Monday, December 06, 2004
No G-d allowed: The Sunday New York Times "Week in Review" weighs in on the California schoolteacher who got in trouble for mentioning the big guy in class.
Now, I haven't been in Steven J. Williams' fifth-grade class, but unless the 38-year-old Williams is very new to teaching, he would have been fired long ago had he actually been what the principal subtly accuses him of doing -- proseltyzing to students.
The movement to remove any mention of a deity from public life is more likely behind this sort of behavior. Some parent, immersed in the Bay Area "culture" that the mere idea of a higher power is offensive, likely read something written by a dead white guy (another offense) that Williams handed out and had a minor fit. This caused the educational establishment to take a stand -- and censor history.
Barred from his classroom, Mr. Williams said, were handouts with excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, the "Right of the Colonists" by Samuel Adams, and the 1682 "Frame of Government of Pennsylvania" by William Penn. Also rejected were excerpts from George Washington's prayer journal and a handout titled, "Fact Sheet: Currency & Coins History of 'In God We Trust.' "
Oh ... my ... (not gonna say it)! The horror! Are students bringing items like this into class? Things that have "In God We Trust" written on them?
You can't teach history of any sort, let alone American history, without some mention of G-d or g-ds. How do you explain the Aztecs brutal practice of human sacrifice with out mentioning religious beliefs? You can't. Neither can you teach American history without mention of religion. What was William Penn's vocation? What about the missions that stretch the length of California?
Heck, we're not even talking about this sort of thing -- which a judge has ruled legal.
But the sad thing is that you've got a group of "educators" who don't even know the very Constitution that they are pretending to defend.
A statement by the district said school officials were required "to uphold the First Amendment which mandates the separation between church and state." As such, the principal had "the right and duty" to review Mr. Williams's instructional materials "to ensure compliance with this constitutional obligation."
Yep, that's what ignorant liberals who grow up to be ignorant judges has gotten us. A First Amendment that prohibits the government from creating a state religion is turned on its head to prevent the very mention of G-d in a classroom.
Charles C. Haynes, a senior scholar at the Freedom Forum's First Amendment Center, said conservatives groups are hunting for cases that might "recover lost turf" in the schools, which Christians have seen as a troubled area ever since the Supreme Court ruling on prayer in school four decades ago.
Recover lost turf? This isn't about holding turf, it's about teaching history as it occurred.
When took AP History in high school nearly 15 years ago, even my liberal feminist history teacher covered the Great Awakening -- because it was part of history. This is the same woman that used Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" as a supplemental textbook. She would be in trouble in Cupertino for mentioning that many of the Founding Fathers were deists!
I think she would find it highly ironic.