I’m writing these lines as a special service to school administrators (most of the public-school variety) who have shown a deep fear of jewelry.
This came to my attention earlier this week when a nine-year-old boy was suspended from his Texas school for saying he could make a classmate disappear by using his “Mount Doom” ring.
The Mount Doom ring he had in his possession was a replica of the one used in the Hobbit movies. Thus, it really couldn’t make anyone disappear. In fact, it is important to note that the “real” Mount Doom ring in the movies didn’t really make anyone disappear either. IT WAS JUST A MOVIE; THE RING DOESN’T REALLY EXIST.
But I’m sure the kid has learned his lesson and will never again threaten to do something with a replica ring that the original can’t do, the original being a creation of the imagination.
What worries me is that there are lots of kids going to school every day with a chain around their neck. And on the chain is a cross. And on the cross is the figure of the crucified Christ.
So I want to assure school administrators that the little figure isn’t really a crucified person, but just a molded piece of metal. Of course, unlike the situation with the ring, there was a real person who was crucified, so the little figure on the chain isn’t a representation of a figment of someone’s imagination – it is based on reality.
Now to get to the important part…If a child shows his little cross with figure to a classmate, he isn’t threatening to crucify him. He isn’t hoping he will be crucified. He likely is saying something like:
- This is my crucifix.
- Catholics wear these to remind us of our faith.
- My parents got me this for my confirmation.
- You should see the cool one my mom wears.
Perhaps complicating this situation is the practice of many devoted Catholic to wearing a “rosary ring.” I have one of these, which is a simple metal ring with 10 bumps, one for each “Hail Mary” in a decade of the rosary, which to school administrators can be defined as a non-threatening devotional prayer. My ring also has a little cross so I know when I’ve completed 10 Hail Marys. The little cross can’t be used as a weapon or make anyone disappear. In fact, the rosary ring itself can’t make anyone disappear, nor pretend to as with the Mount Doom ring.
As I said at the outset, I offer these thoughts in the hope that school administrators will not be threatened by Catholic students. But in all fairness, I don’t think the Mount Doom folks represent much threat either.