December 9, 2013

"To celebrate the holidays in his public high school science lab, Stuart Ross Rosenthal decided he would make a 'chemist-tree.'"

"He pieced together a colorful branching array of test tubes and Erlenmeyer flasks, and a few antique chemical stock bottles, filled them with various salt and mineral solutions, and then stacked them on a stand of porcelain rings. After encircling the base with a wintry-white towel, he placed a few glistening rock 'presents' under the tree and surrounded them with Bunsen burner 'candles.'"

And to celebrate the holidays in my public internet creative writing class, continue the story. What happens next?

In the actual case of the high school chemistry teacher — Stuart Ross Rosenthal — there was no discord and divisiveness and certainly no — to use James Madison's phrasetorrents of blood. Rosenthal (who's Jewish) is able to affably quip:
"If people say, 'Oh, I like your Christmas tree,' I say, 'It's a chemist-tree – nondenominational... People can argue about religion, and they can even argue with science – but you can't argue with scientific glassware."
Oh, yeah? If you are working on the creative writing exercise in my class, I'll bet you can concoct — or decoct...



... a vicious fight over the the scientific glassware. Rosenthal has substituted an exaltation of science for the celebration of Christ! This is the government's insidious effort to establish a religion of secularism!

25 comments:

Renee said...

The Three Wise Kings visited baby Jesus, and have him the chemical element of gold.

Nena's 99 Luftballons Song said...

Midwest "the street's have no name" love, *****

tim in vermont said...

Naah. It's a Christmas tree with plausible deniability.

Oso Negro said...

HO HO HO! The traditional greeting of a jolly old elf, or a trio of postmodern hydroxyl groups?

DKWalser said...

I'm not going to participate in your creative writing assignment. Two reasons: First, I'm a guy. As we learned in another thread, that means I'm only interested in non-fiction. (Actually, creative writing was one of my favorite subjects -- before I decided I might need to earn a living and gave up being an English major.) Second, I don't have the time to do the subject justice.

I believe the courts have gone overboard in trying to root-out anything that my be construed as government's establishment of religion. Government employees should be allowed some latitude for personal expression -- including religious expression. As long as the employee uses his or her own resources and does not take up "too much space" (I know that would need to be defined), a government employee's holiday (or other) display should not be viewed as being authored or endorsed by the government.

Brian said...

"What happens next?"

Shattered glass. Fire. Toxic fumes.

amielalune said...

Your last point is ridiculous, Ann, and is a great example of a person who doesn't agree with or understand Christians.

I would be willing to bet you that no Christian is offended that a Jewish chemistry teacher made a Christmas tree out of the materials he had at hand. And made a play on words "Chemist-tree." Most of us would think it's very creative.

Broomhandle said...

Nah, the only complaint is that he's using the school's expensive labware for Tinker Toys rather than teaching kids Chemistry with it. I notice that a lot of time in my kid's STEM classes is spent watching movies, making models, etc. The boredom of superannuated teachers can rob a kid of an education as fast as the incompetence of unqualified teachers can.

SGT Ted said...

Other religions don't set up a tree to celebrate the birth of their savior. Nor do secularists.

Its a Christmas tree with a lab theme; "Chemis-tree". Cute, but still a Christmas tree, symbol-wise. That cannot be denied.

Bob Boyd said...

Who wins the fight between a shark and a bear?
It depends on whose turf they're on.

I like Mr Rosenthal. He has gotten the two together for some holiday merriment. After all, they aren't natural enemies.

SGT Ted said...

"First, there was an astronomical event that was visible in the Eastern skies. Then three PHDs showed up with Chemical compounds and elements...

Renee said...

@DKWalser

What if the decorated niche in your cubicle offends me?


Deirdre Mundy said...

I'm disappointed that the linked article didn't picture the chemist-tree!

It sounds like the kind of quirky, goofy thing that good science teachers do as part of their 'Mr. Wizard/Bill Nye' personas......

For some reason, Chemistry and Physics teachers have the biggest tendency to pun. Biologists, not so much.....

traditionalguy said...

Alchemists started as a religious cult of the Middle Ages. But they also did experiments leading to many discoveries.

Both Christians and secularists can be truth seekers that end up at the same conclusions.

DKWalser said...

@DKWalser

What if the decorated niche in your cubicle offends me?


So what if you're offended? The 1st Amendment doesn't grant you a right not to be offended. It protects offensive speech; inoffensive speech needs no protection. All I'm saying is we shouldn't attribute everything a government employee does to the government.

It 1st Amendment also prohibits government interference with religion. A necessary corollary of this provision is that government must not establish religion. This would prefer one religion (or no religion) over another and would thereby interfere with citizens' freedom to choose what to believe (or not to believe).

Illuninati said...

"Adds Professor Austin of the University of Puget Sound: "Even if you empty the public square of any religious expression, you still get that this 'secular' idea, it could be argued, could be like a religion. In other words, then you create a public square in which the de facto religion is secularism."

The reason people have trouble recognizing the religious secularism is because we still define god according to Christian/Jewish/Muslim doctrine. Most religions are not monotheistic and attribute much less power to gods. Animists attribute deity to smaller things like a tree, an animal, or a person. More organized religions had visible deities which we now call idols. Humans are frequently viewed as gods. The pagan Romans had many gods but the one god who united the empire was the emperor himself. One reason the Christians and Jews ran afoul of the pagan Romans was because they refused to worship the emperor.

Although it is difficult for Westerners to imagine a religion without a god one of the major world religions, Buddhism, was founded as a godless religion. Still, few people have any difficulty describing Buddhism as a religion. Since worshippers need an object of adoration, Buddha himself now serves as a god for many Buddhists.

Secularism itself is not a religion, but many people pushing secularism are acting on behalf of their own religious beliefs. Their goal is to overthrow our traditional Judeo-Christian culture and to replace it with a new culture based on their own belief system. The worst offenders are the Marxist/leftists who have turned Marxist ideology into a religious belief system.

Although Marx, himself, like Buddha, was not a religious man, he has achieved god like status among his followers. Marxism/leftism has become a religion complete with its own gods, its own belief system, and with its own version of morality. Marx is the master god. The leaders in the Russian revolution are still worshipped with religious ardor among Russian communists. That is why the body of Lenin has been preserved and displayed, so that his worshipful followers can still access his person and share in his charisma. Communist leaders, like Mao, have been living gods in their time who are all powerful and all wise among their followers. Just like the Christian God, Moa was omnipresent if not in person then in posters and statues which loomed over everything. Mao's infallible thoughts were published in the Little Red Book so that his devoted followers could read and meditate on his supreme wisdom. The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, is the de facto national god of purportedly atheist North Korea. In North Korea Kim Jong Un is all powerful, all wise, and is everywhere adored in a manner fitting any pagan god. He is the one who brings the people all the good things that make their lives possible

Nena's 99 Luftballons Song said...

I need a 10↔

elkh1 said...

Romney was way off, Obama never wanted Religion Secularism.

Obama wants Religion Hopeism presiding by High Priest Obama, proselytized by MSM preachers and WH Youths, enforced by priests and priestesses in the NSA, and the IRS.

Sam L. said...

Ya cain't have no Xmas tree in a SCHOOL!

n.n said...

traditionalguy:

Exactly. While Christians have a well defined religion, secularists do not. If the principles espoused by the Christian religion are good, then they have already reached the right conclusion. The path for secularists is chaotic; but, it is notable that we tend to reach the same conclusions. The contention over the justification of a religion is at best immature, and at worst it is counterproductive.

n.n said...

Illuninati:

Mortal gods provide the promise of a tangible return on investments, which is very appealing to the very greedy and vulnerable. Every man and woman is seeking redemption. Many with a demand for a material return. Judaism and Christianity are notable in that they require a strict moral investment, while only promising sufficient (e.g. basic need fulfillment, peaceful coexistence) returns during a mortal existence.

Carl Pham said...

Christmas trees aren't Christian anyway. They're straight from pagan German winter solstice festivals.

Jim said...

The purest meth you've ever seen comes out of the test tube at the bottom of the tree.

Smilin' Jack said...

After encircling the base with a wintry-white towel, he placed a few glistening rock 'presents' under the tree and surrounded them with Bunsen burner 'candles.'"

The ensuing explosion sent him straight to Hell, where he now burns for all eternity, the fate of all those who do not accept Jesus as Lord. Merry Christmas!

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