WHAT ARE EACH OF US DOING TO SAVE OUR COUNTRY AND THE WORLD?

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Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We — even we here — hold the power, and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free — honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just — a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless. — President Abraham Lincoln (Annual Message to Congress —
Concluding Remarks, given on December 1, 1862; from here)

Lincoln spoke these words about two and a half months after the Battle of Antietam. The South had tried to take the war to the North, and Union forces had repulsed the invaders. Nevertheless, in a single day, almost 23,000 Americans were suddenly dead, wounded, or missing. When the path ahead promised still more dead, wounded, or missing, Lincoln called for a calm resolve to save the Union. Amazingly, the People listened. If we had been the People Lincoln spoken to, would we have listened?

We imagine the trials of our time to be difficult, and in a way they are. Although most of us have not been called upon to bleed in a bloody war, we struggle against our own apathy, the innumerable temptations we subject ourselves to, the culture of indifference we help to create, the feeling of powerlessness we cultivate as an excuse for inaction, the bafflement that arises from our lack of concern, … we struggle against the weaknesses of our own humanity and our own making.

Many of us do not even see any problems. We refuse to see. We insist our little world will continue as it is just because that is the way we have always known it.

Because we may not want to do so, we may never consider the possibility God made each of us for a purpose. In fact, just so we don’t have to think, to contemplate why we exist, we may deliberately fill each moment of our lives with busyness, with aimless bustle and hustle and with passive entertainment.

Born-again Christians have no excuse for aimless busyness or inertia. We know enough to stop and pray. We know we must take time to be still and know God (Psalm 46:10). We know enough to seek His Will. We know “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.”

Ephesians 2:1-10 English Standard Version (ESV)

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Our Lord even gave us His own example.

Mark 10:42-45 English Standard Version (ESV)

42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

But too many do not practice our Lord’s example. So we live in a time of unraveling.

Would you like proof? Then consider. Are we eager to serve others, or do we wish to be served? When we vote, do we vote to further our own interests or the interests of our neighbors?

Contemplate our leaders. Don’t we elect people whose values reflect our own? Do our leaders serve us, or do they contrive to make us serve them?

When we vote — before we cast our ballot — each of us needs to ask our self a question. Is the person I am voting for helping me to serve my country, or is he buying my vote?

Are we willing to participate as best we can in public life? Do we take seriously the words of President John F. Kennedy?

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country. (from here)

No? Then when our leaders enslave us, what right will we have we to complain?

36 thoughts on “WHAT ARE EACH OF US DOING TO SAVE OUR COUNTRY AND THE WORLD?

    1. Why is that? The public school system and the corporate mass media does teach our children that our nation is not worth fighting for. But there is also the fact not enough parents insist that their children learn about the Bible. I have to wonder how many parents worry that their children might believe.

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      1. I was firmly catechised, and came from a family where all my uncles and one aunt served in uniform in WW II and my younger uncle in Korea. I grew up in Montana and Alaska two states with the highest number of veterans and volunteer per capita of all the states. AK first MT second! Environment is everything mainstream media is ignored and schools while starting to bend still run conservative.

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        1. If all Christians had made the same effort to bring up their children in God’s Word, we would not have a nation so ignorant of the Bible, but some parents don’t know how to instruct their children. So they depend upon their churches, and their churches only have an opportunity to teach those kids on Sunday’s. Meanwhile, the corporate mass media and the public schools strive insidiously to undermine any effort to teach the Bible. So it is an uphill battle.

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  1. I don’t believe the idea of self sacrifice for God and country is lost yet. I think it is hard for us to see because of mediated reality, but it is alive and well all over the country. I wish I could provide a few links or some evidence to show that, but it really is just based on observation. There are pockets of hoping sprouting up all over the place. Things are not quite a glum as they appear, although they are certainly bad enough.

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    1. I agree.

      When I was in college, I was in AFROTC, and after college I went into the Air Force.

      While I was in college, I noticed that my fellow AFROTC students had expected to be challenged more than they were. They had expected to be asked to make a greater sacrifice, and they were disappointed more was not asked of them.

      I think the time has come to stop asking each other what needs to be done. What does God want from us? What does His Bible say?

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  2. This may be contentious, but so be it. Frankly, I careless about this world and everything herein. First, this sin-cursed world is ruled by Satan (Matt. 13:19; Luke 4:6; John 12:31, 14:30; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2, 6:12; 1 John 4:4, 5:19). Second, everything in this world is temporary, including my body (2 Cor. 4:18). Third, owing to the sinful nature of man (Job 14:4, 15:14; Ps. 51:5; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 5:12,19; Eph. 2:3), every system of government, allegiance, motive, medium, law, philosophy, tradition, word, thought, and act of man is corrupt, inadequate, and deceitful (Gen. 6:11-12; Jud. 2:19; 2 Chro. 27:2; Job 15:16; Ps. 14, 53; Eph. 4:22; Heb. 3:13). Fourth, I look to the eternal things above, not this temporary world (Matt. 16:23; Col. 3:1-4; Phil. 3:14). Finally, I am instructed to proclaim the simple Gospel of Christ Jesus to the people (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16).

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    1. Contentious? I suppose so, but Jesus expected people would be contentious about His Word. He just expected Christians to be known by their love for each other. So I hope that we consider this debate as an opportunity improve both our own and each others understanding of scripture.

      One of the things that disappoints me is the fact that some Christians use Christianity as an excuse to either distance themselves from the political process or as an excuse for Socialism. When I look at scripture, what I find requires us to be servants for our fellows. That includes Christians who choose to service others as government employees and officials. I find nothing that gives us any right to use government to impose our values on others.

      Nevertheless, when we try to interpret the meaning of scripture, we must do so cautiously.

      2 Peter 1:19-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

      19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

      What did Peter have in mind with these words? I think he wanted us to make certain we do our best to interpret scripture as correctly as we can. Because the Bible is from God, we must strive to apply logic and to put ourselves in the shoes of those who first read each book. In addition, we must remember that no verse, passage, or book of the Bible stands alone. If our interpretation of one verse conflicts with other verses, we need to rethink the matter.

      Therefore I will not reply to your comment hastily. Given that you made your comment in all seriousness and that you took the time to cite numerous Bible verses, I think will write a sequel to this post. Of course, I anticipate disagreeing with your conclusions, but I cannot fault them as ill-considered.

      Thank you for your comment.

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      1. My comment concerns the “bigger picture.” I look forward to Christ and Christ alone. I long for Him. Meanwhile, I am aware of the “small details” of the bigger picture, but I am not worried about them because (1) the Lord is in charge and (2) this world is temporary. Something permanent and better will come, that is, the return of Christ, His kingdom, and a new heavens and earth. Until then, I am instructed by Christ to preach the simple Gospel to my fellow man. I am primarily focused on the eternal things with Christ, but I also realize that I have a mission to plant seeds for His harvest field.

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  3. The LIncoln quote shows the great man at his best. He certainly had a way with words. No president since has come close. No paid speechwriters for presidents have come close. Lincoln didn’t read widely, but he read the Bible (King James version) Shakespeare (which he could quote extensively), and English writers/poets such as Bunyan and Gray. What little he read in terms of formative literature found purchase in his brain and was put to good later use in his own public statements. A small note, here: LIncoln probably never “spoke” the words you quote. In that time, Presidents would send an annual written message discussing the state of the Union as contemplated by the Constitution. The modern hoopla of a stand-up speech to a joint session of Congress is a fairly modern development, spurred on by television in the last 50 years. I would be thrilled with a President who would say: “this year, I’m going to just go back to the old tradition of sending over a written message. I won’t interfere with your evening television – go back to American Idol or Antiques Road Show. This way you can study my words closely in the morning papers and not be distracted by ovation calisthenics, and camera pans of the assembled Members of Congress. And I won’t have to keep thinking of citizen props to put in the galleries to keep up the Ronald Reagan theatrical tradition of pointing out meritorious citizens, of whom there are many, but who need not be carted into Washington City to serve as mannequins for my star turn.”

    By the way, I attended the public schools some time ago, so my experience is dated, but one of my children and a swarm of neighbor kids have had recent experiences with public education and I am aware of no one who was taught there that the Republic is not worth fighting for. On what do you base that rather strange notion? Moreover, I am totally unaware of any “insidious” effort by the public schools to “undermine any effort to teach the Bible.” The public schools have nothing to do with teaching the Bible one way or the other, thank God. They would make a total mess of it if they tried. They simply are not there to serve that purpose. We have families and churches for that important task. The public schools are simply irrelevant when it comes to Bible teaching. This means that not only do they not do it, but they take no role in discouraging Bible education in the proper settings. I can imagine the uproar if churches or families received letters from the local school principal or superintendent telling them not to engage in religious instruction. But, of course, nothing like that has ever happened, has it? To what specific events were you referring when you stated that the public schools insidiously undermine religious instruction? Some examples might help clarify what, at least on the surface, seems like a completely imagined phenomenon.

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    1. Should presidents go back to delivering Congress a written State of the Union Message? I doubt it. Broadcast radio and TV provide what most people think of as a superior media for such communications. Undoubtedly, however, Ronald Reagan’s imitators have not used the opportunity as effectively as he did.

      One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is our capacity to say things without realizing what we are saying.

      Moreover, I am totally unaware of any “insidious” effort by the public schools to “undermine any effort to teach the Bible.” The public schools have nothing to do with teaching the Bible one way or the other, thank God. They would make a total mess of it if they tried. They simply are not there to serve that purpose. We have families and churches for that important task. The public schools are simply irrelevant when it comes to Bible teaching. This means that not only do they not do it, but they take no role in discouraging Bible education in the proper settings. I can imagine the uproar if churches or families received letters from the local school principal or superintendent telling them not to engage in religious instruction.

      I agree that the public schools teach nothing about the Bible. Even though that book is highly significant to our history and our nation’s traditions, public schools want nothing to do with it. Therefore, as my first example, I think I will use that excellent one you just provided. I will just add this.

      Deuteronomy 11:18-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

      18 “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 20 And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth.

      The Bible is fairly specific. To the extent we can, we are to spend our days immersed in the thoughts of God’s teachings, and as you say, the public school system will have none of it.

      Anyway, it is my turn for a question. In its heyday, citizens in their local communities ran the public education system. Now the state governments dominate public education and the Federal Government is trying to wrest control. Thus, we have a system dominated by special interest groups (especially the teachers unions) instead of parents. When its existence just gives our leaders yet another opportunity to abuse the power we give them, what necessity justifies a school system owned and operated by government?

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    2. Scout, I am unsurprised at your disdain for Ronald Reagan. But while you aim snark in his direction for introducing someone in the gallery during the State of the Union speech, you give a rather false implication that he began the practice of “theatrics” during such speeches.

      It was Woodrow Wilson a century ago who re-started the “speech from the throne” tradition of a personally delivered State of the Union, and it was Lyndon Johnson who arranged to move the SOTU speech to prime-time television hours and make certain that it received broad network coverage. Yes, Reagan pointed to a newly minted American hero, the man who dove into the frigid Potomac to rescue a plane-crash victim. Over the course of his presidency, his SOTU speeches included a couple of other American heroes.

      Later presidents have featured welfare mothers and immigrants, sports figures and job-training recipients. According to the New York Times, the all-time master of the theatrics of the State of the Union was Bill Clinton.

      But I was happy to see Obama, finally, reference an American war hero veteran again, Cory Remsburg. The Atlantic wasn’t impressed: They trotted out an article complaining that Obama spoke of Sgt. Remsburg’s bravery and determination, when they wanted to see him used as an anti-war statement.

      On another topic, you are continually getting the school issue wrong. Schools were not to be the responsibility of the federal or state governments, but the current issue is that the government is jealously guarding against the possibility of choice. Obama has made it one of his administration’s causes to end school voucher programs, and he is succeeding. Washington DC had a successful voucher program — which his DOJ outlawed and terminated. So, poor children in DC are once again stuck with the miserable “education” that robs their futures, simply to preserve the incomes of teachers’ union bosses.

      Eventually, it may be possible to get the fed out of all areas that they are not Constitutionally authorized to meddle in. But for now, allowing private competition for schools would be a big boost, and it has shown to be a very positive thing — except for the Obama Bureautopia.

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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        1. When I listen to Mark Levin rag on Woodrow Wilson, I am astonished we ever elected that man. Even in school, when I studied what he accomplished in office, Wilson seemed especially ineffective. Like our current president, Wilson seem more impressed with having power than using it well.

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      1. Actually, Keith, Reagan is a bit of a hero to me. I worked in his first Administration and had the honor to see him up close and personal both at the White House and in other venues. I thought his SOTU’s were great. My criticism was not of Reagan, but of subsequent Presidents who seem to feel compelled to imitate him, no matter how lamely.

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  4. As often happens, Deuteronomy has it right. I’m glad you cited that. Clearly responsibility for religious instruction lies with the family, not the state.

    It’s not a matter of the public schools not “wanting” to have anything to do with the Bible. It’s a matter of competence, Tom. They have no more business teaching our kids about the Bible (or the Qu’uran or any other religious foundational text) than does the local grocery store or body shop. That they don’t try (leaving aside constitutional issues) is a very good thing, I would think, from the perspective of religious communities.

    As for local control, where I live, we have a country school board. It’s a big county, granted, but that’s the governing body. There’s an overlay of state standards and the federal government has taken increased interest in trying to get the national educational level up to something approximating that achieved by other developed countries around the world. But there is still a fair degree of local control, from budgets to hiring standards, to hours and facilities etc. IN your county, look at the controversy over financing for the coming year. I am not certain what you refer to as “abuse” (perhaps you are referring to county boards cutting funds), but I would think that the solution to that kind of abuse is for the voters to change out the county elected officials on bodies such as the Board of Supervisors and elected School Boards. As for the teachers’ unions, we deal with them as we deal with any other union – through bargaining. The problem in the past has been (in my experience) that the governmental officials often are not very adept bargainers in these contexts. The solution, again, lies with the voters.

    Finally, as I’ve said before, if you can get enough people who look at your things your way to join in in your community or state, abolish the public schools. I think there would be considerable opposition to this, because most people don’t share your view that public schools net out in a negative contribution to the welfare of the community. There are a lot of citizens who regard public schools as a source of economic well-being for the community and who would fear economic collapse if they became a bastion of no public education. But test out your theory at the ballot box.

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    1. scout

      As usual, you did not reply to the question. You talked all around it.

      When you we cannot answer a straight-forward question, that indicates there is something seriously wrong.

      When local people ran the schools, they had no problem providing Biblical instruction. That is something you ignored.

      Does being told how our government works have anything to do with whether the public school system is right or wrong, good or evil? No. That’s a diversion. In fact, it is a silly one. Have you forgotten how that works? In Virginia we have four committees in charge of the public school system: the School Board, the Board of County Supervisors, the General Assembly and the Governor, and Congress and our President. Only government could contrive such a nightmarish way to manage anything. However, just as they are suppose to depend upon the voters to solve that problem collective bargaining with unions, parents are suppose to depend on the voters to provide efficient management of the public schools. With everyone in charge, shouldn’t we be able to get a perfect solution?

      Was the horror of an economic collapse relevant? No. Unless we want to pay a ridiculous price, like what we currently pay for the public school system, private schooling cost less.

      Was local control of education by the government a problem? Since it led to the current mess, I think so. In any event the current trend is towards federalization.

      Consider the question again.

      When its existence just gives our leaders yet another opportunity to abuse the power we give them, what necessity justifies a school system owned and operated by government?

      Is there something wrong with the question? Then why don’t you say so? Otherwise, why don’t you answer the question?

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  5. I was addressing other elements of your comment, Tom. I was more or less ignoring your question because it is a silly one. I know of no school system in the United States, public, private, religious whose existence is intended to “just” give “our leaders” another opportunity to abuse power. Schools serve many purposes. I know of none that was created to give leaders (whomever they may be in your eyes – state, local, federal, elected, appointed, etc.) an opportunity to abuse power. If there are such schools somewhere, I would say that they are a bad idea. But I question the premise that they exist. Perhaps you could provide an example. I’ll see what I can find out about such a weird place and get back to you in more detail. But if your asking if a school system whose sole purpose is to enable abuse of power by “leaders” is a good thing, I think I’m with you in opposing it. I don’t view this, however, as a real world situation.

    BTW, I think you have a bit of the old log-in-the-eye syndrome when it comes to responding to inquiries. I asked you in my first comment if you could clarify this idea that public schools “insidiously undermine any effort to teach the Bible” I noted that I had never heard of such a thing happening, and asked if you could provide an example. Examples would be helpful, I think, to remove such a statement from the realm of the delusional.

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    1. It is peculiar how determined you are to twist my words and ignore my answers.

      1. My question does not say the public school system is intended to “just” give “our leaders” another opportunity to abuse power. That opportunity to abuse power is an inevitable consequence of creating a government-run school system. So I asked you to justify the necessity. Apparently, you know of no such necessity.
      2. I replied to your question with your own words. Here is a second helping.

      Moreover, I am totally unaware of any “insidious” effort by the public schools to “undermine any effort to teach the Bible.” The public schools have nothing to do with teaching the Bible one way or the other, thank God. They would make a total mess of it if they tried. They simply are not there to serve that purpose. We have families and churches for that important task. The public schools are simply irrelevant when it comes to Bible teaching. This means that not only do they not do it, but they take no role in discouraging Bible education in the proper settings. I can imagine the uproar if churches or families received letters from the local school principal or superintendent telling them not to engage in religious instruction.

      Here we have a school system which you yourself say is devoted to secularism. Instead of sending their children to a school where the Word of God is respected and learned, children spend hours every day in an environment where the Bible is studiously ignored.

      By making it “free” and taxing parents to pay for it, government pressures parents to send their children to government-run schools. Because there is no necessity that justifies it, even a sophist like yourself cannot justify such a thing.

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  6. Either it’s “free” or it’s paid for by taxes, Tom. I don’t see how it can be both. As I’ve mentioned here before, I had complete freedom of choice about where I sent my kids to school. I sent one to a very good Catholic school and the other to a public school. Both of them went to a private, non-sectarian primary school. In each case, the kids got good educations (not perfect, but adequate for their needs) and both did well at university. My freedom to choose is no different than any other citizen’s. I also could have home-schooled them, but neither my wife nor I is competent to teach certain important subjects, so we were very much satisfied with the range of choices we had.

    If your question isn’t one about a school system that exists “just” (your word, not mine) to give our “leaders” an opportunity to abuse power, but is rather, despite your choice of language, is asking me if I think public schools are justified, my answer is Yes. I think public schools, with all their flaws and demerits, provide the citizens as a whole with an important opportunity to overcome ignorance and to contribute productively to the prosperity and security of the communities in which they exist and the Nation as a whole. Conversely, I believe that the absence of public schools would significantly degrade the economic competitiveness of the country, would lead to additional stratification of the population into adequately educated people of means and woefully ignorant citizens who lacked resources. I would not want to live in a town, village, or state that did not have public schools, whether I elected to use them for my children or not. My support for a public school system shouldn’t be taken to imply that I think our overall national educational achievement is acceptable. As I’ve said here before, there is an unacceptable range of competence from system to system throughout the country. Much needs to be done to improve it. Whatever my criticisms, however, I do not share your criticism that the failure of public schools to provide religious instruction is a fault. I consider it a very positive attribute.

    More importantly, I’m shocked, shocked if what you are saying is that you want government employees at public schools teaching our children Christianity (or whatever other religions you think they should be taught). What kind of socialist statism is that? I would be absolutely appalled if my children or grandchildren were subjected to government religious instruction of any sort. If the government workers thought they were teaching my brand of religion, I’d be pretty sure that they were unqualified to do so and would muck it up, If they were teaching my kids or grandkids somebody else’s brand of religion, I wouldn’t much care for that either.

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  7. Tom – you rarely debate. You generally avoid. You’ve clearly staked out your socialist, statist, theocratic penchant for government religious instruction. I prefer my conservative, libertarian position that I don’t want the government messing with the religious education of my (or anyone else’s) children. We are, alas, destined to live on either side of that wide and deep ravine.

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    1. Hey, scout! Why don’t you regale us with tales of how the United States was a “socialist, statist, theocratic” nation until 1963 when prayer and the Bible were outlawed in public schools?

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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      1. I recall one of the comics I use to read (before I dropped the Compost) had a character called Obvious Man. Thankfully, not all of us overlook the obvious.

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  8. The bible wasn’t outlawed in the public schools, Keith. I almost always had one (post-1963) when I was in school, and many others did too. Same with prayer. I can’t tell you how many times we prayed (mostly immaturely and for the wrong things – like divine intervention in the grading process or at athletic events – but, what the heck, we were kids).

    What you may be referring to is a series of court cases confirming that the Constitution’s protection of religion includes prohibition on government imposition of prayer. I submit that that has always been the import of the First Amendment. That it took until 1963 to get it through some people’s thick skulls is too bad, but it was a victory for the Constitution.

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    1. Victory for the Constitution? You are aware of the fact that the Constitution is only an indifferent piece of paper? The Constitution is only a record of an agreement. The victory either belongs to the People or to tyrants.

      So why would you use that phrase, “victory for the Constitution”? I suspect that has something to do with the fact that this was a “victory” the People did not support. Have we not had far too many such victories here of late? But Liberal judges and politicians know our needs better than the rest of us, don’t they?

      Really, scout, if people had a problem with prayer in the public school, why could they have just listened to you? You had the solution.

      As I’ve mentioned here before, I had complete freedom of choice about where I sent my kids to school. I sent one to a very good Catholic school and the other to a public school. Both of them went to a private, non-sectarian primary school. In each case, the kids got good educations (not perfect, but adequate for their needs) and both did well at university. My freedom to choose is no different than any other citizen’s. I also could have home-schooled them, but neither my wife nor I is competent to teach certain important subjects, so we were very much satisfied with the range of choices we had.

      If there is complete freedom of choice, then where is the imposition? Why the fuss?

      Ultimately, when we talk about local control, that means the parents decide, not some judge or the POTUS. And that is the problem, is it not? When we have govenment-run schools, the parents don’t get to decide.

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    2. You ducked the issue as usual, Scout. Was the United States a “socialist, statist, theocratic” nation because it provided “religious instruction” for its first 170 years or so?

      And the Supreme Court decided in Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 (1963), that school-sponsored Bible reading in public schools in the United States was unlawful.

      You use clever wording to pretend to miss the point.

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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  9. I think the fuss comes from people not thinking things through, Tom. Of course, there are always fear mongers and opportunistic pols who would rather stir up hysteria (and, they hope, get some cheap votes out of it) than take the time to discuss how important it is under the Constitution to protect religion from governmental interference and imposition. Supreme Court decisions in the early 1960s (alluded to by Keith in this comment) didn’t ban you or me from praying in the hallways or at our desks. They didn’t ban you or me (or even Keith, were he so inclined) from reading a Bible in study hall. They simply said that the government can’t shove prayer down our children’s throats. Were the government to be allowed that power, there is no clear way to ensure that the government’s choice of prayer, religion or doctrine, would conform to yours or mine. In fact, the odds are very high that both you and I would object to whatever they served up. These principles, once confirmed by the courts, were not just a victory for the Constitution, they were a victory for religion. I know you have expressed leftist, socialist, theocratic views on this and are apparently very comfortable with turning over religious instruction to government employees, but many of us would view it as a gross usurpation of government powers and a very real threat to religious liberty.

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    1. Fear mongering? Would that be something like this?

      There are a lot of citizens who regard public schools as a source of economic well-being for the community and who would fear economic collapse if they became a bastion of no public education.

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    2. Consider the gap between the time the Constitution was approved and that 1963 court decision. What had changed? Instead of private organizations and local communities running their own schools, state governments had stepped in and taken over. In addition, some in the Federal Government wanted to spend lots more money, and these big spenders saw religious freedom issues as a threat to their spending. Thus, for the sake of government control, we separated religious instruction from academic instruction.

      Insidious, ain’t it?

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  10. As an ancient fellow, I recall the Word of God and prayer in government schools…err…public schools. Our homeroom teacher opened the day with the pledge of allegiance (in English!), a chapter from the Word of God, and prayer. Christians and non-Christians recited the prayer. I do not recall anyone complaining about it. Actually, we (students) looked forward to the Word and prayer because they were the best thing we heard to cheer our spirits and provide hope. Majority, if not all, came from rough neighborhoods or broken families, and many lacked opportunities. I recall witnessing tense students become relaxed, including myself. Just my experience.

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