Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Delusions and Duplicity

By Michael David Rawlings
While not sure, I gather you believe it impossible for the government to remain neutral in matters of religion. I see it differently. A government can refrain from promoting any religion, whether Christianity or any other, without thereby necessarily endorsing secular humanism or, as I've heard others assert, atheism. Though you voice support for the principle of separation of church and state, your argument appears to negate the possibility of separating church and state and suppose instead that we are doomed to a perpetual competition over which religion(s) will enjoy the government's favor. —Doug Indeap, commenting on "Revisions and Divisions"

I'm saying something that has apparently never occurred to you in all your life. Drop the rhetoric. Stop the rote regurgitation of formula.


There is not and cannot be any such thing as an institution that exists in an ideological vacuum. It is not unconstitutional to use tax dollars to present academics from the perspective of a specific religious school of thought. Such a thing does not in and of itself constitute an establishment of religion . . . unless there is no universal, ideological freedom within the system in terms of choice. Where there is no choice, an establishment of one ideology or another exists, suppressing the free expression/exercise of all others. That's what's unconstitutional. There is no such thing as a constitutional, one-size-fits-all system of education. You have been deceived. The leftist cabal of the Warrant Court knew this, even if you don't. They knew they were establishing a collectivist system of education in violation of individual liberty and free association, even if you don't.

What? You're saying that the teaching of literature or history or science, for example, can be accomplished without the benefit of context, ideological perspective . . . interpretation? You're living in a fantasy world where elephants take flight and monkeys sing Cole Porter show tunes.

Only a private system of education—totally free of government involvement—could ever be constitutional according to your logic, not mine, but you don't see that because you think the impossible is possible. Or are you merely pretending not to hear the millions of voices in this country who are fed up with the leftist hegemony in the state schools? I say that if the government is going to be involved in the education of the Republic's people then for obvious reasons the system must allow for universal school choice. In order to satisfy the demands of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, the nation's education system must be either exclusively private or private in terms of choice.

There is another alternative. There is no need for squabbling over ideological turf. Open your eyes and your mind.

Your concept of separation with its tortured version of the Establishment Clause is not that of Madison or Jefferson, it's that of the former Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, that of socialist Western Europe, where once again as I write this the children of Christian parents are relieved of custody by the state for fleeing the state schools and teaching their children at home.

I say that both teachers and students should be free to express/exercise their personal ideological convictions at any time they please in the schools, while you insist that the practice of the fundamental rights of persons of traditional religious conviction be regulated. In the meantime, what are the non-religious teachers and students doing in the schools? Discussing the lint in their bellybuttons?

Laying aside, for the moment, the fact that conservative professors and students are constantly hounded by politically correct speech codes imposed by leftist thugs, we generally understand that imposing the sort of artificial prohibitions against ideological expression, as you propose, in terms of time and place, on professors and students at the collegiate level is absurd—in both private and public institutions. Why is this sort of thing not absurd at the elementary and secondary levels of education?

By and large, prior to the Twentieth Century there was no public education system. Parents educated their children at home or collectively as they saw fit. There's no provision in the Constitution providing for the establishment of a government institution of education. Beyond upholding the principles of natural law, the constraints of commonsense and decency, the government has no right to tell parents what they may or may not teach their children—anywhere, anytime or in anyway. Period.

You're arguing that once the government directly involves itself in the process of educating our children that parental consent and authority go out the window. How could that be? So now, suddenly, certain ideas or worldviews that were always freely and openly taught and served to inform the modes of interpretation and expression of human thought and endeavor are officially prohibited? The unfettered, free-market place of ideas, ideological competition, ends at the school doors? Well, at least, apparently, at the doors of elementary and secondary public schools.  Right? 

Nonsense. Tyranny. Suppression. Collectivism. Fascism. Marxism. Paganism. Atheism. Darwinism. The thuggery of leftist swine. The cult of global warming. Mother Earth. Leftist environmentalism. Sensitivity training. Self-esteem training. (Touchy-feely rot.) Sexual immorality and condoms passed out under the guise of sex education. Obama touting socialized medicine in the schools, preaching it to young, impressionable minds, a captive audience. The trash of the jackbooted pimps and whores of secular humanism.

Now you see it, now you don't.

Look, either government systems of education are in and of themselves unconstitutional or ones that do not provide for universal school choice are unconstitutional. Pick one. Start living up to your fancy rhetoric or admit that you're a statist bootlick prattling Orwellian doublespeak. Stop pretending to be an American patriot—"full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse"—when the only freedom of expression you're willing to protect in the schools is that of your own and your fellow travelers.

(Is that who you really are? If not then. . . .)

Choice, Sir. Choice. That's what I'm talking about. Read Milton Friedman's Public Schools: Make Them Private. Out of the general fund for education take your share and educate your children as you see fit—at home or in a school of your choice. Take off that straitjacket you're wearing—cut loose, break out, get free.

No comments: