Wednesday, October 31, 2007


It may be a bit redundant to comment about comments to an article, but so be it. It's interesting stuff, so here it is.


Morford passes along the opinions of a “longtime reader,” a public high school teacher in the San Francisco area, about the “horrifying” state of teen minds. The teacher “speaks not merely of the sad decline in overall intellectual acumen among students … not merely the astonishing spread of lazy slackerhood ….” Morford shared a few more observations about iPods and cell phones and the lack of time spent outdoors before throwing the “mindless, fundamentalist evangelical Christian lemming” bomb.

Here is that 'bomb'...

We are, as far as urban public education is concerned, essentially at rock bottom. We are now at a point where we are essentially churning out ignorant teens who are becoming ignorant adults and society as a whole will pay dearly, very soon, and if you think the hordes of easily terrified, mindless fundamentalist evangelical Christian lemmings have been bad for the soul of this country, just wait.

I don't think it's any big secret that public schools are pretty much failing. Sure, not all are, and no doubt even from the bad ones there can come students with a somewhat decent education, but by and large yes there are reasons to question whether what we are putting into public schools as far as tax monies goes is really being returned to us in well-educated students.

The statement about 'evangelicals' is, of course, simply a cheap shot by someone with an obvious bias. He is entitled to his opinion, even one as flaky as that one.

Then our discussion often turns to the meat of it, the bigger picture, the ugly and unavoidable truism about the lack of need among the government and the power elite in this nation to create a truly effective educational system, one that actually generates intelligent, thoughtful, articulate citizens.

This opinion, however, has to be more then a little off. Is he really trying to tell us that the US government thinks it doesn't need well-educated citizens? That we don't need scientists, authors, researchs, doctors, lawyers (yes, sadly, they must be mentioned here), and any other such roles? That it is some kind of grand conspiracy that schools are producing morons?

Why do I sense some kind of Bush-bashing here? After all, this guy seems pretty strongly on the left, and isn't that their first excuse for all that goes wrong?

Hell, why should they? After all, the dumber the populace, the easier it is to rule and control and launch unwinnable wars and pass laws telling them that sex is bad and TV is good and God knows all, so just pipe down and eat your Taco Bell Double-Supremo Burrito and be glad we don't arrest you for posting dirty pictures on your cute little blog.

I get more the impression of a tirade here then of a coherent position and argument. True, there is a further shot at Christianity, and if his last statement is meant to mean that he thinks that posting porn on the web is ok, then maybe we can see why he thinks God is not good. It think it was Aldous Huxley who said that when he was young and full of athiesm, for he and his fellow unbelievers it was a case that behind all of their protests and rhetoric, in the end it all came down to sex.

In response to that last paragraph, here's what the CMI writer wrote...

This is what liberal goulash looks like. String together a bunch of leftist lunacy, smear Christians and blame everyone else. Personal responsibility? Pshaw.

...and further...

Somehow Morford overlooks one obvious point: the teachers who dominate the “horribly failed educational system,” whom he suggests are deliberately dumbing down American students, are overwhelmingly liberals.

Perhaps if Morford and his reader/teacher traveled outside the liberal enclave of San Francisco, where the city grants permits for fairs celebrating sadomasochism on public streets but denies the Marines permission to film a commercial on those same streets, they’d see a different American teen. And maybe if they, and parents, held kids accountable for making the most of their education, instead of blaming the government and the “power elite,” they’d be a little less despondent.

And there is the point to all of this. It has been liberal ideas that have, for example, discouraged certain types of disciplinary measure which may have helped in straigtening ot unruly students, that have put self-esteem and feelings over performance and learning, which have watered-down textbooks and basically rewritten history books so that they reflect liberal worldviews and biases, that have told kids to be so ashamed of their country that they will not even say the Pledge of Allegiance but rather make up their own version based on their own selfishness.

In other words, it is the ideas of people like Morford which have resulted in this train wreck, and for him to try to shunt the blame on to evangelicals or the government is childish.

If such students exist as he claims, they are the children of himself and his liberal pals. They are the result of their ideas being put into practice, and are the logical outcome.

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