I hear that shoe pinches, when you put it on the other foot.

Or, that awkward moment when a member of a social group which doesn't give a shit who feels marginalized or excluded when they insist their beliefs be observed everywhere, suddenly finds himself feeling marginalized by having to make room for someone else's beliefs.

Via a friend of mine on tumblr, I found this story about a Christian high school student who's Very Upset Indeed that, as part of a multicultural music concert, the school choir is singing a song penned by a Muslim composer that includes the phrase "There is no truth but Allah".

It's not like it's the only song in the concert lineup that references religion, mind you.  They're also singing, for example, a Christian song called "Prayer of the Children", which has lines like "Jesus, help me to see the morning light of one more day".  Nor is the student's participation required; it's an after-school activity for no academic credit, so participating in the concert or not isn't going to affect his grades or anything.  But he was still so upset at the inclusion of a Muslim song in the program that he quit in protest.

His quote to the local news is entertainingly honest:
This is worshipping another God, and even worshipping another prophet … I think there would be a lot of outrage if we made a Muslim choir say Jesus Christ is the only truth.
Except that you're not attending a Christian school, dude.  I looked up the high school in question, and it's a county-run public high school.  So this is nowhere near analogous to "making a Muslim choir say Jesus Christ is the only truth".  The fact that you're comparing it to that is a manifestation of your religious privilege, which makes you assume that everything in the world around you is de facto Christian until specified otherwise.  Not to damage your delicate worldview or anything, but it's not.  The school choir at a public school is not a Christian choir, even if some, many, or even all of its members are Christians.  That's sort of how public school works in this country.

I can't help but compare this self-righteous jackass to the recent situation with Jessica Ahlquist, the atheist teen who went to court to have her high school remove their giant "school prayer" banner, and who received rape and death threats, people threatening her family, and her fellow students threatening to jump her at school, for her trouble.  These threats all came from "Christians" who were so angry that she wasn't okay with having a Christian prayer in her face all day at school that they felt it was okay to threaten personal violence.  And yet the moment they have to make room for someone else's beliefs to take a tiny sliver of the spotlight, they want to whine and cry exclusion and quit the club in protest.

Really, people?  Really?

If you want religious content in school settings, then you need to be prepared for more religious content than just your own.  And if you're not okay with that, then maybe you all owe a fucking HUGE apology to Ms. Ahlquist and her family for subjecting her to such hate over doing the same thing you're supporting this boy in doing.


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