Conservative pundits and parents alike are outraged after students at a middle school in Georgia were reportedly given a poem comparing God to “a mythical creature, like a unicorn” in the context of a lesson on Greek mythology.
The lesson in question took place on August 30, as the sixth grade teacher discussed ancient Greek myths. The undated poem, which is called “Unicorn” and was written by someone who goes by “K.H.,” says God is like a “unicorn with silver blood.”
If you drink the blood you will
Live for ever.
It makes a good story in a book
Like Harry Potter.
The idea of God makes
Laugh and feel safe at night.
But when you grow older
And see the evil in the world
And the face of death
Like a shadow
Behind the eyes
Of every living thing,
Then where is God?
The poem goes on to state that God is ultimately “revealed in all his Foolishness.”
A naked lie.
A childish dream.
A mythical creature
The school has already apologized, but at the same time, it has consistently rejected the notion that the poem was intended to dissuade children from believing in God. Principal Shannon Hulsey called the use of the poem a “mistake.”
The Polk County School District echoed the sentiments of officials from the school, calling the poem’s inclusion in the lesson “an unfortunate mistake.”
“In no way whatsoever would we want to defame God or go anywhere in that direction at the school.”
“We had meaningful conversations and believe that the inclusion of this article to have been made not by malicious intent nor the desire to denounce the faith or beliefs of any of our students, staff or community members.”
Let’s forget for a second that this poem was reportedly written by a nine-year-old from an “atheist perspective.” Isn’t part of school learning about different viewpoints? If the kids learn about Christianity and Greek mythology, wouldn’t it make sense to teach the perspective of those who don’t believe?
To me, this sounds a lot like the waves of Christians who complain about material on Islam in their kids’ religious studies courses. What did they expect? Islam is a religion, after all. And atheism is a stance on the existence of deities. That seems related to me.
Perhaps the most interesting part of all this is that the Christians complaining about the unicorn poem see discussions about Greek mythology as attacks on their religion. Perhaps this is a sign of progress. Maybe they’re finally starting to realize it’s all the same.
(Image via Shutterstock)