Skip to comments.Scrapping School Religious Holidays Solves Nothing
Posted on 12/25/2010 8:28:41 AM PST by Kaslin
In a recent column for USA Today, Boston University religion professor Stephen Prothero argues that public schools should do away with giving students days off for religious holidays because honoring Christian holidays in this manner is unfair to other religions.
As I read the First Amendment, writes Prothero, using taxpayer dollars to prop up Christianity and Judaism at the expense of Hinduism is unconstitutional, whether the number of parents who wont send their children to school on [the Hindu festival of] Diwali totals 80 or 800.
Prothero suggests that those who agree with him should clamor to have every religious holiday under the sun celebrated in our public schools, in which schools would thereby be overwhelmed and forced to honor none of them as a matter of fairness.
One would hope that USA Today, which presented this article as a half-page, quasi editorial would let someone write a similarly placed piece reminding us of the need for renewing our moral values at Christmas, and to add their shock when Christmas parades, holidays and greetings come under fire from militant secularists.
Nevertheless, it is always amusing when folks, typically college professors, drape themselves in the Constitution when they want to do away with something they dont like, and in the process, ignore the rest of the Constitution that, were it adhered to, would have prevented the very problem theyd like to solve.
Nowhere in our Constitution is there a mandate for a centralized public education system to begin with a system where the Federal Government spends $70 billion per year dictating which attitudes, values and beliefs ought to be drilled into every American students mind. Perhaps our Founders realized that a one-size-fits-all approach to education, whereby the ruling class was the final arbiter, was dangerous to all of our liberties and not just those laid out in the First Amendment.
Nor did our Founders establish a school system whereby American families are taxed into oblivion and essentially forced to enroll their children in government schools schools they must pay for regardless of whether they use them or not, and regardless of whether they even have children or not. Schools, incidentally, where students are told to check their religion at the door under some bizarre interpretation of the First Amendment.
Constitution aside, Protheros suggestion that we should do away with school-sanctioned religious holidays is hardly a solution. Its a false notion that we can respect everyone by respecting no one, as he suggests. Telling the 76 percent of Americans who are Christian that observance of their holy days must be scrapped in deference to the 0.4 percent of Americans who are Hindu might seem fair within the confines of the Boston University Religious Department. However, in the real world, this doesnt hold up to anyones idea of fairness.
Those who wish to make a point by invoking the Constitution need to understand that they cant pick and choose from the document like its a cafeteria line. The Constitution is only as strong, and as rational, as the sum of its parts. So while its true that our Founders never intended a government mandated religion, its equally true that they never intended a coerced government education system in which all children are prohibited from practicing or exhibiting any religious beliefs.
(Yeah, I know the whole point of these “debates” is for our "betters" to decide for us and then assume the power needed to bring us to heel.)
Remember when Time magazine had the pic of Newt Gingrich as the Grinch, because he wanted to balance the budget? Turns out, all the Grinches and Ebenezer Scrooges (before the ghostly visitations) are from the Left. Whether it’s Pelosi and Reid pushing their Socialistic agenda after losing big in the recent elections, or miserable, unhappy, busybody fuddyduddies wanting to ruin Christmas, lookl like the Democrats and the Left want to eliminate fun and enjoyment out of American lives.
Nothing more than a day or a week off for vacation because probably 90% or more of families and faculty (Christian or not) wouldn't show up even if school was in session
Somehow I don't think diwali or loy krathong have the same draw in America and the same potential absenteeism
He doesn't suggest schools cancel days off for the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr, if we can't take a day off for the death of every ethnically venerated figure, then none of them.
If not for holidays schools would have to find some other reason to stand down once in a while and let families spend time together
Merry Christmas. This the season to be Jolly.
They DO, however go directly to destroying the minds of children by indoctrinating them with satanic (the anti-thesis to Christian is anti-Christian - thus anti-Christ ... Satanic) worship of self, Gaia, Mao, obama, the state ... etc., etc.
Screw you perfessah .. you have unintelligible, meaningless words and I am your enemy.
Hey ‘’professor’’, check this out. A few years back the city of Paterson NJ, closed the public schools on Ramadan. Paterson has a large Saracen(muslim) population. Yup. The school board closed the schools to honor the demon prophet. Maybe you can tell me ‘’professor’’, when is the last time any public schools anywhere in the US closed on St. Patricks Day?
Have you ever noticed that it is always one person that complains about something and the authorities cave in to that one person because they don’t want to hurt his or her pathetic little feeling. Instead of sticking up for the majority and telling the person live with it
Another baseless opinion by an uneducated dolt who does not know the difference between Freedom OF religion and freedom FROM religion. If this “professor” gets his wish, he will be deemed OBSOLETE.
From his webpage, this clown got his PhD in the "Study of Religion" from Harvard.
Someday perhaps our country will not be burdened with fools from Harvard.
Of course not.
For one thing, MLK Jr. is probably BU's most famous plagiarist graduate.
There are other considerations, too, not exactly unique to BU.
I idn’t know the birthday of Martin Luther King was a religious holiday
make that didn’t
Boston, and Suffolk county celebrate a public holiday - "Evacuation Day"
- every March 17.
It's quite the Hibernian affair, a parade, a political elite and not-so-elite breakfast, etc.
Evacuation Day as a public holiday is a bone of contention between public employees and the taxpayers of MA.
Another ‘perfessur’ who needs to have his tenure broken & his job ended.
These self-appointed experts make me sick.
Most working people treat it as another paid day off, or a wage multiplier that day.
Prothero is in my opinion an edicated IDIOT. If he were an educated man he would understand the US Constitution is a written instrument,as such it’s meaning does not alter. That which it meant when it was adopted-it means now.” If true in 1905 when Justice David Brewer wrote for the unanimous supreme Court South Carolina v. the United States. and I believe it was True then it necessarily must have been true looking back to when it was adopted. And if true then True even today.
Commentaries written closer to the adoption of the Constitution and Amendments have greater weight in understanding its meaning so the Idiots ascribed “reading”
of the Constitution is worthless than cow dung.
And there is that matter of the twice passed Northwest Ordinance Article III declares Religion,Morality, and Knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, Schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.The Northwest Ordinance was made in pursuance to the US Constitution and when we allowed the Courts to remove Religion from the equation of education the other principles Morality,and Knowledge could not stand alone. And as Joseph Story wrote in his commentaries when the first Amendment was adopted the general if not universal sentiment in America was that religion,and especially the Christian Religion should receive encouragement from the State ... an attempt to level all Religions or make it a matter of policy to hold all in utter indifference would have created universal disapprobation if not universal indignation.”
Fine, no holidays period. Why now school on Sunday as well. Now professor, you negotiate that with the unions. No holiday pay at 2 1/2 times either.
The Prussian design of our schools intentionally is killing Christian Western Civ. Forced one-age schooling uses humiliation, boredom and force to make children adopt the secular humanist mindset. (Dewey knew to get younger kids in these mass indoctrination centers while their brains were “plastic”.
First, get rid of Aristotle and logic—(interesting why they do not want students using logic and reason). Indoctrinate, do not teach how to think by reading the Classical cannon. Teach what to think—critical theory designed by cultural Marxists was inserted into the curricula to demonize our Founding Fathers, Christianity and the Natural Family, Marriage, integrity, etc.,
—destroy the Christian paradigm which enabled our military to be the most honorable and good military in the history of the world. Unlike the evil Russians and Nazis who worshipped Odin or nothing but themselves.
God was essential in this country for creating a moral code to live by—the Hindu/muzzlim/wicca/atheist paradigms are horrible. They lead to tyranny every time because the thinking is not universal and based on Natural Law Theory. Christianity is a reasoned religion and conforms to the design of human nature. Marxism defies human nature and so is a fraud.
Freedom of thought is essential to Christianity—Free Will. We are setting up a government (through the Prussian-type schools) where we have no freedom of thought. The cultural Marxism doesn’t allow for Christian thought....they are now condemning the Bible and forcing Christian children through schools and the media, to be pagans and to think Christians are bigots and haters...they are teaching your children that ungodly acts are good and natural. This causes cognitive dissonance and leads to the inability to use logic. You see the results in the voters of bambi. It is massive conformity to one (illogical) way to think. Our marketing system is designed to take down Christianity. That Theology led to the best, most productive, free country in the world. Marxists will never get their one world government if Christian thought is allowed.
Destroy the family and Christianity and the Marxist such as Gramsci knew that they would destroy the culture. Wake up. Get control of the minds of your children. Take it aways from those who think pederasty is a good. Save our country.
“critical theory designed by cultural Marxists was inserted into the curricula to demonize our Founding Fathers.”
There’s nothing wrong with critical theory. It’s like logic, a tool.
At least this is what I was taught. 4 things you want to see from sources:
1. Corroboration. Does the source say the same thing as other sources.
2. Time. Is the source closer to the event than other sources.
3. Author. Is the author a primary source? Did he witness the event in question?
4. Reliability. Do we possess the original? If we do not possess the original, how many and how old are the copies which we do possess? How large is the textual variation?
It certainly doesn’t spare Marxist garbage like the Manifesto, which is just that, a theory about history. It makes claims, which haven’t come true. It’s contradictory, as a manifesto from the bourgeosie to the proletariat, not the other way around. It assumes that class is rigid, and yet flexible enough that the bourgeosie can harangue the proletariat.
Never knew that! Ah, the Paddys! My folks all came from the Emerald Isle- and I’m damned glad they caught the boat! Merry Christmas.
The writer's too kind to Prothero, an antireligious religion professor, a curious creature rather like the "self-hating Jew" who used to help the Nazis hunt for other Jews.
More likely, Prothero is a typical lowlife Red scumbag using tenure to enable his hobby of destroying the country. He's advocating certifiable Cloward-Piven/Alinskyite tactics to bring society to its knees before his false godlet of PC secularism.
He doesn't suggest schools cancel days off for the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr,.....
Bingo! -- Nice catch, and exactly to the point. Proof of my thesis, that Prothero is pushing a Leftist religion-bashing meme, not "fairness".
Marx was proletarian in terms of his income and living in squalor, but he was certainly educated and "bourgeoise" in that respect.
The rational solution is to move to a completely private system of K-12 schooling, and to get government completely out of the education business. Parents pay for their own kids and charity takes care of the poor. If vouchers, tax credits, and charters can help move us to that point, then I support them.
By the way....Harvard has an endowment of 35 BILLION! Universities and colleges across this nation have endowments in the billions and multi-millions.
If government had kept its big fat hairy toe out of the K-12 education business, it is likely that K-12 education would be equally well endowed today. It is possible that every child in this nation would, by now, have access to a tuition-free **private*** conservative K-12 education. ( Maybe, even every child in the world.)
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Industrial-policy liberals may the the same old breed at heart, but they seem to have learned something from the differential records of Asian schoolkids. Gladwell presents a hard-driving (albeit fun) schedule as the way to transcend the IQ dilemma.
I'm not saying Gladwell is a Tom Sowell. In fact, the contrast between the two is revealing. Prof. Sowell lays it on the line, but Mr. Gladwell feels obliged to jazz up the evidence with a multi-culti take on the matter.
Well, old "Grinchy" was a better Keynesian than the Keynesians. What makes Keynesianism muddle along is the idea of the "cyclically-balanced budget," where deficits in recession are replaced by countervailing surpluses in prosperity. Following that regimen contains the crowding-out effect and pressure to inflate which permananent deficits bring. It also nips insolvency crises in the bud.
The more typical Keynesian has a deep need to (falsely) claim that the economy went back to laissez-faire in the last decade. His faith in his automatic stabilizers failed.
Expecting Paul Krugman to take the Austrian School seriously is too much to realistically expect. Austrianism cuts into the pay, status and prestige of he and his fellows. Expecting him to take Keynes seriously when boom time comes around again, that's a different matter.
My point is that schools teach you lies (Marxism): The following exert is from a great article on PC which includes origin of “Critical Theory”.
“Horkheimers initial heresy is that he is very interested in Freud, and the key to making the translation of Marxism from economic into cultural terms is essentially that he combined it with Freudism. Again, Martin Jay writes, If it can be said that in the early years of its history, the Institute concerned itself primarily with an analysis of bourgeois societys socio-economic sub-structure, and I point out that Jay is very sympathetic to the Frankfurt School, Im not reading from a critic here in the years after 1930 its primary interests lay in its cultural superstructure. Indeed the traditional Marxist formula regarding the relationship between the two was brought into question by Critical Theory.
The stuff weve been hearing about this morning the radical feminism, the womens studies departments, the gay studies departments, the black studies departments all these things are branches of Critical Theory. What the Frankfurt School essentially does is draw on both Marx and Freud in the 1930s to create this theory called Critical Theory. The term is ingenious because youre tempted to ask, What is the theory? The theory is to criticize. The theory is that the way to bring down Western culture and the capitalist order is not to lay down an alternative. They explicitly refuse to do that. They say it cant be done, that we cant imagine what a free society would look like (their definition of a free society). As long as were living under repression the repression of a capitalistic economic order which creates (in their theory) the Freudian condition, the conditions that Freud describes in individuals of repression we cant even imagine it. What Critical Theory is about is simply criticizing. It calls for the most destructive criticism possible, in every possible way, designed to bring the current order down. And, of course, when we hear from the feminists that the whole of society is just out to get women and so on, that kind of criticism is a derivative of Critical Theory. It is all coming from the 1930s, not the 1960s.
Other key members who join up around this time are Theodore Adorno, and, most importantly, Erich Fromm and Herbert Marcuse. Fromm and Marcuse introduce an element which is central to Political Correctness, and thats the sexual element. And particularly Marcuse, who in his own writings calls for a society of polymorphous perversity, that is his definition of the future of the world that they want to create. Marcuse in particular by the 1930s is writing some very extreme stuff on the need for sexual liberation, but this runs through the whole Institute. So do most of the themes we see in Political Correctness, again in the early 30s. In Fromms view, masculinity and femininity were not reflections of essential sexual differences, as the Romantics had thought. They were derived instead from differences in life functions, which were in part socially determined. Sex is a construct; sexual differences are a construct.”
This is one of the most comprehensive explanations of PC and easiest to understand.
Forgot the article: http://www.academia.org/the-origins-of-political-correctness/
Well, Christian parents can decide to remove their kids from public schools with this policy and I suppose Hindus, Moslems, Jews and everyone else who follows some sort of religion can too.
Where will that leave public schools?
***I didnt know the birthday of Martin Luther King was a religious holiday****
There was a time when certain people wanted LETTERS FROM A BIRMINGHAM JAIL to be included in the Bible.
It’s easy to say that Christian parents can move they children to private schools (Christians Schools are private) if they have the money and can afford it or are lucky enough to get a voucher
“They say it cant be done, that we cant imagine what a free society would look like (their definition of a free society). As long as were living under repression the repression of a capitalistic economic order which creates (in their theory) the Freudian condition, the conditions that Freud describes in individuals of repression we cant even imagine it.”
Interesting. No wonder they hate the Romantics so much. I didn’t realise this tenet, but it makes sense. If we *cannot* know, except that which we perceive- then that shuts down everything.
The Romantics believe just the opposite that we are not limited to perception only.
Cultural Marxism, which is immersed in all schools and government, is doing immense harm to the thinking of our young people. It is destroying the Christian Western Civilization paradigm which has been the most humane, free, creative, and, yes, romantic, in the histories of mankind. That paradigm is the most perfect and happy paradigm in all of history for all in society, including children and women who have been usually ignored or devaluated in all other situaltions.
We have to fight this evil, boring, ugly “way of life” which is being shoved upon us and only results in serfdom.
Looking back on it all... It makes sense that I was drawn back into Christianity. I loved Byron, Shelley and Keats. Especially Keats. Loved Tennyson. A deaf kid has suprising resonance in the Lady of Shallot, because that is *exactly* what our life is like.
I am half sick of shadows! Realizing that your perception is flawed opens yourself up to many different worlds, when you realize that perception sees through the mind.
Thanks for your post. Made me see something that I hadn’t put together until now.
Your welcome. I remember my shock when I had a “paradigm shift” with the discovery that there actually could be such evil forces conspiring in our government and schools to destroy everything which made this country the best and happiest and most humane place on earth.
I certainly overlooked the inherent evil of man and was gullible because I didn’t look deeply into the philosophical ideas until I read the Closing of the American Mind by Bloom which led to my study of the origins of ideas.
Also, reading the encyclicals of the latest Popes opened my eyes to the logic and reason of Catholic Theology which brought me to St. Thomas Aquinas and then to John Locke and the brilliance of the thinking of our Founding Fathers. Natural Law Theory was the logical bases of laws and the foundation which St. Thomas aligned all Catholic thought.
Such genius and logical thinking needs to be destroyed to create this fraudulent utopian one-world government where the masses will all be serfs at best. Cognitive dissonance is what is taught to our young in public schools. All on purpose. The camel’s nose under the tent is multiculturalism, tolerance, diversity and gender—all to destroy logic and reasoning.
In the 70’s when working in the classroom, I could tell that something was wrong with the curricula my children were being fed—the Values Clarification sounded so nice (Marx’s terms always do) but it was the start of killing moral absolutes—the Biblical bases of thinking that was prominent in Western Civ since 300AD.
Of course, that type of logical thinking is what created the great authors, inventors, Enlightenment, and artists in Western Civilization and why the Marxists chanted in the 60’s, Western Civ has got to go....They wanted the Canon of Western Civilization to be eliminated to eliminate the Christian worldview and establish the pagan, Wicca type cr*p “if it feels good, do it” that has always led to nihilism and destruction of cultures and unreliable economies.
Public schools should be abolished because they are designed (Dewey) using the Prussian system. It is a design for mass conformity (one way to think—the Marxist one) because it puts one age into a huge classroom where the unique thinker is either humiliated, made to appear odd, or bored to death if they have high IQ. This “design” of forced education system was created to “control the masses” and create a “revolution” of thinking to the atheist/pagan/Marxist one. Bill Ayers and Marxists creeps designed the curricula.
Buckley wrote in his book about the atheistic, collective paradigm being forced-fed and indoctrinated into the minds of kids in 1950 in God and Man at Yale. He was shocked then, but the Marxists in government used Alinsky treatment on everyone who does not adopt Marxist ideology and the masses fall for the agitprop just like they did in Nazi Germany. That is because the schools condition them into cognitive dissonance using “multi-culturalism, diverstity, tolerance, gender to deconstruct everything that made this country the freest, most creative and productive country on earth.
It is what created the sexual revolution in the 60’s. The mass indoctrination of a generation of children in the moral relativism of Marxism—if it feels good, do it.
It is to destroy Christian Western Civilization and create a one World Government.
Brilliant people like Lincoln never went to “public” schools. Mark Twain left “school” at age 13. The most brilliant people in our history have had much less schooling than our current PHD’s who are some of the most ignorant people I have ever had contact with.....they have been taught the Marxian lies for all their life and have bought this idea of utopia on earth and no God idea that ends all hope and the idea of a civil society of free people.
There can be no civil free society when you are devoid of morality...and the Christian paradigm is the only universal one.
That was the reason I left and dropped out of school. I went back and finished, but only after taking a true western civ course.
I decided it was worth my time to fight for another year and then be done with school entirely. That of course isn’t what happened, but I do have my degree now, and they can’t take it away.
I’ve been tutoring for some time, and I have to agree with your argument. First thing I do is try to throw out that garbage if I encounter it and the *first* thing I argue is that there is real truth out there and I’m going to help them find it.
Results seem to show it, all of my students have improved dramatically. One of my students I was quite disappointed when she finally gave in and quit. Only so much I could do. She wasn’t quite up to an A calibre, but she was up 40-45 points. You work hard to try to overcome the trash they had been putting up with for a long time, sometimes you succeed, and sometimes you won’t.
It is important that you never give up. That is what this whole Marxist regime is hoping for. Then they will win.
You hit the nail on the head. Objective Truth is what America was founded on and is what Christianity is based on.
That Objective Truth destruction is the key to Marxist ideology and the only way to fight it is to teach the moral absolutes.
Moral relativism leads only to atheism and Marxist ideology. I had a brilliant professor who explained that moral relativism is why his country was a third world hellhole, devoid of morality, and could only operate on a bribery system. There was no trust, loyalty, honor and character—just chaos. No civil free society or successful economic system could be built on moral relativism.
The diversity and multi-cultural element is to create a Tower of Babel and deconstruct the language, value system (Christianity), and order that made this country the greatest. It is to create chaos for the take-over.
Oh I won’t give up...just.
I want to get on with my life. I want to get married settle down have kids and just work without having to spar with these folks 24/7.
There’s a time and place for everything and I think this time has passed.
Time is the issue, yes.
What upsets me is the infiltration of Marxism into this government and curricula and the media covering it up for decades. My dad and his generation didn’t know what was happening behind the scenes to destroy every idea they fought and sacrificed for—during the depression and WWII. The agitprop in the 50’s through 80’s before the internet and Rush Limbaugh, left many in the dark. Then the Marxists vilified and destroyed anyone who dared voice an opposing opinion, like McCarthy, Chambers, and Patton, etc.
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