Education: In our brave new schools, Johnny can't say the pledge, but he can recite the Quran. Yup, the same court that found the phrase "under God"unconstitutional now endorses Islamic catechism in public school.
In a recent federal decision that got surprisingly little press, even from conservative talk radio, California's 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled it's OK to put public-school kids through Muslim role-playing exercises, including:
Reciting aloud Muslim prayers that begin with "In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful . . . ."
Memorizing the Muslim profession of faith: "Allah is the only true God and Muhammad is his messenger."
Chanting "Praise be to Allah" in response to teacher prompts.
Professing as "true" the Muslim belief that "The Holy Quran is God's word."
Giving up candy and TV to demonstrate Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.
Designing prayer rugs, taking an Arabic name and essentially "becoming a Muslim" for two full weeks.
It's all done under the guise of learning what it's like, to be a Muslim. It's supposed to be part of a world religion course. No harm in that, right? Let's read further:
In the California course on world religions, Christianity is not presented equally. It's covered in just two days and doesn't involve kids in any role-playing activities. But kids do get a good dose of skepticism about the Christian faith, including a biting history of its persecution of other peoples. In contrast, Islam gets a pass from critical review. Even jihad is presented as an "internal personal struggle to do one's best to resist temptation," and not holy war.
Now let me say that I am not advocating that Christianity be given special treatment, in spite of the fact that the overwheliming majority of Americans claim Christianity as their faith. What I am saying is that if you are going to teach world religions to impressionable young children, in a government school; then all religions must be taught objectively and without bias and that means all religions.
Is that so hard to do?
Evidently it is. Read on:
The ed consultant's name is Susan L. Douglass. No, she's not a Christian scholar. She's a devout Muslim activist on the Saudi government payroll, according to an investigation by Paul Sperry, author of "Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington." He found that for years Douglass taught social studies at the Islamic Saudi Academy just outside Washington, D.C. Her husband still teaches there.
The people that filed this suit and lost, weren't Atheists. They were probably Christians that didn't want this indoctrination to go on in their public schools, at least in the manner that this has been presented. But I suspect that if it had been Michael Newdow behind the suit, maybe the outcome would have been much different.
So, Michael where were you on this one? Asleep? Why the silence from your end? Islam is a religion, don't you know? Does it not offend you that this is taught in you tax-supported government schools? Or do you just get offended at Christianity?
Now would be a time for Michael Newdow to demonstrate that he is a man of principle. Now would be a time to show there is no hypocrisy, in his cause. But strangely enough, I don't hear a lot coming from him or his camp. Maybe, just maybe, he will drop by PYY for a little discussion on this. Then again, maybe not.
But Michael, if you ever come across this sleepy little blog, know that the door is open here for your comments. I'd love to hear how you see this one.
(Hat tip on this one goes to RCP, as it does so many times at PYY.)