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Perhaps it is Time...
February 19, 2017 (01:38 PM)

Recently the ideas of a group of conservative educators came under the usual fire among liberals. One posting on a left-wing website was written by a representative of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, an organization that regularly launches attacks against expressions of faith in the public square.

The article strongly suggests that returning to an earlier approach to education in this country would create a theocracy. So does the author actually think that for almost two hundred years America was a theocracy? Surely not...

The Greatest Generation

The brave men and women of the "greatest generation," who won WWII and saved civilization from Hitler's genocidal conquest, were products of American public education BEFORE prayer, the Bible, and the Judeo-Christian principles that formed this nation were banished from the classrooms and hallways of our pubic schools.

The rioting, flag burning, safe-space seeking millennials we see on TV are products of American public education AFTER the erroneous Supreme Court decisions of the 1960's and the resulting spiraling decline of morality, common sense and real education in our schools!

Of course, I'm not saying that all millennials are rioting. There are some truly wonderful young people in this generation and we all know them! The point is that it would be difficult to find a significant percentage who rise to the level of their great-grandparents' wisdom and courage.

Freedom FROM Religion?

Freedom from Religion is a blatantly unconstitutional and un-American idea! The First Amendment says that "Congress shall make no law prohibiting the FREE EXERCISE thereof" (referring to religion).

In the very first amendment to the Constitution, our founders guaranteed us the right to live according to our conscience and our religious convictions. They understood, with recent memory of a homeland where citizens were forced to adhere to the particular doctrines of a state-run church, that without religious liberty there is no liberty at all!

In other words, our Constitution guarantees every American Freedom OF Religion! Freedom OF Religion is literally the opposite of Freedom FROM Religion. It is not possible for the two ideas to co-exist. There is no Constitutional right to avoid encountering the very values that are at the foundation of American law and culture.

There is no Constitutional right to freedom from offense. In order to guarantee that no one is ever "offended" by seeing or hearing the FREE EXERCISE of religion, you must take real First Amendment rights away from everyone else! Every American citizen has the God-given and Constitutional right to religious liberty, and they do not lose it just because they become teachers or principals, or because they are elected to the local school board!

In the America the "greatest generation" grew up in, people were chosen for these influential positions precisely BECAUSE of their high moral integrity and traditional values. They were expected to model and teach these values to their students--and they did! Seeing the Ten Commandments along with these examples of good character, or hearing a prayer or passage of scripture at school NEVER violated the rights of any student or parent!

The Freedom from Religion folks, along with liberal activist judges and politicians, twist the meaning of the first phrase of the establishment clause ("Congress shall make no law concerning the establishment of religion...") to say that hearing a prayer is the equivalent of being forced to adhere to a state religion. That is utterly ridiculous!

To the intellectually honest, this phrase was obviously included in the First Amendment in order to avoid the kind of religious persecution the Pilgrims fled when they first came to America. They were literally put in prison for preaching a doctrine that differed from the tenets of the Church of England! That is a far cry from potentially hurt feelings. By the way, American preachers are already feeling the encroaching threat of a state that would dictate what they can say from the pulpit.

Freedom FROM Religion is simply code for systematically abolishing Freedom OF Religion! Astute listeners will note that liberal politicians and commentators have begun replacing the phrase freedom of religion with freedom of worship. That is, of course, their way of relegating religious liberty to the confines of home and church.

But even those sacred spaces will not be safe for long. Certain city officials have already begun demanding copies of the sermons of pastors suspected of deviating from the rigid doctrines of political correctness!

So the REAL goal of Freedom FROM Religion is not just to get rid of Freedom OF Religion, but to get rid of religion itself, specifically the principles of our Judeo-Christian heritage found in the Bible. As Hillary Clinton said, "...deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed..."

Freedom of Speech?

And along with Freedom of Religion goes Freedom of Speech. Free speech also hurts feelings, and therefore cannot be tolerated on liberal college campuses by liberal students, who have been "taught" by liberal professors.

The Washington Times reports that, according to a Gallup survey, "Sixty-nine percent of college students surveyed said they would be in favor of prohibiting 'intentionally offensive' speech on campus." Offensive to whom? That's what never seems to occur to these young intellectuals. They, and those who agree with them for the moment, can say the most offensive things imaginable, and that's just fine. It's those who disagree with them who need to be silenced.

These are the same young people who flocked en masse to support Bernie Sanders, an avowed Socialist! I guess no one ever taught them that Vladimir Lenin said, "The goal of Socialism is Communism." Or that Communist dictators, Stalin and Mao, each murdered many more of his own citizens than Adolf Hitler!

During the years since the Supreme Court decisions banning prayer and Bible reading in public schools, we have seen an overall decline in the academic standing of American students among their peers in other nations, no matter how much money we spend! At the same time, there has been a dramatic rise in social problems associated with character and discipline. The advent of the Department of Education, under Jimmy Carter, did nothing to slow these trends.

Perhaps it is time...

Perhaps it is time to look back and learn from the approach to education that produced the greatest generation!

Perhaps it is time to acknowledge that the decisions banning prayer and Bible reading from public schools were not the first unconstitutional rulings made by the Supreme Court. Nor were they the last.

Perhaps it is time to finally realize that Jimmy Carter's Department of Education was a big and costly mistake, and give education back to parents and local educators where it belongs!

Perhaps it is time to prioritize the education of children over teachers' unions!

And perhaps it is time to stop allowing extreme left-wing liberals free reign to indoctrinate students from kindergarten through college, before the next Communist dictator is freely elected by a generation of young Americans, who simply don't know any better because they were never taught!

So this is not just a question of educating our children. It is a question of the survival of our nation.

To paraphrase President Trump, "What have we got to lose?"

- Twila Paris

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