holy opium aplenty (Jesus was a Teacher!)
cdbrady at attglobal.net
Wed Aug 20 00:53:39 MDT 2003
One of the charges Deweyite Progressives laid against Marxist social
reconstructionists in the Thirties was that their educational praxis was
tantamount to propaganda over pedagogy. Of course, since they made the
charge first, it could not be turned back on them. Begs the question,
though. The following piece should give non-residents of the USA some
idea of what an uphill battle it is to effectuate social
reconstructionist, or revolutionary pedagogy, in the USA (I do have a
favorite quote below, and I'll bet it's the same as yours!):
A Question of Freedom
Does bringing the Pledge of Allegiance back to Texas classrooms
reinforce patriotism or infringe on beliefs?
By MATT FRAZIER
Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram, Posted on Mon, Aug. 18, 2003
Millions of students will start school today by reciting the Pledge of
Allegiance, followed by a pledge to the Texas flag.
Theyll then observe a moment of silence, to pray, meditate or simply
And throughout the day, they may catch glimpses of the national motto,
In God We Trust.
The changes in school procedure come courtesy of the Legislature.
It reinforces the roots of our country, as far as Im concerned,
said state Rep. Ruben Hope, R-Conroe, author of the bill that allows
the placement of the national motto in schools. Its part of our
history. I think its the basics a lot of our students need to know
about at this time.
Many believe that the new visibility of the motto and pledges will
help the next generation appreciate their country and the role that
religion plays in Americas history. Others believe that the changes
support a national trend toward putting God back in the classroom. Some
atheists and agnostics say they fear that the government is abandoning
Americas promise of free belief.
Both sides of the debate appear to agree, however, that the
legislation may be too popular with the states citizens, legislators
and courts to overturn easily.
We are living in precarious times. The legislation is completely
stepping on the rights of free exercise of religion, said Will
Harrell, executive director of the Texas branch of the American Civil
Liberties Union. Now people see this as an opening of a gate that
separates church from state. To challenge this is not an easy row to
Texas is the largest state to require students to recite the Pledge of
Allegiance and to allow schools to post the national motto. Students
who dont want to recite the pledges must bring a note from home.
In 2001, Mississippi became the first state to require schools to post
the motto, followed by Virginia, Utah and South Carolina. Similar
measures have failed in Indiana and Iowa.
States that allow or encourage schools to post the motto are Arizona,
Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan and North
Carolina, according to the American Family Association.
In Denver, a federal judge issued a temporary order Friday that
blocked a new Colorado law requiring public school students and
teachers to recite the pledge. Several students, parents and activists
had filed a lawsuit challenging the law.
Teachers belonging to the largest teachers union in Tarrant County,
the United Educators Association, have not objected to the new
requirements, UEA Executive Director Larry Shaw said.
Im sure that there will be one or two folks that have a concern, but
the majority of teachers are religious folks, and most of them are not
going to have a problem, Shaw said.
Nor have parents objected, said Monique Haskins, president of the PTA
council for the Keller school district. Keller began its school year
Aug. 4, the earliest start date in Texas.
It was really neat to have a group standing in front of the flag. I
think its a good way to start the day, especially with the situation
in Iraq, Haskins said. I think its extremely important that kids
learnabout being patriotic. We shouldnt have gotten away from this to
Keller school district spokesman Jason Meyer said he hasnt heard of
teachers putting up the national motto, and he said he has heard no
complaints about the new legislation.
This doesnt seem to be a concern to parents in our district, Meyer
said. Its been a very, very quiet topic.
Ana Yanez-Correa, state policy director for LULAC, said that she also
has heard no objections but that the legislation seems unnecessary.
There definitely should be a separation between church and state. Our
priorities should be to have diversity and that none of our students
feel uncomfortable in the classroom, Yanez-Correa said. But most of
the immigrants are not going to stand up and say, This is a violation
of my freedom to choose. Most of us are from a very religious
One the nations leading proponents of posting the national motto in
schools is the American Family Association, a non-profit organization
that hopes to mobilize 100,000 members and raise enough money to
donate an In God We Trust poster for every Texas classroom.
This is not a religion-promoting tool. This is simply our national
motto, and it has a historical and patriotic purpose, said Randy
Sharp, director of special projects for the AFA. This helps students
to understand how God has been involved in the history of the nation, to
remind them where our rules come from, where our laws come from, where
everything that America is comes from.
The American Family Association is based in Mississippi, which in 2001
passed the nations first law requiring schools to post the nations
The AFA is also involved in boycotting the Walt Disney Co., saying
that the company is sponsoring deviancy through its policies, and it
is also seeking to remove candy, toys and magazines that display
sexually-oriented text from store checkout lanes, where those items are
visible to children.
Children of atheists and agnostics are also a captive audience at
school, says the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a non-profit
organization based in Madison, Wis.
When the motto is on money, its small and easy to overlook. But on
the blackboard, its an imposition, said Annie Laurie Gaylor with the
foundation. I think there are religious opportunists who have taken
advantage of 9/11 who try to push the idea that being a good American
means being a good Christian. I think they are imposing religion and
God in an overt way.
Proponents and opponents alike credit Americas war on terrorism and a
new political climate for bringing about the greatest shift in these
laws since the 1950s.
At that time, the national motto In God We Trust was adopted and the
Pledge of Allegiance changed to include the words under God as the
United States was engaged in the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Both
the motto and pledge have since been the focus of litigation in the
In 1994, the Freedom from Religion Foundation challenged the motto in
Denver, saying that its use on currency violates the Establishment
clause of the First Amendment. The 10th Circuit of Appeals disagreed.
Although the foundation is looking for an opportunity for a rematch,
Texas is probably not the best place for a legal battle, Gaylor said.
To have a child staring at the motto and feeling harassed and hounded
may make a very good lawsuit, Gaylor said. But the best test case
would be a mandatory law in a state under a different circuit court.
The ACLU said it has no plans to bring Texas to court over the
legislation -- yet.
The moment a teacher, student or a parent says their rights have been
infringed, we will step up, Harrell said. We hope it doesnt come to
that. We dont like to litigate. We dont want schools to waste their
money in a lawsuit against the ACLU.
www.afa.net, American Freedom Foundation
www.aclu.org, American Civil Liberties Union
www.ffrf.org, Freedom from Religion Foundation
Matt Frazier, (817) 390-7957 mfrazier at star-telegram.com
More information about the Marxism