A Senator’s Vision of Tolerance

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  February 9, 2010 — 27 Comments

It’s rare that an elected official baldly states the hypocrisies in their line of thinking, but the almost stream-of-consciousness nature of Twitter seems to catch normally risk-averse folks (and politicians, even the loud-mouthed ones, are notoriously risk-averse) off guard. For example, The Colorado Independent catches two tweets, made within twenty minutes of each-other, that seem to imply that Colorado Springs Senator Dave Schultheis has a “foggy” grasp of religious tolerance.

Yes, it seems that religious intolerance is bad when it happens to Christians in Egypt, but a little bit of it is OK when talking about Pagans getting a worship area at the Air Force Academy. Sadly, his Twitter feed is now protected, so we have no idea if there was any follow-up concerning his thoughts on religious (in)tolerance. We do know that he is sponsoring one of those “religious bill of rights” for Colorado public schools. It, like similar bills passed into law in other states, is supposed to allow students greater freedoms to wear religious garb, give religiously-themed presentations, and allow schools to offer “religious education” courses.

“Teach a religious topic in public school for historical, literary, or other educational purposes, including but not limited to the religious origins of various holidays.”

One wonders if Schultheis will remain a big fan of the law, if passed, once religious minorities start taking advantage of it. Because the answer to “where does it end” for Schultheis is most likely “far beyond where you’d like it to”. Perhaps Pagans in  Colorado Senate District 9 should drop him a line to let him know how eager you are for Pagan students to express themselves more fully in class (pentacles! t-shirts!), and for teachers to discuss the pagan origins of Christmas, Halloween, Easter, and other major holidays.

Jason Pitzl-Waters