I swear to Zeus, I wasn’t planning on writing another anti-theistic opinion piece this week. I swear. I was going to write about how much I like my cat, I really was.
But then the T-shirt hit the fan.
In Chester Basin, Nova Scotia, a 19-year old grade 12 student named William Swinimer was suspended from school for repeatedly wearing a yellow T-shirt with the statement “LIFE IS WASTED WITHOUT JESUS” on it.
Immediately the media went to town, religious apologists drained their Bic pens writing the usual ‘christians are so hard-done by here in Canada’ letters. That’s right, nobody has it rougher in Canada than Christians. Just because we no longer force children to recite the lord’s prayer every day, it’s a slippery slope to feeding them to lions again.
I’ll be frank, I’m pissed off at the Vice-Principal who gave the kid the boot from school. Not because of any infringement of the kid’s freedom of speech rights (which it wasn’t), but because he managed to make some sort of hero out of this nerd.
The principal was right to send him home! The kid was wearing a t-shirt with a blatantly bigoted statement on it.
Imagine if that shirt had said “LIFE IS WASTED AS A NATIVE”, or “LIFE IS WASTED AS A MUSLIM.” That’s basically what that shirt means. If you are not a Christian, your life is meaningless. How is that not prejudiced?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and probably again and again and again) We all live in a secular society, and religiously intolerant statements should not be tolerated in taxpayer-funded schools.
Leave the bigotry and homophobia to the Catholic schools.
I was going to write this whole thing without having a go at the kid, until I found out that he’s not a kid at all, but 19-year old adult. As far as I’m concerned if you’re old enough to be in a bar you’re old enough for me to call you an asshole. I’m no genius, in fact I’m a high-school dropout. But I had at least figured out enough to drop out by the age of 19. If you’re 19 and still in grade 12 you need to spend less time bitching about your t-shirt and more time trying to not be a 19 year-old-grade 12 student.
(If it turns out this kid was in a coma or is special needs or something, switch my opinions to whichever asshole dressed him up in that stupid shirt and sent him off the school).
The most valuable bit of advice I ever received from my dear old mother was “stop sounding like such an asshole all the time.” My mother explained that I should never make opinionated remarks without prefacing them with “I think” or “In my opinion”. In this case all he needed was to wear a shirt saying “I THINK LIFE IS WASTED WITHOUT JESUS” or “MY LIFE WOULD BE WASTED WITHOUT JESUS”. See how much less offensive that is?
You know how I read your shirt, 19-year-old Grade 12 student? FUCK YOU, INFIDEL. That’s how I read that shirt.
What “life”, exactly is so meaningless without Jesus? All life on earth? Plant life? Pubic lice? Those weird furry crabs that live next to the lava vents at the bottom of the ocean who only exist to feed on plankton? That’s a pretty broad statement to be making. So yes, 19-year-old Christian who happens to be a high-school student, you are saying that my life and the lives of everyone I know, including my awesome cat, is wasted without Jesus.
That’s right, this non-christian cat right here. Does this look like a wasted life?
How dare you cast assumptions on an entire planet? And there is a whole, enormous planet full of meaningful, un-wasted life beyond Chester Basin, NS.
You know what I think a wasted life is? Being 19 and still in high school in Nova Scotia. You’re hardly in any position to be casting doubt on the value anybody’s life.
Take some advice from a grumpy old atheist with a few more wasted life years than you:
1. Graduate or drop out.
2. Get a girlfriend and then get a hand job.
3. Take off that ugly, tacky, bigoted, ignorant, obnoxious t-shirt and never put it on again. It just makes you look like a huge dipshit.