The devil’s trick….

“La plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu’il n’existe pas.”
(“The devil’s finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist.”)”

Charles Baudelaire


(a silkmoth Ceratomia hagoni / Julie Cook / 2017)

Perhaps the author of today’s quote knows a thing or two about the devil as his life
was speckled with troubles…
as those who were familiar with Monsieur Baudelaire associated him with darkness and depravity…
so perhaps it is true what they say about the devil knowing his own…

But I must say that I totally agree with Monsieur Baudelaire’s observation that it is indeed
one of Satan’s main ploys…
that being to lull us into the notion of his nonexistence.

Last night I was watching a newsy talk show.
I have to be really picky and choosey over the “news” I watch as most outlets that claim
to be News oriented, are simply not….
maybe they were when I was 5, say back in 1964, but no longer is that the case.

So this particular news host was running a story about the Freedom From Religion
Foundation, an aggressive special interest group, that had forced, bullied, threatened,
you choose the word, an elementary school in Tennessee to stop allowing a before school
Bible study offered to its first and second grade students.

Last I checked anything offered before or after school is considered voluntary,
NOT a curriculum or school mandated event.
The FFRF group co-founder, Dan Barker, had sent a letter to the school warning against
having any school personnel volunteering for such an activity as they would be in direct
violation of the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment.

Read between the lines—“if we discover that your faculty is having anything to do
with this, we will take you to court….
and you will be sorry and made to pay in more ways than one…”

Having been a long time educator I’ll be one of the first to tell you that if the word
lawsuit is even whispered near a school, sheer panic ensues…
so needless to say, the school shut down this before school voluntary study group—
which in turn infuriated the parents.

As the host and guest argued back and forth, the guest offered this defense…
“There are families who wish to protect their children from the depravity and
the violence that’s in the Bible,”

At which point I almost fell off the couch…
Depraved??
Really??
Ok.

They went further…
Host: You don’t forfeit your First Amendment rights, or any of your Constitutional rights,
just because you work for the government.
You know that.”

Guest: “Yes, you do.”

I think as an educator that was the single greatest thing that troubled me—
the feeling that rights afforded to all US citizens under the Constitution of the
United States somehow bypasses teachers…
as in we aren’t allowed the same rights, apparently, as our students,
or parents, or at times, even our administrators…

The other troubling notion was that these oh so important “rights” are more or less
relevant depending on your personal beliefs—

Christian teachers around this great country of ours are being told that they may not
have a bible on their desk.
Some districts are even telling their teachers that they may not wear a cross or that
Jewish teachers may not wear a star of David but a Muslim teacher may wear a headscarf,
may have a prayer rug and may teach the Quran….

So yes, Monsieur Baudelaire seems rather correct in his observation that the devil’s best
trick is to make us think that he not real as we have fallen hook, line and sinker
for every lie he’s been throwing our way…
all the while we’re holding onto these lies like a dog with a bone…

Living life in the world of lies…and the bad thing is that we’re simply sitting back
and letting it all happen without nary a word of protest from us, the Faithful…

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires.
He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth,
because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature,
for he is a liar and the father of lies.

John 8:44

15 comments on “The devil’s trick….

  1. Citizen Tom says:

    Here is a post on freedom of religion. In our country the major battles on religious freedom are being fought over school choice. Yet most people don’t see it that way. So they advocate school choice by pointing to the differences between the quality of government-run schools and private educational alternatives. That misses the fundamental problem with the government-run school monopoly. When we fail to instill positive virtues in children, we miss the most important part of their education.

    Since what we regard as virtuous depends upon what we believe about God, government-run schools cannot do a good job of instructing our children in virtue. What do government-run schools do instead? They strive to make secularists out of our children. Essentially, to avoid the controversy over religion, advocates for public education would have us believe that we can exclude any mention of both the devil and God in our children’s education. So our children grow up believing that both the devil and God are myths. Not good! Not good at all!

  2. Citizen Tom says:

    Reblogged this on Citizen Tom and commented:
    Here is a post on freedom of religion. In our country the major battles on religious freedom are being fought over school choice. Yet most people don’t see it that way. So they advocate school choice by pointing to the differences between the quality of government-run schools and private educational alternatives. That misses the fundamental problem with the government-run school monopoly. When we fail to instill positive virtues in children, we miss the most important part of their education.

    Since what we regard as virtuous depends upon what we believe about God, government-run schools cannot do a good job of instructing our children in virtue. What do government-run schools do instead? They strive to make secularists out of our children. Essentially, to avoid the controversy over religion, advocates for public education would have us believe that we can exclude any mention of both the devil and God in our children’s education. So our children grow up believing that both the devil and God are myths. Not good! Not good at all!

  3. If I had kids in school I wouldn’t want to subject them to the hellfire and brimstone madness of a Christian zealot teacher anymore than I would wish to subject them to the ravings of a brainless leftist twit teacher.

    School choice is not about Bibles in the classroom.

    School choice is about parents being able to choose a school that teaches values they believe in.

    • this post my Silent friend is not about zealots or left wing radicals indoctrinating children—this post is a reflection of how far we of level mindedness have allowed things to go as we’ve allowed ourselves to buy into the lies…so much so that our schools are being “bullied” by said reactionaries into altering how they conduct business all because they are afraid of being sued and that the level minded ones among us are being bullied and intimidated by said reactionary zealots over the notion that all things Judaeo Christian are bad…we give more rights to those who are not even citizens than we do to our citizens…
      Here was a Bible study that was offered outside of the official school day, not a mandated school activity, that just so happened to be taught by volunteers who just so happened to be teachers.
      The parents were happy with having such an activity offered—but a fellow who is not a community member, who is not even a resident of the state decided to contest this moralistic event that happens to be a Christian even that just so happened to be offered in a school building….
      I have a problem with that

      • Julie,

        I entered teaching almost 30 years ago.

        I was a reformer and worked diligently to modernize the classroom which still has the same basic design as the one Abraham Lincoln used.

        Things haven’t changed much in all that time.

        One of my principals, noting my stunning success, called me into her office and told me flat out that nobody cared about the work I was doing.

        And that frankly, it scared most teachers to death.

        And that the only thing she cared about as a school administrator was keeping the campus clean and the parents happy.

        And that if I repeated our conversation, she would deny it.

        In schools across the land I found that what she said was true.

        In the Navajo Reservation the campus is so clean that students could eat off the floor.

        Yet the average reading and math level of a 12th grade senior was at the 3rd grade level.

        And what if it were Muslims who wanted to commandeer public classrooms the same way as the pious Christians in your example, to teach sharia?

        Nevertheless, Islam and Christianity share core moral believes regarding ethics and good and evil.

        Those sorts of ethics, based on Natural Law theory make great and very educational material for the classroom without advocating any religious sect.

        Sadly, most Christians today have no idea that Natural Law theory even exists or that it was used by our Founders to design and build the American Republic.

        Christians, like atheists are subject to bias.

        And Christians, like atheists, by and large suffer from the same ingrained ignorance.

        School choice would indeed allow for the creation of schools that taught the lessons of the Founding.

        That way a crack in the wall of ingrained ignorance might at least have a chance to form.

      • That my silent friend is a terrible tale–a woman who had no business being an administrator it sounds. I was fortunate that I spent my 31 years in one system– a small city system that has weathered the test of time as only a handful of city systems remain in Georgia– most have gone way of consolidation.
        I do believe that school systems want their stakeholders ( i.e. Parents) happy but they also want their state board of education happy by performing successfully with all state standards– which results in teaching to the test—- plain and simple.
        Plus a loss of federal funding while being placed on a list of poor performing schools which can equate to a death sentence or restructuring at best–
        But my post was more or less a concern over teachers having little to no rights- often feeling bound and gagged– especially if you dare talk about a moralistic society —
        I’m pecking this out on my phone in the car as we drive down the road– but I will continue on once I’m back at my computer– until then, than you for your honest input

      • Julie,

        I called the Thursdays that the entire faculty met to discuss the implementation of federal standards, Million Dollar Thursday. That because that’s about how much it cost in wages and whatnot.

        Most of us just sat there board silly.

        I never, ever had the slightest clue about what was going on.

      • We had those days on Wednesdays then they moved factly meeting to Mondays—and yes, our eyes would glaze over as well—there toward the end, I felt that there was a more threatening air regarding test scores and getting on board with National Standards, State Standards, as the school system vied to be cutting edge—
        More and more the importance of teaching one’s subject took a back seat to the latest and greatest mandated mumbo jumbo…
        Were the kids better? Heck no. We created programs for our at risk learners, then to appease the highest level of learners and their parents, more had to be added—it was the average middle kids that really suffered because they would fall off the radar of importance.
        Teachers had to demonstrate that they could integrate “opportunities” for those who struggled and for those who soared as we were told that we had to do everything in our power not to fail students…because graduation rates became a driving factor.
        It was a spiraling numbers game—as discipline became problematic due to a total disrespect for authority as white teachers, particularly the female staff, were told their black male students most likely did not respect them…leaving little recourse as more and more poor and negative behavior was simply “overlooked”

        I would be hard pressed recommending teaching as a profession to those considering such.
        I taught because I loved the kids.
        I always said that teachers spend more time with their students than the kids did with their own families—as we became an extended family. I felt a keen sense of parental responsibility—often saying I was a better parent to my “kids” than I was to my own son…
        I kept high expectations for behavior but with each passing year, as our culture and society changed…all of that became increasingly difficult—by the time I retired, with 31 years of service at the still young age of 53, I was more than tired.
        It has been 5 years now since I left…those who are still there tell me how much harder its all become—
        I really don’t know what the answer is for our school systems–but Federal oversight is not the answer—more bureaucracy, more dictation from those who hadn’t been in a classroom for years …if not ever…
        We need to empower our individual districts…
        Yet looking at today’s colleges, I wonder why we bother—as our powder puff snowflakes can’t come out of their “safe” rooms in order to face the difficult tasks at hand….

  4. Great Post.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

  5. oneta hayes says:

    Go, Go, Go. You say many things that need to be said. I’m thankful for you. This is kind of funny – Your title led me to think of the devil so that was my mindset when I looked at your picture. What first saw was the open mouth of a snake. Then I saw the moth. I think there might be much to say about how the snake presents himself as a harmless moth. On the other hand you might be entertaining what you think is a harmless moth and in truth, you are handling a snake. 😀

    • yes, I do feel badly about the poor moth being featured with the devil–as my first thought was to write about looks being deceiving—as the moth in the photo looked small but in reality in real life he was about as big as the palm of my hand—but I agree about Satan presenting himself as anything but charming and even captivating….
      So it is a lesson that we need to be wary of those “wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing” or snakes pretending to be snakes 🙂

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