19-year old William Swinimer has been suspended from Forest Heights Community School in Chester Basin, Nova Scotia for the dastardly deed of refusing to remove his t-shirt, which has the slogan, “Life is wasted without Jesus”. South Shore Regional School Board superintendent Nancy Pynch-Worthylake said students are allowed to express their religious beliefs at school, unless it is directed at the beliefs of others. A strange statement given that Willam Swinimer has been given the boot.
Apparently there’s a hidden asterisk next to this statement that we all missed: “Students are allowed to express their religious beliefs at school unless they are deemed “offensive” by some arbitrary standard and by some arbitrary powers from above who throw their weight behind whomever they arbitrarily choose.
There was never any problem when kids wore t-shirts with the slogan “Hail Satan”, as Swinimer says he has seen.
The school board issued a statement clarifying that “students may choose to wear clothing that embraces their beliefs. However, it is expected that students will not wear clothing with messages that may offend others’ beliefs, race, religion, culture or lifestyle.” “Expecting” and “forcing” are two very different things.
This appears lost on the soft-spoken totalitarians of the school board.
Let’s go back to square one. We have the protection of “freedom of speech and expression” in this country precisely because others may not agree with what we say or do. In fact some may even find them – oh Lord – “offensive”. That’s where the “protection” part comes in – to protect us from being arbitrarily gagged because others do not agree with us. Otherwise there would be no need for “protection”. Ms. Pynch-Worthylake says there is an easy solution: “The easy way to deal with this respectfully would be to just wear a different shirt.” Solutions for the left are always “easy” – you just force others to act, think and talk the way you want them to, otherwise they suffer the consequences, which in this case is suspension from continuing their education.
Varrick Day, who is pastor at Jesus the Good Shepherd Church in Bridgewater, N.S. where Mr. Swinimer and his family worship, said he encouraged the shy student to speak out.
“This is not about the t-shirt — it’s about our children and our grandchildren having the right of freedom of speech and religion,” he said. “That’s being taken away in our schools.”
Though I agree, I wish it was only “in our schools”. The thought-police are in full force in every nook and cranny of our society, bleeding us impotent from their tried and true tactic of death by a thousand cuts. For anyone else tired of seeing our freedoms being destroyed one t-Shirt at a time, I encourage you to give the school a call and voice your opinion on the matter. I gave them a call myself and offered them a piece of my mind. I have the suspicion they may have indeed been offended. Or at least one can hope.