Tuesday, March 25, 2014

School Prayer

I was required to write an assignment on school prayer for my Diversity in American Schools class. I had to trim down my submission just a bit since it was just one page allowed. Here's what I wrote:

For close to 200 years schools were allowed to have prayer and Bible reading. The prevailing notion that the Founding Fathers of this nation were somehow scared of religion or were deists who were terrified of religion is simply not true. Here’s a quote from Benjamin Franklin himself:

“In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for the divine protection! Our prayers, sir, were heard; and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor.”

This doesn’t sound like a man terrified of religion to me! Thomas Jefferson, while certainly not someone that would be classified as a mainstream Christian, did believe in Christ and even spoke of “Nature’s God.”
According to Noah Webster, another of our Founding Fathers and the founder of the dictionary named after him:

"No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”

Again, it doesn’t sound like he was terrified of religion in the government! As a matter of fact, Noah Webster is the man responsible for the Blue Back Speller, a book that was in use in American schools for over 100 years. If you wonder what’s special about it, a look at it will find it replete with Biblical references galore. It was a book that Benjamin Franklin used to teach his granddaughter with even. This doesn’t sound to me as men who would be against prayer in school.

Those who frown upon prayer or any mention of God in our schools point to the 1st Amendment saying that Congress will not establish a religion. One only need to look at England and how they had a national church to see what our founders were attempting to prevent. They didn’t want a “Church of America” or a particular denomination having influence as did the Catholic Church in other countries where the ruler was expected to seek the blessing of the church. They were not attempting to wipe out every vestige of Christianity as the ACLU and militant atheist groups contend.

They will also point out that there may be non-Christians in the class. They have the right, at least in my opinion, not to participate in prayer. If the majority of students wish to have prayer, why should they be stopped? No one is trying to make this a “convert or die” scenario or making someone an outcast because they don’t subscribe to the majority view. 

What do we have to show for 52 years of forced secularization of our schools? School shootings, metal detectors, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, drugs, and other non-desirable things. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time we revisit the place that our Judeo-Christian heritage should have in our public school system.

I would also recommend a book to anyone who would like to research this further. What if the Bible Had Never Been Written by D. James Kennedy. It goes into great detail about the place the Bible has had in shaping not only American society but it’s place in literature and the arts including Shakespeare.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Blame the white guy!

As part of my college education I'm forced to take a class on diversity in American schools. Yes, there's diversity in schools; white people, black people, people of different ancestries, etc. I certainly don't think we need to go back to the days of segregation; that was wrong and should have been done away with.

As part of this course, I'm told in the book consistently how the white man is to blame for everything. The authors claim to be presenting no agenda and that they're neutral. Bull hockey! Anyway, on to the point of this blog. Our assignment was to choose between two scenarios and give our thoughts; I chose to do both scenarios and give my thoughts. The one on page 217 was of a child not being allowed to talk Ebonics in school and the parent crying racism; the one on 207 was of a child who didn't speak proficient English and needed to go to the restroom; it was plain what she was wanting but the teacher wouldn't allow her to go without speaking proper English. Following is the assignment I turned in:

I chose to do both situations actually.

I'll start with the one on 217. There is such a thing as standard English and it should be spoken in the classroom setting. You don't "axe" a question, you "ask" a question. I tire of hearing in the so-called mainstream media and in the book how that white people are somehow discriminatory against others and at fault for the "plight" of all minorities. I have to believe Martin Luther King, Jr. would be ashamed of this; this is NOT what he sacrificed his life for! MLK spoke proper English and said he dreamed of a society where one wasn't judged by the color of their skin. When people demand special treatment because they refuse to speak or learn proper English, it's not discriminatory and they should assume if they refuse to talk correctly that they will be viewed as less intelligent. I don't care if it is a white or black person talking in a non-standard form, they're going to be viewed as less intelligent. There are plenty of black people who speak proper English, are well-educated and have made something of themselves in politics, government and entertainment, people such as Charley Pride, Allen West, Clarence Thomas, Mia Love, Herman Cain, Bill Cosby and many others. Speaking of Bill Cosby, take some time to research his feelings on the whole Ebonics debacle. Per Bill Cosby (and Snopes has verified this as true):

They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English. I can't even talk the way these people talk: Why you ain't, Where you is, What he drive, Where he stay, Where he work, Who you be... And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk.

Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth. In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living.

People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education, and now we've got these knuckleheads walking around. The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids. $500 sneakers for what? And they won't spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.

I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was 2? Where were you when he was 12? Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn't know that he had a pistol? And where is the father? Or who is his father?

People putting their clothes on backward: Isn't that a sign of something gone wrong? People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn't that a sign of something? Or are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up? Isn't it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body?

What part of Africa did this come from? We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don't know a thing about Africa. With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap, and all of them are in jail.

Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person's problem. We have got to take the neighborhood back. People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eight different'husbands' — or men or whatever you call them now. We have millionaire football players who cannot read. We have million-dollar basketball players who can't write two paragraphs. We as black folks have to do a better job. Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us. We have to start holding each other to a higher standard.

We cannot blame the white people any longer.

If I chose to move to or visit another country for an extended length of time, wouldn't I be expected to fit into mainstream society? Why is it expected that mainstream society should be accepting of substandard English then? I can't go into a school or business and start talking like Jed Clampett, can I? I would be told that I know better! But yet because someone is of a different skin color than I am, they're given a free pass to talk substandard English. In reality, you're calling the black person stupid and saying they don't have enough sense to learn standard English in my opinion and nothing could be further from the truth.

My thoughts on the incident on page 207? The teacher knew full well what Malia wanted. Perhaps Malia wasn't well-versed in English and an exception should've been made. The teacher was wrong in allowing her to urinate on herself in front of the class and the teacher should face disciplinary action. However, we read on the next page how this left "lasting emotional scars" on Malia. Really? Please! Can I claim that my kindergarten teacher hitting my hand with a ruler because I didn't get a green crayon out fast enough to suit her left emotional scarring or that a high school choir teacher not allowing me to go to the restroom when I needed left emotional scarring? I had a well-known science teacher here at SEMO yell at me last semester because I didn't get string out fast enough to suit her; can I scream emotional scarring? While what Malia's teacher did was not correct and unacceptable it's also time for Malia to move past something that happened as a kid; too many want to blame their lot in life on something that happened in their childhood. At some point you have to move ahead and grow up.