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Category Archives: Schools

Sarah Palin was on the attack last week. She is mad at all those wicked secularists and God haters who are trying to rewrite American history. And she’s right to be mad. They are clearly trying to rewrite history. But the big bad secularists are not nearly as guilty of trying to rewrite American history as the…uhm… Christians. Take, for instance, Sarah Palin. She would have us believe that all of our founding fathers were Christians with a profound respect for the Bible. Like, say, Thomas Jefferson who stayed up all night with scissors attempting to remove every one of Christ’s miracles from the gospels. He’s a role model, huh, Sarah? She also thinks that the U.S. Constitution promotes the God of the Bible and speaks of “unalienable rights” that where endowed by our Creator. Two problems with that 1) God/ Maker/Creator is never once mentioned in the Constitution, only the concept that religion should not be proscribed or curtailed by the State. 2) That unalienable rights bit is actually from the Declaration of Independence penned by the man who liked to slice the Resurrection out of the Good Book to make it more “reasonable”. Also, “In God we trust”is not our “national motto.” It’s not even part of our founding documents, unless you count the one dollar bill among them. It is just something that is indeed a part of our history, just like the banning prayer in schools. Unfortunately, for Ms. Palin, our country has always been much more of a mixed bag than she would like to admit. It is probably one of the reasons our churches are so full and those with a state religion like France, England and Germany are so empty. Finally, it is worth mentioning that Jesus came to “seek and save that which is lost”( atheists, secularists, and the like). The righteous and the religious have never been his cup of tea. You can look that up in your Bible (even the Jeffersonian version).

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JibJab has done it again.

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If a recent study is correct, a girl who has attended private religious schools is more likely to get an abortion than a girl who has attended public schools.

Despite Adamczyk’s finding that rates of reported abortions were higher for young women educated at private religious schools, the type of religious school was not a factor: Catholic schools had similar rates as other religious schools.”Religious school attendance is not necessarily indicative of conservative religious beliefs because students attend these schools for a variety of reasons,” Adamczyk said. “These schools tend to generate high levels of commitment and strong social ties among their students and families, so abortion rates could be higher due to the potential for increased feelings of shame related to an extramarital birth.”

Sadly, American Christianity has done a bang up job in making men and women feel more shame than mercy. Their learning institutions from 4K to grad school has also done a swell job of demanding a strong witness for their schools (i.e., Don’t get caught drinking or knocked up while unmarried, after all, what would Jesus do?). Conservative schools and well-meaning parents have encouraged Christian kids to put off marriage and never to settle for less than perfection. They have given religous girls a bubble in which to live that knows little of grace and forgiveness and plenty about not dressing trashy. A bubble that, in the end,  is as useless as a faulty condom.  The message is clear. Bad behavior must be kept on the down low, and upstanding, church-going parents must never be dissappointed. Worst of all, in this uptight, graceless system Jesus is reduced that cool dude hanging on the cross who we must never fail, rather than the Incarnate friend of sinners who understands and forgives messy lives. Maybe it’s time for Amercian Christianity to come to Jesus. After all, he is the one who famously had little patience with shame-bound religiosity. “Woe unto you, Scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites! You have omitted the weightier matters of the law––justice, mercy and faith.”

Vouchers are working for poor black families in Washington DC. It’s ashame that the black family who lives in the White House doesn’t support this program. Mr. President, explain to these families why “yes we can” has turned into “no you can’t.”

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Apparently, 37% of Americans can’t locate America on the map. Particularly  disappointing is the fact that the map our geographically-challenged citizens couldn’t find America on was a map of…well…America. Happily, even though the Department of Education is a little chagrined by this recent Gallup survey, one part of our government sees it as wonderful news:

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security sees the Gallup/Harris poll results as a blessing in disguise. According to Secretary Michael Chertoff, the nation would be better off if these numbers skewed even higher.

“Personally, I believe if fewer people in this world could spot America on a map, we’d have a much better chance of avoiding national tragedies like 9/11,” said Chertoff. “You can’t attack a country you can’t find.”

Every cloud has a silver lining. Clouds, you know, the puffy white things above your head.

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He’s looking to Florida to put him back in the game. He is looking at a state rich in Latino voters to put him back on the map. So Rudy Giuliani has done a most logical thing. He has launched a series of Spanish-language TV commercials. That’s right, the same guy advocating that no one be allowed U.S. citizenship without demonstrated fluency in English. Ironic? Ai yi yi yi! Which illustrates the complexities of this hot potato immigration issue. It seems we live in a nation where it is alright for non-citizen Latinos to join the U.S. Marines and die for our country. But if you come across the border and take the jobs we don’t want to do, at wages we refuse to be paid; if you send your kids to our taxpayer-funded public schools; and if you come here speaking another language like our German, Polish, Swedish and Russian ancestors did; Then we get bent out of shape. Then, candidates start saying patently unamerican things like you can’t be a citizen unless you speak, read and write the Queen’s English. But, suddenly, reality sinks in; the hardliners come down from their high horses and become as pragmatic as a Texas restaurant owner or an Arizona homebuilder. These same tough-talking politicians go out and make themselves a Spanish-language TV commercial: Senor Giuliani es muy macho.

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Andrew Sullivan is a complicated guy. Gay, Roman Catholic and a politically conservative libertarian. Right. It makes my head explode, too. And his recent article in The Atlantic further complicates this man. Because his take on Obama is not only fascinating, it’s practically idolatrous. And maybe a little gay. Read it and see what you think.

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Bilawal Bhutto Zadari. He’s just your average freshman teenage boy. He has a Facebook page. He attends a prestigious rich kid university. And bottomline: he just wants to have fun. Oh…and did I mention…he’s the new joint leader of the Pakistan’s People’s Party. And, well, it’s putting a major cramp in his style. I mean, most teens come back from Christmas break with a new iPod… young Zadari comes back with a martyred mom and a new part time job making Pakistan safe for democracy. Major bummer. I mean, really! This kid should be throwing keggers, texting hot coeds and pledging a fraternity. But the media is all “Can I quote you?” and “Are you satisfied with the investigation of your mother’s death?” And Bilawai is all like “Whatever.” And it is just wrong. I mean, look at this kid. He’s wearing a fuzzy hoodie! Find Pakistan another savior. This kid needs to study for mid-terms.

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It’s kinda funny. A school teacher in Connecticut calls the cops when she hears the janitor doing karaoke over the school PA system. The custodian was doing his heartfelt rendition of “Welcome to the Jungle.” Among the lyrics is the poignant phrase: “you’re in the jungle baby, you’re gonna die.” It was these words that rattled the teacher. Little wonder. These days, the Blackboard Jungle is a pretty scary place. Teachers are routinely blown away by troubled youth. Teachers are held at gunpoint by a government that wants no child left behind. Teachers in low-performing schools are held hostage by standardized tests that ultimately and mercilessly determine where they stand as a teacher. And the biggest gun held to their heads is the one that demands school teachers to inspire our callow youth to achieve the sort of lofty goals that lax parenting, overextended two-income households and poverty-stricken single moms fail to. The cultural cannon is blasting away at the school teacher. And no one stops to think that academic excellence never has rested in their hands. Kids learn to love books when they see parents’ noses wedged in a novel. Kids learn to work hard in school when Mom requires them to work hard at home. Kids keep their beaks out of the nose candy when Dads model contentment, godliness and love. The classroom can only do so much. And parents have to do a whole lot more. That has always been the case. After all, it’s a jungle, baby.