CHESTER HAS MOVED!: Declaration of Independence banned at California School

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Declaration of Independence banned at California School

I am tempted to break out of my normal programming topics and offer a screed on this, but instead I will just draw your attention to it. "Among the materials . . . rejected . . . are excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, George Washington's journal, John Adams' diary, Samuel Adams' "The Rights of the Colonists" and William Penn's "The Frame of Government of Pennsylvania."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation on Hugh Hewitt's site ( - Posted at 5:20 PM, Pacific.) I think the school board in this case ought to be required to read this publicly in an assembly at every school in the district. This proclamation is a perfect example of the intention of our founding fathers. We are first and foremost a nation under God. All else is secondary.

The atheists and agnostics of the ACLU and others are hiding behind a false "separation of church and state" premise to hide or discard the constitutional dictate that the government "shall not establish a religion" in order for them to actually compel the government to establish their religion of Agnosticism.

Our constitution allows atheists and agnostics to live peacefully and free of interference from the majority. It does not allow them to force their religion of denying or dismissing the existence of God onto the majority by not allowing us or our government to continue to publicly and officially express the same belief in and dependence on God as our founding fathers did in the fundamental documents and proclamations such as the George Washington Thanksgiving one.

We must insist that the legislatures and courts return to the clear intent of the founding fathers. We can and we must continue to publicly proclaim our belief in and reliance on God and publicly acknowledge that our nation is founded first and foremost on the principle that the unalienable rights as stated in the Declaration of Independence are endowed by our creator. (Not won by the ACLU in a court battle)

November 24, 2004 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger exguru said...

If Attorney General Janet Reno had the slightest respect for the project Thomas Jefferson considered the most important work of his life--the disestablishment of the Anglican Church in the Commonwealth of Virginia--she would never have ordered the largest military assault in North America since Appomattox. Jefferson's solution was the correct one, and it can be stated in one word: tolerance. You cannot talk people out of their religious beliefs--you must learn to live side by side with them. Until our public school officials rediscover the Jefferson solution, they are going to find their their whole system continuing to crash down around them.

November 25, 2004 at 1:46 AM  
Blogger tequila rose said...

Interesting article. I taught fifth grade for many years, US Government is the main objective of the curriculum for the whole year. I have never heard of a principal micromanaging a professional teacher's lesson plan. Keep in mind that this is one principal in one school. It's unusual that the NEA isn't jumping in.

In order to survive constitutional attack of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, her censorship must pass the three-prong test of
1) being secular in purpose,
2) must neither inhibit or advance religion
3) must not foster excessive entanglement between government and religion.

I have a hard time seeing how presenting these papers by our Founding Fathers advance religion and this goes beyond the pale. I would also add that this is a trend set up by the actions of the ACLU in lawsuits across the nation which have crossed the line and are well into the territory of asking the courts to inhibit religion. This issue and the ACLU's threat of a lawsuit to get LA to remove the religious symbols from the state seal of California all at the expense of the taxperson and no vote to establish the will of the majority. It's easy enough to bully the officials into compliance. With the CA budget deficit there's little to afford city officials the cost of a big legal battle.

I used to have a lot of respect for the ACLU but have become disillusioned. For many years I've felt that the ACLU has been playing Big Brother with my academic freedoms to teach.

November 25, 2004 at 6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before sounding off, check the details. This teacher is not presenting these documents as part of a civics course, but is attempting to use excerpts for the purpose of advancing religion in the school. It sounds like he has a history of doing this. If you want to support the establishment of a religion, do so by changing the constitution, not by sneaking it in by other methods.

November 25, 2004 at 2:46 PM  
Blogger tequila rose said...

The details are the “rejection of excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, George Washington's journal, John Adams' diary, Samuel Adams' "The Rights of the Colonists" and William Penn's "The Frame of Government of Pennsylvania”
The state congresses mandate that teacher’s teach US Government in 5th grade. So the teacher is not just pulling these lessons out of his hat. These are historical documents that include the author’s religious beliefs. Presenting them as part of a US Government lesson in the classroom for children to read is a far cry from establishing a religion.

November 25, 2004 at 9:08 PM  
Blogger tequila rose said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

November 25, 2004 at 9:09 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

I would rather be ruled by robbers than theocrats. At least it may be possible to argue with a robber that a certain course of action may be unprofitable. With theocrats you can argue nothing. They have the magic words for everything "it is gods will".

Another point you might awnt to note is that in every Christian nation that promotes religion or that has an official church Christianity is in decline. In America where government involvement in religion is restricted Christianity is doing quite well.

In that respect the ACLU may actually be the biggest supporter of Christianity in America.

Think about it.

BTW I never liked pledging to a flag anyway. I think we need a pledge to the Constitution instead. Like the pledge you make when you become a citizen or join the armed forces. It would make more sense.

And I do believe that adding "under God" to a socialist pledge at the behest of the Knights of Colombus is an impermissible establishment of religion. The 9th Circuit is correct. The Supreme Court was wise to avoid dealing with the issue. It would have to strike down the socialist pledge in all the other districts which would create an unnecessary uproar.

I have more to say on the subject here.

November 28, 2004 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Here is a working link to my bit on the pledge.

November 28, 2004 at 6:31 PM  

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