American Samizdat

Friday, March 30, 2007. *
When you’re a pirate, some dangers just come with the territory: scurvy, grog hangovers, a walk down the plank at sword point. But being kicked out of school for a day? Bryan Killian doesn’t think that’s a fair reaction to his decision to come to North Buncombe High School wearing an eye patch and an inflatable cutlass. [...]

“I feel like my First Amendment was violated,” Killian, 16, said. “Freedom of religion and freedom of expression. That’s what I tried to do, and I got shot down.”

Freedom of religion? Yes, Killian says, his “pirate regalia” is part of his faith — the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The parody religion, whose “Pastafarian” members worship a sentient, airborne clump of noodles and meatballs, originated in a letter to the Kansas school board urging it to add the religion to its plans to teach evolution and intelligent design side by side. It became an Internet phenomenon, spawning a belief system that holds pirates to be divine beings and blames global warming on the disappearance of the buccaneers.

Satirical though it may be, Killian isn’t laughing. “If this is what I believe in, no matter how stupid it might sound, I should be able to express myself however I want to,” he said. An eye patch is no more disruptive than a Christian cross around one’s neck, he said. His teachers saw it the same way, he said, but Assistant Principal Sarah Cooley didn’t. She assigned him two days of in-school suspension before calling his home to add out-of-school suspension.

[Article continues at link. The impossibility of deliniating which superstition is to be honored and which superstition is disruptive is why the seperation between state and superstition was instituted. Either you welcome every expression of every superstition in every tax-funded event or you disallow superstition in tax-funded events.]

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posted by Trevor Blake at 9:03 AM
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