Monday, January 31, 2005

Clueless about the First Amendment

Associated Press is reporting that American Students think the "First Amendment is no big deal."

Reportedly, "It was also clear that many students do not understand what is protected by the bedrock of the Bill of Rights."

Anyone who has spent any time talking with people about First Amendment issues knows that students are not the only ones who are uninformed and apathetic about the First Amendment. Many evangelical Christians are downright hostile toward it.

Some of the blame for this belongs to Baptists for not teaching their children about the Baptist history of advocacy for religious liberty and separation of church and state. Baptists, however, are not alone. Public school educational policies that over-emphasized proficiency in mathematics and science to the detriment of civics and history have not helped.

Theocrats filled a void with their mythology about America being a "Christian Nation" and now, for the foreseeable future, they will be running the committees that set standards for education and textbooks. No one else cares.

Education and democracy are linked. When one fails, the other is endangered.


Rob said...

This disturbed me more than you know. We're letting "1984" come to pass by our own ignorance and the passing of said ignorance to the next generation.

You can be sure there is one child who will not be "left behind" on her education with regards to the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

Make that three. I've got a couple kids of my own.

Tig said...

Just a few quotes,
People get the government they deserve. Thomas Jefferson.

Those who give up their freedoms for temporary safety, deserve neither freedom nor safety. Benjamin Franklin

The people must assume the ultimate responsibility for what happened. They submitted and were led away like sheep to the slaughter. Alexander Sohlsenitzen The Gulag Archipelago.

I have been teaching government, law, U.S. History and World History for over twenty years. The bricks of my classroom show more interest in the First ammendment than most of my students. Students are above all so self-absorbed that unless they are directly affected they are totally apathetic. They will fight fof their right to pary, but it takes a brain capable of an original thought for there to be a reason to fight for free speech. The right is in the process of goring so many oxes at the present time, that sooner or later there will be a thermidorian reaction. The left's came at Roe V. Wade and it has taken over thirty years for the pendulum to swing this far in the opposite direction. Lest we Democrats blame alot of what is happening only on the Republicans, think of what Woodrow Wilson did by invading Vera Cruz and ridding that country of a noxious Dictator, how Eugend Debs was imprisoned for ten years during WWI, and Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the majority opinion upholding the repressive censorship laws. I will admit the only other legal precedent that Bush can use to justify what he has done at Guantanimo is the Spanish Inquisition.