Thomas Courtney: Mr. Courtney’s Publicly Funded Snake Handling Divinity School
Thomas Courtney is a fifth grade teacher in San Diego. Writing at The Educator’s Room, he imagines his new freedom under the recent Supreme Court Decision.
But what is the big deal? With the Supreme Court’s ruling, the coach in question was simply having a “private” and “personal” prayer while on the job. And a few schools in Maine can’t be excluded from receiving money for religious education. Big deal, right?
Because although I’ve never mentioned it to my students in all my 23 years, I’m comfortable now sharing with you that I have divine proof that the end of the world will come before any of my students graduate. You see, I handle snakes in my church, and I believe that snake handling allows me to talk to the divine. Importantly God has told me that your kids won’t need a great education because, during the apocalypse, skills like writing and math won’t matter much.
You may have concerns, but please don’t. I will keep my private and personal prayer sessions to myself (and to my snakes) throughout my work day. I’ll be private and personal on the blacktop while the kids play around my snakes and me. If kids want to join me, at recess for example, or during their lunch, why they certainly can. I won’t pressure anyone. Honest. If some do come, I may share how I handle these snakes and share the words they whisper to me about how I should best live my life and how they should too. I’ll keep that all private and personal, though. I promise. Besides, I won’t be here long. I plan to open a snake handling school, you see. It will be a taxpayer-funded snake handling religious school, so you don’t have to attend if you don’t want to.
But you may have to pay for it.
And just a heads up, I may want tax dollars to teach a slightly less known version of intelligent design. Because my church believes that aliens from a distant planet were the true designers. I may also, like Accelerated Christian Education or ACE, teach that dinosaurs and humans co-existed and that the loch ness monster disproves evolution. I may want to bring my three wives to pray with me in a personal moment during a school event, leading them with a firm hand. I might want tax dollars to teach that God made the earth roughly seven thousand years ago or flat under a dome or that God provided North America as a place for the Protestant religion. I might want tax dollars to buy snakes for divinity class, and I may not allow women to teach because they are not supposed to interpret the Bible for a man. I might want to teach that Trump has been sent from heaven to save our planet, or that the world will simply end soon, or any other thing I say I believe.