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Is There Room for Christian Preaching Teachers in Public Schools With Ron Paul as President?

"In God We Teach" is a poignant illustration of my own personal concerns regarding the inroads that religious Christians, particularly evangelicals in the United States, have made in the republican party. I will admit that although I have taken great pains to study the links between Christian ideology and real libertarianism I am unable to find much in terms of consistency between both. Indeed, I would argue that the principles of both are not mutually consistent. Religious teaching is based on a pre defined truth regardless of societal needs while true libertarians promote the concept of freedom from all dominating forces, including religion.

It is difficult to argue philosophy especially on a such a contentious subject as the role of Christianity in the constitution and more importantly modern American society. This is why I find this film very educational. It basically describes the issues:

American must become more Christian to be saved (Santorum/fox and friend)

The right of the individual to record and challenge teachers that don't follow the constitution (liberty dude as far as I can see). As quoted in the video "to be a troublemaker is good" in this society.

The right of all and every citizen to public education free of religious brainwashing from zealous teachers (liberally minded people)
Quote from the film: The constitution is a purely secular document"

The right of any teacher to preach religious ideologies regardless of the fact that he is a public school teacher paid by the State on the basis that the bible is truth and it belongs in any and all classrooms including history class.

The question that I continued to ask myself watching this video was this:

Which side would a true libertarian support:

The young student that stood up for his rights and what he believed in even if it meant getting into trouble with officials and other schoolmates


The obvious lying Christian "History" teacher preaching his crap at any opportunity he has. Keep in mind that after his preaching became public he defended his preaching with the following comment "What I said was only private opinion. I wasn't preaching". He was willing to preach the word of Jesus so long as it was secret. Once it became public he chose to fight to protect his job and not the word of God. LOL

Yeap, once again...I post a divisive question. Grow up. We are all adults and debate makes us stronger. As for me, I think that student is great and he represents what makes America strong. A 15 year old boy confident enough to take on his teacher and school for what he believes in. He's a true libertarian and defender of the constitution. Awesome example of what makes American great. This begs the question....if you support the teacher in this case what does that make you?


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I wonder...

who would win a math and science quiz? The muslim kids or american public school kids?

You don't seem upset at the secular brainwashing that goes on in public schools. Yet you are extremely pissed off at something that is practically non-existent (prayer of any kind and religious instruction in US public schools).

Believe it or not, the majority of christian schools in the US tone down their religious teachings to attract kids from secular/atheist parents. I know this for an absolute fact. The PROBLEM is the Govt being anywhere near the schools for any reason and let the MARKET handle it.

Sure, there will be "rogue" schools that teach weird crap in an abusive way. But that happens now. Including in the public schools where they memorize the names of some dinosaurs but yet are clueless about the fundamentals of applied electricity/electronics or balancing a checkbook.

Again, this entire forum topic is a mal-intentioned strawman...

~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

Good point(s).

Though this post may well have been a "grenade" it has proven to be a thought provoking thread.

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." Benjamin Franklin


and like you described I look at most "negative" posts as opportunities for teaching/learning.

~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

I don't know of any school that forces children to pray

Before the Supreme Court started shredding the Constitution with a whole wagonload of loose-constructionist decisions in the fifties, sixties, and seventies, most public schools had prayer. Usually the students would pray, maybe a teacher, maybe even the principal. Remember, public schools were originally designed to be controlled at the local level. If a community sees no problem with having the kids cite the pledge of allegiance, having a morning prayer, or whatever, that should be up to the members of the school board. But, then again, if a school board doesn't want those things, that should be the decision of the elected school board members. However, where there was prayer or wherever the pledge of allegiance is said, a child has a Constitutional right to abstain. If I lived in a majority Muslim community and attended a school that had morning prayer to Allah, I would completely understand (it being a Muslim community). I would simply choose not to participate and Constitutionally, I would have that right.

But this is why it was changed

Muslims,Hindus,Buddhists,American Indians and others were forced to recite Christian prayers in public schools. It needed to be changed and seperation of church and state is correct and constitutional. Where is freedom of religion when you are forced to observe a religion other than your own? How would you feel if you were forced to recite a Muslim prayer every morning? How about if your kids were forced by the state and institutions to do this? You are presenting a one sided and self righteous arguement here.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.


of school and state will complete the circle and fix the problem. :)

~wobbles but doesn't fall down~


NO child was forced to "recite" any prayer. Recite? No, someone, usually a student would pray before school started over an intercom and ask God to bless the school day and help everyone in their schoolwork. Nobody had to recite anything. If a child or teacher was a Christian, they would most likely bow their head during the prayer, but nobody forced anyone to bow his head during the prayer. Maybe you should reread my comment and the First amendment as well. The First amendment keeps CONGRESS from passing laws pertaining to the establishment of religion. It has nothing to do with community schools choosing to pray, read out of the Bible, or whatever those local schools want to do for that matter. The federal government has no Constitutional authority telling a local school they can't have prayer. That in itself is a violation of the freedom of religion clause of the First amendment because Congress (or the Supreme Court for that matter) is "prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

I agree

The First Amendment has been abused. Clearly it was meant to PROTECT the rights of the people to exercise their religious beliefs (or lack of) freely, not RESTRICT them like so many people use the First Amendment to do today. The Founders would be aghast if they knew that the First Amendment was used for things like banning nativity scenes and prayer in public places.

“It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till." -J.R.R. Tolkien

Two things

First, yes, depending on the teacher we were forced to recite as one, I am very sure this was not an isolated incident.

Second, was there more than one prayer over the loudspeaker? One for the Muslims,One for the Buddhists,One for the Catholics,One for the Hindus? No, it was always Christian indoctrination.

You are right though about church owned schools,The government should have no right to control these.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

If a child is forced to recite a prayer

his parents can take the school to court and plead a breach in freedom of religion under the state's constitution. It's not right to trample the rights of millions just tens of thousands won't be offended.

Whether or not there's prayer or what kind of prayer under the Constitution is not to be regulated by the federal government, that should be left up to each individual school board.

The government should have no right to strip states of their tenth amendment rights regarding schools, nor should a state government dictate to individual school boards about what kind of religious rituals they can or cannot have, although as far as participation is concerned, noone should be forced to participate or be punished for not doing so.

I agree with most of what you say

But in it all we must never forget that the constitution and bill of rights is to protect us from unjust and unfair laws at the public State and local level.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

I agree, but even if you follow the belief

of the SCOTUS that the Fourteenth Amendment applied the federal Bill of Rights to the states, then I don't see how anyone could claim that the First Amendment could in any way be construed as a means of using government force to prohibit teachers and students from voluntarily expressing their religious beliefs in local schools.

coffee_sponge's picture

I respectfully disagree

The primary focus of the Constitution and Bill of Rights is to protect us from the federal government and its over-reach, not state and local government. Except for the very limited powers granted to the federal government, all power is reserved to the states and to the people, according to the Tenth Amendment, and according to the writings of the Founders.

I would say both

Because could you just imagine if there was no checks to what a state can do to it's own people without just a few basic rights granted by the constitution? For example, Arizona just outlawed prescriptions for birth control,This is a law of morality pushed through by the churches that impose on everyone. This law forces everyone to stop having sex altogether even if married, or they are forced by the state to have children against their will if they do have sex. I am pretty sure the constitution will be the only thing to save individual rights when this law is challenged. Please don't say that this is a good law, because it totally abuses the seperation of church and state and is a religious ideal imposed by the state onto everyone. I just can't believe it ever passed at all.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

coffee_sponge's picture

I don't have a problem with people using brith control

I do have a problem with politicians mandating what someone's insurance will or won't cover; the parties involved should develop their own contracts.

In actuality, that new law doesn't outlaw prescriptions for birth control, although it makes it more difficult to get prescriptions in some cases (which again I don't agree with).

One thing the law does provide for is the authority of "employers", AKA the Catholic Church, to employ only those who comply with church teachings, which includes avoidance of birth control. The Catholic Church should not be compelled to employ someone they do not want to employ, regardless of the reason. They are, after all, a private group.

Information on the First Ammendment


Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

John Adams

I'd rather my kid...

read bible stories than be pumped full of govt propaganda. :\

This whole topic is a strawman. The Govt has no business in choosing what our kids learn in school as they have no business being involved with schooling at all.

~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

To answer that question,

To answer that question, another one must be asked. Is the United States a Christian nation?
The correct answer to that is yes and no. Our constitution is in no way a Christian document. Our government is NOT a Christian government. The Constitution is based on the philosophy of law as found in The Law of Nations by Emmerich de Vattel. Read Book 1 chapter 12 Of Piety and Religion. http://www.lonang.com/exlibris/vattel/ You will see how it shaped the First ammendment and what the founders thought of the need for religion.
Second, the general population was largely of Christiandom. In that way the United States was Christian.
The Bible in my opinion, if it is going to be taught in public schools, should be taught as it was when this country was founded. The doctrines of Christianity were not taught, but the natural law of love thy neibor as thyself was.
It was legal then, therefore it should be legal now.


Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

John Adams

The Bill of Rights..

was near 100% Puritan in derivation. (see George Mason)

Compared to the Bill of Rights, the rest of the Constitution is almost inconsequential.

~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

Public Schools Was Started For Orphans

The reason for public schools was for the orphans.


Great documentary...highly recommend watching it

It brings up many questions and a continuing conundrum: how do you reconcile public education with private beliefs.

Without going into a long dissertation, I think LaClair was mostly right, and the teacher was mostly wrong. But as with most things in life, there was a notable lack of civility and perspective on all sides. The student had opportunities to object and chose not to take them. The teacher had opportunities to make amends and chose to deny he had crossed the line.

In answer to the O.P.: the student was right. The teacher was wrong. But more importantly, the System has an internal contradiction between public funding and private beliefs that cannot be resolved and will always result in these kinds of conflicts. Always.

A very static comment.

"the System has an internal contradiction between public funding and private beliefs that cannot be resolved and will always result in these kinds of conflicts. Always."

Firstly the religion of evolution is taught without conflict every school day to all pupils beginning at kindergarten and continuing on. You can no more prove bing bang anymore than I can prove in the beginning. The only reason evolution has been given a free pass is that it assists in the perpetuation of a demoralizing culture of death.

Secondly, there is a resolution to this conflict by eliminating the federal funding. Restraining the decisions regarding all activities and curriculum to the local school board level would greatly reduce these contradictions to almost nil.

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." Benjamin Franklin

You are entitled

You are entitled to use your resources to advocate for the world-view you hold. I am, too.

You are not, however, entitled to MY resources to express your views. Neither am I, yours.

It does not matter if the money was taken by Washington DC or by the local school board, it was still extracted at the point of a gun and granted to a select few to express their particular views (pro-Darwin, anti-Darwin, pro gay-tolerance, anti gay-tolerance, Columbus was a murderer, Columbus was a moral giant, whatever...). No matter what comes out of a public school teacher's mouth is going to be unjust to some point of view.
THAT is the never-ending conundrum. It cannot be resolved. The System is flawed and will always produce irreconcilable conflict.

BTW: the Big Bang theory has nothing to do with the Theory of Evolution.

Ideally, education in a free

Ideally, education in a free society would be the responsibility of the parents or the individual or the community. Not the government. There is no constitutional prohibition for states or local communities to be involved in education. And up until the 20th century education was the responsibility of the church, the family and the local community.

If government schools were maintained by local control, the problem of monopoly control of education for the entire school age population would be greatly reduced. The owners of the school could be the local school boards which could set curriculum and discipline standards and taxes. This solution is not perfect. But it vastly better than a Washington based czar using the educational system for propaganda, perpetuating the falsehoods of the state and the so called benefits of a powerful central government.

BTW: It most certainly does. I went to public school.

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." Benjamin Franklin

Local tyrants are as bad as distant ones

With one exception: the local ones can be identified and confronted more easily. Other than that, they often are greater infringers of our freedoms than bureaucrats in Washington.

With tax funding of anything, we end up with squabbles over who will control it.

When I say the Big Bang has nothing to do with Theory of Evolution, I mean that the Big Bang is supposed to explain how observable universe came into being. The Theory of Evolution describes the mechanics of how species change over time. Two different things.

A third option.

The federal government has become very much involved in financing and directing education at all levels. There is no evidence that quality of education has improved. There is evidence that more people go to college and that the cost has skyrocketed. At the grade school and high school levels where local schools and parents have ever less control over the curriculum and administration of schools there has definitely been more violence, more drugs, and more drop outs associated with more centralized control.

Competition is helpful in any endeavor and this is true in education. The near monopoly control over the indoctrination of young people in our public school systems is counter balanced by home schooling, private schooling and education readily available on the internet. The regulations of starting a variety of alternatives to public schools are extremely tight and keep the market from operating as it might. The effort to provide more competition to the public school system has not solved the problem. Though there are few who always benefit from vouchers, tax credits and charter schools, too often these offers are unfairly made available and do not eliminate the power of the state to control the curriculum.

The best interim option for reform would be to give a tax credit for all educational expenses. Vouchers invite bureaucratic control of their usage and are unfairly distributed. The textbook argument is unsolvable in a government run school. All social science books are biased toward different viewpoints. Science books are generally more objective and are not influenced by prejudice bureaucrats. There is no way a book on social or political science can be non discriminatory and offend no one. It’s equivalent to finding a religion satisfactory to all groups.

In private schools or home schools the issue is moot. Decisions are made by the parents and the school operators secular or religious. Attendees come with the understanding of any particular bias. Problems associated with emphasis on history and politics in public schools will never be solved by electing a new group of book editors who remove one textbook and replace it with another. In the private system, prayers or bible reading are not debatable issues and no ones rights are abused.

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." Benjamin Franklin

We agree completely

You have clearly stated our common ground.

Well written.


You agree with Ron Paul, as I do. Those last two posts were straight from Liberty Defined. Sorry for the plagery but I was curious to see if Ron's ideas held water.

I can say that I learned something in this thread by quoting Ron. It makes perfect sense and I clearly understand your points now concerning this subject. I think I am going to just leave off the religion debates unless there is any real chance or desire for an exchange of ideas.

I hope my actions aren't offensive and you can understand them. I think that you will be quite ok with it, for as you say, I have stated our common ground. I find it very encouraging to see Ron Paul's ideas work in a discussion such as we have had.

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." Benjamin Franklin

There is no Church of Evolution

These fantasies are unhelpful to your argument.

sure they are.

thanks for presenting such a lengthy and informed counter point. you really have given me a lot to think about.

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." Benjamin Franklin