December 01, 2004
Censoring American History
Remember James Lord? He's the student in Illinois who was booted by Dupo High School officials for daring to close his school's closed-circuit news broadcast by saying "God bless." Of course, the simpleton school administrators believed the James Lord's transgression violated the constitutionally-mandated separation of church of state.
Never mind the fact that such a constitutional mandate doesn't exist.
Dupo High indoctrinators...oops...educators aren't the only school officials in desperate need of a remedial course in American government. Not to be outdone by her Illinois counterparts, Patricia Vidmar, the principal of Stevens Creek School in Cupertino, California, has barred a fifth-grade teacher from "giving students documents from American history that refer to God -- including the Declaration of Independence," Reuters reports. Other historical documents banned by Vidmar include the private journals of George Washington and John Adams, William Penn's plan for governing Pennsylvania and a treatise on colonial rights by Samuel Adams.
[Note: If you are a school administrator, I should explain a few things: George Washington was the nation's first president; John Adams was the second president; William Penn wasn't the inventor of modern self-inking writing utensils but the founder and proprietor of Pennsylvania and, ironically, a tireless champion of religious tolerance; and Samuel Adams is not a beer but an American colonial leader who helped organize protests and, later, rebellion against British rule.]
Principal Vidmar is obviously a "Constitutional Separation Of Church and State" zealot. But I'm willing to wager that she and most other people masquerading as educators have never bothered to read the Constitution. If they had, they'd know that there's no such separation doctrine in the Constitution. What the Constitution does say about religion is found in the first phrase of the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .
The meaning is beyond question. Congress is prohibited from creating a Church of the United States, forcing anyone to join a particular religion and interfering with anyone's religious observances.
By this prohibition on Congress, the Founders -- some of whom are now on Principal Vidmar's censor list -- sought to prevent an American version of the Church of England. In 1531, the English Parliament broke with the pope in Rome and declared that their king, Henry VIII, and every subsequent English monarch the supreme head of the Church in England. Two years later Parliament passed the Submission Act which forced all English clergy to acknowledge Henry, rather than the pope, as their spiritual father. Then, shortly after the Submission Act, Parliament passed a law forbidding anyone in England from giving money to the Catholic Church. And those who defied these acts of Parliament were subject to imprisonment, grisly torture and execution by decapitation, hanging or burning at the stake. By these laws, the Church of England was transformed into an agency of the English government. This is the "establishment of religion" to which the framers of the Constitution referred.
Printing "In God We Trust" on currency is not an establishment of religion.
Including the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is not an establishment of religion.
Opening each session of the House and Senate with a prayer is not an establishment of religion.
The Defense Department's involvement with the Boy Scouts is not an establishment of religion.
A student saying "God bless" in a school broadcast is not an establishment of religion.
And a child seeing the word "God" in the Declaration of Independence during a history lesson is not an establishment of religion.
If Principal Vidmar doesn't know this, then she has no business being an educator. If she does know this, then she's just another leftist charlatan promoting an anti-America political agenda by denying American school children knowledge of their heritage -- all while posing as an educator.
Paraphrasing Samuel Adams seems especially fitting here. "Go home," Ms Vidmar, "and may posterity forget that you were our countryman."
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