand-eye coordination and many hours of classroom instruction by dedicated, highly trained teachers with master’s degrees.
But that’s what “progressives” do − they “progress.” Note that the student did not say “God bless you,” but merely “Bless you.” The word “God” was inferred by the teacher. That is, we have “progressed” from smiling at the ruse of a fake sneeze to punishing the expression after a real sneeze. We have “progressed” from objecting to mention of the word “God” to punishing even implying that word without mentioning it. Now that’s progress.
But what’s next? Searching a term paper for trace evidence that the student was even thinking about God? Before you dismiss this as paranoia, let me tell you a story.
Some time ago, my wife and I were returning from the airport. The cab driver had white hair and a thick accent. He was a retired colonel in the Soviet Air Force, who could not live on his meager pension and came to America to be with family. I asked whether he attended a Russian Orthodox church. He replied that he did now, but had not done so in the Soviet Union. He added that if he had gone to church even once on Sunday, the next Monday he would have been called before his commanding officer, and either forcibly retired or transferred to a dead-end job in Siberia.
Obviously, this had nothing to do with whether the colonel was performing his duties as a radar instructor efficiently − it had to do with politically correct beliefs. No, we’re not there yet. But unless we reverse course, that’s where we’re “progressing” towards.
Of course, theophobia involves fear of any mention of the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible. It does not involve the Muslim God. I’ll bet serious money that the teacher would have said nothing if a girl came to class in a head scarf, or if a Muslim student demanded time away from class for one of his five daily prayers. I’ll bet the teacher wouldn’t call that “disrespectful and disruptive” and grade the student down. I’ll bet that he could distinguish his irrational fear from a real fear. I’ll bet that his liberal version of “multiculturalism” includes respect for all cultures except our own.
Liberals claim to fear Christian conservatives, but they repeatedly insult Christian conservatives with impunity. Liberals claim not to fear extremist Muslims, but they take great care to placate Muslims at every opportunity. So whom do liberals really fear, and whom do they merely hold in contempt? Don’t listen to what they say − watch what they do.
Liberals believe that if they abandon Judeo-Christian values, they will be safe from extremist Muslims. They believe that if we destroy our nuclear weapons, we will be safe from nukes in the hands of crazies like North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Iran’s “Supreme Leader.” And they believe that if law-abiding citizens are forbidden to own guns, they will be safe from armed criminals.
Such beliefs are irrational and dangerous. They are vestiges of the childish, narcissistic notion that I am the center of the universe, so that whatever I imagine somehow affects the outside world. If I think peaceful thoughts, others will act peacefully. If I don’t fight, bullies will leave me alone. If I close my eyes, the boogeyman can’t see me. But he can. It is narcissistic to believe that the world should revolve around me. It is dangerous and potentially suicidal to believe that it actually does.
The high-school teacher asserted that his anti-bless-you policy “has nothing to do with religion.” Really? Then what does it have to do with − intermediate algebra and the quadratic equation? He claimed that saying “Bless you” is an outdated practice and disrupts class time. By one or two seconds?
After parents complained about students losing points for saying “Bless you,” the teacher agreed to stop the practice. But he added that he will just find another way to discipline students for saying “Bless you” in class.
We hear a great deal about religious fanatics. After 9/11 and ISIS this is to be expected. But we never − literally never − hear about irreligious fanatics like that teacher. Each anti-Judeo-Christian attack is either ignored or treated as an isolated incident. Each Christmas tree removed from a school, each Salvation Army Santa kicked out of a mall, each high-school band forbidden to play Christmas music even without the words, each Easter vacation renamed “spring break,” each anti-Catholic or anti-Evangelical or anti-Israel rant, is seen as separate and unconnected.
But eventually, the “isolated incidents” must add up to a pattern. Otherwise, we do not notice until bakers and florists are driven out of business for not participating in same-sex weddings, and county clerks are imprisoned for not issuing marriage licenses. And then we finally pay attention, hoping it is not too late.
We condemn intelligence officials for their failure to “connect the dots” before 9/11. But we should not criticize others for what we ourselves are failing to do. We too need to “connect the dots.” We too need an occasional “Bless you!” We surely can use it.

Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.
www.stolinsky.com

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