The Department of Defense -- Bringing Historical Revisionism to a High School Near You
Chris Rodda printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun May 13, 2007 at 11:25:30 AM EST
In his book What If America Were A Christian Nation Again?, D. James Kennedy presents the following inaccurate explanation of Thomas Jefferson's famous "wall of separation" letter -- an explanation concocted decades ago to make the reason for Jefferson's letter fit the notion that what he meant by this phrase was a one-way wall to keep the government out of the church, but not the church out of the government, and that the only thing the Establishment Clause was intended to prevent was the establishment a national religion.

"...Late in 1801, while he was president, he received a letter from the Association of Baptists in Danbury, Connecticut, who were concerned about the threat of the newly formed federal government. This `leviathan,' they feared, could become a great danger to their Christian faith and to their churches."

"...On the first day of the year 1802, Jefferson wrote back to the Danbury Baptists. In this letter, he said that he was greatly impressed that the American people, through the First Amendment had, in effect, erected a `wall of separation between the church and the state,' so the Baptists didn't need to fear that the federal government was going to intrude upon their religion or in any way disturb their faith."

This sort of historical revisionism might be expected in homeschools and at Christian high schools, such as D. James Kennedy's own Westminster Academy, and the spreading of it by these means is bad enough. But now, bit by bit, this same historical revisionism is making its way into our public schools. I've already written extensively about how this is being accomplished via the National Council On Bible Curriculum In Public Schools (NCBCPS) course. The NCBCPS, however, is not the only source of bad history in our public high schools. There is another, which, unlike the NCBCPS, is not produced by a private organization, but by the Department of Defense -- for the JROTC program.

Unit 6 of the JROTC core curriculum is entitled Citizenship and American History. The following appears in Chapter 3 of this unit, "You the People -- The Citizen Action Group Process," a chapter designed to teach the cadets how to work as a group to make decisions and resolve issues by voting, reaching a consensus, deciding on a plan of action, etc., first in "small group meetings," and then as part of a larger "representative group session."

(I have not yet had an opportunity to view the video mentioned in this excerpt from the textbook, but will be doing so as soon as possible.)

YTP VIDEO

Before the first small group meeting, it is recommended that you view the You the People Video. It is a three part series on citizenship.

The video also contains segments that refer to the separation between church and state. Please review the following for one perspective on that topic.

(by Jim Rice as adapted from Separation of Church and State by David Barton)

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

The "separation of church and state" phrase was taken from an exchange of private letters between President Thomas Jefferson and the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut, shortly after Jefferson became President. It is not found in any governmental American document.

The inclusion of protection for the "free exercise of religion" in the constitution suggested to the Danbury Baptists that the right of religious expression was government given and therefore the government might someday attempt to regulate religious expression. Jefferson shared their concern. He believed along with the other Founders, that the First Amendment had been enacted only to prevent the federal establishment of a national denomination. He assured them that they need not fear; that the federal government would never interfere with the free exercise of religion.

In summary, the "separation" phrase so frequently invoked today was rarely mentioned by any of the Founders; and even Jefferson's explanation of his phrase is diametrically opposed to the manner in which courts apply it today. "Separation of church and state" currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.

Before even getting to the historical inaccuracy of the Barton explanation of Jefferson's letter, and disregarding the disturbing fact that anything by Barton appears in an official Department of Defense history text being used in our high schools, I think an important question needs to be asked. Why is the issue of separation between church and state in this chapter in the first place? The lessons in this chapter teach the cadets to decide on a position on an issue by majority rule, and then form a plan to promote that position. This is appropriate for the other examples that follow in the textbook, such as whether or not the voting age should be lowered to sixteen, but to foster the notion that a fundamental principle like church/state separation is subject to majority rule is incredible. To present what is described as "one perspective" on this issue when that "perspective" is based on inaccurate history is beyond incredible.

My first post here at Talk To Action, which I wrote in February to mark the 60th anniversary of Everson v. Board of Education, the case that popularized the phrase "separation of church and state," explained the real reason the Danbury Baptists wrote to Jefferson, a reason that, as mentioned at the beginning of this post, is changed in the religious right version of American history in order to fit the one-way wall idea.

The following is essentially a repeat of what I posted back in February, copied here for those who want to read the real story behind Jefferson's letter and compare it to the version found in the JROTC text:

In order to understand Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists, it is essential to understand the letter he was replying to, and, in order to understand that letter, a little knowledge about history of the government of Connecticut is necessary, so that's where I'm going to start.

Connecticut, nicknamed the Constitution State, was actually one of the last of the original thirteen states to adopt a state constitution - over forty years after declaring itself a state. What the nickname refers to is the Fundamental Orders of 1638-1639. Because this was the first document written in the colonies by a representative body to form a government, it is considered by many to be the first state constitution. The Fundamental Orders established a form of government for Connecticut that would continue with little change for the next 180 years.

In 1660, when news of the restoration of the monarchy in England reached the colonies, Connecticut's General Court, aware that the new king, Charles II, was not a big fan of Congregationalists, became concerned about the fact that their colony had never been granted an official charter. A charter was quickly drafted, and the colony's governor, John Winthrop, Jr., sailed to England to present it to the Privy Council. Winthrop's mission was successful, and the charter was officially adopted by the General Court on October 9, 1662. Although this charter had almost no effect on the existing government of Connecticut, it is considered by some to be the state's second constitution.

Around the time of the American Revolution, all of the states, with the exception of Connecticut and Rhode Island, adopted state constitutions. These constitutions, written at the suggestion of the Continental Congress, were necessary because these states would need new governments once they were independent from England. Connecticut and Rhode Island, however, both of which already had functioning governments that would not be affected when ties to England were severed, saw no need to write state constitutions at this time. In 1776, the Connecticut General Assembly (formerly the General Court) declared:

That the ancient form of civil government contained in the Charter from Charles the II, King of England, and adopted by the people of this state, shall be and remain the civil constitution of this state, under the sole authority of the people hereof, independent of any king or prince whatever.

So, with the exception of deleting any references to England in the Charter, there was no change to the government of Connecticut.

By 1800, all of the other states had made significant progress towards religious freedom. Not every state had the liberal freedom enjoyed in states like Pennsylvania and Virginia, but none had the degree of religious discrimination practiced in Connecticut. The Congregationalist government of Connecticut, established by the Fundamental Orders in 1638-1639, legitimized by the Charter of 1662, and left unchanged at the time of the Revolution, was the government that still existed on October 7, 1801, when the Danbury Baptist Association wrote the following letter to President Thomas Jefferson.

Sir, Among the many million in America and Europe who rejoice in your election to office; we embrace the first opportunity which we have enjoyed in our collective capacity, since your inauguration, to express our great satisfaction, in your appointment to the chief magistracy in the United States: And though our mode of expression may be less courtly and pompous than what many others clothe their addresses with, we beg you, sir, to believe that none are more sincere.

Our sentiments are uniformly on the side of religious liberty-that religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals-that no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious opinions-that the legitimate power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbors; But, sir, our constitution of government is not specific. Our ancient charter together with the law made coincident therewith, were adopted as the basis of our government, at the time of our revolution; and such had been our laws and usages, and such still are; that religion is considered as the first object of legislation; and therefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the state) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights; and these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgements as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen. It is not to be wondered at therefore; if those who seek after power and gain under the pretense of government and religion should reproach their fellow men-should reproach their order magistrate, as a enemy of religion, law, and good order, because he will not, dare not, assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make laws to govern the kingdom of Christ.

Sir, we are sensible that the president of the United States is not the national legislator, and also sensible that the national government cannot destroy the laws of each state; but our hopes are strong that the sentiments of our beloved president, which have had such genial effect already, like the radiant beams of the sun, will shine and prevail through all these states and all the world, till hierarchy and tyranny be destroyed from the earth. Sir, when we reflect on your past services, and see a glow of philanthropy and good will shining forth in a course of more than thirty years we have reason to believe that America's God has raised you up to fill the chair of state out of that goodwill which he bears to the millions which you preside over. May God strengthen you for your arduous task which providence and the voice of the people have called you to sustain and support you enjoy administration against all the predetermined opposition of those who wish to raise to wealth and importance on the poverty and subjection of the people.

And may the Lord preserve you safe from every evil and bring you at last to his heavenly kingdom through Jesus Christ our Glorious Mediator.

Signed in behalf of the association,

Nehemiah Dodge Ephraim Robbins Stephen S. Nelson

The biggest myth about this letter, the myth promoted in the JROTC curriculum, is that the Baptists wrote it because they feared that the federal government planned to establish a national religion, a notion that is ridiculous for several reasons. The most obvious of these is that the letter refers only to the problem in Connecticut - that the state was still governed by it's "ancient charter" and the laws of their state's established religion. The "degrading acknowledgements" referred to in the second paragraph of the letter, for example, were the certificates required to exempt those of other religions from paying taxes to support the Congregationalist church. By this time, Connecticut law did allow non-Congregationalists of certain denominations to have their religious taxes go to their own churches, but the process of obtaining and filing the necessary exemption certificate was made as difficult and demeaning as possible. The Baptists mention nothing whatsoever about a fear of the federal government establishing a national religion. The myth that they were writing to Jefferson for a reassurance that this couldn't happen is clearly contradicted by the third paragraph of the letter. This paragraph clearly shows that the Baptists fully understood the First Amendment and the limitations of the federal government's power. When they wrote "our constitution of government is not specific," they were referring to their state's constitution of government, not the federal Constitution. While they knew that Jefferson would be sympathetic to their situation, they also knew that he was powerless to do anything about it.

So, if the Baptists knew Jefferson had no power to help them, why did they even bother to mention the problem with their state government and its religious establishment? Jefferson's election and the ousting of the Federalist administration on the national level had given the Baptists hope that change was also possible in their state. The Baptists as well as other minority denominations in Connecticut were growing in numbers. If all of these religious dissenters joined the Republicans in Connecticut, the combination might become a political force capable of overthrowing their state's Federalist, Congregationalist government. While the religious dissenters and the Republicans had somewhat different priorities, they both had the same goals -- a truly representative government and a real state constitution.

The following, dated January 1, 1802, was Jefferson's reply to the Baptist Association's letter:

Gentlemen The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

One of the biggest misconceptions promoted in religious right American history books is that Jefferson's reply to the Baptists was a personal letter and/or a hastily scribbled note that he put little thought into. This is simply not true. The existing copy of the letter is actually Jefferson's first draft, not the final letter. Just the fact that he wrote a first draft proves that this was not a hastily scribbled note. Jefferson then submitted his draft to two different New Englanders in his administration, Postmaster General Gideon Granger of Connecticut and Attorney General Levi Lincoln of Massachusetts, requesting their opinions on how it would be received in their states. Obviously, Jefferson did not consider this a personal letter to the Baptist Association. He was well aware of the likelihood that such a letter would be made public, and did not want to offend any New England political allies. On the advice of Levi Lincoln, Jefferson deleted a paragraph explaining his refusal to proclaim days of thanksgiving, writing the following reason in the margin.

paragraph was omitted on the suggestion that it might give uneasiness to some of our republican friends in the eastern states where the proclamation of thanksgivings etc. by their Executives is an antient habit & is respected.

A common question about Jefferson's letter has to do with what government he was referring to. Was it the federal government or the state governments? The correct answer would have to be both. In his letter, Jefferson described the First Amendment's establishment and free exercise clauses as an "expression of the supreme will of the nation," clearly referring to the federal government. His next sentence, however, doesn't make much sense unless he was referring to the "progress of those sentiments" in the individual states, especially given the fact that he was replying to a letter regarding the lack of religious freedom in one particular state. He couldn't have been referring to the "progress of those sentiments" in the federal government because no progress was necessary there -- the First Amendment had already taken care of that. While the federal government couldn't do anything to speed up this progress in the states, Jefferson wrote that he would "see with sincere satisfaction the progress" when it was made. In Connecticut, the kind of progress Jefferson was talking about would take another sixteen years.

Connecticut did eventually progress from almost complete intolerance to a degree of religious freedom on par with the other states. When the original commonwealth was formed in the 1630s, the law was simple - religions other than Congregationalism were just not allowed. In the early 1700s, it appeared that progress was being made. The law preventing Quakers from settling in Connecticut was repealed in 1702. In 1708, the General Assembly passed the Toleration Act, which allowed some privileges to certain government approved dissenting religions. These laws, however, were not were not a result of the Congregationalists becoming more tolerant, but the result of the Congregationalists' fear of royal disfavor. England's Parliament had passed an act of religious toleration in 1689, and, although the Charter of 1662 hadn't changed the laws of the state, it did include a condition that Connecticut's laws could not be in conflict with the laws of England. The General Assembly was aware that Queen Anne had received complaints of intolerance from the Quakers and, more importantly, the Connecticut Anglicans. Things started to change during the Great Awakening of the 1740s. Separatist Congregational churches began to split off from the established parish churches. This was seen as a such a tremendous threat that, in 1743, the General Assembly repealed the Toleration Act in an attempt to prevent these churches from organizing. This continued until the 1770s, when the separatists were granted a status similar to other government approved religions like the Baptists and the Quakers. This meant that worship in their churches was now considered to meet the legal requirement of attendance at a government recognized church. The separatists could no longer be fined for neglecting worship, but, like the Baptists, they had to pay taxes to the Congregational Church unless they filed an exemption certificate. Other denominations, such as the Anglicans and Episcopalians (the ones with money), had become somewhat more accepted, and had even gained a small representation in the government.

Prior to 1801, Federalist candidates in Connecticut were rarely contested. This was due, in large part, to the complete lack of secrecy in the voting process. Local elections, held at town meetings, pretty much forced the voters to vote for Federalist candidates or risk being branded troublemakers. Voters were given pieces of paper. One by one, the names of the candidates were read from a list. A voter would hand in one of their pieces of paper when the name of the candidate they wanted to vote for was called off. By always listing the Federalist candidates first, it was obvious that anyone still holding a piece of paper after all the Federalists' names had been called hadn't voted for a Federalist. In 1801, the first Republican candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor appeared on the ballot. The Republicans received only a small fraction of the vote, and only 33 of 200 seats in the Assembly, but the Federalists considered this enough of a threat to change the election process to further discourage Republican candidates. Up until this time, although the actual vote was far from secret, the nomination process had been done by secret ballot. In 1801 the law was changed to make nominations public as well.

The big campaign issue in the elections of the early 1800s was that Connecticut still did not have a constitution. As already mentioned, both the Republicans and the religious dissenters wanted a constitution, albeit for different reasons.The Republican priorities were separation of powers and expanded suffrage; the religious dissenters' priority was disestablishment of the Congregational church. The Republicans gained even more support when the War of 1812 ended. Funds for the war had been raised through imposing internal taxes. When the conflict was over, the U.S. Treasury had a large surplus and returned this money to the states. By giving a disproportionately large amount of this money to the Congregationalists, and little or nothing to the other denominations, the General Assembly alienated the Episcopalians. The Republicans now had the support of this large minority, which then comprised about ten percent of the population. The potential of religious dissenters combining with Jefferson's Republican party, which the Baptists had seen 16 years earlier, had became a reality. In 1817, with Oliver Wolcott running for Governor and Jonathan Ingersoll, an Episcopalian, for Lieutenant Governor, the Republicans narrowly defeated the Federalists. In the next election, the Federalists lost their majority in the Assembly. In August and September of 1818, Connecticut held its constitutional convention.

Although he was powerless to help the Connecticut Baptists in 1801, Thomas Jefferson did eventually "see with sincere satisfaction" the disestablishment of the Congregationalist Church. Upon hearing of the Republican victory in the Connecticut election of 1817, Jefferson expressed this satisfaction in a letter to John Adams.

I join you therefore in sincere congratulations that this den of the priesthood is at length broken up, and that a protestant popedom is no longer to disgrace the American history and character.



Display:
They will try every possible trick.  

The conquest of the US Armed Forces is in progress.

From the US Air Force Academy to the Pentagon itself.

And now JROTC.

The next CIC has his or her work cut out.

by Shockwave on Mon May 14, 2007 at 12:50:39 AM EST


This was a very interesting but also scary article. I think it's terrible if they start allowing historical revisionism in the public schools.
Caroline, IT Professional currently working on the buy cialis project.
by Caroline on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 02:40:03 AM EST

The religious right sometimes acts as if that particular Jefferson letter has the only mention by a statesman of separation of church and state; of religion and government; of ecclesiastical and civil. Its not so. I wonder why they don't bring these up for a discussion?

Jefferson Letter to the Virginia Baptists 1808

"Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society."

On March 2, 1819, more than thirty years after leading the way in drafting and framing the United States Constitution, James Madison's wrote to Robert Walsh,

"The civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church FROM the State."

_____

Madison Detached Memoranda, circa 1820:

"Strongly guarded as is the separation between religion and & Gov't in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history"  

Madison Letter to Baptist Churches in North Carolina, June 3, 1811:

"To the Baptist Churches on Neal's Greek on Black Creek, North Carolina I have received, fellow-citizens, your address, approving my objection to the Bill containing a grant of public land to the Baptist Church at Salem Meeting House, Mississippi Territory. Having always regarded the practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government as essential to the purity of both, and as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, I could not have otherwise discharged my duty on the occasion which presented itself"

Madison Letter to F.L. Schaeffer, Dec 3, 1821:

"The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity"  

Madison Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822:

"Notwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, and the full establishment of it in some parts of our country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Government and Religion neither can be duly supported. Such, indeed, is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded against. And in a Government of opinion like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together."

"It was the belief of all sects at one time that the establishment of Religion by law was right and necessary; that the true religion ought to be established in exclusion of every other; and that the only question to be decided was, which was the true religion. The example of Holland proved that a toleration of sects dissenting from the established sect was safe, and even useful. The example of the colonies, now States, which rejected religious establishments altogether, proved that all sects might be safely and even advantageously put on a footing of equal and entire freedom; and a continuance of their example since the Declaration of Independence has shown that its success in Colonies was not to be ascribed to their connection with the parent country. if a further confirmation of the truth could be wanted, it is to be found in the examples furnished by the States which had abolished their religious establishments."

"I cannot speak particularly of any of the cases excepting that of Virginia, where it is impossible to deny that religion prevails with more zeal and a more exemplary priesthood than it ever did when established and patronized by public authority. We are teaching the world the great truth, that Governments do better without kings and nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson: the Religion flourishes in greater purity without, than with the aid of Government

Madison Letter to Rev. Jasper Adams, Spring 1832:

"The prevailing opinion in Europe, England not excepted, has been that religion could not be preserved without the support of government nor government be supported without an established religion that there must be at least an alliance of some sort between them. It remained for North America to bring the great and interesting subject to a fair, and finally a decisive test."

"It is true that the New England states have not discontinued establishments of religions formed under very peculiar circumstances; but they have by successive relaxations advanced toward the prevailing example; and without any evidence of disadvantage either to religion or good government."

But the existing character, distinguished as it is by its religious features, and the lapse of time now more than 50 years since the legal support of religion was withdrawn sufficiently proved that it does not need the support of government and it will scarcely be contended that government has suffered by the exemption of religion from its cognizance, or its pecuniary aid.

by James Veverka on Sun May 13, 2007 at 12:54:58 PM EST


I spent 4 glorious years in Naval JROTC back in the 1980s. I enjoyed the camaraderie and the chance to excel as a student leader throughout my time in my unit, though because of medical issues I wasn't able to translate those 4 years into further military service through ROTC and time in uniform after college. I benefited greatly from my time and would have recommended JROTC to any youth looking for a chance to become a good follower and a good leader wholeheartedly until very recently. This story adds another reason to my concerns about the direction the program has taken in the past 2 or 3 years.

I don't know when the curriculum revisions began. When we talked about American history, it was in the context of US Naval history (1 unit a year, with emphases on the Revolutionary War-the build up to the Civil War, the Civil War-the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922, World War II, and post-WWII). My knowledge of military history has served me very well in ministry because I can speak knowledgeably with my veterans, who to a man (most of them are men still) seem amazed at a woman's interest in the subject of their service, especially in WWII and Korea.

Our citizenship training dealt with the importance of recognizing civilian leadership and oversight of the military and with those rights that military volunteers temporarily lose during their service (freedom of speech and some limitations on freedom of assembly but NOT freedom of religion!). I haven't really figured out how this has helped with my ministry, though knowing that freedom of religion isn't a right abridged during military service has made me very sad to hear of the Evangelical-ization of the military through inappropriate command influence.

We certainly didn't spend much time on learning the democratic process, as the military is most assuredly NOT a democracy. That was left to civics/government class. This Citizen Action Group material would have sent my instructors (Navy/Marine retirees with more than 20 years of service) into orbit! I have actually had to remind members of my congregation that the retirees who are now speaking out against the conduct of the war in Iraq are doing so legally whereas while they were in uniform, they were bound by the non-democracy of the service. That veterans groups are forming to speak out about the war is an appropriate form of democratic action - but I guarantee they didn't have the option while in uniform, and that's appropriate.

We did spend a bit of time learning to build consensus among peers in JROTC, but it was in the context of evaluating intelligence and developing strategy using the "more brains the better" model (which isn't always the case, but it was instructive about that, too.) I use some of that consensus building training today.

I don't know who in the Pentagon is responsible for JROTC core curriculum, but what I see here is a grave disservice to the cadets who are participating in JROTC as a means of gaining leadership experience, preparing for military service, or simply as a way of belonging to a group that doesn't require particular talents or abilities (as bands, choirs, and sports teams do) to join. Curriculum shouldn't include Citizen Action material simply because it's not properly part of military training - never mind the horrendous improper intermingling of religious indoctrination and political action with military preparation.

by RevRuthUCC on Sun May 13, 2007 at 09:40:00 PM EST
Here's a link to a really good report on some other aspects of the curriculum:

http://www.afsc.org/youthmil/militarism-in-schools/msitps.pdf

The curriculum was revised in the '90s after complaints about racial and ethnic bias, but it still has a distinct right-wing bias throughout, and leaves no room for critical thinking or examining all sides of any issue.  At first, I didn't realize how big a problem this was because I assumed that the cadets would be getting the other perspectives and opinions in their regular social studies or history classes, but then I found out that many schools are accepting the JROTC classes as substitutes to fulfill their graduation requirements in these subjects.

by Chris Rodda on Sun May 13, 2007 at 10:27:40 PM EST
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You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (0 comments)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
John Hagee: Jews will make deal with Antichrist before End Times
When John Hagee opens his mouth, you expect to hear lunacy.  An appearance earlier this month on TBN was no different.  On Friday, People for the American Way stumbled on a special prophecy-focused edition......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Doug Phillips Resigns From Vision Forum over "Inappropriate Relationship"
Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum earlier this week, citing an "inappropriate relationship."   Phillips posted an announcement on the Vision Forum website, stating, There has been serious sin in my life......
Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)
A Wiccan Witch In Salem
Since it's only two weeks from Halloween, I made my usual foray into Christian Right Country to find out what their plans are for this Halloween. I don't know where to be sad or......
irishwitch (0 comments)
Jerry Falwell's Fundamentalist Liberty University Still Getting Hundreds of Millions in Federal Aid
In 2010, Liberty University got more federal funding than the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In a 2011 Talk To Action story, contributor Bill Berkowitz covered the new trend in which right-wing evangelical colleges and......
Bruce Wilson (2 comments)

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