Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Derangement is Complete

The radical right wants to protect their children from the Muslim, Kenyan, Commie, Socialist, Fascist, anti-Christ Obumma whose speech includes talking about responsibility, studying hard, not giving up, exploring educational possibilities, treating people with respect and dignity, and setting admirable goals. 

The horror!   The horror! 

Whacko conservatives find this sort of talk "indoctrination,"  and demanded an "opt-out" for their children, so they wouldn't have to listen to an inspirational talk they would have approved of if it had been given by anyone other than Barack Hussein Obama.  (Say no more. Say no more. Nudge. Nudge. Know what I mean, know what I mean.)

Meh.  I say let them keep their children away.  We understand their values and what such values produce:

Enjoy your ignorance, Teapublicans.

Excerpts from President Obama's speech:

"[Y]ou’ve got a lot on your plates. You guys are growing up faster and interacting with the wider world in a way that old folks like me didn’t have to. So today, I don’t want to be another adult who stands up to lecture you like you’re just kids. Because you’re not just kids. You’re this country’s future. Whether we fall behind or race ahead in the coming years is up to you. And I want to talk to you about meeting that responsibility.

It starts with being the best student you can be. Now, that doesn’t always mean you have to get a perfect score on every assignment. It doesn’t have to mean straight A’s all the time—although that’s a good goal to strive for. It means you have to keep at it. It means you have to work as hard as you know how. And it means that you take some risks once in a while. You wonder. You question. You explore.


That’s what school’s for: discovering new passions and acquiring the skills to pursue those passions in the future. That’s why one hour you can be an artist; the next, an author; the next, a scientist. Or a historian. Or a carpenter. This is the time when you can try out new interests and test new ideas. And the more you do, the sooner you’ll figure out what makes you come alive.


So that’s a big part of your responsibility: Testing things out. Taking risks. Working hard. Engaging with the world around you. Those are the things that will make school more fun. And down the road, those are the traits that will help you succeed – the traits that will lead you to invent a device that makes the iPad look like a stone tablet. Or figure out a way to use the sun and wind to power a city. Or write the next great American novel.

Now, to do almost any of those things, you have to not only graduate from high school, but continue your education after you leave. That might mean a four-year university, a community college, or a professional credential or training, but the fact of the matter is that more than 60 percent of jobs in the next decade will require more than a high school diploma. That’s the world you’re walking into.

So I want all of you to set a goal to continue your education after high school. And if that means college for you, just getting in isn’t enough. You’ve got to finish. Our country used to have the world’s highest proportion of young people with a college degree. Now we’re 16th. That’s not good enough. And so we need your generation to bring us back to the top.

If we do that, you guys will have a brighter future. And so will America."

Dear Mr. President--not if these people can help it:


Tim said...

Truthfully, I am at a loss to understand homeschooling. I really think that it should be much more strictly regulated, if allowed to exist at all. How are these kids going to learn to interact socially with people who have different views? I have known some extreme evangelical Baptists who home school, and it is all about rejecting evolution, rewriting history, and generally a flat earth mentality. They do not want their kids "indoctrinated" in the evil ways of the modern world. Some of these people will not even allow their kids to join the Boy Scouts because it is not Christian based. They literally reject anything at all that does not emanate from the Baptist Christian faith, even considering Catholics a cult. I have an aunt who is a retired Baptist missionary who worked down in Mexico for decades before retiring and she holds these extreme views. And yes, she thought GW Bush was the best thing since sliced bread.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Tim wrote:

"Truthfully, I am at a loss to understand homeschooling. I really think that it should be much more strictly regulated, if allowed to exist at all. How are these kids going to learn to interact socially with people who have different views?"

They don't. And the homeschoolers prefer it that way. The do not want their children exposed to anything other than what they believe. It might make them think.

"I have known some extreme evangelical Baptists who home school, and it is all about rejecting evolution, rewriting history, and generally a flat earth mentality."

It seems to be a universal truth that all religious fundamentalists reject anything that might shed light on their ignorance. The stronger the fundamentalism, the more hatred for science, history, enlightenment, and, of course, women.

Religious fundamentalism flourishes in low-educated, and, unfortunately, poor, populations.

In our country, it has the largest following in the poorer southern states.

The northeast--New England--has the least religious populations.

The most religious state is Mississippi, where 91 percent believe in God, followed by Utah, South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, and my state of Tennessee. The bottom 10, the least religious states, are: 1. Maine 59 percent believe in God; 2. Massachusetts 60%; 3. Alaska 61%; 4. California 62%; 5. Nevada 63%, 6. Colorado 63%; 7. Oregon 63%; 8. New York 64%; 9. Washington 64%; 10. New Jersey 66%.


Mississippi has the worst scores for math and science, Massachusetts, the best.

Is there a connection between intelligence and fanatical religiosity?

I report; you decide.

Dave Miller said...

Wow, there's a lot here...

In the interest of self disclosure, I am one of those "baptist missionaries." But for the most part, they do claim me because I am too far outside of the box.

Lest we label all homeschooled people as uninformed troglodytes, I have known plenty of incredibly smart home schooled kids and adults.

Yes, the majority of them have been religious, but that alone does not keep someone from excelling.

Brian McLaren, from up your way Shaw, noted in one of his books that fundamentalism can cut both ways. We tend to look at it only as it regards the conservative, or right side of the ledger. But he says that liberals can be just as fundamental in their beliefs, refusing to hear logic, and rejecting anything that disagrees with their worldview.

I found that to be an interesting viewpoint, and one I had not thought about. And he is generally more liberal.

Shaw, while I do not agree that Christianity is as monolithic as you portray it, particularly regarding women, science and history, I will not dispute that the zealots have the loudest voices.

Sadly, they do tend to drown out folks like McLaren, Tony Campolo, Jim Wallis, Rob Bell and Shane Claiborne.

Dave Miller said...

Oops, that should read... they don't claim me!


Shaw Kenawe said...

Dave, if you read my comments carefully, I qualify them with the words "fanatical religious fundamentalists" and "strong fundamentalists." I said nothing about Christians in particular. That's because in my experience religious fundamentalists I've met--Jewish, Christian, Muslim, have been unyielding in their prohibitions and dislike of those that are not like them.

I have a beloved niece who belongs to a Christian church that preaches tolerance and love. She's a devout person who believes, as I do, that it is more important to practice love and understanding, generosity of deeds, and forgiveness than to follow rules set up by fallible men--rules that often make life more miserable for those who have to adhere to them.

My worldview is live and let live. Judge people by how they treat others, especially the young and the very old or infirm.

Sue said...

I missed this school year speech by Pres. Obama, I'll have to look it up. Were there just as many crazies speaking out as there were last year? Never before have we seen this kind of stupidity coming from parents about an innocent speech. So my conclusion (unfortunately for the conservatives who will balk at me) is racism and the always present religious fanatics who believe in the liberal indoctrination of their precious off spring.

Dave Miller said...

I do wonder if and when the GOP has a President in the White House, if these parents will support the view that children of Democrats must be given the right to not listen to our President.

It used to be that this type of behavior would be considered unpatriotic.

I shudder to think of an America where we are unable to even hear ideas from the other side of the aisle because they might be different.

Whatever happened to teaching our children to think and trusting that they would grow into mature adults that could make informed decisions.

Isn't this desire to shield children from all unwanted outside influences the same root cause of Islamic fanaticism?

Are not they just asking to be left alone by the craven west and to be able to live as they wish, on their land, with their oil, alone and in peace?

Where is the difference?

Leslie Parsley said...

I'm not a fan of homeschooling except in cases where the kids are disabled or perhaps a little slow and get teased/bullied as a result. I've just met too many who are basically racist and ignorant, thus the signs we see here. For the sake of these kids' futures, they need exposure to a more diverse education and to a broader exposure to society, i.e., socialization - especially after they get past K-12 at least.

Truth 101 said...

You can't convince these closed minded bigots no matter how many facts you present.

I recently reconnected with an old high school friend who's whole family were religious kooks back then. They're still kooks. Hos parents spent their whole live in low wage jobs with no benefits. had to move all over to get them and to my knowledge never owned their own home or a car less than ten years old. They vote straight republican.

daMamma said...

Don't sell all homeschooling short. I home schooled my kids for a number of years. The public school system just wasn't serving their needs or best interests. Can you imagine a couple of 7th graders that can barely read at a 2nd grade level? Or a 2nd grader that has been convinced by her teachers that she has "learning" problems?

Academically, for lack of a better word, they sucked. Big. Public school did not serve them well at all. When I finished with them they could easily take college prep courses. (actually some have graduated with honors from Ivy League Universities)

Now these kids all read several newspapers daily. Their comprehension and grasp of details is awesome. Their interests in subject matter (books) is wide and varied.

I taught REAL science, not creationism. As far as religious studies go, we did mostly comparative. From the ancient religions to modern and their effect and influence on society and culture.

Not all home schooling parents are all about religion and ignorance. Some of us actually do care about our children.

Oh and as for "socialization" Our phys-ed portion of studies included being signed up for sports and swimming. They also were signed up for community service activities.

It is not easy keeping two steps ahead in every subject and every grade. But with serious dedication and a whole lot of work, it can be done.

Shaw Kenawe said...

daMamma, there are many parents who do a fine job of home schooling, and obviously you're among them.

However, there are some parents who use home schooling to keep their children from experiencing the real world.

I, for example, know of a family who chose home schooling because they explicitly said they didn't want to have their children learn tolerance--they believe public schools teach children tolerance toward homosexuals.

So while there are many parents who give their children a rich experience with home schooling, I imagine there are also a good number who do not.