We lived in Dayton, OH, for fifteen years before moving to St. Louis, MO, in 2002. Mike Scinto was already a well known radio personality in Dayton when we moved there in 1987, and he and his wife Kathy became our friends. They adopted one of their children at about the same time and from the same agency that we adopted our older son from, and they were part of our adoption support group. I have heard Mike talk about his transition from a flaming liberal to a rock-solid conservative, and he said that much of it was due to starting a family. Kyle Nagel, a Staff Writer for the Dayton Daily News, reported on Monday, March 2, 2009, that Mike, who had spent the past 10 years of his longtime radio career at WDAO-AM (1210), said he was terminated Monday, March 2. Scinto, in an interview by phone Monday night, said station President and General Manager Jim Johnson called him Monday morning to say advertisers were not supporting his show, "Expressions II," which aired noon to 2 p.m. Scinto, 56, thinks his criticism of President Barack Obama and the recently signed $787 billion economic stimulus package also played a role. Johnson Communications Inc., bought the station in June 1988. The purchase resulted in Dayton having its first minority-owner and operated radio station, its Web site said. "My show was hosted by a conservative white guy, and I wasn’t sure it would work on a liberal black radio station," Scinto said. I recognize that the owner of a radio station has the right to hire and fire staff, but I must ask two questions. First, what ever happened to "freedom of speech" and "freedom of the press?" And, what ever happened to that "tolerance" that the leftists are always saying that conservatives need more of?
On March 3, 2009, Drew Zahn of WorldNetDaily reported that an elementary school in Tennessee has ordered the words "God Bless the USA" and "In God We Trust" covered up on student-made posters in the hallway. Administrators at Lakeview Elementary School in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., told parents that the posters, promoting the See You at the Pole student prayer event, mentioned "God" and are therefore precluded by school board policy and prohibited in the hallways as inappropriate. Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal alliance defending religious liberty, filed a lawsuit today on behalf of 10 parents and their children, seeking an injunction against banning private religious expression on student-made posters. "Christian students shouldn’t be censored for expressing their beliefs," said ADF Senior Counsel Nate Kellum in a statement. "It’s ridiculous as well as unconstitutional to cover up these references to God and prayer – one of which is the national motto itself – on posters announcing a student-led activity." Further, Kellum surmised, "School officials appear to be having an allergic reaction to the ACLU’s long-term record of fear, intimidation, and disinformation, despite a previous court ruling at this very school that said students can observe these types of events on school property." In 2006, lawyers from the ACLU sued the same school to stop it from recognizing religious events, including See You at the Pole and the National Day of Prayer. In May 2008, a U.S. District Court judge refused to grant the ACLU’s request. This year, each poster, made on personal time without the use of any school funds or supplies, included the disclaimer: "See You at the Pole is a student-initiated and student-led event and is not endorsed by Lakeview Elementary or Wilson County schools." Attorneys from ADF contend the disclaimer statement on the posters was more than enough to release the school from any perceived endorsement of the "God" messages, and that burying the words behind green paper constitutes a clear violation of First Amendment rights. "The Constitution prohibits government officials from singling out religious speech for censorship," Kellum said, "but this is exactly what Lakeview school officials did when they ordered these words to be covered." Recently while staying in a motel in South Carolina, I saw this featured on Sean Hannity’s Fox News Network television show.
Pete Chagnon of OneNewsNow reported on 3/7/2009 that a public-funded home school in New Mexico is being forced to drop its curriculum because the education secretary says it is filled with "sectarian doctrine." Family School is located in the Bloomfield, New Mexico, school district on the campus of Naabi Ani Elementary. Kathy Harper, a teacher at the school, says Family School was designed by the district to bridge the gap between home-school families and public schools. The school is publicly funded and parents are required to help in the classroom at least one day per week. Harper says the school has been embraced by the community. But now New Mexico’s education secretary, Dr. Veronica Garcia, says the school must drop its curriculum after it was discovered that Family School uses the Christian home school curriculum of A Beka Book. "A Beka Books — they provide the best home-school curriculum out there," Harper states. The curriculum is well thought out and well laid out, she adds — and according to Associated Press, Harper has been in using the curriculum for 11+ years without opposition. But the education secretary says the curriculum must be dropped because of so-called "sectarian doctrine." "Are there references to the Bible, to God in the materials? Yes, there are," Harper explains. "You know, there might be a story about Jonah that the kids have to write. But as far as in the classroom, is it a place where we expound and preach and have worship or any of that? That does not go on in the classroom." Harper says the parents have no complaints either, but still the school is being forced to drop the curriculum. Garcia wanted Family School to drop the curriculum now with nine weeks left in the school year, but Harper is hoping that the state will at least let them finish the school year out. A Beka Book, based in Pensacola, Florida, has stated that the issue is a local one and must be resolved by local school officials. They declined to comment further. Editor’s note: WARNING, WARNING, WARNING, DANGER (Will Robinson)–homeschoolers MUST be warned about the danger of becoming involved in publicly funded (and misnamed) "homeschooling" programs. It seems to be that "public funded home school" is an oxymoron of the worst sort.
The following is an Associated Press report from 3/7/2009. A lawyer for the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) says the recession may prompt more Christian parents to educate their children at home. The HSLDA’s Chris Klicka says hard times boost home schooling’s appeal as private Christian school tuition becomes unaffordable for parents who’ve lost jobs. Klicka, who with his wife home schools their seven children, says it also can strengthen family bonds. While some families are giving up home schooling because a stay-at-home parent needs to get a job, others are finding ways to sacrifice and do both. Shelly Mabe, a coordinator for a group of 250 Christian home schooling families in Michigan’s Macomb County, says she hasn’t heard of any of them giving up home schooling. But some have moved to other states where laid-off fathers had better job prospects.
In the Feb. 26, 2009. Eagle Forum’s Court Watch, Virginia Armstrong, Ph.D., made some interesting observations. I shall share a few with you. She began, "America today is engulfed in the fires of a Culture War. Federal judges for more than fifty years have been whipping the flames to a white-hot heat. Constitutional supremacy has been replaced by judicial supremacy; the normal has become the deviant; and Christians have ipso facto become criminals." She then said that a "culture war" can be equated with the "social revolutions" of past world history such as the French Revolution of 1789 and the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Both "civil wars" remind us of radical revolutions characterized by wanton bloodshed and attacks upon the decadent, brutal, repressive regimes in power. Both of those Revolutions differed drastically from the American Revolution of 1776. The first two were true "social revolutions" (or "Culture Wars") — a no-holds-barred attack by the rebels on the entire fabric of the existing culture — the religious institution, political system, social structure, economy, etc. The existing societies and worldviews were attacked from top to bottom, from assaults on specific rulers to assaults on the very religious/philosophical foundations of those nations. She reminds us that the American Revolution, in sharp contrast, was a limited, political revolt against the political regime in London. There was no attack by the colonial revolutionaries upon the Judeo-Christian worldview of Anglo-American life, no attack upon the basic religious/philosophical foundations of Anglo-American society. The she writes, "America today is engulfed in the flames of a Culture War — another ‘American Revolution.’ But our current cataclysm increasingly resembles the 1789 and 1917 foreign revolutions, rather than our own 1776 revolution. Today our Judeo-Christian foundations are being battered by a vicious foe — the Humanistic worldview." In 1976, prominent Humanist leader Paul Blanshard exulted over Humanist victories in an article entitled "Three Cheers for Our Secular State," opening with with a description of his article as a "paean of praise" to the progress of Humanism ("Secularism") in conquering America, and identifying the agency he considered most praiseworthy in leading the Humanist victories: "My primary hero [in this secularizing process] is the United States Supreme Court." At almost the same time as Blanshard’s article, another was written by Cornell Law Dean William Ray Forrester who accurately described the Court’s Reconstructionist take-over of America: "[The U.S. Supreme Court as an institution] is even more unique and unprecedented than commonly supposed. Indeed, the institution can no longer be described with any accuracy as a court, in the customary sense. Unlike a court, its primary function is not judicial but legislative. It is a governing body in the sense that it makes the basic policy decisions of the nation, selects among the competing values of our society, and administers and executes the directions it chooses in political, social and ethical matters. It has become the major societal agency for reform [‘reform’ being a euphemism for Humanist/Reconstructionist values]." Armstrong concludes, "Every American patriot must understand how judges have successfully transmogrified these phrases, striking savage blows of victory for Humanist/Reconstructionist views and values in America’s Culture War" and closes with a quote from the wisdom of George Washington, who declared, "[I]t is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His Will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor. . . . it is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." The reason that many of us have chosen to homeschool is not to retreat from such a culture war but to protect our innocent children while they are still in our care so that we can raise them up with godly values to be warriors for the Lord in this culture war.
The following case is of interest to me first because it occurred here in Illinois and second because of how the school system is handling it. On 2/10/2009 it was reported in the media that the parents of an 11-year-old boy who says he was sexually assaulted by classmates pleaded publicly Monday night for them to be removed from Gregory Middle School. Two preteen Naperville boys have been charged with sexually assaulting the classmate while playing Nov. 11, 2008, at a house without parent supervision. Naperville police said the crime was reported the next day. A 12-year-old and an 11-year-old were charged with felony counts of criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual assault as well as a misdemeanor count of battery against an 11-year-old schoolmate. Because the defendants and victim are juveniles, most details of the case are being withheld. But the boy’s father said everyone in the community has heard the details. "My son’s fellow students know the facts, know the details of who, what, where, why this occurred and the mild response so far," the father said as he addressed Indian Prairie Unit 204 board members during a standing-room-only meeting. "There is not a sufficient policy relevant to student discipline on aggressive hostile behavior to resolve this matter and your inaction has created a disruptive, hostile, intimidating learning environment at Gregory Middle School for all students." School district officials said "action took place to address and prioritize student safety," but would not elaborate on what the action entailed. The father said he was very proud of his son for coming forward but feared whether the boy felt he did the right thing considering he still sees the two teens charged in the case at school. On 2/12/2009 it was reported that Indian Prairie Unit District 204 officials said they’re sympathetic to the family of an 11-year-old boy who says he was sexually assaulted last fall by two male classmates in one of their homes. But school leaders insist their hands are tied by the law and the slow nature of the justice system. In recent days, school board members have heard from the victim’s family and other parents urging them to remove the accused attackers from Gregory Middle School. But district officials and lawyers say it’s not that easy. The victim’s father, however, says he will not give up his fight until the alleged attackers are out of his son’s school. The victim’s father recently commended the Gregory staff for its "initial supportive and sympathetic response." But he says he blames Superintendent Stephen Daeschner for "not taking decisive action" regardless of the school board’s interpretation of the law. He also said the district is not in legal compliance because it doesn’t have an anti-bullying policy on file. Then on 2/26/2009 Superintendent Daeschner made a statement in which he addressed the current alleged sexual abuse case currently plaguing the district, in an e-mail blast to the community. Among other things he said, "Considering this alleged offense took place outside of school, there are limits to what actions the district can legally take. We cannot legally move students to a nontraditional alternative school or force them to receive their education at home." He also said, "Upon notifying staff of the alleged incident on November 13, the victim’s parents expressed their desire for the school to not have anything done to the students involved." That does NOT square with the previous news items. One commenter wrote, "The victim’s parents expressed their desire for the school to not have anything done to the students involved??? REALLY?? I don’t believe that for a minute. The school is trying to cover their behinds." If I were those parents, I would get my child out of that school and start homeschooling so fast that it would make the school officials’ heads spin! The Superintendent may technically be correct regarding legal matters, but the whole reaction of the school smells to high heaven.
In a 2/25/2009 OneNewsNow item headlined "’God’ – the new four-letter word in public schools," Charlie Butts asked, "Why is religion taboo in American schools?" Christian attorney John Whitehead addresses that question. "God has become THE four-letter word in most public schools in the United States," says Whitehead, founder of The Rutherford Institute. And he explains in a commentary why that has come to pass: "An elite segment of society that views God as irrelevant has come to predominate." Whitehead gained his legal insights into the phenomenon through the many cases of religious discrimination that have crossed his desk. "What’s happened is [that] the elitists — the people who run American society, from the public education system to certain governmental institutions and figures — have basically decided that God is irrelevant to public discussion," says Whitehead during an interview with OneNewsNow. "…This ignores the 120 million-plus people in America who take their religion seriously, [who] practice it, and who pay taxes to support institutions like the public schools." And what that does, adds Whitehead, is force those people — along with their religious rights and their free-speech rights — into "utter subservience" to all other beliefs. The issue, according to the attorney, is not separation of church and state — an argument frequently cited by those who assume the secular viewpoint. "The issue in such instances is the religious believer versus the secular state," he writes. "It is also a denial of everything this country stands for in terms of the freedoms of speech, religion, and a respect for moral tradition." Whitehead believes that what exists now in America is akin to the old Soviet Union and China, where it is religious believers fending off the state. [Editor’s note: I realize that as Christians we are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, but why would we want to send our innocent children to be taught in such godless indoctrination centers? And yes, I know that not all public schools would fall into that category, but many do, so why take the risk? WSW.]