Friday, January 1, 2010

Revisions and Divisions

by Michael David Rawlings

By the late 1950s, Americans were no longer almost entirely guided by the Judeo-Christian worldview, and challenges to the teaching of Christian values in the public schools began to be heard by federal courts. Plaintiffs had two principal grievances: (1) school prayer directed at the Christian deity, and (2) school-imposed biblical instruction. (It was not until 1980, however, that the Supreme Court struck down a Kentucky law that required the state's schools to post copies of the Ten Commandments in classrooms.)

The Warren Court, never one to miss an opportunity to engage in a little social engineering and ever-ready to grab more power for the federal government, happily accommodated the plaintiffs by ignoring historical practice and the original intent of the First Amendment. This was accomplished by tossing out the First Amendment's Free Exercise Clause and superimposing a twisted version of an old idea onto the Establishment Clause.

The Jeffersonian doctrine known as the Wall of Separation between Church and State, we were told, does not pertain so much to the protection of the Church against the impositions of the State, as much as it pertains to the protection of the State against being exposed to the religious notions of the Church. That the Court's version of the doctrine is not that of either the Jeffersonian or constitutional expression was irrelevant to the Court.

Apparently, the First Amendment's new meaning imbued federal judges with the omniscience to discern for the rest us the difference between those ideas that were religious and those ideas that were not. In other words, judges would direct the schools' curriculum, not the people. By this, however, the Court did not mean to suggest that it was legal for public school teachers to invade American homes and scream obscenities at children; they would just whisper them into children's ears in the public schools.

Hence, the Warren Court resolved a serious problem by further exacerbating it. After correctly observing that it was unconstitutional for state schools to impose the teachings of Judeo-Christianity on other-religious and non-religious persons, the Court decided to settle the matter by imposing a similar violation on all of us. Instead of simply recognizing that the people who pay the education system's bills should be free to educate their children as they see fit, at home or in a school of their choice, the Court opted to ignore original intent altogether, especially as it pertained to parental consent and authority.

Instead of allowing that a culturally diverse and changing society would require a new means of allocating funds for education in order to satisfy the requirements of the First Amendment for all, the Court elected to enshrine a one-size-fits-all scheme.  Instead of requiring the nation's schools to honor the constitutional rights of all their students or close their doors, the Court chose to expel the "Miscreant," known as "God" to many, who had instigated all the hullabaloo in the first place. Hence, it would not be the state schools that would have to change their ways or go, it would be the people, millions of Americans, who would have to compromise their most cherished convictions under the new hegemony or take their convictions and get out.

The Court effectively and quite consciously established secular humanism as the official religion of the state and established the public education system as the state's "church".

But the Warren Court did not so much overthrow the First Amendment as much as it turned it on its head and, thereby, created a whole new legal conundrum, one that constantly pits faction against faction in an unending battle in which no one's rights or concerns can ever be fully realized. It is for this very reason that the increasingly heated and bitter debate over the content of our schools' academics continues to rage right up to this day. This fiasco is the direct result of the Court elevating what had only been up to that time a homegrown and locally operated system of education, one that was mostly non-existent before the 20th Century, to a federally mandated and administered regime. This "nationalization" of the education system subsequently alienated an even greater number of Americans from their rights and needlessly instigated a vicious cultural civil war.

But the irresponsible behavior of the Warren Court should not surprise anyone. Being that the leftist does not grasp the truth about human nature and about the nature of things, he's the consummate meddler who's forever jumping into the private affairs of others, never merely encouraging, but ever obnoxiously insisting upon their participation in the next, great utopian love fest. He does not have the good sense to allow that Americans should decide for themselves with whom they would sleep.

It is readily self-evident that no institution exists in an ideological vacuum. Thus, if the underlying ideology governing the academic fair offered in today's public schools is no longer Judeo-Christianity, what is it? Where in the Constitution is the federal government delegated the power to define for you or me what does or does not constitute religious training? How could such a power not effectively render the First Amendment meaningless? Does the First Amendment protect the individual's perspective or that of the state?

Why is it a good thing when Christians are taxed to support the propagation of secular humanism in the public schools, but a bad thing when others are asked to spare a few lousy dimes to provide children transportation from a public school to a parochial school just a few miles down the road for instruction on matters that, according to idiotic leftists, the public school cannot provide? Why does the public education system not violate the constitutional rights of Christians when the teachings of Moses, Jesus Christ or the Apostle Paul cannot be taught, but the atheistic drivel of Darwin, Freud or Nietzsche can? The leftist, over whose head the outrage of his own suggestion flies, responds by telling the Christian that he is free to send his children to whatever type of school he pleases. But if the Christian "chooses" to flee the insults of public schools, he must necessarily leave behind the tax dollars he is compelled to fork out for an education system that is fundamentally hostile to him!

And what about the far too many bombed out prisons that pass for schools in America's larger inner cities? Why do wealthy leftists adamantly oppose initiatives that would extend the same kind of educational opportunities enjoyed by their children to the children of the impoverished?

No one should wonder why such an inherently unjust system turns out such a mediocre product. After all, this is the same system in which precious time and resources are now wasted on nonsense like "conflict resolution" and "sensitivity training," the sorts of things that give leftists goose bumps and the rest of us indigestion. In truth, these are merely the insipid alternatives to "thou shalt not."

No one should be surprised by the stupefied looks that appear on the faces of so many youngsters these days when they are asked to respond to the most elementary questions about the history of their own country. "Abraham . . . who?" At your local high school, you might be told by students that Shakespeare is a racial slur or some dead white guy from New England who wrote the Bible. Should some of them tell you that a declarative sentence is something a judge gives you for car jacking or slapping your ho, don't show alarm. Just calmly nod your head and slowly back away.

Today, five out of ten high-school graduates cannot name their nation's capital, its first president (for crying out loud!) or the three branches of its government. Half of them cannot read at an eighth-grade level or solve a quadratic equation.

But not only are far too many of our young people woefully ignorant about their nation's history, confused about its cultural influences, functionally illiterate and mathematically incompetent—they cannot think for themselves either.

We should not be surprised by the inarticulate gibberish that flies from so many young lips these days when in the name of "diversity" an entire generation has been deprived of the world's truly great ideas. But our young scholars haven't starved . . . well, not entirely. Instead they've been fed the tripe of the restylized ideas—or is it the delusions?—of old that have buried many a nation and have mired the rest in tyranny. The fact that so many young people these days are under the impression that their generation is especially free and open-minded is both tragic and comical. As the illogic of "inclusionism" has rendered so many of them incapable of distinguishing the difference between concepts like self-identity and self-determination or between tolerance and acceptance, today's youth comprise the most robotically conformist and spitefully narrow-minded generation that America has ever produced. Despite the multifarious clothing fashions and hairstyles sported by them, an alarming number are unwittingly marching in lock-step unison toward the illusions sported by totalitarianism. Regardless of the stated reasoning behind the arguments of their antagonists, epithets like bigot, homophobe or fascist fly from their lips as thoughtlessly as a dog licks its genitals.

We should not be surprised that so many young people these days regard Judeo-Christianity's commonsensical mores with derision when they are constantly fed the claptrap of pseudo-intellectuals who airily postulate that the observance of such courtesies only serves to undermine one's self-esteem and inhibit the free expression of one's true inner self. Whatever happened to the understanding that the ideals of Judeo-Christianity led the way toward the democratization of the Western world?

Finally, why should anyone be shocked by the kinds of outrages that have been launched against our society by post-pubescent psychopaths like Dylan Klebold when the theories of intellectual barbarians, their breath reeking of hopelessness and despair, are incessantly whispered in the ears of our children as they are bombarded, without benefit of context or consequence, by filth and violence from every quarter of our society?

Why are the babies burning? Why is there silence in heaven?