Sometimes I wonder how people take some of the leaps that I witness.
For instance, a friend on facebook was talking about someone who said “God wants to strike her dead because she castrated him by supporting gender inclusive bibles.” And recently someone said they didn’t understand how I could call myself a Christian if I thought feeding the homeless was as important as sharing the gospel (I didn’t even get into the discussion with her about how I probably didn’t share her definition of “the gospel”). But the most unbelievable leap I have witnessed lately is this one:
Many conservatives are complaining that President Obama’s upcoming September 8 speech (which will be televised and presented during school to all elementary students) about “persisting and succeeding in school,” along with classroom activities about the “importance of education,” will “indoctrinate” and “brainwash” their children. Conservatives have compared Obama’s address to Chinese communism and the Hitler Youth, while also calling for parents to “keep your kids home” from the “fascist in chief.”
It makes you want to say “go take a flying leap” – but it looks like they already have!
Jonolan – thanks for the link to the lesson plans – I appreciate your unemotional, level headed approach.
Its funny, you have a President showing interest in America and its people. I find it interesting on G.W. Bush he instated No Child Left Behind which has set the scales tipping against most students in America, yet they are more afraid of a President, that the very least, is interested in the every day American. They should have been more afraid of Bush and his “let’s shoot ’em on sight with no question” attitude and what that has taught our younger generation. Strange world we live in.
Jules – EXACTLY! Not wanting their children to encounter a different view than their own sounds like brainwashing and indoctrination to me!
The sad thing is that those conservatives may well be right. None of us have seen the script for the speech yet and, at an hour in length, it likely covers more than just “stay in school.”
Obama and his followers are certainly not above indoctrinating children and using the educational system as political training ground. They’ve already proved that, just as they’ve proved that using the clergy to sermonize a political agenda “not wrong” when Obama does it.
On the other hand, it IS jumping the gun to get that riled up over this. Both Reagan and Bush gave speeches to the nations schools, so this is – at face value at least – nothing new or shocking.
But the conservatives thought it was okay for Reagan and Bush to speak to the students – I guess it isn’t brainwashing or indoctrination if you support the person speaking.
It’s all going to depend on the message conveyed. As I said, they’re jumping the gun on this one.
One thing though, Obama is the first one to include lesson plans and activities for the teachers to use in conjunction with the address. That’s probably part of the issue that the conservatives are having. Such things have the appearance of going beyond what is normally considered proper for politician in the schools.
One thing – with all the hype going on right now, it’s needful to look beyond the rhetoric and the hyperbole and to see if there might be an underlying truth to the wild claims that is being overblown.
And according to media matters, “…former President George W. Bush posted a “teacher’s guide” on the White House website intended to help students understand the ‘freedom timeline’ and encouraged them to ‘explor[e] the biographies of the President, Mrs. Bush, Vice President, and Mrs. Cheney.'”
So it would appear that Obama’s not even the first president to provide lesson plans. Maybe the first one to provide them in direct relation to his address, but not the first one to ever suggest to teachers what they should be teaching.
Now that’s news to me. Thanks.
BTW – I got a chance to read the lesson plans and such like at http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academic/bts.html
They certainly seem fine. The use of the phrase, “personal responsibility” seems odd coming from a Democrat, but it’s certainly welcome.
I try to save my vitriol for matters where things are actually messed up instead of just blindly jumping on the Bash Obama Bandwagon. I find enough legitimate concerns without jumping at shadows. 😉