France's fight to keep religion out of schools has entered new, and some say absurd, territory. Teachers and some sporting figures fumed Wednesday over a government minister's call to ban anything with the Nike name or logo on it.
The latest twist in France's controversial plan to ban religious symbols, such as beards and bandanas, from classrooms came Tuesday when Education Minister Luc Ferry said the planned ban on religious symbols would also cover the sporting product after learning that Nike was the Greek goddess of victory.
"I snuck into history class as a student to spy for any religious bunk that might be going on. To my shock I learned of the religious bigoted history infused into worship of Nike."
Perry continued, "Then I thought of other sport manufacturers. What of students who wear their products, such as Addidas? Does the Nike symbol offend them? And what about lower-end students who can only afford Converse? Their self-esteem must be affected by all this. That's when I decided on the ban."
Students wearing anything with Nike or the swoosh on it were ordered to disrobe that particular article. Some students who were wearing Nike brand jogging suits had to completely undress. To the delight of the male students, the history teacher had to take off her sports bra.
At lunch hour all the illegal Nike paraphernalia were thrown in a pile, doused with kerosene, and torched. As the billowing smoke rose toward the heavens, the Education Minister led the students in a rousing rendition of the French National Anthem (not unlike the one heard in the bar scene of the movie Casablanca when they "sing down" the Nazis.)
Perry also disclosed plans of chopping down all the telephone poles that are on school property. "They all look like Christian crosses. I can't help but imagine seeing that Jesus fellow nailed up there on each and every one of them. I'm losing sleep because of it."
In a surprising twist of fate, Monsieur Luc later learned that his first name is the French version of Luke. Saint Luke was the author of the third Gospel and Acts in the New Testament and was a doctor who travelled in the company of Saint Paul.
Perry is refusing calls for his resignation saying, "I refuse the long-standing French tradition of retreating from this battle. Those who want to marry me with religion are going way overboard and are just plain nuts. I'm staying in power."
Nike has yet to comment on the situation. The French Education Minister later said that the attacks against him are just part of an old-fashioned witch hunt.