Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Don't Make Me Get The Pope Down Here

First they came for the communists and we did not speak out because we were really more in the socialist vein. Then they came for the liberals and we did not speak out because there was this great concert by Country Joe and the Fish and we were like so wasted man. Then they came for the bloggers and there was no one left to speak for us.

Effective immediately, students at Pope John XIII Regional High School were told to dismantle their accounts or similar sites with personal profiles and blogs. Defy the order and face suspension, students were told. "Respect mah authorita," said Reverend Kieran McHugh, principal of the high school.

The story we're sticking to about the ban is that it's to protect students from sexual predators explained McHugh. When asked if that approach was necessary since most of the priests already knew who the kids were, McHugh said he wasn't talking about local predators. "We don't need perverts coming here from all over the country."

Students, who asked to remain anonymous because free speech has been designated a mortal sin, said the majority of the student body protested the new rule. They tried to argue that they are American citizens. "We were told if we going to grow up to be good Catholics we shouldn't be exposed to life in the 21st century," said one student.

"They told me they were afraid I'd find out that women can do more than have babies and cook for their husbands," added a female student. "I was told since the internet isn't in the Bible, it must be evil," added another.

While Pope John's school handbook does not specifically forbid students from creating personal profiles on Web sites, it does prohibit students from thinking for themselves or critiquing the decisions of the school administration. When asked if that was the real reason behind the blog ban, McHugh said, " Of course not. Everyone loves it here. Why would you say that? What have you heard? Anyway that teacher isn't here anymore."

One student, who identified himself as a senior who was expelled, wrote that "pope john kicks you out once you think freely."

"As well we should," countered McHugh. "Look, this is a Catholic school. Parents send their children here to be, yes imbued with a deep sense of what it means to be a Catholic by some of the best teachers in the state."

When asked how he could claim Pope John had the best teachers when the salaries Catholic school teachers are paid fall far below that offered by local public schools, McHugh said, "You probably got that off a blog didn't you? See why we're banning them?"

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