COLUMN: Robson – Logic fails in t-shirt ban

- May 8th, 2012

School’s original decision to ban shirt not thought out

by John Robson

A Nova Scotia school repeatedly suspends a Grade 12 kid for wearing a T-shirt saying “Life is wasted without Jesus.” Yet they insist they allow religious belief in schools. Sure you do. You just don’t allow logic.

Local school board superintendent Nancy Pynch-Worthylake claims there’s only a problem “when we have students come forward and say, ‘I really feel this is a criticism of my beliefs.’”

And some students whined to the principal that William Swinimer’s shirt seemed to declare “Your life is wasted without Jesus,” which she said could reasonably be construed as a judgment.

Oh dear. A judgement. And we all know Christians expect a cosmic Day of Nonjudgementality, where the figure of your choice will reward like whatever man.

No. Wait. They don’t. They say if you don’t embrace Jesus you have a problem with this world and the next. Which was seriously controversial 2000 years ago and still is precisely because, if true, it matters more than anything else.

Of course it may not be true. But either way, if you can’t say it, you can’t express your Christian beliefs because they involve a conviction that some things are true and others are not.

Indeed it is an elementary principle of logic, so basic your brain dissolves without it, that something is either true or false. It is called the “excluded middle,” or was when schools taught logic. (Today it probably means students can’t wear shirts exposing their bellybuttons.)

The superintendent clearly fails to grasp this true-or-not-but-not-both business, saying “If I have an expression that says ‘My life is enhanced with Jesus,’ then there’s no issue with that, everybody is able to quickly understand that that’s my opinion about my own belief.”

I sometimes wonder if such people think the Old Testament says Moses brought down the 10 Suggestions from Mount Sinai, unless you’d prefer that it was Aaron or there were 17 or he carried them up a small hill. Is the bush not on fire if you’re a “fire-fighter” (nee fireman), but if you’re a pyromaniac or just cold it can be a whole forest?

Do they know the Koran (Sura V, 2002 Project Gutenberg translation) says “Infidels now are they who say, ‘God is the Messiah, Son of Mary;’ for the Messiah said, ‘O children of Israel! worship God, my Lord and your Lord.’ Whoever shall join other gods with God, God shall forbid him the Garden, and his abode shall be the Fire…”

That doesn’t exactly sound like Mohammad saying that’s my opinion about my own beliefs but, hey, Allah’s not everyone’s cup of tea. So can a student put “Allahu akbar” on a shirt?

Mr. Swinimer claims his school has no problem with shirts blaring “Hail Satan” or other offensive rubbish. My guess is, they don’t think kids who wear such stuff on their bodies think it is true, or false, or that such concepts exist.

After all, the school board said “students may choose to wear clothing that embraces their beliefs. However, it is expected that students will not wear clothing with messages that may offend others’ beliefs, race, religion, culture or lifestyle.” Like, say, devil worship?

I do not know if even these people think 2+2 can be 4 for one student, 5 for another and aardvark for a third. Or whether, indeed, counting from one to three should be forbidden on a shirt in case it offends people for whom two comes later or not at all except on Thursdays if it’s raining. But they do insist a student is allowed to wear a forbidden shirt.

The worst part is, they’re not lying. They’re just relentlessly, logically illogical. And that, Professor Kirke, is what they teach in schools

Categories: Contributor Columns

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4 comments

  1. Rose de Bakker says:

    Finally someone is allowed to express perfect sense and have it in print.!
    Thanks Brian for putting it so clear. Keep up this clarity of thought.

  2. pauline sinicrope says:

    When will the purposeful thinker cease pressuring society how to think end?
    When will the back door “bully inclusion” law that opens the front door to “dictating how society lives” law end?
    When will the law of detachment for religious freedoms end?
    When will the people cease thinking in the box and think illogically end?
    When will oppression end?
    Asks the logically logical.

  3. Ken says:

    I’m afraid that its not as simple as you make it out to be. This is a public school with attendance from different faiths, and from those with no faith. Nobody is being suspended for wearing a cross, or a yarmulke, or a hijab, or a turban, etc.

    But when you wear a T-shirt that essentially tells every non-christian that their life is wasted, and have been repeatedly told not to wear it, you are being insubordinate. Schools have always enforced dress codes. How is this different.

    The student’s suspension was not caused by the school, it was caused by the student.

  4. Tammy Willis says:

    You hit the nail, right on the head!

    John Robson speaks words of wisdom; a rare jewel in these times we live in.

    Any further comment is unnecessary.

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