Welcome To Tecumseh, Mr. Washington, Please Pardon Our Peculiar Propensity For Pageantry

Welcome To Tecumseh, Mr. Washington, Please Pardon Our Peculiar Propensity For Pageantry

“Laocoön” by El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos)

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

A lot changed last week.

We’re searching for our third superintendent in two months. Good job, everyone.

We’re a laughing stock.

A media frenzy has descended upon the town — and why wouldn’t it? It’s a straightforward story. Drop in for a few hours, shoot some B-roll, get a few hard-hitting quotes, and you’re back at the station with a burger and fries by noon. Easy as apple pie. If you wanted to go the extra mile, close the 45-second segment with a few sound bites from a fiery school board meeting and you have your whipped cream and cherry, too.

But our situation is far from easy and far less tasty.

Investigations. Backstabbing. Money down the drain. We’re about as distracted and directionless as a toddler in a Toys-R-Us. More accusations are flying in town than fingers at a Five-Finger Discount Symposium hosted by the Kleptomaniac Association of America. And, just as it would be hard to finger who stole what from the electronics section of a struggling Sears, we, too, have many unanswered questions.

Continue reading “Welcome To Tecumseh, Mr. Washington, Please Pardon Our Peculiar Propensity For Pageantry”

Turmoil Ravages Tecumseh Public Schools As Principals, Teachers Fear Retaliation

Turmoil Ravages Tecumseh Public Schools As Principals, Teachers Fear Retaliation

“The Fall of Phaeton” by Sir Peter Paul Rubens

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

There are few places for children as political as the gym. Friends, enemies, cliques, and out-groups congeal here. Rumors slip past heated negotiations of lunchtime trades before dodgeballs replace lunch tables. It’s a microcosm of Darwinism, survival of the fittest. For those deficient in school’s societal expectations, the gym is purgatory. It’s political for parents, too.

Last night’s Tecumseh Public Schools board meeting took place in a gym—awkwardly lit with a sound system as unqualified for its job as Supt. Ryan Rhoades. Maybe the problem wasn’t the sound system, but the hushed discussions among board members, conversing with one another in private during an open meeting, tip-toeing toward an Open Meetings Act violation.

Continue reading “Turmoil Ravages Tecumseh Public Schools As Principals, Teachers Fear Retaliation”

My Insouciant* Town

My Insouciant* Town

Photo by Anthony J. Alaniz

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Behind the white picket fences
Of 1950 idealization
Lies a hatred for the powerless

It’s a not-my-problem attitude
Of unsavory boles of bigotry
Disguised as concerns about property value

The homeless are helpless
Freezing through a winter
As the powerful ponder if their town values people
More than property taxes

The elites seek delays
Entitlements to their apathy of the suffering
To make money instead of a difference

Meetings of the rich deciding the fate of the poor
Just to show them the door
After deciding they can’t help more

But hope is not lost on the deserted
As we fight a system rigged
To keep out those whose bank accounts
Lack the right figures for entry

showing a casual lack of concern; indifferent.

Response to Christian bigotry

This was published in the Tecumseh Herald and was in response to this letter.

To the Editor,

This is in response to Ronda Keck’s letter in the Sept. 10, 2012 issue.

Who makes the rules?

In a democratic republic, we, the people, have the freedom to elect officials to represent us in local, state, and federal government. The people we elect then vote on bills that then in turn become law.

In essence, we make the laws.

Thankfully, through the foresight of our Founding Fathers, who wanted to eliminate the very single-minded orthodoxy that they fled from, we have religious freedom and freedom from religion today.

However, Christopher Hitches, British-American journalist and author, says it best, “How dismal it is to see present day Americans yearning for the very orthodoxy that their country was founded to escape.”

Yes, our country was founded upon Christian principles, but to declare our Founding Fathers as Christian men who fought vehemently to create a Christian nation is, well, quite myopic.

Benjamin Franklin wrote, “A man compounded of Law and Gospel, is able to cheat the whole country with his Religion, and then destroy them under Colour of Law.” Yes, Franklin was a Christian, though a noted anti-clerical Christian.

Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, took a copy of the New Testament, eliminated all references of Christ as the son of God, miracles, the virgin birth, resurrection, and other things that he considered were mere fables. He created a work of the moral sayings of Jesus, which he felt was appropriate for an age of science and reason. It is disappointing that we are still waiting for that Golden Age.

George Washington attended church in Philadelphia, though was known to avoid taking communion. When the priest approached him about it, Washington apologized though ceased to attend church whenever communion was to be offered for fear of being labeled a religious man. One would think a founder of a Christian nation would not avoid taking communion, criticize religion as the destroyer of democracy, or create a book of heresy and name it, cynically, The Jefferson Bible.

The events that took place at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country were a triumphant moment for the freedom of speech, though that very Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” The Founding Fathers were so fearful of religion that they placed it before the freedom of speech — an unalienable right of American culture.

Though the Amendment can be interpreted in many ways, it has been decided that there can be no law that fosters “an excessive government entanglement with religion,” according to the decision in Lemon v. Kurtzman, (1971). The religious beliefs of a person cannot be imposed upon others, or disenfranchise a group of people based on them, no matter the question of “morality.” One person’s sin is not the country’s sin.

To establish one’s morals on a book would imply one is inherently moral-less. Some can obtain morals without a how-to book of slavery and abominations. The most wondrous trait of this country is that not everyone is a slave to Christianity — society can interpret God’s law how he or she sees fit.

Religion is an individual experience.

Yes, Federal law does state that marriage is between a man and a woman, though there have been laws dictating that African-Americans were three-fifths of a vote, that separate was equal, and were considered to be second-class citizens for far longer than any American deserves. To condemn homosexuality makes one no better than a racist.

President Obama is not endorsing sin, he is endorsing equality — the very foundation that our country was founded upon, yet still struggles with today. Just because a Federal law defines marriage does not mean it is correct, morally right, or even constitutional.

Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden all recognize or perform same-sex marriages.

To say the United States is a revolutionary leader and visionary on equality and freedom is faux nationalism. One would think American exceptionalism would lead this charge on this change.

Hitches once said, “We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid.”

“Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.”

-Anthony Alaniz

Please feel free to post your responses in the comments below!