Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Banning prayer in schools hurts public morality

I got the most pleasant of surprises at a funeral. The service had reached the point where an Old Testament passage had to be read. The one selected was the 23rd Psalm. As the woman reading it pronounced each word, I found myself following along. I didn't remember each and every sentence, but I remembered most of it.

I said along with the woman as she read, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

As the reading concluded, I sat in the pew and asked myself, "How did I remember that after all these years?"

My first memory of the 23rd Psalm is not from hearing it in a church, but in school. I distinctly remember hearing a Miss Pemberton in my kindergarten class. The year must have been 1956, maybe 1957. The 23rd Psalm was the Scripture reading of choice for most days; somehow, the repeated readings must have been ingrained in me.

Sitting in that pew earlier this year, I marveled at how I was able to remember the passage, and I pondered this question:

What harm did the reading of all those passages of the 23rd Psalm do to me? The answer is none at all. But one day past Easter in the year 2010, all of us -- even the ones who don't consider ourselves very religious -- might ask ourselves what harm has come from the 1962 Supreme Court decision that banned prayer and Scripture reading from the nation's public schools.

Now before you dismiss me as some born-again nut job on a religious rant, some clarification is in order. I'm a Roman Catholic, but not a very good one. I haven't been to confession in years and I attend Mass only sparingly. But I've listened to black senior citizens for years who swear that America went to hell in a handbasket once God or any mention of God was kicked out of public schools, with condoms being let in a short time later.

Ordinarily I would dismiss such talk as typical "post hoc, ergo propter hoc" (after the fact, therefore because of the fact) reasoning. This line of thinking is often flawed, but I believe the elders may be onto something this time.

They're not the only ones who've noticed. In late 2007, a group of black men traveled from Baltimore to Philadelphia to hear the lame-duck mayor and police commissioner of that city talk. Both cities were trying to solve frighteningly high homicide numbers, with the victims mainly being young black men.

Both the then-mayor and then-police commissioner told the group that they'd been hearing from black Philadelphians that maybe the time had come to allow prayer and Scripture reading back in public schools. And these were two Democrats speaking, mind you. It's amazing what a high body count will do.

Those elderly black folks remember what America's black communities were like back in the days when we had school prayer. Yes, there was segregation. But there was also some kind of moral center.

Never would there have been a situation where a young mother could murder her 1-month-old son, bury him in a park, and some members of the community threaten the father for reporting the mother to police. That's exactly what happened to the father of the late Rajahnthon Haynie in Baltimore last month. There were actually people out to get the father for "snitching" on the mother.

It doesn't quite sound like a generation inculcated with values of "goodness and mercy," does it?


The Wall of Hate

by Mike Adams

This week, April 5th through 8th, my university is doing something really neat. A bunch of organizations – including the NAACP, PRIDE, and the Black Student Union – are sponsoring a “Breaking Down Hate” week. Since the planned events only run Monday through Thursday it isn’t really a “week”. Despite the preponderance of white people on our campus there doesn’t seem to be enough hate to keep the anti-hate people busy all the way through Friday.

The printed flier for the “Breaking Down Hate” almost-week talks about a thing called the “Wall of Hate,” which has been a part of our campus diversity movement for three years. The flier invites students to “share insensitive, intolerant, and hateful words that (they) feel should no longer be accepted in (the campus) community with the WALL OF HATE.” After students write down the words, they spray paint over them as a symbol of the eradication of hate.

I’ve made fun of the wall of hate in the past. But I’m not making fun of it anymore. That’s just hateful. This year, I’m going to the “wall of hate” all four days of “Breaking Down Hate” almost-week. In fact, I’m going twice each day to write down a hateful word. My “Great Eight Words of Hate” are listed below. Each is followed by the reason why I chose to write each word before covering it with spray paint:

Colored. Few people realize that the “C” in “NAACP” stands for “colored.” Where I come from, the term “colored” is racially insensitive and hateful. Therefore, I think anyone who uses that term is a hater. In fact, I think the NAACP is potentially a hate group in need of a close second look by the IRS. I’m even considering writing the Southern Poverty Law Center to put them on notice of another potential hate group.

PRIDE. I read somewhere that pride cometh before a fall. And this group – People Recognizing Individual Differences Exist (PRIDE) – is a very proud bunch. They think it’s a great idea that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) declassified homosexuality as a mental illness (many years ago). But they celebrated the victory by coining the term “homophobia.” This was meant to say that everyone who disagrees with them on the issue of homosexuality has a phobia, or irrational fear. Could it be that PRIDE has an irrational fear of intellectual diversity? Why can’t they just recognize that individual differences of opinion about homosexuality exist?

Black. I really don’t like the term “black.” It’s so antiquated. Someday it will be considered as hateful as “colored.” I prefer the term “African American.” And I think the Black Student Union should change its name to something not only more sensitive but more accurate. Personally, I prefer the Union of African Students for Segregation (U-ASS). In my view, if you need to segregate yourself on the basic of race U are an ASS. And you are probably a racist.

Hate. I really hate the word “hate.” Whenever I hear that word it is coming from someone who is full of hate. For example, I was greeted by a thirty-foot sign last year at UMass (The University of Massachusetts at Amherst, which is not to be confused with U-ASS). When I asked who made the sign – which spelled my name with a “Z” – I was told it was the “Coalition Against Hate.” I rest my case. And I propose a coalition of un-bathed communists who are so stoned they can’t spell “Adams.”

Gay. Let’s just use the term “sodomite.” They are way too angry to be called “gay.” Plus, I’d like to be able to once again use the term “gay” without having people think about sodomy. For example, “Writing down a word and then immediately spray-painting over it? That’s gay!”

Choice. When I hear the word “choice” I know some feminist is about to kill a baby so she can increase her sex partners without decreasing her income. So I choose not to hear that word anymore.

Communism. The communists killed over 100,000,000 people in the 20th Century. That’s a big number. In fact, it’s 1/15,000 as big as this year’s federal budget deficit measured in dollars. So let’s replace this word with something else like “Social Justice.”

Tenure. Tenure is a really ugly word. After professors get it they aren’t as nice and spend most of their time sitting around and thinking of things to do, which are not related to the reason they were hired in the first place. Like writing down “hateful” words, spray painting over them, and calling it “progress.”


Pre-election turnaround by the Leftist government: British teachers 'should use force to control violent pupils'

Teachers should use force to break up fights, stop pupils wrecking classrooms and prevent children disrupting sporting events, according to the Government. Guidance issued to schools in England warns them against having “no contact” policies, despite fears staff can be sued for restraining children.

It said the use of physical force was vital to keep order in lessons and stop the most unruly pupils running amok.

The document said that schools did not need parents’ permission before employing force or searching pupils for banned items such as weapons, alcohol, illegal drugs and stolen property.

Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, presented the guidelines at the NASUWT annual conference in Birmingham on Monday. It will be seen as an attempt to present Labour as the guardians of traditional discipline in schools. The move follows recommendations last week that headteachers should take parents of unruly pupils to court if they repreatedly fail to keep children in line.

But the Conservatives insisted the Government had eroded teachers’ powers to enforce good behaviour since 1997, suggesting as many as half of schools now had some form of “no contact” policy.

Mr Balls said: "Teachers have the powers they need to manage bad behaviour but I am aware that many fear retribution if they were to forcibly remove an unruly pupil. This guidance aims to stop teachers being afraid of using the powers they have when necessary.

"Myths that schools should have 'no contact policies', that teachers shouldn't be able to protect and defend themselves and others, will be dispelled by this new guidance which makes clear that in some situations, teachers have the powers and protection to use force."

The guidance provides teachers with a list of situations where physical force may be necessary. This includes when pupils are:

* *Attacking a teacher or classmate

* *Fighting and causing risk of injury to themselves or others

* *Committing – or on the verge of committing – deliberate damage to property

* *At risk of injury through “rough play” or misusing dangerous materials

* *Attempting to leave class or school at unauthorised times

* *Persistently misbehaving in a way that disrupts sporting events, school trips or lessons.

Teachers are told to first “engage the pupil in a calm and measured tone”, making it clear that behaviour is unacceptable.

It said “reasonable” physical force should be used as a last resort to control escalating bad behaviour.

Teachers should be trained in retraining techniques and adapt them to individual situations, the guidance said.

But it warned schools against employing certain moves that presented an “unacceptable risk” of injury, including the “nose distraction technique”, which involves a sharp jab under the nose, and the “double basket hold”, where pupils' arms are held across their chest.

Michael Gove, the shadow schools secretary, said; ““Ed Balls is wrong to say we don’t have a discipline problem in our schools – over 1,000 pupils a day are being excluded for assault and abuse.

“A key reason for this is teachers are afraid to tackle violence and disruption in the classroom – one study found that over half of schools now have some form of ‘no touch’ policy that prevents teachers from restraining troublemakers.

“Republishing existing guidance is not going to solve this problem.”


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