See You at The Pole Wednesday

Sh*t. I almost forgot. Our principal sent us reminders that tomorrow, at 7:00 a.m., is the annual See You at The Pole Day.  Christian students will meet at the flag poles on public school campuses across the nation and pray.

That’s super-nice of this principal, considering I’m pretty certain that he wouldn’t do this for just any event.  (And for those of you living in my town, perhaps you know who “he” is.)  It sort of feels like an endorsement of his religion, but it is his school, and in his school, he’s god. Wait. Wrong movie.  He’s not god; he just gets to promote god.


I’m sure not everyone has received a reminder, and I just thought I’d give you a heads up in case you were wondering why the kids (but hopefully not the administrators–hint, hint) are gathered around the flag pole. No, it’s not a group dance lesson. It’s “…all about young people, desperate for God, inviting Him to intervene and make “His kingdom come” among their friends, in their communities, and in our nation.”

So, if you’re at school at 7:00 a.m. and feel inspired, give a honk, wave or hold up your own special symbol in support of everyone’s right to free speech.



53 responses to “See You at The Pole Wednesday

  1. Oh, yuck! That’s terrible, Deborah.
    It seems that all of these lovely Christians have conveniently forgotten the whole separation of church and state thing. I recently received notice of a special sermon (or whatever it’s called) that was to be given by one of Southern California’s mega-church pastors (I’m blanking on his name) at one of our city’s high schools. Of special mention was that our city’s mayor would be in attendance. What??? Adding to the creepiness was that this pastor would be there to share God’s word, blah blah blah, and hugs. Yes, hugs were specifically mentioned. So weird, right? Anyway, I’m pretty sure it was scheduled for a Sunday, so what I’m wondering is — are we renting out our public schools for weekend religious services? Is this a money making opportunity? Is this the plan to save our schools? In the meantime, Happy Pole Day!

    • @Amy LOL. Happy Pole Day to you, too! That is weird…and hugs, too?

      Actually, I just remembered, there are several churches that meet in schools around our town, and I do not know if they have to pay some sort of rent or not. Probably not, which means that the taxpayers foot the bill even more.

      • The Christian Science church my parents attend met in a school for nearly a year between the time they sold their old building & finished building the new one. They paid a small fee for the use of the facility and to cover the cost of having someone from the school there to over see everything – we also used the schools chairs/tables.

        • @Kat Interesting. I wonder if the fee even covers the cost of electricity. And I wonder if they’d rent out the school to a secular or atheist group. Maybe.

          • I don’t know, I was fairly young at the time and didn’t pay too much attention to the goings on other than my parents felt it was a waste to have sold the old church/built a new one that was way outside the church’s financial means — of course “God provided” the necessary funds when an elderly (and childless) church member passed on & generously left everything to the church.

  2. @Debbie
    Seriously, the PRINCIPAL sent home a flyer with his words and endorsement for this? How is that even legal? Oh yeah, for the same reason my oldest boy’s gifted program at his public school pray at their functions and hold project fairs at a local Southern Baptist Church. Stupid me, I forgot you and I live in the South!

  3. @Amy
    I saw many churches meet at public schools in Hawai’i. I even attended one on a regular basis. Not only are they used for Sunday services, but for city wide prayer meetings as well.

  4. Oh, that reminds me. Wednesday also happens to coincide with “Meet Me Around the Stake Day” in my town, where citizens get together around a stake in the village square to dowse themselves with barbeque sauce, hold hands, and sing the Song of Solomon backwards while they wait to be immolated…

    • @The Rodent. Very. Funny! :0 But…wait….don’t the Jehovah Witnesses believe Christ was crucified on a stake and not a cross?

      • Wow, I hadn’t heard that…
        Oh, btw: the part that really made me roll my eyes on the Pole home page was the “TM” all over the place. Really?

      • Wow, hadn’t heard that one… Just btw, the part that really made me roll my eyes on the Pole home page was the “TM” all over the place. Really?

        • @The Rodent. I was wondering what was up with all the TM bs, too. I guess they don’t want heathens like us lifting their idea!

          • They are following the example set by the most reprehensible Church of Scientology. Scientology claims to be both a religion and a corporation. This has caused a long-running fued with the federal government, who don’t quite know how to bring a case against Scientology. Scientology learned how to exploit laws. They sue people for copyright violation when their “scripture” is used without their permission. It is part of how they try to fend off critics.

  5. Phallically speaking . . . I mistakenly didn’t read the word “pole”. Let’s all gather around and worship. Big ole’ sigh here. I could write more but choose not to . . . all respect to you always DM and your brilliant mind of thought documented to written word . . . dayna

  6. Desperate for God to do what? Keep having the Xian kids at my daughter’s school treat her like shit all year and then invite her to Young Life because they “care” about her? Teach the administration how to budget so we they don’t have to increase our taxes? I have never been so glad to be heading out of town early.

  7. So silly. It’s high time for god to simply start educating our kids, or have them born with all the skills they need. Stop beating around the (burning) bush.

  8. Lovely, just lovely. I guess the separation of church and state only applies to other religions altogether. The pious are so deeply into their specific delusions that they don’t even consider having done anything wrong. If law and civil liberties are trampled it is quite alright because it is done in the name of God and Jeebus.
    I cannot bring myself to hate any group so loathing will have to do…

    • Saab93f. I agree there is no need to hate. But these sorts of “statements” are so telling of a person’s character. What this tells me is that the principal thinks that his way is the best way. It is narcissistic. If this “See you at the pole” were more inclusive and not specifically for xtians, I could see some benefit…

  9. Gross. I hate this stuff. I mean, I don’t even want “under God” in the pledge, this would be way over the top for me. There’s a little girl, very cute and sweet who has been trying to bring my son into the fold since he was in 1st grade. Not going to happen, but even when it’s not organized, it’s so pervasive.

  10. “…all about young people, desperate for God, inviting Him to intervene and make “His kingdom come” among their friends, in their communities, and in our nation.”

    … and in their schools where the Constitution says it doesn’t belong. The only thing it looks like they’re desperate for is a little attention as they keep trying to convince themselves they’re a persecuted minority.

    At least they’re doing something productive by gathering together, clasping their hands, and talking to no one in particular.

    • Jason, This morning, there were three students gathered around the flagpole. They were not holding hands. They had their heads bowed, and they were facing the flagpole. I can only imagine how ridiculous they must have felt because it all looked so silly. Most of the students were rushing by. The principal was standing there, and his mouth was moving. I thought at first that he was talking to the students as they walked by, but they were ignoring him. I suspect he was saying a prayer.

  11. Well, it starts in 2 minutes so I guess we’ll miss it. Darn. Lol! If it’s “student led” then why do the adults (administrators) have to publicize it for them? So wrong.

  12. Haha! I laughed out loud on your reference to the god’s Not Dead movie. Nice one.
    Also, the principal is clearly in the wrong by attending the pole thingy. It’s funny how christians claim to take the moral high ground on most everything but can’t see that endorsing an event like this is wrong for the position that he is in.

  13. Saw it at our school this morning. Wouldnt have known about it except for your post, so i wasnt caught off guard. Our principle didn’t send anything out so I don’t know how anyone knew. About a dozen kids and 2 parents. No staff at all (yay). My daughter just gave a smirk about it

    • Heather- That’s good that your school did not have teachers in attendance. My son said, “I don’t understand why they think they need to pray at school.” I got to campus at 7:15, so I don’t know if there was more kids earlier, but I remember there were a lot more kids there last year. My biggest concern is that kids will feel pressured to pray so that they get the principal’s favor.

  14. Next thing you know they’ll be penalizing the kids who don’t show up for this “school” activity.

  15. I suppose if it’s a voluntary event, it’s fine. But, looking into this further I really wonder if it doesn’t single out those kids who don’t show up. Inadvertently, I wonder if it shines a light on those kids who don’t want to be at the pole. I believe, at least when I was a Christian attending these sorts of things, it was student run, so it should have been student reminding. I do think it’s crossing a line to send a reminder from an administrator. Student run events, don’t have to be endorsed by administrators of a public school, this would make it less likely to show favoritism for a religion or opinion.

    • @Rachel I’m with you–I don’t care if this was organized and run by the kids before or after school. But I’m really concerned that this principal, who is endorsing this and was standing out there with the kids, will put pressure on other kids to do the same…

      • Right, I mean most student run events at school has to be overseen by a teacher. I wouldn’t be so put off if it was a teacher, but not the principal. We had a Fellowship of Christian Students in our school, which was held off school grounds by one of our teachers in a local church. They put on the See You at the Pole events for our schools. I don’t think that would be so off putting, at least not to me. But, in this situation, it seems more like a peer pressure thing.

  16. Shame on them inviting only Christian students. Wednesday is Wodin’s Day and I should like to show up and pray to Him, lol! (No, I don’t actually pray to Wodin/Odin) I mean, gee, if you can’t accommodate EVERYone, you shouldn’t accommodate anyone right? Isn’t that what we learned in kindergarten?

  17. See you at the Apocalypto (no turtlenecks allowed)!

  18. Oh wow, I hope I never have to deal with something like this at my son’s school, I would have a fit. Hopefully other parents would too, but who knows. What gets me is why must it be at the flag pole? If you want to pray, that’s fine, but why include the American flag in this showy display of piety? I know, I know, so many Christians feel the need to put their patriotism and their faith in God in bed together. But why can’t they pray at the basketball hoop? Or under the uprights on the football field? I know they love their sports in Texas! Maybe they could pray in front of the school’s mascot, or in the cafeteria, or gathered around the math textbook………sigh.
    In response to one of your comments above, yes, the Jehovah’s Witnesses do believe Jesus died on a stake, not a cross. It’s a pretty big deal with them, they are appalled that Catholics would wear the means of Jesus’ death around their neck as jewelry. They base that belief on interpretations of certain Greek words, historical records, the church allowing pagans into the faith and letting them keep their pagan symbols, etc. When I was a JW that was a point of pride, in a way, one thing among others that differentiated us from the typical Christians.

    • Angie, I find all religions interesting, particularly the JW. I was surprised to learn that they believed Jesus came back to earth (invisibly) in 1914. I always wondered how they knew he actually did? Was there a big wind that day? I guess I’m most surprised that people can believe these things.

      About praying around the flag pole, the official site says this (I can see your eyes rolling now):

      “In 1990 when youth ministers in Texas first challenged young people to meet on a common day to launch their school year in prayer, one of the concerns what how to help those who wanted to pray together find each other. It was noted that virtually every school has a flagpole, and the flagpole provided an easy-to-identify place to gather. Also, one issue that the teenagers were praying about was the spiritual health of their country and their leaders, in obedience to 1 Timothy 2:1-2. Hence, the location and name of the event!”

  19. Hey guys, at least it wasn’t “see you at the stripper pole”. 😉

  20. Oh my god! I’m behind on blog reading, so catching this a little late, but HOLY HELL!! I wrote quite a rant about See You At the Pole last year when my then fifth-grader came home and told me how uncomfortable it made him that all these people were gathered at the flagpole (which, at our school, is also the designated place where kids are supposed to wait in the mornings before the bell rings – so the flagpole pray-ers get a captive audience!) praying and talking about God. At school! Okay, I know it’s before school, but honestly, what is the freaking point of this? It’s to make a spectacle and in that way – under the cloak of Free Expression – push their beliefs on anyone within ear or eye-shot. Ack. The whole thing pisses me off to no end.

    So I guess today was the day at our school, too. I’ll have to ask my kids about it.

  21. New quote find –

    Interviewer: Did the study of anthropology later color your writings?
    Vonnegut: It confirmed my atheism, which was the faith of my fathers anyway. Religions were exhibited and studied as the Rube Goldberg inventions I’d always thought they were.

  22. Could you ask for a special flapole session for “freedom of religion day” too – specifically in recognition for all religions and no religions? In writing? E-mail is in writing. Hope you’re keeping all this stuff.

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