Thursday, April 24, 2008

We miss you George . . .

“What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.”

-George Washington [speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs May 12, 1779]


Todd said...

Sir, I am deeply offended by your divisive, narrow minded, extremist, sexist, homophobic and unconstitutional post. I will be contacting the ACLU regarding a retroactive, posthumous injunction against this Washington fellow concerning 'separation of church and state' issues. The fact that he made such a remark at a speech to Native Americans, thus disparaging their own religious practice, gives me further reason to question this radical's character and sense of fairness. There is no place for this kind of intolerance in our modern society!

Janet Rubin said...

You know. I love George. But I'm not sure about that quote. I need to think on it.

Todd said...

According to my little bit of research it appears that is not the exact quote.

Here is the quote:

"I am glad you have brought three of the Children of your principal Chiefs to be educated with us. I am sure Congress will open the Arms of love to them, and will look upon them as their own Children, and will have them educated accordingly. This is a great mark of your confidence and of your desire to preserve the friendship between the Two Nations to the end of time, and to become One people with your Brethren of the United States. My ears hear with pleasure the other matters you mention. Congress will be glad to hear them too. You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ."

This does infer that the president believed that "the religion of Jesus Christ" was part of a complete government-provided education. He apparently (in my opinion correctly) viewed Christianity as part of the common culture that bonded us together as a people.

That being said, if you look at the terrible job our schools are doing teaching basic literacy, should we assume they would do any better job teaching religion?

Then on the other hand, there is no denying that our government is based upon a Christian world view and that as we lose our national identity as a Christian nation we drift further and further toward ruin. Should we not, as a society, do something to preserve our heritage?

It seems to me that even if our school system shouldn't teach religion per se, they should at least be free to acknowledge our tradition and not be under constant pressure to remove all Christian symbolism and references from the school grounds.

Janet Rubin said...

Okay. I can go along with that quote. We should ALWAYS be free to express ourselves, worship, and learn a true account of history. We should preserve our Christian heritage by passing it on to our children, sharing it with our friends and neighbors, preaching it, etc. But I think God intends it to be a will and all that. I don't think I'd want it to be taught in school that way (just as I don't want my children taught to pray to Allah or Mother Earth). But then, that's why I home school... But yes, I think public schools should AT LEAST give Christianity a little respect. Be honest about history. Quit being "open" to everything except Jesus and the concept of Intelligent Design.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

Janet, we've discussed this before, but your point of view shows how effective the other side has been at reshaping the debate.

If you look at the Founding Father's writings, it is clear that they desired a nation based on the gospel of Jesus Christ which includes the freedom of choice. They were not for forced indoctrination or conversions.

In other words, they didn't believe in forcing one to join a particular denomination or religion. What they believed in was a nation founded on Christian principles which achnowledge God as the granter of rights - not man. One of those rights is the freedom to choose your own faith.

They intended a seperation of state and denomination, not Jesus. A state that acknowledged the existence of God and His supreme authority over the state - they did not intend an atheist state. In fact, they said the opposite.

There is a big difference between a state that acknowledges God's authority and a theocracy.

Today, court rulings go against the Founder's intent based solely on the purposeful confusion of the above.

Nicole said...

Right on, Dayle.